Recorded in a number of spellings including Poppleson, Poppleston, Popplestone, Poppleton, Popelton, Popilton, Popington, and possibly others, this is an medieval English locational surname. It originates from the parish of Poppleton formerly known as Popilton, outside the boundary of the ancient city of York, in past times the northern capital of England. A locational surname is one given either to the Lord of the Manor and/or to a person who left his original village to move somewhere else as was often the case in periods of plague or civil war. The first recording of any type is the prestigious one of Willelmus de Popilton, a Freeman of York, in the year 1286, a 'sutor' or shoemaker, and a person of serious standing in the community. The surname however spelt means 'The hamlet (Old English) amongst the poplar trees. Whatever the origin the surname is well recorded throughout the county of Yorkshire, and examples taken from early church registers include Marmaduke Popleton, at Whixley, nr York on October 14th 1590, and Marmaduke Popleson (who must surely be the same person?) at Little Ouseburn about ten miles away, on November 9th 1600. Other early recordings from the reign of Elizabeth 1st of England 1558 - 1603 include Alice Poppleton christened at Aberford, Nr Leeds on September 8th 1602, and Edward Popleton at Staveley, Knaresbrough on October 24th 1650. An early female recording showing that women were property and land owners, is that of Johanna de Popelton in the famous Poll Tax registers of 1379. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a gold field, five blue lozenges in fess, and a red label.
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