Posted by on 6 December 2012 in General, Guest Bloggers, What's in a name?

Authored by Marie Byatt. Marie was born and raised in the Midwest, USA and has taught in Australia  and England. She started her family research in the 1970s and became serious in 2002 when she started her One-Name Study and became a volunteer at a LDS family history center. She is a member of the Southern Indiana Genealogical Society and the Three Lakes Genealogical Society. Her website can be found here.

Pepler or Peplow?

A common held theory is that Pepler is a spelling variation of the name Peplow that is of geographic origin – being someone that came from the town  of Peplow in Shropshire, England.  Like the blind men and the elephant – this is partly right and partly wrong

Both names appeared around the same time in separate places.  Pepler/Peppler/Bepler appears in southern England in the late 1300s and around Germany by the late 1400s.  Peplow/Peploe/Pepelowe/etc. appears in the Shropshire region of England by the 1300s and in Ruegen, Germany before 1600.

Since there is a town of Peplow in Shropshire as well as one of Pepelow in Ruegen, it would appear that the geographic origin of this name is probably correct.  In truth, the earliest Peplows in Shropshire are referred to as “ de Pepelowe” or ‘of Peplow’.  Again common knowledge would have it that Peplow come from ‘pebbled’ hill(low) but this would not account for the name in German.  A better explanation maybe that the towns were named for the Norse chieftain  – Pibba.

As the Pepelowes spread, different groups chose to use Peplo. Peplow and Peploe as their spelling.  Those that wandered south in England encountered the ‘R’ sound of the West Country and many became Peplers thanks to parish clerks and others recording their life events.

Pepler on the other hand appears to be an occupational name meaning one who nurses, feeds, cares for.   The Peplers of Wiltshire do not appear to have any connection to the town of Peplow  and may instead be connected in the ancient past to the European group.  This name has stayed consistently Pepler /lar/lor and never really crossed over to the ‘O’ sound ending.  Their coat of arms is radically different than any used by the northern groups

Notable Individual with these names would include

Andreas Pepler – Bishop of Estonia 1468

Samuel Peploe – Bishop of Chester 1726

Sir George Lionel Pepler  – Town and Country Planning Act 1947

General George Bateman Peploe – Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross 1950

Samuel John Peploe – Scottish Impressionist painter

Albertus Jacobus Pepler – Zimbabwe land owner that died in the civic unrest in 2004

And one of the earliest notables

Brother Richard de Peppelowe was named in a complaint with other brothers from the abbey concerning general mischief in 1313 in Walleford, SHropshire

More on this Surname can be seen at www.pepler.tribalpages.com

Authored by Marie Byatt . Marie was born and raised in the Midwest, USA and has taught in Australia  and England. She started her family research in the 1970s and became serious in 2002 when she started her One-Name Study and became a volunteer at a LDS family history center. She is a member of the Southern Indiana Genealogical Society and the Three Lakes Genealogical Society. Her website can be found here.

Like many others, Marie started researching her one-name study to find a missing ancestor. Marie felt that if she collected all the Peplers into a big pile, sorted out the families and organized them, then her Richard would float to the surface. After about five years and several thousand Peplers/Peplows, Richard emerged. It turned out that he was born a Peploe, married as a Pepler, appeared on the census as a Peploe again and died a Pepler. Marie is an assistant at a Family History Centre.

 

About Emma

Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.

1 Comment

Zoya Bennet 

Got a chance to learn about Peplers of Wiltshire, it was interesting as well as informative.

13 December 2012 at 12:01 pm