This name is of English locational origin from a place in Greater Manchester now called Stockport, but recorded as Stokeport in the 12th Century. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stoc" (Medieval English "stoke") meaning an outlying hamlet, plus "port", a market place. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century, (see below). Variant spellings include Stoppforth (1379, The Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire) and Stoppard with Stappard. On December 5th 1602, Edward Stoppard was christened at St. Michael's, Macclesfield and on August 3rd 1615 John Stappard was christened in Fordsham, Cheshire. The latter three spellings result from a 1247 recording of the placename as Stopford or Stopport, based on local pronunciation. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de (of) Stokeport, which was dated 1204 "The Pipe Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King John "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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