Family Names: Hooper
There are several versions of the family crest that are shown on various websites, however, the one that our family has adopted is a curious one: it bears the images of three hoops and three wild boar. Others with lions and stars and helmets are often displayed, but the Hoopers we know chose the one above. The three main symbols (devices) in the Hooper blazon are the annulet, the mullet, and the boar. The four main colors (tinctures) are red (gules), gold (or), blue and silver (argent).
The bold red color on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the Scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple rose-red shield. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig, was a fierce animal in the woods. It was more commonly seen and hunted as game many centuries ago. The boar was known as a sanglier. In the Hooper Crest the wild boar appears in many of the same places and poses that we normally see the lion, standing on hind legs with its head at the top of the crest; however, posturing with its head up and tongue lashing out, the boar is in a position known as enraged! We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with warriors.
The bright yellow color frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold. Along with, argent, or Silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa. The gold color is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna). In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper.
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and quick identification of the owner, family crest makers use bold simple shapes. Simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose and the annulet is a good example: a circular ring of any color. They also appear side-by-side, interlaced, or one within the other, all of which are very pleasing additions. Circular rings are thought to be one of the important symbols of the ancient pilgrims.
Some Hooper Crests have a heraldic mullet, shown as a regular, five-pointed star. This star was not originally an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when pierced, with a small circular hole in the center it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel.” The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires. In later years, five-pointed star became linked with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star,” symbolizing a “divine quality bestowed from above.”
Wm. Hooper Genogram
Where are the Hoopers from?
The Hooper families moved from Western Europe to other parts of the world over time, following jobs and a better life. Between 1840 and 1920 the Hooper family name was found in the US, the UK, Canada, and Scotland. The most Hooper families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1840 there were 78 Hooper families living in Maine, the largest number in any state at the time. This was about 12% of all the recorded Hooper’s in the US.
William Hooper, who we claim at our ancestor, was born Northern Ireland (Londonderry) in the last 1780’s. He escaped one of the famines in the region and arrived in Maryland about 1800. He went to work in the dry good business with George Hardester in Baltimore. Some historical reports state that he was as young as 12 years old, when he arrived in the US, but child labor laws were not in effect.
Hooper Name Origins:
The surname of Hooper has an Anglo-Saxon, medieval Old English origin, and is derived from a “cooper” who is someone who fitted metal or wooden hoops on wooden casks and barrels. The word “Hoop” comes from the middle English word, which means a hoop or band. When adding the suffix “-er”, which means “doer” or one who works with or does with, the surname Hooper becomes a descriptive term of one who works with hoops, most likely in the barrel making business. At this time in history, surnames began with the occupation of the actual name bearer, and then became passed down as the generations went on. The original person to bear the surname Hooper, actually was a hooper, or someone who worked with hoops.
Name Variations: The most common variations are: Hoopper, Hooper, Hoopera, Hoper, Hoopr, Hopper, Hoeper, Hoober, Houper, Hopoer
In 1880, a less common occupation for the Hooper family was Carpenter. The most common Hooper occupation in the US was Farmer. 34% of Hooper’s were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Housekeeper were the top 3 reported jobs worked by a Hooper.
Expected Life Span?
Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, those with the surname of Hooper experienced improving life expectancy. At its lowest point in 1943 a Hooper could expect to live to the age of 46. By 2003 life expectancy surged to 73. The average life expectancy for Hoopers in 1940 was 47, and 73 in 2004.
Hoopers from England:
The first recorded spelling of the surname Hooper was in the year 1228, by Adam le Hoper or Hopere, who was named in the “Close Rolls of Wiltshire” during the reign of King Henry III, who was also known as “The Frenchman” and ruled from the year 1216 to the year 1272. In the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Devonshire, William le Houper was noted, and this document was recorded in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, which was dated in the year 1367. In the year 1444, Ralph Hooper was record in “A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds,” in Devonshire.
Many notable people bore the Hooper name.
- Edmund Hooper, who lived from the year 1553 to the year 1621, was the organist of Westminster Abbey from the year 1606 to the year 1621 and was also a gentleman of the chapel in the year 1603.
- John Hooper, who died in the year 1555, and was a Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, along with Robert Hooper, who lived from the year 1773 to the year 1835 and received his credentials to practice as a medical doctor in St. Andrews in the year 1805, and became a medical writer whose works were published in the Compendious Medical Dictionary which was published in the year 1798.
- During “The Great Migration,” many people bearing the surname Hooper and any of its variants, migrated to America, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Hoopers in the United States:
The first recorded person to migrate to America with the Hooper surname was William Hooper, who at just eighteen years of age, embarked from London on the ship named “James” which was bound for New England in July of 1635.
Hooper Families Today by Country:
- United States 40,236
- England 15,654
- Australia 8,861
- Canada 4,809
- South Africa 3,160
- New Zealand 2,376
- Ghana 1,917
- Ireland 1,805
- Wales 1,501
- Scotland 558
- France 282
Signers of the Declaration of Independence – More than just John Hancock 
Notable Americans Named Hooper:
- William Hooper (1742-1790), one of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence (top of second column above – Wm Hooper)
- Perry Oliver Hooper Sr. (1925-2016) was the 27th Chief of Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from the years of 1995 to 2001, and was an American jurist
- Rear Admiral Stanford Caldwell Hooper (1884-1955), who was called “The Father of Naval Radio,” was an American radio pioneer
- Ben Walter Hooper (1870-1957) was a Member of Tennessee State House of Representatives from the years 1893 to 1985, and was the Governor of Tennessee from the year 1911 to the year 1915, was also the Candidate for U.S. Senator from Tennessee in 1916, and was an American Republican politician
- Beatrice L. Hooper (1894-1974) was a Member of the Michigan Prohibition Party State Central Committee in 1927, and was a politician from America
- Alcaeus Hooper (born in 1859) was a Candidate for the Presidential Elector for Maryland in the year 1892, and was the Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland from the year 1895 to the year 1897
- Adam Y. Hooper, who was a former Postmaster at Whitley Court House, in Indiana, from the year 1850 to the year 1852, and was an American politician
- Anna B. Hooper was a former Delegate to the Republican National Convention from Tennessee in the year 1924, and was a Republican politician from America
- Ben W. Hooper, III, who was a former Member of the Tennessee State Senate in the 4th District, who was elected in the year 1974, and a Republican politician from America
- Joe Ronnie Hooper (1938-1979) was awarded the American Medal of Honor, and thirty-six other honorable citations for his service in the Vietnam War, an American solider
- Chip Hooper (1926-2016) was an industry agent in the music industry for much of his life, and was from America