Coulter history update


1775 and onwards








Based on:

Notes on the Congregation of 3rd Cookstown Presbyterian Church
by Rev. John Knox Leslie 1842 – 1843

Transcribed by Eddie Kelso
from PRONI Microfilm MIC/1P/460 G3 – J4

*A big thank you to Eddie Kelso for making it possible for members of the Coulter family to access such valuable and exciting information.

Teressan, Parish of Derriloran, Col Stewart, Landlord (July 22, 1842)…..Page 57 in the above records

Just a few more generations to go and we’ll have reached the Planters/Settlers era. We have now reached 1775, thanks to persistent research by Kerri & Laurenn Montgomery.  Now much nearer to finding/confirming that the COULTER’S were in fact part of the Plantation of Ulster, by the English Parliament, in the early 1600’s!

Starting with a brief summary from the above Church Records:

Daniel Coulter 1775-1839, the first name in the above 3rd Cookstown (Molesworth) Church records, was born in 1775. He was one of the founding members of 3rd Cookstown Presbyterian Church, to day known as Molesworth Presbyterian. The Church was founded in 1835.

He was my Grandfather James’ (Nim) grandfather….see full story below!


First lot of info dated, the week end 17-18 August 2013 (see further on for second lot, 17 Sept 2013)

Kerri & Laurenn Montgomery, whose mother Virginia (nee Coulter) is my cousin, discovered information relating to a shipwreck off Newfoundland, in which 2 Coulters, in the 1860’s were involved. One survived and one perished.

I personally have spent many hours researching the ALLEN, COULTER & HIGGINSON families, over the past 4 years. I have had no success with the ship wreck research.


During a conversation with Denis & Sadie Coulter in 2009 I heard that they had relatives who sailed to America in the mid 1800’s. They were ship wrecked off the Newfoundland coast. Denis told me that the young man, his great uncle (Grandfather’s brother) was probably called Daniel, but was unsure what the girl’s name was. I promised to have a go at researching, which I have done without success…..having looked through many shipping lists of Newfoundland wrecks. Many sad stories and many tragedies!

Having had a few text messages from Kerri & Laurenn, during the week end of  17-18 August 2013 I was sent info, in the form of links, relating to a ship wreck in 1863 and also received transcribed Church Records from 3rd Cookstown Pres Church (Molesworth), mentioned above. These are from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s!

This was a real breakthrough in the research for more Coulter information!

My Mum, Thelma Allen (nee Coulter and sister of Kerri/Laurenn’s Grandfather, my uncle, Bobbie/Robert James) showed my sister Yvonne and me a grave stone in the Old Derryloran Graveyard many years ago. In 2009 Yvonne & I returned to this graveyard!  The text is almost not ledgible on the photo below, but reads 


The following is what I recorded in our Family Tree, after that visit and after Yvonne’s research in the Parish Church Records at Derryloran!

Following on from the original info from Denis in 2009 and the new research results from Kerri & Laurenn I will now try to summarise below the information from the transcript prepared by Eddie Kelso and other information which I was already party to. We have also theorized and made “educated” guesses in some cases! Confirmation on these are still being researched………………..


Daniel Coulter 1775-1839, (born in Scotland?), married Margaret Nixon 1776-1856. This Scottish connection and breakthrough was discovered when the second lot of info came from Kerri Montgomery, 17 September 2013 (see later in text). Looking closely at the US Federal Census of 1880, we find Daniel Coulter (the ship wreck survivor…great grandson of the first named Daniel above, see later!) was married and had 5 children, one of whom was also called Daniel (Jnr). It’s in these Census records that we find that the ship wreck survivor Daniel’s father James (dob 1810) was registered as born in Scotland! It was this James that married Jane Purvis, whose tomb stone is found in the Old Derryloran Graveyard, Cookstown, NIreland. So was the original Daniel Coulter also born in Scotland in 1775?

This Scottish connection raises the questions….

