Recorded as Frapwell and Prapell, this is an English surname. It is clearly locational, however no such place as Frapwell or Frapell appears in any of the known gazetters of the British Isles of the past three centuries. This is not in itself totally unusual. It is estimated that as many as three thousand surnames of the British Isles do originate from now 'lost villages. However in this case we have a further problem in that the name does not seem to have a meaning. The prefix of 'Frap' is not found in any known place name, although the suffix of '-well' and formerly 'waella' is a pre 7th century Olde English word, meaning a spring or branch of a river. We therefore have to conclude that we are not only dealing with a 'lost' place, but also a mis-spelt lost place which greatly adds to the difficulties of identification! There was in ancient times a personal name of 'Fripela', and we think that this is the likely source of the modern 'Frap', althpough again we have not identified a place called Fripwell. Examples of the surname recording include Hendrie Frapwell at All Saints church, Wandsworth, in the city of London, on July 2nd 1612, and Agnes Frapell at the same church a century later, on October 17th 1616.
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