Leonard Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Leonard
include Leonarde, Leonards, Lennard, Lenard, Learnard and Lerned. These names are taken from a Saint who lived in the sixth century, he being the Patron Saint of peasants and horses. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a William Leonard, County Huntingdonshire, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A James Leonard and Alice Barber were granted a marriage license at the Faculty Office, London, in the year 1546. A Sampson Lennard, County Norfolk, was recorded in the 'History of Norfolk' in the year 1606. In Ireland the name is found in small numbers having been introduced into Ulster Province from England and Scotland centuries ago. Leonard is also used as an occasional variant form of the names Lennon, Linnane, Lineen, Lunny and Gilsenan. The Leonard
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Leonard