1580 - 1880

Taken from "HET GESLACHT COUPERUS in Nederland"
van 1580 tot ongeveer 1880 door W. Wijnaendts Van Resandt - 1953
Uitgegeven door H. DE BOT Leopoldstraat 1b. Rotterdam-C

Translated by: James Kooistra, Williamsburg, Ontario - February, 2000
Recast in indented format and set in HTML by: Jitze Couperus - January, 2002

A certain MR. J.R. COUPERUS (MLB) (1816 - 1902) a lawyer, a judge, and a member of both Supreme Courts in the Dutch Indies (Indonesia), had after his retirement researched the family Couperus in the Province of Friesland where the family Couperus lived for many generations.

Later, other members of the family Couperus did further research and made some corrections because it appeared that errors had been made especially as far as the Scottish connection is concerned. Efforts were made to find out more reliable facts about the first COUPER who seemed to have come from Scotland to Friesland in 1580, with his son and his children.

The original name of Couperus was COUPER, but ministers in this family later on latinized the name and changed it to COUPERUS. The Frisians already pronounced the Dutch word 'kuiper' as cooper, hence Couperus did not sound or appear strange at all in Friesland.

Questions were asked whether the ancestors really came from Scotland. Would a Reformed minister from Scotland have moved to Friesland? Yes. Times were not easy for Reformed believers in Scotland during the reign of the Roman Catholic King James I of Scotland and after 1603 of England as well. In due time it was assumed and established with a good deal of certainty that the first Coupers did come from Scotland, and moved to Friesland.

The name Couperus appears with many different spellings in old Frisian records: Cuperus, Cuipperus, Cuiperus, Cuyper, Kuperus, etc.

Merchant in London & later in Edinburg, Scotland

Rev. William Couper
Minister in Perth, Scotland    
Bishop of Galloway
Died in 1619
Rev. John Couper (Jan Janszn)
(Minus Oneth Generation) Minister in Edinburg.
Fled to Friesland and preached in a
Reformed congregation in
Burgwerd, near Bolsward
in Friesland in 1580.
He died in 1620
He was a minister in Scotland and came to Burgwerd, Friesland in 1580 with his son and his children. A that time the Roman Catholic King of Scotland was James I, who later became king of England as well. Life may have been difficult for Reformed believers in Scotland, and it is well possible that Rev. John Couper fled to Friesland for that reason. He preached the "pure religion" to the new congregation of Burgwerd in 1580. Records show that he passed away in 1620. He had at least 1 son: John Couper or Jan Jansen Cuyper.

John Couper (Jan Janssen Cuyper) - born 1590 - Sneek (Zeroeth Generation)

JOHN COUPER (JAN JANSSEN CUYPER) was born around 1590 - '95 and became a citizen of Sneek in Friesland, on Dec. 2, 1619. He had come from Bolsward, Friesland. On Jan. 29, 1620 his wedding bans were proclaimed in Sneek, and on Feb. 16, 1620 his marriage to Dieucke Symens was solemnized. Lists of confessing members of 1624 and 1629, in Sneek, show Jan Janssen Cuyper and Dieucke Janssen "sijn wijf" (his wife). On Feb. 1, 1633 they became the owners of a house in Sneek. Deeds, etc. show that he used as family name the name Cuyper (in Frisian Couper). His wife's name appears several times when a deed is written up, or a list of church members or of those attending Lord's Supper, is made up, till 1658. After that date her name is missing. His name appears in the list of Lord's Supper attendants in Tzum, on Aug. 11, 1667, where his son Johannes Johannis Couperus was the minister. He was not a member there, though. And he is mentioned for the last time in connection with a mortgage in Sneek on July 22, 1674. It's hard to be certain how many children were born in the home of Jan Janssen Cuyper and Dieucke Symons, since baptism registers are incomplete and/or missing, during the years 1624 - 1633, the years they would have had children born to them. It is fairly certain that the following were their children:
Note - These children represent the first generation born in Friesland, and are thus assigned slot numbers 1/1 through 1/5, although only 1/5 Rev. Dirk (Theodorus) C. is known to have had any surviving children. This latter entry is the one referred to in the "Beknopte Stamboom 1647-1947" as "The First Generation" and is the only one of the five siblings actually shown in that document.

