Copeland Family

This page provides information about one branch of the Copeland family that probably originated in England, immigrated to Ireland and then to the American colonies. They settled for a while in Pennsylvania, and then around 1755 some branches moved to Laurens County, SC near the town of Clinton. Some of the family remained in South Carolina, while others in the 19th century moved to Georgia.

A good source of information on this family is Raymond Manos' 1976 manuscript on the Copelands in the Georgia Archives in Morrow, GA.

Copelands in Co. Down, Ireland

In the 18th century, this branch of the Copelands was living in Co. Down in the Ulster province of Ireland. It is not known when this family moved to Ireland: the name is English in origin.  It is very possible that the Copelands moved to Ulster as part of the English plantation movement, to settle Scottish and English families in certain parts of Ireland.

George Prangle Copeland

George Prangle Copeland was born in Ireland.  His wife's name is not known.  In the late 1740s or early 1750s, he and his family and some other families, including the Blakeleys, immigrated to Pennsylvania.  He may have moved to South Carolina for a while, but in the 1790 federal census, he was living in Pennsylvania.

John Copeland, Sr. (1748-1826)

John Copeland was one of George Prangle Copeland's sons.  He was born in Ireland on February 12, 1747/48. At some point, he married Margaret Blakeley, the daughter of John Blakeley, Sr. and Rachel Orr, both who had emigrated from Ireland. 

Around 1755, the families left Pennsylvania and moved to Laurens Co., SC, near the town of Clinton. They belonged to Duncan’s Creek Presbyterian Church.

On Monday 22 June 1767 John Copeland, age 21, petitioned for 100 acres, as shown in Brent H. Holcomb's Petitions for Land from South Carolina Council Journals Volume VI: 1766-1770 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1999), pp. 88, 92.

On Tuesday 23 February 1768, as shown in Brent H. Holcomb's South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1783-1788 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1996), p. 167, his petition for certifying a plat on the bounty was presented and read: John Copland 100 acres on Rayburns Creek. This land is in modern-day Laurens County at Rabon Creek.

He sold this land, which was granted on 6 April 1768, to Isaac Abercrombie as shown in Larry Vehorn, Laurens County South Carolina Deed Abstracts Books E-F 1793-1800 (1767-1800) Vol. #2 (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2006), p. 106:

Page 294  2 Aug 1769, John Copeland (Berkley Co.) Weaver to Isaac Abercrombie (same) planter, for 150 sold all that Tract of Land containing 100 acres in sd. Co. on Raiborns Creek, a branch of Saluda. Bounding on all sides Vacant. Original grant was to John Copeland. Witness John Abercrombie, James Abercrombie. Signed John (J) Copland [sic]. Witness oath by John Abercrombie 27 Feb 1798 to James Abercrombie J. P. Laurens Co. [No record date.]

In 1783 he purchased some land in what is now Laurens County, as shown in the abstract in Brent H. Holcomb's South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1776-1783 (Columbia: SCMAR, 1994), p. 258:

H-5, 318-319: 18 Jan 1783, Thomas Wade Senr. of County of Anson, North Carolina, to John Copeland of Craven County, for 140 specie, plantation in two tracts, one granted to James McKay 19 March 1773 and conveyed from said James McKay to Thomas Wade in the county of Craven State of South Carolina, on both sides McIntires creek & on north side Broad River, 150 acres; the other tract granted to John Sertain 29 April 1768 in Craven county including the mill, 100 acres which was conveyed by John Sertain to Thomas Wade senr. Thos Wade (LS), Wit: Thomas Willson, Jacob Harrland. Proved in Camden District by the oath of Thomas Willson before Jas Willson, a state justice, 8 Jan 1783. Recorded 3 Dec 1783.

He later sold some land he got from his father, as shown in the abstract in Larry Vehorn, Laurens County South Carolina Deed Abstracts Books A-D 1785-1793 (1769-1793) (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2004), p. 106.

Pages 242-245 Lease & Release, 22 Apr 1784, John Copeland & Margaret his wife in consideration of 200 Current Money [Old Money in one ref.] paid by Joshua Arnall, sell all that plantation containing 200 acres in Craven Co. on Beaverdam, a branch of Little River. Bounded all sided by Vacant land at time of original survey. In consideration of 200 Current Money to William Arther paid by George Copeland, sold 200 acres granted unto William Arther (Congaree) 13 Oct 1772 by Lord Charles Montague, then Gov.  John Copeland is son & Heir to sd. George Copeland dec. Witness Robert Spears [Speers in release.]. Elizebeth (E) Spears [Speers in release.]. Signed John Copeland, Margaret (.) Copeland. Rec. 22 Sept 1790.

From 1780 to 1782, John Copeland fought on the colonists' side during the Revolutionary War. The Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution contains the following entry for John Copeland:

Served as a private and lieutenant in the militia under Capts. William Jenkins, John Burton, William Copeland, _____ Wilson, Col. Bratton and Gen. Henderson during 1780, 1781, and 1782.

John Copeland died on September 20, 1826 in the Duncan's Creek section of Laurens Co., SC.

