This rare and intriguing name is one of the Anglicized, phonetic forms of the early medieval German name Liesemayer or Leisemeyer, which is an occupational surname for a steward or bailiff of an area of wetlands or marsh. The name derives from the medieval German "leise, liese", swamp, marsh, with "meier, meyer", originally a village headman or similar official, later a steward, bailiff, and also used in medieval times to denote a tenant farmer. This surname is recorded in Germany in a number of forms; Ludolff Liesemeyer, a christening witness in Heiden, Lippe, on July 31st 1642; Cathrine Lesemeyer, married to Cordt Fahrenmeyer in Almena, Lippe, on October 26th 1721; and Jobst Lesmeier, married to Anne Knabachs on September 28th 1776, also in Heiden. The Anglicized forms of the surname, recorded mainly in the mid 19th Century, include: Thomas Lissemore (1836, Hampshire); John Lezemere (1848, London); Ruth Lismer (1858, Lancashire); and Florence Lessmare (1872, ibid.). The christening of Ruth, daughter of George and Elizabeth Lezemore, was recorded in Queenborough, Kent, on February 20th 1901. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Curt Lessmeyer, which was dated October 29th 1637, marriage to Gertrud Scheffer, at Detmold, Lippe, Germany, during the reign of Ferdinand 11, Holy Roman Emperor, 1619 - 1637. 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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