This distinguished and long established surname, having no less than sixteen Coats of Arms, is of Old French origin, and is a topographical name from residence in a wood, or near a stand of trees surrounding a country manor. The derivation is from the Old French "du bois", literally "of the wood", and the surname is particularly widespread in North, Central and West France. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In February 1546, Francois, son of Louis Dubois, was christened in Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, France. The name was introduced into England by French Huguenot refugees, fleeing religious persecution in their own country, from the early 17th Century onwards, and is widely recorded in the registers of the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, where on October 7th 1604 the christening of Abraham Dubois was listed. A Coat of Arms granted to the Dubois family of Lorraine, France, is a gold shield with a black chevron, in chief two green acorns, and in base a black deer couchant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Louis Dubois, which was dated March 1540, a christening witness at Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, France, during the reign of King Francis 1 of France, 1515 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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