The Unlisted Will of John Coulter of|
Washington County, Pa.
The will of John Coulter, "of Washington County, State of Pennsylvania" was written June 10-1789 in Mason County, Virginia, now Kentucky. He was likely on an exploratory trip. He named wife, Abigail; oldest son Thomas, over 21; sons Jonathan, Samuel, James, John, under 21. Three daughters were not named. The Washington County Orphans Court (A-88) in 1791 appointed guardians for Mary, Abigail, John, Elizabeth, under 14. The witnesses to the will were William Wood, David Brodrick, Philip Drake. On July 11-1789 they attested in Mason County that they had seen John sign the will. This was verified by the County Clerk on July 13. It was "recorded" in Washington County October 20-1789. Executors were wife Abigail and son Thomas Coulter. The will is not listed in the Washington County index. The will is found in the Accounts (C-1-1791), filed by Abigail. The earliest record of John Coulter in Washington County is in the 1785 tax list of Fallowfield Township. In the 1790 census Abigail has 3 males over 16, 3 under 16, and 4 females. John in his will indicated that he was leasing land. On June 24-1791 Thomas Coulter bought the 163-acre farm. He and wife, Nancy, sold it December 16-1796 (DB M655). There is no further record of this family in Washington County. The DAR PATRIOT INDEX lists John as a sergeant in New Jersey. There is no record of Revolutionary service in Pennsylvania. Abigail was the daughter of Jonathan PARSHALL, who with John Coulter, first appears in the 1769 tax list for Fermanagh Township, Cumberland County, now Juniata County, Pennsylvania. Abigail and John were married about 1767. On June 23-1783 John Coulter was a witness in Fermanagh Township (DB G11). He moved to Washington County about 1784. Jonathan Parshall sold his land in 1773 (DB C398) and 1774 (DB D92). (A witness in 1774 was Frederick Parshall.) Jonathan had warranted the land in 1770. It was at the mouth of Lost Run, where it empties into the Juniata River. Jonathan moved a few miles north about 1776 to Derry Township, Cumberland County, now Decatur Township, Mifflin County. In 1777 he bought 117 acres from Charles Coxe, a land speculator from Hunterdon County, New Jersey. It was at the head of Long Meadow Run. Jonathan sold it in 1785 to George Sigler, who lived on the farm to the west. Sigler, who had moved from Hunterdon County about 1775, had also bought his land from Coxe. (When George Sigler Jr was captured by Indians at age 20 in 1782, it was Caleb, son of Jonathan, who told the family about George Jr's safe return. The Siglers are ancestors of the writer.) Caleb Parshall first appears in the Derry Township tax list in 1778, Jonathan in 1779. By 1790 Caleb had a grist mill on Long Meadow Run. Jonathan Parshall wrote his will March 15-1781. It was probated January 23-1795 (Mifflin County WB 1-65). The named executors were Caleb Parshall and John Coulter (dead in 1795). Named were sons: Jonathan, David, Caleb and daughters: Mary, Abi gail, Hetable; also Thomas, son of Abigail, and Elizabeth, daughter of Hetable. Two daughters of John Glasgow, a neighbor, Elizabeth and Mary married Parshalls. One married Caleb, for Caleb was buried on the farm of James Glasgow, son of John. Caleb, a freeman (single) in the 1779 and 1780 tax lists, was married about 1781. He served in the Cumberland County militia 1777-79 under Captain George Bell (another ancestor of the writer) and 1780-82 under Captain Robert Means. The censuses indicate that he had 3 sons and 3 daughters. He last appears in the 1830 census. His brothers may have gone to Ohio. His sister Abigail went to Washington County, as related above. The Parshalls may have originated in Essex County, New Jersey.
This article was transcribed by Liz DuBois of Bremerton, WA in August 1998.
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Published with permission of Raymond M. Bell.