This interesting and unusual surname is of English locational origin from "Hartsop", a parish and village in Westmoreland, five miles north-east of Ambleside. The placename itself probably derives from the Old English pre 7th Century words "heorot", stag (Medieval English "hert") also a nickname for someone bearing a resemblance to a stag, and "topp", top, hence "Stag's top", the top of Stag's hill. The church records of London mention Joan, daughter of Thomas Hartoppe, christened at St. Vedast, Foster Lane on April 22nd 1582. One Thomas, son of Thomas Hartop was christened at St. Dionis Backchurch, London on September 20th 1678. Richard, son of Henry Hartupp was christened at St. James Clerkenwell, London, on January 12th 1612, while at St. Mary Magdalene, Canterbury in Kent, Joseph Hartop married Anne Dunnye on January 23rd 1625. Sir John Hartopp, third baronet (1658) became M.P. for Leicestershire (1678-1681) and was also alderman of London. He left an endowment for the education of dissenting ministers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Hurtipe, which was dated August 26th 1576, married Thomas Johens at St. Margaret Moses, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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