Origins of the Massachusetts Leonards


There are at least seven Leonards who arrived in New England during the period from 1630 to 1690.  They are:


This web site includes the descendants of James, Henry, Solomon, John, and William.  Philip and Rice did not have male children.  Since their families all repeat many of the same first names and since branches of the different families lived in the same places, I thought it would be easier for potential descendants to be able to check on one web site for their Leonard ancestors.  Please note:  it's easy to confuse the various Leonards for this frequent use of the same first names, so you will find that genealogists and researchers have mismatched wives, parents, and/or children over the years.  Just because you find a record mentioning Joseph Leonard in Middleboro, Massachusetts, in 1750, don't assume it's "your" Joseph.  There were seven of them in Middleboro at that time.  I am doing my best to straighten out these problems, but would not claim 100% success.  Please doublecheck what you find here or elsewhere.  It is really a maddening problem!

The earliest work on the Leonard genealogy was done by Dr. Perez Fobes in the late 1790’s.  It is said that Dr. Fobes knew the relationship of the above Leonards to each other, but, unfortunately, his papers were lost when he died.


Other Leonards are mentioned as coming to the New World in the early 1600’s.  New York State materials mention a Nathaniel Leonard who was governor of Nova Scotia in 1624.[1]  Then a Henry Leonard was made governor of Nova Scotia in 1632 and went from there to Maryland.  A James Leonard was transported on July 24, 1635, on the “Assurance” from Gravesend to Virginia with son Thomas, but it is doubtful that these are “our” James and Thomas, since our James would have been about 15 and Thomas not yet born in 1635.  There were also other Leonards in Maryland, although I’ve not researched them at all.  And Thomas Leonard, brother of James, Henry, and Philip, came to New Jersey and may have arrived earlier by way of Connecticut or Long Island and may have had as yet undiscovered descendants.


Some Leonards related to James and Henry remained in England.  Recent testing of y-dna categorizes their descendants in the J2 haplogroup.  This haplogroup is rather rare in the British Isles -- it is not Celtic, Viking, or Saxon.  A Leonard family with matching y-dna has been identified in the Birmingham area of England.  Their family have been gun makers for generations back to a William Leonard in the late 1700's.  James, Henry, and Thomas, their father, were known to have resided in nearby Bilston, Kinver, and Cleobury Mortimer and worked in iron foundries there in the early 1600's.  Further research may identify a common ancestor.  If direct male descendants in the various lines are found and are willing to have their y-dna tested, we may discover if all of these earlier lines have a common ancestor.  For more information on genetic testing and Leonard genealogy, please refer to the separate piece on that subject.


What We Know and Don’t Know about James and Henry Leonard’s Origins


What we know of the origins of James Leonard comes from Hannah Leonard Deane, his daughter, who made a deposition to her grandnephew, Zephaniah Leonard, as follows:


“February 2, 1732-3, Hannah Deane, sister to Capt. James Leonard late of Taunton deceased, gave to the subscriber the following account of her relations, etc –

            1st Namely her Great Grandfather’s name was   Henry Leonard

            2nd Her own Grandfather’s name was                            Thomas Leonard

            3rd  Her Father’s name was                                           James Leonard            

                   Her Grandmother’s name was                                White              

                   Her Mother’s name was                                        Martin

                   Her Father’s brothers’ names were the eldest,        1. Henry Leonard        

                                                                                                2. William Leonard      

                                                                                                3.  John Leonard

                                                                                                4.  Philip Leonard

                                                                                                5.  Thomas Leonard                




James, her Father, lived and died at Taunton, New England

Thomas was drowned at Piscataway.

Henry went to New Jersey.      

Philip lived at Marshfield and died at Taunton.

William & John never came out of England.

Margery married Henry Samson of Ireland, Lt. of the City of Gallaway.

Sarah died at New Salem.       

Joan never came out of England.          

Said Hannah said her eldest brother was Thomas Leonard, next James, Joseph, Benjamin, John, Uriah.

The sisters were Abigail and Rebecca.

They all had children save John, who died at about 20 years of age.

Henry, who removed to New Jersey, lived and married his wife in Lynn in New England, from thence he removed to Toppsfield, then removed by way of Taunton to the Jerseys.  When he was in Taunton, he had seven likely children, namely,

            The eldest Samuel married Sarah Brooks         


                             Thomas married his wife in Virginia


                             John married A. Almy (originally)

            The daughters, the eldest married Throgmorton; next Mary.

