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The Leonard Project now uses this website:


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Surname Y-DNA testing is the newest tool available to genealogists!


  • Surname tests allow genealogists to verify their father's father's...father's paternal ancestry.
  • Surname y-dna information can be very powerful when combined with traditional paper trails.
The Leonard Surname and its variations are currently included in this project.


The Leonard Y-DNA Project is open to all families with the Leonard surname.  Please note, however, that the Leonard surname seems to have arisen in different countries at differing times among a variety of families, so not all Leonards are related. 

This Leonard Family Project was started to:

  1. Help researchers from common or related families work together to find their shared heritage. 
  2. Identify how the participant's families are connected, both genetically and through paper trails.
  3. Identify and confirm genetic lineages of ancestral families.
  4. Ultimately catalog pedigrees and genetic connections of all of the known project families.

 Participating in a Surname Y-DNA Project provides:


  • The participant's genetic Y-DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to his earliest known paternal ancestor.
  • The participant's "deep" ancestry (Haplogroup), which identifies the paternal ancestor's prehistoric origins thousands of years ago.  Tracking haplotypes (subhaplogroups) may eventually lead to a better understanding of the routes our ancestors took in migrating to the locations where our earliest known ancestors lived.
  • A sense of camaraderie, which is particularly strong for those who share a genetic ancestry.
  • Stimulation to family research and renewed sharing of information.
  • A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how much we are a World Family.
  • A chance to compare your genetic ancestry with other Leonards or its spelling variations.
  • Genetic matches who do not share Leonard surname.  Adoptions were more common in the past when parents more frequently died young.
  • Clues that may help track our ancestors - particularly where the records have been lost or are confusing because of multiple Johns, Josephs, James, Thomases, and other common given names.

There appear to be several main clusters of Leonards:

  • A large number of Leonards migrated from Ireland to the United States, mainly in the 1800's.  These Leonards are usually in haplogroup R1b, although some R1b's are from England.  Not all R1b Leonards are related.  Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in the British Isles and is shared by many families.
  • Solomon Leonard of Duxbury/Bridgewater and John Leonard of Springfield arrived in the 1630's.  Solomon's descendants may be in the I haplogroup.  No known descendants of John have yet been tested.
  • James and Henry Leonard, ironworkers, arrived in the 1640's.  Their descendants are in the J2 haplogroup.
  • German Leonards (sometimes spelled Leonhard) arrived in the 1700's.  They may be in the E haplogroup, although we need more descendants tested to say definitively.

If you're male and your surname is Leonard, please join our project!  Genetic genealogy is in its infancy; we need lots of participants to define and refine the patterns of various lines and branches of the various Leonard families.

World Families Network Forums
     Leonard Family Forum
     Pedigree Forum
     World Families Network General Discussion


For basic information, visit World Families Network and check out the "Getting Started" block


Brad Leonard
Terry Barton



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Project Administrators