Poppy derives from the German personal name 'Poppo' or Boppo'. The origin of its meaning are so lost in antiquity as to be obscure. However it is known to have been a pet form of the German name 'Bodebert' meaning 'Messenger of the Gods' and was a well known hereditary name among the counts of Hennenberg and Babenberg in East Frisia between the 9th and 14th Centuries. With the addition of the diminutive suffix 'y' in Poppy, the pet form is emphasized. On February 3rd, 1783, one John Poppy was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London and on 4th November 1817, Sarah Poppy married John Seaton at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffry Popy, which was dated 1275, Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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