This very interesting surname is of pre-medieval English origins. It is job descriptive and dates back to a time in the early Middle Ages when sheep rearing was introduced on a major scale in England. A 'tupman' was specifically a breeder of tups, the Northern English word for a ram or male sheep. The word is inc popular useage even today in the 20th century amongst sheep farms, whilst the surname can also be found recorded Tupherd, a form of Shepherd and Tupper. However there is some confusion over the origin of the latter surname which may derive from the pre 7th century Olde English word tupant, used to describe a bank or fortification created by beating earth and mud with great hammers and rams known as tuppis. Early examples of the surname recording include Robert Tupper in the registers of the manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in the year 1314, William Tuphird in the Poll Tax rolls also of Yorkshire in the year 1379, during the reign of Richard 11nd of England, (1377 - 1399),and Johney Tupman as spelt, the son of John Tupman, christened at Snaith in East Yorkshire, on January 27th 1583. Another example from much farther afield is that of William Tupman, who was married to Sarah Abbot, at St. George's chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on July 1st 1756. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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