Recorded in the spellings of Lapley, Lapslie, and Lapsley, this is a surname of English origins. It derives from the village name of Lapley, this place being found in the county of Staffordshire, where as "Leplie" it was first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The meaning of the name is obscure, but it may may translate as "Laeppa's farm" from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name Laeppa, plus "leah", which literally describes an enclosure suitable for agriculture in a forest, but more logically describes a farm! Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads for whatever reason, and moved elsewhere. This was often London, the only place that most people would have heard of, and the place which according to (inaccurate) legend was "paved with gold". In this case as shown below the surname is well recorded in the diocese of Greater London where the development as Lapslie and Lapsley is believed to be first recorded. These examples include: John Lapley at Bradly by Stafford, on February 18th 1636, Richard Lapley a witness at St Botolphs without Aldgate, in the city of London, on June 23rd 1672, and James Lapslie who was recorded at St James Garlickhithe on December 6th 1727. Later in 1738 what seems to be the same person is recorded as James Lapsley at St Anne's Blackfriars, on August 20th of that year.
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