This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Swepstone in Leicestershire. The placename was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Scopestone", and as "Swepston" in the 1220 - 1235 Episcopal Records of Leicestershire. The name means "Sweppi's settlement", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Sweppi, Swaeppa", of uncertain etymology, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The development of the surname, found as Swepson and Swepstone, includes: the marriage of Ellenar Swipson and William Lakin on April 6th 1597, in York; the marriage of Thomas Swepson and Johanna Morgan, in London, in 1784; and the christening of William Swepstone in London, in 1802. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Suepiston, which was dated 1199, in the "Register of the Freemen of Leicester", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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