The Lanier Page
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All females are listed by maiden name.


The Laniers
John or Nicholas
Nicholas Lanier
Clement Lanier
John Lanier
John Lanier
John Lanier
Bird Thomas Lanier
Lemuel Lanier
Lewis Lanier
Benjamin Lanier
Gipson S. Lanier
Clem Lanier
Robert Lanier
James W. Lanier
Cora Roberta Lanier
Lanier Links

Lanier family Crest


Nicholas or John Lanier
There are two different guesses at his first name. The "John" guess is just that. Everything I've heard is heresay. The "Nicholas, Sr." thought is also not proven, but is said to have been refered to in the research of Katherine Harbury.

It is said that "John" was born 1499, place unknown. Died 25Nov1572 in London. "Nicholas" was born in Rouen, France. Buried 29March1565. No other dates or marriage info is known, for either.

Possible children of either:
  1. Nicholas Lanier
  2. Jean or John Lanier
  3. Jeanne Lanier (m. Evean Forges)
Based on the son, Nicholas' stats (for which confidence is high), if "John" is correct, he moved to England with the rest of the family as they fled during the religious persecution.

My vote is for Nicholas

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Nicholas Lanier
Nicholas Lanier (originally Laniere; listed in some histories as Lasnier) was born 1520-1544 in Rouen, France, and died 31 Jan 1610/11 in County Kent, England.

Nicholas served as a court musician to King Henry II in France (listed as the royal flutist on the Chantres et autres Jouers d'instruments for 1559-60).

During the Protestant persecutions in France, the Lanier family fled as Huguenots to England. It is said that safe passage was arranged by Queen Catherine de Medici. Nicholas arrived in 1561 and settled in St. Olave Parish, Hart Street, London. After arrival in England he served in the court of Queen Elizabeth I and King James of England. He was Royally named as the "Musician of the Flutes", a title which son Andrea later inheirited. Ten of his children and 8+ grandchildren served as royal musicians. He is considered as the founder of the Lanier family of musicians and the ancestor of the American Laniers.

His first wife's name is unknown, married sometime prior to 1565 in England. However, after an arrangement by the Queen, he later married Lucreece Bassano 13Feb1570/71 in All Hallows Barking.

Nicholas had 12 children (** marks listed in royal court):
children by Unknown:

  1. John Lanier (**; b. Bef 1565; m. 17Oct1585 Frances Galliardello [family of Italian muscians]; 7 children including famed artist-musician Nicholas the Younger)
  2. Anne Lanier (bapt. July 14, 1565, London)
  3. John Lanier II (b. c1567 --- could be same as above)
children by Lucreece Bassano are:
  1. Alphonso Lanier (**; b. c1572; d. 20Jun1613; m. poet Emelia Bassano 18Oct1592 same Bassano family)
  2. Innocent Lanier (**; b. c1573; d. 1625; never m.)
  3. Ellen Lanier (b. c1577; d. 1628; m. Alphonse Ferrabosco; 6 children)
  4. Jerome Lanier (**; m. Phrisdewith Grafton; m2. Elizabeth Willeford 10Jan1627; 13 children total)
  5. Clement Lanier (**; b. c1590/92 in England; d. 06Nov1661 in England)
  6. Andrea Lanier (**; buried 02Nov1660; m. Joyce Perry Jun1628; 8 children)
  7. Frances Lanier (m. 04Feb1618 at St. Margaret's Lee, Kent ENG to Thomas Foxe)
  8. Katherine Lanier (b. c1583; d. aft 02Sep1660; m. Daniel Ferrand)
  9. Mary Lanier (buried 13Oct1676; never m.)
Nicholas died 31Jan1610/11 in County Kent, England. The will of Nicholas Lanier Gent. was dated January 28, 1611/12, and proved July 1612, Rochester XIX, folia 514.
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Clement Lanier
Clement Lanier was born c1590/92 in England, and named as a court musician in 1604. He is listed at "Gentleman of the King's Chamber" to both James I and Charles I. He is known as a musician and master of the recorder (musical instrument similar to a clarinet).