1.When did he/they come to Terressan?  2. How did he/they end up in Terressan?  3. Were Coulters already residing in Terressan, as a Planter family and perhaps he/they was/were a relative/s? 4. If so, when did they arrive in Terressan? More research!

I would suggest that Margaret Nixon was the daughter of a neighbouring farmer, who lived in the little house known to me as Johnny Reid’s. Ruins still exist! Why? There is land on the present “Tyresson” farm known as Nixon’s hill, purchased by Granda Coulter’s father James! Also observed from the Church records that there are many Nixon’s belonging to the Church and that at least 2 young male Nixons emigrated to America.

According to the records Daniel and Margaret had 5 children : James dob 1810, Nancy 1816 and Mary 1818, who married James Glenny (spelling?).

Son James married Jane Purvis (Old Derryloran Cemetry). I suggest a Coulter marrying a neighbouring farmer’s daughter? The farm known to day as Morgan’s (inherited by my late uncle George after Granda James death 1976, later sold on, allegedly for a sum in excess of GBP 200,000) was once owned by a Sam Purvis (NOT the same as married Lily Coulter!). This farm too was bought by Granda Coulter’s father James!

James b 1810 & Jane b 1817(1810) had offspring. Daniel dob 5 August 1840, William ????, Mary Feb 1845, Margaret August 1846, James 1 June 1851 (our ancestoral line) and Jane 1854.

It was this Daniel and Mary who sailed on the Anglo Saxon from the Port of Londonderry in April 1863, 12 days later to be ship wrecked off the Newfoundland coast….SEE STORY BELOW!

It is only Jane’s name on the gravestone, SHOWN ABOVE. After talking to Denis/Sadie, Laurenn & Kerri got the impression that it’s possible that there are others in that grave, possibly her husband James and others. Jane died young, 52 years old, so probably she was the first to be interred there. Maybe the family didn’t “get around” to inscribing the stone and therefore this “neglect” or lack of interest means that no further inscriptions were made?

Also recorded in this Church transcript is an Andrew Coulter 1770-1860 (Denis/Sadie recognized the name but couldn’t place who he was). Could he be a brother of Daniel 1775-1839….same era?

Further down the transcript, Andrew Coulter is living in Cloughog.  We read the following Coulter names, presuming they are connected to Andrew Coulter!?:

Margaret b 1815, Sarah 18 June 1833, Margaret 13 June 1835, George 1 February 1838 and Jane 1841.

The question arises: “Were there 2 Coulter families, living in neighbouring townlands, Terressan and Cloughog?” We must bear in mind that Daniel Coulter and family, Grandfather James’s (Nim) brother, have lived in the present Cloghog home since 1929! So where did the Andrew Coulter connection reside. More research!

There is a connection I believe, the last 4 names are most probably siblings, as they are close in age. The connection between Andrew and Margaret is a mystery and is 1815 a birthdate? Too big an age difference for them to be husband and wife!? 

This should be checked with Eddie Kelso!


START OF MY ORGINAL INFO….here I quote from my notes made in 2009!

“By visiting the old Derryloran graveyard at Blackhill, Cookstown, Yvonne and I.....from the old main gate entrance, diagonally left about 50 m, under a fir tree/bush........could read :


Acc to Sadie and Denis Coulter, 6 May 09, it was this James & Jane Coulter who had the son and daughter emigrating to America, probably sometime in mid century, 1850's (educated guess!) Unfortunately they were ship wrecked off the coast of Newfoundland.. James' son survived (Denis thought his name to be Daniel?), the daughter perished. The son to returned a short time later to that shore. Apparently this was because some bodies were washed up on the Newfoundland coast and surviving family members returned to identify. The brother recognised his sister's body, because he had given his overcoat to her during the storm to keep her warm!  (By having this story it must be assumed that some form of communication/letter came from this surviving son, telling the story, as Denis could re tell it to me!....oral history)

Yvonne's notes after visit to Derryloran Parish Church, 2009

Re Jane Coulter’s tombstone date of death we thought was 1869 but it may be 1862. The death is not recorded in the Register of Burials held in the Church of Ireland manse. If they were Presbyterian (which we now know they were, belonging to 3rd Cookstown/Molesworth) it wouldn’t be there, would it? Or were all deaths recorded by the Church of I ? or was the family Church of I at that time?  Nothing could be found in the Burials Register. However the death is listed in two other lists which the Parish holds. One lists it for 1862 and the other for 1869. We did wonder about the last digit on the gravestone. It could be a 9 or possibly a 2. Anyway Jane was born either in 1810 or 1817.