            So far Hannah Deane, originally Hannah Leonard, gave me an account.


                                                                                                Zephaniah Leonard”[2]


Further research does support this deposition.

·        Records have been found in the Parish Church of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire of the baptism of Margery, daughter of forgeman Thomas and Elizabeth Leonard, on March 13, 1624/5.  This is the earliest record of a child of Thomas and Elizabeth (White) Leonard.  Cleobury Mortimer is a small village on the Rea River on which there were forges.[3]  Cleobury Mortimer is not far from Kinver on the Stour River, another town noted for early ironworks and Leonards.

·        Mary Leonard was baptized September 12, 1627, in Cleobury Mortimer and died later that year.  She was also the daughter of Thomas Leonard.[4]

·        William Leonard was baptized there November 30, 1628, and also died later that year.  Thomas was listed as “of the forge, fyner” in that record.  A fyner was one who is charge of the hearth where cast iron was made malleable.[5]  It is possible but undocumented that there was a second child named William who lived and remained in England.  There is a marriage record of a William Leonard of Crewcarne, Somersetshire, marrying Mary Coxe on January 22, 1654.  There is also the mysterious William Leonard, born about 1680-90 who married Sarah Bolton of Bridgewater, whose origins and relationships are unknown and may have been a later immigrant son or grandson of the William who remained in England.[6]

·        Philip Leonard’s residence in Marshfield and association with Henry Leonard in 1652 at the ironworks has been documented.[7]

·        Sarah Leonard, daughter of Thomas, was baptized February 23, 1633/4 in Publow Parish, Somersetshire.  Publow was also the site of an ironworks.  In 1676, Sarah married Robert Fairbanks in Ireland, and they left Dublin for New Jersey in 1677.  When Robert died, Sarah married John Thompson in New Jersey.  Her will in 1720 confirms her relationship to Henry and Thomas Leonard of New Jersey and James Leonard of Massachusetts.[8]

·        Thomas Leonard, son of Thomas, was baptized April 20, 1636, in Publow Parish. When he came to America is unknown, although it is thought that he was in New Haven, CT, before moving to Woodbridge, NJ, and that his wife’s name was Katherine.  We do not know if they had children or if Thomas was engaged in ironworking trades.[9]  His will mentions wife Katherine and his kinsman Halick Codriack, but no children, save a legacy of a 2-year-old heifer to “the boy that now liveth with me” called Thomas Cromwell.


From the above, we know that the parents of Henry, James, Philip, and Thomas were Thomas Leonard and Elizabeth White.  We know that Thomas was a skilled forgeman and fyner and probably trained some or all of his sons in that skill.  We know that Thomas moved around in the application of his skill, spending 1624-28 in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, and 1633-36 in Publow Parish, Somersetshire.  We do not know whether Thomas and Elizabeth also spent time in Pontypool, Monmouthshire (now Gwent, Wales) where Henry and James were rumored to have been born about 1618 and 1620.[10]  An article by W. D. John and Anne Simox reported that James and Henry left the Hanbury ironworks at Pontypool about 1646 and migrated to the English colonies.[11]  But because they left from Pontypool to come to America doesn’t mean they were born there.


Bill Barton has an excellent presentation of the facts surrounding the establishment of an iron industry in Massachusetts in the 1640’s.[12]  John Winthrop, son of Gov. Winthrop, sailed to England in 1641 to get the necessary support, materials, and workmen to set an ironworks in Massachusetts.  The recruitment of skilled workmen, in particular, was not easy.[13]  It should be remembered that the 1640’s were a time of civil war in England.  The Royalists drew their strength from the western shires, and Cromwell’s troops subsequently destroyed many of the forges in the area, since they had been supplying the Royalists with cannon.


