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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: French, Italian

Where did the French Lion family come from? What is the French Lion family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lion family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lion family history?

The surname Lion originates in Gascogne, France, is where Lion was first used as a surname. Lion was derived from the personal name Leonard, which means "lion-bold," and indicating that the original bearer was thought to be as bold as a lion.


Most surnames have experienced slight spelling changes. A son may not chose to spell his name the same way that his father did. Many were errors, many deliberate. During the early development of the French language, a person usually gave his version, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Prefixes or suffixes varied. They were optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, there a many spelling variations of the name Lion, including Léonard, Léonnard, Léonhard, Lénard, Liénard, Lenard, Lienard, Lionard, Lionhard, Léonart, Léonhart, Lénart, Liénart, Lionart, Lionhart, Lenart, Lienart, Léonardy, Léon, Léone, Léonne, Lion, Lione and many more.

First found in Gascony (French: Gascogne), an area of southwest France bordering Spain, that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lion research. Another 309 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1789, 1611, 1654, 1656, 1657, 1658, 1663, 1611, 1671, 1655, 1713, 1744, 1793 and 1766 are included under the topic Early Lion History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lion Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Lion has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Lion were

Lion Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Lion, who landed in Maryland in 1673
  • Margery Lion, who arrived in Maryland in 1673

Lion Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John M Lion, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • M Lion, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Isaak Lion, who landed in North America in 1866
  • Jakob Lion, who arrived in Kansas in 1866
  • Morris Lion, who landed in Mississippi in 1881


  • Richard Lion, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, 2001 (Libertarian), 2003
  • Margo Lion, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2008
  • Jean Dieudonné Lion, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815


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  1. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. D'Hozier Charles. Armorial Général de France. Paris: Dillon, 1875. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0192852213).
  11. ...

The Lion Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lion 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 4 November 2015 at 13:20.

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