The Coltrane Lineage of Randolph County, NC
David Coltran, youngest son of Patrick Coltran of Dummoral and Elizabeth Stewart, was christened 7 February 1711 in the Wigtown Parish, Wigton, Scotland. His mother may have died as a result of his birth. His father died in 1717. The orphaned family: John, William, Patrick, Henriette, Robert, Alexander, Thomas, and David were taken in to the household of their maternal grandfather John Stewart, Baron of Physgill in the Glasserton Parish, Wigton. The Baron held the Coltran properties of Drummoral, Belsmith, etc. during the minority of the heir. When the old Baron died about 1719, the barony and the other properties descended to John Coltran, in 1720, through a male entail on the inheritance. John assumed the Stewart surname as well as the inheritance. In the mid 1730Â’s the entail was overturned in Court by a successful lawsuit brought by one of the Stewart cousins and her husband. The ColtranÂ’s were stripped of the barony of Physgill, leaving their minor properties, Drummoral, Belsmith, etc.. John (Coltran) Stewart joined the British Army. At that time commissions in established regiments were bought and sold. John appears to have sold the family properties to his father-in-law, Patrick Heron of that Ilk (Heron of Heron), to finance his commission and his brotherÂ’s futures. William, Robert, and David headed for America. They landed at the port of Edenton, in North Carolina, arriving about 1738. David soon met and became enamored with a local tavern girl. Young Mary Trotter was the daughter of local tailor/tavern keeper James Trotter. David was an adventurous and lusty young Scot who soon found himself married. James Trotter was politically influential and secured a land grant for the young couple. Their plantation was far to the west in central North Carolina, then Edgecombe County. It was in that eastern part of the future Rowan County in the area which eventually became Randolph County. David was far better educated than most of new neighbors and was quickly appointed as Justice of the Peace. David worked hard at conquering the wilderness of his plantation. He sensed himself trapped by his new family responsibilities in a, perhaps, unwanted marriage. David was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Edgecombe County, NC in the late 1730Â’s. The Empire was mobilizing to begin "The War of JenkinÂ’s Ear" with Spain. It was to be primarily a naval War. During the Summer of 1739, Colonel William Gooch of Virginia raised a force of 400 Virginians and North Carolinians. David, as a serving KingÂ’s officer (J.P.), was offered and accepted a KingÂ’s commission. The regiment, including Captain David Coltrane, was to become the 58th regiment of foot. Britain declared war on Spain 19 October 1739. Colonel Gooch and his regiment sailed south from the Virginia capes about that time. An interesting sidelight soon appears. The purchase of a tract of land, 640 acres in Halifax County, was recorded in his name on 1 December 1739. This was obviously a transaction that was incurred in his name by his wife while he was away at war. In concert with naval forces, perhaps some of the newly built bomb ships, their target was in Columbia at the Spanish fortress of Cartagena. Colonel Osguthorpe was leading a simultaneous assault on the Florida forts from Georgia. The attacks into Spanish Territory were repulsed. Colonel Gooch returned to his administrative duties in Virginia after a ten month absence. A resale of the Halifax tract is recorded on 28 November 1740. Since it essentially was a cancellation of the original purchase, it suggests that David may not have been a party in the original agreement. DavidÂ’s leave may have lasted long enough to deal with the property issue and get his wife pregnant with a second child. It is doubtful that the troops were mustered out as by that Fall the War of The Austrian Succession getting underway. Most of Europe would be at war and an experienced regiment would not have been released, besides there were not Militia. Captain David Coltran died while aboard a ship on the Atlantic. The timeline suggests he died in the Winter of 1740/1741, the youngest of Patrick ColtranÂ’s sons. He left his widow, Mary Trotter Coltrain and his son William. His possibly posthumous daughter was Eudoxie Jane Coltrane. On March 21, 1743 a petition for a grant of 200 acres of land was filed in his name and on July 26, 1743 another petition for a grant of 330 acres of land in Edgecombe County, ground adjoining his initial grant. Mary was obviously still doing business in his name. On 17 June 1745, his widow remarried. She wed a Lawson Predy. Predy soon died as his widow married John Messhenger on 20 January 1752. She married a 4th tiime, Robert Wallace, on 8 August 1754. Mary lived on until 1791/92. In January 1747 DavidÂ’s father-in-law, James Trotter, filed a Guardianship Petition for his grandson. It seems to have been granted. It may have been done to protect WilliamÂ’s estate from his motherÂ’s extravagances. "Doxie" Coltrane may have been a school teacher. She married Scales Staley Eldridge. She and her mother, Mary Trotter, may have started a school near High Point, NC. The 1759 tax list of Rowan County, NC shows William in possession of his fatherÂ’s original land grants as William "Coltron". William is said, on some records, to have been born in Pennsylvania. This is unlikely as there is no evidence that Mary Trotter ever left North Carolina. William went to the local courthouse (Guilford) in August 1772 and recorded the names of his children born before that date: David Coltrane, b. 8 May 1762; Abigal (sic) Coltrane, b. 26 June 1764; Jacob Coltrane, b. 15 December 1766; Mary Coltrane, b. 22 May 1769; James Coltrane; b. 11 October 1771. Mary Trotter ColtraneÂ’s will of 1792 gives the names of all of WilliamÂ’s children. The descendants of William are the modern Coltrane family.