This is the name of a family descended from two brothers, originally from Kassel in Upper Saxony. They fled religious persecution in the 16th century, settling in the Netherlands, where a descendant became burgomaster of Rotterdam in 1813. A branch of the family settled in England at Sandwich, Kent, whence another descendant, Thomas TUPPER, went to America in 1635, and helped to found the town of Sandwich, Mass. in 1637. Originally the name was an occupational name for a herdsman who had charge of rams, and it was perhaps of German (but uncertain) origin. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.The earliest of the name on record in England appears to be Willelmus TUPHIRD of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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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