Léonard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Léonard 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.

Early Origins of the Léonard family

The surname Léonard 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.

Early History of the Léonard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Léonard research. Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Léonard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Léonard Spelling Variations

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 Léonard family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Lennon, Lannin, Lannon, Linnane, O'Lennon, Lennane, Leonard, MacAlinion, O'Lennan and many more.

Early Notables of the Léonard family (pre 1700)

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

Léonard World Ranking

In the United States, the name Léonard is the 324th most popular surname with an estimated 84,558 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Léonard is ranked the 480th most popular surname with an estimated 10,068 people with that name. [2] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Léonard is the 459th popular surname. [3] Newfoundland, Canada ranks Léonard as 381st with 123 people. [4] France ranks Léonard as 394th with 10,765 people. [5] Australia ranks Léonard as 554th with 7,002 people. [6] New Zealand ranks Léonard as 634th with 1,125 people. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Léonard as 532nd with 12,383 people. [8]


United States Léonard migration to the United States +

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 Léonard family in North America:

Léonard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Solomon Leonard, who landed in Massachusetts in 1633 [9]
  • James Leonard, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Katherine Leonard, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Henry Leonard, who settled in Massachusetts in 1640
  • Thomas Leonard, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Léonard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Cha Leonard, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [9]
  • Richard Leonard, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [9]
  • Pierre Leonard, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724 [9]
  • 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
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Léonard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Leonard, who arrived in America in 1801 [9]
  • John Leonard, who arrived in New York in 1802 [9]
  • Jane Leonard, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [9]
  • Robert Leonard, aged 21, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [9]
  • Rog Leonard, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Léonard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Léonard 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 [10]
  • 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 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Léonard 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
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Léonard migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Léonard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Leonard, British Convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Richard Leonard, (b. 1773), aged 27, English blacksmith who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1853 [11]
  • Henry Leonard, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [12]
  • Mr. William Leonard, British Convict who was convicted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for life , transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • Mr. Francis Leonard, English convict who was convicted in Southampton, Hampshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Léonard migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Léonard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Leonard, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [15]
  • M. Leonard, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1862 [16]
  • Robert Leonard, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sydenham" in 1870
  • Mr. John Leonard, (b. 1856), aged 18, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [16]
  • Sarah Leonard, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Léonard migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [17]
Léonard Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Leonard, who settled in Barbados in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Léonard (post 1700) +

  • Jack E. Leonard (1910-1973), (1910 –1973), American comedian and actor who made frequent appearances on television variety and game shows
  • William Robert "Bobby" Leonard (1932-2021), American professional basketball player, coach and color commentator, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2014
  • William T. Leonard, American politician, Workers Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Jersey 10th District, 1992 [18]
  • Cecil Leonard (1946-2020), American professional football player who was a defensive back for two seasons with the New York Jets
  • Louise Wareham Leonard, née Wareham, a New Zealand born American writer of British and Maori descent
  • 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) [19]
  • Elmore John Leonard Jr. (1925-2013), American novelist and screenwriter
  • Joshua Granville Leonard (b. 1975), American actor
  • ... (Another 159 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Thomas Leonard, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Mark Leonard, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [20]
Frank Rock Slide
  • Mr. J. Leonard, Canadian resident of Frank, Alberta who was buried in the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [21]
Grover Shoe factory
  • Miss Mary Leonard, American employee of the Grover Shoe factory in Brockton, Massachusetts on 20th March 1905 when the boiler exploded and collapsed the wooden building; she died [22]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Lew Leonard, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [23]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Frederick George Leonard, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
Pemberton Mill
  • Mr. Dennis Leonard, factory worker in the Pemberton Mill on 10th January 1860 when the mill collapsed trapping 900 workers as rescue attempts continued into the night, an oil lantern was knocked over further engulfing the trapped workers in fire, he died
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 [25]
  • 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 [25]


The Léonard Motto +

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


Suggested Readings for the name Léonard +

  • Grigsby X. Leonard by Carroll Mendenhall Leonard.
  • Plath (Plaat), Lenhart (also Leonard) & Hankin by Marion Plath Petersen.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  9. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  13. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  14. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  17. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  18. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, April 2) John Leonard. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Leonard/John_William/USA.html
  20. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  21. ^ Calgary Herald news article retrieved 11th August 2021. (Retrieved from https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Calgary_Herald_Thu__Apr_30__1903_-copy-scaled.jpg).
  22. ^ California Digital Newspaper from 21st March 1905 (retrieved on 5th August 2021.) Retrieved from https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SFC19050321.2.19&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1
  23. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  24. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  25. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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