Show ContentsRopear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ropear came to England with the ancestors of the Ropear family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ropear family lived in Derbyshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Rupier, in Calvados, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

"William de Rupierre (who came to England with the Conqueror) is mentioned by Ordericus Vitalis; and in 1090 commanded the forces of Duke Robert. The Counts of Rupierre continued in Normandy till the last century." 1

The name was derived fro the Old English word "rap" which was an occupational name for a "roper" or "rope-maker." Interestingly, the Roper spelling tends to be seen more often in the north, while the Raper spelling tend to be found in the south. Conversely, another etymology of the name goes thusly: "There is a very ancient family of the Ropers in Cumberland, who have lived immemorially near a quarry of red spate there, from whence they first took the surname Rubra Spatha. " 2 This latter etymology is plausible as De Rubra Spatha is a Latinized form of Roper or Rooper.

Early Origins of the Ropear family

The surname Ropear was first found in Derbyshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the manor of Turndiche and estates in that shire. One of the first records of the name was Roger Raper who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. One year later, Richard le Ropere was listed in Hertfordshire. 3

Of note was Richard Furneux, a lineal descendant of Robert de Fourneux, temp. Henry I., assumed the name of Roper in 1428, on his marriage with the heiress of Roper of Turndiche. 2

The township of Moorhouse in Durham held a special significance to the family. "In the seventeenth century this township was the seat, in succession, of the families of Ingleby and Roper." 4 At one time the family held a manor at Aston-Upon-Trent in Derbyshire. "The manor was granted after the Reformation to Sir William Paget, and subsequently passed to the Ropers, from whom it was purchased in 1649 by the Holden family." 4

Early History of the Ropear family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ropear research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1158, 1498, 1521, 1529, 1534, 1545, 1553, 1554, 1555, 1557, 1578, 1616, 1618, 1636, 1658, 1665, 1726 and 1928 are included under the topic Early Ropear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ropear Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Roper, Rooper, Ruper, Ropear and others.

Early Notables of the Ropear family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Roper (c. 1498-1578), an English biographer of Sir Thomas More, the eldest son of John Roper. The father, who had property both at Eltham in Kent and in St. Dunstan's parish, Canterbury, was sheriff of Kent in 1521, and long held the office of clerk of the pleas or prothonotary of the court of king's bench. Roper was an ardent Catholic to the last, and during Queen Mary's reign took a part in public life. He had previously sat for...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ropear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ropear family to Ireland

Some of the Ropear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ropear migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ropear or a variant listed above:

Ropear Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mrs. Alise Ropear, aged 23, who arrived in New England in 1637 aboard the ship "John & Dorothy" bound for Boston
  • John Ropear, aged 26, who arrived in New England in 1637 aboard the ship "John & Dorothy" bound for Boston 5
  • Miss Alise Ropear, Jr., who arrived in New England in 1637 aboard the ship "John & Dorothy" bound for Boston 6
  • Miss Elizabeth Ropear, who arrived in New England in 1637 aboard the ship "John & Dorothy" bound for Boston 6

The Ropear 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: Lux anglis crux Francis
Motto Translation: Light to the English, a cross to the French.

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. 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)
  6. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's Retrieved January 6th 2023, retrieved from on Facebook