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NAMES: Martha COWEN nèe COULTER of Cavananore; John COULTER; Joseph COULTER; Thomas BRADFORD of Cavananore; Samuel BRADFORD of Cavananore; David JACKSON of Liscalgot; William COWEN of Killalin, Co. Down, Linen draper; Laurence VALLON, Merchant of Dundalk; John JOHNSTON of Tralmer, Co. Louth; James McKEE of Castleblayney; Hannah McKEE of Castleblayney; Patrick GARLAND; John GARLAND; George KENNEDY; Iain COWEN; Joseph COWEN; James COWEN; John BAILIE; George JACKSON; Thomas SHEA; Henry COULTER. OTHER PLACES: Kane Graveyard.
Sharon Oddie Brown, November 20, 2003.
Updated footnotes: November 18, 2008


April 5th, 1790 Will of Martha COULTER.

CD4 Gilford Castle.

NOTE: For a variety of reasons including the presence of the will at Gilford Castle as well asthe names of relations, I have added John COULTER as a brother to Barbara COULTER, as well as of Andrew, Elizabeth, Mary, Nathanial & Susanna COULTER - all children of an unnamed COULTER.


In the name of God, Amen I Martha Coulter[1] of Cavananore in the County of Louth Widow being of Sound and disposing mind and Memory thanks to Almighty God for the same but Considering the Uncertainty of this Mortal Life do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following Viz I bequeath my Soul to Almighty God hoping that through the Intercession of our Saviour Jesus Christ I shall obtain his Mercy and Everlasting Life. I direct and desire that my Body  may be interred in the Church Yard of the Parish of Kane[2] in the County of Louth in such manner as my Executors hereafter named may think proper but with as little Ceremony and Expense as possible ~ I desire and direct that all my Just debts may be paid as soon as Conveniently may be after my decease. Whereas my late husband John Coulter[3] by his last Will and Testament left and bequeathed to me and to his son Joseph Coulter[4] all his Good and Chattles share and share alike and whereas my said son Joseph has been for some years by the Will of Almighty God deprived of his natural Reason and is now in such a State as not to be able to Manage his Own Affairs And in Order to settle the said Joseph while he continues in such a State and to Secure him in the Enjoyment of the money Secured as hereafter mentioned in case her should hereafter become capable of Managing his own affairs or on his issue in case he should have any issue lawfully be ___ or any wife he should hereafter Marry I hereby appoint Thomas Bradford[5] and Samuel Bradford[6] of Cavananore in the said County of Louth and David Jackson[7] of Lisgalgot in the County of Armagh Farmers Guardians to my said Son Joseph so long as he continues in the State in which he now is And I leave and bequeath  to the said Thomas Bradford & Samuel Bradford and David Jackson or the Survivor of them and the Executors and Administrators of such Survivor my half or Share of the following Bonds Viz a Bond executed by William Cowen[8] of Killalin[9] in the County of Down Linen Draper for Two hundred pounds a bond executed by Laurence Vallon[10] of Dundalk in the County of Louth Merchant for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds a Bond executed by John Johnston[11] of  Tralmer[12] in the said County of Louth for the sum of one hundred pounds a ________(?) by James McKee[13] and Hanna McKee[14] both of Castleblayney in the Country of Monaghan for the Sum of Fifty pounds a Bond executed by Patrick Garland[15] and John Garland[16] for the sum of Twenty pounds and also my part of a Print(?) Bond executed by George Kennedy[17] deceased for the Sum of Thirty pounds and also all my Stock and furniture Cattle Goods and Chattles of what nature or kind soever which I shall be possessed off (sic) at the time of my death Upon the trusts and to and for the intents and purposes following, that is to say, that they the said Thomas Bradford Samuel Bradford and David Jackson or the Survivor of them and the Executors and Administrators of such Survivor shall and will immediately after my decease  call in the money due on the said securities and Sell and dispose of the same to Sale All my Stock furniture Cattle except the furniture of One room my best horse and my plate for the use of my said son Joseph And the money so called in to be layed out in Security as my said Executors shall think fit for the purposes hereafter mentioned. Upon trust in the first place to pay all my Just debts and upon trust that while the said Joseph Coulter shall continue so affected to pay for all such sum and Sums of money as will be necessary for the Support and keeping of the said Joseph in a Genteel decent manner and to buy Cloths & other Articles as will be necessary for the said Joseph while he Continues so Afflicted but I desire that my half or part of said property may be preserved and exonerated till the said Joseph’s part shall become insufficient and If he shall so Continue in said State till the time of his death and shall die without issue Upon trust that the said Thomas Bradford Samuel Bradford and David Jackson shall immediately upon Joseph’s death have the Sum remaining in their hands before mentioned Securities to be equally divided between them share and share alike. And upon trust to pay the heirs of my brother Iain Cowen[18] one shilling to the heirs of my brother Joseph Cowen[19] deceased one shilling and to the heirs of my brother James[20] one Shilling. And at my particular desire the said Thomas Bradford and Samuel Bradford having undertaken the Support and keeping of the said Joseph ~ I desire that they may be recompensed and make a Charge against the said property in the same manner as if it was a Stranger before any division shall take place after the said Joseph’s death. And Lastly I nominate the said Thomas Bradford and Samuel Bradford and David Jackson Executors of my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this fifth day in April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety. Martha Coulter.

