The name Topplaff was carried to England
in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Topplaff family lived in Yorkshire
. The name is derived from a combination of the Old English personal name Topp,
and the word leah,
meaning wood or clearing,
and indicates that the original bearer lived near a wood or clearing owned by someone named Topp.
Early Origins of the Topplaff family
The surname Topplaff was first found in Yorkshire
where they are conjecturally descended from a junior branch of the Percys. Topcliff or Topclive was granted to a Norman Baron
named William Percy who later became the Earl of Northumberland
and one of the most senior mighty nobles of the land. At the time of the Conquest, Topcliff consisted of a church and a mill on the side of the banks of the River Swale.
Early History of the Topplaff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Topplaff research.Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1391, 1832, 1834, 1451, 1740, 1778, 1532, 1604, 1532, 1593, 1598, 1603 and 1604 are included under the topic Early Topplaff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Topplaff Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.
Early Notables of the Topplaff family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was George Topcliff, Member of Parliament for Scarborough (1451); and Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778), an Anglican clergyman and hymn-writer.
Richard Topcliffe (1532-1604), was a persecutor of Roman Catholics, born, according to his own account, in 1532, was the eldest son of Robert Topcliffe of Somerby... Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Topplaff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Topplaff family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Topplaff or a variant listed above: William Topleife who settled in Barbados in 1635; Henry Topley arrived in Philadelphia in 1866; Thomas Topley arrived in Philadelphia in 1867; J. Topliff settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1822.
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