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 Richard Coulter

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Richard Coulter

Birth
County Donegal, Ireland
Death
25 Feb 1839 (aged 80–81)
Mercer County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial
Pine Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID
21888943 View Source

By family tradition, Richard Coulter and his wife Catharine were natives of County Donegal, Ireland, near the town of Killybegs. Killybegs is the largest fishing port in the county and on the island of Ireland. It is located on the south coast of the county, north of Donegal Bay, near Donegal Town. Richard's ancestors were Presbyterians, originally from Scotland.

A romantic family tradition claims Catharine was a member of the aristocracy, whereas Richard Coulter was just a fisherman. When they fell in love and eloped, Catharine's family disowned her for marrying beneath her class. No evidence has been found to either prove or refute this romantic family tale. The County Donegal marriage records between 1755 and 1817 are missing---probably destroyed during the "troubles" of the 1920s; so a 1964 search for Richard & Catharine's marriage record was unsuccessful. Two Coulter marriages were recorded in Donegal in 1734:
James Coulter & Rebecca Ramsey
Richard Coulter & Mary Gregory
Either of these couples could have been the parents of our Richard, born about 1758.

In 1793, Richard & Catharine immigrated to America with one son, Andrew, who by family tradition was born aboard ship during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. They had four more sons: John (died age 5), Samuel, James (see his listing), and William.

About 1803, Richard & Catharine and their sons moved from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to the wilderness of Mercer County in northwestern Pennsylvania. A two-story red brick house was built, using bricks made there on the farm. The remains of the brick kiln are now buried by the efforts of beavers in damming the nearby stream called Black Run. At one time, water from an artesian well north of the house was piped into the cellar kitchen to keep the milk cans cool. Also living in the spacious farmhouse was Richard & Catharine's eldest son, Andrew, and his family. And later, after Andrew's death in 1867, his daughter Mary Jane Coulter Denniston, her husband Edward, and their five sons lived in the house. The property is no longer in the family.

Richard Coulter died February 25, 1839, at age 80; his widow Catharine died at age 82 on Christmas Eve, 1841. They rest in Center Church Cemetery (United Presbyterian) about two miles southwest of Grove City, Pennsylvania. Their son Andrew Coulter and his wife Sarah McCoy are also buried there, as are two of Andrew & Sarah's grandchildren: Emma Charlotte Coulter, born April 20, 1856; died May 26, 1859; and Charles Smith Coulter, born February 4, 1858; died December 17, 1865. In 1970, vandals carried away the small footstones that bore Richard & Catharine's initials: R.C. and C.C.

Richard Coulter's will, dated March 11, 1835, left his wife Catharine "all my beds and bedding and bureau and her saddle with a comfortable maintenance during her mortal life or as long as she chooses to live with Andrew my son. And if she chooses to leave Andrew and the old mansion house she is to have in addition to the above one milch cow and 1/3 of the wheat and corn raised on the old place during her mortal life."

By family tradition, Richard Coulter and his wife Catharine were natives of County Donegal, Ireland, near the town of Killybegs. Killybegs is the largest fishing port in the county and on the island of Ireland. It is located on the south coast of the county, north of Donegal Bay, near Donegal Town. Richard's ancestors were Presbyterians, originally from Scotland.

A romantic family tradition claims Catharine was a member of the aristocracy, whereas Richard Coulter was just a fisherman. When they fell in love and eloped, Catharine's family disowned her for marrying beneath her class. No evidence has been found to either prove or refute this romantic family tale. The County Donegal marriage records between 1755 and 1817 are missing---probably destroyed during the "troubles" of the 1920s; so a 1964 search for Richard & Catharine's marriage record was unsuccessful. Two Coulter marriages were recorded in Donegal in 1734:
James Coulter & Rebecca Ramsey
Richard Coulter & Mary Gregory
Either of these couples could have been the parents of our Richard, born about 1758.

In 1793, Richard & Catharine immigrated to America with one son, Andrew, who by family tradition was born aboard ship during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. They had four more sons: John (died age 5), Samuel, James (see his listing), and William.

About 1803, Richard & Catharine and their sons moved from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to the wilderness of Mercer County in northwestern Pennsylvania. A two-story red brick house was built, using bricks made there on the farm. The remains of the brick kiln are now buried by the efforts of beavers in damming the nearby stream called Black Run. At one time, water from an artesian well north of the house was piped into the cellar kitchen to keep the milk cans cool. Also living in the spacious farmhouse was Richard & Catharine's eldest son, Andrew, and his family. And later, after Andrew's death in 1867, his daughter Mary Jane Coulter Denniston, her husband Edward, and their five sons lived in the house. The property is no longer in the family.

Richard Coulter died February 25, 1839, at age 80; his widow Catharine died at age 82 on Christmas Eve, 1841. They rest in Center Church Cemetery (United Presbyterian) about two miles southwest of Grove City, Pennsylvania. Their son Andrew Coulter and his wife Sarah McCoy are also buried there, as are two of Andrew & Sarah's grandchildren: Emma Charlotte Coulter, born April 20, 1856; died May 26, 1859; and Charles Smith Coulter, born February 4, 1858; died December 17, 1865. In 1970, vandals carried away the small footstones that bore Richard & Catharine's initials: R.C. and C.C.

Richard Coulter's will, dated March 11, 1835, left his wife Catharine "all my beds and bedding and bureau and her saddle with a comfortable maintenance during her mortal life or as long as she chooses to live with Andrew my son. And if she chooses to leave Andrew and the old mansion house she is to have in addition to the above one milch cow and 1/3 of the wheat and corn raised on the old place during her mortal life."


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