Recorded in several forms including: Du Serf, Lecerf, Le Serf, Leserf, and Lesurf, this unusual surname is of French origins. In Britain where a number of the nameholders settled in the 18th century, it is one of the famous Huguenot refugee surnames. These people who were famed in France for their skills in the manufacture of such diverse products as silk making, embroidery, jewelry and steel, fell foul of King Louis X1V, the Sun King, (1643 - 1715), one of the most bigoted religious zealots which the Christian church has managed to produce. He revoked the famous Edict of Nantes in 1685, which gave a measure of religious freedom to protestants, forcing them to either flee the country or adopt the Catholic faith. Most left, many coming to both London and Northern Ireland, where they re-established themselves, and at the sametime they gave Britain a lead in many areas of manufacture, which it held for nearly two centuries. The origin of the surname is open to conjecture. On the face of it the surname describes one who was 'a serf'. That is to say a person with no rights, but people with no rights were not granted coats of arms, and 'arms' were granted to nameholders in the former province of Dauphine, in France. These have the blazon of Azure, a bend argent, between six besants Or. Early examples of the surname recording include: Abraham Le Serf, the son of Isaac and Elizabeth, formerly Boutry, at the French Huguenot church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on January 31st 1688, Daniel and Caterine Le Cerf, witnesses at the same church on April 25th 1714, and Ann, the daughter of William and Jemimah Lesurf, christened at St leonards church, Shoredith, on February 18th 1722.
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