Well, from the little information I have of my ancestors, our Family name was supposedly "De Le Boeuf" when in France. It's possible that since somewhere our ancestors dropped the "De", it's also possible that your side dropped the "Le".
I was told that our ancestor in France was a Baron. If this was the case before the French Revolution, it might have been possible that you wouldn't want to be known as an elite ruling class at that time and therefore would have modified the last name so as not to be arrested by the crowds. This is only conjecture though but it seems to make sense somehow as to why part of a name would be dropped.
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