John Copeland’s wife, Margaret Blakeley, died on February 22, 1844.  Both of them are buried in Duncan’s Creek Presbyterian Church cemetery, where his descendents put up a new gravestone in 1956.  The inscription reads “John Copeland, Sr. 1748-1826 and Margaret Blakeley 1758-1844. (Both born in Ireland) Served in the Revolutionary War in Col. William Bratton's regiment." On the back, "their children" are listed:

  • George
  • John Jr.
  • William
  • James
  • Samuel
  • Rachel
  • Nancy

Although their tombstone says she was born in Ireland in 1758, according to another account, Margaret was born in Adams Co., PA in May 1759.  

Here is what is known about John Copeland’s children:

  • George Copeland.  Born about 1774. Married Elizabeth Jones, perhaps a widow. Moved back and forth between South Carolina and Georgia, according to the birth states for his children in the censuses.
  • John Copeland II. Born 1782. Married Nancy Mills. Married second Sarah ? Died 1865. Lived in Laurens Co., SC.
  • William Copeland. December 18, 1786 in SC. Married Nancy Bryant on December 30, 1810 in Morgan Co., GA. Died December 22, 1875 in Henry Co., GA.
  • James Copeland. Born 1792. Married Elizabeth Little. Died 1869. Lived in Laurens Co., SC.
  • Samuel Copeland. Married Asenath Holland, Eleanor Graig, Sarah Barksdale, and Rachel Dalyork. Lived in Laurens Co., SC. May have died between 1840 and 1850.
  • Rachel Copeland. Married Jesse Johnson.
  • Nancy Copeland. Married Alexander Fairburn.

John Blakeley, Sr. and Rachel Orr

John Blakeley, Sr., and Rachel Orr were both Irish immigrants.

On Tuesday 5 January 1768, John Blakely petitioned for 200 acres of land on the "Waters Santee & Peedee" as shown in Brent H. Holcomb's Petitions for Land from South Carolina Council Journals Volume VI: 1766-1770, (Columbia: SCMAR, 1999), p. 147.

The following entry for Tuesday 7 April 1772 shows a petition to certify a plat, as shown in Brent H. Holcomb's Petitions for Land from South Carolina Council Journals Volume VII: 1771-1774, (Columbia: SCMAR, 1999), p. 100:

William Graham 200 [acres] in Granville County Surveyed for John Blakley

John Blakeley also probably fought in the Revolutionary War as there are several John Blakeleys listed in the Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution. John Blakeley, Sr., died in 1798.  Rachel Orr died after 1814.

The following will can be found in the South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 3. Winter 1975, No.1.

(Estate of JOHN BLAKELY, SENR). The petition of Thomas & William Blakely sheweth that John Blakely, Senior, of Laurens District, sometime in the year 1798 departed this life intestate, owning a tract of land containing 100 acres, adjoining lands now belonging to Charles Little, your petitioners Thomas and William Blakely, and the heirs of Jonathan Blakely deceased, leaving at the time of his death a widow Rachel Blakely and the following children and grandchildren, to wit,

i. Thomas Blakely,
ii. William Blakely (your petitioners),
iii. Robert Blakely, who resides in the State of Tennessee,
iv. Catharine, wife of Hugh Wilson, who reside in the State of Georgia,
v. James Blakely,
vi. Margaret, wife of John Copeland,
vii. Benjamin Blakely, who Lives without the limits of this State in parts unknown,
viii. Jonathan Blakely,
ix. Sarah, who died in the lifetime of her father, wife of Days Gill, survived by her son Thomas Gill,
x. John Blakely.

Jonathan Blakely, sometime in September 1809, departed this life intestate, leaving a widow Martha, who hath since intermarried with Henry McKelvey, and five children, to wit,

i. Robert Blakely, a minor between 14 and 21 years of age,
ii. Margaret Blakely,
iii. Elizabeth Blakely,
iv. Martha Blakely,
v. Agness Blakely, all being minors under the age of 14 years.

Rachel Blakely, widow of the said John Blakely, on or about 24 Dec. 1814 conveyed to your petitioners the undivided third part of the said tract to which she was entitled. Petitioners pray that guardians may be appointed for the minor children of said Jonathan Blakely, and that a Writ of Partition may be issued.

William Irby, Deputy Sheriff, swore that he personally served Andrew Spears, Thomas Gill, David Spears, James (sic)McKelvy & Martha his wfie with copies of the petition, and left copies of the same at the houses of James Blakely & John Copeland. 18 May 1815.

Commission to William Falton Esquire, John Howard, John Bailey, Samuel Taylor, & Samuel Vance, ordering them to make the partition.  4 Dec. 1815. Commissioners' Report dated 14 Feb. 1816 recommends sale of the land, appraised as worth $200.

George Copeland (about 1774-1813) and Betsy Jones (about 1780-1867)

George Copeland was born about 1774 in SC.  He married Elizabeth "Betsy" Jones, who was perhaps a widow, before 1800. Her maiden name may be Adair. Because she was probably the E. Copeland living in Henry Co., GA in the 1850 federal census, she was born around 1780.

