Version 1, derived from сипати
I found a linguistics professor in an Ukrainian university whose name is Liliya Sypa (Ukr: Сипа), and she helped to reveal the etymology of her name.
The main version is based on Ukrainian/Russian root сипати (
/'sɪpatɪ/) which means "to pour" (referring a granular solid only; we have a different verb in meaning "to pour a liquid").
So, the person in question (or their ancestor) could be a producer/trader of grain, sugar, etc.
She also said that this family name appears in Western Ukraine, namely, Zolochiv district of Lviv region (note, it is considerably far away from Odessa).
Version 2, Ципа
When you mentioned
C instead of
S and double
P, this made me thinking of another idea.
Odessa region historically has a considerable Jewish population, and the beginning of 20th century is associated with anti-Jewish pogroms, so many people were forced to flee specifically at that times.
Also, note that the first name Joseph has Jewish origin; in former Russian empire, unlike Europe, this name was used primarily by the Jews¹.
Having the above in mind, we could suppose that the original family name could be Ципа
/t͡sɪpa/. It originated from biblical female name Zipporah² (Tsipora), meaning bird³.
Going even further, Cipa could be a phonetic contraction of Zipper, Zipperman, or a related family name.
So, the person in question can be someone whose business was related with growing/trading the domestic birds like chicken.
Or simply, Joseph, son of Zipporah.
¹. I mean, in Europe, many Biblical names are widely used, by non-Jewish people as well. In Russian empire, this was the case, too: Michael/Mikhail, Mary/Mariah, John/Ivan are quite popular. Unlike the above, Joseph was almost solely used by people of Jewish nation;
². Noticed the double
³. Till today, in modern Ukrainian and Russian languages there is an informal way to call domestic birds by words with the root of