John Joseph Copeland

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John Joseph Copeland

Also Known As: "Jo", "Josephjo Copeland"
Birthdate: (106)
Birthplace: Dolphin Leigh,Dolphinholme,Yorkshire,England
Death: circa 1718 (101-109)
Isle of Wight, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Brough, North Humberside, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Lawrence C, Sr Copeland and Susannah Ruth Hill
Husband of Christian Copeland and Sarah Copeland
Father of Christian Copeland; Charles Copeland; John (Nicholas) Copeland; Joseph Copeland; Hannah Copeland and 4 others
Brother of Lawrence Copeland, Jr.; Robert Copeland; William Copeland; Elizabeth Copeland; Francis Copeland and 6 others

Occupation: Merchant
Managed by: Lana Sue (Robinson) White
Last Updated:

About John Joseph Copeland

For two online sources each containing extensive biographical, historical, and genealogical research on Copeland and allied families, see: Copeland L Archives, the descendants of John Copeland, Immigrant at:

And for a redacted biographical narrative composed of corroborative information - chiefly detailing Copeland descent beginning with John Nicholas Copeland, 1642-1693 see Geni Profile: John (Nicholas) Copeland

Joachim Hawn, profile co-manager --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The earliest known piece of marked American pewter is a spoon. It was dug up some years ago at Jamestown, Virginia, and bears on its handle the name of Joseph Copeland of Chuckatuck and the date, 1677. Copeland was a London-trained pewterer who apparently migrated to Virginia shortly after he had served his apprenticeship. He may or may not have made anything besides spoons. Household pewter was made for common use and, though quantities were produced, comparatively few pieces made before the nineteenth century have survived. This is especially true of spoons. In fact, what saved the Copeland for twentieth-century eyes was probably its accidental interment.


Event: Immigrated 1635 Jamestown Island, James City County, Virginia Formed 1607

Note: 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 Ratcliff. 5

Event: Notes

Note: Much Confusion About Children Of John, In Order By Preference Of Possibliity 6


Note: Finally Settled In Chowan County, North Carolina 7

Residence: 1662

Note: Expulsion From Virginia By Governor Berkley Who Hated Quakers

Residence: 1660-1663

Note: Went From Virginia To Perquimans County, NC

Event: Religious Affiliation

Note: Quaker


John who was actually born in 1612 (not in 1616 as reported in other written genealogies)was christened in St.Mary's Church in Lancaster , Lancashire, England; and, his father is listed as being Lawrence Cooplande (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 Ratcliff. Michael G. Copeland<junostar@>

the National Geographic Society (Mr. Michael Horner, map archivist) resulted in placing Dolphin Leigh in the southeast outskirts of Lancaster, Lancs at Latitude 54 degrees, 3 minutes, and 9 seconds north; and Longitude 2 degrees, 46 minutes and 3 seconds west. The only additional information is that it is not a town or topographical mark. By elimination it is either a farm, estate, or crossroads.


