This surname in its many recorded forms as shown below, has truly ancient origins. It derives from the pre 8th century Danish - Viking settlement of 'fearn-prop' or 'fearn-torp', meaning 'the farm in the area of ferns', and most probably the modern village of Farthorpe, near Horncastle, in Lincolnshire. The surname is modestly recorded in that county, but is most prominent in Yorkshire where it has spread to several parts. Like most locational surnames, the further it has travelled from its original 'home', the more unusual and distinctive the spelling.Medieval dialect was extremely pronounced, even in the same county, and spelling at best marginal, hence the variety of spellings. Examples of the name recording in Yorkshire include - John Fawtroppe christened at Halifax parish church, on June 1st 1593, whilst William Falthrop is recorded at Kirby Malham on February 14th 1639. Other spellings include Falthropp (Kirby Malham in 1639), Fullthrop at Northallerton in 1720, Fawthrop in Hull in 1726, and Fawthorpe at Hambleton in 1763. In Lincolnshire Edward Fallthorpe, who was also recorded as Edward Fawthorpe, so much for spelling, is registered at All Saints church, Stamford, on October 19th 1562, whilst Thomas Falthrop appears in the same church recordings, but on December 4th 1603. Among the more extreme versions of the spelling is that of John Bernhard Feltrop, who was christened in Sheffield in 1802, a date by which time it is generally accepted that surnames had become 'fixed' and hereditary, but not apparently in Hallamshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Fulthrope, which was dated July 1st 1550, christened at Hemsworth, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as 'The boy king', 1547 - 1554. 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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