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CORISTINE, James, 1837-1908, Irish-born Montreal Fur Merchant 

James Coristine, Irish-born Montreal Fur Merchant

Male 1837 - 1908
While James Coristine is not to be found in the six trees represented on the Six Trees § One Family site, we are pleased to assist a good neighbour's site by serving as host to several documents and links related to his history.

 Looking for More Coristine Family History?

This Six Trees § One Family site only hosts a few Coristine documents that couldn't quite "fit" onto other sites with much more information on Coristine Family History. If you're looking for more in-depth information, want to share information, stories or photos, or want to make a personal contact, there are two other sites you should be aware of:

  • The Coristine & Bate Family History site on Tribal Pages (Cynthia Coristine) has extensive information on the Coristine family of Montreal and the Bate family of Ottawa, including hundreds of photographs and document images.
  • And then, there's Coristine's Weblog (Pamela Coristine), which includes all manner of musings on the family, including a great deal if discussion of its Irish origins.

If you're only just starting to trace your roots, be aware that many "Coristine" ancestors left Ireland for new homes across the sea even before the Great Famine and that even before then, surname spellings differed from county to county. So, whether you're surname is McOrriston, Currestagne, Carston, Curreston or some other variant, you might still be related - and your input could relp to piece together the early years.

This site originally hosted an 81-page e-book of James Coristine's life (C. Coristine, 2008); however so many comments and new pieces of information were received in response to it that it was substantially expanded and published in 2009 as The Life of JAMES CORISTINE: From Griffintown to the Square Mile. The cover images (design by Dave O'Malley) are reproduced below; publication details and contents are summarized on the Open Library website.

book cover front book cover back

 Documents Available on This Site

 Obituary of James Coristine

Sudden Death of Mr. James Coristine

By the death of Mr. James Coristine Saturday morning, Montreal loses one of its best known business men. Last April Mr. Coristine was stricken with paralysis, but recovered sufficiently to resume his attention to business, and his death was due to a paralytic stroke. When one of the members of his family went to his room to call him on Saturday morning, he was found seemingly unconscious on the bed. A physician was summoned who stated that death had occurred some little time previously. Two weeks ago, he had left for a short holiday, but had been recalled to the city by the illness of his son, Mr. Stanley Coristine, who underwent an operation for appendicitis.

Mr. Coristine was the senior member of the well known importing and manufacturing house of James Coristine and was born in Ireland 72 [sic] years ago, coming to Canada as a young boy. At the age of 14 he entered the employ of a firm of furriers, gradually working his way until he became the head, and then turned it into the firm known for many years as James Coristine and Co., now one of the largest concerns of its kind in Canada.

In the big fire in the Board of Trade in January, 1901, Mr. Coristine was burned out, and shortly after the building known as the Coristine Building, was erected. Mr. Coristine was one of the oldest members of the Board of Trade and a life governor of the General Hospital and the Western Hospital. Of the latter institution, he was one of the founders, and for many years president. Mrs. Coristine died about 18 months ago. Mr. Coristine leaves four sons, and two daughters, Messrs. William, Stanley, Alwyn and Charles Coristine, Miss Beatrice Coristine and Mrs. Howard Church. Mr. Charles Coristine, a brother, and Miss [Ann Jane] Coristine, also survive. The funeral will be held this afternoon at 2:30 to Christ Church Cathedral.

Montreal Daily Star, Sept. 7, 1908 (see image below)

James CORISTINE, Obituary, Montreal Daily Star 7 Sep 1908
The Coristine Building, as illlustrated in The Book of Montreal (1903, Chambers, EJ)
The Coristine Building, as illlustrated in The Book of Montreal (1903, Chambers, EJ)