This interesting surname, widely recorded in German Church Registers from the mid 17th Century, derives from the Old German "wipfel" literally meaning "treetop", and was originally given either as a topographical name to one resident in a forest of tall trees, or as an occupational name to a tree feller. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer and later became hereditary. In the modern idiom the name is also found as Wipffler, the final "er" being an agent suffix. On January 12th 1661 Anna Barbara, daughter of Christoph and Barbara Wipfler, was christened in Ersingen, Karlsruhe, Baden. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is divided quarterly blue and silver, with three gold stars in the first and fourth quarters and a green three-peaked mountain in the second and third. The star denoted Honour and Achievement in service of the state in ancient times. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cristophorus Wipffler, which was dated November 10th 1658, witness at a christening, at Ersingen, Karlsruhe, Baden, during the reign of Leopold 1st, Habsburg Emperor, 1658 - 1705. 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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