By any standards this is an unusual name, and extremely rare. It does not appear to be recorded in England in any form before the mid 19th Century, which suggests that at some time is was of emigre status. It is our opinion that it is a variant Anglicized form of the medieval Dutch-German diminutive Schepplein, which translates as "the little shepherd" or possibly "the little (son of the) shepherd". However, it is also possible that the name is locational from some place called Schepelhorn, or similar, but if so, we have not been able to identify the spot in the likely area of the Netherlands or North Germany. In Suffolk in 1562, we found the strange recording of Rychard Chipelaye, and much later, in 1809, Charles Shipling, which may be (un) likely link spellings. A more satisfactory confirmation of origin is provided by the first recording below. The St. Pancras Old Church was a former Huguenot centre. A later recording is that of Gilbert Skiphilorn, son of James Skiphilorn, christened at Hindlip, Worcestershire, on September 21st 1873. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hannah Skepelhorn, which was dated May 16th 1858, marriage to Patrick Bellerd, at St. Pancras Old Church, London, during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. 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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