Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Landsberg, Landsborough, Landsbury, Lansbery, Lansberry, Langsbury, and Lansbury, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from a place probably called 'Lang burgh' or similar, from the Olde English pre 7th century words meaning "long fort". However no such place is to be found in any of the known gazetters of the British Isles unless this be the village of Langbaurgh near Stokesley, in North Yorkshire. An estimated five thousand surnames of Britain are believed to derive from 'lost' medieval sites, of which the only reminder of the place in the 20th century is the surname itself. Where the surname originates from a lost village, it is often, as with this one, found in a wide variety of spellings. As to why places disappeared is a subject of a separate study by the Historical Monuments Commission of England and Wales, and this indicates that changes in agricultural practice in the 17th century are the usual reasons, but the plagues of medieval times, sea erosion, and even civil war in a few instances, have played their part. In this case examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include William Lansberry at St Olaves church, Southwark, on September 27th 1657, John Landsborough, at the St Katherine by the Tower (of London) on July 7th 1683, William Landsbury at St Johns Hackney, on June 3rd 1787, Thomas Lansbury, who married Mary Parsons at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on March 13th 1810, and Elizabeth Langsbury, who married Daniel Kite at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on June 11th 1821.
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