This is a French locational surname. It originates from one of the various places in France called 'St. Louis', and particularly the town of St. Louis near the mouth of the Rhone river in the south of the country. However we have no evidence that the surname is specifically from this region as the surviving church registers for the area are few and far between, as most were destroyed during the French Revolution of 1792 - 1798 when the church itself was banned. Locational names in many ways are the most obvious to an etymologist, but equally because they are 'from' names, they are usually the most difficult for a generalogist to trace. 'From' names are ones given to people after they left a particular village of town, and moved elsewhere, it being an easy form of identification to call a 'stranger' by the name of the place from whence they came. Traditionally the kings of France for many centuries were called Louis, and it is therefore not surprising that both the surname as 'Louis' and the place name as St Louis, are well recorded, although not in this spelling, as a surname. In England the name of St. Louis was usually protestant and Huguenot, and recorded in slightly anglicised spellings, an example being that of John Saintlue at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on November 15th 1694, and from Northern France that of Madelaine Saintleu of St Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, on August 16th 1782.
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