This interesting surname is of English locational origin from either of two places called Lonsdale, in Lancashire or Westmorland. The placenames are recorded as "Lanesdale" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and derives from the river "Lune" plus the Old English pre 7th Century "dael" a valley; hence "valley of the river Lune". The surname is first found in the mid 13th Century, (see below). One, John de Lonesdale, appears in the Yorkshire Feet of Fines (1301) and Thomas Lounsdale, is noted in the "Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem", Yorkshire (1419).In the modern idiom the surname has two spellings, Lonsdale and Londsdale. On October 22nd 1564, Elizabeth Lonsdale married Johnes Harryson at St. Andrew's, Enfield, London, and the marriage of Margaret Lonsdale and Thomas Goold took place on March 5th 1577, at St. Botolph Bishopsgate, London. A famous namebearer being, James Lonsdale (1777-1839), a portrait-painter in ordinary to Queen Caroline. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Louisdale (witness), which was dated 1260, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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