The Several William Coats

 by Linda Coate

14 September 1997


There are many William Coates born or living in the first half of the 18th century in the colonies in these regions, so it is necessary to try to sort them to understand what events belong to which William. Based on events and places where these events occur, here are the Williams that can be discerned. This page has become a collaboration and exchange of information between Gary W. Coats of Portland, Oregon, myself and Charlotte Coats of California. Be aware that much of it is theory, and mistakes could have been made.

(1) William Cotes, b. 1680, who was the son of Thomas and Joan Clemson Coats of NJ. His siblings were John, Thomas, George and Mary. According to Gary W. Coats, George had a son named William, #1.1, later called Major William Coate, who was born abt. 1721 of Pennsylvania. (C-1293) (2) William, b. abt. 1700 in England to Thomas Coate (b. abt. 1675 in Glasgow, Scotland, md. Sarah Cramer). He lived in Charleston, SC as an adult. He had a son William, b. 1735 whom we will number #2.1. He was at one time a minister and could be the grandfather of Rev. William Coates who was married to Nancy Baker and lived in Charleston, SC in some of his adulthood. (C-1291, 1386, Gary Coats) (3) William, son of Samuel and Mary Saunders Coate, b. abt. 1702 in Hunterdon Co., NJ. He is supposedly the husband of Rachel Ann Budd, but no first hand records verify this. (4) William, son of Marmaduke and Ann Pole Coate who was born on June 14, 1702 in England. He married Rebecca Sharp and died in 1749 in Burlington Co., NJ without issue (without children). He also had a younger brother named William who died in infancy. (5) William, born before 1723 who lived in Hunterdon Co., NJ, in 1775 when he wrote his will and who died in 1797 in Burlington Co., NJ. (6) William Coates, b. about 1725 who Gary Coats theorizes might be the son of Philip and the father of Big John Coats. Big John Coates was the father of a William Coats #6.1. This is information conjectured from a book by E. Tucker entitled "The History of Randolph County, Indiana." It does however, tend to have timing errors in it and other Coates researchers highly question this "Scottish" Coate lineage. (C-1291) (7) A William who was the son of William, and was born in 1728. (Could this be the same as #6) (C-2023, Kindred Konnections) (8) William Coates, b. 1731, d. 1781, who was known as Esquire and Gentleman in Charles Town, SC records. He was married to Mary Green and is the likely son of William of England. (9) William Coates, b. before 1733 who fought in the French and Indian Wars
in 1748 from lower Marion Co. (VA?). This is only conjecture, but this William could be the William #7 above who would have been age 17 in 1748 and came to the Americas to fight in the French and Indian Wars. (10) William Coates of Halifax, VA/NC, b. 1749, d. 1812, son of John. (11) William Coates, who lived in Pasquotank Co., NC in 1769. (12) William Coates, b. 175?, who had son, Wylie who had son Willis, b. 1802 who married Marinda Glascock in 1844 in Davidson Co., NC. (13) William Coates, b. Mar. 26, 1765 to Thomas and Elizabeth King Coates of Hunterdon Co., NJ. (14) William Coats (b. aft. 1760) who was the son of Thomas and Sarahann Coats of SC. (15) William Coates who was living in Chatham Co., GA in 1792.

The following information applies to the name William Coate. I have sorted the data usually by place, and sometimes by theory on how these Williams are seperated. If they seem to apply to the William lines sorted above, I have given them the corresponding numbers to the above list. There are several Williams in South Carolina, that as of yet we have not been able to sorted.  Thanks goes to Gary W. Coats of Oregon and Charlotte Coats of California for collaborations on this data.

1) A William Cotes witnessed the will of William Say, Shopkeeper, in Philadelphia on 7/27/1711. This William is the son of Thomas and Joan Coats named in his mother's, Joan Clemson's will dated Sep. 10, 1727 in Philadelphia. His siblings were Mary Harris, Thomas, John and George. (C-1006) (Note that his mother married a Clemson after the death of Thomas Coats).

