Sometime ago Ancestry absorbed Rootsweb. They took down the Rootsweb sites for several years and then reposted them. Recentley they announced that, while they will remain up, in early 2024 we will lose the ability to edit them or post new material.
Bruce Paul Coyne, 7 March 2023


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All updates after 1 September 2023 will be installed there.

Bruce Paul Coyne

About this site

This site is dedicated to the family history of John Cohen and Ellen Craig and was created by Bruce Paul Coyne. John and Ellen were born in Ireland around 1850 and met when their families moved to Yorkshire. They married in 1879 and John died in 1903. In 1906 their eldest child, Frank Cohen, emigrated to Clark Mills, NY. Ellen took her daughter and seven remaining sons to join him in 1907. Thomas, my grandfather, returned to England in 1909 and fought in the Great War, returning to the U.S. in 1920. We are very fortunate that his military records exist and are available on We also have WW 1 rememberances by Austin and Lawrence. A video exists of Ellen in the United States with some of her children and grandchildren. This is a DVD, based on film taken by Bernard Coyne, Rochester, NY, around 1930. It is narrated by Allie Coyne Silsby, John Lawrence Coyne and myself. Copies are available from me.

By the end of the Great War, everyone used Coyne instead of Cohen. Ellen's obituary had her as Coyne but she has Cohen on her stone. Probably in deference to her husband whose name is on the stone although he is buried in England. St. Mary's cemetery has no date of purchase for the plot but had a note that is was purchased prior to 1917 probably by Ellen when Annie died in 1912. The first official use I have found so far is the wedding of Frank Coyne and Lena Overend with Leo Coyne as witness on 18 January 1911.

Bruce Paul Coyne

Great War-

This section contains letters that appeared in Utica newspapers during the first world war. Most were by the Cohen/Coyne men to their mother but some are from other families. I tried to show how the war affected the English immigrants in Clark Mills and the sacrifices they were willing to make for the old country.

It also contains the remembrances of Austin and Lawrence Coyne. These were written several years after the war and are a record of their service.

Why Coyne-

A section that attempts to give an explanation for the name change from Cohen to Coyne and to establish a time frame. This is based on family lore and newspaper articles. I include this section so other researchers will not be confused by Cohen on one side of the Atlantic and Coyne on the other.


Several photos of of people in and around Clark Mills.

Family Events

These are the obituaries, wedding announcements and news items that served as sources in my tree. They are grouped by family but also include in-laws of that family.

Family Tree-

In researching the Coyne family I have found many records of in laws. These are included in the Coyne2010 family tree file. Over 2300 people, 750 marraiges, 650 surnames and 330 sources are on the tree. Much of this information, and other help has been received from my cousins Jean Coyne, Kathy Thompson, Barb Lazette, Mary Ann Wijtman and Angela Miller. Elizabeth Ann Calkins Barron, my aunt, contributed her Calkins tree and much of the Barron information.