Recorded as Trapp and Trappe (English) as von Trappe, Trapp and Trappe (German, Austrian & Swisse), this is an occupational medieval surname. It means the same in all countries and described a "trapper" probably of wild animals for food or fur, or it may be locational from a place called Trappe in Germany, a name which may well have described the site of a special trap. Occupational surnames not surprisingly were amongst the earliest created, however unlike locational surnames, they did not usually become hereditary unless a son followed his father or sometimes his grandfather, into the same line of trade or business. Where a son folowed a different course, he was often known by both his occupation and that of his father! The origination is from the pre 5th century word "traeppe" itself probably a survivor of the ancient european language in the times before the British Isles separated from the Continent some twenty thousand years ago. In England the name is first recorded in 1250 when Henry Trappe appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Worcester, whilst in Germany Johannes Trapp is recorded in Stetbach in the year 1388.
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