Roper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Roper family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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." 
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. "  This latter etymology is plausible as De Rubra Spatha is a Latinized form of Roper or Rooper.
Early Origins of the Roper family
The surname Roper 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. 
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. 
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."  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." 
Early History of the Roper family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roper research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1534, 1618, 1928, 1636, 1498, 1578, 1521, 1529, 1545, 1553, 1554, 1555, 1557, 1158, 1658, 1658, 1665 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Roper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Roper Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Roper, Rooper, Ruper, Ropear and others.
Early Notables of the Roper family (pre 1700)
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 Roper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Roper World Ranking
In the United States, the name Roper is the 1,608th most popular surname with an estimated 19,896 people with that name.  However, in New Zealand, the name Roper is ranked the 816th most popular surname with an estimated 895 people with that name.  And in the United Kingdom, the name Roper is the 832nd popular surname with an estimated 8,155 people with that name. 
Migration of the Roper family to Ireland
Some of the Roper 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.
Roper migration to the United States +
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Roper or a variant listed above were:
Roper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Phillipp Roper, who arrived in Virginia in 1618 
- Clement Roper, who landed in Virginia in 1623 
- Clement Roper, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 along with Thomas
- John Roper, who arrived in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1641 
- Walter Roper, who arrived in New England in 1642 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Roper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Richard Roper, who arrived in Maryland in 1730
- Catherine Roper settled with her husband in Virginia in 1774
Roper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Bryan Roper, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 
- Peggy Roper, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 
- James Roper, aged 54, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1838 
- Richard Roper, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1851 
- William Roper, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1851 
Roper migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Roper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Thomas Roper, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia 
- Thomas Roper, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia 
- Mr. William Roper, British Convict who was convicted in Worcester, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 
- Mr. William Roper who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 1st October 1842, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) 
- Mr. Richard Roper who was convicted in Derby, Derbyshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia 
Roper 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:
- Robert Roper, aged 26, a farmer, who arrived in New Plymouth aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" between 1841 and 1850
Roper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. James Roper, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 
- Mrs. Charlotte Roper, (b. 1834), aged 26, English settler from Suffolk travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 
- Mr. Robert Roper, (b. 1835), aged 25, English farm labourer from Suffolk travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 
- Mr. Patrick Roper, (b. 1850), aged 27, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Marlborough" arriving in Bluff, South Island, New Zealand on 4th November 1877 
- Mr. Daniel Roper, (b. 1858), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 
Roper migration to West Indies +
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Roper Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
- Hanna Roper, aged 23, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 
- Mr. Hanna Roper, (b. 1612), aged 23, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Paul of London" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 
Contemporary Notables of the name Roper (post 1700) +
- Major-General Harry McKenzie Roper (1901-1982), American Commanding Officer Artillery, 7th Division (1951-1952) 
- Sylvester H. Roper (1823-1896), American inventor of the motorcycle and the shotgun choke, inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002
- Lanning Roper (1912-1983), American landscape architect
- Moses Roper (1810-1861), American mulatto slave who escaped to England and wrote a book about his slavery experiences entitled Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery
- Brian T. Roper (1929-1994), English-born, American film and television actor
- John Christopher Roper (b. 1971), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1993 to 1995
- Clyde F. E. Roper (b. 1937), American zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution, noted for his search for the Giant Squid
- Jesse M. Roper (1851-1901), American officer in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War, eponym of the USS Roper (DD-147), a Wickes-class destroyer
- Elmo Burns Roper Jr. (1900-1971), American pollster, founder of Roper Opinion Research Company which published the "Roper Poll"
- Daniel Calhoun Roper (1867-1943), American politician, U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1933-1938), U.S. Ambassador to Canada in 1939
- ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Roper family +
HMS Royal Oak
- Snelling Drosier Roper (1905-1939), British Lieutenant Commander with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking 
- Mr. John Roper, English Able-Bodied Seaman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking 
Related Stories +
The Roper 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.
Suggested Readings for the name Roper +
- The Roper Family Bible Record by Mary Waller Shepherd Soper.
- ^ 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
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
- ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
- ^ 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)
- ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
- ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duchess-of-northumberland
- ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 11th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clara)
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
- ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
- ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Harry Roper. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Roper/Harry_McKenzie/USA.html
- ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
- ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
- ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/