The "Lost "Coyan family from Montana

"Descendants of John and Margaret McKinnon Coyan"

In 1998, Joy Coyan shared with me a letter that she received in 1993 from (Rev.) George T. Coyan who resided in Minneapolis at the time. George Coyan has since passed away, in September, 1995. In that letter, George talked about his Coyan heritage, as best he knew. He spoke of his grandfather, John M. Coyan (1859-1915), as having come from Kansas. That was as much as he knew of his ancestry.

Obviously, with the rare surname COYAN, Joy and I had strong suspicions that this branch of folks was blood related to me, but neither of us could quite put the "pieces" of the puzzle together to prove it. With quite a number of descendants of John M. Coyan and his wife, Ida Hefferlin Coyan, surviving today, I felt it important to try to solve this "mystery". My first clue was the 1900 Montana census, where I found John, wife Ida, son Henry (age 13), daughter Lois (age 5) and son Paul (age 2) residing in the city of Livingston. In that census, John Coyan stated his place of birth as ILLINOIS in 1859. This didn't appear to be of much help, since I knew of NO Coyan relatives who were residing in that state at ANY time in the mid/late 1800's.

What did appear to be very relevant though, was the fact that John stated the place of birth of his parents as Ohio. At last a clue. I quickly eliminated my southern Ohio branch of Coyan's as a possible direct "connection", and so my focus turned to John Coyan (1784-1854) of Carroll county, Ohio, as the possible grandfather of John M. Coyan. As you can see on that page, John Coyan had several sons but none of them seemed likely "candidates" to be the father of John M. Coyan based on what was known.

As it turns out, in the last few months I have been gathering information on Addison Coyan (one of the sons of Carroll county John Coyan) because of a land deed record I had found for him in Bates county, Missouri in 1860. Why would Bates county interest me? Because it adjoins Bourbon county, Kansas - which just happens to be where my 3rd great-grandparents, William and Elizabeth Coyan settled in 1879! It is my belief that it was Addison Coyan - a first cousin to my William - who had a hand in my 3rd great-grandparents's decision to leave Iowa and settle in Kansas. But I digress...

On October 13, 2000, I received a packet of information from the Bates county genealogical society. To my amazement, the 1860 Bates county census for Addison and Mary (Hoge) Coyan showed 2 children: a daughter named Minerva (age 10) - born in Ohio and a son, JOHN (age 3 months!) - born in ILLINOIS!!

So, for those Coyan's out there who are descended from John M. Coyan and Ida Hefferlin Coyan via sons, Henry or Paul, or daughter Lois Coyan Bowers Smith, WELCOME - "officially" - to the family! And Joy, thank YOU for sharing that letter with me!