An American Family History

Elizabeth Coulston Nanney


Coulston is also spelled Caulson, Caulston, Coleson, Collisen, Collsen, Collson, Coulstone, Coleston, Colson, Coulson, and Coulstone.


The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.

Elizabeth Coulston Nanney was born July 27 1690 in England. Her parents were William and Ann Coulston.

She married Rees (Rhys) Nanney (Nanna, Nannan, Nanne, Nanny) on February 14, 1713/14 at Plymouth Meeting House. Rees was born about 1690. His father was probably John Nanney.

They were Quakers.

Elizabeth and Rees lived in North Wales, Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. It was Philadelphia County at that time. He owned a farm of 224 acres. His land was on the border of Whitpain Township.

Elizabeth and Rees' children included:
Abraham Nanney (1715),
Grace Nanney Trump (1716, married Michael Trump),
Isaac Nanney (1718),
Sarah Nanney Hallowell (1719, married Joseph Hallowell),
Jacob Nanney (1720),
William Nanney (1723),
Mary Nanney Roberts (1725, married Daniel Roberts),
Elizabeth Nanney (1728),
Ann Nanney (1730), and
Rees Nanney (1733, married Ann Bevan Trotter).

After Elizabeth's death, Rees married the widow, Margaret Owens Peters Cadwallader who was the daughter of Thomas Owens.

Rees died without a will, and in 1750 all his children entered into a deed to release their interests in the land to "the eldest son," Abraham.
Montgomery County, in southeast Pennsylvania was created on September 10, 1784, out of land that was originally part of Philadelphia County.
Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania was founded in 1698 by Welsh Quakers. The township split into Lower and Upper Gwynedd in 1891.
Children of William Coulston
  • Elizabeth Coulston Nanney
  • Ann Coulston Jones
  • Henry Coulston
  • Grace Coulston Eastburn
  • William Coulston
  • John Coulston
  • Barnabas Coulston
  • Sarah Coulston Ellis
  • Hannah Coulston

  • Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.


    Germantown Township, Pennsylvania was originally settled by German Quakers and Mennonites in 1681. It was divided into settlements, called Germantown, Cresheim, Sommerhausen and Crevelt. The township became part of the city of Philadelphia in 1854.

    from The Era: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine of Literature and of General Interest

    Rees Nanney, or Nanna, of Abington township, married first, Elizabeth Colston, daughter of William and Elizabeth Colston 2 mo., 14, 1714, at Plymouth Meeting House.

    He married second, Margaret Cadwallader (widow of Reece Peters and - Caldwalder), daughter of Thomas Owens, formerly of Plymouth township, deceased. 10 mo., 9 1746, at Abington Meeting.

    At the time of his death in 1747, Rees Nanney resided at North Wales, Montgomery (then Philadelphia) county, and was possessed of a tract of 224 3/4 acres of land in Gwynedd township. He left to survive him, a widow, the said Margaret, who died at Germantown 10 mo., 11, 1748, and ten children, viz.:
    1. Abraham
    2. Grace, born 5 mo., 25, 1716; died 11 mo. 26, 1799; married 1741 Michael Trump, son of Michael and Mary Trump.
    3. Isaac;
    4. Jacob;
    5. Sarah (by first wife), married 3 mo., 18, 1742, Joseph Hallowell, of Abington township, son of Thomas and Rosamond (Till) Hallowell at Gwynedd Meeting;
    6. William;
    7. Mary, married, 4 mo., 10, 1746 Daniel Roberts, of Upper Dublin township, at Gwynedd Meeting
    8. Ann;
    9. Elizabeth;
    10. Rees, married, 4 mo. 7, 1761, Ann Trotter, daughter of Richard Bevan and widow of Joseph Trotter, of Plymouth, deceased at Plymouth Meeting House.

    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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