Welcome Copeland Cousins, one and all!

This site was created as a place for the descendants of Thomas Copeland and Anna Hood to learn more about their Copeland ancestors and their living relatives. Thomas Copeland and Anna Hood were married 23 Oct 1802 in Campbell County, Virginia. Shortly after their marriage they moved, along with Anna’s father James Hood, her uncle William Hood, and her brother-in-law Edmund Fears and their families to Grainger County, in Eastern Tennessee. From there they all moved en masse to what is today Limestone County, Alabama to try and secure some land in what has become known as Sims Settlement. Unfortunately, this land was still under negotiation with the Chickasaw, and so they were evicted from their homes there about 1810. They all headed North, passing through Union County, Kentucky before finally settling in Gallatin County, Illinois by about 1815.

Thomas and Anna Copeland had at least seven children: Obediah Copeland, Pleasant Copeland, Martha Patsey Copeland Knodell, Rebecca ‘Becky’ Copeland Mulkey, William Copeland, Agnes ‘Aggie’ Copeland Stom Cluxton, and Henrietta ‘Hannah Ritta’ Copeland Hudson Shores. The children of Thomas and Anna Copeland married and settled with their families in Southeast Illinois, where some descendants still live today. Some of Thomas and Anna’s grandchildren left Illinois and made their homes in Missouri, where some of their many times great-grandchildren can still be found. Future generations of the family were mobile, too, and today the descendants of Thomas and Anna can be found from coast to coast across the whole United States.

In early records for the family in Illinois, some members of the Copeland and Hood clan are listed as “free people of color.” DNA testing of more than one branch of the family tree has confirmed the presence of minority admixture, and in fact shows that these families were tri-racial: European, African, and Native American. Over time, and through subsequent marriages with individuals of predominantly European ancestry, the family transitioned in the records from “free colored” to “white.” Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has written an excellent article about this family, detailing how and why family members’ ethnicity changed in the records, which you can read here: Who was my free colored ancestor?

“Copeland Cousins” is still a work in progress, and much of its growth depends on contributions from cousins like you! If you have news, information, photos, or anything else Copeland-related that you would like to have included on this site, please email kelli@copelandcousins.com.

Or send via “snail mail” to:

Kelli Wilson
PO Box 313
Walpole, NH 03608