Recorded as Norcop, Norcopp, Northop, Northrop, Northrup, Northup, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational and almost certainly originates from one of the existing villages of Northorpe in Lincolnshire, Northop in the Welsh county of Clwyd, or Northrep, near Cromer, in the county of Norfolk. The meaning of the surname in all spellings is almost certainly the same being either the outlying settlement (thorp) to the north (of the village), or just possibly, the farm on the hill to the north (of the main village or farm), from the Olde English pre 7th century 'nort op' . Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to somebody who left their original village and moved elsewhere probably in search of work. Whether this was the next village or possibly far away in the capital city of London, the easiest way to identity such strangers was to call them by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' names. In this case the surname is well recorded in the diocese of Greater London from at least Elizabethan times. Examples from surviving church registers include Jane Northroop who married Henrie Langham at All Hallows church, London Wall, on January 25th 1575, Francis Norcopp christened at the church of St Gregory by St Pauls Cathedral, on July 13th 1637, and Sarah Northrop, who married Eleasor Brown at the church of St Mary Magdalene, also in the old city of London, on July 26th 1739.
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