We could not find a record of James and Jane’s marriage. Whole pages of entries were difficult to decipher as there was a lot of fading while other pages were quite clear so the checking may not be too reliable. If James and Jane were Presbyterian or if she was Presbyterian the marriage service may have been Presbyterian so maybe it would not have been recorded in the Church of Ireland records or did the C of I record all Protestant marriages?

The children are included in the Register of Births so what does that tell us - that they were Church of Ireland? We may have missed a birth or more, for the above reason – some pages are badly faded or the writing is hard to make out. The first found was Daniel.

The townland listed in all the birth entries is Teressan. Teressan is easy enough to decipher in 2 of the birth records. In the rest the name certainly begins with a T but the remainder of the word is hard to decipher though I think we can assume that it is Teressan in every entry. Also the trade of the father is listed as farmer or labourer – again hard to decipher. In each entry the parents are listed as James and Jane.

Children of James and Jane/SUMMARY (these dates I take to be accurate and are included in the Family Tree)

Born                         Baptised

Daniel 10 Aug 1840 20 Oct 1840

Yvonne checked parish records at Derryloran to see if there was any record of James and Jane and their respective family lineage.

14 May 09. She did so and found 4 children's birth and baptism dates, including our direct descendant, James Coulter b. 1851....which Sadie had already given me.

William 21 Sept 1843 21 Jan 1844

Mary    Dec 1845 12 Aug 1846

James  Aug 1851 6 Dec 1851

Jane    1 May 1854 16 Apr 1856 or maybe 1855 (Mum remember’s this Jane as an elderly person who was very kind)”…..


There are discrepancies in some dates, compared to the Parish Records researched by Yvonne. I will treat the dates from the Parish Records as correct and it’s these that are recorded in the My Heritage Family Tree!

However when we check the SHIP LIST you will observe that the ages of Daniel & Mary Coulter do NOT agree with their true ages! They must have registered themselves as older!?

DANIEL’S REAL AGE WAS 23 (DOB 1840) & MARY WAS JUST 18 (DOB 1845)….See Birth/Baptismal dates above!

Extracts from the SHIPS LIST , the Anglo Saxon is incorporated below, trying to guide information direct to the Coulter connection.

Link to the actual web site and the Official Report into the disaster, will be incorporated at the end of these extracts!



Daniel & Mary Coulter en route to a new life in Canada via Quebec

The Allan Line steamship Anglo Saxon, Captain William Burgess, from Liverpool and Londonderry and destined to Quebec, with 445 passengers and crew, departed Liverpool April 16th 1863 & Londonderry April 17th 1863. On April 27th 1863, she wrecked on Cape Race, Newfoundland, with the loss of 237 lives.


We have received from our own correspondent in Liverpool the following list of passengers who joined the Anglo-Saxon at Derry:-

