This very unusual surname, with variant spellings Caplice, Caples and Capples, is almost peculiar to the Munster county of Tipperary, and is ultimately of Old French origin, introduced into Ireland by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country. The great French immigration into England and Ireland occurred following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis X1V on October 22nd 1685, and the new settlers brought with them several crafts and skills including woollen weaving and cloth manufacture, which served to reinforce or expand pre-existing industries. The name Caplis is occupational in origin, and is a dialectal variant of Capliez, a surname almost exclusive to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. Also found as "C(h)apez" and "C(h)apey" in that region, the ultimate root of the name is the Old French "chape", a cape or churchman's cope, and the various forms of the surname describe a maker of these garments. On November 17th 1814, Jean Magloire Capliez and Marie Antoinette Fleury were married at Douchy-les-Mines, Nord, France. Recordings from Church Registers of County Tipperary include the birth of Catherine, daughter of David Caplis and Margaret Conners, at Clogheen, on December 13th 1864, and the birth of William, son of Michael Caplis and Ann Eagan at Newport, on February 5th 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Baptiste Capliez, which was dated November 14th 1780, marriage to Marie Angeline Gros, at Wasnes-au-Bac, Nord, France, during the reign of King Louis XV1, of the House of Bourbon, 1774 - 1792. 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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