The origin and meaning of this name is quite clear, it is a patronymic and means 'the son of Tapp' with 'Taeppa' being an old English personal name meaning 'top' - as in 'chief' or possibly one who lived at the top (of a hill). There are many alternative patronymic spellings including: Tappin, Tapping, Taplin whilst in Somerset dialect has corrupted the name to Tatchell. The name is also the first element in town names such as Taplow, Tapton and Tappington, the former meaning 'Taeppa's Hill'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tappe which was dated 1194 the Pipe Rolls of Dorset during the reign of King Richard 1 The Lionheart 1189-1199 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.