This unusual name is a dialectual variant of the locational name Heap from the places so called in Lancashire and Manchester. The derivation is from the Olde English 7th Century "heap", a mound or hill. Alternatively, it could be a topographic name for someone who lived by a hill. Many bearers of this name emigrated to America. These locational names became used as a means of identification when migration became popular in the Middle Ages, the variants include Heap(s), Heape. Recordings in its present form are rare, the earliest being of one Anne Heeps an infant who was christened at St. Margaret Moses, London in 1802. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Hep, which was dated circa 1226, in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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