Harper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. "In some districts lands were attached to the office as shown by the place names Croit a' Chlarsair, 'the Harper's Croft,' in the parish of Kiltarlity, near Dundonald, Ayrshire, and elsewhere, and the lands of Harperfield in the parish of Lesmahagow are probably of the same origin. " [1]

Early Origins of the Harper family

The surname Harper was first found in Lennox, Scotland. Several individuals named Harper appear in the Ragman Roll as having rendered homage in 1296 to King Edward I of England: "William le Harpur of La Lawe, of the county of Edinburgh; Uctins le Harpur of the county of Lanerk, a tenant of William of Moravia; Robert le Harper of the county of Are; Johan le Harpur of the county of Berewyk, and Rogier le Harpur of Hom', also of the county of Berewyk, ere the others named in the record." [1]

Farther south in England, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Henry le Harpur, Cambridgeshire; Ralph le Harpur, Oxfordshire; and Nicholas le Harpur, Cambridgeshire. [2]

In Somerset, Adam le Harper and Thomas le Harpour were both recorded there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus Harper; and Rogerus Harper. [2]

Early History of the Harper family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harper research. Another 197 words (14 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.

Harper Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Harper family (pre 1700)

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.

Ireland Migration of the Harper family to Ireland

Some of the Harper family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harper migration to the United States +

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, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Patrick Harper, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Patrick Harper, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Symon Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • Francis Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Harper, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [4]
  • Cha Harper, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [4]
  • Anthony Harper, was a servant of Oderin, about 1730
  • Simon Peter Harper, who landed in Georgia in 1738 [4]
  • Jacob Harper, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Harper, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1802 [4]
  • Robert Harper, who arrived in America in 1805 [4]
  • Mary Harper, who landed in America in 1805 [4]
  • Jane Harper, who landed in America in 1805 [4]
  • James Harper, who arrived in America in 1805 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Adele Gordon Harper, who landed in Alabama in 1929 [4]

Canada Harper migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harper Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Nichol Harper, aged 34, who arrived in Canada in 1811
  • Michael Harper, aged 29, a carpenter, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Levant Star" from Cork, Ireland
  • Patrick Harper, who settled in Harbour Grace Parish in 1840

Australia Harper migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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 [5]
  • Barbara Harper, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Charles Harper, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • William Harper, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [8]
  • Ruth Harper, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Harper migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Harper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Titcomb Harper, aged 38, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Sarah Harper, aged 13, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Lebulan Harper, aged 12, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Mr. Harper, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1843 [9]
  • Mrs. Harper, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1843 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Harper (post 1700) +

  • Valerie Harper (1940-2019), American Primetime Emmy Award winking actress, best know for her co-starring role in the Mary Tyler Show
  • Donald de Wayne "Don" Harper (1932-2017), American gold medalist diver at the 1955 Pan American Games, Olympic silver medalist at the 1956 Summer Games
  • 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) [10]
  • Major-General Arthur McKinley Harper (1893-1972), American Commandant of the Armored School (1950) [11]
  • William Joseph Harper (1790-1847), American (Antigua born), jurist, politician, and social and political theorist
  • John Chandler Harper (1914-2004), American professional golfer
  • William Rainey Harper (1856-1906), American educator and biblical scholar, who was the first president of the University of Chicago
  • ... (Another 143 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Royal Oak
  • Richard Ross James Harper (1919-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
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 [15]
  • 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 [15]
  • 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 [15]
  • 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 [15]


The Harper Motto +

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.


Suggested Readings for the name Harper +

  • 210 "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.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/amphitrite/1833
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THE DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND - 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839DuchessOfNorthumberland.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 9) Robert Harper. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Harper/Robert_Wells/USA.html
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 9) Arthur Harper. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Harper/Arthur_McKinley/USA.html
  12. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  13. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  14. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  15. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate