Recorded in the spellings of Warcop and Warcup, this is an English locational surname, but arguably of Norse-Viking pre 8th century origins. It is considered to be a "from" surname, that is to say a name that was given to a person after he or she left their original village, in this case Warcop in Northumberland, and moved elsewhere. "Elsewhere" may only be the next village, but as an easy means of identification "strangers" were called by the name of their original home, a system which also created variant spellings. Warcop (village) means " the beacon on the hill top" from the Olde English "copp" meaning head or top and the Norse "vardi"- a fire or beacon. The village is first recorded in the year 1201 in the charters known as "The feet of fines" for the county of Northumberland. This was one of the first tax records when taxes and fines were the samething! The surname is a very early recording, one William de Warthecop being recorded in the History of Westmoreland and Cumberland in the twenty third year of the reign of King Henry 11 of England or 1277. Thereafter we have something of a gap in the records until 1588 when Thomas Warcoppe of Westmoreland, is given as being a registered student (plebian) at Oxford University, and in 1608 the recording of Alexander Warcope at the church of St James, Clerkenwell, London. Other recordings far from Westmoreland include: Ann Warcupp who married Joeseph Littlewood in London in 1611, and Margret Warcap, who married John Leech at Canterbury, Kent, in 1689.
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