Recorded in several spellings including Gaulthorpe, Goldthorp, Goldthorpe, Gouldthorpe, Goulthorpe, and others, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either of the villages called Goldthorpe, near Mexborough in the former West Riding of Yorkshire, or near Blyth, in the adjoining county of Nottinghamshire. Recorded as Goldetorp in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 and as Goldtorp in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Yorkshire in 1197, the derivation of the village name and hence the later surname, is from pre 7th century personal name "Golda", and "thorp", itself from the Old Scandinavian word "porp", meaning an outlying farm belonging to a village. Thorp is a popular element in English placenames particularly in those areas such as the East Midlands and East Anglia, controlled by the Vikings between the 5th and 11th centuries. The surname itself is much later and early recordings taken from surviving church registers of the 16th century include Agnes Gelstrop, who married Thomas Edtin, at the church of St. Margaret's, Westminster, on September 7th 1584, whilst on November 11th 1599, Elizabeth Gaulthorpe married Rowland Hirson at Ulverston, in Lancashire. One of the earliest emigrants to the new colony of Virgina, was Ralph Golthorp aged 20, who is recorded as a woman (?) passenger on the ship "Transport of London". This ship left that port on July 5th 1635, the passengers having signed a deed "of the conformitie to the church of England". 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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