The surname of THIBODEAU was derived from the Old French personal name of THEOBALD, from the medieval given name TEBALD. The name was originally from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements PEUDO (people-race) and BALD (bold and brave). The name has numerous variant spellings which include THEOBOLD, TUBALD, TUDBALL, DIPPLE, DYBLE, DIEBALD, TEUPEL, DIEPELT and DEBBAU. 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. A notable member of the name THEOBALD, (or Tebaldus) d.ll6l who was the English ecclesiastic. He was a monk at Bec,abbot (ll37) and in ll38 became Archbishop of Canterbury. He crowned King Stephen in Canterbury, and after the latter's death refused to regard Stephen's son as his successor and eventually crowned Henry II (ll54). He advanced his archdeacon, Thomas a Becket, to the chancellorship in ll55, introduced the study of civil law into England and resisted all attempts by the monasteries to throw off episcopal jurisdiction. America was colonized by people 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. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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