George Copeland died in 1813, probably in South Carolina, according to an 1813 bond recorded in Laurens Co., SC.  The following legal documents are in the South Carolina Archives.

State of South Carolina
Laurens District

Know all men by these presents that I George Copeland of State and District aforesaid, am held and firmly bound Peter Ball of the said state and District of Abbeville in the final sum of five hundred dollars to be paid to the said Peter Ball or to his certain attorney, executors, administrators or assigns to the which payment well and truly be made and done. I do hereby bind myself, my heirs, executors and administrators and every one of them firmly by these presents sealed with my hand dated this 9th day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight Hundred and Nine. The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound George Copland, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns doth make a good certified deed or Rights for a certain tract of land sold by the said George Copland to the s’d Peter Ball situate lying and being on the waters of Beards fork of Dunkins Creek, it being a part of two tracts of land whereon the abovementioned George Copeland now lives, containing ninety-one acres more or less with all the appertenances hereinto belonging and the s’d George Copeland doth agree to give the above Peter Ball a quick and peaceable possession of the s’d tract of land on or (before) upon the 10th day of February these kitchen Plantation and all out houses when demanded then this obligation to be void if not to remain in full force and virtue in law as witness my hand and seal this day and date above written ____. The rights to be made on the last payment. George Copland (seal)

witnesses present William Fulton
N. Drummond
The 22nd day of July 1813 I assign the within Bond unto William Fulton Peter Ball

State of South Carolina
Laurens District

Personally appeared Nathanial Drummond one of the subscribing witnesses to the within Bond before me, Elijah Watson, one of the justices assigned to keep the peace in and for the s’d District, and being sworn as law directs on his oath saith that he was present and saw the within George Copeland sign seal and deliver this Bond to the within named Peter Ball for the purpose within mentioned, and further that he saw the within named William Fulton subscribe his name as a witness to the same together with himself sworn to and subscribed the 16 day of November in the year 1813 before me.

E Watson, J.P. N. Drummond

A true Record of the original November 29th 1813. John Garlington Register M.C.


State of South Carolina
Laurens District

I, James Saxon, one of the Justices of the quorum of District aforesaid, do hereby certify unto all whom it may concern that Elizabeth Copeland, the wife of George Copeland, dec’d, did this day appear before me and upon being privately and separately examined by me did declare that she does freely, voluntarily and without any compulsion, dread or fear of any person or persons whomsoever renounce, release and forever relinquish unto William Fulton, his heirs and assigns all her interest and estate and also all her right and claim of dower of three tracts of land, house, one tract of one hundred and twenty nine acres sold by Andrew Endsley to William Prather, and sold by said Prather to George Copeland, dec’d husband, also one tract of one hundred and twenty four acres, and one tract of thirty three acres, all the above tracts sold to her dec’d husband, George Copeland, by the said William Prather and sold by said George Copeland, her dec’d husband, to the above named William Fulton, the above lands situate in District aforesaid on the waters of Beards fork of Duncans Creek of in or to all and singular the premises above mention as given under my hand and sealed this fifth day of November in the year of our lord Eighteen hundred and thirteen. her Elisabeth X Copeland (seal) James Saxon, JD mark .

A true copy of the original renunciation of Dower Nov 29th, 1813 – John Garlington, Register ___________ (Saluda?)

In the 1800 federal census in Laurens Co., SC, George Copeland had 1 male under 10, 1 male between 16 and 25, and 1 female between 16 and 25.

In the 1810 federal census in Laurens Co., SC, Geo. Copland has 2 males under 10, 1 male between 10 and 15, 1 male between 26 and 44, 2 females under 10, 1 female between 26 and 44, and 1 slave.

Elizabeth Copeland is probably the Elizabeth Copland enumerated in the 1820 census for Laurens Co., SC, with two males under the age of 10, one male between the age of 10 and 16, and one female between the age of 10 and 16.

In 1850, Elizabeth was living in Henry Co., GA, living near her son William's family. Betsy is thought to have died in 1867, probably in Georgia.

George Copeland and his wife Betsy had the following children:

  • George P. Copeland, III.
  • William Copeland. Born in Laurens Co., SC on May 3, 1802. Married Margaret Blakeley.  In 1850, in Henry Co., GA. Died near Bowdon, Carroll Co., GA on July 31, 1877.
  • Elizabeth Copeland.
  • John Copeland.
  • Rachel Copeland.
  • Robert Hatten Copeland. May have been born on February 14, 1803 in South Carolina.  Married first Sara Minerva (unknown surname) in the late 1820s in unknown location. Married second Ann J. Farris on December 16, 1860 in Chambers Co., AL. Died on February 3, 1885 in Coweta Co., GA.
  • Samuel Copeland. Born around 1811. Married Elizabeth P. In 1850, in Henry Co., GA. By 1860, moved to Bowdon, Carroll Co, GA.  Died around 1864 in Carroll Co.
  • Joseph Copeland. Born around 1813. Married Susan Rebecca Millians on November 7, 1858 in Coweta Co. Died December 4, 1894. Buried at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta Co., GA.

