This surname of ELSOP which is a variant of the name Allsopp, was a locational name 'of Alsop-en-le-dale' a chapelry in the parish of Ashbourne, County Derbyshire. During the middle ages it was customary for a man to take his name from the village where he lived. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Early records of the name mention ELLESHOPE (without surname) who appears as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1066. Gamel de Haleschoppe, 1175 County Derbyshire. William Alsape, 1273, County Cambridge. Elena Allsep of Yorkshire, appears in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Alsop (gentleman potycary) to Henry VIII, 1538. John Francis and Magdalen Alsop were married in London in the year 1616, and Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis Alsoppe, was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1652. Joseph Alsop (aged 14) went out to New England in the ship the 'Elizabeth' in 1635, and Robert Alsopp (aged 20) left for the New World at the same time. This surname occurs in early Aberdeen records, and was most probably taken to Scotland during the 18th century by settlers from England.
At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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