Saturday, 14 May 2011

Surname Saturday: Nippard

This is the rarest surname in my family tree - so rare that it doesn't appear in the surname books and I can't find a surname website which has any information about its derivation.

I have found it spelled in a wide variety of ways - Nepard, Neppard, Neppred, Nepprod, Nipard, Niperd, Niperhed, Nippards, Nipperd, Nippered, Nippierd, Nippred, Nipprid, Nipred, Niprid, Niprod and Nypred - but Nippard seems to be the most common form.

Having searched for the surname derivation for years, I stumbled across the answer whilst doing a Google search on these variants. The name comes from a lost medieval settlement called Nypred in the parish of Tisbury, Wiltshire, the earliest reference to which dates from 1240. It was located somewhere in the area now known as Fonthill Old Park.




The earliest occurrence of the surname I have found is John de Nipred, who was one of the jurors at an Inquisition Post Mortem held in Tisbury on 16 July 1290. The earliest mention in a parish register is the burial of Katherin, daughter of Thomas Nypred, at Salisbury, Wiltshire on 20 November 1561. Salisbury is some 12 miles from Tisbury. The surname continued to be very localised to this area, being found almost exclusively in Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire right up until the 19th century. 

My own link to the family is my 7x great grandmother, Mary Nipperd, who married John Coles at Damerham, Wiltshire, on 20 April 1703. I have no information about her baptism or parents, so she is one of my end-of-line brick walls. However, Damerham is less than 20 miles from Tisbury, so I think there is no doubt as to where Mary's - and my - Nippard ancestors originated.


  1. Hi, My maiden name is Nippard. I have been searching for the origin of this name forever!!!! Thank you for the info. You may find alot of your relatives in Newfoundland, Canada. Also in bristol, England.

  2. Hi, I am using my husband's ancestry account, but my maiden name is also Nippard. You will find a lot of relatives in the Bournemouth/Poole area too - plus Newfoundland and Canada. The earliest records we had traced the name back to Salisbury but you have gone back even further which is very interesting. The research my sister did concluded that the Nippards came across from France where the name was Nippiere - I need to look into that because it may not be true. We think some of the Nippards from Poole went to Newfoundland because of the trading route from Spain to Newfoundland via Poole - it seems that some must have met a local girl and decided to settle there. From Newfoundland they appear to have migrated to Canada. Again, this is an area I would like to explore more - but too little time!

    1. Indeed Nippards live in Newfoundland,Canada.

  3. Hi.i am a nippard and live in kinson bournemouth.after going through parish records the area was full of nippards going back approx 200 years.

  4. I am of nippard descent and kinson in Bournemouth has been full of nippards for the last 200 years as far as I can trace back.

  5. Bournemouth / Poole had the highest incidence of Nippards in the 1881 census. My own Wiltshire Nippards were the smallest group. See:

  6. My surname is also Nippard. I'm from the East Midlands UK. I have family in Canada that are all Nippards too. I am trying to do a bit more research about this

  7. I have just discovered a NIPPARD ancestor, Dorothy NIPPARD born c1790. She married John King ISAAC in 1813 in Ringwood, Hampshire. There seem to be quite a few NIPPARDS in Ringwood at that time. A note on the baptism of their children states "tailor".