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The name Nipper comes from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, where it was used to indicate someone who worked as 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." [1]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)


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The surname Nipper 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." [2]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. " [3]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. [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. In various documents Nipper has been spelled Napier, Naper, Napper, Naiper, Napeer, Neaper and others.


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

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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 Nipper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Nipper 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.

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Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North Ameri ca. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Nipper, or a variant listed above:

Nipper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Nipper, who arrived in New York in 1830
  • John Henry Nipper, aged 28, landed in Missouri in 1847

Nipper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Philipp Nipper, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Nathanael Nipper, aged 51, who emigrated to America, in 1909
  • Alex Nipper, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1923
  • John Nipper, aged 56, who landed in America, in 1924
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  • Simon G. Nipper, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1916
  • Frank W. Nipper, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 37th District, 1932
  • Darlene Nipper, American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist
  • William Estes Nipper (b. 1978), birth name of Will Estes, an American actor, best known for his role as JJ Pryor, on the NBC drama American Dreams and more recently in Blue Bloods as Jameson "Jamie" Reagan, a New York Police Department officer and the younger son of the police commissioner
  • Zack Nipper, American artist from Omaha
  • Albert Samuel "Al" Nipper (b. 1959), American professional baseball coach and a former Major League pitcher
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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

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Citations



  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. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. 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).
  4. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Nipper Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nipper Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 May 2016 at 12:35.

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