We do know there were Leonards in Pontypool in the early 1600’s.  A Thomas Leonard is mentioned in a deed of July 29, 1633, bordering lands of John Powell, John Gerbon, and Philip Morgan in Trevethin (a parish near Pontypool, with a bridge near the swamp and pool there in 1490, the pool later becoming a forge pond).  An ironworks was in operation there before 1634, when there’s a record of a complaint against John Wylde for failure to collect monies from it, instead selling iron at a discount to his friends.  Thomas Morgan was recorded as selling charcoal to the forge in 1640.  The ironworks were apparently owned by the Hanburys, who also owned similar works in Bilston, Staffordshire.[14] 


Manning Leonard visited Europe in 1864, taking a side trip to Pontypool.  He found the old records in Pontypool badly kept and uninformative about early Leonards.  But he did discover several Leonards living in the area, including a John Leonard who took him to a graveyard near the ancient church of Trevethan, 2 miles north of Pontypool, where he found inscriptions from an early recording the deaths of John and James Leonard.[15]


I also visited Pontypool in 2002 and found evidence of Leonards living in the area from the 1600’s to the present day.  Among the old documents in the Monmouthshire (Gwent) County Records Office in Pontypool were Gwenllian, wife of Thomas Leonard, buried March 15, 1656; Mary Leonard married Alexander Lewis January 26, 1656; a son of Philip Leonard was born October 27, 1656.  There is a will of Thomas Leonard, yeoman of Trevethin, proven February 28, 1658.  The inventory was signed by Morgan Leonard.  None of the 11 children of “our” Thomas are mentioned in the will, so it is another Thomas Leonard.[16] Later records showed a Thomas Leonard, son of Jacob Leonard, born baptized  January 9, 1699; Ann, daughter of James Leonard, baptized March 13, 1702; Sarah, daughter of James Leonard, baptized March 13, 1702; and a John and Mary Leonard who died at age 84 in 1774.  Another researcher has found that another James Leonard was working in the iron industry there, having three children – William, Thomas, and Anne – baptized in Trevethan between 1696 and 1703.


There are supposedly two articles by Stanley G. Leonard published before 1977 in the Pontypool Free Press:  Local Links with Early United States Iron Industry” and “The Early Iron Men of America.”  I spent a number of hours at the Gwent County Records Office going through old copies of the Pontypool Free Press without finding the two articles in question.  That there have been Leonards in the area is certainly well established in various newspaper articles.


My hypothesis is that the Pontypool Leonards of the 1600’s are related to “our” James, Henry, and Philip, our distant cousins, if you will.  The naming patterns bear striking similarities to those of James and Henry’s descendants.  If earlier generations repeated names the way James’ descendants did, there would be a number of Jameses, Thomases, Johns, Philips, and the like in succeeding generations, some of whom stayed in Monmouthshire, some of whom migrated elsewhere.  A more diligent researcher than I with more time to dig through Monmouthshire records and newspapers may be able to establish the facts and relationships.


There were Leonard ironworkers also in the Bilston area of Staffordshire (near Birmingham, Warwickshire) about the time of the emigration of Henry, James, Philip, and Thomas and thereafter.  James Leonard’s son, Thomas, was born August 8, 1641, at Kinver, on the River Stour, near Bilston.  Bilston was the center of the “Black Country” iron industry.[17]  Apparently, the early Leonards left a claim to the ownership of some heavily mortgaged ironworks there.[18]  Early in the 19th Century, an ironworker in Bilston by the name of James Leonard sent a letter to James Leonard, ironworker in or near Taunton, stating that the extensive iron works there in Bilston belonging to the Leonards.  The Leonards in Taunton decided not to undertake the expense of an extended suit to regain the works.


According to Hannah Leonard Deane, the father of Thomas Leonard was Henry Leonard.  Efforts to find a candidate Henry Leonard have come to naught.  There were recorded Henry Leonards in England during the appropriate time, say 1550 to 1600, but none of them appear to have been ironworkers living in Monmouthshire, Somersetshire, Shropshire, or Staffordshire.  Probably the most likely candidate is one Henry Leonard who must have been a reasonably wealthy merchant in Chester, Cheshire.[19]  An order dated June 2, 1618, gave him the use of 100 pounds of the City’s money on payment of 5% per year interest to set 51 poor people to work in fustian making.  A further order was that if the Company of Mersers and Ironmongers would not take the 100 pounds on conditions offered by Henry Leonard, they were to refer themselves o the Mayor for such action as was thought fit.  Barton notes that the only Henry Leonard listed in the Chester Freemen’s Rolls 1392-1805 is a Henry Leonard, weaver, son of Thomas Leonard, shoemaker listed as “defunct” on September 18, 1615.  That Henry apparently passed away before the City’s order to (presumably) another Henry.


