This surname of PIPER was derived from the Old English word 'pipere' an occupational name, 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 mention Henry le Pipere, 1273, County Oxford. Ema Piper of Yorkshire,was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 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. A notable member of the name was John Piper, born in 1903 in Epsom, Surrey. He designed sets for the theatre and painted a series of topographical pictures, such as the watercolours of Windsor Castle, and dramatic pictures of war damage. He designed the stained glass for Coventry Cathedral. The name was found early in Scotland and William Pyper held lands of Innerbundy in 1457. Robert Piper contributed to the cost of church repairs in Aberdeen in 1508. Schir Johne Pipar was a chaplin in Dunkeld in 1546, and the marriage of Alexander Balneaves (alias Piper) and Janet Cook is recorded in 1565. Walter Pyper was the town councillor of Perth in 1567. A family of this name settled in Goteborg in Sweden, and rendered their name there. The arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Ashen, County Essex. Granted 23rd July, 1723 to John Piper Esq., of Ashen, son of John Piper of Cornard Magna, and grandson of John Piper, also of Cornard Magna, County Suffolk, and to the descendants of his said grandfather; Mary Piper, the heiress, married Henry Sperling Esq., of Dynes Hall, County Essex.
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