1) ) William Coates, Sr., b. c 1680, married Mary Smith in Philadelphia, PA in 1706 and died there April 1, 1749. From his wife he gained possession of 350 acres on land in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, PA. He is the father of William Coates, Jr., b. circa 1713 who died the same year as his father in 1749 in Philadelphia, #1.1. This William Jr. married a Mary also and had two children named after him and his wife. This William (III) whom we will refer to as 1.1.1 married Margaret Norris and had ten children. He achieved the rank of Colonel during the Revolutionary War in the State Militia. (Write Gary W. Coats for much detail on this family line).

1) The George Coate's, brother to above William, Sr, witnessed the will of William Say, shopkeeper in Philadelphia on Aug. 3, 1713. George wrote his will on May 31, 1736 in Philadelphia. He names son William, #1.1, and brother John in his will. Probated May 31, 1736. (C-1006) According to Gary W. Coats, this George Coate's is thought to be born about 1685 and his son William (#1.1), born about 1721, married Martha (Davis) and became Major William Coate in the state militia. Major William Coate had a son George.

1?) Three William Coates lived in Philadelphia, PA in a listing of inhabitants dated 1745. Gary Coats states they were descendants of Thomas and Joan Cote (Clemson). They include William, b. ca 1670, d. 1 Apr. 1749; William, b. ca 1713, d. Mar. 1749 and William b. May 13, 1741 and d. Apr. 28, 1802. (This last one might not have been the 3rd William listed as an inhabitant of Philadelphia in 1745. If not, we still need to
account for one more William. (C-1052, 1291)

1) A payment was made to George Cote in the 1750 estate settlement of Jonas Keene of Salem Co., NJ. This is a likely son of the above William (b. 1680) or his brothers, children of Joan Cotes Clemson.

1.1 or 2) A William Coats was granted 800 acres of land in Berkley Co., SC on Edisto River on Jul 26, 1774. (C-910, 912)

?) A William Coates, who was an indentured servant, lived in Philadelphia Co., PA, in 1772. He is likely the William who was on the port of entry lists for Pennsylvania in 1772. (C-739, 1292)

1?) William Coate was disowned by the Quaker Church in Philadelphia MM, PA. (C-598) (There is a branch of Coats who were Baptist in South Carolina that could be his descendants. They include William, Mary, Mary, Rebekka, James, Henry and Thomas.) (C-598a, 1291)

1?) A William Coats was a Revolutionary Soldier from PA. (C-1071)

?) There was a William Coates who was in the Tithable records for Amelia Co., VA, between Deep and Flat Cr. between 1736-1771. (Narragansett Historical Register) (C-1047)

5) A bond of William Coat was listed in the estate of Edw. Rockhill of Amwell, Hunterdon Co., NJ in 1748.

5) A William Coats and Mary Marsh were administrators of David Marsh of Hunterdon Co., NJ in 1770. (C-1,p.167) This is probably the same William who made his will in that county in 1775 and who died there about 1797 when it was probated. (See paragraph below pertaining to our William's death date.)

5) A William lived in Kingwood, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey when he wrote the will in 1775. He names beloved sons Joseph, William and Walter Cotes, and daughters, Sarah, Hannah, Mary all seemingly of age. His executors were his son Josef and son-in-law John McPar(s)on. In 1775 if these children were all 20 or older and they were born over a period of at least 12 years then he would have been having children by or
before 1743. This would make his birth date before 1728. Due to his actual death date being in 1797, he is more likely a grandson of one of Samuel's sons that stayed in Hunterdon Co., NJ as he would have been over 90 if he were his son. This William was also not a Quaker as he started his will by saying "In the Name of God, Amen," a method not used by Quakers. (C-554, 593)

5.1) A William Coats who married Leanah Low in Hunterdon Co., NJ on Sept. 13, 1781. He is possibly the son of the William who wrote his will and listed son William in 1775 in Hunterdon Co., NJ. (C-153,543)

13) A William Coates was born about 1765 to Thomas and Elizabeth King in Kingwood, Hunterdon Co., NJ, descendents of Moses and Susannah Weldon. William was not a common name in this line. (C-1091)

13) A William Coats moved from Kingswood MM, Hunterdon Co., NJ to Buckingham on certificate dated 13/11/1785 or 13/11/1788. He declared his intentions to marry a Mary Price (formerly Coate) on that same day. (C-46b)

13?) A William, between ages 21 and 45, lived in Philadelphia Co., PA in the 1800 census records.