A list of the “orphan” Leonards I’ve come across in English records between the 1400’s and 1700 is appended on this link.  These are Leonards who can’t be related to “our” branch of the family nor, in most cases, to each other.  One must be careful not to set too much store by finding a familiar name, such as Thomas Leonard.  There appear to be many Leonard families in England, some undoubtedly related, some not, some who picked up the name in the 1200’s (when surnames became necessary in the lower classes) from saints (St. Leonard)[20], parishes named after saints, or local landmarks, such as St. Leonard’s forest in Sussex near Horsham.


Origins of “Our” Branch of the Leonards


There are two main theories as to the origins of “our” branch of the Leonard family.  The one most frequently encountered is that we descended from Henry Lennard, 12th Lord Dacre.  The second is that we descended from French ironworkers imported during the 1400’s to bring the new ironmaking technology to England.  The third possibility is that neither of these is entirely correct or perhaps only partially correct, and that the truth is some mixture.


The Lennard Descendancy Theory


This theory gets expressed two ways:



Henry Lennard, the 12th Lord Dacre, was born about the right time to be “our” Henry.  He was christened March 25, 1569 in Chevening, Kent, and buried August 9, 1616, in Chevening.  He married May 21, 1590, Chrysigona Baker at St. Stephen and St. Benedict Sherehog, London.  They had six children, none of whom were named Thomas.


George Leonard of St. John, New Brunswick, son of Rev. Nathaniel Leonard of Plymouth, pursued a similar theory, along with his cousin, George Leonard of Norton, MA, after the Revolutionary War.  To quote a letter of his written in 1798, “From every thing I can collect – from old records in England, at the Herald’s Office, and among the late Lord Dacre’s paper, who was very attentive to me, and where I found free access to his Lordship’s library and other parts of his houses in town and country, where his papers were deposited, for information; and who was very anxious that some of our family inherited some of the vacant titles.  From which I find that one of our ancestors, Henry Leonard, came to America about the time that the Earl of Warwick obtained a large grant of land near Boston, which was in 1626; from about which time to the year 1638, a great number of respectable people came over from England to avoid the dissentions there.  Amongst those was Lord Leith (Leigh) who afterwards returned, and two daughters of the Earl of Lincoln, Lady Susan and Lady Arabella, with their husbands, who continued in the country; together with many others that were of good families and fortunes.  The spirit of emigration and religious enthusiasm so greatly prevailed in that day that a very considerable number of young gentlemen and ladies of the first connections in England left, or rather absconded from their parents.  Among these we have reason to think was Henry Leonard, one of our grandfathers, who left England about that time, as a copy of a letter was found directed to him from his friend (a young gentlemen) Sir Brian Jansen, whom he left in England, and who was supposed to be acquainted with his going out, who congratulates him upon getting away before the order of the King in Council was issued, in February 21, 1633, to prevent any further emigration to America.  It’s probable that, on his arrival, he concealed his name some time from the knowledge of his friends in England.  Thus far, I have traced our grandfather’s grandfather, and must leave you to continue the chase in the regular line to the present day.”[21]


The problem with this is that we’ve found no record of said Henry in Massachusetts in the records of the period.  Even if we had, this Henry would have been born and living 40 or 50 years too late to be the great-grandfather mentioned by Hannah Leonard Deane and could not have been the father of “our” Thomas Leonard.


The Thomas Lennard who was the son of Sampson Lennard was christened May 23, 1577 in Sevenoaks, Kent, and was buried November 16, 1638.  He never married.  His will appointed his brother-in-law, Sir Francis Barnham, his executor, and left the residue of his property to his godson, Thomas Lennard, who was his grandnephew, being the second son of Richard Lord Dacre.[22]  Fanny Leonard Koster appears to subscribe to the theory that this Thomas Leonard, son of Sampson, was the Thomas Leonard who was the father of “our” Henry and James.[23]


Unfortunately, this error is repeated frequently on the World Wide Web.  The erroneous information is that Thomas Lennard married Lydia White, lived in Pontypool, and had Thomas Leonard’s children.  The theory of a direct D’Acre-Lennard ancestry has been discounted by genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus.[24]


But it is possible that great-grandfather Henry and grandfather Thomas Leonard did descend from earlier Leonard offshoots before Henry Lennard, Lord Dacre.  Thomas Lennard-Barrett alludes to other branches in his letter.[25]  The Lennards have been traced back to George Lennard, born about 1422, died 1462, married Matilda.  Their son John, Esquire, born about 1459 in Knole, Kent, died 1530, married Anne Bird who was born about 1458 in Middlesex, England. 