The following deed is recorded in the Laurens County courthouse in Book N, p. 157B:

South Carolina Laurens District
Know all men by these presents that we Elizabeth Copeland William Copeland John & Rachel Beavis Robert Copeland Samuel Copeland and Joseph Copeland of the state of Georgia being the legal heirs and representatives of George Copeland Decd. late of the state and district aforesaid for and in consideration of the Sum of Eighty Dollars paid by Robert McClintock to Elizabeth Copeland and the legal heirs and the representatives of the Said George Copeland have granted Bargained Sold & Released and by these presents to grant bargain sell and release unto the said Robert McClintock all that plantation or tract of Land Containing Sixty two acres more or less situated in state and district aforesaid on the waters of Bush River bounded by lands belonging to John Vaughan Mrs McClintock W D Watts and hath such shapes form and marks as the above plat represents together with all and singular the Rights members hereditaments and appertainances to the said premises belonging or in any wise incident or appertaining to have and to hold all and singular the premises before mentioned Robert McClintock forever and we do hereby bind ourselves our heirs executors and administrators to warrant and defend all and singular the said premises unto the said Robert McClintock against our selves our heirs and assigns and every other person or persons whomsoever lawfully Claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof witness our hands and seals this 9 day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred & Thirty and in the Fifty fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America.
John Bryans                                                                     Elizabeth her mark Copeland
William Copeland                                                               William Copeland
                                                                                     John Bevis
                                                                                     Rachel her mark Bevis
                                                                                     Robert H Copeland

South Carolina
Laurens District
Personally appeared before me William Copeland and being duly sworn saith he saw Elizabeth Copeland William Copeland John Bevis Rachel Bevis and Robert H Copeland all of the state of Georgia sign seal and deliver this within deed to Robert McClintock for the use and purpose therein mentioned and that John Bryans together with himself subscribed his name as witness to the execution of the same sworn to before me this the 31st of December 1831. William Copeland

Jessee Johnson J.P.
A true record of the original Oct 3d 1836 John Garlington R.M.C.


Robert Hatten Copeland (about 1803-1885)

Photograph of oil painting of Robert H. Copeland. Photograph of oil painting of Sara Minerva Copeland.
Tomb of Sarah M. CopelandTombstone of Sarah M. Copeland.

Robert H. Copeland married twice, first to Sara Minerva (unknown surname) and second to Ann Jane Farris.

Sarah was born in South Carolina on December 18, 1810 and died from dropsy on August 21, 1859. Her death is recorded as September 1859 in the 1860 mortality schedule for Heard Co., GA although her tombstone states August.  She is buried in the Franklin city cemetery in Heard Co.

Ann Jane Farris, the daughter of John Farris/Ferris/Faires and Nancy (Blair?), was born around 1834 in South Carolina and died before 1910. She and Robert married on December 16, 1860 in Chambers Co., AL.  Ann was the mother of Mary F. Copeland, Thomas Copeland, and Charles M. Copeland.

Robert Hatten Copeland’s nickname was Snake, apparently in reference to a deformed arm.  At one point in his life, he ferried people across the Chattahoochee River near the corner of Carroll, Coweta, and Heard counties.  He was also very involved in Methodist camp meetings.

The following article, "Physiological Phenomenon,"  is in America’s GenealogyBank, which is copyrighted by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society, 2004. The article originally was published in the December 11, 1838 edition of the The New Hampshire Gazette:

The annexed article, which appears to have been copied from a Georgia paper, comes to us through the Washington City Statesman:

Physiological Phenomenon.
A SNAKE MAN.—A correspondent in the country has furnished us with the following account of an individual, by the name of Robert H. Copeland, who is exhibiting himself through the country, the facts are vouched for by a number of the most respectable physicians and other persons in Henry County.

This most singular being, perhaps, has not a parallel in medical history. He is now about 29 years old, of ordinary stature and intellect. His deformities are owing to a fright his mother received from a large rattlesnake attempting to bite her, about the month of her pregnancy. For several moments after the snakes [sic] struck at her; she believed herself bitten just above the ankle, and so powerfully was her mind affected, that, when she was delivered, the child’s will was found to have no control over his right arm and leg; which are smaller than his left extremities. He can use his right leg now sufficiently to walk in a hobbling manner, but cannot retain it stationary, without the aid of the weight of his body. His right hand has the usual number of fingers, but they are smaller than those of his left hand. The wrist joint is longer than usual and his hand stands at angle with his arm. His front teeth are somewhat pointed and inclined backward like the fangs of a snake. The right side of his face is sensibly affected; his mouth is drawn considerably further on the right than on the left side; his eye squints, has several deep groves (sic) radiating from it, and has a very singular appearance much resembling a snake.

