Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Copeland Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Copeland can be traced to Northumberland and Cumberland, and is a locational surname for these places. The first of these possible origins is that it may have been derived from a location, somewhere with the name of Copeland. Because the surname of Copeland is locational, this means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. This locational name was Coupland, which comes from the Old Norse word “kaupland” which can be translated to mean “bought land.” This is importantly named because land was rarely bought or sold during the Middle Ages, rather it was handed down from one generation to the next.
More common variations are: Coupleand, Coopeland, Copeland, Coppleand, Copeeland, Copelanda, Copelannd, Copelannd, Caopeland, Copelland
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Copeland was found in the country of England, and in the year of 1204. One by the name of Samson de Copland was mentioned in the document referred to as the Pleas before the King and His Justice. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King John, who was known as and commonly referred to throughout history as the “Lackland.” King John ruled from the year 1199 to the year 1216. Other mentions of the surname of Copeland in England include William de Copeland, who was mentioned in the Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland in the year 1256, and Thomas Coupleland in the the Feet Fines of Essex in the year 1376. Within church records, the surname of Copeland is found in the marriage of Edward Copeland to Katheren Dodge in 1557 at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate. Those who bear this surname live all around the country of England. However, those areas with the higher concentration of those who beear the surname, compared to other parts of the country, are the counties of Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, and Lancashire.
Those who bear the surname of Copeland can be found in small quantities throughtout the Scottish countryside. The areas with the higher concentration of people who are known by the surname of Copeland are the counties of Lanarkshire and Midlothian.
United States of America:
During the European Migration, it was common for these disgruntled European citizens to migrate to the United States in search of something better for them and their families. The United States promised the freedom of religion, the freedom from unfair taxation, and the capability to find work and own land. Many citizens came to America, which was referred to as The Colonies and The New World. Among these citizens were people who carried the surname of Copeland. The first recorded person to enter the United States of America and bore the surname was one Christopher Copeland, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year 1631. Those who bear the surname of Copeland in the US can be found in the states of Texas, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama and Tennessee.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Copeland:
United States 64,030, England 5,781, Canada 3,420, Australia 1,807, South Africa 1,187, Scotland 820, Northern Ireland 775, Jamaica 589, Ireland 470, New Zealand 402
Aaron Copeland (1900-1990) who was a classical composer from America, and was also a composition teacher, and writer who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964
Brian Copeland (born in 1974) who was an actor from America, a comedian, radio talk show host, playwright, and author
Ray Copeland (1926-1843) who was a jazz trumpet player from America, and a teacher, and the father of the drummer who was named Keith Copeland
Jim Copeland (1945-2010) who was a former NFL offensive lineman from America who played in the 1960’s era
James Copeland (1823-1857) who was an outlaw, and was a co-leader of the 60 member Wages and Copeland Clan, who was executed by hanging
George Copeland (1882-1971) who was a classical pianist from America
Joan Copeland (born in 1922) who was an actress from America, and was the younger sister of the playwright Arthur Miller
Royal Samuel Copeland (1868-1938) who was an academic from America, and was a homeopathic physician and politician, and was a United States Senator from New York from the year 1923-1938
Copeland Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Copeland blazon are the bar, boar, trefoil and mullet. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, or and gules .
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield , usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior.
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur . The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. . Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”.