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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 553-557 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The family name of Leonard when originally adopted signified that those who were given that cognomen had the character or disposition of a lion, that is, were lion-hearted, decidedly courageous, whole-souled, fearing nothing. Its exact derivation is from "leon," a lion, and the Teutonic affixture, "ard," indicating "of the nature" or disposition. The Leonard Arms — Shield: Or, on a fesse gules, three fleur-de-lys of the first. Crest: A lion's head erased, gules.

(I) The progenitor of this family in America was Nathaniel Leonard, whose two younger brothers, James and Henry Leonard, settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. Nathaniel came first to the district called Avalon, of which he became governor, the capital of which was Annapolis in Nova Scotia. He was skilled as an iron-master in Wales, and came seeking iron in this country. The climate being cold, part of the colony migrated to Maryland, where there is still a place called Leonardstown, in St. Mary's county. James and Henry Leonard seem to have stopped off at Taunton, Massachusetts, and Nathaniel's son, John Leonard, probably hearing about the settlers going to Springfield, went with that party in 1639.

It is not known who was the father of Nathaniel, James and Henry; but their father had a sister, Dorothy Leonard, who married George Calvert. They had a son, Leonard Calvert, whose son, George Calvert, was a Roman Catholic, and a close friend of James II., and was created Lord Baltimore by that king. His son, Leonard, was made the first governor of Maryland, Lord Baltimore being the proprietor of the country. George Calvert made his fortune by marrying Dorothy Leonard, whose family were prominent ironmasters in Pontypool, Wales, and afterwards in Baltimore, Ireland, which was where Lord Baltimore selected the name of his title, and on coming to America they established a long line of iron-masters of the name. Dorothy Leonard and George Calvert were married at Hurstmanceaux Castle, which at that time was in possession of a relative of Dorothy, who obtained it through his Leonard ancestry, it being well known that Hurstmanceaux was the old home of the Leonards.

On November 19, 1643, a grant was made at a town meeting to John Winthrop, Jr., for about three thousand acres of land at Braintree, Massachusetts, "for the encouragement of an iron-work to be set up about Monotcot river," styled the "Company of Undertakers for the Iron-Works," which inaugurated what is said to be the earliest of the kind in the new country; but an honor disputed by Lynn, Massachusetts. They were allowed to export any surplus to any part of the world except to enemies. Among the first expert workers was Henry Leonard, who assisted in making the first castings in America. Mr. Winthrop received permission to make a plantation and lay out a site for iron-works at Pequot (New London, Conn.), to which place he removed in 1646, and the men imported for the works were artificers of high skill. In 1646 the general court permitted some of the country's guns to be melted over at the foundry.

The next attempt to manufacture iron in the colony was made at Raynham, in 1652, and here the Leonards added the operations of the bloomery and the forge hammer. From definite information furnished in 1793 by the Rev. Dr. Fobes, considerable light is thrown on the family at this early period. He affirms that the first adventurers from England to this country who were skilled in forge iron manufacture were James and Henry Leonard. They came to Raynham for this purpose in 1652, only two years after the first settlers located at this spot, and they were the ones who built here the first forge in America. James lived and died in that town. He brought with him from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, his son, Thomas, who worked at the bloomery and assisted his father in the forge when grown up.

Incidents in the lives of these ancestors in the Leonard family, without the addition of any embellishment whatsoever, read as entertainingly as any portion of colonial history dealing with the early struggles to effect a residence in the wilds and be protected from man and beast. This forge where the Leonards were engaged was situated on the "great road," and having been repaired from generation to generation, was still in use in 1800 and later. Back in 1800 there stood near the dam there three elms and an oak with a diameter then of three feet, which, taken with the venerable buildings, presented to the eye a scene of picturesque antiquity even in 1800. At a distance of one mile and a quarter from the forge is a place called the Fowling Pond, on the northerly side of which stood King Philip's house, he of so much entertaining tradition among the savages. It was specifically styled "Philip's hunting house," because in the season most favorable to hunting he resided there; but he spent the winter chiefly at Mount Hope, probably for the benefit of the fishing.

