“Genealogical and Personal History of the Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania”
Author: Jordan, John W. (John Woolf), 1840, 1921.
...THOMAS LEONARD, Monmouth, England, was the English ancestor who never came to America, but who is enumerated in the LEONARD Genealogy. JAMES LEONARD, and (pg. 231) brother HENRY, were the first representatives of the family in this country, coming from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, England.
They were skilled “Iron Masters” and were interested in the first “Bloomerie” erected in New England, situated at Saugus. In 1651-52 they superintended the erection of the first foundry at Braintree, and in the same year they moved to Taunton and erected their own “bloomerie,” which remained in operation in the hands of LEONARDS and descendants until it was demolished in 1876. JAMES LEONARD, SR., was one of the “Associates” of the North Purchase in 1668 of Philip. The price paid for this tract of land was “the full sum of one hundred pounds.”
In 1695 two hundred acres of land were given the LEONARDS for another forge on the “Stony Brook” in the “North Division,” and also the liberty to take their next division of one share in the North-Purchase lands “in the best iron-oare that they can find. They were also allowed the privilege of digging ore in any other man's land, for the use and benefit of said works, “paying the owner of such land one shilling a tun for every tun of iron-oare they shall dig.” At one colonial period they coined money for the 'realm: certain pieces are on exhibition at the present time in Historical Hall, Taunton, Massachusetts.
By his wife, MARGARET MARTIN, he had a large family of children: THOMAS; JAMES; ABIGAIL, who married JOHN KINGSLEY, of Milton; REBECCA, married ISAAC CHAPMAN, of Barnstable; JOSEPH; BENJAMIN; HANNAH, married ISAAC DEAN; URIAH. The two most distinguished were THOMAS and JAMES.
CAPTAIN JAMES LEONARD, 1643-1726, was like his father, a “Bloomer.” He was selectman (one of the principal offices) of Taunton for many years; representative to the general court of Massachusetts; first lieutenant in the First Military Company of Taunton, 1705; captain in 1713. Vide Emery's “History of Taunton.” By his three wives he had thirteen children.
He married (second) in 1675, LYDIAN, 1658-1705, daughter of ANTHONY GULLIVER, born 1619 in England, died in Milton, 1706, and wife, ELEANOR, daughter of STEVEN KINGSLEY, England and Dorchester, Massachusetts, representative 1650 to general court; removed to Braintree; ordained “Ruling Elder” of the church, 1639: Representative 1666. Names of children: EUNICE, married RICHARD BURT; PRUDENCE, married SAMUEL LEWIS, of Barnstable; HANNAH, married JOHN CRANE; JAMES, married LYDIA, daughter of JONATHAN GULLIVER; LYDIA, married WILLIAM BRITTON; STEPHEN; ABIGAIL, married EZRA DEAN; SETH; SARAH, married HENRY HODGES; ELIZABETH, married CAPTAIN JOSEPH HALL.
To show the manly an friendly side of JAMES and JAMES LEONARD, I will quote from “Abbott's History.” “It is said that Philip had given orders that the town of Taunton should be spared until all the other towns in the Colony were destroyed.”
“A family by the name of LEONARD resided in Taunton, where they had erected the first forge which was established in the English colonies. Philip, though his usual residence was at Mount Hope, had a favorite summer resort at a place called “Fowling Pond,” then within the limits of Taunton. In these excursions he had become acquainted with the LEONARDS. They had treated him and his followers with uniform kindness, repairing their guns, and supplying them with such tools as the Indians highly prized. Philip had become exceedingly attached to this family, and in gratitude, at the commencement of the war, had given the strictest orders that the Indians should never injure a LEONARD. Apprehending that in a general assault upon the town his friends, the LEONARDS, might be exposed to danger, he spread the shield of his generous protection over the whole place.”...
“His extraordinary kindness to the LEONARDS, inducing him to avert calamities from a whole settlement, lest they, by some accident, might be injured develops magnanimity which is seldom paralleled.” Francis Baylies “History of Taunton.”
CAPTAIN JAMES LEONARD, 1677-1764, was also a manufacturer of iron; selectman of the town for many years; representative to general court, 1708-1721, 1726-1733, 1735-1739, 1740. Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonial Records. Ensign, lieutenant, captain of Militia Company, 1736. He married (first) 1699, HANNAH (WALLEY) STONE, of Bristol, by whom he had Lieutenant JAMES, born 1699, captain and muster-master for Taunton in Revolutionary War, died in 1793; ELIPHALET, 1702-1786, of Easton; LYDIAN, married CAPTAIN THOMAS COBB and were the parents of DAVID COBB, lieutenant-govenor of Massachusetts, (pg. 232) general and aide to Washington in the Revolutionary War, judge and member of Congress, 1793-95; SALLY, married ROBERT TREAT PAINE “Signer of Declaration of Independence.” The Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter of Taunton in named for “LYDIA COBB.” He married (second) LYDIA,L widow of JOHN GULLIVER, of Milton, and daughter of JONATHAN GULLIVER and wife, MARY ROBINSON, by whom he had JONATHAN; MARY, widow of LOVED TISDALE, who married Lieutenant WILLIAM THAYER; ELIZABETH, married JOSEPH HARVEY; JERUSHA, married ABIJAH HODGES. Wife died previous to 1759. He married (third) MERCY ___, “History of Norton,” p. 85.
The LEONARDS claim descent from LENNARD LORD DACRE, one of the most distinguished families in the United Kingdom, descended in two lines from Edward III, through two of his sons, JOHN of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and THOMAS PLANTAGANET, Duke of Gloucester. There appears to be ground for this claim from the fact that the arms of LENNERD and LENORD families are the same: Or, on a fesse gules (red) three fleur-de-lis of the first or field. Crest: Out of a ducal Coronet or, a Tiger's head argent. Motto: Pour-Bien-Desirer. To wish well.
Near the close of the last century the last Lord DACRE bearing the name of LENNARD died, and it is supposed that the late Judge GEORGE LENERD could have claimed the title, but the judge said “He preferred to be lord of acres in America rather that LORD DACRE in England.”
All the foregoing is recorded and part of the History of “Old Taunton.”
The third and fourth editions, “Americans of Royal Descent” have “LEONARD” pedigree. LEONARD belongs to the class of names that originated from the Christian name. The signification is Lion-hearted, from Leo, or Leon and ard. It seems strange that those who attained the honors of knighthood did not adopt a Lion's head for their crest instead of a tiger's! “New England Historical and Genealogical Register,” 1848, vol. II, p. 162...
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