Volume 8, July 2000
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Terry Meinke…..............…………..……..….Managing Editor
Tim Coulthart...............................…….…..……....…....Editor
Ian Coulthart.............….......................…...…....……....Editor

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The success of Clan Coulthart will depend upon your contributions. The editors need your support. Please submit family histories, biographies, announcements, questions and suggestions for improvement to the managing editor at the address listed below or send E-mail to meinket@yahoo.com. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number so we can contact you if there is a question. Also feel free to include photographs with your stories. All photos will be returned after they are scanned. The editors will select which items to include in each edition of Clan Coulthart.

Terry Meinke
Managing Editor - Clan Coulthart
1004 Ridgewood Lane
Palatine, IL 60067 U.S.A.
(847) 359-4320

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The deadline for receiving information to be included in the October 2000 edition of Clan Coulthart is September 30, 2000.


All editions of Clan Coulthart are available on the Internet at www.coulthart.com/newsletter.html

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This summer I originally planned to spend a month in England and Scotland visiting the areas from which our Coulthart families came. One of my goals was to visit the airbase where our cousin Captain (CPT) James K. Hunter, a B-24 bomber pilot, was stationed during WWII. This was to be followed by a two-day trip to Holland to visit his grave. I planned to arrive in the area on September 18 to coincide with the 56th anniversary of the plane crash in which CPT Hunter and eight of his crew were killed. Unfortunately as circumstances would have it, these plans have now changed.

Since I will not be in England long enough to visit these sites, I have delayed that part of my trip until September 2001. Instead, in August I will spend a week in Northern Wales researching my Welsh ancestors after which I will travel to Yorkshire, England for a second week. This area of England is considered the birthplace of the Coulthart name since it is the first place where the surname was recorded. The earliest written document containing the Coulthart name was made in 1272, making our family over 725 years old! Although many of us consider ourselves to be of Scottish origin, the family did not actually arrive in Scotland until sometime around 1500. Included in this edition of Clan Coulthart is information about our family origins. In addition you will see a new column entitled "Scottish Culture/Traditions" where you can learn a bit more about your Scottish heritage.

In keeping with the spirit of remembrance for those fallen soldiers from our family, this spring I decided to focus my attention on our cousin SP4 Gerald F. (Frankie) Coulthart. For the second year in a row, I sent a representative to Washington D.C. the week of Memorial Day to visit the Vietnam War Memorial to let Frankie know he is remembered. Next year I hope to make the journey myself. In addition, last month I attended the 30th Field Artillery Reunion in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where a special ceremony was held in Frankie's honor. These two events are highlighted in this edition of Clan Coulthart. Now that I have had the opportunity to meet some of the men who served in the same unit as Frankie, I am considering attending the 491st Bomber Group's reunion in Tacoma, Washington in October so I can meet the men who served with CPT Hunter. For more information on CPT Hunter, SP4 Coulthart and the other family veterans, please visit the website I have created in their honor at www. coulthart.com/honor.html.

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In March I received an invitation to attend the annual reunion of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment (30th FA) Association which was to take place in June. The 30th FA Association was organized in 1995 as a non-profit veteran's organization. Its original purpose was to document their proud and honorable service during the Vietnam War. Additional goals are to provide members with an opportunity to get together each year and to honor and remember those individuals from the unit who were killed in action. During this year's reunion, the organizers planned a special ceremony to honor our cousin, Gerald F. "Frankie" Coulthart, who was killed in Vietnam in 1969 during his service with the 30th FA.

It was during the Coulthart Family reunion last year in Fargo, North Dakota that I met Frankie's sister and took the two-hour drive north to the Grafton area to visit his grave. During the trip I learned from the inscription on his headstone and his obituary that he served with the 30th FA. After I returned home, I searched the Internet for information about the regiment, which I wanted to include in a short biography I was preparing for Clan Coulthart. After discovering the 30th FA website at www.hardchargers.com. I corresponded via email with Don Shacklette, the association webmaster and their historian, Dan Gillotti. At the time, our cousin Frankie was not listed on the official list of those killed in action with the 30th FA. After bringing this to Dan's attention, he did some additional research and was finally able to confirm that Frankie did in fact serve with this regiment. Dan was also able to locate a copy of the condolence letter sent by President Nixon to Frankie's mother. Since I was the one who linked our cousin to the 30th FA, the reunion organizers asked me to come to the reunion to represent the Coulthart family. The three-day event was to take place on June 15-17 in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, the home of the United States Army Field Artillery. For me the trip to Ft. Sill had additional meaning since I lived on the base when I was in the seventh grade, 1966-67, when my father was stationed there as an instructor.

