Our story begins in Northern Ireland in 1777. Isaac Copeland was born in Newry, county Down Ireland in 1777. He was Presbyterian and loyal to the crown.
In 1783, in Newtown, Hamilton County Armagh, Ireland, Agnes Lowery was born to Sir William Lowery, a British officer of Scottish decent. At this time exact records concerning sir William Lowery/ Lowerie/ Loughry have not been located. Agnes was also Presbyterian and her family were loyal to the crown.
Agnes and Isaac were married on 3/29/1802 in Newry, County Down, Ireland. It was here that they started their family. Agnes Lowery and Isaac Copeland had the following children , all born in Newry Down Ireland; Mary Copeland (1803-1888), Elizabeth Copeland (1803-?,) Agnes Copeland (- ), Nanacy Cope;land (-), Margaret Copeland (1814-1895), Susan Copeland (1818-1895), William Lowry Copeland (1820-1887), and Robert Copeland (1822-1907). The family set sail for Canada on May 27, 1823, leaving their eldest daughter, Mary and her husband and children behind to follow later. It appears they were planning to move to Talbot' settlement , which is now New London Ontario Canada. They spent their fist winter in Lewiston , Niagara NY. Isaac carried gold, as it was a universal currency in those days, to purchase his homestead in Talbot. When spring came he resumed his journey to the Talbot settlement, thinking he would see how it compared to the settlement in Lewiston before making a decision. Isaac was murdered en route and his gold stolen, leaving his family destitute in an unfamiliar and hostile land. He was buried in St. Thomas Old English Cemetery in Elgin County, Ontario Canada. Shortly before his death, on March 12, 1824, Isaac wrote a letter to his daughter and her family, in Ireland telling of their adventures on the way to their new home. He tells how some of the family, Young Nancy, George William and Robert, were ill with fever and Ague and they were forced to stop and rest until they recovered. It took 6 weeks for the fever to leave the children and good health return. By that time it was too late in the year to travel, being Oct. 5th, 1823. They stopped in Lewiston, where they found work. Isaac started hauling in November and the girls spent their time spinning, Knitting and sewing to help make money for the remainder of their journey. Isaac writes that the land in Lewiston is owned by the Holland land company and selling for $5. an acre in a "a state of nature", meaning unimproved wilderness, but Isaac was determined to go on the Talbot before making a decision to settle in Lewiston. Isaac laments that there was no church in Lewiston and the settlement is adjacent to the Indian settlement, where he went for services performed there by the Universalist and Methodist Missionaries.
For more on the history of the Talbot Settlement check on http://www.elgin.ca/ElginCounty/CulturalServices/Museum/talbot/Talbot%20Settlement.htm
In our next post we will look at the fate of the family and find out more about the children of Issac and Agnes Copeland. Stay tuned.