1. John LEONARD was born about 1615 in England. He died on 26 March 1676 at the age of 61 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. Where he was born and his parentage have not been determined. Some say Pontypool, Wales; some say Bilston or Bilford, Staffordshire. Some family tradition has him a brother or cousin of James Leonard of Taunton.
The Leonard Family Dictionary, a typescript at the DAR library in Washington, DC, is said to report that he was a son of Nathaniel Leonard, who was a brother of James and Henry. Nathaniel was supposed killed in an industrial accident at the ironworks in Pontypool. Nathaniel was also said to be a sea captain who was appointed governor of Avalon in Nova Scotia in the early 1600's. Nathaniel or his father supposedly had a sister, Dorothy, who married George Calvert, later Lord Baltimore (originally Baltemore in Ireland).
These appear to be myths that mix up facts and fancy. James' father's children have been researched and identified, and there is no Nathaniel among them. But one or more Nathaniels could be cousins or second cousins.
There may be more information in a genealogy column of the Boston Transcript dated 26 July 1926.
Preliminary y-dna analysis of a descendant indicates he was closely related to James Leonard of Taunton and Samuel Leonard of New Jersey. No reliable research information has been found that he was related to Solomon Leonard of Duxbury/Bridgewater whose descendants were of a different haplogroup. There is no evidence he was a descendant of Sir Sampson Lennard nor his wife, Margaret Fiennes.
He married at Springfield 12 November 1640 Sarah Heald (Heath?),
He was an early settler of the town of Springfield, MA, for on 13 January 1638/39 he proferred two pounds toward the building of a house for the minister, Mr. Moxon. His lot is now occupied by Foot's Block. It was eight rods wide, running from the river, east onward to Amory Hill. Another source, below, gives it as on the southwest corner of Main and State streets. He was probably living in Springfield by 1638, for on 13 January 1638/39 he proferred two pounds toward the building of a house for the minister, Mr. Moxon. He was chosen surveyor, 26 March 1640, to see that the highways were cleared and kept in repair. He was one of the town appraisers in 1645 for the purpose of a rate (tax) for Mr. Moxon's maintenance. He received several allotments of land from 1640 on and on 10 January 1658/59 was granted 40 acres of the highland "adjoyning to Tho. Miricks meddow over Agawam."
He was killed by Indians in Springfield 21 February 1675/766 during King Philip's War. "He was killed by an Indian arrow while crossing the Agawam River to go to the assistance of relatives."
He was living in Springfield in 1636. He is not mentioned in "The Great Migration Begins..." He had 15 children. He is the progenitor of the Springfield Leonard line. No relationship is known to the James Leonard line, although they apparently communicated and knew each other. The Springfield Leonard line is followed in the Giles Memorial Genealogical Memoirs by John Adams Vinton (Boston: Dutton, 1864), pp. 280 = 316. The early generations are also covered in thorough fashion by Donald Lines Jacobus in "Hale, House, and Related Families, Mainly of the Connecticut River Valley, 2001, pp. 678-691.
Source of information about this branch of the Leonards down through Abel and Elizabeth Leonard, whose daughter married Erastus Sackett, is the Giles Memorial Genealogical Memoires, The Leonard Family of Springfield, pp. 280-310.
Hudson-Mohawk Family Histories, Vol II, p. 555, CD157, says John Leonard married Sarah Heald on November 12, 1640. She died November 23, 1711. This source also lists one Nathaniel Leonard, brother of Henry and James, as father of John, who was also an ironmaster, associated with John Pyncheon in Springfield. That would explain why they knew each other if it were true. But no historical documentation is given.
John LEONARD and Sarah HEALD were married on 12 November 1640 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. Sarah HEALD, daughter of Thomas HEALD and Elizabeth ROBSON, was born in 1623 in Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England. She died on 23 November 1711 at the age of 88 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. Also listed as Sarah Heath. Some debate as to whether her parents were John Heath and Dorothy Royle or Thomas Heald and ? No Heald family was early settled at Springfield, and she may have been brought there by a relative or an indentured servant.
John LEONARD and Sarah HEALD had the following children: