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Origins Available: French, Irish, Scottish


There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Leonard originally appeared in Gaelic as O Leannain, which is possibly derived from the word leann, which denotes a cloak. Another possible derivation is from the word leanan, which means paramour.

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The surname Leonard was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Leonard family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Lennon, Lannin, Lannon, Linnane, O'Lennon, Lennane, Leonard, MacAlinion, O'Lennan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leonard research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leonard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Leonard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Leonard family in North America:

Leonard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Solomon Leonard, who landed in Massachusetts in 1633
  • James Leonard settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Katherine Leonard, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Henry Leonard settled in Massachusetts in 1640
  • Thomas Leonard settled in Barbados in 1660
  • ...

Leonard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Cha Leonard, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Richard Leonard, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Pierre Leonard, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724
  • Jean Baptiste Léonard, who lived in New Orleans with his two sons in 1727
  • Frédéric Léonard, who was a property owner in New Orleans in 1732
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Leonard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Leonard, who arrived in America in 1801
  • John Leonard, who arrived in New York in 1802
  • Jane Leonard, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Robert Leonard, aged 21, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Rog Leonard, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
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Leonard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Catherina Leonard, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Catherine Leonard, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Mrs. Leonard, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Col. George Leonard Sr., U.E. born in Massachusetts, USA who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784, then Sussex [ Sussex Vale], New Brunswick he served in the New Brunswick Militia
  • Sgt. George Leonard U.E. born in New York, USA who settled in Deer Island, West Isles, Fundy Islands, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served with the British Army no Regiment listed
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Leonard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Michael Leonard, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1820
  • Margaret Condon Leonard, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • Abraham Leonard, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Francis Leonard, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • Reuben Leonard, who landed in Canada in 1834
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Leonard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Leonard, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Harriett Leonard arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847
  • Lucy Leonard arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847
  • Andrew Leonard arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847
  • Walter Leonard arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caspar" in 1849
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Leonard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Robert Leonard arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sydenham" in 1870
  • Sarah Leonard arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • William Leonard, aged 24, a mason, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • Mary Leonard, aged 20, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
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  • Gloria Leonard (1940-2014), American pornographic actress, a board member of Adult Video Association and its successor the Free Speech Coalition
  • Edgar Leonard (1881-1948), American gold and bronze Olympic medalist for tennis at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Major-General John William Leonard (1890-1974), American Commanding General 2nd Armored Division (1946)
  • Richard W. Leonard, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Hampshire 2nd District, 1948 ; Candidate in primary for New Hampshire Governor's Council 4th District, 1956
  • Robert Leonard, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 5th District, 1978
  • Robert F. Leonard, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from 13th Senatorial District, 1961; Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 7th Circuit, 1966
  • Roger G. Leonard, American Republican politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives from Penobscot County (8th), 1931-32
  • Rosemary Leonard, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 2000
  • Rufus Leonard, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Stafford, 1821
  • Mrs. Russell Leonard, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1964
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Leonard Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Thomas Leonard, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Mark Leonard, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Frederick George Leonard, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Matthew Leonard (d. 1912), aged 26, Irish Steward from Belfast, Ireland who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Lionel Leonard (d. 1912), aged 36, American Third Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Grigsby X. Leonard by Carroll Mendenhall Leonard.
  • Plath (Plaat), Lenhart (also Leonard) & Hankin by Marion Plath Petersen.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Prisco stirpe hibernico
Motto Translation: Of an ancient Irish stock

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
    4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    9. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    11. ...

    The Leonard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leonard Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 20 May 2016 at 13:04.

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