The name Nappier was first used centuries ago in the region that was once the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. 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 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Early Origins of the Nappier family
The surname Nappier 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
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. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
Suffice to say, the family's allegiance and fierce battle strength without fear, cannot be in question. Further to the south, the Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 had two entries for the family, both in Oxfordshire: Jordan le Nappere and Thomas le Nappere. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Early History of the Nappier family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nappier research.Another 489 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1294, 1308, 1401, 1437, 1440, 1451, 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 Nappier History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nappier Spelling Variations
Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations
. In various documents Nappier has been spelled Napier, Naper, Napper, Naiper, Napeer, Neaper and others.
Early Notables of the Nappier 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... Another 130 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nappier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nappier family to Ireland
Some of the Nappier family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 107 words (8 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 Nappier family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Nappier were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Nappier Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Tho Nappier, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Nappier (post 1700)
- Michael Nappier, American actor, known for One-Eyed Horse (2008)
- Denise Lynn Nappier (b. 1951), American politician, 82nd Treasurer of Connecticut (1999-)
- Denise L. Nappier, American Democrat politician, Connecticut State Treasurer, 1999-; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 2000, 2004, 2008
The Nappier 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