This interesting surname has two distinct possible sources, the first and most generally applicable being from the medieval given name "Lovin". This name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Leofhun", which is composed of the elements "leof", dear, beloved, and "hun", bearcub. Secondly, the surname may be of Flemish origin, and is a habitational name from the city of Louvain in Belgium (Flemish name "Leuven"). Habitational names were often given to those who left their original residence and went to live or work in another village or town, or possibly, in this case, country. Regional and dialectal differences have produced variations in the spelling of the name, which range from Lowne, Lownd, Loven and Lown, to Lownes, Loynes and Lowndes. The final "s" denotes the patronymic form, meaning "son of". Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Marye, daughter of Thomas Lownes, on April 21st 1599, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street; the christening of Thomas, son of Daniel and Mary Lown, at St. Olave's, Southwark, on December 26th 1709; and the marriage of John Lown and Margaret Richmond at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on June 3rd 1711. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Lownde, which was dated March 14th 1545, witness at the christening of his daughter, Anne, at the Church of St. Mary le Bow, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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