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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Italian


The distinguished surname Leo originated in an area of Italy, known as the Papal States. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adapt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most traditional type of family name found in the region of the Papal States is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Leo came from the given name Leoni which comes from the Latin Leo or Leonios, which means lion-like.

Leo Early Origins



The surname Leo was first found in 1130, when Giovanni-Antonio Leoncilli owned much land around Spoleto.

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Leo Spelling Variations


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Leo Spelling Variations



In comparison with other European surnames, Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms. They reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each with its own distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the typical Italian surname suffix is "i", whereas in Southern Italy it is "o". Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. The spelling variations in the name Leo include Leoni, Leone, Leon, Lioni, Lione, Lion, Liuni, Leo, Lio, De Leone, De Leonibus, De Leo, Di Leo, Leonelli, Leonello, Leoncilli, Lionelli, Lionello, Leonetti, Lionetti, Leoncini, Leoncino, Leonotti and many more.

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Leo Early History


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Leo Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leo research. More information is included under the topic Early Leo History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Leo Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Leo Early Notables (pre 1700)



Prominent among members of the family was Bussadi Leoni, a noblewoman in Rome during the 15th century who married at age 12 and was known for her piety and charity. In 1425 she founded the Congregation of Women for Promoting Charitable Works. Domenico Leonessa of Naples became the Archbishop of Rossano...

Another 136 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Leo or a variant listed above:

Leo Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Leo, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Leo Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • H Leo, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Carl Leo, who arrived in New York, NY in 1851
  • Jonathan Leo, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857
  • Andreas Leo, who settled in America in 1859
  • Bridget Leo, who arrived in New York, NY in 1865
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Leo Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Agnes Leo, aged 40, who settled in America from Castle Connell, in 1902
  • Acenssio Leo, aged 35, who landed in America from Caltabellotto, in 1906
  • Agnesa Leo, aged 59, who landed in America from Siano, Italy, in 1909
  • Alberto Leo, aged 13, who emigrated to the United States from Cesoria, Napoli, in 1909
  • Alberto Leo, aged 36, who settled in America from Napoli, Napoli, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Leo Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert Leo arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cressy" in 1847

Leo Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Leo, aged 27, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874

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Contemporary Notables of the name Leo (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Leo (post 1700)



  • William Leo, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996, 2000, 2004 (alternate); member, Credentials Committee, 2008
  • Terri Leo, American Republican politician, Member of Texas State Board of Education 6th District
  • Joseph Leo (b. 1938), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 2004, 2008 (alternate)
  • Gus Leo, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Dutchess County, 1956
  • Greg Leo, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 2008
  • Theodore F. Leo (b. 1970), American punk rock/indie rock songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist
  • Melissa Chessington Leo (b. 1960), American actress and winner of a Golden Globe award and Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards
  • Pasquale F. De Leo, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1980
  • Susan Leo (b. 1962), former Australian international tennis player
  • Daniel Leo (b. 1982), Samoan rugby union footballer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Leo Family Crest Products


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Leo Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
    2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    3. Colletta, John P. Finding Italian Roots The Complete Guide for Americans. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2003. Print.
    4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    5. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    8. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
    9. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
    10. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial Général by J.B. Rietstap. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today, 1967. Print. (ISBN 0-0900455-209).
    11. ...

    The Leo Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Leo 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 16 March 2016 at 16:40.

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