This surname of LAUNAY was derived from the Old French 'lauender' and was a nickname for a washerwoman or launderer. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form LAVENDARIUS. The term was especially applied to a worker in the wool industry who washed the raw wool or rinsed the cloth after fulling, and would have been used in reference to the use of lavender oil in perfuming freshly washed cloth. The name is also spelt LAUN, LAUND, LAVANDER, LAVANDIER and LAVATOR. The name was brought to England with the Conqueror in 1066, and the earliest record of the name appears to be Ysabelle la LAUENDERE, who was recorded in Oxford in the year 1263. Alice de LAVANDER was recorded in 1273 in County Bedfordshire and Thomas LAUNDER of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. Later instances of the name include William LAUNDER, who registered at the University of Oxford in the year 1538 and Richard Morris married Ann LAVENDER at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1752. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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