This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a number of places called "Wilsthorpe" in Derbyshire, recorded "Wiuelestrop" in 1169, in the Pipe Rolls, in Lincolnshire, "Wiuelestrop" in the Domesday Book of 1086, in Yorkshire, "Wiflestrop" in the Domesday Book; as well as "Wilstrop" in Yorkshire, called, "Wiulestorp" in the Domesday Book. All of the above placenames contain the same elements, the Old English pre-seventh Century personal name "Wifel" or "Vifil", which must have been a popular given name, as it was found in four separate place-names plus the second element "-thorp", a small village or farm. Jayne, daughter of John Wylstrope was christened at Bilton Ainsty, Yorkshire on January 6th 1580, while at St. Martin and St. Gregor, Yorkshire Francies Wyllstrope married John Mudd on November 26th 1581, At. Bilton Ainsty, Luke, son of Ingram Wilstrope was christened on October 21st 1610, while at Cowthorpe, York, William, son of William and Ann Willstrop was christened on December 15th 1738. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Wilstropp married Richard Bankes, which was dated September 18th 1400, at Whixley, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 1V, "Henry of Bolingbroke", 1399 - 1413. 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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