Matilda Ganley, 27, and one child

James Kirk, 21

Robert Bruce, 20

Hamilton Magee, 20

Edward Kerr, 20, wife, and one child

William Johnston, 20

Mary Keanny, 20

Alice Stewart, 20

John Keely, 22

Daniel Ferguson, 21

John Meaney, 28

Daniel Coulter, 28

Mary Coulter, 20

Catherine Early, 20

Bernard Early, 21

John Morrow, 28, and wife

Marjorie Morrow, 20

John Carroll, 35

John Reidy, 26, and wife

George Atkinson, 20

Robert Atkinson, 18

Ellen Atkinson, 22

Joseph Eagan, 30

Mary Eagan, 48

William Rogers, 19

John McNally, 20

Francis McDonald, 18

Peter Nolan, 30, wife, and two children

Peter Watson, 35

John Davison, 23, wife, and child

Thomas Power, 21

Mary A. Adam, 18

Martha Rimp, 17

Francis Gornley, 30

Patrick Gornley, 18

Anne Gornley, 18

Samuel Cotter, 22

William Glover, 48, wife, and seven children

John McCrew, 25

Alexander Storey, 22

Thomas M. Cornbridge, 20

James A. Direa, 20

James Finlay, 21

Rose A. Gartin, 19

Sarah Smith, 28

Charles McCloskey, 21

David Dinsman, 31

Daniel Gerahty, 30

James Murtagh, 30

C. Crawford, 50

Mary Binnek, 22

Margaret Binnek, 25

Mrs. Black

George Black

Ann Orr

John Livingstone

Samuel Mence, 25

Peter Crumplin, 23

John Wright, 30

Peter Connagher, 42

Margaret Fernie, 25

James Barkley, 30

Peter McMillan, 36

Thomas Anderson, 22

John Small, 21

Rose Winch, 25

Catherine Cameron, 27

Rose Bell, 27

Michael Davies, 41

Hugh Strachan, 50

Samuel Morgan, 82

M. Henderson, 21

Rose Jamieson, 36

John Norman, 21

W. S. Finlay, 25

Angus McLane, 22

F. Mackenzie

Robert Parker


Louisa Gibbs, 30, and two children


Belfast Newsletter, Monday, May 11th, 1863


     The splendid screw steamship Anglo-Saxon, Captain Thomas [sic] Burgess, which left the Foyle on the 17th April for Quebec, was totally wrecked off Cape Race on the 27th April, when, dreadful to relate, 237 lives were lost. The Anglo-Saxon was a fine and favourite vessel of 1123 tons, built on the Clyde, and launched at Dumbarton in 1854. She sailed from the Mersey on the 16th of April for Quebec and Montreal (the "pioneer" vessel of the Canadian trade direct for the Summer season), and from the port of Londonderry on the succeeding day. It would appear that, when off Cape Race, where it was probably intended to land the latest telegrams, the vessel encountered one of those dense fogs which are so common off the banks; for we learn by telegram that she was wrecked four miles East of Cape Race at noon of the 27th during a dense fog. The deck broke up an hour after the vessel struck, and Captain Burgess, part of the crew, and a great many passengers who were on deck when the vessel sunk in deep water were all lost. The crew and passengers numbered 445 persons, of whom 187 are known to have been saved. It is barely possible that some others may also have been rescued, for we read that two of the steamer's boats and raft which left the vessel have not been heard of, but search is being made for them.

Armagh Guardian, Friday, August 7th, 1863

Official Report on the Loss of the Anglo-Saxon

The following is the official Report as to the loss of this vessel 

"My Lords, - I have the honour to report for the information of your Lordships the result of the inquiry which, in conjunction with Captains Harris and Baker, as nautical assessors, I have held into the cirumstances attending the wreck of the screw steamship Anglo-Saxon, on the 27th of April last.

"The frightful magnitude of the disaster naturally excited an unusual amount of interest, and communications relating thereto, chiefly from passengers of that ill-fated vessel, now residing on the other side of the Atlantic, have, in the course of the inquiry, reached one or other member of the Court.

"Their communications, though not receivable as evidence of the facts, stated therein, have on several points guided the Court in the examination of the witnesses, as it seemed highly desirable that the public mind should be set at rest as to the truth of cetain statements which had obtained currency through the public press both in this country and Canada. The conclusions however, at which I have arrived are deduced solely from the facts proved in evidence by the witnesses who were examined viva voce before the Court.