I arrived in Fort Sill with a friend in the early evening of June 15. At first we were a bit shy being on a military base surrounded by so many men in fatigues! After checking into our room at the BOQ (military term for the base hotel), we headed to the hospitality suite to meet some of the men who served at the same time as Frankie. The first person we ran into was retired First Sergeant Tom (Top) Vernor who immediately recognized us and made us feel welcome. I immediately liked him, perhaps because he reminded me of my father. At the hospitality suite we met many of the men who served in Vietnam between 1965-1971. It was nice to finally put a face to Don and Dan who had been so helpful to me earlier when I was writing Frankie's biography. We also met Bill Bilo, a retired Brigadier General who brought the unit colors back to the US in 1971 when the regiment left Vietnam. Bill is currently the president of the association. He suggested we visit the Cannon Walk, a historical display of vintage artillery weapons, and Geronimo's grave while on the base.

Terry Meinke next to a 155 howitzer on the Cannon Walk at Fort Sill. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photograph.

The next morning at breakfast we met Norman "Skip" Wilfong, a retired Command Sergeant Major who served in Vietnam during 1969, the same year that Frankie was there. He described the details of the four main events that were on the agenda for the day. After breakfast we met Bill Gregory, the 1st Vice President of the association and a former First Lieutenant in Vietnam, who was to be our host and guide for the remainder of the day.

The first event of June 16th was the change of command, which began at approximately 9 a.m. on the base's polo field. Active duty men and women of the 30th FA were assembled in formation in front of a grandstand filled with officers, local dignitaries and their spouses, as well as other interested parties, including the association members. The ceremony started with the presentation of a Half Section, which circled the polo field.

Fort Sill's Half Section. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photograph.

A Half Section is an authentic representation of a horse-drawn artillery section used during World War I. Some of the saddles and hardware were original and the uniforms worn by the men were replicas of those worn from 1918-1930's. Before artillery was mechanized, a field artillery section consisted of a six-horse team pulling a cannon and another six-horse team hitched to a caisson, which served as an ammunition carrier. Fort Sill's Half Section, which includes only the gun team led by a section chief and bearer, is the Army's last horse-drawn artillery unit. It recalls the years, which inspired the words of the old Field Artillery song, "Over hill over dale, we have hit the dusty trail as our caissons go rolling along". The Half Section demonstration was followed by a brief speech by the departing active duty commander of the regiment. Then both the new and departing commanders inspected the troops. The event ended, after a short speech by the new commander, with the men and women of the 30th FA marching past the grandstand. This was followed by refreshments, which were served in the officer's lounge at the Polo Club.

At 11:30 a.m. the 30th FA Association members assembled in the Regimental Room of Snow Hall. Snow Hall is the main building where artillery students from around the world attend classes to learn about the latest in artillery equipment and techniques. The classroom designated as the Regimental Room contains photographs and artifacts depicting significant events in the history of the regiment. Dan, the historian, explained to us the significance of each item as other association members listened or spent time viewing the displays. In the center of the room behind the podium one display was covered so it could be unveiled later. The ceremony began with brief speeches about the history of the regiment by Bill Bilo - Master of Ceremonies, Colonel Madden - active duty Regimental Commander, and retired Colonel Wigner - Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. This was followed by a speech about Frankie that was given by Skip Wilfong - Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment who explained the importance of honoring those fallen soldiers from the unit. At the end of his presentation, I was called to the podium to assist him in unveiling the regiment's "Scroll of Honor" to which Frankie's name had been added. The scroll contains the names of 38 men from the regiment who were killed in Vietnam. Frankie's name is the 11th on the list. The motto of the 30th FA reflects their commitment to these men. "No one is forgotten. No one is left behind". We can rest assured that our cousin Frankie will be forever remembered not only by family members but by those who served with him and also by future artillery students who attend classes in this room.

The Scroll of Honor. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photograph.

Our next stop was a visit to one of the active duty living facilities on the base followed by lunch in the Mess Hall. We were given a brief description of the living arrangements and daily schedule of a typical soldier undergoing basic training. In today's Army men and women live together in a coed environment. We also learned that although women can not be assigned to most artillery positions because they are considered combat related, they serve in ancillary or supporting roles. After enjoying our Mess Hall lunch of steak and crab legs we began to realize that life as a Private in today's Army isn't all that bad. It reminded me of my college dormitory years except I don't remember having to stand at attention before eating or having to say "yes ma'am" or "yes sir"! Of course I'm sure the physical requirements are considerably more strenuous than a walk across campus.

