This is an ancient name of Anglo-Saxon and Old Scandinavian origin, and is a locational surname from any of the places in England named with Old Norse or Old Danish element "thorp", or the rarer Olde English pre 7th Century "throp". Generally, "thorp(e)" in a placename indicates that it was an area of Danish settlement. The word means a small hamlet or village that grew by colonisation from a larger settlement, and was originally an outlying farm dependent on a nearby village. Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. In the modern idiom there are a number of variant forms of the surname, ranging from Thorpe, Thorp, Tharp and Turp, to Thro(u)p, Thrupp and Thripp. One William Thorp was an early emigrant to the American Colonies, leaving London on the "Expectation" in April 1635, bound for "the Island of Providence"; he was accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, and their two year old daughter. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is a silver shield with a red lion salient, an orle of fleurs-de-lis blue. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Torp, which was dated 1158, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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