The Copeland Family

Rich Copeland - 11 July 1866 - 1 June 1931

Richard Ralph Copeland was born in Gottingen on July 11 1866. His mother died when he was just 3 months old of tuberculosis. He suffered from Scarlet Fever at the age of 6 - which left him deaf in one ear. Apparently he was very sensitive about it.

He lived with his father and step-mother in Ireland and moved with the family to Dunecht, although he does not show up in the 1881 census with the rest of the family (including older sister Elizabeth) at Dun Echt Observatory or anywhere else in the UK censuses that I can find. There is a reference in Fanny's memoirs to him being at boarding school, which could explain it.

He was not the brightest academically, although that may partly have been on account of his poor hearing, but he was a talented artist. Unfortunately his step-mother didn't consider art a worthy subject for a man and actively discouraged him partaking in it. He was sent away to college in England and then school in Lancashire to try and bring him on academically - but this was an abject failure and the experiment was abandoned!

In 1892 Lord Crawford arranged for him to emigrate to Canada, arranging a job for him on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Revelstoke, a small town. He was a carpenter by trade and seems to have opened up a Carpenter's Shop at some point. In the 1901 British Columbia Census his name is recorded as Rich. click here for a link to the transcribed census

The first letter (odd pages) from Ralph Copeland to Fred Holloway refers to both his children from his first marriage being married already - this was probably written in 1896. The British Columbia records on-line record two further marriages, one to Susan Mann on 13th June 1899 and one to Margaret Phair on 14th August 1911 - both in Revelstoke.

The local Mount Copeland near Revelstoke, together with Lake Copeland and Copeland Falls were apparently named by Rich Copeland for his father Ralph - or at least so says Fanny's autobiography - after he made the first ascent of same. There is another Mount Copeland in Colorado, but I don't know if there is any connection.

Apparently he died in San Pedro in California in 1931. The following image is from the Californian death records. It shows a Richard R Copeland dying in California on 1st June 1931 at the age of 64, wife's initial being M, in the county of Los Angeles. It seems likely that this is him. The state file number is 31242.