This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Riping, Rippin, Rip(p)on, Rippen etc., has two distinct possible origins. The first and most likely origin is French or Low German from a patronymic form of the male given name Rippe, itself a diminutive of the Germanic personal name Rippert or Ribbert, composed of the elements "ric", power plus "berht", bright, famous. On September 16th 1549 William Ryppyn and Alice Smythe were married in Uxbridge, London, and on December 20th 1617, Elice, son of Francis Ripping, was christened in St.Luke's, chelsea. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ripping family is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General" and depicts a garb of sheaf between two stags rampant and in profile on a silver shield. Ripping may also be of English locational origin and a dialectal variant of Ripon, a cathedral town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as Hripis circa 715, in Bede's "Historia Ecclesiastica", and named from the Old English pre 7th Century tribal name "Hrypum", of obscure etymology. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hester Riping, (christening), which was dated April 6th 1589, at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Old Milk Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 -1603. 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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