This interesting surname is derived from the old French "lappin" meaning "rabbit", used either to describe a hunter of rabbits, or a nickname for a timorous person. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas Lapyn (1325), "The Close Rolls" and Makinus Lappyng "materials for History of the Reign of King Henry V11 (1485 - 1509)". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Lappni, Lapping, Lappine, etc.. Church records include one William Lapping who married a widow Mrs Margaret Dunne in London on May 2nd 1681. Elizabeth, daughter of John Lappin, was christened at St. Anne Soho, Westminster, in February 1735, and Mary Elizabeth, daughter of James and Eleanor Lappin, was christened at St. Mary's, Rotherhithe, London on April 4th 1802. One John Lappin, aged 31 yrs a famine emigrant, sailed from Newry aboard the Brothers bound for New York on April 23rd 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Lapyn, witness, which was dated 1320, in the Feet of Fines of Kent", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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