Notes for JOHN COPELAND: It is likely that John Copeland was born in Lancashire. His father was Lawrence Copeland. Morris Guess author of "Genealogy of the Families of Copeland" states that this John was a famous roundhead whose lands were confiscated for his religious beliefs. Quoting James Winnefeld and Fredda Coupland Winnefeld, researchers of the Copeland Family "To date we do not know whether Dolphin Leigh was/is an estate, town or parish. It is not listed in any gazetteer we have examined. However, an inquiry to the National Geographic Society resulted in placing Dolphin Leigh in the southeast outskirts of Lancaster, Lancs at Latitude 54 degrees, 3 minutes and 9 seconds north, and Longitude 2 degrees, 46 minutes and 3 seconds west. The only additional information is that it is not a town or topographical mark. So, by elimination it is either a farm, estate or crossroads. As you will note, John later became a devout Quaker. Quakerism was strong in both Lancashire and Yorkshire. The record clearly indicates that John left Gravesend (near London) for Virginia aboard the "Assurance" in July of 1635. In conformance with the then existing law, he was "examined" by a town official before leaving and required to take an oath of "allegiance and supremacy" to support the Church of England. He was carried on the passenger manifest as being 19 years old at the time. It is not known where he debarked in VA, though based on his subsequent movements it was likely in the Hampton Roads region. It is not known when John was converted to Quakerism, but it is unlikely that such an event happened until the late 1640s or early 1650s when Quakerism's founder, George Fox, greatly expanded the geographical coverage of his ministry. What we do know with some certainty is that he settled in the south side of colonial Virginia and married Sarah Ratliff in 1644 in Isle of Wight, Virginia (IGI, VA, p.7, 026). As far as is known this was his first marriage. If his given age on sailing for Virginia in 1635 was correct, he must have been 29 years old at time of his marriage. One other researcher we have talked with believes that John travelled from Virginia to Boston in 1651. Sometime later he returned to England. It is possible he converted to Quakerism at this time. He left England 30 May 1656 for Boston aboard "Speedwell" and is listed as a Quaker on the passenger manifest. On arrival in Boston he and seven other co-religionists were promptly jailed. The captain of Speedwell was required to take them back to England. But the following year, John returned to Boston in the "Woodhouse". John's stay in Boston was again a stormy one and resulted in his having his right ear cut off by order of a Boston Court in 1658 and again being ejected from the Colony. John's subsequent travels until 1665 are unknown, but in that year he was again in England and was among the Newgate prisoners to be sentenced to transportation, first to the Barbados, and subsequently to Virginia Sarah died about 1675. This date is consistent with a report of his second marriage in England. He became a celebrity in his old age as one of the old Quakers who had suffered for his beliefs. He was asked on several occasions to display his mutilation to sympathizers. He remarried (his third marriage by our count) in 1691, and reportedly received many visitors in his home as late as 1698. Herman L. Coplen's "The Copeland/Coplen and Allied Families, Immigrants to Virginia" gives the date of his death as 9 Jan 1718 and his burial site as North Cave, Yorkshire, England. "

The evidence suggests that John entered into three marriages, the first to Sarah Ratcliffe of Isle of Wight, Virginia The names of second and third wives are not known and it is not known if he had any children from those later marriages. Notes by Jo Martin on GedForum August 29, 2000


