Couper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Scottish name Couper is a habitational name thought to be taken on from the place name Cupar in Fife, which is probably of Pictish origin, with an unknown meaning. As an English name Couper was occupational for a cooper, that is, a maker of barrels.

Early Origins of the Couper family

The surname Couper was first found in Fife, where Salomone de Cupir witnessed a charter in 1245. The name soon became known in other parts of Scotland, and in Cumberland where families held a family seat at Carleton Hall and Unthank.The name was in most cases derived from Cupar in Fife, but the occupation of 'cooper' has also contributed to its origin. "

The earliest record of the name is territorial, when dominus Salomone de Cupir appears as a charter witness in 1245. The name, also, is common in early Fife records from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, additional evidence of its local origin." [1]

Early History of the Couper family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couper research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1275, 1296, 1376, 1406, 1329, 1370, 1426, 1406, 1468, 1477, 1613, 1634, 1672, 1568, 1619, 1664, 1723, 1705, 1731, 1800 and are included under the topic Early Couper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Couper Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Coupar, Cooper, Cowper, Couper, Copper and others.

Early Notables of the Couper family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Cowper (1568-1619), son of a merchant tailor in Edinburgh, who became Bishop of Galloway; William Cowper (1664-1723), English jurist...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Couper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Couper family to Ireland

Some of the Couper family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Couper migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Couper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Walter Couper, who landed in Virginia in 1618 [2]
Couper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Couper, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1797 [2]
Couper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Couper, who arrived in New York in 1819 [2]
  • Joseph Couper, who arrived in New York in 1822 [2]

Canada Couper migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Couper Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Emily H Couper, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • James Couper, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Marin Couper, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Thornhill Couper, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

New Zealand Couper 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:

Couper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W Couper, who landed in Kapiti, New Zealand in 1837 aboard the ship Samuel Cunnard
  • W Couper, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Peter Couper, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Mr. John Couper, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Albert" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th March 1853 [3]
  • Mr. Robert Couper, (b. 1841), aged 34, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 25th November 1875 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Couper (post 1700) +

  • Sir George Ebenezer Wilson Couper KCSI, CB, CIE (1824-1908), 2nd Baronet, English peer, Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces (1876-1877), Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh (1877-1882)
  • William Couper (1850-1886), American entomologist and naturalist
  • William L Couper (1853-1942), American sculptor
  • Scott Couper (b. 1970), Scottish-born, American football player
  • James Hamilton Couper (1794-1866), American planter who at his peak held more than 1,500 slaves
  • James Couper (1752-1836), Scottish astronomer, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow from 1803 to 1836
  • James Brown Couper (1870-1946), Scottish politician, Member of Parliament for Glasgow Maryhill (1924–1929)
  • Archibald Scott Couper (1831-1892), Scottish organic chemist
  • Heather Anita Couper CBE, BSc, DSc, DLitt, FInstP, CPhys, FRAS (1949-2020), British astronomer, co-founder of Pioneer Productions, president of the British Astronomical Association from 1984 to 1986
  • Sir James George Couper (b. 1977), 7th Baronet, English peer
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Robert Frederick William Couper, aged 29, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 3 [4]


The Couper 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: Virtute
Motto Translation: Virtue


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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