This very unusual surname, rare in England, originated from the ancient Greek male personal name "Leander" meaning "lion-man", whose popularity was due to St. Leander, circa 550 - 600 A.D., bishop of Seville and son of Severian, duke of Carthagena. By his wisdom and reasoning he obtained the conversion to orthodoxy or both the Visigoths and the Suevi. He also wrote an influential Rule for Nuns and introduced into the West the custom of singing the Nicene Creed at Mass. His feast day is February 27th. There is an old Greek tale which relates the story of Hero, a priestess of Venus, who fell in love with Leander; he swam across the Hellespont every night to visit her, and one night he was drowned. Heart-broken, Hero threw herself into the same sea. The name is found in France as Landre, Landeaux, and Landrean, while Lander in England may be a variant. Georgius, son of Caspar Leander was christened on Februay 17th 1628 at Mittelfranken, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, while Katharina Sophie, daughter of Peter, was christened on July 16th 1672 at Buetzow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and later married Christian Hincke on January 10th 1700 at Roebel, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henri Landre, which was dated 1627, a witness at Gien, Loiret, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, known as "The Just", 1610 - 1643. 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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