This is a surname of English origins. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in about the year 1880, the surname describes not a man from the lowlands as might seem to be logical, but a person who was a friend or servant of a man called Low. This assumes that Low was a nickname of the famous personal name Lawrence. This may well be so, but our research using more modern facilities, suggests that the name may refer to the opposite of what it logically seems to indicate, in other words it describes a hill man. This from the Olde English pre 7th century word "hlaw" meaning hill, and more usually found in the surname Low, Law, Laws or Lawman. The suffix as "-man" does usually refer to a friend or servant, but in the context of this surname we believe is topographical for somebody who lived in the hills. Topographical surnames were amongst the earliest to be created, as to call somebody by a natural feature such as a hill or wood, was the easiest form of identification. The earliest known recording is probably that of Richard de Lumene in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines for the county of Devon in 1242, and Francis Lowman, also from Devon, who appears in the register of the university of Oxford in 1587.
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