Raper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Raper is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a rope-maker. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly commonplace in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith and wright.

Early Origins of the Raper family

The surname Raper was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Raper family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Raper research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Raper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Raper Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Raper are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Raper include Raper, Wraper, Rapper, Rapier and others.

Early Notables of the Raper family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Raper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Raper migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Raper or a variant listed above:

Raper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Raper, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [1]
  • Thomas Raper who settled in New Jersey in 1678
  • Thomas Raper, who landed in New Jersey in 1678 [1]
Raper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Raper, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1726 [1]
  • Stephannas Raper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727 [1]
  • Peter Raper, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1740
Raper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Louis Raper, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
Raper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Godfrey Curzon Raper, who landed in Colorado in 1903 [1]

New Zealand Raper migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Raper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Oliver Raper, British settler as part of the 8th Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Oriental Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th September 1849 [2]
  • G. Raper, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Raper (post 1700) +

  • Kenneth Raper (1908-1987), American mycologist, microbiologist, and botanist
  • George Raper (1769-1797), English Royal Navy officer and illustrator
  • Henry Raper (1799-1859), British Royal Naval lieutenant, an authority on navigation, eldest son of Admiral Henry Raper
  • Admiral Henry Raper (1767-1845), British Naval officer who upon resigning his post, was presented with a diamond-hilted sword
  • John Raper (b. 1939), Australian, rugby league footballer and coach
  • Walter Raper Beardsley (1905-1980), American Republican politician, Member of Indiana State Senate, 1936-40 [3]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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