This interesting name is a variant of the surname Pre, which is of French origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived near a meadow; the name is derived from the Old French "pred", which is from the Latin "pratum". The surname could also be a locational name from any of the numerous minor places named with this word. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. Whereas, locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.The modern surname can be found as Pre, Prey, Lapree, Lapraye, Dupre(e) and Despres. Among the recordings in London is the marriage of Daniell Dupree and Suzann Linsill, on September 1st 1647 at St. Giles, Cripplegate. Ann, daughter of Francis and Susan Duprey at St. George in the East, Stepney, London on April 22nd 1767. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alain Du Pre (christening), which was dated January 29th 1538, St. Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 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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