4) A Wm. Coat of Burlington, NJ was listed as a bondsman in the Estate of Ab. Porter of Gloucester Co., NJ in 1748. (C-1p.167)

4.1) A William is mentioned in the inventory of the estate of Robert Hartshorne of Burlington on Jun 27, 1752. (This probably refers to William and Rebecca Sharp's son William.)

9) A William Coates was listed as a second Lieutenant in lower Marion County in 1747/8 protecting their freedom against Britain in the French-American War. (Marion Co. could be a part of South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio or Virginia (now W.V). My theory is that is was part of Virginia at the time, as that was the inhabited state in 1747. If anyone knows if this is correct or incorrect, please let me know. This William might be the same William living in Charleston, SC in the 1760's who was listed as Captain at the time or he could be Esq. William from Charles Town who would have been age 17 at the time. There is a possibility that Capt. William and Esq. William are one and the same person also. (See 1.1)

10) A William Coats, b. Sept. 17, 1749 lived mostly in Halifax, VA and NC. (Note that the Roanoke River runs between Halifax, VA and Halifax, NC) He died Dec. 28, 1812. His father was possibly John Coats. His children were William, John, Elizabeth, Richard, Guilford, Nancy, Diez and Sarah Sally. (C-996)

10) A William Coats received one pound, ten shillings, eight pence from the Board of Auditors, Halifax District, NC on Nov. 4, 1782 for a Revolutionary War Payment. (C-1086)

10) A William Coats lived in District 13, Halifax Co., NC in a 1786 state census.(C-739)

11) A William James Coats lived in Pasquotank Co., NC in 1769. (C-739) A Wilson W. Coats, likely relative, was also engaged in a military unit in Pasquotank Co., NC. (C-1284)

12) A William, born circa 175?, had a son Wylie. Wylie had a son Willis born in 1802 who married Marinda Glascock in 1844 in Davidson Co, NC. (C-1095)

3) A William Coate preceded Henry (his probable brother) to North Carolina, living in Rowan Co. by 1754.

3) A William Coats was appointed Commissioner on July 12, 1754 in the room of Edward Hughes Esqr. for the Roads in the fork of the Yadkin., Rowan Co., NC. (C-936) He replaced a very prominent citizen in this position. This tells us that he probably had prominence, owned land and was at least 21 years of age. (C-2014)

3) A court case entitled, "Mary Dughart" vs. William Coats, Troner?" in Rowan Co., NC on July 23, 1756. The verdict was guilty. No details of the case are known.(C-936)

3) A court case in Rowan Co., NC on Oct. 21, 1756 discharged William Coats from being committed for having 2 horses in his custody, the property of whom was unknown. Some of the same judges whom he served under as juror dismissed this case. (C-2014)

3) A William Coate had jury duty on Oct. 22, 1756 in Rowan County, in the case John Parker vs. James Berry. He was a juror on July 22, 1757; Oct. 20, 1759 (or 1762); and April 22-23, 1762 respectively. He and two other jurors, John Jones and Jeremiah Green later moved to Bush River MM, SC. He was also a juror under the same judges in these cases, Jno. Hanby, Ed Hughs, and Wm. Buse. (C-936, 943)

3)  A William is listed as a taxable person from Rowan County in 1759. (C-353) This William supposedly sold his land in Rowan County in 1762 after he had moved on to Newberry Co., SC. He is the William in the New Garden MM, Guilford Co., NC minutes as having moved to Bush River, SC before 1762. This connection between the William in Rowan and SC is reinforced by information from L.E.Jones dated Feb. 1984. She also stated that this William was probably the husband of Rachel Ann Budd. (C-199,253c,552,573) Note: - In a deed dated 1760 in Salisbury, Rowan County, Samuel Bryan bought land from Granville on the south side of the Yadkin River below the mouth of Coats Branch. The deed was proved in Sept. of 1761. Note that there was also a James Coats that married Robena Ryle in Rowan County in 1759. Either James or William could have owned the Coate/Cote land referred to called Coats branch in this deed. Also note that there were no other Coate marriages in Rowan until after 1793. (C-936, 938, 969)

(If related to William #3) There was a John, William or John William Coates who had lived in the Saulberry/Salisbury, NC area in the 1700's and moved to SC in the middle 18th century around 1762. He was the supposed father of "Little John Coates." (C-1325, Recollections of Fanny Goodman) This recollection, if accurate, would mean that the William of Rowan County was not the son of Samuel and Mary Saunders Coate as suggested above. That is because, William's son John is Gentleman John (not Little John) and William's brother, John, never moved south but remained in Hunterdon Co., NJ. If anyone knows that either of these beliefs is inaccurate, then all the #3's could still fit with the William who was the son of Samuel and Mary Saunders Coate.

