An English surname, Leach comes from the Old English term ‘lece’ which applied to medical doctors of the Middle Ages. The medical practice then was to use leaches, blood sucking creatures, on the patient, bleeding them. The spelling variations for Leach include Leetch, Leech, Leitch and Leche. In England the Leach families originated in the Cheshire region. Over the centuries they spread to Lancashire and Yorkshire and have the greater populations in those counties. There are Leach families scattered across England and most of Wales. In Scotland the Leach families reside mostly in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Roxburghshire, Angus and Inverness-shire counties. Within the United States Leach families originated in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, California and Missouri. Famous: Reginald Joseph Leach (professional Canadian ice hockey player), Archibald Alexander Leach (the birth name for the movie film star Cary Grant), Bobby Leach (first male to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel in 1911), George Leach (actor and musician from Canada), Karoline Leach (English playwright), Mike Leach (professional football player), Robin Douglas Leach (English celebrity writer and television host) and Tommy Leach (professional baseball player).