One of the first things I found out when I found the identity of my birth family was that we were descended from John Alden of Mayflower fame. The family had not traced their ancestry very far back in England because there were doubtful links. For the story of the American Copeland clan in England before their migration to America and their history in America see The Copeland Family Tree .
But, my discovery of a DNA match to a newly discovered cousin also
includes the shared name of Copeland in our trees. This prompted me to
return to researching that ancestry. Of course new information is being
added to Ancestry.com all the time and I may have discovered new and
revealing links in the line.
From the 1600's back to antiquityCopley
I have the Copeland line going back in Great Brittan to the 9th century and including many knights with a baron thrown in for good measure. During the period from 1138 to 1590 the family name morphed from de Copley, Copley, de Cowpelande, to Copeland as we now know it. It was formerly thought that the name was of Scotch origins but apparently not, that being a completely different line of Copeland's.
The line then goes back to Normandy in France still embellished with knighthood and such. The surname in Normandy between about 890 and 1170. was De Monte-Gummeri and then Montgomery between about 890 and 1170.
I followed the trail via the Norse invasions of France back to Denmark and several kings of Denmark included in the line as well as ties to the Visigoths. The earliest of the Danish kings was Skjold Skjöldr (King Of The Danes) Odinsson. He was my 59th great grandfather and was born in 237 at Hleithra, Nordjyland, Jutland, Denmark.
The line then moves to Asia and culminates with FREOTHELAF or FIRITHUWULF the TROJAN born at Asia, Ghowr, Afghanistan. He died in 260 AD in France. A farther is listed for him but he would have been 100 years old at the time of his son's birth. At that point I ended my research.
The Trojan ancestors may be a bit iffy but I do have the following DNA:
Great Britain 33%
Europe West 31%
Trace Regions 8%
Europe East 6%
Ireland < 1%
Iberian Peninsula < 1%
Middle East < 1%
Africa North < 1%
As you can see, all those Danish Kings and their families could have contributed to the Scandinavian percentage. I have several other lines of ancestors who originate there either as Norse invasions of Normandy or Great Brittan. And then there is that 1% Middle East ... Trojans?
I also found this in Wikipedia:
"Snorri Sturluson, in the prologue to his Icelandic Prose Edda, traced the genealogy of the ancestral figures in Norse mythology to characters appearing at Troy in Homer's epic, notably making Thor to be the son of Memnon. Sturluson referred to these figures as having made a journey across Europe towards Scandinavia, setting up kingdoms as they went."
Of course the ancestors noted here lived long after Homer's epic story but apparently there is a historical connection between Scandinavia and the Troy of the first centuries. In addition, I found statements that put the leaders of Troy as the founders of the French Kingdom. You will note that one of our Trojan ancestors died in France. At first I thought that to be an error, ... BUT??? the Franks filled the lacunae of their legendary origins with Trojan and pseudo-Trojan names: in Fredegar's 7th-century chronicle of Frankish history, Priam appears as the first king of the Franks. The Trojan origin of France was such an established article of faith that in 1714, the learned Nicolas Fréret was Bastilled for showing through historical criticism that the Franks had been Germanic, a sore point counter to Valois and Bourbon propaganda.
Am I dreaming? Grasping at straws? Is this mythology or could there be truth in it ... a little truth.
© Grandpa Don
respect the right of ownership of this page.