Copes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Copes comes from a name for a person who habitually wore a long cloak or cape. The surname Copes is derived from the Old English word cope, which emerged about 1225 and comes from the Old English word cape, which refers to a cloak or cape.

Early Origins of the Copes family

The surname Copes was first found in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire where the family "appear in the character of civil servants of the crown in the reign of Richard II and Henry IV, and were rewarded with large grants of land." [1] The held family seats at Hardwick and Hanwell, both in the neighbourhood of Banbury. [1]

Another source claims " Staffordshire is the home of the Copes, who are most numerous in the district of Stoke - on - Trent. In the reign of Charles II., Jonathan Cope, of Rauton Abbey, was High Sheriff for the county. The name is also represented in Cheshire and Derbyshire. The ancestors of the line of baronets of this name seem to hail originally from Oxfordshire. In the 13th century the name was established in Bucks, Beds, London, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire." [2]

Early History of the Copes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Copes research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1578, 1549, 1551, 1557, 1614, 1588, 1601, 1604, 1614, 1690, 1760, 1745, 1632, 1675, 1660, 1675 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Copes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Copes Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Copes include Cope, Coap, Coape, Copes and others.

Early Notables of the Copes family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Alan Cope (d. 1578), English Catholic divine, "a native of the city of London. He was educated at Oxford, and after taking the degree of B.A. was made perpetual fellow of Magdalen College in 1549. " [3] Sir Anthony Cope (d. 1551), was an early English author, second son of William Cope of Hanwell, Oxfordshire, cofferer to Henry VII, by his second wife Joan, daughter of John Spencer of Hodnell, Warwickshire, was a member of Oriel College, Oxford, but does not appear to have graduated. [3] Michael Cope ( fl. 1557), was a Protestant author who fled from...
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Copes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Copes family to Ireland

Some of the Copes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Copes migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Copes or a variant listed above:

Copes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Copes, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [4]
  • Henry Copes, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [4]
Copes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Copes, aged 33, who arrived in Schuyler County, Illinois in 1876 [4]

Canada Copes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Copes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Copes, aged 61 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in October 1847 [5]

New Zealand Copes migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Copes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Copes, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Copes (post 1700) +

  • Parzival Copes OC (1924-2017), Canadian economist


The Copes Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Aequo adeste animo
Motto Translation: Be present with mind unchangeable.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 21)


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