This surname of TARPLEE was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from TARPORLEY' a place in Cheshire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form TORPERLEAH. The place stands by a prominent hill, which may well have been called TORR. The rest of the name would then be 'pear-wood or glade' The name would literally mean the man called PERLEY who lived by the hill called TORR. The earliest of the name on record appears to be TORPELEI (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. 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 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. TORPERLEG (without surname) appears in Cheshire in the year 1287, and TORPERLEY (without surname) was recorded in 1293. As a general rule, the further someone had travelled from his place of origin, the broader the designation. Someone who stayed at home might be known by the name of his farm or locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of the county or region from which he originated. The name is also spelt TARPLEY and the associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered to The Rev. Kenneth TARPLEY of Northampton (No date given). 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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