Napeer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Dalriadan people were the ancestors of the first to use the name Napeer. It was a name for a person at a royal court who was in charge of the tablecloths and linen, which were collectively called the napery. "In England, in the reign of Henry I, William de Hastings held the manor of Ashele in Norfolk by the service of taking charge of the napery, i.e. tablecloths and linen at the coronation of the English kings. The first record of the name in Scotland is c. 1290 when John Naper obtained from Malcolm, earl of Lennox, a charter of the quarter-land called Kylmethew. This John Naper is included in the inhibition by the bishop of Glasgow directed against Malcolm, earl of Lennoy and his adherents in 1294 and is doubtless the John le Naper of the county of Dunbretan who rendered homage in 1296." 
Early Origins of the Napeer family
The surname Napeer was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland.
"A Scottish legend, however, assigns a widely different origin. In a great battle between the Scots and some enemy, whose nation is not specified, the former were on the point of losing the day, when one Donald, son of the then Earl of Lennox, seized a standard, and rallied the retreating soldiers. This act of prowess changed the positions of the combatants, and resulted in the complete triumph of the Scots. The king on hearing of Donald's bravery, declared that he had NA PIER "no equal"; commanded him to assume those words as a surname; and gave him lands in Fife, and the lands of Goffurdor Goosford." 
This "legend" may not be a legend but in fact based on truth as both aforementioned versions of the family's origin agree that the family descend from the house of Lennox and their forebears used the name Lenox alias Napier.
Yet another source claims that "It is said that Donald, a son of the Earl of Lennox, for his bravery in battle, had his name changed by the king to Napier. After the battle, as the manner is, every one advancing and setting forth his own acts, the king said unto them, 'Ye have all done valiantly, but there is one among you who hath 'Na Pier, ' ' and the king gave him lands in Fife and Goffurd. " 
Suffice to say, the family's allegiance and fierce battle strength without fear, cannot be in question. Further to the south in England, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two entries for the family, both in Oxfordshire: Jordan le Nappere and Thomas le Nappere. 
Early History of the Napeer family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Napeer research. Another 316 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1294, 1308, 1401, 1437, 1440, 1451, 1451, 1239, 1550, 1617, 1550, 1610, 1550, 1617, 1560, 1637, 1603, 1661, 1625, 1660, 1606, 1673, 1683, 1642, 1700, 1690, 1698, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Napeer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Napeer 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. Napeer has been spelled Napier, Naper, Napper, Naiper, Napeer, Neaper and others.
Early Notables of the Napeer family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was George Napper (Napier) (1550-1610), an English Roman Catholic priest, a Catholic martyr, beatified by Pope Pius XI; John Napier (1550-1617), a famed mathematician and inventor of logarithms, this eighth laird of Merchiston was also extremely involved in religious debates (he was a staunch anti-Catholic) and was an inventor of military devices, such as a horse-drawn tank and a type of submarine; Sir Robert Napier, 1st Baronet (1560-1637), of Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, an English merchant; Sir Robert Napier, 2nd Baronet (c. 1603-1661), of...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Napeer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Napeer family to Ireland
Some of the Napeer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Napeer family
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 Napeer were among those contributors: Patrick Napier settled in Virginia in 1655; John Napier settled in Philadelphia in 1798; Charles Napier settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1823.
Related Stories +
The Napeer 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: Sans tache
Motto Translation: Without stain
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)