December 7, 2004

Coffee/y - Mills Connection

Recent DNA testing has shown that my own Coffee heritage is somewhat suspect.

A DNA project by Coffey Cousins' Clearinghouse has tested about a dozen or more volunteers who can trace their ancestry back to Edward and Ann Powell Coffey, as well as to Peter. These tests have shown that Edward and Peter are related, but their common ancestor has not yet been determined.

My own test shows that I am not related to any of the Coffee/y lines thus far tested. The numbers do show however, that I am related to a Mills line that had at least one male who married into the Ambrose Coffey/Mildred Moore family.

Ambrose* and Millie had at least 12 children. Their first child, a daughter by the name of Alice "Alley" Coffey was born about 1788 in Burke Co., NC, and married John Mills on Mar. 19, 1804 in Wilkes Co., NC..

John was the son of William Mills and Sarah Ellis. William was born about 1741 in Virginia, and Sarah was born about 1742, also in Virginia.

William and Sarah had at least 8 children: Isham, born about 161, died 1832; Henry Hardy, born about 1763, diec 1841; Elizabeth, born about 1765; Mary Judah "Polly", born about 1767, died 1832; Martha "Patty", born about 1767, died 1834; Nancy, born about 1770; William II, born about 1780, and John, who married Alley. John was born 1788 and died sometime before 1850.

John and Alley appeared in every Pulaski Co., KY census from 1810 until 1840. In 1850 Alley was enumerated as a widow in the Hancock Co., TN census.

Alley and John had at least seven children: William, Hiram, Elizabeth, America, John, Perry Commodore, and Thomas. All of these children were born between about 1805 and 1828, and all were probably born in Tennessee.

Of course, my Mills DNA could come from any of the descendants of William Mills and his wife Sarah Ellis. But, it is their son John that married into the Coffey family, and likely that family is the one that somehow came to adopt a child - formally or informally - by the name of Lilburn Mills and to whom they renamed Lilburn Coffee.

*After Millie's death, Ambrose married twice more. His second wife was Elizabeth Rice who he married in about 1807. She apparently died sometime after 1817, and Ambrose married Polly Garner, to whom he was married at the time of his death in 1818. Polly later married a John Mills.

[corrected and amended 9/26/05]

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