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Sunday, June 2, 2019


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author

“What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet

Although I am not a fan of the play 'Romeo and Juliet', the above quote kept running through my mind as I was researching the Copelin sisters. Now you may ask, why would "What's in a name?" have to do with the sisters.  Well, in the archives the name can also be, Copolin, Copilan, Copalin, or even Copeland. It was a challenge to find their story. So, here for your reading pleasure is the story of these sisters, researched as well as possible, for now.

Some time after 1860 William and Ruth Copeland, both from Ohio, came to the Colorado Territory and settled in Colorado City. With them came their children Lucetta, Rebecca, Charlotte, Silas, and the twins George and James. A young man by the name of Perry Fisher also traveled west with the family. The son John D Copeland, who was sixteen in the 1860 census, appears to have not made that trip.

On February 13, 1862 Lucetta Copeland, spelled Coplin and Perry Fisher were married by James Roberts the Justice of the Peace in Colorado City. Both were about twenty-four at the time.

Image result for colorado city co 1870
Colorado City 1860 ?
from a Pinterest Board
Almost a year later Charlotte Copeland, spelled Coplen, and Adam Hill were married on January 15, 1863 in the presence of John Evans and Nancy Husetty, with the services performed by the same Justice of the Peace,  James Roberts.  Adam was probably twenty-seven  and Charlotte around fifteen years of age.

On January 1, 1865 in the presence of George Davis, R. S. Kelly, and William Coplin (Copeland), Rebecca married Chauncey L Hall. Although I've not found the age of Chauncy, Rebecca was seventeen.  The R. S. Kelly was the El Paso County sheriff, and a man of some fame in El Paso County. (See the below link)

Although William had been a merchant prior to arriving in Colorado Territory by 1870 when he was fifty-six and Ruth, fifty-two they were living in Colorado City with sons Silas, eighteen and the twins James and George, age twelve. William's job was listed as mail contractor. They lived next to Perry and Lucetta who by that time had five children. Their names were McClelland, Harriet, Rosetta, Ulysses, and William. At this time Perry's job was that of Hotel keeper.

Meanwhile Adam and Charlotte, were living with their children Minnie,Hiram, and Walter in Colorado City, but further away from her parents.  Adam's job was that of carpenter, a very valuable job at that place and time.

Both Lucetta and Charlotte lived to a fairly advanced age.  Rebecca appears to of died within a year of her marriage. No cause of death has been found at this time, however, given the time frame it appears that she may have died in childbirth. I've also not been able to locate a place of burial.

Charlotte and Adam moved from Colorado to California later in life and settled in Santa Cruz County. Adam died December 15, 1913 and is buried in Oakwood Memorial Park in Santa Cruz. Charlotte, remarried a gentleman by the name of Musgrave. She passed away April 11, 1930 in Sacramento California. She also is buried in Oakwood Memorial Park, Santa Cruz, California.  Adam Hill obit  
Charlotte's info from Find a Grave

Lucetta and Perry also moved to California, where both passed away in Siskiyou County California. Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Yreka, California. Perry passed away May 19, 1907 and Lucetta passed away June 1910.

Photo Property of the Author
As you know, women were rarely spoken of in early publications. However, Ruth Copeland made the news in Colorado Springs in June 1880 when they realized that she was a cousin to Gen. Garfield who later became president Garfield. She spoke of knowing him when he was a child, and how she wasn't surprised at the notable career he had. Yet, even in this article, she is referred to as Mrs. Copeland. This may be a future post if all goes well.

I would love to know more about these pioneer women, but that may not happen. As a writer, I can dream of what I think their lives were like, and tell that story. It might be fun, but it would never compare to the real story if one could be found.

Link to R.S. Kelly:Story of Rankin Scott Kelly. 

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. Fascinating, Doris! Wow, all those different spellings of names! Makes research very tricky!
    Some of them married really young, didn't they?

    1. The names does make it tricky, and I'm sure I've missed so information because of it. At the same time, I love the challenge.

      They did marry young, and I found in further research that Lucetta and Perry said they were married in 1859, a date before the official recording here in Colorado. I love history!
      Thanks for the encouragement. Doris

  2. I know lots of people who are into genealogy and the different spelling of names is a common problem. Well done for cutting through that. Great research here. Thanks for another fascinating article.

    1. Thank you. I do enjoy digging and trying to find the truth. So many fascinating stories to tell, so little time...sigh. Doris

  3. Love the story, Doris. My own family tree has a similar problem. So far, I've found Lower, Lohr, Lauer, and Lowe. There's a winery in CA called Lohr Vineyards and my brother convinced them we are related so he's eligible for a family discount!

    1. Oh my, Becky, I hope your brother gets that discount. That story made my morning.

      The research of family names does get tricky, doesn't it? It is like putting together a puzzle, with some pieces missing. Still, to find the names and stories that go with them is so exciting. I try to imagine what their lives were like, how they lived and loved. When I come across little pieces of that information it makes all the effort worthwhile. Doris

  4. Nice Doris. Are you up for hire? I'm teasing, but I know your very thorough in your searches. Interesting read. Thank you.

    1. I'd never thought about researching for others. I just love finding the stories and the people who made them. (Smile). Thank you for the kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed the story of the three sisters and their mother. Doris

  5. Doris, I always enjoy your research stories. Absolutely fascinating. I could read on and on. History is remarkable, that's for sure and so very interesting. You do a bang-up job of it too, so thanks. I'm half Scotish and half Italian--crazy mixture--and when my grandfather and grandmother came from Italy through Ellis Island (and yes I have their certificate of passage) their names were drastically changed as the people registering them couldn't understand them. Their beautiful Italian name got changed to a name not even close and so I think that happened alot throughout all the states or territories. I'm sure that's what happened to many along the way, even when it's simple like Copeland,etc.

    1. Beverly, the thing is, I don't think the real name was Copeland. I think it started out, Coplen. (Of course that's just my opinion). I'm glad you enjoyed the stories and the kind words about my work.

      I understand the name change for immigrants. My great grandfather's family had their name changed pretty drastically also. I'm still hunting them in Germany. LOL Doris

  6. Oh my gosh, I feel like a spelling bee mishap with all these different spellings for Copeland. Yikes! You really went deep into the research for this post. Good work, Doris.

    1. Sarah, it makes the chase for the story pretty darn interesting when you have multiple spellings. Like I told Beverly, I truly do believe it started out Coplen.

      As for the research, I can't help myself. I try to find as much as I can, and even then I don't think I've done enough. (Sigh). Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the 'Copeland' sister's story. Doris