Harper Family History

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Harper Name Meaning

English, Scottish, and Irish: occupational name for a player on the harp, from an agent derivative of Middle English, Middle Dutch harp ‘harp’. 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 ©2013, Oxford University Press

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

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Harper Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Harper name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Harper. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Benin/Togo


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Harper Family Origin

Where is the Harper family from?

Harper Family Occupations

What did your Harper ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Harper. The most common Harper occupation in the USA was Farmer. 43% of Harper's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Harper family was Farming.

View Census data for Harper | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Farming


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Harper ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Harper Historical Records

What Harper family records will you find?

Census Record

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 1940's US census records for Harper

Passenger List

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

View all Harper immigration records

Draft Card

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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You've only scratched the surface of Harper family history.

Harper Life Expectancy

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

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Harper ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Harper Family Ancestors

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