This project began as an attempt to determine the origin of the Copage/Coppage surname in Britain.
In 1993 I attended a Copage family reunion and got talking with a first cousin, Susan Brown. Everyone at the reunion was a descendant of Reginald Copage who lived in West London from 1901 to 1977. None of us, however, had any idea about our origins or where the surname Copage came from. Apart from the 40 or so relatives in our own line, the only other Copages we knew of were one or two listings in the Birmingham phone directory and rumours of individuals in the USA carrying this name.
Susan recalled a conversation with our grandfather, Reginald, at which he had mentioned a village called Tanworth in the English midlands. A few days later, Susan and I met up at the parish church in Tanworth in Arden, a delightful village in Warwickshire about ten miles from Birmingham and a similiar distance to Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford on Avon.
An inspection of the burial registers showed that at least 30 Copages had lived and died in the village. Since then I have made many visits to the Birmingham public library and to Warwickshire County Records Office and now have data on over 300 members of the Copage family who lived in the area South of Birmingham in and around Tanworth in Arden.
There are numerous spelling variations of this name, the most common being Copage, or Coppage although sometimes it was recorded as Cuppage, Cuppaidge or Cubbage or Cubbidge. In the late 19th Century, two versions became fixed with those in my own line using the name Copage while another line is know to exist in the UK which spells the name Coppage.
In 1995 I discovered, via the Internet, that in the mid 17th century three individuals with the surname Coppage had settled in the New World. John and Edward Coppage sailed to Virginia in 1648 and William Coppage joined them in the 1660s. Today, there are hundreds of their descendants in the USA and there is an active Coppage Family Association which holds an annual convention. Two books have been published by members of this Association which detail family histories of this line of Coppages.
The forebearers of those Coppages who settled in the US came mainly from the counties of Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. So far, I have been unable to establish any link between this line and my own antecedents who come from Warwickshire.
As for the origin of the surname, one likely explanation is that it comes from the forest of Coppedhegge in Buckinghamshire. An alternative is that it arises from Corbridge in Cumberland (where a number of Cuppaidge wills have been found). It should also be noted that a prominent Prussian family in the 16th and 17th Century carried the surname Coppetsch. Finally, there are numerous records of Cuppage and Cuppaidge in Ireland and according to Burke's "The first recorded member of this family (of German origin) is FAUSTIN CUPPAIDGE, removed from England to Ireland in 1604".
This, then, has been a modest attempt to trace back my own family line and to try to determine the origin of my surname. As I live in Greece, the basis of this work has been data hurriedly collected during brief visits to the UK. The results should therefore be seen as provisional rather than definitive and as it is in the nature of genealogical studies that new discoveries are constantly being made, this page is continually under revision.