This surname has long puzzled researchers in the past, although it is difficult to see why. It is of Olde English and Norse-Viking origins and like many, perhaps the majority of all surnames, has been changed over the centuries by transpositions brought on by a combination of strong local dialects and poor spelling. The 1086 Domesday Book refers to people called Torfin or Turfin mainly from the Yorkshire area, and from these original baptismal names developed a whole range of surname alternatives which include Turpin of later highway renown, and other forms such as Toping, Topling, Toplin, Tapin and Tuplin(g). The original pre 7th century translation is from 'porfinnr' a word associated with the Vikings which loosely means 'God-Finn', and no doubt explains why 'Finland' was so named. The name in its various spellings was widely popular in England, and examples of the recordings include Turfin of Northumberland in the 1202 pipe rolls, and Richard Trurpin in the 1287 Hampshire rolls. Later examples include John Topyn, christened at St Botolphs church, Bishopgate, London, on July 8th 1621, Margree Tuplin who married Francis Price at the famous church of St Mary Magdalene, London, on July 14th 1631, and Benjamin Tupling, christened at St Mary Le Bone, Marylebone, London on April 8th 1791. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gaufridis Torphinus, which was dated 1196, in the Curia Regis Rolls of the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as '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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