The Tippins Project

Origins of the Tippins surname

According to various (unverified) Internet sources, this unusual English surname is medieval. It seems to have stemmed from a patronymic, deriving from the pre-7th century personal name or by-name Tippa, of which the meaning is uncertain.

The given name is one of the earliest recorded, an example being Tipp, the son of Harding (another early given name), who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in the year 1204, even before the introduction of surnames! The surname form only appeared a century later, and was also recorded both in Lancashire and Yorkshire; however, it is in the town of Preston (Lancashire) where it seems to have been most popular. In the famous Preston Guild Rolls, which for several centuries registered the skilled and prosperous citizens of the area, the name in its various spellings is well recorded. It first appears as Toppyng in 1397, Typpynge in 1542, and as the modern Tipping in 1634 when “William Tipping, of Shaw, husbandman”, is so registered.

In the modern idiom the name has three spelling variations: Tippin, Tipping and Tippings, of which Tippins is likely to be a variation. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Robert Tipping (dated 1301 in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward I of England). We must remember, though, that throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to “develop”, often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

My Tippins family

If you descend from the Tippins family and your ancestors came from the Herefordshire area, then we are very likely related. Tippins, and its even rarer variation Tippin, is a fairly uncommon surname which is more abundant in the county of Hereford and its surrounding area than in any other part of England.

My Tippins line, as far as the records have been able to prove, go back as far as a man called Jonathan Tippins. This man, of whom little else is known, died in the parish of Titltey in 1812 at the grand old age of 84. The records for the overseer’s at Staunton-upon-Arrow show that it was them who paid for his burial. His marriage to Elizabeth Davis in 1756 brought fresh, Welsh blood into the family, possibly connecting my own ancestry to Celtic forebears.

Jonathan and Elizabeth Tippins had eight children; the first three were born in Staunton-on-Arrow,  but the last five were born in Titley, signifying that the family moved in or about 1764.

My own line descends from their son John Tippins (1760-1848), an agricultural labourer whose own marriage produced five children – four of whom left descendants. Rather significantly, in 1814 their daughter Martha had an illegitimate son who inherited his mother’s surname; however, for unknown reasons his descendants would drop the final “s” in their surname, thus founding a branch of Tippin (and not Tippins) cousins.

As of that moment, the family ramified itself into different branches. Some of them remained in the United Kingdom, while others emigrated as far away as New Zealand and Australia. I have been lucky enough to have been in contact with several relatives down those different lines who also share a passion for family history. Perhaps the genealogy bug comes to me through my great-great-great-grandmother Ann Tippins!

Family Tree

Jonathan Tippins, b.c.1728 in Herefordshire (?), d. 1812 in Titley, Heref.; m. Jul 1756 in Bryngwyn, Monmouthshire to Elizabeth Davis. They had eight children:

  1. Jonathan Tippins, b. 1758 in Staunton-on-Arrow.
  2. John Tippins, b. 1760 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1848 in Staunton-on-Arrow, m. 1781 in Staunton-on-Arrow to Ann Harper, bur. 4 Jan 1824 in Staunton-on-Arrow.
    1. William Tippins, b. 1781 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1862 in Ivington, Herefordshire, m. 1811 in Pembridge, Herefordshire to Elizabeth Beaven, b. 1778 in Pembridge, d. 1829 in Pembridge.
      1. William Tippins, b. 1815 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1895 in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, m. 1843 in Pembridge to Mary Ann Ricketts. Had ten children whose descendants currently live in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
    2. John Tippins, b. 1783 in Titley, Herefordshire, d. 1863 in Staunton-on-Arrow, m. 1809 in Lyonshall, Herefordshire to Susannah Evans, bap. 1789 in Pembridge, d. 1884 in Staunton-on-Arrow.
      1. Martha Tippins, b. 1814 Pembridge, d. 1914 Pembridge, m. 1843 to Thomas Gregory, b. 1800 Lyonshall, d. 1862 Pembridge. Had issue.
      2. John Tippins, bap. 1817 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1892 in Kington registration district; m.Mary Eddings. Had issue.
      3. Samuel Tippins, bap. 1820 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1867 in Presteigne registration district; m. 1848 in Presteigne registration district to Martha Davies. Had issue, including descendants from the Spondon, Derbyshire area and various locations in Missouri, United States.
      4. Ann Tippins, bap. 1823 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1916 in Pembridge, Herefordshire; m. 1846 in Staunton-on-Arrow to Frederick Vickress, b. 1814 Hope-under-Dinmore, d. 1891 Pembridge. Had issue, including descendants in Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.
      5. Jonathan Tippins, bap. 1826 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1906 in Staunton-on-Arrow, m. 1851 in Staunton-on-Arrow to Hannah Lewis. Had issue.
      6. William Tippins, b. 1828 Staunton-onArrow, d. 1916 in the Kington registration district. Married 1860 in Pembridge to Ann Watkins, b.c. 1839. Had three daughters.
      7. Susan Tippins, b. 1833 Staunton-on-Arrow.
    3. Thomas Tippins, b. 1786 Titley, d. 1849 Staunton-on-Arrow, m. Elizabeth.
      1. George Tippins, b. 1819 Monkland, m. 1847 Wormsley to Ann Powell, b.c. 1809 Wormsley. Had three children.
      2. Richard Tippins, b. 1821 Monkland, d. 1850 Weobley registration district.
      3. Ann Tippins, b. 1826 Monkland.
    4. Martha Tippins, bap. 1789 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1863 in Pembridge, m. 11 Jun 1829 in Staunton-on-Arrow to John Turner. Had issue. She also had one illegitimate son, William Tippins (1814 Staunton-on-Arrow – 1880 Rock, Worcestershire) who m. 1837 in Eye, Herefordshire to Ann Pinches, and had descendants who bear the surname Tippin.
    5. Jonathan Tippins, bap. 1792 in Staunton-on-Arrow, d. 1859 in Leominster, Herefordshire, m. 1826 in Eyton, Herefordshire to Jane Knight. No known issue.

Related posts

John Tippins, the fate of a family passion
Long live my ancestors!

The church of Staunton-on-Arrow, where my closests Tippins ancestors were baptised.

The church of Staunton-on-Arrow, where my closests Tippins ancestors were baptised.