Herper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Herper is a name that evolved among the descendants of the people of the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland. It is 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 Herper family

The surname Herper 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 Herper family

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

Herper Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Herper has been spelled Harper, Harpur, Harpar, Harepur and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Herper family to Ireland

Some of the Herper 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 Herper migration to the United States +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Herpers to arrive on North American shores:

Herper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Herper, arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Moltke" from New York [4]
  • Elly Herper, aged 24, originally from Elberfeld, Germany, arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Vaderland" from Antwerp, Belgium [5]
  • Selma Herper, aged 52, originally from Elberfeld, Germany, arrived in New York in 1912 aboard the ship "Lapland" from Antwerp, Belgium [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Herper (post 1700) +

  • Matthew Herper, American journalist for Forbes


The Herper 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. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJVR-RMR : 6 December 2014), Henry Herper, 21 Feb 1911; citing departure port New York, arrival port New York, ship name Moltke, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJKD-WJW : 6 December 2014), Elly Herper, 28 Mar 1911; citing departure port Antwerp, arrival port New York, ship name Vaderland, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ5N-8WT : 6 December 2014), Selma Herper, 13 May 1912; citing departure port Antwerp, arrival port New York, ship name Lapland, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


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