Copen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The present generation of the Copen family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Cobham Kent, a village and civil parish in the Gravesham District that dates back to before the Norman Conquest. The first record of the village was in 939 where it was listed as Cobba hammes mearce.
Cobham, Surrey was established later as the first record of the village in the Borough of Elmbridge was in the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Covenham. Both places have the same origin as in "enclosure or homestead of a man called Cobba," having derived from the Old English personal name + hamm or ham. 
Early Origins of the Copen family
The surname Copen was first found in Kent where Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham (c. 1260-1339) was the oldest Baron of Cobham created in 1313. His father John de Cobham of Cobham, Kent, and of Cowling or Cooling, Kent (died c. 1300) was Sheriff of Kent, Constable of Rochester and Chief Baron of the Exchequer. This line would carry on until 1951 when Robert Disney Leith Alexander, 16th Baron Cobham died. However, there were three other creations of the Barons of Cobham at similar times located in Runham, Sterborough and again in Kent. About the same time, Thomas Cobham was Archbishop of Canterbury-elect in 1313 and later Bishop of Worcester.
Important Dates for the Copen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Copen research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1260, 1339, 1307, 1408, 1381, 1332, 1398, 1700 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Copen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Copen Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Copen include Cobham, Cobbam, Cobban and others.
Early Notables of the Copen family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham, (1260-1339), Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1307, He also held the titles of Sheriff of Kent, Constable of Canterbury, Tonbridge, Dover and Rochester Castles, all in Kent; and John de Cobham, 3rd Baron Cobham (d. 1408), son of John de Cobham, 2nd Baron Cobham and Joan de Beauchamp, given a licence to crenellate by Richard II in 1381 and built...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Copen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Copen family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Copen were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Mary Cobham who settled in Barbados with servants in 1680; Robert Cobham, who came to Philadelphia in 1774; Thomas Cobham, who settled in New Hampshire in 1718.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)