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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Harper comes from the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland. It was a name for a person who worked as a person who occupies the role of "harper". In ancient times the harper was considered an important figurehead whereby Brehon laws stated that the elegance and music of the harp "deserved" a noble status.

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The surname Harper was first found in Lennox, Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times.

Historical recordings of the name Harper include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Harper, Harpur, Harpar, Harepur and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harper research. Another 395 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1100, 1579, 1639, 1700, 1680, 1741, 1496, 1496, 1574, 1566, 1585, 1638, 1616, 1669, 1645, 1681, 1679, 1741 and are included under the topic Early Harper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Henry Harper, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1496; Sir William Harpur (c.1496-1574), English merchant from Bedford who moved to London, became Lord Mayor of London and in 1566 he and his wife Dame Alice created...

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Harper family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Harper family emigrate to North America:

  • John Harper who was a resident of Virginia in 1607 and 1608

Harper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Harper settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Patrick Harper settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Patrick Harper, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • Symon Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1654
  • Francis Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1654
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Harper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Cha Harper, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Anthony Harper, was a servant of Oderin, about 1730
  • Simon Peter Harper, who landed in Georgia in 1738
  • Jacob Harper, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
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Harper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Harper, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Robert Harper, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Mary Harper, who landed in America in 1805
  • Jane Harper, who landed in America in 1805
  • James Harper, who arrived in America in 1805
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Harper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Adele Gordon Harper, who landed in Alabama in 1929

Harper Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Eliz Harper, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Harper, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Harper, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Samuel Harper, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Christopher Harper, aged 40, landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1774
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Harper Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Nichol Harper, aged 34, arrived in Canada in 1811
  • Michael Harper, aged 29, a carpenter, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Levant Star" from Cork, Ireland
  • Patrick Harper settled in Harbour Grace Parish in 1840

Harper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Harper, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Barbara Harper, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Harper arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • Ruth Harper arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • John Harper, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
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Harper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Titcomb Harper, aged 38, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Sarah Harper, aged 13, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Lebulan Harper, aged 12, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • J Harper landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • William Harper, aged 16, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
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  • C. Michael Harper (1927-2016), American businessman, CEO of ConAgra Foods from 1975 to 1993
  • Michael Steven Harper (1938-2016), American poet, Poet Laureate of Rhode Island from 1988 to 1993
  • Irving Harper (1916-2015), American industrial designer
  • Lieutenant-General Robert Wells Harper (1900-1982), American Commanding General Air Training Command (1948-1954)
  • Major-General Arthur McKinley Harper (1893-1972), American Commandant of the Armored School (1950)
  • Roy Winfield Harper, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1940
  • Russell W. Harper, American Republican politician, Candidate for Iowa State Senate 49th District, 1970
  • Ruth Harper, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972
  • Ruth B. Harper, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1996
  • Ruth Flores Harper, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1972
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Harper Historic Events



HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Walter J Harper, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Arthur Molyneaux Harper, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales May 1941 and died at the battle of Denmark Strait, before the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales

RMS Lusitania

RMS Titanic

  • The Reverend John John Harper (d. 1912), aged 39, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Miss Annie Jessie "Nina" Harper, aged 6, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 11
  • Mrs. Myna Harper, (née Haxtun), aged 49, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 3
  • Mr. Henry Sleeper Harper, aged 48, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 3
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  • The Harpers of Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties, Kentucky: A Genealogical and Historical Narrative by Joseph Doyle Harper.
  • The Harpers of Virginia, West Virginia, and Mississippi by Frank O'Beirne.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Et suavis et fortis
Motto Translation: Pleasant and brave.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
    4. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
    5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    7. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    10. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
    11. ...

    The Harper Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harper Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 2 June 2016 at 13:51.

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