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User comments for Leanna
Leanna is the Irish Gaelic form of Helen, meaning light, beautiful woman.
Leanna is also a variant of Liana and Lianne, with various meanings.
Chinese - Daughter of the sun
English - A climbing vine, daughter of God, wood's favor, youthful, bond
French - Bond
Latin - Youthful, downy grace
Spanish - Youthful
Greek - Bearer of good news
Maori - Serene
Leanna was used fairly often in both England and the USA well before Lee was used as a given name for girls. So I think it was more likely at first a respelling of Liana, a short form of Juliana, rather than being from Lee and Anna. Obviously, though, the name got reinterpreted as a blend of Lee and Anna after Lee did become popular as a given name.
The change of spelling from Liana to Leanna would have been logical back then, because in the 19th century people would have been much more likely to try to pronounce Liana with the sound of the word "lie" than they are today. So in 1800 the Leanna spelling would get people to pronounce the name as a short form of Juliana would have been more reliably than the Liana spelling would have.
In the indexes to censuses on Ancestry Library, there are 25 Leannas and 11 Lianas in the 1841 census of England. There are 545 Leannas and 44 Lianas in the index to the 1850 U.S. census. Before 1850 the US census only listed heads of families and so few women's names are recorded, but even so there was one family headed by a Leanna in Pennsylvania and one in North Carolina in the 1800 census. In the 1850 U.S. census the oldest Leanna is 90 year old Leanna West of Culpeper, Virginia. I checked that record to make sure the census taker had written Leanna and it was not just the indexer's mistake, and it definitely looks like Leanna to me on the original record. So Leanna is a much older name than many might think. [noted -ed]
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