When Ralph Andrew Harper was born on 6 October 1909, in Tickfaw, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, United States, his father, James Thomas Harper, was 28 and his mother, Ophelia J Dunnington, was 26. He lived in Ward Six, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, United States for about 20 years. He died on 13 June 1988, at the age of 78, and was buried in Louisiana, United States.
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.