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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: French, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Louis family come from? What is the Welsh Louis family crest and coat of arms? When did the Louis family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Louis family history?

The proud Louis surname is from the personal name Lewis, an Anglicized form of the Welsh name Llewellyn. This name is often explained as meaning "lion-like," but is in fact probably derived from the Welsh word "llyw," which means "leader." Alternatively, the name Lewis is also an Anglo-French form of the Old Frankish name Hludwig, which means "loud battle."


Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Louis have included Lewis, Lewiss, Lewess, Lews, Llewys, Llewis, Lewwis, Llewess and many more.

First found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, where the family held a seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Louis research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1677, 1640, 1677, 1625, 1661, 1660, 1627, 1706, 1616, 1679, 1664, 1699, 1690, 1650, 1674, 1669, 1675 and are included under the topic Early Louis History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Louis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Louis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Louis:

Louis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jean Louis, who arrived in South Carolina in 1755
  • Adam Louis, who arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1782
  • Andrew Louis, who landed in New York in 1798

Louis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Caroline Louis, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Nicol Louis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • I Louis, aged 44, landed in New Orleans, La in 1829
  • Etienne Louis, who landed in New York, NY in 1835
  • John Philip Louis, aged 25, arrived in Missouri in 1842

Louis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • E M Louis, who arrived in Pike County, Ind in 1900

Louis Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Le Petit Louis, who landed in Montreal in 1666

Louis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Louis Louis, who arrived in Montreal in 1747


  • Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis -Dreyfus (1961-1989), American seven-time Emmy Award winning actress, comedienne and producer, best known for her work on the comedy series Seinfeld (1989-1998)
  • Joseph T. St. Louis, American Democrat politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Waterbury; Elected 1926
  • Carol St. Louis, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 2000 (alternate), 2004
  • Morris Louis (1912-1962), American painter
  • François Louis de Wimpffen de Bornebourg, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Spyridon Louis (1873-1940), Greek one time Olympic gold medalist for Athletics during the 1896 games
  • Martin St Louis (b. 1975), Canadian professional NHL hockey player
  • Pierre Charles-Alexander Louis (1787-1872), French clinician and pathologist
  • Xercès Louis (b. 1926), French professional soccer player
  • Paul Louis (1872-1948), French politician



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Patriae fidus
Motto Translation: Faithful to my country.


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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Louis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Louis Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 November 2015 at 10:34.

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