This surname of De la PIPE was originally from France and of two-fold origin. It was a locational name which was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name has variant spellings, and has been anglicised to Piper. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. It was also an occupational name from the old French word 'pipere', one who played the pipes. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name in England mention Henry le Pipere, 1273, County Oxford. Ema Piper of Yorkshire,was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax. 1379. Robert le Pipere of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). A later instance of the name includes Hugh Piper and Elizabeth Matthews, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1714. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him.
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