Recorded in many forms including Jessop, Jessup Jessep, and dialectals such as Gossop, Gossip, Gossup, and Gassop, as well as diminutives such as Gossopin, this is an English medieval surname. It represents the usual pronunciation at the time of the given name Joseph. Deriving from the Hebrew "Yosef", the name means "may God increase, or add (another son)", and was first recorded in its Latinized form in the Domesday Book of 1086. Henry Joseph, appearing in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1191, was probably the first recorded bearer of the surname. The development of the name to the modern spellings includes Willelmus Josop as shown below, whilst the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524 show Joan Josopp. Recordings from London church registers include the marriage of Anne Jessop and Hercules Cheynie on September 4th 1628, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, whilst Sarah Gossop was christened at St Ann's Blackfriars, on November 14th 1647, and Ferdinando Gossopin was a christening witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on March 4th 1664. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Jesop. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax returns of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England but known as Richard of Bordeaux, 1377 - 1399. 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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