This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place thus called near Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. Recorded as Hlappawurthin in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", dated 816; as Lapeforde in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Lappewurthe in the 1197 "Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire", the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name Hlappa, plus the old English "Worthign" a variant of "Worthin", meaning enclosure or homestead; hence, "Hlappa's Worthign". This latter element is most frequently found in placenames of the West Midlands. On February 13th 1547 Elizabeth Lapworth, an infant, was christened in Walsgrave on Sowe, Warwickshire, and on August 19th 1560 Edward Lapworth and Margarett Winspere were married in the same parish. In 1588 one, Edward Lapworth, of Warwickshire, was entered in the "Oxford University Register". Michaell Lapworth, aged 16, and Robert Lapworth, who travelled respectively on the ships "Southampton" and "Abigaile" in 1622, were amongst the earliest settlers in America, and were listed in a "Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia", taken on January 23rd 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lapworth, (witness at the christening of his daughter, Mary), which was dated March 25th 1545, Ryton on Dunsmore, Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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