Legard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Legard was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from St. Leger. "The St. Legers came from Caen in Normandy (Chron. of Battel Abbey, p. 59), and a family tradition asserts that the patriarch, Robert, was not only present at William's invasion in 1066, but actually supported him with his hand as he quitted the ship! There are six places bearing this name mentioned in the Itin. de la Normandie. Its Latinization is De Sancto." 
Another source notes that it was a "name of a warlike king of the Saxons in the Nibelungen Lied, which occurs in some local names in Anglo-Saxon charters, as Ludegarsttin and Lutegáreshale, which latter Kemble thinks may be Ludgershall, in Wiltshire." 
Saint Leodegar (or Leger), known as Leodegar of Poitiers (Latin: Leodegarius; French: Léger; c. 615-679) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun.
Early Origins of the Legard family
The surname Legard was first found in Kent where Robert St. Leger was granted estates at Ulcombe and became Lord of the Manor of Ulcombe. "Ulcombe Place and manor belonged to the family of St. Leger, of whom Sir Robert, of an ancient house in Normandy, is said to have supported the Conqueror with his hand when landing on the Sussex coast. The present edifice, [(church)] which is in the later English style, contains some very old monuments to the St. Legers."  He also held estates at Bexhill in Sussex.
Early History of the Legard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Legard research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1540, 1440, 1483, 1441, 1483, 1596, 1475, 1536, 1544, 1560, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1563, 1563, 1571, 1571, 1583, 1584, 1585, 1631, 1678, 1476, 1526, 1535, 1613, 1496, 1559, 1589, 1571, 1572, 1600, 1618, 1619, 1627, 1600, 1665, 1621, 1650 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Legard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Legard Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled St.Leger, Leger, Legere, Sallinger, Sellinger, St. Ledger and many more.
Early Notables of the Legard family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas St Leger KB (c. 1440-1483) second son of Sir John St Leger (d.1441) of Ulcombe, Kent, and his wife, Margery Donnet. He was executed on 13 November 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf.
Sir John St Leger (died 1596), of Annery in the parish of Monkleigh, Devon, was an English landowner who served in local and national government. He was the son of Sir George St Leger (c.1475-1536), of Annery, by his wife, Anne Knyvett, daughter of Sir Edmund Knyvett of Buckenham. He...
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Legard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Legard family to Ireland
Some of the Legard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 249 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Legard family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Legard name or one of its variants: John St. Ledger settled in Canada in 1841; William St. Leger settled in New Orleans in 1823.
Related Stories +
The Legard 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: Haut et bon
Motto Translation: High and good.
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.