Recorded in the 'modern' spellings of Poppleton and the dialectal variant Popplestone, this is a medieval English locational surname. It originates from the village of Poppleton, originally known as the twin villages of Upper and Nether Popppleton, just north of the city of York. In the 17th century "The bridge at Poppleton" was a focal point during the English Civil War of 1640 - 1660. There never was a bridge as such, it was imply a "bridge of boats" constructed to allow the besieging armies of Scotland and Parliament to pass across the Ouse, and so surround the city. Ultimately Prince Rupert captured "the bridge", but failed to win the subsequent battle of Marston Moor in 1644. The village name and hence the surname means "Pebble farm", the village being built on a gravel bed. It is first recorded over one thousand years ago, when it appears as "Popeltun" in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 972, and later as "Popeltune" in the 1086 Domesday Book of England. The surname is several centuries later, but even then is one of the first ever recorded. Most locational surnames are "from" names, that is to say given to people after they left their original village and moved elsewhere. This is not the case here. The name was first given to the lord of the manor of Poppleton, Willemus de Popilton, who was also a freeman of the city of York in the year 1284. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Other early recordings include Johannes de Popilton, probably the brother or perhaps the son of Willelmus, also in 1284, and later Joanna de Popelton, in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls for the county.
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