There are in Europe, over one hundred spellings of this famous surname. These include the base forms such as Casper, Kasper and Kesper (German), Gaspard (French), Jaspar, Jesper, and Jasper (English), Casperrri, Gasperro, Gasparro, Parri, and Sperro, (Italian), Kaspar and Kasparek (Czech), Kasprowicz (Polish), and Kasperovich (Belorussian). However spelt the derivation is from an original Persian word of ancient times 'kaspur' meaning 'treasurer', the name being given by tradition to one of the three wise men who attended the birth of Christ. The others being Balthasar and Melchior. Most names of this type were 'borrowed' names, originally introduced as first names by the returning Crusaders and other 'pilgrims' to the Holy Land, in the period of the religious revivals of Christianity in the 12th century. These later ddeveloped into surnames in their own right. The 'Crusader connection' probably applies with this surname, but early recordings are rather later than would be normally expected, and there may be other reasons. The first recording of the name as a surname would seem to be that of Johan Casper, from the town of Schaffhausen in Germany, whilst in England for instance, one of the earliest recording is that of Mary Jesper, at the church of St Mary Aldermary, city of London, in 1672.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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