Recorded as Gander and sometimes Gandar, this is a very interesting English surname. It is either a metonymic and if so would have denoted a keeper of geese, or possibly it was a nickname given to a person who had the characteristic traits of a gander. This may well have been one of agression as the gander is well known for its defense of its homeland and family, but given the robust humour of the medieval period, may well have meant the complete reverse! What is certain it that the surname has its origin in the pre 7th century word 'gandr' , meaning a male goose. Early examples of the surname recording in the surviving church registers of the dioces of Greater london include thopse of Reginald Gander who married Mary Sherman at St James Clerkenwell in 1624, whilst Thomas Gander married Anne Day at the town of Luton in 1684. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Gandre. This was dated 1273 in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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