Landry Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Landry Meaning
a name is Germanic in meaning – from land
meaning “land” or “fatherland” and ric
meaning “powerful” or “rich”. But it was to be found in France
from very
times. Saint
Landry was recorded as the Bishop of Seez as early
as 450 AD and that
were two more saints later on with the same name.
For this reason Landry became
popular as a male given name in France in medieval times.
Landry also emerged as a surname – although it
has not been that common in France.

Landry Resources on

Landry Ancestry

records some French Landrys,
but not
that many. The Landrys today in France
amount to less than 5,000. The name did
appear in villages around Loudon in Poitou in the mid-17th century. This area was the place of origin for a
significant number of the Acadians, one of the early founding people of
France in Canada

Canada. The
forefather of the Landrys in AcadiaRené l’aine or René le jeune?

Many investigators have
named René Landry the elder
(René l’aine), a native of La Chaussée near Loudun.
He arrived in Acadia around 1640 and married
Perrine Bourg there. But a stronger case
has been made for René Landry the younger (René le jeune).
He came with his wife Marie Bernard around
the year 1659. Landry descents in Acadia
have usually started with this René rather than with René l’aine.

the initial arrivals into Port Royal, the Landry numbers expanded,
being mainly centered after 1690 around Grand
Pisguit in present-day Nova Scotia.
But they – like other Acadians – were subject to the British
in 1755. Some 3,000 Acadians were rounded
up into ships
and deported – a considerable number to Massachusetts, Maryland, South
Carolina and Georgia, many to France,
and many
eventually to
what was then French Louisiana.

New Brunswick. A
few Landrys managed to remain in New Brunswick.

the spring of
1756 Alexis Landry – along with other Acadians – decided to go north to
Miramichi river, hoping to escape from British raids and to make a
living by
hunting and fishing. They went through a terrible winter of war,
famine, and
pestilence. More than 350 Acadians
perished, including five of Alexis’s own children.
It seems that in the spring of 1757 Alexis
was able to make his way to Caraquet on the Baie de Chaleurs with a few
Acadian families.”

Landry’s family was among those that were granted lands there on
the northeast coast by the New Brunswick Government in 1784.

The village of
Memramcook on the southeast coast survived the English deportations and
subsequently became an important center for Acadian culture. René
Madeleine Landry arrived there in the 1760’s and Landrys were prominent
in the
community from that time. Amand Landry
and his son Pierre-Amand represented Westmorland county in the
Assembly of New Brunswick for a long period of time – from the 1840’s
to the
In 1916 Pierre-Amand Landry became the first Acadian to be knighted.

nearby has the Julien
Landry house, a wood-frame house that was built around 1875 and is
typical of
an Acadian famer’s house of that time.
His son Patrick built a flour mill and a sawmill there; while
grandson Joseph started a lobster processing plant in 1948 and later
became a
Canadian Senator.

Quebec. Some of the
Landrys in Massachusetts were able to return to French Quebec around
the year 1767. Five Landry families from there ended up along the
Yamachiche river in Quebec; while

Landry and his family had settled nearby at l’Assomption. Their
line ran
to Bernard Landry, born in 1937, who became Premier of Quebec in 2001.

A sizeable number of
exiled Landrys had reached
Louisiana during the 1760’s. Olivier Landry arrived via
Georgia in

It seems that the bulk of these early Landrys came from Maryland
a large number had initially been exiled.
At least nine families arrived from there in 1767 and five more
following year. All of them eventually
settled in present-day Ascension and Iberville parishes.

Of particular
genealogical interest here has been Firmin Landry, whose ancestry would
seem to
connect him back to René Landry
jeune. He had migrated by 1670 into the
Teche country of the Attakapas. Many of
his descendants remained in the Teche area.

One of the most distinguished lines
stemming from the Maryland exiles was that of Joseph Landry:

  • his son Joseph was named commandant of
    Acadians of Ascension parish. He developed
    a large indigo plantation at New Hope above Donaldsonville and his six
    sons all
    became sugar planters there in antebellum days.
  • one of these sons Jean-Trasimond was
    Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana in
    1845 and by 1860 had become the leading slaveholder in the state.

The Civil War
and its aftermath saw the financial ruin of wealthy families such as
Landrys. Many of their descendants
have remained in Ascension and adjacent parishes
Pierre C. Landry, born a slave in Ascension parish in 1841, managed to
better himself. He became a Methodist minister, a local mayor,
and served as a
Louisiana state senator in 1874.

of Tom Landry
the football coach of the Dallas Cowboys, is
Acadian, but not via Louisiana. His line
ran through Quebec, Manitoba, Illinois, and finally to Mission, Texas
where Tom
was born in 1924


Landry Miscellany

French Landrys.  There were three Landrys to note in French history.

The first was the medieval nobleman Geoffrey
de la Tour
Landry.  He was based in Anjou and lived
between the years 1300 and 1400.  He was
best known for the book he wrote for his daughter.
This book –
pour L’enseignement
de Ses Filles –
 became popular as a medieval educational

The second was the bookseller and engraver Pierre Landry.
Born in 1603 and initially based in Lyon, he
was employed by a number of booksellers in engraving frontispieces,
portraits and other subjects.

Last on this list was Jean Baptiste Octave Landry
who was born in Limoges in 1826.  He was
the doctor credited with discovering what became known as Landry’s
syndrome.  Landry’s
syndrome is a progressive and ascending paralysis that starts with the
limbs and quickly reaches the trunk and then the upper limbs.
This condition, also called
acute ascending
paralysis and usually followed by rapid death, is rare.

