The surname of CLAYPOLE was a locational name 'of Claypole' a parish in County Lincoln, five miles from Newark. Families acquired a place name as a surname under three different sets of circumstances. Either the man lived or worked in, on or near some topographic formation or landscape feature, either natural or artificial or he formerly lived in a village, town or city and acquired the reputation of being from that place. Finally he owned or was lord of the village or manor designated. In the overwhelming majority of cases it is impossible to say whether a remote ancestor owned the manor or had merely once lived in that place. However, it is safe to say that in most cases a manor or village name merely identifies the place where the original bearer of the name formerly resided. Early records of the name mention William de Claypol who was documented in the year 1273 in County Lincolnshire. Geoffrey de Cleipol, ibid and William Claypoll of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
William Claypole was the vicar of Wyken, County Norfolk in the year 1388. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. Later instances of the name mention William Cleypole who married Anne Powell at St. James's, Clerkenwell, in 1615. James Beer and Anne Claypole were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1764.
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