Recorded in several spellings including Paletharp, Paltharp, Palethorpe, Palethorp, and Pailthorpe, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Palethorpe, near the city of Nottingham, a village which today is renowned for Palethorpe's, the famous maker of pies. The village name and hence the surname consists of two elements of which the prefix is probably the personal name of the pre 7th century 'Palla', believed to mean 'firm', plus the slightly later Danish-Viking 'torp', meaning an outlying farm, one about three miles from the main settlement. Most locational surnames are 'from' names. That is to say that the name was given to people who left their homes to seek work elsewhere, and for ease of identification were called by the name of their former home. Spelling over the centures being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead, as with this name, to the development of alternative or variant spellings. Rather curiously the Palethorpe nameholders, however spelt, do not seem to have 'migrated' to the extent of other surnames, the name being well recorded throughout the country of Nottingham. This may be because work has always been fairly easy to find in the Nottingham area. Examples of the surname recordings include Elizabeth Palthorp, born at the village of Laxton, on November 9th 1618, William Palethorpe, a witness at Norwell and Carlton on Trent, on November 23rd 1641. Further away in London William Palethorp was a witness at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 9th 1672.
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