The surname of WESTRUP was a locational name 'of Westropp' a tithing in the parish of Highworth, County Wiltshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention John Westropp who was buried at St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in 1656. John Petit married Dorothy Westrop at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1746. The family have been in Ireland, in Counties Limerick and Clare since the mid-seventeenth century. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs. This is the name of a family which was established in Ireland by Montifort Westrop in 1657. One of its earliest recorded ancestors is Nicholas de Westhorp, who was living in Lincolnshire in the 13th century. This maybe suggests origin from Westhorpe in nearby Nottingham, which has the Old Norman TORP, as its final element. 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. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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