January 27, 2005

Eli and Mary "Polly" Coffey

Eli, born May 8, 1775 and died July 18, 1833, was the son of Salathiel and Elizabeth (last name unknown) Coffey. He married Mary "Polly" Coffey March 22, 1801 in Green Co., KY. The marriage record indicates that Polly was over the age of 21. The family moved to Sangamon, then to Shelby and finally to Christian Co., IL.

According to the 1961 book Descendants of Salathial Coffey by W. T. "Bill" and Pearl Dungan, reprinted 1991 at Oklahoma City by Gene Brewington, information about Eli and his family was found in a DAR library, and "...listed simply as: Coffey Bible Record - North Carolina.""

That record listed 11 children: Mariah born Jan. 17, 1803; Willis, born May 2, 1804; Elizabeth, born Aug. 14, 1807, died Jan. 21, 1891; Nancy, born Oct. 14, 1809; Salathiel, born Apr. 20, 1812, died May 29, 1892; Serene, born Aug. 9, 1814; Nathaniel J., born Jan. 30, 1817; Stanton P., born Dec. 5, 1819; William S., born July. 10, 1821; Newton Eli, born May 2, 1827, died Jan. 13, 1890; and Mary Ann, born Feb. 10, 1830. Reuben,, born about 1830 and thought to be a child of Eli was not mentioned in the above reference.

While researching census records for this family I found in the 1850 Russell Co., KY census (Dist. 1, Sheet 224, dwelling/family 182) an entry for Polly Coffey, age 66, Polly Ann, age 22, and Reuben, age 20, all in the same household. I believe this to be the widow and two of the children of Eli who as already stated died in 1833. Polly was a popular "nickname" for Mary. The calculated birth years from the ages given in the census record perfectly fit in with those of the other children found in the cited Bible record.

Another Coffey family that I have been looking at is that of Fielding Coffey son of Nebuzaraden and Elizabeth Hayes Coffey, and his wife, Celia. Celia is thought to be the daughter of Joel Coffey and his wife Jane, last name unknown.

Fielding and Celia had at least nine children: Thomas, Mahala, Elizabeth, Sealy (Celia?), Louis, Fielding, Ike, Martha, and Alice.

The same census cited above, and at dwelling/family number 179 lists the family of James Rippetoe, age 61, wife Patsy, age 49, Emetine , age 18, and Fielding Coffey, age 37.

I believe that Fielding and Patsy are siblings, children of Fielding and Celia. Patsy was a popular "nickname" for Martha.

A third Coffey family on this census page and at dwelling/family 184 is that of Jane Coffey, Sr., age 76, female, born North Carolina, and daughter (probably) Jane, Jr., age 35, born KY.

I believe the elder Jane to be the widow of Joel (son of Nebuzaradon), and Jane, Jr. to be her daughter. I have been unable so far to find a complete and accurate listing of Joel and Jane's children, so I list her in their genealogy as "probable."

These families are in the Chesley and Elizabeth Cleveland Coffey line. Additional thoughts and theories concerning Chesley can be found in the work by Tim Peterman, His work can be found at the Coffey Cousins' website. A direct link to this paper is:


Please contact me if you, or someone you know is researching these families.

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