Leonard Genealogy

Here are several of my genealogical research projects.  Please note that they are "works in progress," may contain errors, and most certainly are going to change.  Corrections and additions welcome!  Please send them to brad.lnrd at gmail.com.

One major project relates to sorting out the Leonard families who arrived in New England in the 1600's.

Some "Loyalist" Leonards returned to England or removed to Canada during and after the Revolutionary War.

There were many German Leonards who immigrated in the 1700's, and Irish and English Leonards who immigrated in the 1800's.  There were a number of different Leonard families in England.  It's clear that not all Leonards stem from a common ancestor, even in England.

We're hoping that gene testing will help us determine which (if any) of the Leonards on this web site were related and, perhaps, who the common ancestors were.  Some of us in the James Leonard line of descendants test nearly identically in the J2 haplogroup, which is rather rare in the British Isles and much more prevalent in the Middle East and on Mediterranean shores.  Most English and Irish Leonards seem to be from the R1b Haplogroup  If you're a direct linear descendant of a Leonard, a y-dna test of at least 12 markers would be of interest to those of us who have been tested and would contribute to better knowledge of Leonard ancestral origins and relationships.  See the Leonard Y-DNA pages for more information.

Please send any additions or corrections to me at brad.lnrd(atsign)gmail.com (replacing (atsign) by @).  Correcting and adding to genealogical information is a never-ending process, and assistance is definitely welcome!

James Leonard's Descendants

I've constructed a data base of about 10,000+ descendants of James Leonard, 1620-1691, one of the founders of the iron industry in America.  He was the son of Thomas Leonard and Elizabeth White.  He learned iron refining in England and emigrated to America from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, in the 1640's.  He appears first in Providence, R.I., in 1645, later moved to Lynn/Saugus, Massachusetts, about 1651, and further removed to Taunton, MA, about 1655.  Elisha Clark Leonard (1819-1894), genealogist at the Old Colony Historical Society at Taunton, MA, gathered a large amount of information about the first seven generations descended from James Leonard in the late 1800's.  His grandson, George Marston Leonard (1880-1959), continued and extended his work until his death in 1959.  I've entered the data from their manuscripts and charts, added references to sources, collected information from other Leonard descendants, and added more descendants from further research, but the credit should go to Elisha Clark Leonard and George Marston Leonard for their amazing efforts in the days before searchable data bases and the Internet.

I've now (3 June 2007) added Ten Generations of the Descendants of James Leonard, Ironworker, in html format.  This is relatively new to me, so I'm not sure how well this format will work for users.  It is not as easy to page through as the pdf format, but the links are quicker and there is an every-name index. 

Some of you might enjoy viewing a document from the early 1700's signed by James' son Thomas and grandsons Samuel and Elkanah.

Henry Leonard's Descendants

I've included the descendants of Henry Leonard in a separate html file.  Henry is James' brother.  Much of the basic research here has been done by Bill Barton, although I've added some from Elisha Clark Leonard and George Marston Leonard.

John Leonard's Descendants

John Leonard arrived on one of the later ships of the Winthrop fleet about 1633, settling briefly in Boston and soon moving out to the Springfield area of Massachusetts.  He has a lot of descendants, initially in western Massachusetts, but then settling in New York and points west.  The basic source for this material is John Adams Vinton's book, "The Giles Memorial," Boston:  Dutton & Sons, 1864, pp. 279-310, supplemented by more recent sources.

Solomon Leonard's Descendants

Solomon Leonard arrived in America about 1637, initially settling in Duxbury and soon removing to Bridgewater.  His descendants initially moved to the Worcester area of Massachusetts and around Preston, Connecticut, before scattering to western Massachusetts and then west.  The basic source for this material is Manning Leonard's "Memorial:  Genealogical, Historical, and Biographical, of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Some of His Descendants," Auburn, NY:  Knapp, Peck & Thomson, 1896, to which you should refer for more information.

William Leonard's Descendants

A separate file, Descendants of William Leonard and Sarah Bolton, covers their descendants.  William may or may not have been related to James -- we await the discovery of the missing link!  In particular, it appears his son Seth was not his son, but a son of William, Uriah, or Seth in the James Leonard line, but this, too, remains to be proven.  It is a most vexing tangle, with several members of the Leonard clan doing their best to find answers.  If you can't find your Leonards in the James Leonard file, you might try this one too.

Origins of James (and perhaps other) Leonards

There is some confusion about the origins of the James Leonard family.  Current theory is that this branch of the Leonards descended from Leonard families with a tradition of iron working from Picardy, France, brought to England in the early 1500's to apply a new technology to the transformation of iron ore into pig iron and steel.  Another theory is that this branch descended from John Lennard, a barrister in the early 1400's who became wealthy and whose descendants married into the D'Acre family, English minor nobility.  Read some of the following materials and decide for yourself!