Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Lavalle, Lavelle, Laval, Lavall, Deval, Duval, Lavell, and Lavielle, the name is usually of French and often Huguenot protestant origins. When this is the case it is locational or topgraphical, translating 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', also found as Lawell, Lovell and Lavell. 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 in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include examples such as: Pierre and Anne Lavielle, whose daughter Anne Madellene, was recorded on October 15th 1704, and Christolfe La Ville who was christened on March 1st 1710, at the French Huguenot church of known at St. Jean Spitalfields, whilst Adam Lavall was christened on the 26th June 1757 at Putney, in West London. The first recorded spelling in church registers may be that of Claude Lavale, which was dated October 26th 1671, at New Orleans, Louisiana, during the reign of King Louis X1V,of France, 1643 - 1715. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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