The surname Landry, considered to be the second oldest name in France, is a name steeped in history, religion,and culture. Numbering among its members no less than three saints, the name has also lent its name to towns in France, Canada and the United States.
It was not until the early Middle Ages that surnames were introduced to distinguish between numbers of people bearing the same personal or Christian name. With the growth in population, and in documentation necessitated by the expanding administrative machinery of medieval rulers, surnames became essential. Generally, these names fall into four categories:
- Nickname origin
The French family name Landry falls into several categories. It is of patronymic origin, coming from Landericus, belonging to that category of names derived from the first name of the father or ancestor. In this case, the name simply denotes "the son of Landry", a popular personal name during the medieval period, early forms of which included Landri, and the regional variant Landry. Today in France, the name is also found in the forms of Landrin and Landron. The name is in fact, of ultimate Germanic origin, being derived from the old baptismal name "Land-rick", a composite name which signifies, literally, "land/country-powerful".
Different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence. Dictionaries of surnames indicate probable spelling variations of Landry to be:
It appears, however, that it is not known for certain when the name was first recorded.
Although Landry is a common name in France, it is not found throughout France. Rather it seems to have been concentrated around three small villages, south of the town of Loudon, province of Poitou:
"I am given to understand that the Landry name is well known in the area around Loudun in Poitou, but is rather hard to find elsewhere in France."
Professor Stephen A. White, Genealogist at the Universite De Moncton in New Brunswick. N. Bujold and M. Caillebeau, Les origines francaises des premieres familles acadiennes:le sud Loundais (Poitiers:Imprimeirie L'Union, 1979) p. 32
People surnamed Landry
- Geoffroy IV de la Tour Landry (ca. 1320-1391), French nobleman who compiled Livre pour l'enseignement de ses filles
- Thomas Wade Landry (1924–2000), American football player and coach
- Ali Landry (b. 1973), American actress and model
- Barry Landry (b. 1959), nationally recognized landscape architect -->
- Bernard Landry (b. 1937), former Premier of Quebec
- Dan Landry (b. 1970), American volleyball player
- Carl Landry (b. 1983), American basketball player (Sacramento Kings)
- St. Landry, Bishop of Seez
- St. Landry, Bishop of Paris
- St. Landry, Bishop of Metz