Moses Coates (1687 - c.1761) MP

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Birthplace: Carlow, Ireland
Death: Died in Charlestown, Chester, Pennsylvania
Managed by: Amber L. Henrey (Dann)
Last Updated:

About Moses Coates

Moses Coates was born in Ireland of a Quaker family with English roots. They had gone to Ireland to escape religious persecution. He married Susanna Weldon, also Quaker, from the Province of Munster. They were married in Cashel Friends Meeting, County Tipperary, Munster, Ireland in 1715. Moses and Susanna left Ireland for Pennsylvania in 1717. They settled in Montgomery County, near Haverford MM and Providence Preparative Meeting. By 1729, Moses is found in Charlestown Township, Chester County, where he begins to buy land. James Starr, also of County Carlow, buys land in the same area, the site of the future town of Phoenixville. Moses died at his home on his farm in 1761. His wife Susannah died in 1772. Both are buried in Pikeland Friends Burying Ground.

An excellent account of what life was like when Moses settled in Pennsylvania can be found on pages 17-20 in the book A genealogy of Moses and Susanna Coates who settled in Pennsylvania in 1717, and their descendants, with brief introductory notes of families of same name... ;Compiled by Truman Coates, M. D. Published 1906 in Oxford, PA [available as free eBook].

Some sources will say that his family was Scotch-Irish, but, in reality, were of English ancestry. Some sources will list the village of his birth as Ballycaster, and the county as Caterloe. These cannot be found on a map. The likely explanation is that in older Irish texts the county of Carlow is listed as "Cetherloch" (quadruple lake) - tradition has it that at one time there were four lakes there - The Irish name is pronounced Caherlough, which was easily softened down to the present name.

On Feb 25, 1715 at the Province Men's Meeting at Cork, Ireland, Moses declared his intentions to marry Susannah Weldon. Their marriage took place on Mar 1, 1715 at Caskel, Co. Tipperary, Munster, Ireland.

On Mar 8, 1717, Moses obtained a certificate of removal from the men's meeting. He and his wife came to Pennsylvania because of religious persecution in Scotland and Ireland. They settled in Providence Township, Montgomery Co, PA with their only neighbors being Indians. He slept with a loaded gun by his side due to fear of the Indians. He blazed trails by cutting chips off the trees to give his children paths to keep them from getting lost.

Moses and family were the first settlers of the area that became Phoenixville, Pennsylvania His descendants in Phoenixville became owners and operators of the iron works that became a major economic base of that city.

He is mentioned in the following letter, believed to be written by Robert Parkes to his sister Mary Valentine, around 1725.

"Dear Sister I desire thee may tell my old friend Samuel Thornton that he could give so much Credit to my words & find no Iffs nor ands in my Letter that in Plain terms he could not do better than to Come here, for both his & his wife's trade are very good here, the best way for him to do is to pay what money he Can Conveniently Spare at that Side & Engage himself to Pay the rest at this Side & when he Comes here if he Can get no friend to lay down the money for him, when it Comes to the worst, he may hire out 2 or 3 Children & I wod have him Cloath his family as well as his Small Ability will allow, thee may tell him what things are proper to bring with him both for his Sea Store & for his Use in this Country. I wod have him Procure, 3 or 4 Lusty Servants & Agree to pay their passage at this Side he might sell 2 & pay the others passage with the money. I fear my good will to him will be of Little Effect by reason he is So hard of beleif, but thou mayest Assure him from me that if I had not a particular Respect for him & his family I Should not have writ so much for his Encouragement, his brother Joseph & Moses Coats Came to See us Since we came here, they live about 6 or 7 miles apart & above 20 miles from where we live."

In 1731, Moses purchased land in Charlestown, and settled there with his wife Susanna and his children. On Sep 24, 1741, he is likely the Moses who placed an ad in the PA Gazette about a dun colored mare that wandered onto his property at French Creek, Charles Town, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. He was seeking the owner. Again on Jan. 7, 1742 in that same paper, he advertised the runaway of his Irish Servant, Cornelius Cannor and offered a reward of 3 pounds in retrieving him.

There exists an old deed excuted in 1743 between Moses Coates and William Penn, an indenture to be released in 1681, for 500 acres. The language of the time is sometimes hard to follow, but the document includes the line of inheritance from one Anthony Easton, who died leaving two children. See page 22 of the Moses Coates genealogy book. [http://archive.org/stream/genealogyofmoses1906coat#page/21/mode/1up]

His will is transcribed at the end of this entry.

