We have read that many families came west in groups, brothers, sisters, in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. It isn’t always easy to prove this but it certainly is easy to make assumptions as in the Thomas, Ham, Knox and Copeland families.
The following statements lead us to believe there was a prior relationship.
The wife of Henry Thomas was Mary Copeland.
The mother of Isaac and George Ham was Jane Copeland
James William Copeland married Sarah Thomas, daughter of Henry Thomas and Mary Copeland.
The mother of James William Copeland was Mary Knox.
One of the daughters of Henry Thomas and Mary Copeland Thomas was the wife of George Knox.
James William Copeland’s father was a widower when he married Mary Knox. His first wife was Elizabeth Thomas.
Family sources say that Henry Thomas was the uncle that George and Isaac Ham came west with.
Isaac Ham and George Ham came from Vermillion County, Illinois.
James William Copeland was bom in Champaign County, Illinois in 1837. When he was an infant the family moved to Vermillion County, Illinois.
These families lived near each other on Sauvie Island, some moved to Clark County, Washington together and some lived near each other in Portland, Oregon.
They all worked together on the steamboats and river business.