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John H. Bonner to Edmund Harding, 13 August 1958

On information that Michael Coutanch (or Coutanch), a mid-eighteenth-century resident of Bath, had built the house, John H. Bonner went back top the Beaufort County records. In this follow-up report to Edmund H. Harding, chair of the Beaufort County Historical Society, Bonner reports that he has not found enough evidence to credit the building of the house to Coutanche.

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Aug. 13, ‘58.


Prompted by your statement, today, or information that Michael Coutanch built the Marsh house, at Bath:

March 5th, 1739, John Freeman made a deed to Michael Coutanch, of Boston, New England (2/311, describing:

“All those two certain lots or parcels of land, containing half an acre be the same more or less, with the fronts thereof and the houses thereon built, and thence to low-water mark; which said two lots are distinguished and known in the plan and model of the said town by the Numbers twenty-four and twenty-five; and are bounded on the south side by the tenement or lot of James Brown, and on the north by the lot of James Brickell”.

The old Bath map is dated Aug. 23, 1807 (sometime after the date of the above deed); but shows the numbers 24 and 25.

Lots 24 and 25 are a part of the old Marsh property, fronting the street.

No deeds by or from Coutanch.

Michael Coutanch made his “[W]ill -- March 9th, 1758.

To his wife he gave the use of half of his dwelling-house, kitchen, smoke house, garden, orchard and land adjoining Bath Town, during her widowhood.

To his son, Michael, he gave four lots, together with my “dwelling house and stores and other houses thereon”.

One inference could be, from his Will, that his dwelling-house adjoined the town of Bath, and was not in the town. Note that he said “adjoining Bath Town”.

Or the inference could be, in the devise to his son of four lots, “with my dwelling-house, stores” etc, that his dwelling was in the town. He had deed for Lots 24 and 25.

There are no deeds from his son, Michael, Junior, and no Will by this “tory”.

Michael Coutanch may have been in the category with Christopher Dudley (who patented the land upon which the east part of Washington is located).

Dudley was a Tory, whose land was confiscated after the Revolution; but there is no public record of this. At least, there are no deeds here by or from Dudley.

So there are no deeds of record here from Coutanch, although a Will to his son. His son might have been shuffling the cards with Cornwallis!

It’s hazy to me; and I can’t conclude that Michael Coutanch built the Marsh house. His name sounds in French!


[signature] John H.B.
John H. B.

Trial practice limited to:
Admiralty; land titles and boundaries;
Actions devistavit vel non [devisavit vel non: a type of practice dealing with determination of validity of wills].

Office practice limited to:
Conveyancing; abstracting; probates of
wills; infant, estates; administrations.

Location: Special Collections, Joyner Library, East Carolina University
Call Number: Herbert Paschal Papers, #481.4.EDMOI
Collection: Herbert Paschal Papers

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