Volume 1, October 1998

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Inside this issue...


The descendants of John Coulthart 1779-1852 are pleased to introduce Clan Coulthart, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to the preservation of Coulthart family history in North America. This first edition of Clan Coulthart is being mailed to all individuals who registered at the First North American Coulthart Family Reunion in August 1998 or had their names and addresses submitted to the editors by other family members. This newsletter is divided into five sections as follows:

Editorial - a commentary written by one of the editors of Clan Coulthart.

Coulthart History - a story about a deceased relative or about a historical event that impacted a deceased relative of the Coulthart family (to be no longer than one type written page).

Biography - a biography of a living family member (to be no longer than one type written page).

Current News - announcements of births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, anniversaries, graduations, reunions, promotions, awards and achievements, travels, special events or anything of interest relating to the family.

Questions & Answers - Questions submitted by readers and answers provided by the editors.

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

Although Clan Coulthart will be created in color, initially it will only be printed in black and white due to publishing costs. A color version in a slightly different format will be available on the Internet at: www.netcom.com/~meinket/clan.html

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There are currently two websites on the Internet dedicated to distributing information about the Coulthart family.

The first is the official Coulthart Family Tree created and maintained by Tim Coulthart. This site located at www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/6501/index.htm currently lists 1,067 descendants of John Coulthart (1779-1852).

The goal of this website is to provide a single source for information about descendants of the family. Please visit this site and share the information with other members of your family. Also if you have any corrections to make or additional names to add, please contact: Tim Coulthart, 1913 Dolores Drive, Madison, WI 53716 or send E-mail to: tcoulthart@mailbag.com .

The second website is Terry Meinkeís Homepage found at www.netcom.com/~meinket. Here you will find additional information on the family in a narrative format as well as photographs and copies of all Clan Coulthart newsletters. Please drop by to visit these websites and be sure and let us know what you think.

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Coulthart Family Reunion is a success!

The First North American Coulthart Family Reunion was held on Sunday August 2, 1998 in Morewood, Ontario (ON) which is located about 30 miles south of Ottawa. The reunion was organized by Ian Coulthart of Kanata, ON, Leah Coulthart of Barrie, ON and Terry Meinke of Palatine, IL. A pre-reunion barbeque was held Saturday evening at the home of Colleen and Bobby McLaughlin just south of town. Their brick house was originally built in 1879 by Colleenís great-grandfather, James Coulthart (1816-1888). The barbeque gave out of town guests a chance to meet before the reunion. The highlight of the evening was when Bobby took all of the children on a tractor ride around the farm.

This is a picture of the house that James Coulthart built in 1879 where the barbeque was held. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

On Sunday morning the reunion was delayed due to the number of people who decided to attend services at the church where their ancestors once worshipped. Morewood Presbyterian Church, located a mile east of town, was founded in 1870, the year the church building was constructed. Usually only a handful of parishioners attend services each Sunday, however on August 2, 1998 there were 65 in attendance. Family members also visited the cemetery next to the church where three Coulthart brothers, William, James and Thomas, from the original immigrant generation are buried.

This is a picture of the Morewood Presbyterian Church. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

The reunion was kicked off inside the Winchester Township Hall at 12:30 p.m. by Terry Meinke. Approximately 140 people of varying ages were in attendance representing descendants from five of the eight original Coulthart brothers: William (1800-1880), James (1816-1888), Walter (1820-1892), Thomas (1828-1899) and Jonah (1831-1890). Terry informed the group that this was the first Coulthart reunion to unite both the Canadian and American branches of the family. Family members came from the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec and from the states of Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. The group celebrated 175 years of the Coulthart Family in North America.

This is a picture of the Morewood Coulthart Family. Left to right. Back row: Ian, Lloyd, Bruce, Gordon and John. Front row: Kathryn, Phyllis, Janice and Colleen. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

Two displays provided photographs, maps and charts showing the origins of the Coulthart family in Cummertrees, Scotland and the history of family members who settled in the Morewood area. One chart included Ian Coulthartís family tree which was over eight feet tall and contained over 1000 descendants. Copies of "Our Coulthart Ancestors", a book written by Terry Meinke documenting the family history, were available for a minimal charge. Jason Meinke brought a computer and demonstrated the two websites on the Internet that contain Coulthart family information.