But perhaps the most extraordinary circumstance on record, is, that his right arm, when not restrained, will draw the lower part to about a right angle with the upper, and sometimes two or three, but most commonly only the fore-finger will project, curved at the first joint, much resembling a snake’s head and neck, when in the attitude of striking; and the whole arm will strike at an object with all the venom of a snake, and precisely in the same manner, sometimes for four or five strokes, and then the arm assumes a vibratory motion, will coil up, and apply itself close against the body. During this period, his right foot and leg become excited, and if not restrained will strike also. His face is also excited; the angle of his mouth is drawn backward, and his eye snaps more or less, in unison with the strokes of his hand, whilst his lips are always separated, exposing his teeth, which being somewhat pointed, like the fangs of a snake, causes his whole visage to assume a peculiar and snaky aspect. During infancy and childhood, the whole shape of the snake, even to the fangs, was printed on the anterior of his legs: but he grew up, it became gradually obliterated, till now there is only a small depression where the snake’s head was imprinted. The sight of a snake fills him with horror and an instinctive feeling of revenge; and he is more excitable during the season of snakes, and even conversation concerning them excites him, and his arm appears more anxious to strike than when no such conversation is going on.

All of the above phenomena are perfectly independent of his will, as hundreds can testify, who were acquainted with him long before he had an idea of exhibiting himself publicly. This singular being was born in Carolina, and moved to Georgia in the year 1829, where he has since remained, performing such labor as he could with one hand; and by unremitting exertions, has maintained his wife and increasing family. His physical peculiarities being considered only in the light of a common deformity, he never thought of exhibiting himself publicly till it was suggested to him by a medical friend in 1837.

As best as can be determined, Robert H. Copeland fathered 13 children:

  • Dickson H. Copeland. Born August 20, 1832. Married Nancy Ann Witcher on October 19, 1858. Died December 26, 1905 in Cave Springs, Floyd Co., GA.
  • Alfred S. F. Copeland. Born May 22, 1835 in Henry Co., GA.  Served in Company E, 19th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry (Georgia Heard Grays). Married Jane (unknown surname). Died May 22, 1886. Buried in Concord Methodist Church cemetery in Carrollton, Carroll Co., GA.
  • Asberry Copeland. Born 1838. Married to Martha Frances McDonald on November 29, 1859 in Franklin, Heard Co. Served in Company K, 56th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. Died on May 27, 1863 in military hospital at Lauderdale Springs, MS. Buried in Lauderdale Springs, MS.
  • John Copeland.  Born about 1839.
  • N. Copeland. Born about 1842.
  • Nancy Anne Copeland. Born 1842. Married Milton Henderson Haynie (March 8, 1840-October 7, 1900) about 1866.  Died March 10, 1928 in Atlanta, Fulton Co. Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta Co., GA.
  • George P. Copeland. (1845-1863). Served in Company I, 41st Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry (Heard County Rangers). Died in a train accident during the Civil War.
  • William S. Copeland. Born December 28, 1847.  Married first Otella Cordelia (unknown surname) (December 27, 1850-September 16, 1888). Married second Alice Allen (August 6, 1870-May 26, 1904) on June 16, 1891 in Coweta Co. Died April 27, 1914 near Newnan.  Buried at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta Co., GA.
  • Joseph Henderson Copeland. Born November 19, 1850 in Heard Co, GA.  Married Samantha A. Yarbrough on November 19, 1873. Died September 22, 1940 in Bowdon, Carroll Co., GA. Buried in Bowdon Methodist Church Cemetery in Bowdon.
  • Andrew Copeland. Born about 1853.
  • Mary F. Copeland. Born October 6, 1861. Married Z. B. Treadwell in January 18, 1882 in Whitesburg. Lived in Temple, Carroll Co., GA in 1900. Died October 15, 1918. Buried in Pleasant View Baptist cemetery in Carrolton, Carroll Co., GA.
  • Thomas Copeland. Born 1867. Died January 28, 1884 in Whitesburg, Carroll Co., GA.  Buried in Whitesburg City Cemetery in Whitesburg.
  • Charles M. Copeland. Born September 18, 1871. Married to Lula Johnson on September 18, 1900.  Died May 25, 1938 in Whitesburg, Carroll Co., GA. Buried in Whitesburg City Cemetery in Whitesburg.

Obituaries for the family of Robert H. Copeland

Robert Hatten Copeland in Henry Co. - 1830

In the 1830 federal census in Henry Co., Robert Copeland's family had:

  • under 5 male 1
  • 20-30 male 1
  • 15-20 female 1

Robert Hatten Copeland in Henry Co. - 1840

In the 1840 federal census in Henry Co. (district 611), R. H. Copland's family had:

  • under 5 male 3
  • 5-10 male 2
  • 20-30 male 1
  • 20-30 female 1
Robert Hatten Copeland in Henry Co. - 1850
The 1850 federal census shows Robert Hatten Copeland's family in the 42nd district in Henry Co., GA.
  • R. H. Copeland, 43. Real estate valued at $400.
  • S. Copeland, 34.
  • J. M. Copeland, 21.
  • N. Copeland, 18.
  • A. Copeland, 15.
  • A. Copeland, 12.
  • A. Copeland, 10.
  • N. A. Copeland, 8.
  • G. P. Copeland, 5.
  • W. Copeland, 3.

