This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place so called in Cambridgeshire, recorded as "Papeworde" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Papewurda" in the 1160 Pipe Rolls. The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Papa", and "worth", meaning enclosure or homestead; hence, "Paps's homestead". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), and John de Pappeworth and Aylboda de Papworth appear in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including, Pipworth, Pibworth, Pebworth and Popworth. On October 18th 1549, Thomas, son of Rychard Papworth, was christened at St. Nicholas', Cole Abbey, London. An interesting namebearer, John Papworth (1775 - 1847), was an architect and designer; he carried out a number of important works including St. Brides Avenue in Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes de Papewurda, which was dated 1160, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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