John had at least three male children, John, William and George. John was born 1479 in Knole, Kent, and married Catherine Weston.  They had at least two male offspring.  He became Prothonotary of North Wales.  William was born 1482 in Heathfield, Sussex.  I’ve found no information about his marriage or possible children.  George was born about 1483 in Yorkshire, England.  Again, I have no information about his marriage or children.


John and Catherine’s two sons were John and Thomas.  John was born 1508 in Chevening, Kent, and died March 12, 1590, in Chevening, Kent.  He married about 1538 in Knole, Kent, Elizabeth Harmon, who was born 1520 in Elam, Crayford, England, the daughter of William Harmon, and died October 18, 1585 in Chevening, Kent.  John was a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and High Sheriff.  I’ve found little information about Thomas, who was of Northampton and married first name unknown Snowball.


John and Elizabeth had at least 12 children and perhaps more:  Sampson, Dorothy, Timothy, Samuel, Mary, Elizabeth, Rachel, Benjamin, Anne, Thomas, Francis, and William (some names repeat, and I’m not sure if those are children who died young).  Sampson married Margaret Fiennes, Baroness Dacre, and Sampson’s eldest son, Henry, became Baron Dacre when his mother died.  That’s the line to which many ascribe the Leonard descendancy.  But with six other male children of John and Elizabeth, not to mention descendants from earlier generations, there are certainly other possibilities.


There is also an association of the Lennard lands with ironworks.  There was an iron works and forge on the Herstmonceux estate in 1574.  In 1626 patent rights for making steel were granted to Sampson Lennard’s grandson, Richard Lennard, Lord Dacre, who died at Herstmonceux in 1630 and is buried there.  There were also extensive iron works near Chevening, in the western part of Kent on the Sussex line.  Queen Elizabeth (Reign 1559-1603) urged persons acquainted with the iron business to go to Monmouthshire to develop the iron there.[26]  There are even Monmouthshire connections for the Lennards.  Rachel, daughter of John Lennard, Esquire, of Knole, Kent, married Edward Neville, 6th Lord of Abergavenny.


What makes a Lennard origin for our ironworkers doubtful is the fairly rigid class structure in England of that time.  It seems unlikely that a baron or gentleman or his descendants would voluntarily lower themselves into the physical labor class of ironworking.  Also, because of the inheritances and property involved, the descendancy of the upper two classes, nobility and knights/gentlefolk, were carefully tracked.  On the other hand, English primogeniture assured that titles and property went to the eldest living son, and with large families other children had to be accommodated in some way to survive economically.


There is a famous fireback made by iron worker Richard Leonard in 1636 in the Anne of Cleves House in Hastings.  It shows an ironworker, presumably Richard, with the tools of his trade and dog.  Some of the genealogy of this Richard Leonard is known from early records, but no connection to either the Lord Dacre Lennards nor James and Henry Leonard has been proven.

Fireback by Richard Leonard, 1636, with his tools, dog, and the Brede, Sussex, furnace[27]


The French Connection


Researchers Brian Awty and William Barton believe that “our” Henry Leonard was baptized January 1, 1561/2 at Etchingham, Sussex.[28]  This part of Sussex was a center for iron refining in the 1500’s and has been extensively researched by the Wealden Iron Research Group, in particular the role of French citizens imported to apply new technologies in iron refining.[29]  According to Bill’s research, Martin Lenard, alias Quintin, a fyner, was the father of Henry and John.  Martin’s father was Quintin Leonard.  Martin was buried at Burwash, Sussex, March 2, 1591/2.  His son, Henry, had an unnamed son, perhaps Thomas, baptized February 22, 1590/91, at Fletching, Sussex.[30]  Henry doesn’t appear thereafter among the Wealden Leonards and may have moved to the West of England on Queen Elizabeth’s advice.  He may be the Henry of Hannah Leonard Deane’s account.


