Recorded as Lavandar and more usually Lavender, this is an English surname, but one of early French origins. Introduced by the Normans after the famous Conquest of 1066 it is occupational. It derives from the word "lavandier", and was applied especially to a worker in the wool industry, employed to wash raw wool or rinse the cloth after fulling. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only later became hereditary when a son or perhaps a daughter followed the father into the same line of business. The surname from this source is first recorded in the mid 13th Century when Cecilia la Lavander appears in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273, together with Peter le Lavender. In 1752, Richard Harris and Ann Lavender were married in St. George's Church, Hanover Square, London whilst on May 7th 1846, Catherine Lavender, embarked from Liverpool on the ship "Macedonia" bound for New York. She was one of the earliest bearers of the name to settle in America, where it flourishes today. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ysabelle la Lauendere which was dated 1253, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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