Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bovina Pioneers - Francis and Nancy Coulter

I will be starting a regular series in this blog highlighting some of the early families in Bovina. I'm starting with the Coulters, from whom I'm descended. Francis and Nancy Coulter are my five great grandparents and are ancestors of such Bovina families as Boggs, Burgins, Burns, Doigs, Gladstones, Hilsons, Millers, Monroes, Ormistons, Parsons, Roberts, and Russells.

Coulter was a major name in the Town of Bovina since the early 1800s. The road on which the founding Coulter ancestor lived still is known as Coulter Brook and there are many Coulter descendants, including those with the Coulter name, in Delaware County and throughout the United States. This makes it all the more ironic that Francis Coulter, ancestor of many of Bovina’s older families, was not born a Coulter. When Francis was christened 3 September 1771 in Roberton, Scotland , he was christened Francis Coltherd, the son of Walter Coltherd and Elizabeth Rae. Francis married Nancy Glendenning, daughter of James Glendenning and Isabel Hendry.

Francis and his family came to the United States around 1798. Francis and Nancy were in Albany a year or so, then headed to Stamford for a couple of more before settling in Bovina. At the time he settled in Bovina, it was still part of the town of Delhi. He settled on lot 56 of Great Lot 40 of the Hardenburgh Patent in 1805. It was 156 acres. He never owned it, but rented it from Louisa Livingston. His rent was 28 3/4 bushels of grain. The farm eventually came to be owned by his son David in 1858.

The Coulters had nine children. They all lived to adulthood and most stayed in Bovina except their daughter Ellen, who moved to Horseheads with her husband John Ormiston and their son William, who married his cousin Isabella Glendenning and moved to Janesville, Wisconsin in 1848 and where they lived for the rest of their lives.

Nancy Glendenning Coulter died on 6 March 1843. Her husband Francis died three years later on 6 June 1846 in Bovina, Delaware Co, NY. Both are buried in the old United Presbyterian churchyard in Bovina. They are buried near their daughter Elizabeth and three of their grandchildren, children of their son James.

A fuller version of this story can be found at the Delaware County Genealogy website at


  1. I know this is a late response to this blog entry, but I have been exploring Bovina families in an attempt to discover whether the Elliott Glendenning who married Rosanna Canfield of Rose Brook, Bovina, is the same Elliot Glendenning who married my gggrandfather sister (Margaret Rowles)later in Wisconsin.

    My family research includes this comment: "Came to America when he was 21 years old (about 1837), lived in Delaware Co. NY (1837/8) about 5 or six years (about 1843-44), came to Wisconsin in 1845 and lived in the town of Alto, Fond du Lac Co. until 1868, then came to Chester, Dodge Co. WI, married Margaret in 1868." I have a great photo of Margaret's wake her nine children and step-children ranked behind her. Their Children were James E., Cornelia, George W. and Luke Andrew.

    Do you think that this could be the same Elliott Glendenning who married Rosanna Canfield and had children named James, Cornelia and William in the 184os in Bovina? Two of them would have had to have died for these names to reoccur. Or is it just a coincidence of family names? Can you give me any clues?

    Ann Lamb

  2. I do not have much information on Elliott, just who his wife was. If you want to see all the Glendenning information I have, go to for a transcript called 'Bovina Families.' You'll find all the Glendennings there. Please note that this transcript provide no citations - I typed everything that was in the information I had, created over 100 years ago. If you have further questions, please e-mail at Thank you.