Recorded in various spellings including Plaisance, Pleasance, Pleasaunce, Pleasant, and Pleasants, this is an English surname, although with at least two possible origins. The first derives from the medieval female given name 'Plaisance,' itself from the French word 'plaire' and ultimately the Latin 'placere, meaning to please. Secondly, it may be a locational name from the northern Italian city of Piacenza. It would seem that this place was famous for its textiles in the Medieval period, and citizens with skills were 'encouraged' to move to other countries including both France and England. The early surname recordings include John de Plesaunce of Lombardy in the Subsidy Rolls of London in 1314, and John de Plesancia also of Lumbary (as spelt), in the "Calendar of Pleas and Memoranda Rolls" of the city of London in the year 1339. Later church recordings of the city of London include Frances Pleasants who married George Neguse on January 26th 1685, at St Brides Fleet Street, and Margaret, the daughter of Samuel and Susannah Pleasant, who was christened on June 8th 1690, at St. Mary's Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald de Plesence. This was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, and known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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