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Surname Capes - Meaning and Origin

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Capes: What does the surname Capes mean?

The surname Capes is of French origin and was initially derived from the Old French word "chape", meaning cloak or cape. This indicates that the original bearer of the name was possibly a maker or seller of cloaks and capes, suggesting a connection to the textile or clothing industry. Thus, it is an occupational surname, a type of surname very common in Europe during the Middle Ages. People were often identified by their profession, hence last names often reflected the person's job or trade. The spelling variations of this surname include Cape, Capes, and several others. So, in essence, the name signifies a craftsman who specialized in the creation or selling of capes or cloaks. It may also have been used as a nickname to describe someone who often wore a distinctive cape.

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Capes: Where does the name Capes come from?

The surname Capes is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "cape", which was used to describe a headland or coastal promontory. It is believed to be a topographic name for someone who lived near a distinctive headland, or perhaps a locational name from some minor place, such as The Capps in Gloucestershire or Capes in Hampshire. The first recorded spelling of the name dates to 1199 in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire where it is registered as William de la Cape. The surname was later reintroduced into London from France by Huguenots seeking refuge from religious persecution in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today, the surname Capes primarily appears in England (particularly London and the South East), although it can also be found in variations and small numbers throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Its frequency is relatively low, making it an uncommon surname worldwide. Notable bearers of this surname include English athlete Geoff Capes and British scholar and novelist Bernard Capes.

Variations of the surname Capes

The surname Capes has several variants and spelling alternatives that might have the same origin due to variations in translations and country-based modifications. Some of the common variations of the surname Capes might include Cape, Capez, Capas, Caplus, Kapas, Kapes, and Capis. These variations can also include extra letters at the end, such as Capes's or Capes' mainly due to the difference in grammar rules of the English language.

Notably, a surname’s etymology can also influence the variants. The surname Capes may have originated from the Latin term "Caput" meaning "head" and may have been used as a nickname for a person who was persistent or stubborn.

The surname might also be of locational origin, possibly derived from places named after the word "cape" such as Capes in Normandy. If so, variations could include de Capes or Del Capes.

It's also important to mention that the regular altering and modification of surnames across countries and cultures means that these variations might include more or fewer letters. Some variants could even appear completely different due to phonetic spelling. For example, in other languages or dialects, the surname could be phonetically translated to Kapps or Kappes.

Lastly, it's also possible that the spelling could have been altered over generations due to illiteracy or misinterpretation, leading to variants that are slightly or completely different from the original Capes spelling.

Famous people with the name Capes

  • Thomas Blamey Capes: He is an English Anglican priest, who served as the Archdeacon of the East Riding since 2017.
  • Joe Capes: He was a famous British powerlifter, strongman, and Highland Games competitor.
  • Geoff Capes: A retired British shot putter and strongman, who held the title of 'World's Strongest Man' twice.
  • Helen Capes: She was an English woman who achieved international fame as a champion swimmer in the 19th century.
  • Robert Capes: He is a professional rugby union player from England, who played for England in the Six Nations Under 20s Championship.
  • Thomas John Capes: He was an Anglican priest and Dean of Guernsey from 1935 to 1953.
  • Andrew Capes: He is a renowned English organist, known for his performances in churches across the UK.
  • Simon Capes: A significant British literary critic, and scholar known for his work on medieval literature.
  • Ann Capes: She is a renowned artist whose work has been displayed in galleries across the UK.
  • Carolina Capes: A Brazilian top model and beauty pageant contestant who has represented Brazil in numerous international beauty pageants.

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