Ruper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ruper is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ruper 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 Ruper family

The surname Ruper 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 Ruper family

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

Ruper Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Roper, Rooper, Ruper, Ropear and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Ruper family to Ireland

Some of the Ruper 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.

Migration of the Ruper family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ruper or a variant listed above: John and Alise Ropear arrived in Boston Mass in 1637; Clement Roper arrived in Virginia in 1623; along with Thomas; Richard Roper arrived in Maryland in 1730.



The Ruper 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.


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