This interesting and unusual surname may be either a diminutive form of the Old French personal name "Pepis, Pepin", or a diminutive of the name "Pip", itself a pet form of Philip, with the suffix "-kin", ultimately from the Middle Dutch and German "-chen", small. "Pepin", initially introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, derives from the root "bib", to tremble, and was originally a byname meaning "awe-inspiring, terrible". This name enjoyed enormous popularity in France in memory, of the founders of the Carolingian monarchy, Pepin d'Meristal, and Pepin le Bref.In England, it has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Further early examples include: Walter Pipun (Berkshire, 1176), and William Peps (Essex, 1377). The name Philip derives ultimately from the Greek "Philippos", from "philein", to love, and "hippos", horse; hence, "lover of horses". Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, was a famous early namebearer. It came to England in the 12th Century, and is first recorded as "Philipus" (without surname) in Lincolnshire. The subsequent popularity of the name gave rise to a wide variety of diminutive and pet forms including: Phil, Phip and Pip. On July 7th 1577, Jane Pipkin and John Harries were married at St. Mary at Hill, London, on September 10th 1780, and Sarah Pipkin was christened at Kirton in Holland, Lincolnshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Pipin, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Leicestershire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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