The Couperus Genealogy Pages
Note - If you wish to go quickly to the rest of the genealogy pages without reading all the way through this one, a summary of links can be found at the bottom of this page. Scroll directly to the bottom of this page and click on any one of the links you will find there.

The Couperus Family Coat of Arms
(As depicted on a Dutch Tile)
For more info on this click here


I'm not a genealogist - it isn't really even a hobby of mine, and I certainly don't spend hours researching archives around the world. However, when I was a little boy, I remember my Dad received a little home-made manuscript booklet in the mail - it was the work of one "Meester J. Couperus" and contained within it the results of his research into the family origins.

As far as I can remember, it was made of maybe twenty sheets of paper, stapled in the middle and folded over to make a booklet of about forty pages. In the middle page was a painstakingly drawn diagram, penned in black ink with very fine lettering in places. This diagram showed a tree-like structure of the different generations, naming each of the male descendants in each generation. Unfortunately, in the intervening half-century, with my family moving away from Uganda and spreading across the globe - some back to The Netherlands, some to England, and myself to California - that little booklet got lost. And I didn't think about it any more as it faded from memory.

However, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was contacted out of the blue by somebody who found my e-mail address and who was trying to update the family tree with new developments over the last half-century, since the original booklet was published. This rekindled my interest, and prompted me to start these web pages - both to make this information available to other Couperus families around the world, and as a basis for my own efforts to update the work to the present time.

But back to the story - I first managed to obtain a copy of just the main "tree diagram" as contained in the original booklet. I believe it is a "second generation" copy (i.e. a copy of a copy) and as such, some of the fine print has lost resolution and become barely readable. Nevertheless, it is the best I have, and if you want to take a look at it, a scanned copy may be seen by clicking here.

This image is too small to be able to read the fine print very well, but it does serve for you to be able to see the overall layout of the page, with the "root" of the tree on the right-hand side of the page, and the branches of the succeeding generations going towards the left. If you want to see a somewhat magnified image, you can do so by clicking here. You'll have to scroll around on your screen a bit, and you'll lose the bird's eye-view of the overall tree organization, but if you've looked at the smaller image, you should be able to find your way around.

If you really want to see to see the finer lettering up close, I have included a third image which is at an even greater magnification, and if you want, you can see that one by clicking here. ( Caution! - This last image may take some time to load down to your system, it is around 254Kb in size, so be prepared to wait a little for it to come down.)

So much for the actual images of the "Beknopte Stamtafel van de Familie Couperus vanaf 1647 tot 1947" created by Meester J. Couperus - presumably as a hobby, and half a century ago. Incidentally - the "Meester" in his title does not translate to the English "Mister". It actually indicates a degree of learning, in this case maybe "Meester in de Rechten" (although I can't be sure) which would indicate he was a lawyer. (More recently I have obtained a photo-copy of the rest of the original booklet, and from this it appears he was a school-teacher in The Hague.) Also - if you look carefully at his signature in the images (scroll all the way down - bottom left-hand corner of the image) you will see in parentheses what looks like the numbers 8-27. While this could be a date (August 1927) it is more likely a coded reference to the table itself. If you look across the top and the bottom of the image, you will see that the generations are numbered (white numbers on a black background). The generations are numbered from zero (the original Jan Janssen Cuiper) all the way through eleven which only contains a few entries of people of the eleventh generation - most of them were in the tenth generation in 1947 when this information was compiled. Notice also that some of the entries in the eighth generation each have a small number associated with them - what I call a "slot number" to indicate what slot they are in. Not every slot on the eighth generation is numbered unfortunately (which may cause some confusion - see below) but every slot in the ninth and tenth generation is indeed numbered. This might mean (very likely) that the (8-27) notation under the signature indicates that the author is eighth generation, slot 27. And there we see a certain "Jaring" Couperus (son of Epeus 1850-1932, son of Sijbren 1808-1851, son of Epeus Gerhardus 1774-1807, son of Mollerus 1740-1788 - who was the fourth generation ancestor of most of the Couperuses in the tree.)

