This very unusual and intriguing name may be of either Anglo-Saxon (English), or medieval German origin, and is in both cases a topographical name acquired in the first instances by someone who lived by a stretch of marshy or swampy ground. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sopp", or the Old High German "soppa", used to describe something that was thoroughly soaked or saturated, as in the English term "sop", meaning bread soaked in milk. The English surname from this source is found particularly in Lincolnshire and the East Anglian counties, renowned for their fens and marshes. Topographical names were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. English Church Recordings include that of the christening of Elias, son of Richard Sopp, at St. George's, Tombland, Norwich, in Norfolk on December 26th 1561. In Germany, the marriage of Hans Sopp and Margaretha Helbigs was recorded at Unterfranken, Bayern on the 7th January 1651. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Soppe, which was dated October 12th 1549, marriage to Alice Quincie, at Walcot near Falkingham, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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