This superb descriptive surname derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'Godsibb' itself a development of the Norse - Viking 'Gudseft' and in its original meaning was 'The Godmother' or 'Godfather'. In medieval times the word developed to mean more of a friend 'she is to her Gossypes gone, to make merry' (1560 quotation). The modern meaning of a talker or busybody is not recorded before 1700, much too late to influence the original name, or to provide a nickname. The name recordings include the following variant spellings - Sarah Gossop, christened at St. Anns, Blackfriars in 1647, William Gossip who married Elizabeth Thirkill at St. Mary le Bone (1792) whilst earlier in 1677 Samuel Gissop was a witness at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anthony Gissop, which was dated 1629, married Ann Leaing at St. Matthew, Friday Street, London, during the reign of King Charles I, 'The Martyr', 1625 - 1649. 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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