This interesting surname, one of the most popular in the Spanish peninsula and South America, is almost certainly of Roman (Latin) origins. It derives from the ancient words "lupus" and the 5th century a.d. "lobo", meaning the wolf. This suggests that either the name is a nickname or more likely it is a tribal and originally a form of endearment. The popularity of the surname is such that it must have been given to a large number of people, so large that in general it has to relate to a tribe or clan.Certainly the early civilised peoples considered it a considerable honour to be so named. The wolf, along with, in particular, the bear, the lion, and the stag, are figure regularly in the early records both of surnames and coats of arms. In this case the wolf was highly regarded for its cunning and its bravery. Amongst the early recordings of the name taken from authentic church and civil registers, in both its home country and the New World of the Americas, are Catalina Lopez, see below, who married Diego de Palacios at Valladolid, and Alonso Juan Lopez, christened at Asuncion, Mexico, on February 8th 1637. Ramirez Lopes was recorded at Santa Catarina, Mexico, on September 6th 1709, and Aquida Josefa Lopez at San Diego, California, on January 21st 1789. The name is also recorded early in England, Dominicus Lopes marrying Jane Baker on September 23rd 1622 at St. Dunstan's, church, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catalina Lopez, which was dated June 20th 1566, at Santa Maria Magdalena, Valladolid, Spain, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, Emperor of Mexico, 1556 - 1598. 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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