Various spellings of the name, 'Landes'

'Landes' and 'Landis' are mostly interchangeable. In fact, in my own immediately family, my uncle Ralph began spelling his name 'Landis' evidently sometime in the late 1940's, this despite the fact that his father, C. J. Landes is burried in the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Franklin and there on his gravestone it is spelled 'Landes'. I have been curious about this for years and was finally able to ask one of my cousins about it a few years ago at the annual Landis Reunion held in Franklin, WV on the last Sunday of July. According to her it was her mother Curlin who began spelling it like that and after a while everyone in their family just became so used to it that it seemed natural. Consequently, that is how everyone in the Ralph Landis family spells their last name to this day. I totally respect and understand that. But for a lucky accident, my brother and I would no doubt also be spelling our last names, 'Landis.'

When I was in about the 3rd grade and my brother was in the 7th grade, our father accidentally discovered that my brother and I were spelling our names 'LANDIS' on our homework papers. I remember it very clearly -- he made a big deal out of it. He and my mother got into an argument but my dad won out and my brother and I consequently began spelling our names the way our father spelled his. This may seem a little strange -- why were we not spelling our last names the way our father spelled his? Let's just say that life in the Willie Landes household in the 1950's was a little layed-back and he was not inclined to help us with our homework. I feel this way of spelling our name started in school, probably as early as the first grade when our teachers were teaching us to write. Uncle Ralph's kids also went to the same grade school and some of them were older than my brother and I. They spelled it, 'Landis' -- so it seems reasonable that our teachers just thought that was the way we would spell it.

Other instances of variations in spelling in my family still survive. On several of my siblings birth certificates, the County Clerk in Pendleton County, Luther Eye, always spelled both their last nams and my father's last name, 'Landis'. However, I was the first member of my family to be born in a hospital. In 1950 two of my sisters were working as nurses at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA. Consequently, my birth certificate has both my name and my father's name spelled corrcctly: Landes.


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Site last updated: September 1, 2018