Saturday, February 2, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Copeland of Braintree, Massachusetts

My immigrant Copeland ancestor is Lawrence Copeland who was born in England sometime around 1600.

The pink indicates the current
Norfolk County;
the red indicates the current location
of Braintree, Massachusetts.
Lawrence was in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, by 1651 when he married Lydia Townsend on December 12, 1651. They had nine children: Thomas (1652-1652), Thomas (1655-1706), William (1656-1716), John (1659-1714), Lydia (1661-1729), Ephraim (1666-1690), Hannah (1669-1729), Richard (1672-1672), and Abigail (1673-1752).

He died in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, on December 30, 1699.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has an online database of Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections which includes a record for Lawrence Copeland that includes the following text:
Copeland, Lawrence Dec. 20 1699 a. 100 (About back of City Hall) Gone since 1904 & before 1930. Cemetery location: Hancock Cemetery of formerly Old Braintree, Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts.
Also at the NEHGS website is the Braintree Vital Records, which has a death record for Lawrence that reads:
Laurence Copeland a verry aged man born in the Reign of our Gracious Soverreigne Queen Elizabeth of Blessed memory December ye 30th. 1699.
There is also a record of his will, signed on June 20, 1698.

Generation 2:
John Copeland (1659-1714) was a blacksmith who spent his life in Braintree. He married Ruth Newcomb by 1683, when their first child was born and they had eight children.

Generation 3:
Samuel Copeland (1686-1746), husbandman, also spent his life in Braintree. He married Mary Kingman before 1711, when their first child was born, and they had twelve children.

Generation 4:
Samuel Copeland, Jr. (1711-1799), cordwainer, spent most of his life in Braintree. He died in New Hampshire. His wife was Mary Owen (they married April 2, 1736, in Braintree) and they had eleven children.

Generation 5:
Abraham Copeland (1736-between 1802-1805) is assumed to have been born in Braintree, but moved to Maine and married Elizabeth Tupper in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. He was a sea captain and died at sea in the early 1800's. They had five children, and I am descended from two of them.

Generation 6: Nathaniel Copeland (1765-1803) married Mary Page
Generation 7: Thomas Jefferson Copeland (1801-1877) married Julia Elvira Townsend
Generation 8: Henry Clay Copeland (1832-1912) married Sarah Lowell
Generation 9: Lowell Copeland (1862-1935) married Ethel May Greeley
Generation 10: Lowell Townsend Copeland (1900-1974) married Helen Lysle Hunter
Generation 11: My mother
Generation 12: Me

The second line is as follows:
Generation 6: Mary Copeland (1763-1812) married Micah Ellis
Generation 7: Tryphena Ellis (1781 - between 1850-1860) married Amos Townsend
Generation 8: Julia Elvira Townsend (1808-1868) married Thomas Jefferson Copeland (Generation 7 above)

My source for much of this information is secondary:
Warren Turner Copeland, The Copeland Family: A Copeland Genealogy (Rutland, Vermont: The Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc., 1937), although if I were to mine the Braintree Records at, as well as explore land and probate records, I could likely find lots of primary source information for this family. I have found some records from the state of Maine but I certainly could explore more Maine records to find out more about generations 5-9 listed above.


  1. Elizabeth, I love how you do your Surname Saturday, especially with the map. I've got a lot of folks from Braintree, but none that connect to yours...maybe some day.

    1. Barbara, lots of other Braintree families married into Copeland, so perhaps one of those. But we know we're cousins through Connecticut families!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I have a cousin, Nathaniel Glover (1731 - 1801) who married an Abigail Copeland of Braintree, and another cousin Samuel Wilde (b. 1693) who married a Bethia Copeland in Braintree on 8 Feb 1716. Both of these Copeland women must be from your family.

    1. Heather, yes, Bethia Copeland Wild(e) is my 7th great grand aunt and Lawrence is her grandfather. Can't confirm this Abigail, but I'm sure she is related in some way too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!