Recorded in at least the three spellings of Assender, Assinder, and Assander, this name is something of a puzzle. The indications from an examination of the surviving church registers of the post medieval period, suggest that the surname is English, and job descriptive, but both are open to some conjecture. A second possibility which has gained some strength is that it is one of the many forms of the ancient personal name Alexander, intorduced by the Knight Templars into Britain after the 12th century crusades to the Holy Land. This name was often recorded as Assandri, from which Assander would be a logical progression. The first surname recordings that we have been able to definately establish are 18th century. This is late and would normally suggest that the name could be a "refugee", perhaps in conjunction with the Huguenot protestants fleeing persecution particularly from catholic France and parts of Germany, in the period between 1550 and 1750. However if so, we have not been able to establish a definate connection with another country or perhaps another spelling. Canon Charles Bardsley, the Victorian etymologist refers to the name "Asser", which he believed to have developed from the Olde English personal name "Azor", recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, and this is possible, there are few impossibilities woith surnames! Examples of the surname recording taken from the surviving church registers include Joseph Assander, a witness at St Katherine's church, Coleman Street, City of London, on August 24th 1738, and Joseph James Assender, at the famous church of St George's in the east, Stepney, on January 5th 1800.
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