There are four known villages called "Clipston(e)" in England, and all seem to have made their modest contribution to the development of this surname. The most popular source is probably Clipston in Bedfordshire, although as is quite common with this type of locational surname, London provides the highest number of early recordings. The reason is quite simple. If a surname is locational like this one, i.e. it comes from a named place or places, he or she was not so named until after leaving the village. As people rarely left voluntarily, when they did they headed for the only place that they had probably heard of outside their own immediate two mile region - London. Here they would adopt or be given their locational surname. Sometimes they prospered and occasionally they or their descendants returned to the old home. This can account for the surname re-appearing after a considerable gap in time. The Clipson origin is a combination of Norse-Viking and Olde English. It derives from the Norse personal name "Kylp" transposed to the later English "Clyp" and describes a "sturdy fellow." To this is added the suffix "tun" meaning home or farm. Examples of the surname recordings include Francis Clipston of Weston by Welland, Northants, on February 20th 1640, Katherine Clipston, who married Richard Bonnyngton at Tottenham on January 22nd 1586, and Frederick Clipston, the son of Isaac and Eliza Clipston, christened at Walesby, Nottinghamshire, on June 4th 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Clipston, which was dated March 4th 1582, a witness at Woburn Church, Woburn, Bedfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess," 1558 - 1603. 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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