This interesting and unusual surname is a variant of Crispin, from the Medieval English and Old French given name Crispin, a nickname for a man with curly hair (from the Old English "crisp" curly). Crispinus was the name of the parton saint of shoemakers, who was martyred at Soissons circa 285, along with Crispinanus (a further derivation of the same word), and was an especially popular name in France in the Middle Ages. The surname itself first appears in the Domesday Book (1086). According to Laufranc (d. 1089) Gilbert Crispin was the first man to receive the nickname and two of his sons adopted it as their surname and his grandson Gilbert Crispin was abbot of Westminster. Turstin Crispin was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire (1166). Ralph Crespin was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire (1169). On April 29th 1627, at Halesowen, Worcester, Robert son of Robert Crippin was christened. The surname is found in the modern idiom as Crispin, Crepin, Crippen and Chrispin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Milo Crispinus, which was dated 1086, Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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