Signed Sealed published and Declared by

The Testator as and for her last Will & Testament

In the presence of us who in her presence and in

The presence of each other have herunto subscribed

Our names as witnesses

John Bailie[21]

George Jackson[22]

Thomas Shea[23]


I have this day March 2nd ordered that my Relation James McKee and Hanna McKee his mother Is to pay the Interest for their Bond So Long as My Son Joseph Coulter lives and their doing so when dead is to get their Bond without any Deduction whatsoever Given Under my Hand this 2nd day of March 1791 Martha Coulter

Signed  ___(?) Present

Henry Coulter[24]

John Bailie

[1] Martha COULTER, nèe COWAN. Interestingly, there is a mention in a Belfast Newsletter Index: 1791 Sept 2-6 Belfast Newsletter: robbery reward 26 Aug. =Coulter,Martha +Cavanamore Co. +Louth plate spoons tray salts sugar tongs punch ladle shoe buckles. NOTE: This is over a year after the will was made.

[2] Kane Graveyard. There are three COULTER burials recorded in this graveyard.  Although Andrew COULTER (d. 1775) requests burial in Kane Graveyard (and likely was buried there), no record remains.

·         The oldest record is of a five year old Nathanial who may be a son of the Nathanial COULTER who was a brother to Barbara BRADFORD nèe COULTER. COULTER Here lieth the body of Nathaniel Coulter who departed this life the 6th of December 17(8). aged (5) years.

·         Next, is the Andrew COULTER (1855-1924) of Silverbridge. His father was a John COULTER who died before 1892.

·         Finally, A Ralph COULTER of Barronstown and his son William COULTER (-1913).

[3] John COULTER. It is most likely that he died in 1774 and was a brother of Barbara BRADFORD, nèe COULTER, as well as Andrew, Elizabeth, Mary, Nathanial & Susanna COULTER. There is a will abstract in 1774 for a John COULTER of “Cowanmore” – which was likely a clerical error and should have been Cavananore (the maiden name of his wife being “Cowan”. Also, a John COULTER is mentioned as a farmer in the 1768 Agreement concerning various lands.

[4] Joseph COULTER, son of John and Martha. No details other than what is in the deed is known

[5] This is likely the Thomas BRADFORD (1739-Dec 20, 1790) who was the twin of Samuel BRADFORD and the husband of Elizabeth BREAKEY. Curiously, no mention is made of his death which occurred before the codicil of March 2, 1791.

[6] This is likely the Samuel BRADFORD (1739-1818) who was twin brother of Thomas BRADFORD and husband of Margaret Henry.

[7] David JACKSON (1755-1796), husband of Margaret BRADFORD who is the sister of the aforementioned twins:  Samuel & Thomas BRADFORD.

[8] William COWEN. Interestingly, there is a William COWEN of Larch Hill, Dromore, Co. Down; his daughter Jane Heron died 20 Jan 1841 aged 90 & buried Killyleagh graveyard. SOURCE: Ros Davies site.

[9] Killalin, Co. Down. There is no townland currently with this name. It is possibly Killyleagh, Parish of Killyleagh, Co. Down. Interestingly, numerous COULTER family members lived there (although none attached to our currently known family trees).

[10] Laurence VALLON. Merchant of Dundalk. I could find no records of him.

[11] John JOHNSTON of Tralmer, Co. Louth

[12] Tralmer, Co. Louth. I can find no place with this name.

[13] James McKEE of Castleblayney

[14] Hannah McKEE of Castleblayney

[15] Patrick GARLAND. This name shows up in documents associated with Kiltybane. Otherwise, nothing known as yet. I am fishing here. A Patrick GARTLAND of Carrickmacross had a will probated  in 1801. In 1847, a Patrick GARTLAN of Ceastlan East had a will probated at Clogher. In the Creggan graveyard, there are a number of Garland remains: James GARLAN of Corlat d. 1787, his daughter Mary d 1789 and her sister Anne d 1790 and their brother Richard d 1840; James’  brother Nicholas d. 1788. Also, the name GARLAND shows up repeatedly in the 1823 Tithes records for Tullyvallen.

[16] John GARLAND

[17] George KENNEDY

[18] Iain COWEN brother of Martha COWEN

[19] Joseph COWEN (d. Bef  April 5, 1790) brother of Martha COWEN

[20] James COWEN, brother of Martha COWEN

[21] John BALIE. I do not know how he fits in, but a few generations later, John Bailie COULTER, baptised at Creggan Church in 1848 was a son of Samuel & Mary COULTER nèe BAILIE.

[22] George JACKSON. This is most likely the George JACKSON (died after 1806) who was the son of George JACKSON (1718-1782) and Margaret O’LAUGHLIN. He was the brother of David JACKSON who married Margaret BRADFORD.

[23] Thomas SHEA. An unnamed SHEA was the husband of Margaret JACKSON, daughter of George JACKSON and Margaret O’LAUGHLIN. This Thomas SHEA may be her husband, although there was also a George SHEA mentioned in a letter by George JACKSON who may have been her husband.

[24] Henry COULTER. There was a Henry COULTER who may be a descendant who was a prolific writer on the appalling conditions of labourers accommodation in Ireland. He also reported to Parliament in 1877.



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