Rachel Coleman

ID # 42, (1806-1896)
FatherJohn Coleman (1760-1844)
MotherElizabeth Lawrason (1769-1845)
BirthRachel Coleman was born in December 1806 at United States. 
MarriageShe married Admiral Nelson Vrooman, son of (--?--) Smith and Rachel Vrooman, in 1826; A descendant of Admiral Nelson Vrooman and Rachel Coleman, by way of their son George, has in his possession an excellent and very early document and has kindly copied me. The text thereof is quoted below:

Mariage Publication August the fifteenth 1826 i publish the Bands of Mariage Between Admirel nelson Vrooman and Rachel Coleman both of the township of Beverly and Gore District if any person or persons Know Cause or just impediment Why these two persons Should not be joined to Gether inn holy Matrimony you are here by notifyd to make the Same Known on or Before the Day of mariage otherwise hear after for Ever hold your peace Given under my hand at waterloo the Date & year Above written
William Ellis JP


The script is mainly legible though without punctuation. Spelling and capitalization is as transcribed.

First, so far as Nelson and Rachel are concerned, we should note that their marriage was likely in late August or in September of 1826. The 1949 Vrooman Family history places the birth of their first born, John Coleman Vrooman, in 1827, so the year of their marriage, 1826, we may take to be accurate.

The second point of interest is that William Ellis JP was usually referred to as Squire Ellis. Page 55 of James Young's book, Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries, Toronto, Hunter Rose & Co., 1880, states the following:

The clergy of the Church of England were the only ministers at one time who could marry; magistrates could do so, however, when there was no Episcopal clergyman within a radius of eighteen miles, and Squire Ellis of Waterloo, and Squire Murray, who resided near St. George, for many years did a thriving business in the matrimonial line.


Nelson and Rachel lived much nearer to St. George and why their marriage wasn't performed by Squire Murray, we do not know.

Another point in viewing the document is that the expression 'bands of marriage' instead of 'banns of marriage' is apparently a Scottish term and was likely the way Squire Ellis was accustomed to expressing it. What isn't clear is why the expression was used at all. Typically, or at least in later years, the banns of marriage were 'published' verbally from a pulpit in the presence of a church congregation. This was usually done on three consecutive Sundays, though more recently it is sometimes done but once. Just why a Justice of the Peace would use the term for what was essentially a civil ceremony isn't clear. There was such a thing in Upper Canada as marriage bonds. From the late 1700s through to 1858, these documents, which were signed by two citizens when a civil ceremony was to take place, were essentially for the same purpose as the reading of the banns of marriage before a congregation, namely to ensure there were no problems with consanguinity or that there wasn't the impediment of a previous marriage with a still living partner that could lead to a charge of bigamy. Admiral Nelson Vrooman, himself, signed a marriage bond on behalf of his wife's niece Sabrina Moe when she married James Blackburn and is the one clear example so far found of a signature for Nelson. 
DeathShe died on 9 January 1896 at Beverly Twp, Wentworth County, Ontario, at age 89. 
BurialShe was buried at Harrisburg Cemetery. 
NoteCornell in his Pioneers states that Rachel was a Coleman and a daughter of John and Elizabeth. Evidence, both documentary and circumstantial, has been found supporting this.

Rachel's daughter Geraldine was enumerated in the 1851 census both at home and in the household of Samuel and Teressa Wait in South Dumfries. Teressa was Rachel's sister and her first husband was Henry Moe.

Rachel's death registration number is 021371-96. She died in Beverly Township of 'infirmities of age'. The informant was Dr. Addison of St. George. No information is provided in the death registration as to who she may have been residing with at the time. Wallace McDonald, the township clerk of Beverly, does provide us with the information that she was the widow of A.N. Vrooman.

A newspaper article from the Brantford Weekly Expositor dated 17 June 1897 (see microfilm N8 R12P, Archives of Ontario) tells that she was visiting with Conrad Misener at Troy. The funeral was held at the Misener's and she was returned to Harrisburg for burial.

The 1851 census for South Dumfries shows Nelson and Rachel with the children they have listed in this tree, with the exception of the first, John C. Vrooman, who died in infancy. This information is to be found on pages 53 and 55 of the 1851 census.

At the time of the 1891 census, Rachel was with daughter Sabina and George Bookless in Stratford. 

Children of Rachel Coleman and Admiral Nelson Vrooman

Last Edited2 Jul 2017