The Coleman Family

Very many thanks to Teresa Moy and the grandson of Ellen Coleman for the photographs and information on this page

'My Great Grandmother and GGGrandfather and mother are buried in Ashburton.Their name is Coleman. John died in 1918, his wife Mary Ann died in 1925 and one of their daughters Emily Heale Coleman died also in 1925.'

In 1861 11 year old John is living with his parents Henry and Harriett Coleman in East Street. Henry, an agricultural labourer, was born in Bickington and his wife was born in Dean Prior. John has a brother and four sisters, the youngest being Susan A Coleman, aged 6 months.

John Coleman married Mary Ann Heall [sic] in the June quarter of 1870.

By the time of the 1871 census John and Mary Ann have a 7 month old daughter, Emily*. They are living in Kingsbridge Lane.
John's parents, Henry and Harriet, are next door. They have six children with them, including 7 year old Ellen. Ellen Coleman probably married William Milton in 1882.
1871 census RG10, piece no. 2080, folio 56, p23
*Emily Heale Coleman's birth was registered in the September quarter of 1870, with the mother's surname as Heale.
See the Milton family under Individual families 2

Above: John Coleman and his wife Mary Ann

The 1891 census shows John and Mary living in Cad Lane with their five daughters and one son. There is also a granddaughter, Elsie, aged one. John is a general labourer; the three eldest daughters, Emily H., Elizabeth A and Laura are all wool-sorters

Above: John, Mary Ann (nee Heale) with their daughters and  their son Frank Louis Heale Coleman. The order of the daughters is uncertain except for Emily Heale (far right) and the little blond haired girl beside her, Elsie. Elsie was Emily's child, but Emily was unmarried and John and Mary Ann seem to have raised Elsie as their own daughter.
From left to right the family are believed to be, back row: 
Alice Maud, Laura, Frank, Ellen, Elsie, Emily; front row: Elizabeth Ann (next to her mother).

By 1901 they were living in Station Cottage, Church Laneā€“the census shows John, an agricultural labourer, as head of family with his wife and three of his children: Emily, Frank and Alice. Elsie, the daughter of Emily, is shown as the daughter of John and Mary Ann. All of the family were born in Ashburton.
They had also lived in Kingsbridge Lane at one stage. Their son Frank lived with his wife Jennie in Gullwell cottages; Frank was a stone mason and in 1911 went to America.

Frank Louis Heale Coleman, born 6 August 1883, Ashburton, had a US passport issued to him on 19 June 1920. His residence at the time was Hartford, Connecticut.
National Archives and Records Administration Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Roll 1264 - Certificates: 55500-55875, 18 Jun 1920-19 Jun 1920 U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line].

Ellen Coleman married Frank John Herbert Cook.

The 1911 census shows that the family is still at Station Cottage. Emily Heale Coleman and Elizabeth Ann are with their parents John and Mary Ann. There is also a five year old granddaughter of John and Mary Ann, called Eva Mabel. John's occupation is that of a coal porter (crossed out, and 'cart' inserted).


Emily was up before the beak when she was 16 for assaulting an Edward Lear with sheep shears.
Western Times 28 January 1887 p7 col2

Emily may have been slightly slower than her sisters as she comes across as such. She never married and lived with her mother up until her death. On her death certificate her occupation is that of Caretaker of Chapel.
Above: Emily Heale Coleman
John died at his home, Station Cottages, aged 68 in 1918. His obituary in the Western Times described him as a well known Ashburtonian, who had died after a long illness. The first part of the funeral service took part at the Wesleyan Chapel where he worshipped, and Mr Osborne ( the Portreeve ) and Mr J Mortimer (headmaster of the Grammar School)  were amongst the congregation.
The mourners included his daughters: Miss Coleman, Mrs Farrant, Mrs Cook and Miss Alice Coleman; his sister Mrs Pepperal from Kingswear; his brother-in-law Mr L Heale; his niece Mrs Parkhouse; and his cousins Mrs Storey and Mrs Hamlyn, both from Ashburton.
Western Times 5 July 1918 p9 col1