3) William Coate lived between Spring Field and Bush River in South Carolina before 1762 according to John Belton Oneal in "The Annals of Newberry". This William Coate's was called Billy Coates by an oldtime visiting son of a John Jones. (C-930)

3) Judge O'Neall in the "Annals of Newberry" states ,"Certain it is that William Coate lived and must have died in Newberry Co., between 1762-1796."

3?) A William obtained 200? acres on Aug. 5, 1766 in Newberry Co., SC on Scotts Creek, Bush River. This land was supposedly sold in 1813, and would have to have  been a son of William selling it, if this applies to this William. (C-692, 912) (An earlier misreading led to the mistake of an 800 acre purchase, when it should have been 200 acre purchase.)

3?) A William was granted 200 acres of land in Craven Co. on Nov. 24, 1767 on the   north side of Bush River.

3?) A William Coates had as his executor John Coates in an administration in the  Carolinas dated 1774. (C-997)

?) A William Cote (Coates) of the Ninety Sixth District purchased 100 acres from John (Desc.) and Jemima Wright in Newberry Co., SC on Nov. 2, 1785. The deed for this land was not filed until July 4, 1803. (C-908, 912)

14?) A William Coate of Newberry bought 116 acres from Abijah or Elisha O'neal on Sept. 18, 1799. His neighbors included Wm. Cote, John Coats, and William O'neal. Witnesses were William Oneal, John Oneal, and Abijah Oneal. (C-903) His possible parents are Thomas and Sarahann Coats of SC as theorized by Gary W. Coats of Oregon. (C-1292)

2) A William Coates (b. ca. 1700) of Great Britain and Charleston, SC listed as the recently deceased son of Thomas Coates (a Maltman) of Glasgow, England in appointment of attorney to recover William's estate on March 26, 1753. William is listed as a "sometimes minister".

2.1?) A William, b. about 1735 and died in Dec., 1784 in Camden Dist., Newberry Co., SC named wife Frances (sometimes listed as Mary Frances) and children, Ann Starkes, Prisilla, Barton, Wilson, William (underage, b. 1764/1765 [C-1060,1388]) and Benjamin (underage) in that order in his will. A Netty (Notley) Coates witnessed it. William and Frances married in 1757 in S.C. (C-598e) His 200 acres of land was sold
on Kings Creek on the south side of the Enoree River to John Turner (Furnas), Sr. dated April 16, 1791. The deed is filed in Newberry County Records. His will is supposedly filed in Kershaw Co., SC. (C-1284) According to some descendants, he is the son of William, Sr. (#2 above) who died in Charleston, SC in 1753. (However, at this time, there is no proof that the William who married Francis ever lived in Charleston, SC. C-1298) William, (Jr's) siblings likely were James (1737-1817?), Notley (1740?-1806), David (1750?-) and sister, Eliaha (1739?- ? who was married to James Gore). (C-998, 1068, 1294) Offspring of this William moved to Tennessee and elsewhere. William (Jr.'s?) son William who was born in 1764/5 in Newberry, SC?, married Nancy Baker about 1790 and died on June 13, 1836 in Calloway Co., MO. They had lived in Sumner Co, TN before moving to Missouri. (C-1388) Another theory presented by Gary W. Coats of Portland, Oregon is that William (Jr.) b. 1735, is a descendant of the Moses/Susan Weldon Coate line of Pennsylvania.

2.111 Descendants of this 2.1 line above are likely Rev. William Coats who was a native of Tennessee and a pioneer Baptist preacher. He was the father of Wilson Coats. They moved from Tennessee to Calloway Co, Missouri in 1817. In 1849, son Wilson joined in the California Gold Rush, and eventually brought his family from Missouri to be the first settlers and ranchers in Contra Costa, California