King Philip and the Leonards lived long in good, neighborly spirit, and frequently traded with each other; and such was Philip's friendship, that so soon as the war broke out he gave strict orders to all his Indians never to hurt the Leonards, burn their dwellings or injure their stock in any manner. Throughout the war, however, the two houses near the forge were constantly garrisoned. One of them was built by James Leonard long before King Philip's war; it was of the Gothic form, and in 1800 was occupied by the sixth generation of that family. In the cellar under this house there was a gruesome curiosity, for here during a considerable time was deposited the head of King Philip, for it seems that even Philip himself shared the fate of kings; he was decollated, and his head carried about and shown as a warning by one Alderman, the Indian who shot him. There was in this old house an ancient case of drawers upon which the deep scars and mangled impressions of Indian hatchets were to be seen; but memory alone contains the deeper impressions which were made upon the affrighted women of the Leonard household who braved these excitements. Under the doorsteps of the same building are the bones of two unfortunate young women, who in their flight hither were shot down by the Indians, and it is related that their blood was seen to run quite across the highway. More fortunate was the flight of Uriah Leonard who, as he was riding from Taunton to the forge, was discovered and fired upon by the savages. He instantly plucked off his hat, swung it around, which startled his horse, and in full career he reached the forge dam without a wound; but several bullets were shot through the hat in his hand, and also through the neck of the horse near the mane, from which the blood gushed on both sides and ran down on Leonard's legs.

Fowling Pond, above mentioned, near which the forge was erected, was remarkably prolific a century ago in material, having furnished an uninterrupted supply of good ore for that and other works for over four score years constantly. It is said that the family attachment to the iron manufacture is so well known as to render it a common observation that "where you can find iron-works, there you will find a Leonard." Henry, the brother of James, went from Taunton or Raynham to New Jersey, and was one of the first who started iron-works in that state. He was the progenitor of a numerous and respectable posterity in that part of the United States. George Leonard was one of the early settlers, about 1696, of Norton, which with Raynham originally formed a part of Taunton, Massachusetts, and there he erected iron-works. He was attracted thither by the discovery of ore and by reason of the abundant water-power at command from the Taunton river. His descendants continued the business for more than a century. In 1674 Nathaniel and Thomas Leonard entered into a contract with John Ruck and others of Salem to carry on the iron manufacture at the village of Rowley, which possessed all the advantages of good, water-power and bog ore. The Indians destroyed one of the iron-works of the Leonards in 1677.

(II) John, son of Nathaniel Leonard, settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1636, coming there with John Pyncheon, where he was an iron-master and made a reputation similar to that of his prominent relatives. He served as constable of the town. In John Pyncheon's account books there is mention of John Leonard giving a mortgage on four oxen to secure his store debt, then something over twenty pounds, and Pyncheon got part of the cattle if not all of them. In 1641 John Leonard participated in the second division of land and received ten rods in breadth; unmarried men received eight rods. His home lot was on the southwest corner of Main and State streets, and part of it was taken to make the street. His seat in the meeting-house, third from the front, indicates that he was held in good esteem. He married, November 12, 1640, Sarah Heald, who died November 23, 1711. John Leonard was killed by Indians early in 1676. They had a son, Benjamin.

(III) Benjamin, son of John and Sarah (Heald) Leonard, was born July 5, 1654; died December 20, 1724. He married, February 9, 1680, Sarah Scott, who died December 2, 1751. They had a son, John.

(IV) John, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Scott) Leonard, was born July 12, 1681; died November 28, 1744, and was buried in the old Agawam cemetery. He was highly respected as an eminent physician of his times in Agawam, Massachusetts. He married, January 8, 1709, Sarah Dickinson, of Hatfield, Mass, who died March 28, 1768. They had a son Daniel.

(V) Daniel, son of John and Sarah (Dickinson) Leonard, was born March, 1713, died April 3, 1783. He was a civil engineer, and being a local arbiter of disputes was called "Judge." He married, February 14, 1740, Penelope Leonard, born October 29, 1717; died September 27, 1752, daughter of Joseph, born January 1, 1688, and Sarah (Beckwith) Leonard, son of Joseph Leonard, born May 20, 1644; son of John Leonard, of Springfield, Massachusetts; son of Nathaniel Leonard, progenitor, of Maryland. They had a son Daniel.

(VI) Lieutenant Daniel (2), son of Daniel (1) and Penelope (Leonard) Leonard, was born in 1748, died April 18, 1824. He was a lieutenant. He married Eleanor Ripley, born August 16, 1754, died October 14, 1815, daughter of Ebenezer Ripley, born June 22, 1729, died June 11, 1811; married, June 11, 1752, Mehitabel Burbank, of Suffield, Connecticut, born July 28, 1729, died in 1813. Ebenezer Ripley was the son of Joshua Ripley, born May 17, 1688, died November 17, 1773; married, December 3, 1712, Mary Backus, born November 8, 1692, died in Windham, Connecticut, October, 1770, whose great-grandfather was Lieutenant William Pratt, of the Saybrook forces in the Pequot War. Joshua Ripley was the son of Joshua, born in 1658, died in 1739; son of John; son of William Ripley, from Hingham, Norwich county, England, 1638, and the mother of Joshua Ripley was Hannah Bradford, born in Kingston, Massachusetts, May 9, 1662, died May 28, 1738, whose father was Major William Bradford Jr., born June 16, 1624; married in 1652; died February 20, 1693, the son of Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth Plantation and "Mayflower" fame, born March, 1588, died May 9, 1657. They had a son Daniel.

