This very unusual name is recorded in an amazing number of spellings. There is a lovely story that the name is of Welsh origins and as such derives from an amalgamation of the elements "Ap" meaning "son of", and equivalent to the Scottish "Mac", and the given name "Lewis" to create "The son of Lewis", or Plews, Plues etc. Many Welsh surnames have followed a similar pattern so it cannot be ignored that a few nameholders may derive from such a source. Indeed the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley who interviewed a member of the 'Plews' family in 1880, was told by them that the name was created by one Thomas Plews, at his marriage at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London, in 1792. However this is not so, the name in all its wonderful variety of spellings such as Plush, Please, Pleas, Plowes, Plose, Pluse, Pluess, and many more, had been around for several centuries before that date. It derives from both the French 'ploue' meaning a "countryman", an example of the recordings from that origin being Pierre Plus, a witness at Threadneedle Street, London, French Huguenot church, on August 5th 1677, or 'pleix', again a French word for 'an enclosure' or woodland, the modern 'place'. Examples of early recordings from this source include Emma del Place in Cumberland in 1332, and William Plaice of Whitby in Yorkshire in the year 1346. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Plaiz, which was dated 1192, The pipe rolls of the city of York, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lion-heart", 1189 - 1199. 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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