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Harper Family History

Harper Surname Meaning

English (Staffordshire) Scottish Irish (Antrim and Down) and Dutch: occupational name for a player on the harp from Middle English harper(e) ‘harper’ (Old English hearpere) and Middle Dutch harper herper. The harper was one of the most important figures of a medieval baronial hall especially in Scotland and northern England and the office of harper was sometimes hereditary. The Scottish surname is probably an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Chruiteir ‘son of the harper’ (from Gaelic cruit ‘harp’ ‘stringed instrument’). This surname has long been present in Ireland.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Harker, Harder, Happe, Hamper, Harrer, Harmer, Haver, Harer, Hafner

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Where is the Harper family from?

You can see how Harper families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Harper family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Harper families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 2,216 Harper families living in Yorkshire. This was about 13% of all the recorded Harper's in United Kingdom. Yorkshire had the highest population of Harper families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Harper surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Harper ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Harper. 8% of Harper men worked as a General Labourer and 65% of Harper women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Harper were Incapacitated and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Harper | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Bricklayer
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Incapacitated
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Harper family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 822,000 census records available for the last name Harper. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Harper census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Harper

Passenger Lists

There are 70,000 immigration records available for the last name Harper. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Harper immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 128,000 military records available for the last name Harper. For the veterans among your Harper ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Harper lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Harper life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Harper in 1940 was 44, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Harper

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