Herpe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan people were the ancestors of the first to use the name Herpe. It was a name for 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 Herpe family

The surname Herpe 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 Herpe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Herpe 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 Herpe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Herpe Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Herpe has been spelled Harper, Harpur, Harpar, Harepur and others.

Early Notables of the Herpe 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 Herpe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Herpe family to Ireland

Some of the Herpe 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 Herpe migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Herpe were among those contributors:

Herpe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Faustino Herpe, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
Herpe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Louis Herpe, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1904
  • Isidor Herpe, aged 25, who settled in America from London, in 1905
  • Ambrosine Herpe, aged 20, who landed in America from Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1912
  • Yves Herpe, aged 2, who immigrated to America, in 1921
  • Marie Herpe, aged 28, who landed in America from Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1922
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Herpe (post 1700) +

  • Hervé Herpe, French actor


The Herpe 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.


  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)


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