The Alexander Colter family


Alexander Colter 1810-1891

Eleanor Colter 1810-1891

Anna Jane Colter 1843-1907

At one time there were six stones to mark the Colter graves, including the grave of Alexander Colter and that of his wife, Eleanor Johnson, believed to be buried here. A large, dark, substantial footstone with “A.C., E.C.” is lying in Section H of this burying ground, crowding against other graves and obviously misplaced.

Morning News, Saint John, NB, 1 September 1862:

Died at Nashwaak on Thursday, 28th ult. In the 84th year of his age, Mr. James Colter, a native of Ireland, for many years a respected resident.

Alexander Colter was born in Lietrim, Ireland. He was a son of James and Margaret Colter (or Coulter) who brought their family to New Brunswick from Ireland in the early 1820s. James settled on the Nashwaak, buying a tract of land from John Agnew that was part of the Stair Agnew estate and divided at his death. This originally had been part of the Monckton Grant of 1776 to John Anderson, father of William Anderson.

Alexander Colter farmed first at Sheffield, where he is believed to have met and married Eleanor Johnson, and later at the Mouth of the Keswick where he and his sons had splendid farms. The Colters were a Methodist family.

The York County census for 1851 lists in this household: Alexander, 41; Eleanor, 41; Samuel, 17; James, 14; Catherine, 12; George J., 10; Anna Jane, 8; Newton R., 5; and Thomas H., 2.

Three of his sons, George Johnson, Newton Ramsay, and Thomas, were prominent in provincial affairs. George Johnson Colter was twice elected a member of the New Brunswick legislature for York and was appointed to the Executive Council in 1882. He was a commissioner of public works, president of the Board of Agriculture, and the chief organizer of the York County Municipal Home. Ashley A. Colter of “Frogmore” was a son of George J. Colter.

Newton Ramsay Colter, M.D., of Woodstock, the fourth son of Alexander, was elected for Carleton then defeated by five votes in the next election. Newton and his brother Thomas were the only liberals of that generation in this family, and Thomas was an opponent of his brother in one election.

In Memory of Samuel, eldest son of Alexander and Eleanor Colter, drowned March 2, 1855, aged twenty-one years.

In memory of James, youngest son of James and Margaret Coulter, died Feb. 13th, 1863, aged 29 years.

In Memory of George Fraser, died 12th Dec. 1855, in the 26th year of his age. Also his only son George S. Colter died 27 May 1856 aged one year and six months.

I.M. of Newton, died 26th August 1844, aged 3 years. Henrietta died 30th September 1855, aged 3 years, 3 months, children of Thomas and Eliza Ramsey

George Fraser was a son-in-law of James Colter of Nashwaak. Thomas Ramsey also was a son-in-law of James Colter. He was a farmer and a road commissioner in York County.

The 1871 census lists Thomas Ramsey as 62, Irish, a surveyor, and a Wesleyan Methodist. His wife, Eliza, was 55 years of age. In addition to their five children, Eliza J., Hannah, Allan W., Annie, and Agnes, Mrs. Ramsey’s widowed mother, Margaret, Mrs. James Colter, 79, lived with them on the Marysville-Devon Road.

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