This curious surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from Inskip, a parish and village near Preston in north Lancashire, or from Inskip, a manor in the parish of St. Michael le Wyre, Lancashire. Recorded as "Inscip" in the Domesday Book of 1086; as "Inscype" in the 1246 Assize Rolls; and as "Inscyp" in A Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, dated 1272, the component elements of the name are believed to be a British word corresponding to the Welsh "ynys", island, strip of land between two rivers, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "cype", osier basket (for catching fish).Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. In 1401, John Inskip, witness, was recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire, and on November 17th 1560, Robert Inskipp and Joan Wilkinson were married at Kirkham, Lancashire. A notable bearer of the name was James Inskipp (1790 - 1868), a painter who exhibited at the British Institution, the Society of British Artists, and the Royal Academy. In the modern idiom the surname is variously spelt: Inskip, Inskipp and Inskeep. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margery de Inskip, which was dated 1243, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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