This is a locational name from a now "lost" Lancashire township or hamlet, so called. The name is from the Olde English "Widda", a tribal name of the pre 7th Century, plus "hop", which translates as "a small enclosed valley, a branch from the main dale". The precise spot is not known but is probably near Rochdale, this being the epicentre of the early recordings. The name has passed through a number of "link" spellings from the earliest "Widope" (see below) to Widdoppe, Guilielmi Widdoppe marrying Janae Sagar at Whalley, on August 25th 1617, whilst William Widdop married Elizabeth Southert at Padiham on August 10th 1641. The derivative Widdup is first recorded in Rochdale in 1737, when Paul Widdup married Anne Denton at Rochdale on July 19th 1737, whilst the other derivative of Widup is recorded on September 2nd 1744, also at Rochdale, when Paul Widup married Susan Chadwick. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Widope, which was dated September 30th 1602, marriage to Janeta Varley, at Colne, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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