Harper / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Harper was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Harper is an occupational name that has a number of variants including Harpur, Harpour, Harpur and Harp. The harper was one of the most important figures of the mediaeval baronial hall, especially in Scotland and the north of England where the office of the Harper was sometimes hereditary. This name is of Anglo-Celtic origin and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Examples of such are a Henry atte Harpur of Cambridge, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. An Isabella Herpour was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. In Ireland the name is recorded as 'le Harpur' since the thirteenth century. In modern times the name is associated with County Wexford where the village of Harperstown still exists. Harper and its variants was also introduced into Ulster Province by settlers from England and Scotland during the seventeenth century.The Harper family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Harper descendants.
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