1/1 Rev. Johannes Couperus, born in Sneek 1624/25 and died on May 25, 1684 at the age of 59 years. He became a theological student in Franeker on Jan. 17, 1644, under the name of Johannes Johannis Couperus, and he became a member of the Reformed Church there as Johannes Couperus studiosis on 31.1.1647. On May 23, 1652, he became minister of the Reformed Church in Tzum, and in 1656 he was a delegate to the Synod of Sneek. In 1678 he was delegated as correspondent to the Synod at Utrecht. He passed away at Tzum on May 25,1684, being single. His tomb stone is still there. In the church records of Tzum it is noted that his father Jan Janssen Cuyper of Sneek celebrated the Lord's Supper there once.
1/2 Focco Couperus, born in Sneek 1630. He became a teacher and served in Gaast and in Burgwerd. He passed away in 1684, in Burgwerd, being single.
1/3 Paulus Johannes Couperus, born before 1632. He is mentioned in the list of church members in Sneek in 1668.
1/4 Grietie Cuiper baptized in Sneek on Dec. 1, 1633. She died young.
1/5 Rev. Dirk (Theodorus) Couperus. (This is the one referred to as "The First Generation" in "Beknopte Stamboom 1647-1947")
Son of Johannes Johannis (Jan Janssen) Cuyper and of Dieucke Symonsdr, born at Sneek around 1626, died at Warga after Aug. 19, 1684. There is no record of his theological studies. He changed his name at times from Dirk Janssen to Theodorus Johannis, and after r. 1655 he used "Couperus" and "Cuyperus". He served the churches at Idaard, Warga, Warnstiens, Wartena. He wrote some booklets: A Lily of the Valley, Samson's Lion Flesh, The Costly Riches (43 sermons). His name is often mentioned in minutes of classes, of churches, and of the synod of Embden (1663). Also in some deeds. In a museum in Leeuwarden is a small copper plate in the shape of a shield with his name on it: Theodorus Johannes Couperus - minister in Warga. Records also indicate that he was in financial difficulties most of his life, and often carried mortgages. He was married 2 times. His first wife was Geertje Clases who was the mother of his children. His second wife was the widow Aaltje Limmers. Here are the children of Theodorus & Geertje:
2/1 Johannes Couperus, born r. 1648 at Idaard, was married to Grietje Martynus, in Dec. 1669 at Leeuwarden. Little is known with certainty about Johannes. He probably was a clerk in the office of the Receiver General in Leeuwarden.
2/2 Maria Couperus, born r. 1650, became the wife of Sijmon Hendriks, master carpenter at Warga. They had 2 daughters.
3/3 Geertien (b. 1652)
3/4 Teltien (b.1656)
2/3 Lucas Couperus, born r. 1650 at Idaard. He was a teacher at Warga and possibly in another place. The name of his wife is unknown, but he had the following children:
3/5 Focco Couperus, baptized 14.1.1677 at Warga, shortly after Nov. 1, 1749. He was a master ship-carpenter at Warga and Oldeboorn, where he became the owner of a property. He was married to Antje Goslings, and they had 9 children, all using the name Cuiperus.
3/6 Jancke Couperus, baptized 29 June 1678 at Warga
3/7 Alida Couperus, baptized 12 Sept. 1680 at Warga
2/4 Sara Couperus, born April, 1659 at Idaard
2/5 Abraham Couperus, born at Idaard in 1662 and he _ after 1699. He was an etcher, engraver of metal and made an etching of his father, before he passed away. He was married to Margareta Burgmans of Amsterdam where they got married on Sept. 16, 1684. They lived in Leeuwarden and had three children:
3/8 Paulus Johannes Couperus, baptized Nov. 20. 1692, Leeuwarden
3/9 Geertruid Maria Couperus, baptized June 21, 1696, Leeuwarden
3/10 Theodorus Couperus, baptized May 10, 1699, Leeuwarden
2/6 Rev. Petrus Couperus. (This is the one referred to as "The Second Generation" in the "Beknopte Stamboom 1647-1947")