(VII) Captain Daniel (3), son of Lieutenant Daniel (2) and Eleanor (Ripley) Leonard, was born July 7, 1781, died in 1813. He married, August 26, 1805, Nancy Fenn, born September 5, 1785, died March 10, 1810, daughter of Captain Jacob and Sarah (Matthews) Fenn, the latter born October 31, 1758, died May 15, 1838. Jacob Fenn was the son of Christian Fenn, and was born August 26, 1755, died March, 1826; was a private at one time in Captain P. Porter's company, First Connecticut Continental Regiment, Eighth Company, under Colonel D. Wooster, serving May-November, 1775, in the Northern Department; was a rate collector of the town in 1780 in Northbury parish, and married, October 15, 1778, Sarah Matthews. They had a son named James, and a daughter Nancy. By a second marriage to Sarah Alden, of Suffield, Connecticut, he had a daughter Harriet, who married Horatio J. Olcott, of Cherry Valley, New York, a lifelong banker.

(VIII) James, son of Captain Daniel (3) and Nancy (Fenn) Leonard, was born May 25, 1806, died December 13, 1882. He resided in West Springfield, Massachusetts, where his entire life was spent. He was educated in the public schools; settled in early life upon a farm and followed the pursuit of agriculture continuously during his active life. He was a member of the Congregational church and a liberal contributor to church and charitable societies. He was highly respected in the community, where he was a well-known figure. In early like he was an ensign of the "Hampden Grays," a local military company. Originally a Democrat, in later life he affiliated with the Republican party. He married, March 24, 1830, Mary Rood, born April 15, 1802, died July 17, 1882, daughter of Elias and Anna (Hancock) Rood, of Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, and Suffield, Connecticut. On March 24, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. James Leonard celebrated their golden wedding, at which many valuable evidences of love, respect and esteem were received from relatives and friends. Children:

  1. Mary, born January 31, 1831, died May 22, 1859; married Lorin Palmer, of West Springfield, Massachusetts; afterward became prominent newspaper publisher in Brooklyn, New York; left a son Harry Leonard Palmer.
  2. Harriet, born December 1, 1832, died in Albany, New York, January 13, 1861; married, October 5, 1853, Thomas Olcott (second wife), son of Thomas Worth Olcott, president of the Mechanics' & Farmers' Bank of Albany. Children: William Leonard, Thomas W. and Howard M. Olcott.
  3. Daniel, see forward.

(IX) Daniel (4), only son of James and Mary (Rood) Leonard, was born in West Springfield, Hampden county, Massachusetts, October 3, 1839. In 1910 he was head of the firm of Cotrell & Leonard, No. 472-478 Broadway, Albany, New York, with a residence at No. 56 Willett street. He received his education at the public school in West Springfield, and came to Albany in 1853 to take a position in the Mechancs' & Farmers' Bank. He was compelled to leave the bank through ill health in 1862, and after a few years in the country, returned to Albany in 1867 as a partner in the firm of Joshua G. Cotrell & Company, hatters and furriers, then located at No. 46 State street. In 1884 the growth of the business required their removal to the present stores. He is a trustee of the Mechancs' & Farmers' Savings Bank, President of the Albany Safe Deposit & Storage Company, and former president of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company; a charter member of the Fort Orange Club, the Albany Country Club and the Society of Colonial Wars. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the State Street Presbyterian Church. Mr. Leonard is of a retiring disposition, genial, fond of his home, of high character and greatly respected in the community. He married, at Albany, New York, June 11, 1861, Mary Elizabeth Cotrell, born at Albany, May 1, 1840, died of pneumonia at her home, No. 56 Willett street, Albany, May 9, 1897. Her father was Joshua Gardner Cotrell, of Albany, who was born at Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, September 23, 1804, died at Albany, February 18, 1878, and his wife, Cornelia Wilkinson, born April 7, 1812, at Sauquoit, New York, died May 27, 1885, whom he married in May, 1836. Joshua Gardner Cotrell, father of Mary Elizabeth Cotrell, was the son of Oliver Cotrell, of Hancock, Massachusetts, son of Joseph Cotrell, of Wickford, Rhode Island, and his wife, Mary (Gardner) Cotrell, born August 12, 1784, married in 1800, daughter of Nathaniel and Martha (Brown) Gardner, of Nokingston, Rhode Island, born in 1742; married in 1763; died August 11, 1841. Cornelia (Wilkinson) Cotrell, mother of Mary Elizabeth Cotrell, was daughter of Dr. Jabez Wilkinson, son of John Wilkinson, born in England in 1747; married in 1768, and his wife, Nancy (Savage) Wilkinson, born February 10, 1790, died November 6, 1857, daughter of Stephen Savage, born December 10, 1769, died December 4, 1848, and Lucy (Stowe) Savage, born August 10, 1769, died August 9, 1832. Children:

  1. Edgar Cotrell, born in Albany, May 28, 1862, see forward.
  2. Gardner Cotrell, born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, October 16, 1865, see forward.
  3. Mary Louise, born in Albany, June 12, 1868; residing in 1910 at No. 56 Willett street, Albany.
  4. Harriet Olcott, born in Albany, November 17, 1873, see forward.
  5. Elizabeth Fenn, born in Albany, September 5, 1877; married, June 1, 1910, Stanley Fletcher Morse.

(X) Edgar Cotrell, son of Daniel (4) and Mary Elizabeth (Cotrell) Leonard, was born in Albany, New York, May 28, 1862. He attended the Albany Academy a number of years and graduated therefrom in the class of 1879, thereupon pursued further studies at Williams College, from which he was graduated in 1886 with the degree of A.B. He entered the firm of Cotrell & Leonard, Nos. 472-478 Broadway, Albany, after leaving college, which business was established by his maternal grandfather, Joshua G. Cotrell, in 1832. He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, regent of the Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution; is governor of the Albany branch of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, through the line reaching to Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony; a director and treasurer of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company; secretary and treasurer of the Albany Safe Deposit & Storage Company; actively interested in the work of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and of the Young Men's Christian Association, of which he was president for five years; member of the American Scenic & Historic Preservation Society; the National Geographic Society; American Civic Association; University Club of Albany; Fort Orange Club; Albany Country Club; Delta Psi fraternity; Masters Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, and is a thirty-second degree Mason; elder and trustee of State Street Presbyterian Church, and a director of Auburn Theological Seminary. He married, Albany, New York, October 15, 1890, Bessie Woolworth, of Albany, born in St. Joseph, Missouri, daughter of Calvin Colton Woolworth, of Brooklyn, New York, and Sarah (Parker) Woolworth. Children, born in Albany:

  1. Ruth Woolworth, September 5, 1891;
  2. Katharine, April 4, 1893.

(X) Gardner Cotrell, son of Daniel and Mary Elizabeth (Cotrell) Leonard, was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, October 16, 1865. He received his preliminary education at the Albany Boys' Academy, which school he attended from 1872 until graduation in 1882, after which he entered Williams College, where he joined the Delta Psi fraternity, and graduated in 1887 with the degree of A.B. Upon leaving college, he entered the employ of Cotrell & Leonard at No. 472-478 Broadway, established in 1832 by Joshua G. Cotrell, to which firm he was admitted in 1890. The following year he established a department for the manufacture of caps, gowns and hoods for colleges and universities, under the style of the Inter-collegiate Bureau of Academic Costume, which was chartered by the University of the State of New York in 1902. He became much interested in these matters, and was led to publish several works on this subject, and is recognized as an authority. He compiled a volume entitled Songs of Williams, published in 1898, which was so cordially received as to necessitate several editions. He is a member of Masters Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, Williams College Alumni Association of Northern New York, the Albany Academy Alumni Association, the Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, a former vice-president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, a life member of the Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, the Fort Orange Club, Albany Club, Albany Country Club, University Club of Albany and the University Club of New York City. He married, in Albany, New York, February 18, 1903, Grace Watson, born in Waterford, New York, daughter of Daniel Matthewson and Margaret (Laughlin) Sutherland. Children, born in Albany:

  1. Gardner Cotrell, September 22, 1905;
  2. Margaret Sutherland, October 4, 1907

(X) Harriet Olcott, daughter of Daniel and Mary Elizabeth (Cotrell) Leonard, was born in Albany, New York, November 17, 1873. She was educated at St. Agnes' School in her native city. She married, at the State Street Presbyterian Church, Albany, February 16, 1897, John Robert Leonard. He was born in New York City, September 19, 1865, son of Arthur J. Leonard, born in London, England, April 24, 1830, died in New York City, June 15, 1870; married, New York City, May 8, 1857, Elizabeth Farlow, born in London, England, October 5, 1837. Children:

  1. Mary Elizabeth, born in Albany, August 19, 1898;
  2. Daniel, born in Albany, January 26, 1901;
  3. Harriet, born in Chicago, August 24, 1905.

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