After a brief introduction, a buffet style lunch gave people the opportunity to taste a variety of homemade dishes that family members had prepared. The agenda for the afternoon included a discussion of the history of the Coulthart family. Terry presented information on the meaning of the Coulthart name and coat of arms as well as a brief history of the family in Scotland. Ian described the immigration process and what it was like to settle in Eastern Ontario. Several other family members came to the podium to tell stories about their individual relatives: Tim Coulthart of Madison, WI, Don Coulthart of North Port, FL and Irwin Coulthart of Long Sault, ON. The group spent the remaining time mingling while the more talented family members played the piano and sang songs.

This is a picture of another Canadian Coulthart Family. Left to right: Mildred, Irwin, Eldred, Bob, Gertrude, Pat, Terry Meinke and Leah Coulthart. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

The reunion wrapped up with the presentation of special achievement awards. Awards were presented to the Canadians and Americans who were the oldest descendants in attendance of the five original Coulthart brothers. They were: Lillian McDonald of Russell, ON; Don Coulthart of North Port, FL; Hugh Coulthart of Sarnia, ON; Joan Nelsen of Duluth, MN; Charles Coulthart of Whitewater, WI; Ralph Coulthart of Morrisburg, ON; and Irwin Coulthart of Long Sault, ON. Other awards went to people who had driven or traveled the farthest to get to the reunion including 4 awards to those who had driven over 1000 miles. Don Coulthart of North Port, FL and Ken Coulthart of Sarina, ON drove the farthest. Dick Palmer of Baton Rouge, LA and Lloyd Coulthart of Prince George, British Columbia traveled the farthest. Although a large number of people in attendance had visited Scotland, only five received awards for having visited the town of Cummertrees where the Coulthart family originated: Eldred Coulthart of Ingleside, ON; Hugh Coulthart of Sarnia, ON; James McKillican of Renfrew, ON; Grace Scott of Toronto, ON and Terry Meinke of Palatine, IL. Gordon Coulthart a cartoonist from Ottawa, ON and Mary Ann Swerdfeger an opera singer from Bogota, NJ were recognized as having the most interesting occupations. Ian Coulthart, Irwin Coulthart, Tim Coulthart, Terry Meinke and Dick Palmer received awards for their genealogical research.

This is a picture of the Wisconsin Coulthart Family. Left to right: Chelsea, Tim, Madonna, Haley, Jo, Chuck and Terry Meinke. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

Group photos were taken outside the hall and many people stopped on their way out of town to have their photograph taken next to Coulthart Road.

This is a picture of Coulthart Road south of Morewood. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

After the reunion some people drove to North Lunenburg to visit the grave of the oldest immigrant ancestors, John Coulthart (1779-1852) and his second wife Mary Carruthers (1790-1835).

This is a picture of the grave of John Coulthart and Mary Carruthers in North Lunenburg. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

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William French Coulthart by Terry Meinke

William French Coulthart was born on June 16, 1833 in Osnabruck Township, Stormont County, Ontario. He was the second son of William Coulthart (1800-1888) and Jean French (1801-1844). Both of his parents were born in Dumfries County in southwestern Scotland; William in Cummertrees and Jean in Lockerbei. William had three brothers: John (1830-1919), James (1837-1917) and Finley (1840-1919) and two sisters: Mary (1835-1919) and Henrietta (1844-1844). He spent his early years in Osnabruck Township and later moved north to Finch Township where his father purchased a farm near the town of Cannamore. William was united in marriage to Anna Maria Fetterly in May 1852 on Barnhartís Island, NY. They settled in Winchester Township, Dundas County not far from his father and near several aunts and uncles. William and Anna had five children who were born on their farm near the town of Morewood: Jane (1853-1929), David (1855-1917), Phoebe (1857-1910), Samuel (1859-after 1929) and Henrietta (1862-1919). Sometime in 1863 the family decided to move. Apparently Williamís Aunt, Jane Hunter, received information about Minnesota from her brotherís-in-law who had settled there a few years earlier. Minnesota was a new state with excellent farmland that the government was practically giving away to anyone who would settle there. At least five families decided to move to Minnesota at around the same time, William Coulthart, his Aunt Jane Hunter, his Uncle Walter and two of his brothers-in-law.

