This apparently simple surname is in fact one of complex origins. It may be a development of the Olde French "Lavendier" which was usually anglicised to Launder and Lander, and describes one who owned the local laundry, and was therefore occupational. The same word was confusingly applied to a textile worker who washed the cloth after fulling and dyeing. However a larger number of British name holders will have a Germanic or Anglo-Saxon origins, and sometimes with a later 17th century Huguenot entry as well to thoroughly mix the brew. In this case the name is topographical and describes a countryman, one who lived on the land, as opposed to a city dweller. It is also possible that a few examples will apply to the town of Landau in Germany, and will therefore contradict the previous statement! What is certain is that the name has been recorded in England for a very long time. Early examples include Ralf la Lavendere in the Somerset Rolls of 1268, Thomas Launder of Yorkshire in 1331, and Elizabeth Lander in the Hearth Rolls of Suffolk for 1524. Church recordings include Nicholas Launder at the church of St Benet Fink, London, on September 26th 1539, and Catharina Lander at Grossgarten, Neckarkreis, Wuertt, (Germany), on September 28th 1617. The Coat of Arms granted to the nameholders depicts a paly of eight black and gold, charged with a red fess, and a crest of a hand issuing from a cloud, holding a sword. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ysabelle la Lauendere, which was dated 1253, in the rolls of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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