The Family History.The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.
The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.


Person Sheet

Name John Joseph "Jo" COPELAND42
Birth Date 1612
Birth Place Dolphin Leigh, Lancashire, England
Birth Memo According to the National Geographic Society, Dolphin Leigh can be located on Royal Ordnance Survey maps (sheet 97 at 50,000:1).
Christen Date 24 Feb 1612
Christen Place St. Mary's church, Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Immigration Date 24 Jul 1635533
Immigration Place Nr. Jamestown, VA
Immigration Memo John Copeland, age 19, is shown as a passenger on the ship Assurance which departed from the port of London on July 24, 1635, He came from Dolphin Leigh. [Note: John was actually about 23 when he emigrated.] The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776 24 July 1635. Persons to be transported (from London) to Virginia by the Assurance of London, Mr. Isack Bromwell, after examination by the Minister of Gravesend: JOHN COPELAND 19. (PRO:E157/20).
Residence Date 1635
Residence Place Virginia
Witness Document Date 1640
Witness Document Place Accomack Co., VA
Witness Document Memo Witnessed bill of sale
Land Grant Date 1643
Land Grant Place Norfolk County, VA
Land Grant Memo Granted headright in lower Norfolk Co., VA
Death Date 1682533
Death Place Isle of Wight, VA
Death Memo Possibly Nansemond Co., VA, 1693
Religion Anglican - In conformance with existing law, John was "examined" by a town official before leaving and required to take an oath of "allegiance and supremacy" to support the Church of England.
Nationality English
Father Lawrence COPELAND (~1587-~1630)
Mother Ruth (~1580-)
1 Sarah RATLIFFE42
Father William RATLIFFE
Mother Susan
Marriage Date 1644533
Marriage Place Isle of Wight, Virginia
Children John Nicholas (1642-1693)
William "Will" (~1648-1720)
Comments Notes for John Joseph "Jo" COPELAND
This John is frequently confused with "Quaker John" Copeland who was mutiliated for his religious beliefs in Boston, and buried in England. Quaker John is now thought not to have had a family in America. -LH per notes from source533
John Copeland was born in 1612 and christened in St. Mary's church, Lancaster, Lancashire, England. On his 1635 emigration record, he was noted as the son of Lawrence Coopeland [sic] of Dolphinholme. This is a reference to the estate of Dolphin Leigh, Lancaster, where the Copelands were members of the local gentry. John's father had been a devout Catholic, but according to the laws of the time, when John embarked on the Assurance near Gravesend, London, he was most likely made to take an oath of Anglicanism. Unfortunately, John has traditionally been confused with "Quaker John Copeland" (that unfortunate who lost an ear at the hands of Massachusetts Puritans), although now most researchers believe that Quaker John did not settle in America or have descendants here. Although serious Copeland researchers seem to have concluded that the two men are distinct, the historical mixing of information about the two men has resulted in a narrative tangle of dates, places, marriages, and "facts". It is worth noting, however, that later descendants attributed to John of Dolphinholme did indeed become adherants of Quakerism.

John of Dolphinholme landed near Jamestown and shortly thereafter married Sarah Ratliff (or Ratcliffe), possibly an orphan of William and Susan Ratliff who were lost at sea. The Ratliff family is also believed to have been from the Lancashire area, although John and Sarah probably married after he emigrated from England. They lived their lives in the southern part of the colony, producing at least six children: Joseph, Ann, John, Mary Margaret, Thomas and William.
Web Post
14 June 1998
John was acturally born in 1612 (not in 1616 as reported in other written genealogies) and was christened in St. Mary's Church in Lancaster, Lancashire, England; and his father is listed as being Lawrence Coopelande (Copeland) of Dolphinholme, which is 6 miles to the south of Lancaster. Dolphin Leigh may have been the name of the manor estate according to those in the Preston Record Office. John came to Virginia in 1635 on the ship Assurance de lo and landed near Jamestown. He was twenty three (not 19 as some have reported) and he married Sarah Ratchiff...there is no support for JOHN COPELAND who was born in 1612 and sailed to Virginia in 1635 as being the same JOHN COPELAND who was the Quaker.

30 August 1998
The John Copeland born in 1612 was born in Dolphinholme and not in Dolphin Leigh as reported in a variety of written genealogies. This error was first reported in D. Graham Copeland's manuscript. The original is in the South Carolinian Library. D. Graham Copeland made the assumption that Dolphin Leigh was a village or hamlet in Lancashire. Actually it was the name of the manor estate of Laurence Copeland who was a wealthy member of the gentry in Lancashire. When John was born in 1612 (not 1615 as written in his manuscript) his christening was reported in the Church of St. Mary's and his father was identified as being Laurence Copeland of Dolphinholme. Dolphinholme is located about six miles to the southeast of Lancaster in Lancashire. The Ratliff family is also from Lancashire. John Copeland probably married Sarah Ratliff in Virginia after his arrival in Virginia in 1635. He came over on the ship Assurance and it is in his line that Lott Copeland descends.
Comments Notes for Sarah (Spouse 1)
The Ratliff family is thought to have come from Lancaster Co., England, near the Copeland seat.-LH
Last Modified 10 May 2006 Created 8 Feb 2007 Laura K. Henderson

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