Recorded as Lapwood and Lapworth, this is an English locational surname. It is locational from what is now called Lapworth, a village near Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. The prefix "Lap" is probably from the pre 7th century word "laeppa" meaning an end, whilst both worth and wood mean a wood! Lapworth is recorded as Hlappawurthin in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 816 a.d., one of the earliest of all surviving records anywhere in the world. It then appears as Lapewode in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Lappewurthe in the pipe rolls of Warwickshire in 1197. In 1588 Edward Lapworth of Warwickshire was a student at Oxford University, whilst Michaell Lapworth and Robert Lapworth were amongst the earliest settlers in America. They were listed in a "Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia", on January 23rd 1624. Two centuries later we have the recording of Edward Lapwood who married Mary Pearce at the church of St Lawrence Pountney in the city of London, on August 20th 1804. The first church recording may be that of John Lapworth, at the christening of his daughter Mary, and dated March 25th 1545. Thjis was at Ryton on Dunsmore, Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this sometimes 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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