From "Copeland Genealogical Record" by Leona Hart Copeland (GEN 929.2 C79CO in Texas State Library, Austin. 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. 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: Robert Brian 27; Maudlin Jones 60; Ann Shawe 32; John Duncomb 46; Sith Haieward 30; Richard Hamdy (or Hamey) 38; William Holland 35; Henry Snowe 26; Marie Southwood 22; Francis Rowlson 29; Jane Sowthern 19; Margerie Baker 39; Sara Rayne 18; Andrew Underwood 22; Phillipp Johns ; Henrie Marshall 35; Henry Heiden 30; Elizabeth Sherlocke 29; Thomas Hurlock 40; Samuel Handy 25; John Gater 36; Joan Gater 23; William Lee 36; Josua Titloe 19; John Middleton 23; Robert Haiward 22; Samuel Powell 19; Richard Glover 24; Thomas Pagitt 41; Mathew Holmes 21; Elias Harrington 22; Richard Smith 35; Thomas Robinson 24; Evan Ap Evan 19; John Browne 21; Robert Frith 23; Thomas Wilkinson 23; Dennis Hoggin 24; John Friccar 25; Richard Ridges 19; Edward Davies 27; Theodorus Bakewell 21; John Dermot 21; John Morgan 27; Thomas Baycock 46; Richard Rogers 48; Richard Lockley 51; John Jakes 20; Thomas More 19; John Baker 22; Nehemiah Cason 21; Robert Mayes 28; Richard Barnes 38; John Buttler 50; William Rebbell 19; Robert Wyon 22; Mathew Dixon 18; John Wheeler 23; John North 24; Moutford Newman 27; Robert Steere 17; William Lake 35; Humfrey Wilkins 19; Antony Stilgo 21; Thomas Deacon 19; Robert Rigglie 19; Benjamin Pillard 18; Robert Davies 28; John Smith 20; Walter Merridith 33; Thomas Phillips 24; James Kingswill (or Kingsmill) 18; John Bowton 20; Walter Chapman 44; James Arnold 37; Richard Leake 18; Thomas Edwynn 13; Handgate Baker 22; John Abrock 20; Thomas Hall 15; James Edwin 18; Edward Commins 28; John Gater 15; Nicolas Gibson 22; John Roberts 46; George Mosely 20; James Ravish 20; John Hales 21; Warram Tuck 20; John Jones 30; William Culture 19; Robert Silby 19; Richard Bruster 26; John Swanley 21; William Charles 21; Anthony Lee 21; William Williams 28; Henry George 19; John Billins 21; William Write 18; Robert Lovett 20; Job Jefferie 19; Henrie Haler 22; Richard Symonds 33; James Sparks 57; Richard Kirbie 32; James Hingle 40; Thomas Saunderson 24; William Spicer 20; William Thomas 19; Henry Madin 30; Edward Ednall 21; Thomas Jefferies 22; Nicolas Jackson 22; Thomas Spratt 23; Thomas Leonard 18; Thomas Beson 24; Christopher Dixon 24; Isack Kemp 23; Jeremie Slie 19; John O'Mullin 18; Antony Procter 16; Robert Handley 19; John Aymies 18; John Tayler 21; William Roffin 18; Richard Halsey 13; Antony Otland 18; Robert Oldrick 18; William Hall 21; JOHN COPELAND 19 ; John Goad 18; John Pooly 17; Francis Gayer 18; Thomas Craven 17; Richard Lucas 16; George Cullidge 18; Lawrence Barker 26; John Bowes 20; John Woodbridge 32; John Johnson 20; John Chappell 38; George Whittaker 32; Richard Liversidge 24; Henrie Wood 20; Robert Max 21; John Warren 18; Thomas Turner 18; John Garland 19; John Humfrey 23; Isack Ambrose 18; William Huncote 35; Thomas Williams 19; Thomas Foxcrofte 19; Thomas Hobbs 22; Charles Collohon 19; Henry Donn 23; Roger Quintin 21; William Small 18; William Coleman 16; Antony Androwe 21; John Richardson 18; William Claddin 17; Thomas Gudderidge 17; Roger Burley 17; Thomas Bard 16; Henry Butler 14; John Budd 15; John Marshall 35; William Read 30; Edward Mitchell 18; Robert Drewrie 16; Richard Wells 17; John Cotes 17; John Stubber 17; Henry Lee 18; Richard Ball 17; John Cooke 17; Thomas Syer 14; John Partridge 18; John Johnson 24; Isbell Davies 22; Isabell Hakesby 23; Joan Vallins 17; Marie Chambney 28; Elizabeth Allcott 20; Francis Bakewell 30; Elizabeth Payne 21; Elizabeth Hughson 22; Marie Averie 22; Sara Alport 25; Marie Lee 22; Elizabeth Bateman 23; Thomazin Markcom 26; Ann Goldwell 17; Ann Griffinn 26; James Brookes 28 and his wife Alice Brookes 18; Dorcas Mercer 30; Ellin Davies 23; Alice Harris 21; Eedie Holloway 22; Sara Coggin 20; Elizabeth Baker 20; Dorothie Davies 17; Elizabeth Raynard 20; Marie Olliver 21; Alice Riall 18; Rabecca Parmeton 19; Marie Middleton 17; Katherine Fulder 17; Elizabeth Dicks 18; Sara Greene 20; Margaret Rickord 20; Winnifredd Congrave 22; Mathew Plant 23; John More 28; Elizabeth Powell 17; Marie Shorter 26; Marie Lee 14 weeks; Mathew Clatworthy 25. (PRO:E157/20).


He was a Quaker by faith later in life but would not have been a Quaker when he first came to America for the Quaker movement had not started yet, He was though a decender, as seen on his father, for he was what was called a “'Roundhead”. He probably became a Quaker in America. One of the earliest records of Quakerism in Virginia was Elizabeth Harris, a native of London, in 1656, The first yearly meetings were first held in Virginia in 1673, If he first went to Boston in 1656, he must have gone soon after his conversion to Quakerism. There are several references to John Copeland in early records, they may not be John Copeland or his son, John Nicholas Copeland. It was interesting to discover that when he went to Boston preaching (see story below) that when they deported him they did not put him on a ship going back to Virginia but instead put him on a ship bound for England, Therefore, he probably crossed the ocean several times. Some of the references are listed below: Came to Virginia in 1635 at age 19, Went to Mass, in 1656 on the 'Speedwell'. Was in Boston again in 1657 o Returned to Boston again in 1658. Was in London in later part of year 1658, Was in London in 1661. Was married in 1667 (probably had been married before). His wife died in 1675. Married again in 1677. He & Elizabeth Copeland witness marriage 1684 of Edman Belson & Mary Crew, was in America again in 1687. He & Elizabeth Copeland witness marriage 1687 of Robert Jordan & Outland Taberer, He & Elizabeth were witness to marriage of Nathan Newby & Elizabeth Hollowell on Oct. 10, 1687* He & Elizabeth were witness to marriage of James Jordon & Elizabeth Ratliff on Mar, 29, 1688o He & Elizabeth were witness to marriage of Thomas Jordon & Margaret Burgh on Dec. 9, 1688 Married again in 1691, In 1698 Mr. Story lodged at his house, showed his mutilated ear. 1679-96 signature appears many times at Chuckatuck, John Copeland and a Mary Copeland witnessed the marriage of Joseph Kenerly and Sara Ratliff on July 20, 1696* Jan. 9, 1718 date of death and burial in England.

