Recorded as Gepp, Gipp, and other spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It is however ultimately of pre 7th century Old German origin, and a diminutive form of Geoffrey. This was a name introduced into the British isles by the invading Normans of 1066. Geoffrey has always been a very popular given name, and its use has resulted in many short forms or nicknames such as Jeffrey, Jeffries, Jeffree, Jaffrey, Geoffroy, Gebb, Jebb, Jepson and Gepson. Curiously we have many examples of roll reversal, where the short form of the surname has become a first name! As examples Geppe Werri was recorded in the Book of Fees of County Durham in 1228, and Geppe Hugonis was mentioned in the Coucher Book of the Cistercian Abbey of Kirkstall in Yorkshire, in 1258. William Geppe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327, and John Gepp married Patience May on November 14th 1721, at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Jep. This was dated 1225, in the Calendar of Patent Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England and known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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