This surname of LEPP is of two-fold origin. It was a nickname derived from the Old English word 'hleapere' a dancer and runner. The name was also an occupational name for a basket-maker. The term lelemakere, denoting a basket-maker occurs in Middle English. 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. The name has many variant spellings which include LEPPAR, LEPAR, LIPPRE, LEAPERE, LEPER, LEPERE, LEEPER, LEIPPER, LEPPE and LAIPER. In Scotland the name is in the form Lepper. Early records of the name mention Robert le Lepere who was documented in the year 1185, in Wales. Henry Leper appears in 1200 in Northumberland, and William le Leapere was recorded in Kent in 1295. Later instances of the name include a certain Thomas Leper of Over Kellett, Lancashire who was listed in the Wills at Richmond in 1567 and William Leapper and Ann Manning were married at St.George's, Mayfair, London in the year 1746. In Scotland Johannes Leper was the burgess of Edinburgh in 1189, and Walter Lippre witnessed a charter in 1272. Patrick Leper was the burgess of Edinburgh in 1368, and Andrew Leper witnessed a signing of charter between the bishop of Aberdeen and a John Forbes in 1391. Alexander Lepar was the burgess of Aberdeen in 1408, and William Lepar in 1487. Alan Leppar and Adam Leppayr were the burgesse of Prestwick in 1507. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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