This interesting name has an unusual history; the modern surname, found as Leppingwell and Lippingwell, derives as a locational surname from the place called Leppingwells in Little Maplestead, Essex. The place is recorded in 1561 as "Leffingwelles", and was named from the family who owned land and property in the area, who were descendants of one Robert de Leffeldewelle (1302), recorded as Robert de Leffingwell in an Elizabethan transcript of the Court Rolls of the 15th Century. The family name is believed to derive from a lost place recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Liffildeuuella" near Pebmarsh in Essex. On this evidence the name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and means "the stream or spring of the flag iris", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "laefer", rush, yellow iris, flag, and "waella", well, spring, stream. One Richard Lippingwell was christened at St. Katherine's by the Tower in London on September 9th 1667. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Avina de Leffeleswell, which was dated 1258, in the "Essex Fines Court Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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