Harper DNA Surname Project
We are particularly interested in identifying the relationship (or not) of Harpers who came from Scotland around the early 1700s and settled in Co. Monaghan and Co. Cavan Ireland. We also hope to identify Harpurs who may have moved to Ulster from the English Midlands in the 1600s or later. We also have interest in Harpers originating from Co. Donegal. For male Harpers who do not know their origin, Y chromosome testing may disclose a match with some one already tested. So we welcome all comers, but with the caution that no matches can be guaranteed. See below.
We also now have another special subproject which focuses on the Harpers of Pendleton County, West Virginia. These were immigrants from Germany rather than the British Isles. Their surnames were anglicized to HARPER from HERPER, HERBER, etc. In 1758 three contemporary but distinct Harper families first show up in the county records. These were headed by Philip Harper, Jacob Harper, and Adam Harper. The first two are known colloquially among researchers as Philip the Pioneer and Jacob the Pioneer. Adam, who appears to have been somewhat younger than the other two, was probably still single in 1758.
Although we have information on Philip's origins in Germany, and to a lesser degree on Jacob's origins, we do not have anything regarding Adam before 1758. Nor have we been able to answer this question: Was the settlement in the same region by three German families named Harper strictly a coincidence--after all, Pendleton County was initially settled by Germans and Swiss--or were they perhaps related in some way which we have yet to discover? Genealogical records rule out the possibility that Philip, Jacob, and Adam were brothers. Could they have been cousins, for example? By comparing the Y-chromosome markers from descendants of each of the three Harper lines, it was hoped to answer this question. However, on the basis of testing one descendant from each line, it appears that these men are unrelated. We are always looking for additional descendants to participate to see if the picture changes.