This is a truly amazing surname, and a perfect example of how the English have never been able to handle foreign languages. The origination is French, and the derivation is from the word "Alouette" meaning "A skylark". Like many medieval surnames it is a nickname for a person who had the perceived qualities of the bird, or sometimes, given the robust humour of the period, the reverse! The name is recorded in Brittany as Lalouet, and it is probably from this area that the surname was first "imported" into England, almost certainly as a result of the Huguenot persecution in the 16th and 17th centuries. The name is recorded in many forms in England, and although there are several examples of Huguenot recordings, perversely the earliest church record is in an English format rather than from a French church in England. This suggests that the surname may have been introduced earlier, but if so we have been unable to find any recordings. The examples in the registers include Pierre de Lalowrette who married Ameirance Brown at St Mary-le-Bone on August 26th 1681, and Maximilian Lalout at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on March 1st 1691. Other examples are Thomas Lelleyet who married Ann Spurier at the church of All Hallows The Great, London Wall, on November 4th 1759, and Samuel Lelliott, who married Adelaide Rosetta Thurion at St Pancras Old Church, on April 26th 1860. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Lallat, which was dated August 8th 1681, a christening witness at St Botolphs without Aldergate, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The merry monarch" 1660 - 1685. 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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