Where did the Scottish Harper family come from? What is the Scottish coat of arms/family crest? When did the Harper family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
The story of the name Harper reaches back through Scottish history to the kingdom of Dalriada. It evolved as a name for a person who worked as a person who occupies the role of "harper." In ancient times the harper was considered an important figurehead whereby Brehon laws stated that the elegance and music of the harp "deserved" a noble status.
Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Harper has been spelled Harper, Harpur, Harpar, Harepur and others.
First found in Lennox, Scotland, where they were seated from early times.
Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Harper were among those contributors: John Harper who was a resident of Virginia in 1607 and 1608. Another John settled in the same colony in 1642. Patrick Harper settled in Virginia in 1653. In Newfoundland, Anthony Harper, was a servant of Oderin, about 1730.
Motto Translated: Pleasant and brave.
Suggested Readings for the name Harper
* The Harpers of Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties, Kentucky: A Genealogical and Historical Narrative by Joseph Doyle Harper.
* The Harpers of Virginia, West Virginia, and Mississippi by Frank O'Beirne.
Some noteworthy people of the name Harper
* George Harper, American educator
* Sir Arthur Harper, New Zealand executive
* Heather Harper, Opera Singer.
* Joseph Harper, Controller of the Queen's household