Tope History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tope is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the Old Danish personal name Topi. Many Scandinavian personal names were left in the British Isles as a legacy of the Viking raids which plagued the coastal regions of Britain from the 8th to 10th centuries, and many of these eventually became Anglo-Saxon surnames.

Early Origins of the Tope family

The surname Tope was first found in Somerset, where the first records of the name are Robert Top and William Toppe, bother recorded there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [1]

"The Dorset family of Topp probably belong to the ancient Wiltshire family of Topp, now extinct, that held the manor of Stockton in Wilts from before the Reformation until the close of last century, when it passed by marriage into the possession of Robert Balch, Esq., of St. Audries, Somerset." [2]

"The manor of Killenick [at Land's End, Cornwall] belonged, in the reign of Richard II. to John Longeland and Lankford. This manor has been dismembered ; and it was sold in the year 1720, under a decree of chancery, in its divided state. Bosvargus, which was formerly a seat belonging to a family of that name, was at one time inherited by the learned Jonathan Toup, rector of St. Martin's, near Looe." [3]

Some of the family were found in Scotland as "Edward Top admitted [was] burgess of Aberdeen, 1486 is doubtless the Edward Top who was fined in 1497 for 'failzeit in the waching of the tone.'" [4]

Early History of the Tope family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tope research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1580 and 1639 are included under the topic Early Tope History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tope Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Tope has undergone many spelling variations, including Toop, Toope, Tooppe, Toopes, Toup, Toupe, Tupe, Toowp and many more.

Early Notables of the Tope family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tope Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Tope migration to Canada +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Tope were among those contributors:

Tope Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Silvester Tope, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1752 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tope (post 1700) +

  • John Tope, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1952 [6]
  • Harry E. Tope, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1952 (alternate), 1956 [6]
  • Clarence L. Tope, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Midland County, 1956 [6]
  • C. A. Tope, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1908, 1916 [6]
  • Graham Norman Tope CBE (b. 1943), Baron Tope, British Liberal Democrat politician, Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam (1972-1974)
  • Homer Tope Rosenberger (b. 1908), prominent American historian and personnel training consultant. He was president of the Columbia Historical Society in Washington D.C., and director of the American Peace Society. He also organized the "Rose Hill" Seminars, and president of the Pennsylvania German Society (1957-1969)


  1. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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