This unusual name is of early medieval Scottish and English origin and is a locational surname from the district called 'Wauchopedale' in the parish of Langholm, Dumfriesshire, or from the area in and around Wanchope Forest next to the Cheviot Hills on the border with Northumberland. The name means 'the valley of the foreigner(s)', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'walh', foreign(er), usually referring variously to pockets of Scotsmen, Welshmen or Bretons, or English in Scotland, with the Old English 'hop', Middle English 'hope', a small, enclosed valley. The Scottish family settled in Roxburghshire early on, as Vassals of a Baron, in English feudal law a 'Vavasour'. In 1247, Robert de Waluchop received from Alexander 11 a grant of lands in Aberdeenshire. John Wauchope married Isabella Ker in Edinburgh, on the November 25th 1659. In 1681, Captain Wauchope, an officer in the Dutch Scottish regiments, was dismissed for falling in love with Elizabeth Villiers, the mistress of William 111 of Orange, later joint Monarch of England with his wife Mary (1689 - 1702). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ada de Walenhope (Charter witness), which was dated circa 1200, Records of St. Marys, Melrose, during the reign of King William, 'The Lion of Scotland', 1165 - 1214. 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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