This Finnish surname of KAUP was an occupational name for a merchant or trader, originally derived from the Old Norman KAUPMAOR. The name is also spelt KOOPMAN, KOOPMANS, COPMAN, COPEMAN and COUPMAN. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. 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. Early instances of the name mention COPMANNUS (without surname) who was recorded in County Norfolk in the year 1141, and Johannes filius COPEMAN, was documented in Northumberland in 1256. John COPMAN was documented in County Norfolk in 1333. Edwin COPEMAN of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A notable member of the name was Tjalling Charles KOOPMANS (1910-85) the Dutch-born American economist, born in Graveland. He was educated at Utrecht and Leiden universities, and emigrated to the USA in 1940. He worked for a shipping firm, devising a system to optimize transport costs. He was professor of economics at Chicago (1948-55) and Yale (1955-81). He shared the 1975 Nobel prize for economics. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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