This unusual name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Westrip' in Gloucestershire. The placename shares its meaning and derivation with that of the village of 'Westrop' in neighbouring Wiltshire; the name means 'the west(ern) village', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'West', west, with 'throp', hamlet or village, more often found elsewhere in the transposed, Old Norse form of 'thorp(e)'. In the modern idiom the surname can be spelt in several ways including Westrip, Westripe, Westrop and Westrope. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor and to those former inhabitants of the place who has moved to another area, and would be most easily identified as such; for example, the first recording of the surname 'Westrop' occurs in Cornwall, in 1297, with Gilbert de (of) Westrop recorded in 'Records of the Earldom of Cornwall'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Westripp (marriage to Catherine Quarrel), which was dated December 1st 1575, Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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.