This unusual surname recorded in various spellings including Conp, Connop, and Connup, is English. It is very specific to the Midlands regions, being well recorded in the Birmingham area since the early 18th century. It is a variant form of a locational place name which may have been the village of Conock, near Devizes, in Wiltshire, or more likely is from a 'lost' medieval site. Conock or as it is first recorded 'Kuneck', appears in the tax rolls of the year 1212, when King John was frantically trying to raise more revenue to pay for the debts of the crusades. However the other explanation is that the surname derives from a 'lost' post medieval village. Many villages in the midlands were cleared of their inhabitants in the 18th century to allow for sheep farming, which required far fewer workers. As a result people were forced off the land, and they often gravitated to the new developing cities, created by the industrial revolution. Spelling being at best primitive and local dialects very 'thick', lead to the development of 'sounds like' surnames. In pre 7th century Olde English 'Conn' meant head, and was used by the ancient people to refer to a hill top, whilst 'up' would describe a person or people who lived 'up towards the hill top'. Early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Conp of Ettingen, Warwickshire, recorded there on December 21st 1612, and Isaac Connop, who married Ellenor Richards at the church of St Phillip's, Birmingham, on July 31st 1729.
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