This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for an inn or tavern keeper or wine merchant, a tapper of casks of beer or wine. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "taeppere", Middle English "tapster", an agent derivative of "tappen", to draw off. The modern surname can be found as Tapper or Tapster, the latter being the form that was originally used to distinguish a hostess, a woman who sold ale. Similar forms surviving as modern surnames are Baxter, a female baker, and Brewster, a female brewer. These feminine forms were used also for men by the Middle Ages, and hence became hereditary surnames. The patronymic form of the name "Tapper" is recorded early on, as Ulfuine Teperesune, in circa 1095, Charters of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. One Thomas Tapper was an early emigrant to the New World Colonies, leaving, London on the "William and John", in September 1635, bound for St. Christopher's. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Tapper, which was dated 1279, in the "Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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