The name has a double
significance in Scotland, being both a maker of casks and native of Cupar, Fife, where it
is recorded from the thirteenth century onwards. It is commonly spelt Coupar.
COOPER / COUPER: This name occurs in many guises in nearly every English-speaking county of Scotland and it is also common throughout England and elsewhere for it's origin is largely derived from the occupation of barrel maker. In Scotland it may equally be of local origin in that some originated in or near the town of Cupar in Fife, or from the ancient settlement around the Abbey of Coupar in Angus (Coupar Angus, Perthshire), for in both associations the name is common in early records. Its first appearance seems to be in a Charter dated 1245, and an early widespread distribution is evidenced by a John Cupar holding lands in Aberdeen in 1281, while a Symon Coupare in Berwickshire rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296. Finla Couper in Belnakeill in Atholl was fined for sheltering outlawed MacGregors in 1613, such occurence being worthy of record in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. A family of Coupers held the lands of Gogar near Edinburgh in the 17th century, and of this House, John Couper was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1638, two years before being killed in an explosion which destroyed Douglas Castle during the 'Bishops' Wars'. Sir John's 3rd son settled in Dumbartonshire and from his House came others who settled in the West of Scotland. Amongst others, these families comprised the Coupers of Banheath (Dumbartonshire); of Failford and Smeithston (Ayrshire), and of Ballindalloch (West Stirlingshire). Many changed their spelling to 'Cooper' during the 18th century. In a letter from the 'English' poet William Cowper (1731-1800) he reminded a correspondent that his roots lay in Fife where his line was still extant. Those of the name have never united under a 'chief', nor has any been family been defined as the principal race. Thus lacking a chief it follows that there can be neither Crest Badge, Motto et.al., appropriate for kindred use. There is however a Couper tartan, originally woven by Messrs Peter Macarthur of Hamilton for a family descended from the Coupers of Gogar. It is quite distinctive in its colourings and appears to have been copied from an old shawl.