This rare and interesting surname, first recorded in Berwickshire, Scotland, towards the end of the 17th Century, is believed to be of topographical origin from residence in a glade with a stream. The component elements of the name are Old French\Medieval English "lande", a glade or pasture, itself of Gallic origin, plus the Anglo-saxon "rithe", running water, from the Old English, "rith", (Old Law German "ritha"), a brook or stream. Lanreath, south west of Liskeard in Cornwall, recorded as Landreyth in the 1377, Fine Court Rolls of that county may be the ultimate source of the surname. In 1717, the death of one, James Landreth, "Wiver", was recorded in Hume, Berwickshire, and on March 28th 1733, William Landrick and Elizabeth Currel were married in St. Mary the Great, Cambridgeshire. Mr. James Landreth was minister at Simprin, Berwickshire, in 1756, and on February 21st 1768, Richard, son of George and Ann Landreth, was christened in St. Botolph without Algate London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Landreth, son of Patrick Landreth, which was dated 1690, in the Records of Coldstream, Berwickshire, during the reign of William and Mary, (jointly), 1689 - 1694. 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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