"The Anglo-Saxon was built at Dumbarton in the year 1860, and was owned by Messrs. Allen and others and was one of the line of steamers trading between Liverpool and Montreal, and carrying the mails for the Canadian Government. Her gross registered tonnage was 1,713 tons, and she was of 250 horse power. She had a crew of 85 persons, and was commanded by Mr.William Burgess, who held a certificate at competency as master.

"The Anglo-Saxon left Liverpool for Quebec on the 16th of April. She had on board, in addition to the master and crew, 336 persons, 48 being cabin and 322 steerage passengers, a general cargo consisting of iron and measurement goods, and the usual mails in charge of Mr.Green. The requirements of the Board of Trade with respect to boats and compasses had been complied with, and the ordinary declaration for a foreign going steamship, signed by the shipwright surveyor at Liverpool, was shown to the Court, specifying the number of passengers allowed to be carried, and the number and cubical contents of the boats, from which it appears that the vessel was licensed to carry 455 passengers; and in the present instance, including the master and crew, there were on board 446 persons. The usual certificate as to compasses was also produced, signed, as required by the Board, by the previous master, and dated the 29th of October, 1862.

"After touching at Moville on the 17th April, the vessel proceeded on her voyage without anything to call for remark until 8p.m. on the 25th, when she fell in with ice, accompanied by foggy weather. The engines were at once slowed, and at 10p.m., the ice becoming thicker and the fog increasing in density, the engines were altogether stopped, and, according to the evidence of the first engineer, so remained until 10a.m. on the 26th, when, the ice being somewhat less compact, the engines were occasionally moved slowly ahead by one or two revolutions at a time, until 2 p.m., when clear water was reached , and the engines were put on at full speed; all sail was made with the wind from the S.S.E., and a course shaped N.W. and by W. towards Cape Race. At noon on this day, an observation had been obtained which gave the lat. 46 54N., and at 3.30 p.m. sights were taken for the chronometer which, brought back to noon, placed the ship in long. 47 24W. A similar sight taken at 4 p.m. gave the same result, from the position of the ship at noon Cape Race bore about W. S., and the ship steered about W. 1 deg. S till 8 a.m. on the 27th, so that it is obvious that in the run at 18 hours she would be at that time clearly to the northward of the Cape. At 8 a.m. the engines werer slowed to half speed, and the course was then altered to W.S.W., true, until she struck, shortly after 11 a.m., about half a mile to the southward of Clam Cove, and became a total wreck. Immediately on the vessel striking such of the boats as could in the position of the vessel be got at were lowered, and by that means and also by means of a spar which was thrown across to the nearest rock and a whip from the foreyard, to which a basket was attached, many lives were saved, and in all probability, had not the boat listed over to port and sunk in deep water, in little more than an hour all hands might have been rescued. Those who were earliest on shore proceeded to Cape Race and communicated by telegraph with St.John's, in consequence of which the steamerDauntless was at once sent off in search of the boats, and picked up three of them, and also took several persons from parts of the floating wreck. In all, according to the most reliable accounts that could be furnished, 209 persons were saved.

"In reviewing the circumstances attending the catastrophe the main difficulty arises from the conflicting evidences as to the actual speed of the ship during the period from 2 p.m. on the 26th, when her position would be little changed from the time of the noon observation of that day, till 8 a.m. on the 27th. But in carrying back the reckoning from the spot on which she struck till 8 a.m., it is clear that she must have run at the rate of 12 knots an hour during the period in question. During this long run of 18 hours, the tendency of the wind and sea would be to place the ship a head and to the northward and westward of her reckoning, and the distance run was probably thus accelerated; but for this it would appear that no allowance was made. Had the lead been occasionally used, as, without doubt, in such weather and approaching land it should have been, Captain Burgess might have had timely warning of his danger. Nor can I omit to notice (though I feel most painfully the necessity under which I am laid to comment upon the acts of a man who, when the fatal accident happened, nobly did his duty and perished in its performance), that the speed at which the vessel was driven, during a thick fog and in the vicinity of land, was highly imprudent.

