This unusual name is of English locational origin, and is a variant spelling of the placename Gunthorpe, found in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire. All but the last share the same meaning, which is "Gunni's thorp", "Gunni" being an Old Danish personal name, and "thorp", meaning, when used in the Old Danish sense, "a small village formed by colonization from a larger one". Gunthorpe in Nottinghamshire is different only in that it means "Gunnhild's thorp", the personal name being a female Old Danish example. Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Gunthorp, Gunthorpe, and Guntrip. One William Gunthropp was recorded in London in 1623, showing how the "throp" element was transposed to "throp" and hence "trip". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Yvo de Gunethorp, which was dated 1207, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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