He married Hannah Rebecca Collett March 1627/28 in St. Margarets, Lee County, England. They had 12 children, all born in England:

  1. Hannah Lanier (b. c1629; bapt. 13Feb1629/30, Greenwich; m. __?__ Thomas Swetnam 1655; credited with raising siblings after death of their mother.)
  2. John Lanier (bapt. Oct1631; d. c1683 in Prince George Co., VA, m. bef 1656 Lucreece __?__ in England, 2 children)
  3. Susanna Lanier (bapt. 16Jun1633; died young)
  4. Nicholas Lanier (bapt. 26Mar1635 Greenwich; d. 1665 ENG)
  5. Susanna Lanier II (b. aft 1637; underage in 1658)
  6. Lucretia Lanier (b. 17Jan1638; d. bef 1658)
  7. Charles Lanier (b. c1640; d. 14Feb1651, ENG)
  8. Robert Lanier (bapt. 22May1642 St. Alphege, East Greenwich; d. Barbados or Virginia; m. Rebecca __?__, 2 known children)
  9. Lionel Lanier (bapt. 17Feb1643/44; d. 1665; bur. St. Benet and St. Peter's Church at Paul's Warf)
  10. Frances Lanier (b. 03Apr1646)
  11. William Lanier (b. 14Oct1647)
  12. Elizabeth Lanier (b. c1649)
After the dethroning (and decapitation) of King Charles I, many of Nicholas the Younger's paintings were dispersed. Clement and his brother Jerome were able to purchase some of these back for the family. However the family lost most of their wealth during the civil war while Oliver Cromwell was in power as Lord Protector. When Charles, Prince of Wales (later Charles II) came to the throne, the Lanier family regained much of their stature and fortune.Clement Lanier either died or was buried 06Nov1661 in East Greenwich, England. The will was proved 03Dec1661 and registered 20May1662.
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John Lanier
John Lanier Sr. (known among the family as John the Emmigrant) was born Oct1631 in Lewisham or Lewisburg, England.

John moved to Virginia, and his brother Robert to Barbados. All of Robert's sons later came to Virginia also. These two brothers are given credit for being the initial ancestors of nearly all the Laniers in America.

Sometime before his emigration from England to America in 1656, he married Lucreece __?__ (last name unknown, but thought to be either Bassano or Lanier and also a descendant of the same line). John and Lucreece, along with infant son John, were transported to America in 1656 by Howell Pryce (Colonial Abstracts, Vol II, p33). They took up residence in Charles City Co., VA, assumably to raise tobacco.
They had two known children:

  1. John Lanier Jr. (II) (b. 1655 London, ENG, d. 1719 Charles City Co, VA, m. Katherine or Alice Sampson)
  2. Katherine Lanier (b. 07May1665, Charles City Co., VA; d. as an infant "strangled in her bed" per records of the judicial court of William Bird)
John Lanier, along with son John Jr. served as members of Bacon's Rebellion to protest Governor Berkeley's lack of protection from the Powhatan Indian attacks. John Sr. along with John Woodlief plead with Gov. Berkeley and were refused. The rebels were then led by Nathanial Bacon to defeat the Pamunky Indian tribe and lay seige on Jamestown in defiance to Berkeley's lack of support. The rebelion was crushed by forces sent from Charles II. John Sr.'s fate during this rebelion is unknown.

John Lanier I died c1683/85 in Charles City Co., VA. Burial info is not known.
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John Lanier II
There is the accepted possibility that John Lanier II is the same person as his father above. It is believed that they are father and son, but if not, then John Sr. above married three times, first to Lucreece, then to the two wives below. In that case the daughter above would be contributed to John Sr. However we have gone here with the assumption that these are two different people.

John Jr (II) was born in 1655 in England and came to America as a small child with his parents. He lived in Virginia and married first in 1677 in Charles City Co, VA to Alice or Katherine Sampson (d. bef 1685). Then about 1685 he married to Sarah Edmunds/Edmonds (widow) also in Charles City Co., VA. By what I show, there were five children:
children by Katherine Sampson(?):

