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In marrying Amy Church Copus he becomes the step-father of Sarah Copus but also is her father-in-law when his son James Vail marries Sarah Copus. Genetically speaking, there is nothing even remotely incestuous about this, but it may be confusing, and the conclusion that James Vail married his step-sister may be and might have been culturally controversial.
For this reason I have entertained the possibility that Joseph Vail, his brother married the Copus widow. But I have found no evidence to support this hypothesis. If it were true, it might be the cause of the confusion that results in this person being called both Joseph and John.
Relationship to Lars: Great(x4) Grandfather
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Index of Surname Lists extracted from the Social Security Death Master file (aka SSDI)