This interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible interpretations. It may be of topographical origin, given to someone who lived at the top of a hill, from the Olde English pre 7th Century element "copp", Middle English "coppe", a summit. However, the surname may also derive from a nickname, originally given to someone with a distinctive head, or to someone who was boastful or big-headed, from the Middle English "copp", top. The following quotation is taken from the New English Dictionary: "Sire Simond de Montfort hath suore by ys cop" (1264). The surname from the latter source is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), while other early examples include, Robert Coppe, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire in 1192, and Geoffrey Coppe, mentioned in the 1212 Curia Rolls of Surrey. Recordings from the topographical source include Roger de la Coppe in the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire in 1221, and John atte Coppe, recorded in 1332 in the Warwickshire Subsidy Rolls. William Copp married Alice Manfielde on August 24th 1598, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eduinus Coppa, which was dated 1148, in the "Book of Winton", Hampshire, during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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