Ropper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ropper reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Ropper family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ropper 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 Ropper family

The surname Ropper 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 Ropper family

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

Ropper Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Roper, Rooper, Ruper, Ropear and others.

Early Notables of the Ropper 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 Ropper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ropper family to Ireland

Some of the Ropper 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 Ropper migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ropper name or one of its variants:

Ropper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Ropper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [5]

Australia Ropper migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ropper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Ropper, (Roppers), (b. 1798), aged 34, English servant who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]


The Ropper 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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/england


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