  1. Robert Lanier (b. 1678 in Surry Co., VA; d. 20Mar1743/44 Tyrell Co., NC; m. Pricilla Washington 1727; 4 children)
  2. John Lanier (b. c1680 Charles City Co, VA, d. 04Mar1727/28 Surry Co., VA, m. 1703 Elizabeth Bird, 4 children)
  3. Sampson Lanier (b. c1681; d. c1743; m. Elizabeth Washington; 7 children)
children by Sarah Edmunds:
  1. Sarah Lanier (b. c1686 Charles City Co, VA; d. c1727/29; m. c1705 George Brewer; 10 children)
  2. Nicholas Lanier (b. 1690 in Charles City Co, VA; d. Bef 23Aug1779; m. Mary Shepherd; 6 children)
John Jr died 1719 in Charles City Co, VA. Burial info is not known.
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John Lanier
John Lanier was born in 1680 in Charles City Co, VA. In c1703 he married Elizabeth Bird in Surry Co, VA. There are four known children:
  1. Bird Thomas Lanier (1703-c1788; m. Mary Madison (Madderson); 11 children)
  2. Lemuel Lanier (b. c1707; m. Hannah Peters; 6 children)
  3. Robert Lanier (b. c1709; d. or disap. c1730)
  4. Benjamin Lanier (b. c1711, m1. Elizabeth Warren, m2. Lucy Pennington, m3. Martha Wilkinson, 8 children total)
John Lanier died 04Mar1727/28 (definitely between 04Apr1720 and 04Mar1728) in Surry Co, VA. On 04Mar1728 widow Elizabeth sells land which she inheireted from her father to her sister Tabitha and sister's husband Richard Jones. Elizabeth remarried before 15Aug1730 to Thomas Clare(y). Burial info is not known.
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Bird Thomas Lanier
Bird Thomas Lanier was born 1703 in Surry County, VA. He married in c1726 to Mary Madison in Surry Co, VA. They had 11 children:
  1. Bird Lanier (b. c1727)
  2. Lemuel Lanier (c1729-1770, m. Sarah Hardy, 4 children)
  3. John Lanier (c1731- Aft 1790, 11 children)
  4. Benjamin Lanier (December 14, 1732-August 2, 1817, m1. Susanna Green, m2. Ann Blackman, 5 children)
  5. Frederick Lanier (b. c1745)
  6. Jesse Lanier (b. c1749)
  7. Elizabeth Lanier (b. c1751)
  8. Robert Lanier (b. c1754)
  9. Sarah Lanier (b. December 8, 1756)
  10. Nicholas Lanier (b. January 5, 1760)
  11. Allen Lanier (b. c1763
Bird Thomas Lanier died c1788 in Duplin Co, NC. Burial info is not known.
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Lemuel Lanier
Lemuel Lanier was born c1729 in Brunswick Co, VA. In c1752 he married Sarah Hardy (believed) and had 4 children:
  1. John Lanier
  2. Lewis Lanier (1753-1792, m. Margaret __?__, 6 children)
  3. Lemuel Lanier Jr (c1757-bef 1784, m. Ann Mary ??, 2 known children)
  4. Hardy Lanier (c1765-bef1840 in Alachua Co FL, m. Melintha Mills, 1 child)
Lemuel Lanier died in 1770 in Duplin Co, NC. Burial info is not known.
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Lewis Lanier
Lewis Lanier was born 1753. He married Margarett __?__ in Duplin Co, NC. And about 1788 settled down on Lotts Creek near Aarons and Portal in Bulloch Co, GA.They had six children:
  1. John Lanier (1778-1855, m. Nancy Fitzpatrick, 13 children)
  2. Frederick Lanier (1780-September 13, 1845, m. Elizabeth Studstill, 2 children)
  3. Margaret Lanier (b. 1782)
  4. Elizabeth Lanier (b. 1784, m. Joseph Fletcher, 2 children)
  5. Benjamin Lanier (1786-1854, m. Sarah Pridgen -- sister of Celeste, 11 children)
  6. Lewis Lanier (1789-March 24, 1869, m. Celeste Pridgen -- sister of Sarah, 10 children)
Lewis Lanier died in 1792. While returning from a visit to his brother, he was caught in a flash flood and drowned in the Ogeechee River. Whether or not the body was recovered for burial is not known.

Lewis was a Cornet in the Revolution, he is listed in the Vouchers of Revolutionary Soldiers of N. C. from the Wilmington District, Voucher #1047, 24 March 1782, L 32-11-0. (Minutes of Screven County, Georgia, and Georgia Gazette, August 28, 1794, page 2, col 1)
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