This surname of THREEPWOOD was a locational name meaning, one who came from THREAPWOOD, a small place in County Cheshire. The name was originally rendered in medieval documents in the old English form PREAPIAN, literally meaning 'to contend, to dispute' perhaps originally a name given to someone who was living on land that was not owned by himself. The name has been altered in some cases over the years to THRIEPLAND, THRIPLAND and THREEPLAND. The earliest of the name on record appears to be THREPWOD (without surname) who was recorded in County Cheshire in the year 1195. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. There was a place THREIPLAND, a vale in the parish of Kilbucho, Peebleshire, and Robert de THREPELAND of Peebles, was recorded there in 1296, and Andrew THREIPLAND was the burgess of Perth in 1628. John THREEPLAND was a bookbinder in Edinburgh in the year 1643. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name.
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