This very rare and unusual patronymic surname, has a similarly unusual background. It would seem to derive from the Latin/Italian 'Galante' through the French 'Galant' to a mixed Dutch-German, but also French 'Galland'. As such the name is a nickname for a courtier, one who preferred the company of the ladies! The name in that form was quite popular and clearly regarded as complimentary. However the spelling as 'Gallander(s)' raises other points. Whilst it may simply be an emphasised form of 'Galland' it is also possible that Gallander(s) is locational from some place called 'Gal(l)and'. The suffix 'er' generally has the meaning of being 'from ' somewhere, however if there is or was such a place as 'Galland', we have not been able to trace it. The early recordings are all of much the same period, as shown below, although it maybe that the first English is that of Robert Gallenger, almost certainly a misspelling, at St Andrews by the Wardrobe, London, on August 13th 1636. Other recordings include Isaac Gallendar, a christening witness at St Mary Whitechapel, London on January 19th 1734, and Ralph Gallander, christened at St Botolphs without Aldergate, London, on October 5th 1743. Francois Galander (also recorded as Galandre), was registered at Kadzano, Zeeland, The Netherlands on April 8th 1735. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anna Galland, which was dated August 15th 1575, christened at Pfalz, Bayern, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Maximillian 11, of the German Empire, 1564 - 1576. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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