This interesting surname with variant spellings Skip, Skep, Skypp(e) etc., has two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of baskets from the Medieval English "skipp(e)", itself coming from the old Norse "skeppa" meaning "basket". The name may also be occupational for a mariner, the derivation, in this case, being from the old English pre 7th Century "scip", a ship, related to the old Norse "skip". Early recordings of the surname include: John Skyp "Calendar of Wills in the Court of Hustins", 1273, and John Skip, the "Calendar of Letter Books for London", dated 1283. The surname is particularly well recorded in church registers of St. James, Garlickhithe from the mid 16th Century. Entries include the christening of one, Margett Skyppe on September 5th 1557 and the christening of Dorothy, daughter of Richard Skipp on February 22nd 1567. Notable namebearers were John Skip, chaplain and almoner of Queen Anne Boleyn circa 1535, and John Skipp, (1746 - 1796), amateur artist of Merton College, Oxford. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Sceppe, which was dated 1210, "the Curia Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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