born at Idaard in 1657, and he died at Warga on April 27, 1735, at age 78. He studied theology at the University of Franeker from May 22, 1677 till his candidacy in 1684. He was called by the church of his father in Warga and became its pastor in April 1685. He stayed in this congregation for 50 years! During this time he served twice as army chaplain: 1708 and 1712. In 1694 he was a delegate to the Synod of Harlingen. The Reformed Church of Warga still possesses an oval silver bread plate for the Lord's Supper, that has the name of Rev. Petrus Couperus engraved on it. In July 1685, he was married to Geritie (later Gerarda) Steindam, baptized at Leeuwarden on August 10, 1660. She died at Warga, May 10, 1735, the day following the funeral of her husband. She was the daughter of Dr. Henricus Theodoruszn Steindam, lawyer at the court of Friesland and his wife Geeske (Gesina) Gerrits Duyff. They had 6 sons and 3 daughters, all of whom were alive at the time their parents passed away.
3/11 Rev. Theodorus Couperus, baptized at Warga, 26 Sept. 1686. He was a theological student in Franeker and became a minister. Was married to Doetjen Hanses Roodenberch, and they had 1 daughter.
3/12 Rev. Henricus Couperus, baptized at Warga, 13 April 1688. Was a theological student in Franeker, served a number of congregations, and died in Augustinusga in 1751 at the home of his brother Johannes. Was married 1st on 25.7.1717 at Warga to Yda Sybisma and 2nd on Aug. 19.1730 at Hornsterzwaag to Hylckjen Groustra, a widow. No children from either marriage.
3/13 Geertruid Couperus, baptized at Warga 30.3.1690, died after 1735. Married at Warga, April 13, 1721, to Feico Feickens - baptized 21.9.1701 at Leeuwarden. He was a master baker.
3/14 Geijske (Gesien) Couperus, baptized at Warga, Feb. 14, 1692, single, died at Leeuwarden on Feb. 26, 1767
3/15 Lucas Couperus, baptized Jan. 12, 1696, _ at Leeuwarden Jan. 27, 1780 at age 84. He was a master baker in Leeuwarden, and elder in the Reformed Church. Was married on April 13, 1721 at Leeuwarden to Jouckjen Feickens, born in Leeuwarden on September 16, 1701 _ there on Sept. 1, 1791. This couple had 6 children:
4/11 Petrus Theodorus Couperus
4/12 Gerloff Couperus
4/13 Gerritje Couperus
4/14 Wypckjen Couperus
4/15 Maria Couperus
4/16 Petronella Couperus
3/16 Rev. Gerardus Couperus - born June 16, 1700. Became a theological student at the University of Franeker in September 1723. Became minister in Bergum on May 29, 1729, and was installed by his father, minister in Warga. After Bergum, he served in St. Anna Parochie. He married Geertje (Geertruda) Scheverstyn, baptized July 5, 1705, who died at Leeuwarden Feb. 27, 1763. Gerardus passed away on May 13, 1753, at St. Anna Parochie.
3/17 Maria Couperus, baptized at Warga March 26, 1702, was single, and died at Leeuwarden, Jan. 24, 1770.
3/2 Abraham Couperus, baptized at Warga, Feb. 27, 1698, died at Leeuwarden, March 9, 1771. Lived in Leeuwarden where he was a master shoemaker. He married twice. First in October 1724, at Warga, with Anna Schever-Steijn, baptized Sept. 27, 1700, died 1734 at Leeuwarden. They had 4 children - Epeus Couperus, Maria Couperus, Petrus Couperus, Maria Couperus. Secondly on Sept. 18, 1735 with Gesina Hoppinga. They also had 4 children - Mollerus Couperus, Anna Couperus, Gerardus Couperus, Abraham Couperus.
4/3 Anna Couperus
4/4 Gerardus Couperus
4/5 Abraham Couperus
4/6 Epeus Couperus
4/7 Maria Couperus
4/8 Petrus Couperus
4/9 Maria Couperus
4/2 Mollerus Couperus
3/1 Rev. Johannes Couperus, son of Rev. Petrus Couperus and of Gerarda Steindam, was baptized at Warga on April 1, 1694, and he died at Augustinusga on Sept. 3, 1781, at age 87 years. In 1712 he enrolled as a theological student in the University of Franeker, and in 1720 he became the minister of the Reformed Churches of Augustinusga and Surhuizum, which congregations he served for 57 years. (He served as army chaplain for 1 year, from 1744 - 1745). He retired in 1777 and passed away 4 years later. In 1748 he composed a poem of 125 lines in the Frisian language, which was printed. He married in Augustinusga in 1726 to Jancke Catharina van Minnen, born in Metslawier, a daughter of Engel van Minnen, "chirurgijn" (medical doctor with no training at a university) and Receiver General at Metslawier and of Jetske Catharina Schaevola. This couple had two sons.