Robert Hatten Copeland in Heard Co. - 1860
The 1860 federal census shows the family living in Franklin, Heard Co., GA.  Robert’s occupation was bridge keeper, and his personal estate was valued at $400.

  • Robert H. Copeland, 52, bridge keeper.
  • Nancy A. Copeland, 16.
  • George Copeland, 14.
  • William Copeland, 12.
  • Joseph Copeland, 10.
  • Andrew Copeland, 7.
One son, Dickson H. Copeland, 26, lived nearby and worked as an overseer. His wife Nancy A. and daughter Sarah, 1, are enumerated also.

Another son, Alfred Copeland, 23, lived nearby and worked as an overseer.

Also in the same area were Asbury Copeland, 22, shoe maker, personal estate $200 and his wife Frances (Martha Frances McDonald), 20.

Robert Hatten Copeland in Polk Co. - 1870
In the 1870 federal census, Robert was living in Cedartown, Polk Co., GA and his personal estate was valued at $150. His occupation was listed as invalid. He had married Ann Jane Farris in 1860.

The household was

  • Robert Copeland, 65, invalid.
  • Ann J. Copeland, 36, keeping house.
  • Mary F. Copeland, 8.
  • Thomas Copeland, 3.

Robert Hatten Copeland in Carroll Co. - 1880
In the 1880 federal census, Robert was living around Whitesburg (District 682/ Fourth District), Carroll Co., GA.

  • Robert Copeland, 74, laborer.
  • Ann J. Copeland, 44.
  • Mary F. Copeland, 18.
  • Thomas Copeland, 12.
  • Charles Copeland, 8
Robert H. Copeland died on February 3, 1885. The following notice is from The Newnan Herald, February 10, 1885:

I am called on to chronicle the death of another old landmark, Mr. Robert Copeland, who died at the home of his son, Mr. W. S. Copeland, Esq., in this District [Panther Creek], on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd., aged 79 years.  He was for many years a consistent member of the Methodist church and held an important position in the church.  He was a man of practical piety, and no doubt has gone to reap a Christian’s reward, I tender my sympathies to the mourning and would say, weep not, your loss is his eternal gain.

The following is from the Carroll Free Press on February 13, 1885:

Uncle Robert H. Copeland died at his home near Lodi, Coweta county, last Tuesday aged 79 years, and was buried in the grave yard here [Whitesburg] beside his son Tommie, who preceded him a short time ago to the Heavenly land.  Uncle Bobbie as he was familiarly called was one among the best men we ever knew and died in the faith which he had so long professed and lived, and is now no doubt enjoying that rest which awaits all the faithful.  The bereaved ones have our sympathy in their sad trial.

In the 1900 federal census, his widow, Ann, was living in Temple (District 649), Carroll Co., GA, with her son Charley and a granddaughter, Effie Treadwell, age 12, who was the daughter of Mary F. Copeland.

Asberry Copeland (1838-1863)

Possible photograph of Asberry Copeland.

Asberry Copeland was born around 1838 in Georgia, the son of Robert H. Copeland and Sarah Minerva (unknown surname). 

The 1860 Federal census shows him in Franklin, Heard Co., GA, as a shoemaker married to Frances, who was Martha "Fannie" Frances McDonald. Asberry had personal property valued at $200.

On October 18, 1861, their son, Augustus McDonald Copeland, was born.

What little is known about Asberry Copeland is provided in his widow's application for a Civil War pension. He and Fannie were married on November 29, 1859 in Franklin, Heard Co., GA.

On May 12, 1862, Asberry enlisted as a private in Company K, 56th Georgia Regiment, infantry.

On May 27, 1863, he died while in the hospital in Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi, of a "sickness contracted at Vicksburg, Mississippi."  

In 1999, one of his descendants (Bill Copeland) arranged for a tombstone to be erected in his honor where he is buried at the Lauderdale Springs Confederate-Union Cemetery in eastern Mississippi.

Augustus Copeland (1861-1943)

Photograph of Augustus M. Copeland, Sr.

Photograph of Augustus M. Copeland, Sr.

Augustus McDonald Copeland was born on October 18, 1861 in Coweta Co., GA. He was the son of Asberry Copeland and Fannie McDonald. His father enlisted in Confederate service in May 1862 and died in 1863 at the military hospital at Lauderdale Springs, MS.

In the 1870 federal census, he and his mother were living in Heard Co. with his grandfather McDonald's family.

In the 1880 federal census, he was living in Coweta Co. with the family of his uncle and aunt, James Bevis and Louisa McDonald. His occupation was laborer.

Marriage to Cora Grimes
On December 18, 1882, Augustus married Cora Grimes in Coweta Co. In 1885, Augustus moved to property he bought in Heard Co., GA (Newnan Herald, November 22, 1885), but moved back to the Handy community in Coweta Co. toward the end of 1886 (Newnan Herald, November 23, 1886).  Sometime in the 1890s he and his family moved to Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.

