Last name origin & meaning:
French: topographic name for someone who lived near the gates of a
fortified town (and often was in charge of them; thus in part a
metonymic occupational name), from Old French porte ‘gateway’,
‘entrance’ (from Latin porta, ‘door’, ‘entrance’), with the
definite article la. In French Canada it is a secondary
surname, which has also been used alone since 1670.
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