4/10 Petrus Couperus - born in 1737 at Augustinusga, and died on March 16, 1800 at Harlingen. He studied medicine at the University of Franeker where his name was written as Petrus Cuperus, and he became a medical doctor. He also served as Mayor of the city of Harlingen. He married in Engelum on May 4, 1766, with Johanna Blankendaal. They had 3 children:
5/5 Hiltje Couperus, baptized at Harlingen, July 4, 1769. She died being single on May 27, 1829.
5/6 Johannes Henricus Couperus, baptized at Harlingen in 1770, he studied medicine at the University of Leiden, and died there on March 27, 1797, at the age of 28 years.
5/7 Janna Catherina Couperus, baptized at Harlingen, on Jan. 7, 1772, and died there on August 7, 1842. She had married Doede Jans Siersma on May 2, 1800.
4/1 Gerhardus Couperus, son of Rev. Johannes Couperus and Jancke Catharina van Minnen, born at Augustinusga, 1730, died there on Jan. 12, 1808. He married on April 20, 1766 to Reinskje Alberts (Hoogeveen) who was born at Gorredijk, Feb. 27, 1741, and passed away at Augustinusga on Nov. 9, 1817, age 77, being a daughter of Albert Tjibbes and Joukje Sierts. At the time of his marriage he was already a master "chirurgijn" at Augustinusga. At first the couple lived in Kootstertille (close to Augustinusga) but by 1771 they moved to Augustinusga where they bought their own house. Gerhardus Couperus' name is mentioned in the court case of "Francois Bekius" a demon-minister. He testified against this minister. The couple had 4 children.
5/8 Joukje Couperus, born 1770, married to Cornelius de Groot
5/9 Gerhardus Couperus, died very young
5/10 Petrus Albert Couperus, born at Kootstertille, and baptized at Twijzel, Feb. 1, 1778.
5/1 Johannes Couperus, son of Gerhardus Couperus and Reinskje Alberts Hoogeveen, was born at Kootstertille in May 1767, and he died at Augustinusga on June 20, 1816, at age 49. He was "chirurgijn" at Augustinusga. He was married on June 30, 1799, at Augustinusga to Jeltje Gaeles van der Veen, who was born on October 5, 1777 at Drogeham and baptized there on Oct. 26, 1777. She died at Augustinusga on July 18, 1861, being a daughter of Geale Goitzens van der Veen. Johannes & Jeltje had the following children:
6/0 Gerhardus Couperus, born at Augustinusga on August 4, 1801, and baptized there on Sept. 14, 1801. He studied medicine at the University of Groningen, but did not complete his studies. Later he became a clerk for a public notary. He married at Augustinusga on March 16, 1827, to Geertje Hylkes Tjoelker, born at Augustinusga on Sept. 17, 1807, and passed away there on May 28, 1885, being the daughter of Hylke Wytses Tjoelker and Jantje Oenes Postma. Gerhardus passed away on Feb. 7, 1886. They had one son Johannes, who died in 1920 without leaving a male descendant. He was a baker in Augustinusga.
6/2 Petrus Albert Johannes Couperus, born at Augustinusga Jan. 8, 1807, baptized there Feb. 22, 1807, passed away there May 23, 1881. He was a storekeeper in Augustinusga. He was first married on May 21, 1831 at Augustinusga to Jelske de Vries, born at Rinsumageest in 1808, passed away at Augustinusga on Aug. 1, 1842, being a daughter of Meindert de Vries & Harmke Harmens Rintjema. They had 5 children - 2 sons & 3 daughers. One of the sons, Johannes, had many descendants. He married a second time on May 8, 1844 at Augustinusga to Magdalena Catherina Boersema born at Holwerd March 2, 1817, passed away at Augustinusga July 7, 1853, shortly after the birth of her first child.
6/1 Gaele Couperus, born at Augustinusga on July 25, 1804, was baptized there on Aug. 19, 1804, and passed away there on August 27, 1892. He studied to become a "chirurgijn" in Gorredijk, but later became a succesful farmer who owned 100 Hectares (250 acres) of land. He married at Augustinusga on Sept. 25, 1830, to Aafke Goitzens Luimstra who was born in Augustinusga on Sept. 21, 1808, and she passed away there on June 13, 1902, being a daughter of Goitzen Simens Luimstra and Tjitske Jeltes Tjoelker. Gaele and Aafke had 10 children, all born in Augustinusga.
7/24 Jeltje Couperus (1830 - 1896) - single
