Recorded in several spellings including Le Valde, La Valde, Lavalde, Leavolde, Valde, Vaud, and possibly others, this is a surname of medieval French origins. According to the Dictionnaire de noms de France, it derives from the ancient word 'vaud' which is either locational from a place called Vaud, or it may be a nickname for a singer or comedian. In this context and as the original Le Valde it described a performer of country songs as in the original word 'Vaudevire,' meaning 'songs of the Vire Valley' (in France), and later Americanised to Vaudeville to describe all sorts of short acts including singing, dancing, acrobatics, conjuring, illusions and other. The surname in England is Huguenot protestant as is shown be the various early recordings in the registers of the French churches in the city of London. A hundred thousand Huguenots fled France in the 17th and early 18th century to avoid persecution, most finding their way to England and The Netherlands. Recordings examples include Jean La Valde at the church known as Le Savoye de Spring Gardens, on May 21st 1750, and a century later George Leavolde, and his wife the former Lisa Davis, at St Leonards Shoreditch, when they were christening witnesses to their son, also called George, on June 25th 1855.
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