Leonardo History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The distinguished surname Leonardo can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt 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 were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice 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 Leonardo came from the Old German name Leonhard, which is composed of the elements lewo or lion and hardhu, which means strong, brave.
Early Origins of the Leonardo family
The surname Leonardo was first found in the city of Novara. Records show that the Leonardi family was one of the noble families in Novara until 1370, when they moved to Milan.
Early History of the Leonardo family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leonardo research. More information is included under the topic Early Leonardo History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Leonardo Spelling Variations
Enormous variation in spelling and form characterizes those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. This is caused by two main factors: regional tradition, and inaccuracies in the recording process. Before the last few hundred years, scribes spelled names according to their sounds. Spelling variations were the unsurprising result. The variations of Leonardo include Leonardis, Leonardi, Leonardo, Leonarda, Leinardi, Leinardo, Lonardi, Lonardo, Lunardi, Lunardo, Lenardi, Linardi, Linardo, De Leonardi, De Leonardis, Di Leonardi, Leonardelli, Leonardini, Leonarduzzi, Lunardelli, Lunardoni, Lunardon, Lenarduzzi, Lenardoni, Lenardon and many more.
Early Notables of the Leonardo family (pre 1700)
Prominent among bearers of this family in early times was Count Giangiacomo Leonardi, a military engineer born in Pesaro in 1490. He directed the construction of the walls of Senigallia and in 1553 erected fortifications at Rome. Camillo Leonardi was a doctor in Pesaro during the early 16th century who wrote "Speculum Lapidium," with descriptions of 300 minerals. The work was meant to give astrological meanings of the stones, but in the process, much scientific observation was recorded. Giovanni dell'Arpa Leonardo was a 16th century Neapolitan composer of villanelle and...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leonardo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Leonardo is the 7,320th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 
Migration of the Leonardo family
The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Leonardo: Michele Leonardini, registered in Siskiyou county, California in 1891; Gillo Leonardo, who was Naturalized in Illinois in 1904; Rossi Leonardo, who was Naturalized in Oregon in 1911.
Contemporary Notables of the name Leonardo (post 1700) +
- Jerry R. Leonardo, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Monroe County 3rd District, 1935 
- James B. Leonardo (b. 1889), American Republican politician, Member of Illinois State Senate 17th District; Defeated, 1922; Elected 1926, 1930, 1934; Elected unopposed 1938 
- Raffaello Leonardo (b. 1973), Italian two-time gold and bronze medalist rower
- Roy Leonardo Barreras Montealegre, Colombian politician and 2018 presidential candidate, Senator of Colombia (2010-)
- Bruno Leonardo Vicente (b. 1989), Brazilian footballer
- César Leonardo Tovar (1940-1994), nicknamed "Pepito" and "Mr. Versatility", Venezuelan Major League Baseball player who played from 1965 to 1976
- Kevin Leonardo Newsome Jr. (b. 1991), American football running back
- Alex Leonardo Bolaños Reascos (b. 1985), Ecuadorian footballer
- Héctor Leonardo Marinaro Sr., Argentinean central football defender
- José Leonardo Ulloa (b. 1986), Argentine footballer
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