Left to right: Bill Gregory, Skip Wilfong, Terry Meinke, Dan Gillotte and Don Shacklette. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photograph.

The last stop before returning to the hospitality suite was the motor pool. Here the latest artillery weapons were on display and active duty personnel were available to explain their use and answer questions. This included seeing the $500,000 simulator used by active duty staff during training. The simulator saves taxpayers thousands of dollars each year since each live howitzer shell costs over $100 to fire. In addition too conventional howitzers, which are towed by vehicle or lifted into position by helicopter, we saw the Paladin, one of the Army's newest artillery weapons. The Paladin resembles a tank and is know for its mobility. It can fire six rounds and move position within six minutes thereby preventing the enemy from determining its location and launching a counter attack. Lieutenant Colonel Haithcock explained the real meaning behind the Paladin name since we were erroneously under the impression it had something to do with the TV series "Paladin" or "Have Gun Will Travel"!

Although all four reunion events I attended were interesting, the ceremony for Frankie and the opportunity to meet some of the men he served with was most important to me. On the long 16-hour drive back to Chicago I took time to read the History of the 30th FA, a book I had purchased at the reunion. It wasn't until then that I really understood what these men had been through and some of the sacrifices they had made. I felt embarrassed that I had not taken the opportunity to thank each and every one of them personally. It also made me sad that our Nation had not given them the hero's welcome they deserved when they returned from Vietnam in the late sixties-early seventies. It made me wonder about the things we value in our society. They say a person who scores 50 points in a basketball game is a hero. But that is not true. These men who served in Vietnam are the real heroes along with their counterparts from other conflicts.

Now that I have been home a couple of weeks and have had the opportunity to reflect on my experience in Ft. Sill, I realize how important it is for us to take the time to thank the Veteran's. It makes no difference if they are family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers or acquaintances. And there is no need to wait until Veteran's/Remembrance Day to do it. No matter what country we live in we owe so very much to our veterans. Let's not let another day go by without taking the time to recognize them for their sacrifice. To my father, brothers, cousins, to all of the Coulthart veterans, to Bill Gregory, Skip Wilfong, Top Vernor, Don Shacklette, Dan Gillotti, Bill Bilo and all of the other members of the 30th FA, I thank you!

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Racine Journal Times
Racine Wisconsin
Charles J. 'Chuck' Coulthart Sr.

RACINE - Mr. Charles J. 'Chuck' Coulthart Sr., 83, passed away at Lincoln Lutheran Home South on Tuesday, April 18, 2000. He was born in Minitonas, Manitoba, Canada on September 16, 1916, and had been a resident of Racine most of his life. He was united in marriage with Hazel Petersen on April 26, 1958. Chuck was employed by Racine County Highway Department, retiring in 1978. He was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. After his retirement, he spent six months in Racine and six months in Mesa, Ariz. Surviving are his wife, Hazel; three sons and daughters-in-law, Charles (Jo) Coulthart Jr. of Whitewater, Ray (Dawn) Coulthart of Racine, and Al (Rose) Coulthart of Union Grove; four daughters and two sons-in-law, Marilyn Martin of Racine, Judie (Ray) Nielsen of Mesa, Ariz., Gail Peters of Racine, and Jennie (George) Pfister of Racine; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Chuck was preceded in death by his first wife, Marion; and by two sisters. Funeral services was held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 3350 Lathrop Avenue, on Saturday, April 22, 2000, at 10 a.m. with Rev. David Behling officiating. Burial was at West Lawn Memorial Park. Visitation was at the Hanson Funeral Home on Friday evening from 4 until 7 p.m. and at the church on Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. until time of services at 10 a.m. The family wishes to send a special thank you to Sharon, Wendy, and Mary Alice for their special T.L.C. during Chuck's stay at Lincoln Lutheran South Building. HANSON FUNERAL HOME 3014 Northwestern Avenue 632-4479

Gerald F. Coulthart Remembered on Memorial Day

Our cousin Gerald F. "Frankie" Coulthart was remembered again this year in Washington D.C. On May 26 Roberta Russo, a friend of the editor of Clan Coulthart, agreed to stop by the Vietnam War Memorial "The Wall" one evening while she was in D.C. on government business. This was the second year in a row that Roberta had the opportunity to visit "The Wall" so close to Memorial Day to let Frankie know that he is remembered. Last year with the help of volunteers at the memorial, she made a rubbing of Frankie's name, which was presented to Frankie's sister at the Coulthart Family Reunion in Fargo last June.

