An American Family History

Sarah Coulston Ellis


The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.


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

Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was a frontiersman who became an American folk hero. The Boone family were members of the Gwynedd Monthly Meeting. He is best know from his exploration of Virginia and Kentucky.

Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Sarah Coulston Ellis was born on July 4, 1709. Her parents were William and Ann Coulston.

January 29, 1737

Morris Ellis and Sarah Coulstone declared their intention of Marriage with each other the first time. Debora Boon [Deborah Howell Boone], Debora Star are appointed to inspect into Clearness and Conversation and bring report to the next Meeting.

February 26, 1737

Morris Ellis and Sarah Coulstone declared their intention of Marriage with each other the second time - Debora Boon and Debora Star are desired to attend the marriage and bring their account to the Next meeting.

She married Morris Ellis on February 26, 1736/37. He was born December 8, 1715 in Olney, Berks County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Thomas Ellis and Jane Hughes.

Sarah and Morris children included:
John Ellis (1738, married Magdaline Potts),
Amos Ellis (1739, married Hannah Hughes).
William Ellis (1740),
Jane Ellis (1744, married Humphrey Lloyd),
William Ellis (1745),
Morris Ellis (1750), and
Thomas Ellis (1753).

On December 30, 1756, Rebekah Colston charged John Ellis, the son of Morris Ellis, with being the father of her illegitmate child Morris Ellis claimed responsibility by saying "I am the wretched man that have done the thing and I believe my son to be clear."

Morris and Sarah moved to, what is now, West Virginia in the late 1760's after Morris violated Friends discipline. They probably traveled along the Great Wagon Road.

She died in 1803.

First printed in Boston 1745
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
  • 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.

    The Great Wagon Road was the most important Colonial American route for settlers of the mountainous backcountry. It went from Philadelphia to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One fork went to the Tennessee Valley and Knoxville and the other to the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.



    from Rememb'ring Our Time and Work is the Lords: The Experiences of Quakers on the Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania Frontier by Karen Guenther

    During the late 1760's Morris and Sarah Ellis moved to Fairfax Monthly Meeting with their three youngest sons soon after Morris [was] condemned [of] committing a violation of the discipline; their two older sons, whom Exeter Monthly Meeting had disowned, probably accompanied them. . . It is intriguing, however that the three sons who had remained in good standing within the meeting settled near each other in central Virginia, while the only child of Thomas Ellis to stray from the Quaker way, Morris, relocated to another area of the colony.

    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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