Coulter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The forbears of the name Coulter are thought to be of the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The name indicates that the first bearer lived in or near Coulter in Lanarkshire or Aberdeenshire, in Scotland. The surname Coulter is derived from the Gaelic phrase, cúl tir, which means, black land. Coulter is therefore a local surname, of which there are many types. For instance, topographic surnames could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. In this case, the surname is both topographical, in that it comes from the phrase, black land, and local in the general sense, since it comes from the place-name, Coulter.

Early Origins of the Coulter family

The surname Coulter was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Coulter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coulter research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1226 and 1281 are included under the topic Early Coulter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coulter Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Coulter has been spelled Coulter, Colter, Coalter, Coultere, Coultar, Coultur, Coltar, Coltur, Coltir, Coltire and many more.

Early Notables of the Coulter family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Coulter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Coulter family to Ireland

Some of the Coulter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Coulter migration to the United States +

Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The Coulter were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

Coulter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Coulter, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [1]
Coulter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Coulter, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Hugh and Ann Coulter, who settled in New York State in 1811
  • Ann Coulter, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Hugh Coulter, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • John Coulter, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Coulter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Coulter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Coulter, who landed in Quebec in 1784
  • William Coulter, who landed in Quebec in 1784
Coulter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Coulter, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Alice Coulter, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Miss. Ann Coulter, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [2]

Australia Coulter migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Coulter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edwin Coulter, (b. 1817), aged 19 who was convicted in Canterbury, Kent, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 4th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1882 [3]
  • Richard Coulter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 [4]
  • Thomas Coulter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 [4]
  • John Coulter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 [4]
  • Mary Matilda Coulter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Coulter migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Coulter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Ann Coulter, (b. 1862), aged Infant, Scottish settler from Ayrshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd May 1862 [5]
  • Mr. Henry Coulter, (b. 1832), aged 30, Scottish farm labourer from Ayrshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd May 1862 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Coulter, (b. 1837), aged 25, Scottish settler from Ayrshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd May 1862 [5]
  • Mary Coulter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865
  • Mr. Thomas Coulter, British settler travelling from London, UK with 1 child aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Coulter (post 1700) +

  • Richard Coulter Sr. (1827-1908), American Civil War Colonel and brevet brigadier general in the Union Army
  • David Coulter, American politician, Democratic Party politician and Mayor of Ferndale, Michigan (2011-)
  • David Coulter (b. 1949), American banker, director of Warburg Pincus
  • Allen Coulter, American television and film director from College Station, Texas
  • Bridgid Coulter (b. 1978), American actress from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, known for Diary of a Hitman (2008), Bent (2004) and The Coffee Thief (2007)
  • Ellis Merton Coulter (1890-1981), American historian of the South
  • Richard Coulter Jr. (1870-1955), American World War I general, a businessman, a professional football player
  • Lieutenant General John Breitling Coulter (1891-1983), American commander of the 7th Infantry Division during the Korean war
  • Raymond "Ray" Orville Coulter (1897-1965), American sport shooter
  • William Alexander Coulter (1849-1936), American painter of marine subjects
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight 191
  • S Coulter, American passenger from Los Angeles, California, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [7]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Robert Coulter (1876-1914), Scottish Miner from Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [8]
  • Mr. Fred C Coulter (1883-1914), Scottish Company Man from Dalrymple, Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [8]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Arthur Lee Coulter, American Seaman First Class from Oklahoma, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [9]


Suggested Readings for the name Coulter +

  • 1555 "The Coulter Family of Catawba County, North Carolina" by Victor A. Coulter, "Our Coulter Clan and Allied Families" by Steven Earl Coulter.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 71)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHARLES KERR 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840CharlesKerr.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Flight 191's Victims - latimes. (Retrieved 2014, April 16) . Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-04/news/mn-4349_1_fort-lauderdale-area
  8. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  9. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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