Jean Baptiste died in 1865 a relatively young man,
having caught cholera from the patients that he had been treating.. 

Rene L’aine or Rene Le Jeune?  Many investigators have named René Landry the elder
(René l’aine), a native of La Chaussée near Loudun as the forefather of
Landrys in Acadia.  He arrived around 1640
and married Perrine Bourg there.  But a
case has been made for René Landry the younger (René le jeune).  Landry descents in Acadia have tended to
start with this René rather than with René l’aine.

have attempted to link the two Renés
as father and son.  However, that is
questionable.  René
L’aine arrived in Acadia
around 1640; whereas René le
jeune came in 1659 – suggesting a separation would have existed between
two.  Father Archange Godbout – who was
in his time one of the most outstanding genealogists in French Canada –
stated plainly
in his Dictionanaire des Acadiens
that the second René
Landry, born in 1634, “came from France with his wife.”

then where did René
le jeune come from?

researchers have shown René
le jeune to be the son of a Jean-Claude
Landry and Marie Sale. Writing in the publication Familles
, Father Leopold Lanctot reported as

all began in the year 1640 when a group of ten
from the Landry family came to Acadia from France. The Landry family
originally from La Ventrouze, near Mortagne-au-Perche in the Department
Orne. They were encouraged to come to Acadia by Marguerite Landry,
daughter of
Jean-Claude, and her husband Robert Martin.
They had been in Acadia for several years.”

has been suggested that
Jean-Claude was in fact a Micmac Indian.
However, there is no evidence that this Jean-Claude Landry ever

Despite all the confusion up to this point,
it is agreed that René
Landry le jeune and Marie Bernard were
married and in Acadia by 1659.  Together
they had fifteen children, all born at Port Royal.

Acadian Landrys in France.  Pierre Landry
and his family were among the 340 Acadians that arrived in 1756 at
and were put into barracks on the wharves.
Resettlement was finally arranged and the Landrys then sailed
for St.
Malo in France.

They were not long in France when they realized they were truly
Acadian and not French.  France had pretty much ignored the
Acadians in Nova
Scotia for over one hundred years.  Therefore they had grown apart
as a people
and would never again be the same as their compatriots in France – not
custom nor in language. Over the years their manner of speaking had
into a different French.

The Marquis Perusse des Cars gave the Acadians some of
his land to farm.  But the 1,500 Acadians
who migrated to the Poitou area found the soil sterile and there was
housing.  Almost all of the Acadians that had arrived there in
hope left there for

When Spain in 1785 offered to pay for seven ships to transport the
Acadians from France to Louisiana, the Acadians saw it as a good time
to start
life anew.  Pierre Landry and his family
were among the passengers on Le Bergere
that departed France for Louisiana at that time.

Olivier Landry, Early Louisiana Settler.  Olivier Landry of
Chignecto had been deported with his
family to Georgia in 1755.  He moved to
Charleston in 1763, followed back to Georgia, and then went to
Louisiana via
Mobile, Alabama, in late 1763 and early 1764.

The Landrys and their three related
families from Chignecto left Savannah in December 1763 aboard the Savannah
and sailed to Mobile “from which place they were to go
New Orleans,” proclaimed an article in the Georgia Gazette the
following day.   After a short stay
in Mobile, which then belonged to the hated British, they reached
Orleans in February 1764.

overseeing the baptism of several of their
children at New Orleans and consulting with authorities, the Landrys
and the
other Acadians moved upriver to the recently-established concession of
Cabanocé, later called St.Jacques, where they settled on a bend in the
Mississippi along the right bank in present-day St. James parish.
Cabanocé thus became the first Acadian community in Louisiana,
predating the
Bayou Teche settlement by a full year.

Tom Landry’s Ancestry.  Tom Landry
the football coach has Acadian ancestry.
It originated from Pierre Landry who was born in Port Royal,
Nova Scotia
in 1751.  After the British Expulsions of
1755, he and his family made their way to Quebec where the family was
remain for the next hundred years.

Landry, however, was a farmer and
lumberjack out in Manitoba.  When he was
young he crossed the border into Wisconsin and fought in the Civil War.  He afterwards settled in Illinois.  His grandson Ray, an
automobile mechanic, moved with his family from Illinois
to Texas upon the recommendations of doctors who believed the warmer
would help his rheumatism.  Tom, his
second son, was born in Mission, Texas in 1924.



Landry Names

  • René Landry the younger (René le jeune) seems to have been the forefather of the Acadian Landrys in Canada and Louisiana.   
  • Pierre C. Landry was the first African American to be a mayor in America, having been elected to that position in Donaldsonville, Louisiana in 1868. 
  • Tom Landry was a much-acclaimed
    American football coach. He coached the
    Dallas Cowboys for twenty-nine years. He
    led the Cowboys to a record five Super Bowl appearances in the nine years between 1970 and 1978. 
  • Bernard Landry, leader
    of the Parti Quebecois, served as the Premier
    of Quebec from 2001 to 2003

Select Landry Numbers Today

  • 15,000 in America (most numerous in Louisiana)
  • 43,000 elsewhere (almost all in Canada)


Select Landry and Like Surnames.

These are French-originated names, French Canadian surnames that were brought by French settlers to what was then New France.  Many are found in Louisiana after the Acadian exodus from the Canadian maritime provinces in the 18th century.  Here are some of the French surnames that you can check out.




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