This French and German surname of LOIS was a baptismal name 'the son of Louis or Lewis', an ancient and still popular font name. This was the name of the founder of the Frankish dynasty, recorded in Latin chronicles as Ludovicus. The name was popular throughout France in the Middle Ages, and was introduced into England by the Normans. On the continent it was a hereditary name borne by many French kings. The name is also spelt LOUISA, LOUIS, LUDOVICO, LUISO, LOUIST, LUDE, LOHDE and LOSSMAN to name but a few. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. LOUIS II 'The Stammerer' (846-79) was the king of France, second son of Charles I, King of Maine. He was often in revolt against his father, whom he succeeded as king of 'Francia' from 877 to 879. LOUISA was the (1776-1810) queen of Prussia, born in Hanover, where her father, Duke, Karl of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was commandant. Married to the crown prince of Prussia, she was the mother of Frederick-William IV and William I, afterwards emperor. She endeared herself to the people by her spirit and energy during the period of national calamity that followed the battle of Jena. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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