Which brings me to the next step. I have taken the information on this image and have attempted to encode it in a format to make it easy to put on the web - so that it can be updated, corrected, and added to. Because we humans (or at least westerners) read from left to right, it was much easier for me to start with Generation Zero on the left and working to the right, rather than the other way around as shown on the image. (Actually, the way the original was published, it was spread across the center two pages of the booklet and read from the top down to the bottom, but I opted to rotate the image 90 degrees clockwise so that it would fit better on the screen and the names would read horizontally.)

Also, just because it is easier to make a web-page that way, I have used the common form of "tree indenting" that most computer users are familiar with. If you are familiar with computers, you can skip the next paragraph, but in case you aren't familiar with how this works, let me give you an example:
5/4 Epeus Gerhardus Couperus 1774-1807
6/10 Epeus 1807 - 1878
7/19 Epeus 1835 - 1917
8/42 Jitse - 1939
9/64 Wiebe
9/65 Epeus 1905 - 1978
10/60 Jitze 1942 -
11/11 Jennifer 1971 -
11/12 Jane 1974 -
8/43 Molleurus - 1945
Here I hope you can clearly see that the Epeus at the top had a son called Epeus, who also had a son called Epeus, who had a son called Jitse and so forth. But note that this Jitse had two sons - Wiebe and Epeus, who are indented at the same level because they were of the same generation - they were in fact brothers. Then at the bottom you see Molleurus who is out to the left again, but in the same vertical offset as the Jitse four lines from the top. This means that Jitse and Molleurus were brothers, both stemming from the Epeus who is three lines from the top.

So what are those funny numbers in front of each name? When this all fits on the computer screen at one time, it is fairly easy to grasp. But with a very long list, it is easy to lose track of "brothers" and who their father is, especially in the earlier generations, because they are so far apart and don't all fit on the screen at the same time. To try to compensate for this (and to make it easier for myself) I have numbered each entry with the generation/slot number I mentioned earlier, and as used on the original table. Thus the first Epeus in the example just above is labeled 5/4. This means he is in the fifth generation, in slot number four. The Jitse on the fourth line is generation number eight, slot number forty-two, and his brother Mollerus on the bottom line is generation number eight, slot number forty-three. (Incidentally, I am the Jitze marked as 10/60, and Jennifer and Jane are my daughters.)

Note - The slot numbers as used here were made up by me - they do not match those of the original image - partly because the latter did not carry slot numbers in the earlier generations, and partly (e.g. in the eighth generation) only some slots had numbers. Where feasible (e.g. in the ninth and subsequent generations) I have tried to use the slot numbers of the original. Also - in later generations and as I discover new information, I have had to create new slot numbers in the sequence that I added the new entries. This means that slot numbers don't necessarily go "from top to bottom" but may appear to be out of order. But that's better than re-numbering everything any time I add a new entry - this would greatly confuse matters.

So now for the whole list - I have created two versions, one showing only up to generation number seven, to help you get a birds eye-view of the early generations, and this can be seen if you click here.

The full tree, with additions I have put in to show those recent members that I have information about, you can see by clicking here.

In April 2001, a new website became available containing the archives of all those immigrants who entered the United Sates via Ellis Island. Some 22 million people entered here between 1892 and 1924. While this is a span of only 32 years, nevertheless they have 10 individual records there of people named Couperus entering the country. A summary of these records and some discussion of how they relate to the overall family tree may be seen by clicking here.

In December 2001, I made contact with James (Jelle) Kooistra in Canada who has done extensive research in to the genealogy of a number of Frisian familes - including a lot of new (to me) information about Couperuses. He kindly sent me a document which I have converted and re-worked into an "indented" style of format for a web page. This may be seen by clicking here.

In January 2002, I established contact with Theresa Beerda in Canada, who sent me a copy of a document that easily rivals the original "Beknopte Stamboom" in its importance to the Couperus genealogy. What she sent me is a document that is based on an original Dutch work titled "Couperus In Nederland van 1580 tot ongeveer 1880" and authored by W. Wijnaendts Van Resandt - 1953, published by H. De Bot, Leopoldstraat 1b, Rotterdam-C. The document she sent is however in English as translated by James Kooistra, and enhanced with some of his own reasearch results.