Children of Moses Coates and wife Susanna Weldon:

  • Susanna Coates -- DOUBTFUL that this is a true child of Moses and Susannah, see her profile.
  • Thomas Coates (1715-1797), mentioned in father's will, married Sarah Miller and had children
  • Samuel Coates (1718-1754), married Elizabeth Mendenhall, and had children. He died before his father, so not mentioned in the will
  • Moses Coates, Jr. (1719-1785), mentioned in his father's will, married (1) not known, one daughter; (2) Priscilla Hutchinson, nine children; (3) Elizabeth Avery Evans, one son. Served in Revolutionary War as a private.
  • Elizabeth Coates (1721-1770), mentioned in her father's will, married John Mendenhall, three known children
  • William Coates (1724-c.1760), died before his father, so not mentioned in the will, although some sources claimed he moved to South Carolina and was not in touch with his family.
  • Jonathan Coates (1728-1807), mentioned in his father's will, married Jane Longstreth, twelve known children
  • Aaron Coates (1731-1767), married Rachel Eastburn, six known children. He died before his father, so not mentioned in the will.
  • Benjamin Coates (1733-1801), mentioned in his father's will, married Ann Longstreth, fifteen known children

Links to additional material:

Will of Moses Coates

MOSES COATES of Charlestown, Apr.14, 1761 - Apr 25, 1761.

Whereas, I Moses Coates of Charlestown township, Chester County and Province of Pennsylvania, being weak in Body, but of Sound and Perfect Memory, do this fourtheenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and sixty one, make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby disannuling and revoking all former wills by me made whatsoever.

  • Item. I give and bequeath to my Loving wife the sum of six pounds a year during her natural life four pounds thereof to be paid her out of the interest money which is in the hands of Jonathan & Benjmain Coates & the other fourty shillings to be paid her by Benjamin Coates yearly out of his Plantation together with all the household goods that she brought with her & the new white rug and the tea-table & small Brindled cow.
  • Item. I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughters Susanna and Priscilla Mendenhall the sum of fourty pounds each also the sum of twenty pounds to their brother Moses Mendenhall but if any or either of them should die before they come to age to recive the sd money that then their part shall be at ye disposal of their mother and the sd money is to be left on interest until ye death of my wife in order to pay her the aforesd four pounds a years. Item. I give and bequeath unto Elizth Coates daughter of Moses Coates, jur. the sum of twenty pounds to be apid at ye death of my wife.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizth my large Bible. Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Moses my red cow. Item. I give and bequeath all my other household goods to son Benjamin, I also give and bequeth unto my son Benjmain the Plantation I live on according to all teh butts and bounds therof with all the improvements & appurtances thereon belonging to him and his heirs forever in fee to hold the same as also that piece or prcell of land lying between the great road & ye mill land which I bought of David Davis containing twenty-one acres & a hlaf to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Aaron Caotes all that piece of land surveyed to him bounded by the land Moses & Jonathan Coates & John Varley containing thirty five acres to him and his heirs forever in fee.
  • Item. I give and bequeath my wearing apparel to my son Thomas and I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Moses Coates my sole executor to this my land will and testmaent to see that all things be performed & accomplished according to the true intent and meaning thereof.
 Moses Coates 

Signed and seald published and acknowledged to be his last will and teatament in the presence of Joseph Griffith, Geo. Sholfield

Jonath Coates affd 1761 April 25th Executor affid.

Philada 25 April then personally appeared George Sholfield and Jonathan Coates two of the witnesses of the foregoing will and the said George Scholfield on oath and the sd Jonathan Coates on his solumn affirmation according to law did declare they saw and heard Moses Coates the testator therein named sign seal publish and declare the same will for and as his last will and testament and that the doing thereof he was of sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge.

The inventory of his estate after Moses Coates died was 239 pounds.

view all 13

Moses Coates's Timeline

1687
December 22, 1687
Carlow, Ireland
1714
March 1, 1714
Age 26
Cashel, Tipperary, Munster, Ireland
1715
1715
Age 27
Ireland
1716
December 22, 1716
Age 29
Ireland
1718
June 5, 1718
Age 30
Providence, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
1719
November 25, 1719
Age 31
Providence, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
1722
January 13, 1722
Age 34
Providence, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
1728
November 17, 1728
Age 40
Providence, Montgomery, Pennsylvania
1731
1731
Age 43
Chester, Pennsylvania
1733
1733
Age 45
Providence, Chester, Pennsylvania