The development of the new refining technology occurred in Picardy, France, in the 1300’s and 1400’s.  Quintin is a town in Picardy. Another site of ironworks was around Lyon.  Lyonarde is a name given to someone from Lyon and perhaps the origin of the Leonard name, as many surnames during that period were derived from where someone lived.  The first record of a Leonard in ironwork occurs in Le Vaumain, where Robert Lienart was ironfounder in 1503.[31]  The denization rolls from the 1544 mention a John Lyonarde, French born, “a finer,” in England 30 years as of July 1, 1544 and a James Lenarde, born in Picardy, working in the King’s Forge at Newbridge.[32]  Much of northeastern France was part of the English crown during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, so appreciation of the new technology and its advantages, particularly for warfare, would be known to those back in England.


Considerable research has been done by Brian G. Awty, on the development of the iron industry in Sussex, primarily from the historical rather than the genealogical viewpoint, although I do have a copy of some of his genealogical notes concerning the Leonards in Sussex in the 1500’s and 1600’s.  His research appears to be both thorough and promising, and his book, when it appears, may give us some new insights into our Leonard, Lennard, Lenard, or Lyonarde ancestry.  The Leonards were but one of several families with the tradition of refining iron ore.  These same families, such as the Prays and Russells, are found in the ironworks of France, England, and eventually New England.


We also know that the setting up, organizing, and managing an iron works with that technology required a reasonably high degree of sophistication and ability in those times.  An ironworks would easily employ 200 people, including the provision of iron ore and charcoal for the hearths.   Maintaining accounts required recordkeeping that demanded literacy.  Henry Leonard was illiterate, which may have been the cause of some his difficulties with law suits.  That James’ children could read and write is well established, but whether this capability extended back to earlier generations is unknown. (Click here to view a Thomas Leonard document.)


Those of you who have delved into old records and the development of the English language know that standardized English spelling came along well after the 1600’s.  Recorders wrote words as they heard them by their own rules.  The “Great Vowel Shift” that occurred in the 15th and 16th  Centuries may have influenced the phonics by which writers spelled.  Regional dialects exerted an influence. The Barrett-Lennards seemed quite meticulous about their spelling of Lennard, probably because most of them could read and write.  Other Leonards were probably at the mercy of the scribe.


I would guess that Quintin, Martin, and Henry all had several children, married English wives, and were rather thoroughly anglicized by the late 1500’s.  But this is all speculation. 




We know what Hannah Leonard Deane stipulated as the origins of the James, Henry, and Philip Leonard lines, and her stipulations are backed up by independent findings.  We are reasonably sure that the father of James, Henry, and Philip (and others) was Thomas Leonard, a forge man and fyner, who moved around setting up or managing iron works.  We have only Hannah’s word that Thomas’ father was Henry; we don’t know whether Thomas had brothers or cousins; we don’t know the origins of Henry and Thomas, and we don’t know how Thomas or perhaps his forebears got into the iron refining business.  Perhaps if we pool our knowledge, locate some English researchers looking for Leonard origins, and have some luck on our side, we can learn something more definitive about the pre-American origins of our Leonard ancestors.


If you have better, additional, or different information about the early Leonards, please e-mail me!


[1] A GenForum query on the Internet asked for information about the parents of a John Leonard who was born or moved to Avalon, Nova Scotia, in 1615.  The inquirer said that he had his father down as a Nathaniel Leonard who was killed in an iron works accident near Pontypool, Wales.  I’ve not been able to get further information.

[2] New England Historical Genealogical Society Journal, Volume VII,  1853, page 72.  The information was supplied by John B. H. Leonard of Providence and Samuel Leonard of Philadelphia, who had at one time the original papers.

[3] William Barton, “Pre-American Ancestry of Our Leonard Ironworkers,”, downloaded 6/8/2004.  His source is “Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1601-1648 & 1648-1654, Parish Church of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, England, LDS film 18886035, item 12.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] That the Leonards managed to remain in contact with relatives still in the Old World in the 1600’s is evident by Sarah Leonard’s coming to New Jersey to be near Henry and Thomas Leonard.  Elisha Clark Leonard had a letter from James Leonard of Bristol, Somersetshire, to Samuel Leonard, son of Thomas Leonard, eldest son of James Leonard, answering an inquiry by Samuel as to the terms by which James of Bristol would come to America as an expert ironmaster.  This James Leonard of Bristol must have been the son or grandson of one of the Leonards who remained in England, William or John.  Source:  undated typescript left by George Marston Leonard.

