Famiglia originaria di Pisa, diffusasi in Messina ed in Palermo, ove si rammenta, al dir del Minutoli, un Domenico Leo, barone della Scala palermitana; il Mugnos, invece, vuole tale famiglia in Messina, ascritta a quella maestra di nobili. Varie famiglie omonime si propagarono in diverse regioni d’Italia. Le notizie bibliografiche che ci vengono tramandate sono riconducibili a questa casata di cui ne abbiamo tratto nota. Zerobabele fu della balia nel 1400; Giov.-Antonio, compagno a Domenico Burli, ottenne da Papa Pio II la salvezza di Trieste nel 1463. La presenza dell’arma e del motto nella bibliografia documentata della famiglia Leo ci conferma l’avita nobiltà raggiunta dalla casata. Infatti l’origine del motto risale a circa il XIV secolo e deve essere ricercata in quei detti arguti che venivano scritti sui vessilli o bandiere dei cavalieri, esposti alle finestre delle locande in cui questi alloggiavano, in occasione dei tornei, e durante i tornei stessi. Il motto era un pensiero espresso in poche parole facente allusione a un sentimento palese o nascosto, a una qualità, a un ricordo storico, per stimolo al coraggio o onore. Era scelta dal capo della famiglia, dal cavaliere entrante in lizza o data dal sovrano al proprio uomo ligio. Motto della famiglia: Auxilium a Deo.. Riguardo a questo cognome abbiamo ritrovato ulteriori informazioni storiche in altri archivi. Purtroppo in lingua originale Inglese. : This old Anglo-Irish name of LEO is peculiar to County Limerick. It has two early origins, deriving from the Latin LEO meaning ‘one as strong and brave as a lion, a fierce warrior’, and it was also a locational name ‘the dweller at the leah’. The Gaelic form in Ireland is O’LAIGHIN and has been Anglicized to Lane. This name was borne by numerous early martyrs and thirteen popes. On the continent the given name was relatively popular because of the numerous saints who bore it, and also because the lion was the symbol of the evangelist St. Mark. In England, however, it was rare throughout the Middle Ages. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix ‘Bally’ (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called ‘Septs’ were uniquely prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. The earliest of the name on record appears to be LEO Camerarius who was recorded in County Norfolk in 1121, and LEON de Romeslega, was documented in 1271. Hugo LEO appears in London in 1180. A noble member of the name includes The Great St. LEO I. (390-461) Pope from 440, one of the most eminent of the Latin Fathers, he is thought to have been born in Tuscany. He was the champion of orthodoxy, and was instrumental in convening in 451 the significant Council of Chalcedon in which his legates successfully pressed what had been called ‘the Catholic doctrine of Incarnation’…. Noble title: Baroni – Conti
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