This Old English locational name has been found as Popelay, Pepley, Piperley, Poughly, Pepperley and Poppley, although the widest recordings are probably under the spelling Poplee, Popley or Poply. The name translates as "the dweller at the enclosure (leah) of Pepin" - the latter being an Old French pre 1066, personal name which in Gael meant "The Pip". It has also been suggested, although not confirmed that the origin may be for "Pope" - a medieval nickname given apparently to one of "holy appearance".Amongst the recordings in London are the marriages of Ann Popley and William Ball on May 25th 1606 at St. Olave's, Old Jewry, and Elizabeth Popley and James Rowse on August 23rd 1591 at St. Giles, Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jana Popley (christening), which was dated March 18th 1564, in the St. Andrew's, Enfield, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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