John Coumans Jr. of New Brunswick
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John Coumans Jr.  [3]
     Born:          1832 in New Brunswick, CAN [3]
     Married:     May 17, 1853 in St. Columban's, Irishtown
                                    (now called Dublin), Perth Co., ONT  [5]
     Spouse:       Ellen (aka Helen) Lawlor (b. 1824 in Queens County,
                                      Ireland, d. Jun 14, 1906, Chepstwo, ONT)  [4]
     Died:           Mar 14, 1919 in Chepstow, Bruce Co., ONT  [4]
     Parents:      John Coumans Sr. & Jane Sargeant
     Children:     J. Coumans & E. Lawlor had 7 children


.............1. John Coumans III  [4]
                     born 1854 in Chepstow, Ontario
                     died 1925 in Chepstow, Ontario
                     buried  in Old Mary Immaculate, Chepstow, ONT

.............2. Richard Coumans  [3], [4]
                     born 1858 in Upper Canada [read: Ontario]  [3]
                     died  Aug 01, 1874 in Chepstow, Ontario  [4]
                     buried  in Old Mary Immaculate, Chepstow, ONT

.............3. William Coumans
                     born Aug 06, 1862  [4]
                     died Jan 28, 1940  [4]
                     buried  in Old Mary Immaculate, Chepstow, ONT

.............4. Mary Jane Coumans
                     born 1860 in Upper Canada [read: Ontario] [3]
                     died unknown

.............5. Ellen Coumans
                     born 1865
                     died unknown

.............6. Ann Coumans
                     born Jun 30, 1874
                     died unknown



John’s parents (John Sr. and Jane) immigrated to Canada from Ireland sometime around 1819 or 1820. On January 16th, 1827, John Sr. petitioned for a land grant for a piece of land on the southwest side of the southwest branch of the Mirimichi River in New Brunswick (between the George Price grant and the Stephen Hovey application). On the petition, he stated that he was 27 (or 29) years old, had a wife and one child, and that he had been in New Brunswick for seven years prior. One year later, the couple had a second child  -  John’s brother Simon.
Around 1840, the family moved to Bruce or Perth or Huron County, Ontario.
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In 1852, a man named John Phelan Jr. and his family settled along the banks of the Yokassippi River. They were followed by several pioneering families - one of which was the Coumans family. A sawmill was built, as well as a dam to power it John Jr. worked in the sawmill as the proprietor, and was also a Deputy Reeve at one point. The families started constructing homes, and the tiny community was dubbed “Phelan’s Dam.” Mr. Phelan (being Irish like the Coumans) petitioned the government to name the town “Emmett” after and Irish rebel. Instead, the government changed the town’s name to Chepstow - after the first invader of Ireland (in 1170 A.D.). In 1863, a church was erected, and in 1865 was dedicated as “St. John the Baptist” by Bishop Farrell. This name was chosen to honor the two pioneering Johns in the community -  John Phelan and John Coumans (either Jr. or Sr.).
John Coumans Jr. continued to live in Chepstow. John married Helena (“Ellen”) Lawlor, who was born 1824 in Queen's County, Ireland. Apparantly John Jr. kept bees behind the hotel in Chepstow, and one day his friends played a practical joke on him  -  throwing rocks at the bees nests without his knowing. He ended up having to jump into a pond 150 feet away to escape the angry swarm when he uncovered the hives! (Full story on this site: )

In 1867, John Jr. was listed (under the name Comans) as living (or at least had land) in Bruce County, Greenock Township. The property was located at Consession 11 & 12, Lot 5. His father, John Coumans Sr. had property nearby too - Con 9, Lot 6, while his brother Simon had property at Con 9, Lot 7.

John Jr. had 243(or 245 or 215) acres of land there, and had 5 children. Their names were Mary Jane (b. Jan 23, 1860), John (b. 1854), Richard (Jan 11, 1858), William (b. 1862) and Ellen (b. March 19, 1865)  . . . also he possibly had an Ann (b. Jun 30, 1874), with Rose Ann Miller.
(info found here: )

In 1880, John Jr. was listed in an Atlas as having a lot of 215 acres.
  ( )
In the 1881 Canadian Census,  John and Ellen "Caummans" were still living in Greenock Township, in Bruce County Ontario -  likely in the same place they’d always lived. Living with them were three of their children - Mary Jane (age 21), William (age 19), and “Elam” (age 16 . . . "Elam" probably a garbled version "Ellen"). In addition, they had a young boy named Abram Machett living with them. He was 15 years old, Catholic, and born in Scotland, though of Irish descent.
(Source: FHL Film 1375911  NAC C-13275  Dist 176  SubDist G  Div 1  Page 12  Family 57)

When John Phelan Jr. (a friend and neighbor) died on April 10, 1888, John Coumans Jr. wrote this poem in his memory:

He is gone, It is sad from this wide world's throng.
No more shall we hear that voice echo in song
Of his dear native land when his song used to be,
"Oh Erin my Country, My heart beats for thee".

No more will that strong arm that for liberty fought,
For his Country and Creed and the freedom he sought.
No more will that echo be bound o'er the sea,
"Oh Erin my Country! Oh Cushla, Ma Chree".

No more will the ring of his axe greet the ear,
In the wild woods of Bruce where he struggled for years,
To sweep down the forest and plant there the Cross,
For the faithful of Greenock who may have been lost.

May his dear Redeemer take him to his fold,
Grant peace to his ashes and rest to his soul.
And that true Christian Charity he always had shown,
May guide his poor soul before Heaven's bright throne.

The date of John Coumans Jr. died on March 14, 1919. His son, John Coumans III, died just a few years later, in 1925.
( per )

This image was taken from a screenshot of a map of Greenock Township, found online here:

The “Jno Coummons” at the top center of the map denotes John Coumans’ property in 1880. Note the John Phelan property above his. The river running off the map to the left is the “Teeswater”


John Jr. may have had a second wife - according to the births deaths and marriages from the Paisley Advocate 1901-1910, Rose Ann Miller, the wife of a John Coumans from Chepstow died on February 12 1892 at the age of 52 in Paisley. Or this could have been the wife of John's son - John Coumans III, or perhaps another John Coumans entirely? Please e-mail me if you know what this is all about!

Alternate Surname Spellings for Coumans: Cummins, Cummin, Comyn, Comyns, Commons, Commans, Commens, Comman, Commen, Common, Coumman, Coummen, Cumin, Cumins, Coumyn, Kimmann, Kommen, Kohman, Caummans etc . .

Footnotes and Sources:

1. Source: Old Mary Immaculate Cemetery - Chepstow, Bruce Co., ONT

2. Source: 1851 Census of Perth Co., ONT

3. Source: 1861 Personal Census of Greenock Twp., Bruce Co., ONT

4. Source: Personal Communication with B. Bennett

5. Source: Personal Communication with G. Sheridan

6. Source: Obituary of Simon Coumans  - Bay City Tribune 1910

7. Source: Church Records of St. Peter's Goderich, ONT: 1843 - 1850

8. Source: Obituary of Lewis P. Coumans


Carissa Thomas ~  [email protected]