This interesting surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Plews may be of early medieval Welsh origin, and a patronymic of the male given name Lewis, itself an Anglo-Norman substitute for the Old Welsh "Llywelyn", a compound of the elements "llyw", leader, and "eilyn", likeness. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1173 - 1240), was Prince of Gwynedd, and Lewis Glyn Coth (flourished 1450 - 1486) was a noted medieval poet. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements of the local language and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. The Welsh surnames Plews and Plewis are formed from the fusion of the patronymic suffix "ab, ap", son of, with the given name. One Thomas ap Lewis was noted in Denbighshire in 1537. Plews may also be of English origin, and a patronymic of Plew, Plow, itself a metonymic occupational name for a maker of ploughs, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ploh", plough, or for a worker with the plough. Early forms of the name contain the suffix "-man", and include: Robert Pleueman (Westmorland, 1223), and John Plewman (Yorkshire, 1560). On September 27th 1736, George Plews and Ann Ahle were married at St. Mary on the Hill, Chester, Cheshire, The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas ap Lewis, which was dated 1469, in "Records of those killed at the Battle of Banbury", during the reign of King Edward 1V, known as "The Self-Proclaimed King", 1461 - 1483. 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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