The early years of the 1860's were turbulent times in Minnesota. In addition to the Civil War, the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862 took over 400 settlers lives in the southwestern and south central part of the state. The uprising was caused by the failure of the government to provide items agreed upon in treaties with the Indians and a general lack of respect for Indian culture. When the Sioux finally surrendered, 303 were convicted on scanty evidence and 38 were hanged in the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. In the spring of 1863, around the time the Coulthart family was deciding to move to Minnesota, the remaining Sioux were exiled from their homeland and placed on a reservation in what is now South Dakota. However, the Sioux continued to sporadically raid farms in Minnesota for several more years. William Coulthart and his family arrived in south central Minnesota in June of 1864, a period when raids were not uncommon in the area where they settled. William claimed 160 acres of land in Jo Davis Township, Faribault County for his homestead. 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. Two months later in August 1864, the Jo Davis Township board passed a resolution offering a $500 bounty for any man willing to volunteer to fight in the Civil War. William and one of his brothers-in-law enlisted in the Minnesota Infantry Volunteers a few days later. Their unit was sent south to Gallatin, Tennessee where they guarded the rail lines going into Nashville. During the winter of 1864-65 William became ill with dysentery and was assigned to light duty as the company cook! While William was away for a year, his family somehow managed to survive their first winter in Minnesota during which two families in neighboring counties were killed by Indians.

After his discharge in June 1865, William returned to the family farm in Jo Davis Township. Three additional children were born there: William (1867-1891), John (1869-after 1929) and Sidney (1871-1872). The family survived the worst blizzard ever recorded in the stateís history around 1869. Over 72 people perished during the three day storm. In 1871 William received the land patent for his homestead signed by President Ulysses S. Grant. He was the first person to ever own the 160 acres he claimed near the center of Jo Davis Township. Less than a year later the family decided to stop farming due to an injury William sustained during the war. They were unable to sell their farm for a number of years due to the grasshopper plague that ravaged Minnesota from 1873-1877. The locust arrived one day and ate everything within their path. The family moved to Waseca, a major railroad center in neighboring Waseca County. They purchased a home in town and William became a drayman and street commissioner. His last two children were born there: a baby (1875-1875) that died shortly after birth and Thomas (1879-1881). William died in Waseca on January 14, 1916 at age 82 and was buried at Woodville Cemetery next to his wife who had died five years earlier. All of his surviving sons changed the family surname to Coulter.

This is a picture of William Coulthart with his grandchildren, Archibald and Ethel Hughes, circa 1890 Waseca, MN. Click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.

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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 depends on the number of copies printed and mailed. The costs for 200 are listed below, however these costs will increase as the mailing list increases. The editors receive no compensation for the time and effort they contribute to preparing this newsletter. Current costs in U.S. dollars are as follows:

Three double sided pages, one with color logo
First 100 copies @.44 ea............................44.00
Additional 100 copies @.22 ea...................22.00
Postage for 100 copies to Canada...............52.00
Postage for 100 copies to the U.S...............32.00
Address labels for 200 copies @.024 ea........4.80


The first edition of Clan Coulthart is sponsored by Pat Meinke of Olivia, Minnesota and Terry Meinke of Palatine, Illinois who donated the funds to cover the expenses listed above. Pat and Terry are descendants of William Coulthart (1833-1916).

