Recorded as Jepson, Jeppson, Jepperson, Jeppensen, Jeppenson, and others, this is an Anglo-Scandanavian surname. It is a patronymic form of the early personal names and later surnames Jepp or Gepp. These were diminutives of the Norman-French personal names Jeufroi or Geuffroi, introduced into England and Scotland after the Conquest of 1066, and which appear in the Medieval period as "Jeffrey or Geoffrey". These names have an interesting, if complicated origin, since two or possibly three Old German and Scandanavian personal names fused together in the course of its formation. These names are Gaufrid, Galfrid and Gisfrid, all sharing a common second element of "frithu", meaning peace. The initial elements are respectively "gau", meaning a song; and "gir", a pledge. As Gaufridus, Galfridus and Goisfridus, the name appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The popularity of the Middle English versions gave rise to a variety of shortforms or nicknames including: Geff, Jeff, Geph and Jeph, and these in turn generated a great number of surnames. Early examples include John Gepsone in the register of tenants of the Manor of Wakefield in 1326, John Jepson in the Poll Tax returns of Yorkshire in 1379, and in 1594, Nicholas Jepperson, of Mostyn in Cheshire, was entered in the Wills Register for that county. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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