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Lewis Last Name Meaning

1. English (but most common in Wales): from Lowis, Lodovicus, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements hlod ‘fame’ + wīg ‘war’. This was the name of the founder of the Frankish dynasty, recorded in Latin chronicles as Ludovicus and Chlodovechus (the latter form becoming Old French Clovis, Clouis, Louis, the former developing into German Ludwig). The name was popular throughout France in the Middle Ages and was introduced to England by the Normans. In Wales it became inextricably confused with 2. 2. Welsh: from an Anglicized form of the personal name Llywelyn (see Llewellyn). 3. Irish and Scottish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Lughaidh ‘son of Lughaidh’. This is one of the most common Old Irish personal names. It is derived from Lugh ‘brightness’, which was the name of a Celtic god. 4. Americanized form of any of various like-sounding Jewish surnames. FOREBEARS: This name was brought independently to New England by many bearers from the 17th century onward. William Lewis was one of the founders of Hartford, CT, (coming from Cambridge, MA, with Thomas Hooker) in 1635. The explorer Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was a native of Albemarle Co., VA, where he was a neighbor of the Jeffersons, Randolphs, and other prominent families. His family also had plantations on the Broad River in Oglethorpe Co., GA. The Lewis family in VA date back to Robert Lewis, a native of Brecon, Wales, who settled in what is now Gloucester Co., VA, about 1635. Another early bearer of this very common British surname is Francis Lewis, a New York merchant and signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was born in 1713 in Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales.

From: The Oxford Names Companion, Oxford University Press

Lewis Family Facts

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Preserve Your Lewis Family History

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    1. Create a Family Tree

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    3. Publish Your Lewis Family History

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