Recorded as Lanaway, Lanway, Lannaway, Lanay, and Laney, this is an English surname. It almost certainly originates from a 'now' lost medieval village probably called 'Langa-weg' or similar, and translating as 'The place by the long road'. As to where this was is open to conjecture. Nothing like it is to be found in the gazetters of the British Isles for the past three centuries suggesting that it may have 'disappeared' well before the 17th century, although this again is conjecture. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification after they had left their original homes and had moved somewhere else. Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the developoment of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case the surname is first recorded in the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London on June 1st 1614, when Thomas Lannoway was a witrness at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, and somewhat later we have the recording of Mary Lanaway, at St Brides Fleet Street, on September 16th 1653 during the 'reign' of Oliver Cromwell (1650 - 1658).
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