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COPES Family History

This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a maker of cloaks or capes, or perhaps a nickname for someone who wore a distinctive one. The derivation is from the Middle English "cape, cope", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cap", reinforced by the cognate Old Norse "kapa". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. One Walter Cape, witness, was noted in the 1221 Assize Court Rolls of Gloucestershire, and a Maud Cope appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, dated 1275.

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