The 1900 federal census shows the Copeland family renting a house at 11 Bailey Street in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA:

  • Augustus Copeland, 38, carpenter.
  • Cora Copeland, 33.
  • Alvan F. Copeland, 13. telegraph ?.
  • Maggie R. Copeland, 11, at school.
  • Freddie A. Copeland, 9, cash boy.
  • Ida G. Copeland, 4.

An unnamed Millians female boarder, age 40, was living with them.

Cora Grimes died on October 31, 1902. 

The following were the known children of August Copeland and Cora Grimes:

  • Unknown daughter. Born in 1885. Died July 31, 1885 in Coweta Co., GA.
  • Alvin Freeman Copeland. Born July 27, 1886. Married Celestia Pressly on March 17, 1907 in Atlanta. Died January 7, 1956 in Lake Worth, FL.
  • Maggie R. Copeland. Born 1888.
  • Fred Amos Copeland. Born December 19, 1890. Married Ethel Rebecca Grimes on November 30, 1916 in Bessemer, Jefferson Co., AL. Died December 31, 1960 in Tampa, Hillsboro, FL.
  • Ida Lee Copeland. Born March 24, 1896. Married Will Victory Lawrence. Died December 6, 1922 in Fulton Co., GA.
Marriage to Haley Morgan
On April 26, 1904 in Fulton Co., GA, Augustus married Haley (Mahalia) Morgan, a daughter of Salathiel I. Morgan and Mary Ann Reeves. The following are the children of Augustus Copeland and Haley Morgan:
  • A. M. Copeland, Jr. Born about 1905. Married Florence Cooper. Died June 4, 1963 in Fulton Co., GA.
  • Guy Copeland. Born about 1909. Died on December 3, 1933 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.
  • Tommie E. Copeland. Born about 1912. Married Alfred G. Bonds about 1932.
  • Harry R. Copeland. Born about 1917. Died in 1990s.

In the 1910 federal census, Augustus and his family were living at 380 Simpson St., in Atlanta.

  • Augustus Copeland, 48, carpenter.
  • May H. Copeland, 35.
  • Ida L. Copeland, 14.
  • A. M. Copeland, 4.
  • Guy Copeland, 1.
In the 1920 federal census, Augustus and his family were living on Bankhead Highway in Lemons, a rural part of Cobb Co., GA.

  • Augustus Copeland, 58, farmer.
  • May Copeland, 43.
  • A. M. Copeland, Jr., 15.
  • Guy Copeland, 11.
  • Tomie E. Copeland, 8.
  • Harry R. Copeland, 3 6/12.
In the 1930 federal census, Augustus, his wife Mae, and daughter Tommie were living at 1055 Tumlin Street in Atlanta.

In the 1930 federal census, Harry Copeland, 13, was a farm-laborer prisoner at the Fulton County Industrial Farm in Atlanta.

Another son, A. M. Copeland Jr., was living with wife Florence (Cooper) and son Cecil Eugene Copeland at 1048 McMillan St in Atlanta.

Augustus Copeland, Sr., was married a third time, to Frances (unknown surname), but they divorced.

Augustus McDonald Copeland, Sr. is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta in the same plot as his son Alvin Freeman Copeland and Alvin’s wife Celestia.

The following obituary appeared in the Atlanta paper on June 17, 1943.

Augustus Copeland Dies at Age of 80

Augustus McDonald Copeland, 80, of 415 Carte Cay drive, Brookhaven, a retired contractor, died yesterday.
He was a native of Newnan, Georgia.
Survivors are a daughter, Mrs. Fred Powell, of East Point; four sons, A. M. Copeland Jr., of Atlanta; Alvin Copeland, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Fred A. Copeland, of Tuscaloosa, Ala, and Harry Copeland, of South America. A grandson, Alvin F. Copeland, of Atlanta survives.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Pruitt & Yarn.


The following obituary appeared in the Atlanta Constitution on March 4, 1935.

Mrs. Mahaley Mae Copeland

Mrs. Mahaley Mae Copeland, 60, dropped dead Sunday morning [March 3, 1935] at her residence at [?] Simpson Street, N.W. She and her husband, A. M. Copeland, Sr., who survives her, were reading the Bible together when she was seized with an attack and died before medical aid could be summoned. Besides her husband she is survived by four sons, Harry, A. F., and A. M. Copeland, Jr., of Atlanta, and F. A. Copeland, of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; a daughter, Mrs. Alfred Barnes [Bonds], of Atlanta; two sisters, Mrs. John Chambers and Mrs. Ollie Brooks, of Atlanta; and four brothers, Hardy Morgan, of Atlanta; John Morgan, of Anniston, Ala.; and Jim and Henry Morgan, of Sycamore, Ga. Final services will be held at 11 o'clock Tuesday morning at the chapel of Awtry & Lowndes, and the Rev. W. H. Knight will officiate. Burial will be in the Providence churchyard near Sandy Springs. She was a member of the Baptist Tabernacle and an old resident of Atlanta.

Alvin Freeman Copeland (1886-1956)

Photograph of Alvin F. Copeland and Celestia Pressly.

Alvin Freeman Copeland, known as Red, was born in Heard Co. on July 27, 1886, a son of Augustus Copeland and Cora Grimes.  He married Celestia Pressly (nicknamed Lester) on March 17, 1907 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.