One cannot close a sketch of the Lower Virginia Quakers without a few words concerning four most interesting personages to impress the pages of their history. Incidentally, they are also four of the most colorful Virginia colonials. The first of whom we shall speak is John Copeland. We know that he was living at Chuckatuck in 1698 for the missionary, Thomas Story, tells of lodging at his house. He says, in his Journal, "Upon some discourse with our friend (Copeland) I found he was one of the first of those who had their ears cut off by the Presbyterians, or Independents, in New England for the testimony of truth, in the first publishing thereof to that rebellious generation; and at my request he showed us his right ear yet bearing the badge of their antichristianity." This quotation is most interesting as it throws new light upon the career of one of the earliest martyrs of the Quaker faith. John Copeland first came to the American colonies as a missionary to Boston, Mass., in 1656. He was with eight other missionaries, and with them he suffered persecution, imprisonment and eventually the sentence of banishment from the colony. John Copeland was from Yorkshire, England, and in all probability an acquaintance of Robert Fowler who was of the same county and the skipper and owner of that famous vessel, "The Woodhouse." Certain it is that Copeland was one of that renowned band that made the epic voyage across the Atlantic on that tiny vessel in 1657. As can be seen, this was Copeland's second mission to America. Like his friend and traveling companion, Christopher Holder, he was at this time young and unmarried and is referred to as being "well educated." In New England the two friends were banished again, after being cruelly beaten with a three-corded knotted whip. They were thrown into prison, without bedding, food or drink and left for three days and their wounds raw and uncared for. After nine weeks they were released and forbidden to ever show their faces in those parts since they preached a Gospel uncongenial to the local authorities. Refusing to be intimidated by the unjust and intolerant laws of the New England persecutors John Copeland, like his associates of the same period, defied the cruel law of exile and returned again and again to the forbidden towns and settlements, though he knew he did so at his own bodily peril. In 1658 he and Christopher Holder again felt a religious call to proceed to Boston - known to Quakers as "the Lion's Den." For such an act the law specified that their ears should be cut off.

This they knew. Yet they went to protest the denial of their religious liberties. As soon as it was known that they were within the bounds of the state of Massachusetts they were arrested and thrown into prison. A week later after the "wicked sentence had been pronounced, it was privately carried into execution by the hangman, within the walls of Boston gaol."

John Copeland was the third child of Lawrence Copeland.

John's first wife is unknown.

By his second wife Sarah Ratliff he had at least three sons; NICHOLAS, William, and Joseph, and one daughter Hannah.

John married his third wife, another Elizabeth.

He came to America on the Ship "Assurance" departing from London on July 24th, 1635. He was a Quaker by faith when he came across. He crossed the Atlantic several times and was buried at the All Saints Church, North Cave, England.

John Copeland (Lawrence, Robert, D.E.) was born in 24 Feb. 1612 in Dolphin Leigh, Dolphin Holm, Yorks, England. He emigrated in 1635 from England to Chuckatuck, Nanesmond and Isle of Wight. He died in 1682 in Isle of Wight , Virginia. He was a Quaker. He died in 1682 in Isle of Wight , Virginia. He was a Quaker Missionary Sarah was born 1625 in Isle of Wight, Virginia and died 1687 isle of Wight she married John Copeland 1640 and to this union was born 5 children. She was the daughter of Richard Ratcliffe and Elizabeth Cotchings

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John Joseph Copeland's Timeline

February 24, 1612
Dolphin Leigh,Dolphinholme,Yorkshire,England
February 24, 1612
St Mary's Church,Lancaster,Lancashire,England
September 1642
Age 30
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Age 34
Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States
Age 37
Isle of Wight, VA, USA
Age 41
Isle, Virginia, United States
Age 44
Isle Of Wight,Virginia
Age 61
Isle Of Wight Co, VA