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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English lanier family come from? What is the English lanier family crest and coat of arms? When did the lanier family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the lanier family history?

The name lanier is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a person who worked as alanelier which was an Old French word denoting a maker of woollen cloth. The original bearers of this surname were those individuals who dressed, wove and sold wool. The lanelier would have had his own business premises so that he could have weavers make the wool into sellable garments.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like lanier are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name lanier include Laner, Lanyer, Layner, Leyner, Laneir and others.

First found in Huntingdonshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our lanier research. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1292, 1567, 1588 and 1666 are included under the topic Early lanier History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early lanier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name lanier or a variant listed above:

lanier Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Lanier, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
  • John Lanier, who arrived in Virginia in 1676
  • Robtt Lanier, who arrived in Barbados in 1680

lanier Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Marie Lanier, who came to Louisiana in 1732

lanier Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Adam Lanier, who arrived in New Orleans in 1847
  • Charles Lanier, aged 52, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1893
  • J.F.D. Lanier, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1893
  • Chas. Lanier, aged 48, who emigrated to the United States from London, in 1894
  • Elisa Lanier, who emigrated to America, in 1895


lanier Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Chas Day Lanier, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Aleka Lanier, aged 39, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Charles Lanier, aged 46, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Julie Lanier, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • James F. D. Lanier, aged 51, who settled in America, in 1909


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  • Sidney Lanier (1842-1881), American poet and musician
  • Willie Edward Lanier (b. 1945), American gridiron football player
  • Jaron Lanier (b. 1960), American virtual reality developer
  • Bob Lanier (b. 1948), American professional basketball player and businessperson
  • Thomas Lanier (1911-1983), original name of Tenessee Williams, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer


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  • The History and Genealogy of the Nances (also Laniers) by D. Nance.
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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The lanier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The lanier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 August 2012 at 07:49.

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