Recorded in many forms including Melsop, Mellsop, Milsap, Milesap, Milesop, Millsap, Millsop, Milsop, Milksop, Milksopp and Milkesoppe, this is a medieval English surname. It would seem to have been either a rather cruel nickname for a male person who was considered by his peer group to be a bit 'soppy', or more likely given the robust humour of the Chaucerian period, when most surnames were formed, the complete reverse! That in those times it may have had a quite different meaning to that which developed in the following centuries is shown by its early popularity, the surname appearing regularly in the lists of land owners in the Middle Ages. A good example being that of Robert Melkesopp in the famous Hundred Rolls of the county of Buckinghamshire, for the year1273, whilst recordings taken from other Hundred Rolls for the same year include Robert Mulksop of Oxfordshire, and John Milesop, of the city of Oxford. These show how even seven hundred years ago, the name spelling varied considerably. Many early surnames would seem to the later centuries to be at best robust and at worst even obscene, and there is little doubt that most were gentrified to suit prevailing sensibilities. This is a survivor of less inhibited times, and it is to be hoped will long continue. It is also well recorded in Ireland in the counties of Tyrone, Antrim and Armagh, an early example being Robert Millsaps, the son of Thomas Millsaps, who was christened at Belfast, on June 1st 1679.
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