This is an early Medieval English occupational surname given to someone who was a maker of caps and hats. The name derives from the Middle English word "cappe", headgear "cap", from the Old English pre 7th Century "Caep", reinforced by the Old Norman French "Cape" introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. The modern surname, which can be found as Capp and Cape, and with the addition of the medieval agent suffix "-er", Capper, and the patronymic forms Capps and Capes which mean "son of Capp or Cape", may also derive from a nickname surname given to someone who habitually wore a particularly noticeable hat or cap. One, William Capps was an early settler in the New World; he is listed as resident at Elizabeth City in the Virginia Colony in February, 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cappa, which was dated 1111, Early London Names, during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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