An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The distinguished surname Jasper emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Jasper is derived from the personal name Jasper, which is the usual English form of the French names Caspar, Gaspar, and Gaspard.
The surname Jasper was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Jasper, Jaspers and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jasper research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jasper History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Jasper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Jasper:
Jasper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Jasper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Jasper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Jasper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Jasper Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jasper Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 8 December 2015 at 11:37.