This year Roberta purchased a beautiful bouquet of red, white and blue flowers that were contained in a flowerpot whose base consisted of red and white strips with a blue rim with white stars. Roberta purchased this lovely patriotic arrangement at a local flower shop near her agencies office and carried it to the memorial on the metro (subway). As instructed by the Clan Coulthart editors, a card was attached to the arrangement inscribed:

To Frankie Coulthart,
Gone, but not forgotten.
From the Coulthart family.

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Our Origins in Great Britain

All Coulthart families can trace their origins to the United Kingdom, specifically to the countries of Scotland and England. The Coulthart surname and all of its variations were researched in depth by Alfred Coulthard of Piddletrenthide, Dorset County England from the early 1920's to 1999. In 1978 he published a book entitled "A Coulthard! The History of a Surname in Great Britain: One Family's Seven Hundred Years of Border History". The fourth edition was printed in 1994. Most of the information on the Coulthart origins in Great Britain comes from this book.

According to Alfred's research, the oldest recordings of the surname appear in 1272 exclusively in the valley of the Ure/Ouse River in Yorkshire County in North Central England. By the 1500's the Coulthart surname had spread north and northwest to the region known as the "Borders", which lies along the border of Scotland and England. In addition to Yorkshire, Coulthart families were now found in the border counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham and Northumberland in northern England and Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Ayr, Lanark, Selkirk, Roxburgh, Berwick, East Lothian and Mid Lothian in southern Scotland. The "Borders" was an area plagued by many wars as the English under Edward I (remember Longshanks from the movie Braveheart) and his successors were constantly at battle with the Scots in an effort to subdue them. This conflict lasted for approximately 450 years, from 1292 until the Scots were ultimately defeated by the English at Culloden in 1746. The Coulthart families remained in these fourteen counties until the great migrations to the New World and the South Pacific or the advent of the Industrial Revolution which cause migration from rural areas to the cities as society changed from agricultural to industrial.

From where did the Coulthart's come prior to 1272, the date of the first written record of the surname? And why did they migrate to the Borders region? There are only three possible origins for the family in Great Britain:

  1. they were indigenous peoples,
  2. they came with the Anglo-Saxons or Vikings from what is now Germany/Scandinavia between 450-1000 A.D. or,
  3. they came from Northern France with William the Conqueror on or after the Norman Invasion of 1066 A.D.

Alfred theorizes that the original Coulthart's may have come from a town called Coudehard in the district of Orne in the province of Normandy, France. The earliest Coulthart families in Great Britain were always found along side the surnames Percy and Lucy who, as lords and barons, were major landowners in Yorkshire and the Borders from 1066 onwards. The Lucy family originated in the town of Luce, only a mile or so from Coudehard and the Percy family came from the town of Percy in the same region of Normandy. During the feudal period, Norman barons usually recruited their household servants from Normandy. Alfred believes it is highly likely that after the Norman Conquest, the Coulthart's migrated to Great Britain in the service of the Percy and Lucy families. The family then moved north and northwest into the Borders area under the leadership of the Percy's and Lucy's during the campaigns of Edward I. All of the early Border recordings of the Coulthart surname were without exception located in strongholds garrisoned by the English army of occupation. This would explain the early distribution of the surname only in areas where Percy and Lucy families owned land.

Further evidence for a Norman origin is the way in which the surname was listed in early records. It was most often recorded as "de Coulthart" which translated from the French means 'of' or 'from Coulthart' indicating the surname was a reference to a geographical place of French origin.

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Family Immigration Patterns

Although Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, colonization didn't begin until the Mayflower landed at what is now Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620. Prior to this the only European inhabitants in Canada and the US were traders and early explorers. The movement of people from the Old World to the New World was the largest migration of people in recorded history. It began slowly, increased dramatically after the American Revolution of 1775-1783 and reached its peak in the second half of the 19th century. Over 20 million people crossed the Atlantic to find a new home in the US. There were many reasons for immigrating but most often people left because of economic conditions and/or religious persecution. Others were forced out by the government in an attempt to rid themselves of criminals or other undesirables who were often considered troublemakers because of their political beliefs. Some of these individuals ended up even farther west in Australia and New Zealand.

The earliest Scottish immigrants to the New World sailed from ports in western Scotland to ports in Canada and the US. Their numbers increased after 1746 due to the Highland Clearances, the eviction of the Scottish Highlanders from their traditional lands, and persecution of the Scots by the English after the Jacobite Rebellion was crushed. More arrived after the conclusion of the Seven Years War in Europe and the French and Indian Wars in North America when the French yielded their North American Territories to Great Britain in 1763. Significant groups of Scots began to arrive in the New World after the American Revolution ended in 1783. Many of these Scots sailed directly to ports along the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada. Immigration increased again after the War of 1812, which finally settled the dispute between Great Britain, British North America and the US. Others arrived roughly forty years later when the great potato famine devastated Ireland and Scotland in 1849.

