This most interesting surname is ultimately of Ancient Greek origin, and is a diminutive form of "Philip", which itself derives from the Greek personal name "Philippos", from "philein", to love, and "hippos", horse, which was borne by one of the apostles, as well as various early saints. Hence the surname is composed of "Philp", a shortened form of "Philip", and the diminutive suffix "-in", thus "Philpin". Philip itself owes its popularity more to the medieval romances about Alexander the Great, whose father was Philip of Macedon, than to any saint. Variants of the surname include Philbin and Philben, while other surnames from Philip include Phelp, Phalp, Phil(l)p, Philott, Phippin, Phillips and Phel(i)ps. The personal name appears as "Filippus" in the Lincolnshire Danelaw Documents of 1142 - 1153, while it is first recorded as a surname in 1275, when one Henry Philip is mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Jane Philpin and George Stagge on November 3rd 1685, at St. Katharine by the Tower, and the marriage of Elias Philpin and Joan North on May 14th 1706, at St. Antholin's, Budge Row. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Philipot, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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