Alexander Cupples, the youngest son of Alexander Cupples and Elizabeth Shaw, was the founding father of two American families who bore the Cupples and Easton surnames.
Alexander was born in Falkirk on 7 November 1830 and he married Ann Campbell on 26 February 1854. Ann was born in 1833 and was originally from Cramond, Edinburgh. Unless the date of the marriage is incorrect, Ann had already given birth to twin sons, William and Alexander, on 18 February 1853, however William died a few days later. The birth of twins, with one dying in infancy, would become a common occurrence in Ann’s descendants.
The family moved to Cadder, Lanarkshire, where Alexander worked in the mines and they lived in Lochfaulds cottages which housed miners from the Cadder No. 15 and No. 17 mines. The cottages were little more than single or double room apartments with no sinks and outside toilets that had to be shared. The mine where Alexander worked was more than likely owned by the famous Carron Iron Company which was based in his home town.
By the 1871 UK Census, the family have moved back to Stirlingshire and are staying in Slamannan near Alexander’s parents. Ann would give birth to her two youngest children in Slamannan while Alexander continued to work in the mines. Alexander and Ann’s children would make their own paths in life but two would go further than their siblings. The second surviving son, William, emigrated to the United States just after the 1881 UK Census and settled in Pennsylvania. Not long after, Alexander’s oldest daughter, Jane, would convert to Mormonism and would settle in Wyoming with her husband, George Easton, and their children. Both would have large families and numerous descendants.
Years of working in the mines would take its toll on Alexander’s health and he died from bronchitis, aged 59 years, on 4 January 1890. Ann would died of natural causes four years later, aged 60 years, on 25 April 1894.
Summary of Children
William Cupples (1853-1853)
William and his twin brother, Alexander, were born in Falkirk on 18 February 1853, however William died on 7 March 1853.
Alexander and his twin brother, William, were born in Falkirk on 18 February 1853, however William died on 7 March 1853. As soon as he was old enough to work, Alexander became a miner like his father and grandfather before him.
On 2 June 1873, Alexander married his first cousin, Margaret Laird, in Falkirk. Margaret was the daughter of William Laird and Jean Cupples, who was Alexander’s paternal aunt. Alexander and Margaret lived in the Slamannan area where they had eight children, although four would die in childhood from bronchitis or measles.
Alexander died of bronchitis, aged 37 years, on 26 February 1890. Margaret married her second husband, William Hyslop, on 19 June 1891 and they moved to Lanarkshire where Margaret gave birth to a son, James, on 31 January 1892. James would eventually emigrate to the United States where he settled in Illinois. Alexander and Margaret’s only surviving daughter, Jane, would also emigrate to Illinois, making her the third Jane in the family to head to the United States.
Margaret died of acute peritonitis on 28 January 1940 in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Children: Alexander (1874-1875); Alexander (1876-1879); William (1878-1945); James (1880-1953); Robert (1883-1942); Jane (1883-1946); Alexander (1887-1893); Annie (1899-1893)
John Cupples (1857-1858)
John was born on 4 February 1857 in Maryhill, Lanarkshire, but he died on 13 March 1858. John’s cause of death was incorrectly identified as dentition, another name for teething, which was once believed to cause death in infants. The death was more likely caused by the use of medication like calomel which was full of mercury.
James Cupples (1858-1919)
James was born in Maryhill, Lanarkshire, on 30 December 1858 and he married Mary McIntyre on 14 December 1883 in Polmont, Stirlingshire. They lived in Slamannan where James worked in the mines and Mary raised their thirteen children. James died, aged 60 years, of anthracosis (carbon on the lungs) and Mary died on 22 May 1927.
Children: Janet (1884-1885); Ann (1886-?); Janet (1887-1947); Alexander (1888-1957); Daniel (1890-1890); James (1891-1954); William (1893-1956); Mary (1895-?); Elizabeth (1896-1964); Margaret (1898-?); Agnes (1899-1899); John (1901-1976); Catherine (1901-1969)
Jane Allan Cupples (1861-1937)
Jane was born 20 April 1861 in West Cadder, Lanarkshire, and she married George Easton on 11 October 1878 in Slamannan. George and Jane converted to the Mormon faith in 1884 and emigrated to the United States two years later. Jane had two sets of twins where one twin later died in infancy. They settled in Wyoming and their story can be read here.
Children: Alexander (1879-1943); Annie (1881-1950); Janet (1883-1966); Jane (1885-1968); Elizabeth (1887-1959); George (1889-1990); William (1891-1981); Agnes (1893-1893); Marie (1893-1980); Mary (1895-1977); Andrew (1897-1977); Ellen (1899-1980); Ida (1901-1901); Albert (1901-1977); Byron (1904-1904)
Elizabeth Shaw Cupples (1863-1928)
Elizabeth was born in Maryhill, Lanarkshire, on 22 April 1863 and she married James Paterson in Slamannan on 27 February 1882. James was employed as a railway guard and the family settled in Airdrie where their 6 children were born. Elizabeth died, aged 65 years, of heart disease on 12 August 1928.
Children: Agnes (1881-?); James (1882-?); James (1886-?); John (1890-?); Annie (1893-?); William (1898-?)
Robert Cupples (1865-1886)
Robert was born in Cadder, Lanarkshire, on 9 August 1865 and he died of typhus, aged 20 years, on 16 May 1886. Robert never married and was employed as a coal miner.
John Cupples (1867-1937)
John was born in Cadder, Lanarkshire, on 8 November 1867 and he married Barbara Gracie Provan on 30 December 1892 in Kilsyth. John and Barbara raised their 5 children in Slamannan were John was employed as a coal miner. John died of heart disease, aged 70 years, on December 1937 and Barbara died, aged 72 years, on 02 July 1942.
Children: Barbara (1894-1980); Annie (1896-1965); Alexander (1898-1989); David (1899-1974); John (1904-?)
Ann Cupples (1870-1947)
Ann was born in Cadder, Lanarkshire, on 8 June 1870 and married George McNeil on 31 December 1892.
Work in Progress
Agnes Cupples (1872-1915)
Agnes was bron in Slamannan on 22 April 1872 and she married John Marshall in Prestonpans, Edinburgh, on 28 June 1895. Agnes died, aged 43 years, of gastroenteritis on 7 October 1915.
Work in Progress
Thomas Cupples (1874-1926)
Thomas was born in Slamannan on 23 November 1874 and he worked with his brothers in the coal mines. Thomas married Jessie Forrest Russell in Tranent, East Lothian, on 29 September 1905. Thomas died of bronchitis, aged 51 years, on 8 January 1926.
No known children
- Statutory Registers of Scotland [Scotlands People]
- Old Parish Records of Scotland [Scotlands People]
- 1841 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1851 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1861 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1871 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1881 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1891 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- 1901 UK Census [Ancestry UK]
- Scottish Mining