This German surname of LEONHART is a Low German baptismal name meaning 'the son of Leonard'. The name was originally of patronymic origin; that is, it was derived from the first name of the father of an original bearer. The name was derived from the Latin LEO LEONIS, and signifies one who was 'lion-like', one who was brave and majestic. A saint of this name, who is supposed to have lived in the 6th century, about whom absolutely nothing is known except for a largely fictional life dating from half a millennium later, was popular throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages, and was regarded as the patron of peasants and horses. The name has numerous variant spellings which include LEONARD, LENNARD, LEARNED, LEONARDI and LEHNHARD to name but a few. Early records of the name in England mention Stephenson Leonardus who was recorded in the year 1221 in County Worcestershire. Agnes Leonard, was documented in the year 1279 in County Huntingdonshire. John Lennard and Jane Binding (widow) were married in London in the year 1650 Thomas Rogers married Elizabeth Leonard at St. Antholin, London in 1738. George Leonard married Eleanor Martin, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1791. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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