All sponsors will have their names listed at the beginning of the edition they sponsor and will automatically be entitled to a one year subscription. Depending upon the amount contributed, it may take several sponsors to cover the costs to publish one edition. A one year subscription, consisting of four editions of Clan Coulthart, is available for $10 U.S. or $15 Canadian. You are invited to become a sponsor or a subscriber. Due to the expense involved with exchanging Canadian and U.S. dollars, all sponsors and subscribers should make their checks payable to and mail as follows.

Canadian sponsors or subscribers send to:

Ian Coulthart
43 Wheatland Avenue
Kanata, ON K2M 2L2

U.S. sponsors or subscribers send to:

Terry Meinke
1004 Ridgewood Lane
Palatine, Illinois 60067

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Laura Mildred Coulthart
February 27, 1899 - September 13, 1998

Laura was born at her parents home one mile south of Morewood, Ontario, Canada, the third daughter of Walter and Josephine Coulthart. She followed a career as a public school teacher in Ontario spending most of those years in Sarnia and later retiring in Ottawa. Laura was raised in a large happy family with her six sisters and three brothers. Her only surviving sibling Hugh attended the funeral services which were held in Chesterville, Ontario on September 16. Rev. Roy Harwood spoke at the service about Laura's generous nature and the many changes she had witnessed over the years from being raised in a post-pioneer rural setting to the present day world of technological achievements. Laura never married and enjoyed good health up until 1984. After this time she moved into a nursing home. After interment services at Maple Ridge cemetery, the mourners were invited by Colleen and Bobby Mclaughlin to Laura's old home, the Morewood farmhouse, for tea and sandwiches. Laura enjoyed her family and her rural history. During her years as teacher, Laura would return each summer to the farm to spend enjoyable times with her parents and her brother Archie and his family. She is remembered fondly by all of us who knew her.

Ian Coulthart

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Q1: Where did the Coulthart family originally come from?

A1: The Coulthart family came from Riddingdyke farm in Cummertrees Parish, Dumfries County, Scotland.

Q2: When did the Coulthart family immigrate?

A2: John Coulthart, his second wife Mary Carruthers and eleven of his children immigrated sometime between October 6, 1823 and January 14, 1827.

Q3: What does the Coulthart name mean?

A3: The name Coulthart is derived from the old English words 'colt' + 'herd'. It was an occupational name given to a person who looked after asses or working horses.

Q4: Does the Coulthart family have a tartan?

A4: A tartan is a distinctive plaid textile pattern worn by the members of a Scottish clan. Most clans originated in the Scottish Highlands. The Coulthart family came from the Scottish Lowlands, close to the border with England. Since they were not united in a clan organization, they did not have a tartan. However, if we would like to adopt a tartan we should consider selecting one that is in someway related to our Coulthart ancestors. John Coulthart's mother was Margaret Ray whose surname could be related to the McRay Clan. Or we might want to select the Maxwell tartan as they were the dominant family in the Cummertrees area.

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The deadline for receiving information to be included in the January 1999 edition of Clan Coulthart is December 15, 1998. Send information to: Terry Meinke, Managing Editor - Clan Coulthart, 1004 Ridgewood Lane, Palatine, IL U.S.A. 60067.

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Terry Meinke.......Managing Editor
Ian Coulthart........................Editor
Leah Coulthart.....................Editor
Tim Coulthart.......................Editor
Pat Meinke..........................Editor
Dick Palmer.........................Editor
Roberta Russo........... Proofreader

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The editors are always interested in updating the mailing list for Clan Coulthart. You may be the only person in your family receiving this newsletter and we want to reach all family members. Please submit the names and addresses of other family members who do not currently receive Clan Coulthart. Also check the address label above and send us any corrections. All new addresses and corrections should be mailed to the Managing Editor at the address listed above.

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Clan Coulthart is looking for writers, editors and other volunteers to help collect information for the newsletter. Please contact Terry Meinke if you are interested.

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This newsletter is being mailed to several Coulthart families in Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand to see if there is any interest outside North America. Let us know if Clan Coulthart should become a worldwide newsletter.

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