This is one of the rarest names on the English Register, and as recently as 1985 appeared only once in the London Telephone Directory. Research suggests that it is an anglicized form of the olde Italian heraldic name "Scapini" as the name is also found as "Caping" - although again the records are very rare. The name is believed to derive from the Latin "Scapla" meaning a boat, and was probably a metonymic or nickname for a Boat or Ferryman. The "modern" spelling is a form of patronymic meaning "the son of Scapha". Earlier research suggested that the name is a development of the German "Schaben" - an iron worker and this is also a possibility. The records include Elizabeth Scapon, christened at Shoreditch Church on April 3rd 1831. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Samuel Scapian, which was dated February 18th 1646, A witness at St. Dunstans Church, Stepney, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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.