Last name: Toppes

Recorded in several forms including Topaz, Topes, Topyas, Toppas, Toppes and possibly others, this would seem to be a surname of possibly several origins.These range from 7th century Danish-Viking to pre medieval Greek, although the various meanings are quite different. Taking the Greek origin first. This would seem to derive from the ancient word "topazus". Originally this had the generalised meaning of precious gem, suggesting that originally it was either an occupational name for a merchant or miner of such stones, or more likely it was a baptismal name given to a favoured child, and not unlike the European first name and later surname "Pearl". The name from this source was an early introduction into the British Isles. It was one of a very large group of Greek and biblical names which Crusader knights gave to their children, on their return from trying to free the Holy Land from the muslim grip. In England it was usually in the form of Topyas, Toppas or Toppes, all of which became surnames. The second possible origin is from the Vking word "toppr", which described a hill top, and hence was topographical for somebody who lived at such a place. Early examples of surname recordings taken from surviving church registers in late medieval England, sadly there are no equivalent records for Greece, include: Alyce Topyas, who married John Motte at St. Andrews Enfield, in the county of Middlesex, on August 20th 1555, and Aaron Toppes or Topes, a witness at Helpringham Church, in the county of Lincolnshire, on April 5th 1730.

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