This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, the surname may be a variant of Lavender, which is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a washerman or launderer, from the Anglo-Norman French word "lavend(i)er", also applied to a worker in the wool industry who washed the raw wool or rinsed the cloth after fulling. However, Lander may also have been a Germanic opographical name denoting either someone who was a native of the area in which he lived, or someone who lived in the countryside as opposed to a town, derived from the Old High German "lant" (cognate with the Olde English pre 7th Century "land"), land, and the suffix "-er". Early examples of the surname include: Ralf la Lavendere (Somersetshire, 1268); Thomas Launder (Yorkshire, 1331); and Elizabeth Lander (Suffolk, 1524). Other recordings include the christening of Alis, daughter of Nicholas Lawnder on September 26th 1539, at St. Benet Fink, London, and the christening of Catharina Lander on September 28th 1617, at Grossgartach, Neckarkreis, Wuertt (Germany). A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a shield divided per paly of eight black and gold, and a red fesse, with a Crest showing a hand issuing from a cloud holding a sword wavy, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ysabelle la Lauendere, which was dated 1253, in the "Cartulary 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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