This unusual name is generally of French locational origins, where it is found in a wide range of recordings. These include Lavalle, Laval, Lavall, Deval, Duval, Lavell, Lavelle (also Irish), Lavielle, etc. In general the name translates as 'of the valley' referring to one who was resident in such a place. It seems to have been mainly introduced into Britain with the second of the great influxes of French and Flemish Huguenot refugees in the early 18th century. This of course does not effect the origin and meaning, except that in Britain confusion can arise through the closeness of spelling with the Irish clan name 'Lavelle'. This also crossed the water into England at much the sametime, so what appears to be French may in fact be Irish. The Irish name is a nickname. It derives from the Gaelic O'Maolfhabhail, and translates as 'The descendant of the messenger' or similar. The name recordings include Pierre and Anne Lavielle whose daughter, Anne Madellene was recorded in the anglicised form as 'Laval' on October 15th 1704. Christolfe La Ville was christened on March 1st 1710, at the French Huguenot Church of St. Jean, in Spitalfields', whilst Adam Lavall was christened on the 26th June 1757 at Putney, in West London. The coat of arms has the very distinctive blazon of a gold field, on a red cross, five silver escallops. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Claude Lavale, which was dated October 26th 1671, married at New Orleans, (now the USA) during the reign of King Louis X1V,of France, known as 'The Sun King', 1643 - 1715. 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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