Recorded as Peppar, Pepper, Peever, Peffer, Peppard, Pepperd, Pippard, and others, this is a surname of English medieval origins. It derives from the word "peper", itself ultimately from the Roman Latin word "piper" meaning pepper. As such it was given as an occupational name to a pepperer or spicer. The forms as Peever and Peffer come from the Old French "pivre" meaning pepper. Early examples of recordings include Roger Peivre and Alice Peper in the Fine Court Rolls of Essex in the years 1198 and 1241 respectively, whilst John Pepper alias Peyvre, was recorded in the calendar of early mayor's court rolls for the city of London. In the Middle Ages the county of Cambridgeshire alternated between the English and the French form of the name. Early examples from the church registers of London include William Pippard at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls cathedral, on December 12th 1632, whilst in August 1635, Francis Pepper, aged sixteen, left London on the ship "Globe" bound for Virginia. He was one of the earliest recorded settlers in the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Peper. This was dated 1197, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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