"I feel bound, therefore, acting under the advice of my nautical assessors, to pronounce that the Anglo Saxon was lost owing to a wrong estimate of the distance run; that there was a culpable ommission to use the lead after 8 a.m., and that it was a most reprenhesible act on the part of the commander to continue his course in a thick fog, even at half-speed, in such an uncertain position.

"I may here refer to a recent report now before me, made by Captain Orlebar, R.N., surveying officer on the station to Sir Alexander Bannerman, Governor of Newfoundland, bearing on this question, and which may prove useful to future navigators. Captain Orlebar, - 'There are few coasts more safely approachable than the South Eastern co[a]st of Newfoundland from Cape St.Mary to Cape Race, if the lead be used and the speed moderate. Soundings of moderate depth extend far off all these headlands, and the water shoals gradually to the shore. But if vessels continue to be navigated in these waters, specially in foggy weather, without using the sounding lead, there is so much uncertainty in the strength and set of the currents, that shipwrecks must occur, as they have occurred with lamentable frequency.

"With respect to the boats, I find, from the document to which I have already referred, from the authorities at Liverpool certified that the vessel was properly equipped. I am glad also to be able to refute the charge of insubordination and cowardice which had been alleged against the crew of boat No.4. The evidence of the first mate has fully confirmed the assertion made and to some extent proved independently of his evidence on their behalf, that the boat had been injured in lowering and was laying off the necessary repair. I may also add that the crew were stationed to their respective boats, and that a list was hung up in the proper place, while the first mate distinctly speaks to the fact that he at any rate found the right men in his own boat which was No.2.

"I have but one other point to touch upon in reference to this casualty. There was only one chronometer on board. In all other respects the Anglo Saxon appears to have been thoroughly equipped.

"I think it due to the owners to state that, among their instructions to their captains, is the following:- 'When you meet with fog or ice, or when, owing to the hardness of the weather, there is any risk of proceeding, the safest course is to lay till daylight, or until the weather clears up. And again:- 'The lead should be used frequently, and the utmost care exercised when you are in any doubt as to your position.' Would that these admirable instructions had been fully carried out!

"Considerable controversy has arisen out of this disaster in reference to the expedience of a fog signal on Cape Race. I have not thought it right to close my report without an illusion to this suggestion. It is no part of my duty to discuss the respective merits of the plans proposed for adoption. I am informed that the matter has already been before your lordships, and I feel confident that you will not delay to take such measures as may in your judgement seem most desirable if upon further inquiry any action is deemed expedient. 
" I have the honour to remain, my Lords, 
" Your Lordships' most obedient servant, 
" T.S.Raffles, Police Magistrate.

"Liverpool, July 31. 
" We concur in the above report, 
" Hy. Harris; " Robt. Baker;
Nautical Assessors" 



To complete this part of the ship wreck story, it should be added that Kerri and Laurenn visited Denis & Sadie on Sunday 18th August, 2013. Laurenn wrote to me with this interesting and yet sad piece of information, as a result of that evening’s craic…..

Laurenn writes:

“With regards to Daniel and Mary who we found left for America aboard the SS Anglo Saxon, Denis recalls being told that Mary perished and Daniel survived. They had been told that Daniel managed to cut a rope from a mast and swung himself out to a lifeboat but unfortunately Mary had been recovered washed up dead, clasping Daniel's heavy coat around her head. She was buried at Newfoundland. After the ordeal, he warned his brother (possibly William) to remain in Ireland as he said 'as good as your coat is on your back here it is as good on your back at home' and that they would not be any better off going to America. Daniel reportedly died a short time after his arrival to America, no one knows if this was months or years. I wonder did he have any family, most likely not........


Denis has added a little from his memory about this Daniel, on my visit 19 May, 2015. Young Daniel was in fact a gardener on the Killymoon Estate! The knife used in Laurenn's quote above was a gardening knife which he most probably had in his possession on that dreadful day!



