Last name: Lansbury

Recorded in various spellings including: Landsbury, Lansbery, Lansberry, Langsbury, and Lansbury, this is an English surname of conjectural origins. It appears to originate from a place called 'Lang byrig' or similar, Olde English pre 7th century words meaning 'the long fort', however no such place, or any similar spelling, is to be found in any of the known gazetters of the British Isles. This is not in itself wholly unusual. An estimated five thousand surnames of Britain are believed to derive from 'lost' medieval sites, of which the only reminder of the place in the 20th century is the surname itself. This is often, as with this one, in a wide variety of spellings, itself a further indication of a 'lost' site. As to why places disappeared is a subject of a separate study by the Historical Monuments Commission of England and Wales. This survey indicates that changes in agricultural practice in the 17th century are the usual reasons, but the plagues of medieval times, and even civil war in a few instances, have played their part. In this case examples of the surname recordings have been taken from the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London. These include William Lansberry at St Olaves church, Southwark, on September 27th 1657, John William Landsbury at St Johns Hackney, on June 3rd 1787, Thomas Lansbury, who married Mary Parsons at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on March 13th 1810, and Elizabeth Langsbury, who married Daniel Kite at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on June 11th 1821.

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