Recorded in several forms including Althorp, Althorpe, and the original Althrop and Althrope, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Althorp in Northamptonshire, famous for being the home of the late Princess Diana of Wales, the former Lady Diana Spencer, and her brother, the Earl Spencer. The village name has a Danish-Viking origin, being from the pre 7th century words "Olla throp", translating as the outlying farm (throp) of Olla. The latter was an early landowner and probably a Viking. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given either to the lord of the manor, or to people who had left the village for whatever reason, and had settled somewhere else. The easiest method of identification being to call these "strangers" by the name of the place from whence they came. The early surviving church registers of the county of Northamptonshire give the spelling as mainly "Althrope" with as an example Humphrey Althrope, a witness at Broughton, on November 18th 1594, with a gradual change to Althorp or Althorpe from the middle of the 17th century. An example being that of Ellin Allthorpe, the daughter of George Allthorpe, christened at Kettering on July 1st 1677.
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