I have reformatted the latter as a web page,and recast it into the "indented" style as used on other pages on this site, and I have added generation/slot numbers as appropriate so that entries can be cross-referenced against the main "Beknopte Stamboom 1647-1947".

One valuable aspect of this document is that it adds a lot of entries in the first few generations that were not contained in the "Beknopte Stamboom" of 1947. But even more interesting (to me at least) is the wealth of narrative detail it adds about the lives, posessions, and circumstance of certain members of the early generations, over and above just the dates and places of birth, marriage, and death. This document may be seen by clicking here.

In February 2002 I received a document in Dutch from Jan Willem Draijer in The Netherlands wherein he distilled that part of the tree that has to do with the family branch commonly referred to as "The Dutch East Indies Branch". This is doubly interesting in that it stems from a branch of the original tree that was originally totally undocumented by Meester J. Couperus when he created his "Beknopte Stamboom 1647-1947" but is covered very fully in the Wijnaendts document. The second interesting aspect is that it finally documents where the famous author Louis Couperus fits in. He may be found further down in that tree. I reformatted the page for web purposes and it may be seen in its original Dutch by clicking here.

I have also created an English translation of this page, which may be seen by clicking here.

Jan Willem Draijer who provided me with the source materials for these pages also has an excellent web site covering Couperus genealogy. You can visit his pages by clicking here.

Pictures from the origins in Friesland (Added in September 2007) I received some very nice pictures showing the area around Achtkarspelen in Friesland, specifically a small village within this municipality called Augustinusga which in turn encompasses the small hamlet of Rodeschuur. These photos may be seen by clicking here.

It is my hope over time to be able to add some more pages to the web site here - adding further information as it becomes known or perhaps clearing up some mysteries. (Who was the "Anne" who entered the United States via Ellis Island? And was there a third brother who emigrated to Colorado?) Also where possible, maybe a brief outline of more recent Couperuses around the world and in The Netherlands, commensurate of course with maintaining their privacy.

If you can add to or correct any of the information I have assembled above, I would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact me via e-mail at this address or via the post at

Jitze Couperus
13680 Page Mill Road
Los Altos Hills
California 94022
United States of America

Or of course, if reasonably close by, at Telephone (650) 941 4808

If you really are an intrepid scholar or genealogy hobbyist, you might even want to proofread the indented list as I created it against the original image. Some of the dates in particular were very hard to read, so I took a "best guess" at transcribing the shapes of the small ink-blobs into numbers I thought they might best represent. No doubt I also made some plain old mistakes in the transcription myself. If so - I welcome any feedback or suggestions.

There are two other excellent sources of Couperus Genealogy information on the web. You may wish to visit them:

Finaly, the late Ben Jorna of The Netherlands created some Couperus genealogy related web pages at In case these pages should disappear over time, I have mirrored the part of Ben Jorna's site pertaining to Couperus genealogy here.

Finally, if for any reason you want to make a copy of any of my pages - be my guest. I only ask that you inform me, so that as any corrections or additions come in, we can keep our copies "in synch" or at least know what the other is doing.

Summary of the pages pointed to from this page:

  1. Image of "Beknopte Stamboom" (Screen-sized)

  2. Image of "Beknopte Stamboom" (Larger - More readable)

  3. Image of "Beknopte Stamboom" (Greatly Magnified)

  4. Indented List - First Seven Generations

  5. Indented List - Complete with some modern additions

  6. The Family Coat of Arms

  7. The Ellis Island Archives for the name "Couperus"

  8. The Kooistra Document

  9. Part of The Wijnaendts Van Resandt Document (Kooistra translation)

  10. The Dutch East Indies Branch of the family (Jan Willem Draijer source - Dutch Text)
  11. The Dutch East Indies Branch of the family (English Translation)

  12. Scottish Origins of the Family - True or False? (Nederlandse Leeuw translation)

  13. The Ben Jorna Document (Mirror of Ben Jorna's site pertainimg to Couperus tree)

  14. Where are they now? Summary of where Couperuses exist today in the world

  15. Pictures from Friesland - the geographic origins of the Couperus family. (Augustinusga & Rodeschuur)

  16. Pictures from Friesland - the geographic origins of the Couperus family. (Idaard & Warga)

  17. Back to the Couperus Home Page