This Portugese and Spanish surname LOPEZ was originally from a medieval given name, from the Latin LUPUS, meaning wolf. The name is also spelt LLop, Llopis and Lopes. Portugese surnames share many of the features of Spanish surnames, in particular Arabic and Visigothic influence. A notable feature of Portugese surnames is the class of religious names referring to festivals of the church or attributes of the Virgin Mary. One respect in which Portugese names differ from those of the rest of the Iberian peninsular is that some were adopted at a comparatively late date and honour saints who did not give rise to surnames in other languages. Portugese names almost always typically have the ending 'eiro'. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. Francisco Solano Lopez (1827-70) was the Paraguyan statesman, born in Ascuncion, a grand-nephew of Francia. He succeeded his father as president of Paraguay in 1862. In 1864 he provoked war with Brazil and was faced with an alliance of Brazil. The war lasted for five years, during which Paraguay was completely devastated and Lopez himself fled. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. A notable member of the name was Francisco Higino Craveiro LOPES (1894-1964) the Portugese statesman, born in Lisbon of a distinguished military family. He was educated at the Military School, Lisbon, he fought in the exeditionary force in 1942, and entered negotations for co-operation with the Allies and was responsible for the modernization of the Portugese air-force. In 1944 he entered parliament, in 1949 he was promoted to general, and was president of Portugal from 1951 to 1958. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General.
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