James Russell Coplen and George E Copeland were brothers even though they chose to spell their names differently. That seems to be common in that family. The reason why is as much of a mystery as their lives. The earliest records have them in Georgia and they stopped in Alabama for a few years before settling down in Union Parish. A Facebook page has been put up in hope of finding more information on them. If you would like to join it is named The Search for James Russell Coplen and George E Copeland.
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I have found several DNA matches with a Copeland line. I always put that person, marked as DNA match, in my working tree. That is the tree no one can see so I can put things in without documentation and I don’t have to worry about someone copying something I am not sure of. Most of those matches have a Copeland line to Nicholas Woodley Copeland (1697-1742) and Nancy Jane Lott. So far, I have not been able to find a connection between JR or George with either of them.
Several weeks back I found a match who is a descendant of Reubin Copeland and Nancy Jane GIBSON (1838-1882). She is the right age to be a sister of George’s wife Matilda. In fact, she has a daughter named Matilda. She is the daughter of Nathan W Gibson. I have not been able to find our Matilda’s parents.
Reubin is thought to be the son of John Copeland (1788-aft 1850) and Nancy Fleming. John is thought to be the son of Ripley Copeland (1761-1843) and Rachel Tucker (1763-1845). Ripley is the son of Nicholas (1732-1772) and Dorothy Ripley. Now guess who Nicholas’ father is, Nicholas Woodley Copeland. He is also the brother of Peter, who another member of The Search for James Russell Cople and George E Copeland Group believes is in her line. I think we are in the right family. It is just a matter of sorting out all those sons in between.