Second lot of info, week beginning 16 September 2013

Tuesday 17 September 2013 I received another interesting e-mail from Kerri relating to researching the ship wreck survivor, Daniel Coulter….thus answering our questions:


-        “What happened to him and where did he go after the tragedy of the ship wreck?”


Kerri informs me that from her research in American documents (which confirmed that his father was James and mother Jane, whose burial place is Derryloran Old Churchyard, Blackhill, Cookstown, Tyrone, NIreland) she found that Daniel became a naturalized American citizen in 1874, 10 years after the tragedy.


Liz, having done a lot of “American” research for her O’Brien family, was familiar with the Mormons web site and discovered more info on survivor Daniel Coulter, which has now been summarized in this text!  See below:

He married Sarah Jane Brown (1836-1876), lived in Cumberland, Rhode Island and they had a family.


Jane (Jeannie, Jennie) 1866-1949, Mary 1868- ?, Alice 1869-1960. Elizabeth M 1872-1930, Daniel Jnr 1874-1951.


Jane married William Smith Hague (1876-1953)….as yet no known off spring.

No known records if Mary and Alice married.

Elizabeth married George A Clark….again no known off spring


Daniel Jnr married Katherine A Smith, when he was 26, ie 1900 (acc to Census 1930). No known offspring. In 1920 they lived in Blackstone, Massachusetts acc to 1920 US Federal Census.


They divorced about 1929, when he was 55 years old. The Census of 1930 states that he was a lodger with Ethel Gould 38, and her daughter Helen, 11 years old.

The following Census, April 1,1940 states he was living in Boston with his wife Ethel! He was 65 and she 48. Presuming this to be the lady he was “lodging” with in 1930!


Daniel Jnr died at the age of 77, in 1951, and was buried in Central Falls, Rhode Island.


The following link is Census info re Daniel Coulter Jnr, from


Moving on from the shipwreck family there is  OTHER interesting COULTER information on the "home" front!


“Willie’s grave” is another story worth mentioning in this summary of Coulter history…….Acc to the Church records above, it states that William Coulter, (brother of the ship wrecked Coulters), died from drowning! We weren’t sure if this implied that he too was ship wrecked or that he was drowned elsewhere?

After discussing with Laurenn & Kerri we agreed on a possible theory. As the Church records don’t give any dates or location, we can latch on to the story I once heard from Bobby and more recently from Denis/Sadie.

There was/is a stone on land north of the Tyresson homestead, where a huge stone once protruded over the ground. I remember Bobby telling me that his grandfather tried to bury it and succeeded, but only partly….because somebody who was digging got caught under the stone as it rolled over, died and his body remained there? This story was also told to Laurenn & Kerri by Denis/Sadie in August 2013, when some more info was added, ie during the digging, one of the wooden support props broke and the stone moved pinning a man underneath it.


Kerri, Laurenn and I have speculated on the following theory…..


William Coulter was advised by the ship wrecked surviving brother Daniel not to cross the Atlantic for the reasons given in the quote from Laurenn’s citation above.

Assuming he stayed at home on the farm, he would be helping his father & brother James (our lineage) with farm work. Sinking this stone could fall into that category. So we suggest that around 1864,5,6,7, William was down the hole digging around the stone, with props supporting it, until he had finished and was ready to climb out, before he and others tried to push it over on its side. As this land is quite low lying I suggest that there is a high water table and that the hole was filled with water. As he was trying to or was actually climbing out, the prop or props snapped/collapsed and William was caught and dragged under the stone as it rolled over! The stone being too heavy to move and with so much water in the hole it was impossible to save William, and even too difficult to retrieve his body!


So cause of death is given as drowning, according to the transcribed Church record at the beginning of this document!? 


Could this be the story behind “Willy’s grave”?  To be researched, trying to find a death date.


LAND ACQUISITION by James Snr and his sons Jimmy (my Grandfather) and Bob!


After talking to Denis & Sadie in August 2013 I have some information relating to land and property purchased by James Coulter, our great grandfather….also by Jimmy (Nim) and Bob.


