The Leslie family can trace their ancestral roots back to Bartolf, a Hungarian nobleman who arrived in Scotland in 1067. After proving himself as a man of intellect and bravery, King Malcolm III granted him estates in Fife, Angus, the Mearns and Aberdeenshire and he would go on to establish the principal holding of the clan in the Garioch district of Aberdeen – where he built a castle at a place known as Lesselyn – the place is where the Leslie clan take their name from.
The traditional clan seat of the Leslies was at Balquhain. The chiefship of the clan held the castle from 1340 but it was sacked and destroyed by the Forbes family in 1526. Since then, the castle was rebuilt in 1530 but burned again in 1746 and eventually abandoned for good.
The Leslies would later sell most of their estates over the course of the 18th century, other than Leslie House, near Fife, which was retained until the 1920s.
The current clan chief is Hon. Alexander Leslie.