7/25 Goitzen Couperus (1831 - 1837) - died young
7/26 Tjitske Couperus ( 1833 - 1861) married Jan Rupkes Atsma (1835 - 1864) - 5 children
7/27 Joukjen Couperus (1840 - 1917) married Wijtze Binderts Kloosterman (1837 - 1910)
7/28 Petrus Couperus (1848 - 1934) - single
7/29 Ymkje Couperus (1852 - 1853) - died young
7/2 Johannes Couperus (1842 - 1896) married Margaretha Ians Hulshoff (1846 - 1884) - 10 children
7/3 Gerhardus Couperus (1846 - 1923) married Bieuwkjen Egbeerts Buma (1842 - 1884) - 8 children
7/4 Siemen Couperus (1856 - 1942) married 1. Trijntje Witteveen (1857 - 1889) 2. Tiette Witteveen (1862 - 1950) - 8 children
7/1 Gooitzen Gaeles Couperus, Farmer in Surhuizum.(1838 - 1916) married Siebrigje Kloosterman (1842 - 1929) - they had the following children.
8/1 Gaele Couperus, born in Augustinusga on July 29, 1863, died in Drachten on October 18, 1954, aged 91 years. He was married in Buitenpost, on May 25, 1889, at the age of 25 to Aukje Vaatstra (aged 24 years), born in Surhuizum on April 26, 1865, died there on December 4, 1931, aged 66 years, daughter of Freerk Alles Vaatstra (farmer) and Folkje Luitzens Ystra.
8/2 Johannes Couperus, born in Augustinusga on August 23, 1876, and died in Veenklooster on May 9, 1958, aged 81 years. He was married in Bergum, on May 13, 1905, at the age of 28 to (1) Geertje Hoekstra (aged 23 years), born in Suameer on March 6, 1882, died in Veenklooster on November 24, 1918, aged 36 years. Johannes later married in Kollum, on October 14, 1920, at the age of 44 to (2) Hylkje Koopmans (aged 40 years) born in Veenklooster on January 11, 1880, died in Zwagerveen on April 9, 1955, aged 75 years.
8/58 Klaaske Couperus, born in Augustinusga on September 22, 1865, died in Buitenpost, on August 28, 1922, aged 56 years. She was married in Kollum, gem. Kollumerland on February 28, 1891, at the age of 25 to Jan Bakker (aged 23 years), born in Hoogebeintum on October 4, 1867, living in Surhuizum and in Kootwijkerbroek, died there on December 25, 1897, aged 30 years.
8/59 Tjeerd Couperus, born in Augustinusga on October 5, 1867, living in Buitenpost, died unmarried in Grootegast on May 21, 1940, aged 72 years.
8/60 Aafke Couperus, born in Augustinusga on March 31, 1870, died in Groningen on February 6, 1954, aged 83 years. She was married in Kollum, on May 5, 1894, at the age of 24 to Harm van der Slacht (aged 33 years), born in Doezum on May 7, 1860, living in Grootegast, died in Groningen on Dec.30, 1927, aged 67.
8/62 Aukje Couperus, born in Augustinusga on November 17, 1874, died in Aduard, Gron. on June 15, 1948, aged 73 years. She was married in Kollum on May 9, 1900, at the age of 25 to Albert Dijk (aged 30 years), born in Burum on March 25, 1870, living in Engwierum, died in Gaikemadijk on August 17, 1957, aged 87 years.
8/63 Ate Couperus, born in Augustinusga on July 9, 1878, died in Surhuizum on February 26, 1888, aged 9 years.
8/64 Tjitske Couperus, born in Veenklooster on August 14, 1880, died in Heerenveen in June 1959, aged 78 years. She was married in Kollum, on December 31, 1904, at the age of 24 to Pieter Klaas Dam (aged 25 years), born in Westergeest on October 6, 1879, died in Heerenveen on July 2, 1937, aged 57 years.
8/65 Sytske Couperus, born in Surhuizum on February 20, 1884, died in Groningen on May 26, 1955, aged 71 years. She was married in Kollum, on May 8, 1908, at the age of 24 to Eelke Meindertsma (aged 25 years), born in Niawier on Janaury 23, 1883.
8/61 Jeltje Couperus (1871 - 1956) married Pieter Beerda (1866 - 1945) - they had the following children
  • Siebregje Beerda (1902 - )married Pieter van der Zwaag - farmer - 2 childrenr
  • Taeke Beerda (1903 - )married Elizabeth Beerda (2nd cousin) - farmer - 8 children
  • Goitzen Beerda (1905 - )married Doetje Beerda (2nd cousin) - farmer - 3 children
  • Nieske Beerda (1907 - )married Gosse Willems Beerda (2nd cousin) - lumberyard - 8 children
  • Julle Beerda (Jan. 23, 1909 - 1995) married Sjoukje van der Meulen (Jan. 17, 1909 - ) - farmer - 9 children
  • Gaele Beerda (1912 - 1934)