[7] Winifred L. Holman, “Descendants of Samuel Hills:  A Supplement to the Hills Family in America,” 1957, pp. 67-71, from the work of Bill Barton, “Pre-American Ancestry of Our Leonard Ironworkers.”

[8] Op. cit. p. 4-5.  Bill Barton’s sources include Alice A. Everett’s “Leonards of Monmouthshire & Somersetshire, England,” TAG, 1977, 53:103, and Lewis D. Cook, “Origins of James and Henry Leonard,” TAG, 1933/4, 10:200-201.

[9] Ibid., p. 5.

[10] Parish records for Monmouthshire are rare in the first half of the 17th Century and commence in 1652 in Trevethin.

[11] W. D. John & Anne Simox, “Pontypool & Usk Japanned Ware with the Early History of the Iron and Tinplate Industries at Pontypool, (1953/1966), 9.  “About the year 1646, two very capable forgemen left the Hanbury ironworks at Pontypool, and migrated to the New England colonies; these were James and Henry Leonard, descendants of John Leonard (Lyonarde), a Frenchman who arrived in England in 1514 and had constructed some of the early water-driven blast furnaces in the Wealden District of south-east England…”  If only we knew where they got their information about the ancestry of James and Henry!

[12] William Barton, “The Establishment of the Iron Industry in America,”

[13] Ibid.

[14] Richard Hanbury Tenison published “The Hanburys of Monmouthshire,” National Library of Wales, 1995.  Unfortunately, the book does not mention any Leonards, rather concentrating on the Hanburys.

[15] Manning Leonard, “Memorial:  Genealogical, Historical, and Biographical of Solomon Leonard, 1637, Duxbury and Bridgewater,” 1896, p. 19.

[16] Bill Barton, “Pre-American Origins of the Leonard Ironworkers,”, p. 6, and also my own research in the Central Records Office in Pontypool.

[17] Further circumstantial evidence of a Kinver connection for James is that he named his hearth Whittington.  Whittington is just across the river Stour from Kinver.

[18] William R. Deane, “Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family,” NEHGS, 1851, 5:404.

[19] Bill Barton, op. cit., p. 6.

[20] St. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, captives, and slaves was a nobleman in the court of King Clovis I in the first half of the 6th Century.

[21] NEHGS, 1853, 7:73, Memoirs of Prince’s Subscribers.

[22] Sources:  Web site  (site no longer working)  from “Thomas Barnum, His Ancestors and Descendants,” v. 1:4 July/August 1998 and Thomas Barrett-Lennard, “An Account of the Families of Lennard and Barrett,” compiled largely from original documents, printed for private circulation, 1908, Fiche #6036475 from LDS.

[23] Fanny Leonard Koster, “Annals of the Leonard Family,” 1911, p. 203.

[24] Donald Lines Jacobus, “Pre-American Ancestries:  The Leonard Family of Taunton, Massachusetts, “ TAG, 1933/34, 10:162-66.

[25] Letter to Elisha Clark Leonard from Sir Henry Barrett-Leonard dated May 5, 1894?

[26] John S. Wurts, “Magna Carta Series, Parts I & II,” p. 254.

[27] Richard Leonard was the son of Lawrence Leonard II, son of Lawrence I, in turn son of Martin Quinton Lenard.

[28] William Barton, “Pre-American Ancestry of Our Leonard Ironworkers,” , p. 7.

[29] See:  Brian G. Awty, “The Continental Origins of the Wealden Ironworkers,” The Economic History Review, 2nd series, vol. xxxiv, #4, November 1981; Brian G. Awty, “Aliens in the Ironworking Areas of the Weal:  The Sussex Rolls, 1524-1603 (Wealden Iron Research Group Bulletin, 1984), 2nd series, 4:13-17 & 23 & 73; Brian G. Awty, “Provisional Identifications of Ironworkers among French Immigrants Listed in the Denization Rolls of 1541 & 1544 (Wealden Iron Research Group Bulletin, 1979), 2-10; Ernest Straker, “Wealdon Iron,” 1931, and Henry Cleere & David Crossley, “The Iron Industry of the Weald,” 1995.

[30] See Bill Barton’s descendancy chart at (site is no longer working).

[31] LeBlond and Tremblot, Documents notaries, no. 357.

[32] Ernest Strakes, Wealden Iron, 1931, p. 342.