Recorded in several spelling forms as shown below, this interesting surname is French. It is or was residential for someone who lived at a place called 'Pre' of which there are a number of examples in France, or who lived near a meadow. The derivation is from the pre 7th century "pred", itself from the Roman (Latin) "pratum". Residential surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.The modern surname can be found as Pre, Pree, Prey, Lapree, Lapraye, Dupre, Dupree, and Despres. Among the many recordings in London is the marriage of Daniell Dupree and Suzann Linsill, on September 1st 1647 at St. Giles, Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alain Du Pre, which was dated January 29th 1538, at St. Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, France. This was during the reign of King Francis 1st of France, 1515 - 1547. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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