Leonard, Mac Giolla Fhinnéin, ó Leannáin A Gaelic surname meaning son of Giolla Fhinnín meaning servant of St Finnian. A sept of the Cineál Chonaill, being descended from Giolla Finnein O’Muldory. Their territory was Muinntear Feodachain, on the borders of Fermanagh and Donegal, and their chief was sometimes styled Lord of Loch Erne. The anglicisation of this surname disguises its origin. Also ó Leannáin a Gaelic surname meaning descendant of Leannán (diminutive of Leann, a cloak or mantle). A surname adopted by a number of distinct septs: A sept of Fermanagh who were an ecclesiastical family and erenaghs of Lisgoole near Enniskillen. A sept of Mayo who were a branch of the Uí Fiachrach from near Killala. A sept of Galway who were a branch of the Uí Mhaine. Also an English surname from the Old German Leonhard meaning ‘lion bold’. St Leonard is the patron saint of captives, Richard the lion heart was captive of the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1890 Leonard was numerous in Sligo, it was also to be found in Dublin and Cork. The estimated number of bearers was 4,435. In the United States Leonard is the 324th most numerous surname with an estimated 93,500 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 Leonard was the 500th most numerous surname.
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