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About the study
History of the name
The Tappers owned some land in the 1500/1600s, but have not been very noticeable throughout English history. None have truly distinguished themselves, although there are a few who have been eminent or outstanding in some way, as follows:-
- Olyver Tapper (1560?-1616?) was Alderman of Exeter in 1603 (and his son of the same name in 1638).
- Richard Tapper (from Devon, birth date unknown) was one of the first 16 scholars nominated to attend Wadham College, Oxford, by its founder Dorothy Wadham. He was admitted on 3rd June 1614.
- James Tapper (1783?-1852) fought in the Maori War of 1845. He arrived on the HMS Hazard in Kororareka with his wife and two children. On a hill above the town, the army had apparently built a blockhouse, complete with flag pole. The 96th Foot Regiment were on board the Hazard, but James was listed as a civilian. Despite this, he took part in a battle fought when the Maoris cut down this flag pole three times. He was said to have acted as a signaller and he and his family all escaped unscathed.
- John Tapper (1823-1909, originally from Dorset), fought in the Mexican War, then later operated a ferry across the Mississippi between St Anthony and Minneapolis. He allegedly built the first house on the west side of the river there and was one of the first settlers, a hardy pioneer.
- Daniel Tapper (1798-1860?) and his wife Ann were among the first settlers in Fremantle, Western Australia. They arrived with the ship Rockingham in 1830 and suffered great hardship before the little colony began to thrive.
- William Court Parsons Tapper, OBE, (1874-1972) was an eminent engineer and manager of the Stepney Electricity Undertaking from 1900 until his retirement in 1933.
- Garth Purcell Tapper (1927-1999) was a famous artist in New Zealand, whose paintings are highly sought after.