Many "British" names have a Scandanavian origin, but is almost every case there are of Norse or Danish background. In this case the origin is believed to be Swedish and to describe a Soldier, one who was a "quick" mover and probably a scout or messenger. By the 15th Century, the surname had "moved" from the Baltic to the Flanders area, and from there into the United Kingdom from the early 17th Century and the "Huguenot" influence. The name recordings in England include the following developing examples - Madeline Rape, christened at Threadneedle Street Huguenot Church in 1674, whilst Frederick Rapp was recorded at Stepney in 1766, and on March 15th 1863, Thomas Rapps married Emma Nicholls at St. James, Garlickwhite, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baltazard Rappe, which was dated January 15th 1637, a witness at Threadneedle Street Huguenot Church, London, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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