Clarence V. Coogan





My deepest regret is my late incentive to begin this work. I, being the oldest surviving Coogan could only depend on hearsay, memory and archives such as the Albany State Library as my major source of information. Since then I have been joined with equal enthusiasm by my son Charles and his son Mark.  Our safaris have carried us into Canada Provinces that have opened a treasure chest of Coogan history.

I realize erroneous entries may be found by persons closer to a source than the writer. I will appreciate and attempt to correct such entries before going to print.

The emotions and satisfaction I experience while writing this work keeps changing as I progress. It was begun with the quest for past history which I still believe the grandchildren, especially, will enjoy. However, reviewing with appreciation the Joys and hardships these people have encountered has brought me into their world. I feel I have been met at the front door and welcomed in with the greeting, "We are so glad to meet you personally. We were afraid you would never come."

Now, each new name that I enter becomes a new friend and I want to know more of that person's past life. I can feel the hardship of their depression years. The struggle to keep a roof over their heads, to provide food for the table, the necessity to move families across the nation to where work could be found. I have found a deep respect for these miners, farmers and laborers who, if they had the education or the opportunity, might have become the country's leaders. They certainly had the drive for accomplishment.

Each time I enter a death date, I feel a depression and ask myself, "why did such a person have to die." I feel I have lost a friend.

How it all Began

An original genealogy was composed using "Personal Ancestral Files", a software program devised by the Mormons in Salt Lake City. It was very helpful in organizing chronological histories. Although, the Mormons have the largest genealogy library in the world, I could not find anything of my Coogan lineal ancestors. I have sent the Mormons a disk of the Albany Coogans with the information of how and where the facts were recorded. In return I received a warm "Thank you" and was assured these records will be available to anyone who may request them.

Since then I have read a McRobie Genealogy composed by Raymond I. McRobie of  Fairfax, Virginia. I  was impressed with his format, so I have decided to write a second work using a similar format. Much of the "Wilt" chapter of this book was taken from the McRobie Genealogy.


Tidbits of remembrance can be valuable as the search progresses.  One case in point is a statement made by my grandmother Coogan who at one time said, "The name Coogan was spelled with a K until she changed the insurance papers to read C". I tried to disprove this statement by visiting graves and headstones previous to that era in time and concluded that Coogan was always spelled with a C.  However, Thomas R. Coogan, for some reason,   recorded his Son Clarence as Koogan along with his own name.  My grandmother would have none of that and changed it back to Coogan.   Bravo for grandma!  I have found also, all Coogans from 1700s were Protestants from  northern Ireland and fought for the King of England;  Grandma was Catholic.  

When future information is forth coming, I will update these writings. Until then I can only relate unproved assumptions. Such assumptions will not be stated in the chapters of this book. Instead, they will be discussed here in the introduction.

The Search for Thomas R. Coogan

My search for the background of Thomas R. Coogan has been very elusive. I procured a copy of the death certificate of William Coogan, Thomas Coogan's second son. The certificate listed Thomas's birth place as New York (City?).

However, the death certificate of Victor Coogan says his father's birthplace was Canada.  Victor's wife was the informant and the more knowledgeable person at the time.  

In 1999, the following letter was found by Charles Coogan in the Canadian National Archives. It had been written by Thomas R. Coogan to the authorities in Manitoba, Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                     Albany, NY
                                                                                                                                                                     10th Feby. 1877

I have heard that the Government of Canada is going to send in the spring, men to Red River, who wish to become settlers in that part of the country. If such is the case, I would ask you most respectfully Sir. If myself and three sons (who are now growing up to be young men) could not be included amongst the number. I feel as if I had a sort of claim on the government, as the country has on me. Having as I have given my young and best days to the service of my most gracious Queen, and country in the late R.C. Rifle Regt. In which Regt. I once held the honorable position of color and pay Sargt. Of A Company. I took my Discharge at my own request, with the right to deferred pension, on attaining the age of fifty which is still some time yet. If the government would let me have a small piece of land,either in Canada, or Red River ( the former if possible as it was there I was raised) I would give up all claim to pension in lieu of it. and as I am active and healthy yet, thank God. I would like it above anything else, as I would then have the means of keeping my sons with me, besides being able to make an honest living. I came to this country to please my wife who had relatives living here, but as the Lord thought fit to call her to another and a better world, I feel there is no further necessity for me to stay here. Hence my wish to get back, that I may live and die under the good old flag, under which I and my father was born and reared. My father was an old soldier also, and drew a pension for many years up to the time of his death. I have my discharge documents to prove my identity and there is hundreds of persons in Canada who can prove my assertions. I have been encouraged to write to you sir, for information on the subject; from the fact of knowing that you'r always willing to help the porr man,and I trust sir, that you will take this as my excuse for presuming to write to you.

                            The                                                                       I Remain Sir
                            Honorable                                                            Your Most Humble
                            Alexander Mackenzie                                           & Obedient Servant
                            Premier of Canada                                                Thomas Coogan
                            Sarnia                                                                   31 Park Avenue

The letter has thus far proven to be creditable in its entirety: Thomas did return to Canada - where and under what conditions is being researched.

Another breakthrough came on January 26, 2000:

Subj: Coogan-Armstrong marriage record
Date: 01/26/2000 9:40:44 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: (Bonnie Bridge)

Dear Clarence:

Have had no luck so far in finding Thomas R. in Manitoba. However, I found a marriage in the LDS records this week:
Thos. Coogan, age 32, residence Niagara (Canada), born in Canada, parents Robert Coogan and May (or Mary) Casey (looks like Casey, handwriting difficult to read), married M. J. Armstrong, age 26, residence Niagara, born in Ireland, parents Thos. Armstrong and Jane (?) Bell (?). Witness looks to be George Fleckman or Heckman. The marriage took place April 30, 1863, conducted by Rev. Charles Campbell.

A few entries later, it appears Thos. Coogan was witness for the marriage of the above George Fleckman (Heckman?), age 22, residence Niagara, born England, parents George Fleckman? Heckman? The bride was E. Elliott, age 18, residence Niagara, born Canada, parents James Elliott and Eliz. McGlandlin(?). Witness Thos. Coogan, residence Niagara. Marriage May 1, 1863.

This is on LDS microfilm 1003060 (that's the # on the film here at the Winnipeg LDS, but I don't know if the same # would be on the film at other LDS centres) and is from Vol. 33, Lincoln County, Ontario, Marriage registers 1858-1869.

The index to the 1871 census for Ontario shows a Thos. Armstrong (Mary Jane Armstrong's father?) in the Niagara area, and also a Rev. Charles Campbell. We have microfilm of this Ontario census here in Winnipeg, so I will look these up and see if I can find any sign of Thos. Coogan being in Ontario in 1871.

Regards, Bonnie



The numbers associated with the names i.e. 1-1-1-1-1-1 represents generations.

1-2-1-1-1-1, the number 2 represents the second child of that generation.


b.  date of birth     pb.  Place of birth     d.  Date of death      rp.  Burial place     bb.  Same grave site

m.  Date of marriage     fm.  First marrage     sm.  Second marrage

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