Elizabeth Lawrason

ID # 34, (1769-1845)
FatherThomas Lawrason
BirthElizabeth Lawrason was born in 1769 at New Jersey. 
MarriageShe married John Coleman, son of Unknown Coleman and (--?--) Unknown
DeathShe died on 24 May 1845 at Troy, Ontario. 
BurialShe was buried at Troy Cemetery. 
NoteA few words about Elizabeth's place in the Lawrason family are in order. Hitherto, our chief source for this was to be found in the brief Coleman family history in The Annals of the Forty. This information was supplied by Damaris Chase of Evanston, Illinois. We also have a letter written from Brisbane, California, in the 1970s by Dorothy Radoff, a Moe Descendant, to a Wentworth historical society stating essentially the same thing. She may have been aware of the Annals' history, but, since her letter both asked and presented family history, it is possible that she was working from an independent family source. Some researchers have suggested that Elizabeth was a niece of Miller Lawrason's, but with such evidence as is now available, this idea can be discounted. This researcher accepts that Elizabeth, wife of John Coleman, was indeed a Lawrason and a sister of Miller and Lawrence Lawrason. She also had a sister Rebecca who married Daniel Corson and sister Mercy who married Samuel Hamill.

To begin with, we now have three other sources with which to work. One is a wall chart drawn up by Thomas Stuart Lawrason of Hamilton in 1929. On the chart he makes the claim that Elizabeth was a sister of Miller Lawrason and their other siblings. An earlier source exists, however. The book, Father Corson, by Rev. John Carroll, and published in Toronto in 1879, quotes a paper written by Dr. William Case Corson, the son of Robert Corson. On Page 15 we find:

Daniel Corson was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, some twelve years before the commencement of the war of the Revolution. A few years after the conclusion of the peace, our paternal grandfather, whose name we have given, attracted by liberal grants of land, came to a beautiful farm on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. He came at about the same time with the Howells of the 'Jersey Settlement', the Aikmans, the Colemans, the Lawrasons, the Hamills, and many other names, since distinguished in the history of Canada. etc. Here Robert Corson was born. Unquote

This is no sure proof, but based on the information available to us, Dr. Corson is not merely referring to families in a random fashion, but making reference to an extended family, the lynchpin of which is the Lawrason family. We do not presently have evidence that the Aikmans were related to the Lawrasons any closer than by marriage, which they certainly were. The Howells, however, are mentioned in The Early Germans of New Jersey, Their History, Churches, and Genealogies, by Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers, 1893. The history of the Howells and Larasons, show marriage relationships between the two families. See particularly pages 424 and 425 of this book.

The third source at our disposal, and a rather excellent one, is to be found in the Family Record of the Name of Dingwall Fordyce in Abderdeenshire, compiled by Alexander Dingwall Fordyce of Fergus, Ontario, in 1888. Fordyce had Keefer connections, one of whom, Robert Keefer, married Lavinia Lawrason, the daughter of Miller Lawrason and Elizabeth Purvis. Lavinia's brother, Lawrence Purvis Lawrason spent his last years in Fergus with his daughter Mary Lavinia Lawrason Thomson. The information that we find on page cxxiv of Fordyce's book provides us with as good a backgrounder on Elizabeth Lawrason and John Coleman as has yet been found. It places John and Elizabeth as being first on the Government Road between Copetown and Dundas before their move to Troy. This is confirmed with a mention in daughter Sarah's obituary.

We do not know just when the Lawrason siblings came to Upper Canada. It is entirely possible that they did not all come at once. An argument to place John and Elizabeth's family as being in Upper Canada from approximately 1801 to1804 is possible, though a bit dubious. This is based on a a reference made by William Coleman in a petition for a clergy reserve in 1817. Considering that John and Elizabeth's daughter Rachel is said to have been born in the U.S. in 1806, a latter date is more probable. Documentably, they are in the Copetown area by 1811.

Conventional wisdom as to the parentage of Elizabeth Lawrason and her siblings seems to have settled on a William and Anna Lawrason. The source for this would appear to be page 13 of the Annals of the Forty, vol. 6, Loyalist and Pioneer Familes of West Lincoln, 1783-1833, published by the Grimsby Historical Society, 1955. It is reasonable to say that this is incorrect. Delores MacIntyre, a Lawrason descendent, presents us with the photocopy of a document on pages 26 and 27 of her work Some Records of the Lawrason Family, 1993, revised 2000. This is a genealogy written by Lawrence Lawrason Jr. In it, while failing to provide his grandmother's name, he does show his grandfather as Thomas Lawrason. When examining the names of male children of Elizabeth Lawrason Coleman's siblings, this is a reasonable statement, for the name Thomas shows up as being given to either a first or second born son. 

Children of Elizabeth Lawrason and John Coleman

Last Edited11 Oct 2017