Recorded in several spellings including Lanchberry, Lanchbury, Launchbury, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from a now "lost" place probably situated in the county of Oxfordshire. It is estimated that over the past seven centuries at least three thousand small towns, villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared owing to natural causes such as the plague known as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of enforced enclosure of rural lands for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onwards.The placename is composed of the first element "Wlenca", a personal name derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wlanc", meaning proud, and "-burg", a fort, hence, "Wlenca's fort". Early recordings include Ursula Lanchbury, who married Thomas Perssite in 1589, at Charlbury, Oxfordshire; Abraham Lanchburie, who married Gillian Tounseind in 1598, at Shipton under Lynchwood, Oxfordshire; Grace Launchbury, who was christened on January 4th 1696, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London; and Samuell Lanchbury, who was married to Grace Oliver on January 3rd 1700, also at St. Bride's, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name in church registers is believed to be that of Elizens Lanchburie. This was dated 1584, when he married Margaret Warn, at Charlbury, Oxfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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