At the time Canada was not yet a country but was divided into two parts. Upper Canada or Canada West, which later became Ontario, consisted mostly of English speaking individuals. Lower Canada or Canada East became Quebec and it contained mainly people of French origin. Other reasons for Scottish immigration were the same as those from other European countries; namely overpopulation, lack of the ability of the common man to own his own land and the poor quality of the land available in many parts of Europe. The Scots originally settled in Canada for two reasons; Canada was considered a part of Great Britain and therefore they were already citizens and Canada was not as heavily populated as the eastern shore of the US.

After they arrived, many Scots remained in Ontario, Canada for several generations. Then many uprooted their families once again and moved to Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and the U.S. Most left brothers and sisters behind. It is for this reason that many Coulthart families today have distant relatives on both sides of the border. Why did they leave? One reason was the US government passed the Homestead Act of 1862 to encourage immigrants to settle in the unpopulated areas of the US that had recently been opened for settlement due to treaties with the Indians. Under the Homestead Act of 1862 any settler who lived on the land for five years and improved it could obtain title to the land from the public domain for a small fee. The act was amended in 1872 so Union soldiers who served in the Civil War could apply their service, up to four years, towards the five-year residency requirement. Many Coulthart families took advantage of this and settled in the Midwest in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota, which were sparsely populated at the time.

Minnesota was one of the most popular destinations for immigrants seeking land from 1855-1880. After becoming a state in 1858, millions of acres of some of the best farmland in the US were opened for settlement. By 1863 the last Native American inhabitants of Minnesota had moved west to a reservation in South Dakota.

Although not as common as earlier, Coulthart immigration from Scotland and England to the US and Canada continued into the 20th century. Although the patterns are not as easy to define, the chief reason remained the same, economic.

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Spelling Variations of our Surname

Over the years the Coulthart surname has been spelled in a variety of ways. Originally the spelling had little significance because most individuals did not know how to read or write. Prior to 1650 parish priests and government officials who could write made most recordings of the surname. They often spelled the name the way it sounded. The most common variations were in the ending, whether it was a 'd' or 't' and whether the silent 'u' and 'h' were omitted or not. The following variations occurred most frequently:

Around 1700 regional patterns begin to appear. From this date forward the majority of families from Scotland ended the name with a 't' and the English ended the name with a 'd'. Of course there were some exceptions.

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The luckenbooth is one of the most endearing and beautiful symbols of Scottish origin. These heart-shaped brooches date from the time of Mary Queen of Scotts (1542-1587). They were traditionally exchanged between lovers on betrothal, then eventually pinned to the baby's shawl to ward off evil spirits. The name comes from their sale in the locked booths around St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Modern day luckenbooths look great pinned on the lapel of a woman's blazer or suit. Not only do they make a wonderful gift for the woman in your life, your wife, mother or daughter, but they also provide your family with a way to carry on one of your Scottish traditions. Beautifully crafted luckenbooths made by the silversmiths at Ortak, a Scottish company that specializes in fine jewelry, can be purchased for around $50-$75 (U.S.). If you are interested, Clan Coulthart recommends two companies that sell Scottish products on the Internet: www.scottishlion.com and www.celtic-routes.com. The luckenbooth pictured here also contains another important Scottish symbol, the thistle.


The thistle was recognized as the badge of the Stewart kings during the reign of King James III and has long been a beloved symbol of Scotland. Legend maintains that a Viking raider, intent on looting a Scottish village with his shipmates, let out a bellow of pain upon stepping on one of the thorny but beautiful plants. This alerted the townsfolk who were able to beat back the attack and save their lives and property.

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Clan Coulthart is brought to you by individual sponsors and by subscription. The cost to publish one edition of Clan Coulthart currently runs between $150-250 U.S. The exact cost depends on the number of pages that are printed and mailed. Clan Coulthart is currently being distributed free of charge for a limited time to approximately 250 individuals in Canada and the U.S. with several copies going overseas. If you enjoy reading it and can afford to, please consider subscribing or becoming a sponsor. We need at least 15-25 subscriptions to cover the cost to publish each edition. We currently have 66 subscriptions. Any individual who contributes more than the subscription price will be considered a sponsor. All sponsors will have their names listed in the issue they sponsor.

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