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BRIEF HISTORY OF THOMAS COOPER


Born in Gibraltar about 1779. Later was educated in Ireland, the birthplace of his father. He was studying for the priesthood, but before completion, fell in love with Ann Altomus and decided to give up his studies and get married. Annís mother was dead and she lived with her Uncle Owen Eustace, whose home was in Wexford, he was a wealthy landowner. Ann was a protestant and as there were strong feelings between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, he was opposed to her marriage to Thomas Cooper. He was much older than she. Thomas left Ireland stopping in Newfoundland where he became a shipbuilder, and later Ann joined him, though it was necessary for her to run away from home. Later they moved to Halifax where a son was born named Thomas, who died in infancy. They then decided to move to Wine Harbour, where he built a log house and a sailing vessel and started clearing the land. Four sons were born (Thomas, Robert, John and Paul) and five daughters (Ellen, Elizabeth, Ann, Mary and unknown). In 1867 gold was discovered in Wine Harbour, soon he built a frame house and a chapel was built on his land, but it was blown down in the 1873 August gale. Later a smaller one was built which still stands. Ellen, the oldest daughter was married to Matthew McGrath, who descended from Matthew Taylor who came from Londonderry, Ireland in 1722. He married Agnes Archibald in 1756. Ellen Ritchie, a granddaughter of Ellen McGrath has a cross and a chain that belonged to Ann Altomus.

Written by Francis Kelley Oct. 6 1972

(This info provided by his father-in-law Thomas Cooper b. 1864 d. 1946)


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