Recorded in a number of spellings including Wetherop, Withrop, Withrup, Witherop, Witherup, Witherupp, and possibly others, this is an English surname, but with some 8th century Norse-Viking input. It is locational and originates from a now "lost" medieval hamlet called "Witherthorp" or similar, meaning the outlying farm (thorp) where the wethers (sheep) were kept, and which may have been in the county of Yorkshire, as the name is well recorded there from the 17th century. However it is equally well recorded in the city of London, and even earlier, and it most certainly did not originate from there! Locational surnames by their very nature are "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere in search of work. "Elsewhere" could have been the next town of village or it could have been far away in London, but in either case, the easiest way to identify a stranger was to call him or her by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best problematical and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case early recordings include Elizabeth Wetheroppe who married Gualterus Brimingham at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 15th 1574, Marry Witherop who married Jeremiah Snow at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on June 5th 1715, and Thomas Witherup who married Ann Barker at St Andrews, Kildwick, in Yorkshire, on January 23rd 1743.
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