Nixon’s hill…no recollection when this land was bought nor the price. Marriage!!!!!


McKenzie’s “Ring” is 2 fields….(did this land belong to Nixon’s or was it bought from McKenzies?) Check 1


Neddie’s field at Drapersfield cross roads was bought from Neddie McKemmel (spelling?) Also known as the “sandpit” field, sand was extracted in the early 1900’s….4 acres. Just behind this sandpit was an old house in which a lady called Annie Quinn (pronounced Queen!) lived. I remember her in the late 1950’s.


Drummond land was bought in 1924 for the grand sum of GBP 2,600 and the Castle in 1926. According to local history the Castle was acquired in 1922?? According to Sadie a photograph of James Snr, John, Dan, & Jimmy (Nim) was taken on the Castle steps, in the mid 1920’s. This photo is not in her possession and wonders where it is….was it in the local press? Must do some searching somewhere!!? Check 2


Clare was bought around the end of World War 1, 1918-1919. from Anderson’s. Price, about the same as Drummond. Could that be the Doorless Anderson?

Check 3

Henry’s farm, Cloghog (pronounced Clog!) where Denis & Sadie now reside, was bought in 1930. I didn’t make a note of the price! Check 4. Henry had got himself into big debt. He committed suicide, sometime at the end of the 1920’s.  Denis/Sadie’s parents Dan & Maggie moved here from Clare in 1930. Sadie was 9 months. Florrie, their sister, was born in Cloghog.


Mann’s farm with house was purchased by Bob & Jimmy Coulter (Jimmy being our line) as I understand in the 1940’s. Price unknown? Check 5


Purvis’s farm…. Denis’s father Dan said that they were related to the Purvis’s and “old” James would get first choice to purchase! Quite correct. As we look back at records, we find that the mother of “old” James we mentioned earlier in this text, was Jane Purvis!


Property in Oldtown St, Cookstown….a row of terraced houses….3 homes.


Rushe’s land, adjoining the Clare farm, at Clare Bridge was Coulter owned. Don’t know the extent of those lands…..cottage and perhaps 3 fields? Guessing that it was bought by Bob & Jimmy in late 1930’s. Check 6


This assumption is based on the knowledge that my Allen grandparents, Sam & Violet moved into the cottage (later renovated to become Paul & Virginia’s Montgomery’s home, where Kerri & Laurenn grew up) in 1939…..My Dad, Sammie Allen lived there for 7 years, until his marriage to Mum, Thelma Higginson Coulter.


1939 is the year that the Northern Ireland Pigs Marketing Board, bought the land, where the present “Bacon Factory” was built, from James Coulter, according to the local press. Old James had by this time died, so it must have been Jimmy (Nim) who sold that land!


Property in Loy, bought by by Jimmy & Bob in the 1940’s….later bequeathed to Jimmy’s 2 sons, Robert (Bobby) and George (Geordie). Finally sold out of the Coulter family, late 1970’s early 80’s.


Billy Neill’s cottage and field, Clare. Bought by Jimmy in 1949. Jimmy & Billy Neill weren’t on speaking terms….don’t know the reasons, so my grandfather Sam Allen was given a sum of money by Jimmy to bid/buy the field. The property & field (which became part of a later deal with my Mum & Dad) was duly bought by my Granda Allen, registered in his name and about one year later re registered into Jimmy Coulter’s name!


Shortly afterwards Mum & Dad were allocated a house at Festival Park. Jimmy offered them to rent the cottage on the former Neill land instead. They accepted Jimmy’s offer for the house only, and in 1951, after some renovations, became our home for years to come. In 1959 Jimmy signed the property with the field (later to become a  Market Garden) over to my parents. Dad/Mum signed over ownership to me in 1994! Boundary lines were changed on this property in the 1950’s, but were never registered with Land Registry, although verbal promises were made to do so.


After Uncle Bobby’s death in February 2011, these Coulter lands were divided and willed to the immediate heirs.




Karlskoga & Cookstown // Autumn 2013

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