In the 1900 federal census, both Alvin and Celestia lived with their families on Bailey St. in Atlanta, so they must have been living in the same neighborhood when they first met.  In fact, they married in her family's home at 22 Bailey St.

Their children were:

  • Cora Willie Copeland. Born January 1, 1908. Married E. B. Strickland, Sr. Died November 1990 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.
  • Ruth Copeland. Born July 22, 1910. Married Walter Narzinsky on May 5, 1930. Died September 1, 1969 in El Paso Co., TX
  • Alvin F. Copeland, Jr. Born 1911 in Fulton Co, GA. Married Delia Tarver. Died April 1966 in Dade Co., FL.
  • Henry Augustus Copeland. Born April 21, 1912 in Georgia. Married Stella Christian. Died December 12, 1980 in Highlands Co., FL.
  • Julian Presley Copeland. Died May 12, 1917 in Atlanta, GA at 17 months.
  • Lula "Jeannie" Imogene Copeland. Born May 21, 1917. Married first Charles D. Stanley. Married second Buford Bonner. Died August 1, 1996 in Wilmington, New Hanover, NC.
  • Spencer B Copeland. Born November 29, 1919. Married Ruth "Peggy" Deal on August 12, 1939 in Gwinnett Co., GA. Died September 12, 1989 in Marietta, Cobb, GA.
  • Robert Amos Copeland. Born 1923 in Georgia. Married Dora.
  • Martha Lynn Copeland. Born September 2, 1923. Married first Thomas Gormley. Married second Roscoe Murphy. Died December 5, 1990.
  • Sarah Copeland. Born March 14, 1927. Married John J. Ingram on December 15, 1945. Died April 26, 1984 in Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, FL.
  • Pressly D. Copeland. Died August 23, 1931 in Fulton Co., GA.

In the 1910 federal census, Alvin and Celestia were living on Oak Street in Black Hall, district 122 of Fulton Co., GA. Their daughters, Cora and Ruth were living with them. His occupation was pressman.

In the 1920 federal census, the family was living at 23 Johnston Avenue in Atlanta, Fulton Co. His occupation was pressman with the daily paper (Atlanta Georgian). Their children were listed as follows:

  • Cora, 12.
  • Ruth, 10.
  • Alvin, 9.
  • Henry, 7.
  • Lula, 2.
  • Spencer, 1/12.

In the 1930 federal census, the family was living on Fairburn Road in the Bryants region of Fulton Co.  Alvin was a printer with the newspaper.

  • Alvin F. Copeland, 43.
  • Celestia Copeland, 40.
  • Henry A. Copeland, 17.
  • Lula I. Copeland, 12.
  • Spencer B. Copeland, 10.
  • Robert A. Copeland, 7.
  • Martha Copeland, 5.
  • Sarah Copeland, 3 1/2.
In the 1940s, the family moved to Florida.  Alvin Freeman Copeland, Sr. died on January 7, 1956 in Lake Worth, Palm Beach, FL.  His wife Celestia died on March 12, 1959, also in Lake Worth.

The following obituary is from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, January 8, 1956:

Alvin F. Copeland

Alvin F. Copeland, 68, formerly of Atlanta, died Saturday at his home in Lake Worth, Fla. He was widely known as "Red" Copeland.

Mr. Copeland, who retired a few days ago, had been press room foreman of the Post-Times in West Palm Beach.

He was formerly in the press room of the Atlanta Georgian.

A charter member of the Capitol View Baptist Church in Atlanta, Mr. Copeland was also a member of Capitol View Lodge No. 640, F&AM.

A native Atlantan, he had made his home in Lake Worth about 15 years.  He was a deacon in Calvary Baptist Church there.

Surviving are his wife; daughters, Mrs. E. B. Strickland, East Point; Mrs. Walter Narzinsky, El Paso, Tex.; Mrs. E. D. Stanley, Clarkston; Mrs. Tom Gormley, Lake Worth, and Mrs. J. J. Ingram, Montgomery, Ala; sons, H. A. and A. F. Copeland, Jr., both of Miami; R. A. Copeland, Los Angeles, and Spencer B. Copeland, Fall Church, Fla. [sic]; brothers, F. A. Copeland, Tuscaloosa, Ala., and A. M. Copeland, Atlanta; 26 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.


Spencer B. Copeland (1919-1989)

Photograph of Spencer B. Copeland

Spencer B. Copeland was born November 29, 1919 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA. He married Ruth "Peggy" Deal on August 12, 1939 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.

Their children were:

  • Joan "Jeffrey" Copeland.
  • Rebecca Copeland.
  • Martha Faye Copeland.
  • Spencer B. "Rusty" Copeland, Jr. Born February 14, 1959. Died June 27, 1981 in Asheville, NC.

Spence Copeland was employed by IBM for 40 years, mainly in Washington, DC, and Columbia, SC.

Spencer B. Copeland died September 12, 1989 in Marietta, Cobb, GA. He is buried in Clinton, Laurens, SC.