I read Anthony Adolph's article on How
to Research your Surname with great interest. It all made perfect and logical sense until I came to the part under the heading 'Variant Spellings'. Coldbreath from Galbreith, and Maxfield from Macclesfield, yes, that's acceptable, but Fripp from Thorpe? That seems a big leap to me. It also seems to be at odds with the Surnames of the United Kingdom, 1912, found on the disc, which states that the name Fripp is probably short for fripperer, which is an old clothes dealer. This seems more likely to me. Jenny Fripp Birmingham
As I explained in the article, we don't actually know how many surnames originated, but must go on what traces can be found in original records. 'Fripperer' is an interesting suggestion from Harrison on Surnames of the United Kingdom, 1912, but if that's the case, how does one explain the sudden disappearance of '-erer'? While we encounter many cases of contractions (removing the middle of a word), we do not encounter many abbreviations. The surname Carpenter, for example, has not been abbreviated to create a surname Carp.
The derivation I offered is based on a logical sequence of variations found in one locality of which Harrison was presumably unaware, hence his less plausible explanation. The surname expert Rev Bardsley traced back from Fripp to Thorpe in a surprisingly recent source, the parish registers of Broad Chalke in Wiltshire. Thorpe is sometimes metathesised to 'Thropp', from which you get Thomas Thripp in 1580, John Phripp in 1607 and then Ursula Fripp in 1674.
The way is still, of course, open for new research. If you can come up with new evidence of how the surname has evolved in your line, we'd love to hear about it! AA
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