This surname of DIANA was an English, French and Italian baptismal name 'the descendant of Diana'. This name became popular during the Middle Ages from the Roman goddess DIANA, who was associated with women and childbirth, and with the moon. She is usually represented as a virgin huntress armed with bow and arrows. The position of priest at her shrine of Ariccia, in Italy, was customarily held by a runaway slave who murdered his predecessor. The name is also spelt DIANEE and DIANE. DIANE de POITIERS (1499-1566) was the mistress of Henru II of France, was married at 13 and left a widow at 32; presently she won the affections of the boy dauphin, already wedded to Catherine de'Medici. On his accession in 1547 DIANE enjoyed great influence, and was made Duchess of Valeninois. After his death in 1599 she retired to her Chateau d'Anet. DIANE de FRANCE (1538-1619) was the Duchess of Angouleme, a natural daughter of Henri II of France and a Piedmontese (according to others of DIANE de Potiers). Formally legitimized, she was married first to a son of the Duke of Parma, next to the eldest son of the Ist Duke of Montmorency. She enjoyed great influence at court under Henri IV, and superintended the education of the future Louis XIII. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. America was colonized by peoples from all over the world in a very short period of time, and mostly, in the case of French immigrants they have stayed together in Louisiana. Of the early immigrants to America the French have fared the worst in respect of their names, chiefly because of the difficulties experienced by the Americans in pronouncing them correctly. Many have been translated into English names.
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