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.