This interesting English name is either of topographical origin from the Middle English "schip", sheep and "way", a path or road (thus one gets "dweller by a path trodden by sheep"), or locational from "shepway" one of the early administrative divisions of the county of Kent. The name is most widespread in Gloucestershire. The first recording of the surname dates from the 13th Century,(see below). George Shipway married Edith Jones on January 21st 1584, in Great Badminton, Gloucester. A Dorethea Shipway married Jacobus Ashwin on June 1st 1591, at Saintbury, Gloucester. Richard Shippway is recordedin the register for University of Oxford in 1603. George Shipway was christened in November 1618, at Hawkesbury, also in Gloucester. Kent records indicate that Sarah Shipway married William Worwood on December 5th 1841, and William Shipway married Susannah Goodwin on September 17th 1871, both in Deptford, St. Pauls. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ballivus (the Bailif) de Shipweye, which was dated 1273, Kent Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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