February 28, 2005

An Interesting Exchange

Within the last few days I had a slightly heated e-mail exchange with someone upset with me for not having all of their ancestors in the Edward and Ann Powell file on the Coffey Cousins' website. It seems that I had failed to make an internet search for, and had not used certain Bible records that are alleged to be on the internet pertaining to this person's family. The writer was also quite surprised to find that there were errors in some of the family information presented on my webpage.

I recalled, after some thought on the matter, that this same person had confronted me in a public forum some time ago about certain thoughts and ideas that I have concerning the John Coffey-Mary Joliffe (variously spelled) myth. This person attempted to dispel the myth of that couple being the parents of Edward Coffey, but failed to respond to my offer to publish any detailed research they might have completed to prove the opposite.

Not only was this person rudely confrontational, but to my knowledge has never presented any family data to the newsletter or to the website for others to share or critique. This person did claim to have been offended because Coffey Cousins' had failed to provide a source for some certain information, and had to search for the information elsewhere.

In this person's mind my credibility has somehow been affected by these failures!

For the record:

I do genealogy as a hobby.

All of the information presented on my website comes from others! I do not personally research each and every "fact" that someone else claims to have researched when they send the data to me. That's why users should only use the information as possible clues to further their own research. I think this is what a "clearinghouse" does; it collects and disseminates information. It's up to the user to prove the value of the information!

I try and help anyone asking for help.

I do not ask for money for my help.

If you need to complain about something I've done, or haven't done: Be nice! I respond better.

If you don't participate in the exchange of information on the website, don't complain to me about your family not being included!

February 27, 2005

A Few Coffee/y Deaths

From my "miscellaneous information" file:

1728 - Timothy Coffey, died Apr. 1, 1728 Spotsylvania Co., VA, from Spotsylvania County Records 1721-1800, Crozier, William Armstrong, Baltimore: Southern Book Co., 1955, page 5. Probate on Jun. 6, 1738, wit: John Holloday, Anthony Golston, James Rawlings; Executor Adam Gordon. Entire estate to friend Adam Gordon

1775 - Frederick Coffee, died MA Apr. 6, 1775, New England Historic Gen. Soc. "Massachusetts Town Vital Records", partial compilation

1789 - John Coffee, Feb. 13, 1789, Offaly Co., Tullamore Twp., Ireland. Shot in Killeigh, Co. Offaly. The Parish Registers of Killeigh Diocese of Kildare, King's County (Offaly): Baptisms 1808-1823; Marriages 1808-1832, and Deaths 1808-1835, 27 pages.

1798 - Maria Coffee, Dublin Co., St. Bride Twp., IR; Marriage Entries from the Registers of the Parishes of St. Andrew, St. Anne, St. Audoes, and St. Bride (Dublin), 1632-1800. Exeter and London: William Pollard & Co., 1913, 185 pages.

1799 - Isaac Coffee, found dead 25 July 1799 on Beaver Creek about 8 miles from Knoxville, listed as presumed victim of Micajah ("Big") and brother Wiley ("Little") Harp. Lewis Collins, History of Kentucky, 1882, Vol. II, pp345-352; Kentucky Gazette, 15 Aug. and 5 Sep. 1799; Winchester Gazette, 12 May and 21 Aug. 1799; Virginia Federalist, Oct. 16, 1799

1809 - John Cofffey, buried 25 Mar. 1809, Galway Co., Athenry, IR; The Parish Registers of Athenry, Diocese of Tuam; Baptisms, Marriages, Death and Burials, 1795-1828, 17 pages.

1810 - Jerusha Coffey, daughter of Rice and Sarah Coffey, died March 10, 1810, Bell Buckle, Bradford Co., TN; buried Old Salem Cemetery; Tennessee Cemeteries, by Marsh.

February 18, 2005

Children of John Trousdale Coffee

Charles Franklin Coffee was the eldest son of John Trousdale and Harriet Weir Coffee. He was born in Dade County, Missouri of March 22, 1847, and died in December, 1935 in Chadron, Dawes County, Nebraska. He was 88 years old.

Charles was a veteran of the Civil War, and trailed cattle from Texas to Wyoming while working for the Snyder Brothers and their Coldwater Cattle Company. I do not know when or where he married Virginia Ashland Toney, but based on the birthdates of their first child, I can estimate the year to be 1880-81, and the place to have been Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming.

According to information found at www.nebraskahistory.org Charles Coffee was the founder of a large pioneer ranch headquartered on Hat Creek in Nebraska, and Rawhide Creek in Wyoming. Charles wanted to send dressed meat to Chicago so he and others arranged to have the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad (that became the Chicago and North Western) siding built near his ranch on Hat Creek. The siding, called Coffee Siding is said to have been over 1000 feet in length with seven cattle pens.

Children of Charles Franklin Coffee and Virginia Ashland Toney were:

John Toney Coffee, born June 23, 1882 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and died 1959 in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. He married Martha Sagert in 1910. John was a rancher and banker. In 1935 he was president of Sioux National Bank of Harrison, and held interests in several Wyoming ranches where he bred Hereford cattle. Unfortunately, I do not yet have a list of his children.

Blanche McLain Coffee, born March, 1884 in Wyoming, died unmarried in 1929.

Charles Franklin Coffee, Jr., was born October, 1887 in Wyoming. He married Catherine Morgan Richtly on October 9, 1912 in Chadron, Dawes County, Nebraska. I only know of one child, Charles Franklin Coffee III, born about 1914 in Dawes County.

The second child of John Trousdale and Harriet was Marietta. I have no information other than she married Hi Webb.

Third born was Arthur B. Coffee, born February, 1850, died 1880. I have found no other information.

Fourth was Samuel Buffington Coffee, born March, 1856. Samuel married May Elizabeth Tisdale (no dates). Together they had four children: Harry Buffington, born March 16, 1890, died 1972; Rexford T. Coffee, born February, 1892; Guy Hyman (Chick) Coffee, born Dec. 7, 1893; and Edna Coffee, born December, 1896.

Harry Buffington Coffee served in the US Army during World War 1, and from 1935-1943 was a US Representative from Nebraska's Northeast 5th Congressional District. He was also in real estate, and organized the Coffee Cattle Co., Inc. in 1915. Readers needing more information on Harry can find a short biography on the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website:


Guy "Chick" Coffee was a Vice President and general manager of the Coffee Cattle Company and recognized as a specialist in registered Hereford cattle. He married Ila Florence Conn on October 12, 1915 at Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Fifth was William F. Coffee, born about 1857, and died in 1944. No other information.

The last child was Lula Coffee, born about 1861. All I know of Lula is that she married Lum Bradford.

Some of the Coffee homes in Chadron can be found at:


Please contact me at jkcoffee@yahoo.com if you find factual errors, or can add to the information presented here.

February 17, 2005

Col. John Trousdale Coffee

According to Memorandum of Field Officers in the Confederate States Service; Bethesda, Md: University Publications of America, 1900, John Trousdale Coffee was not a General, contrary to some reports, but was a Colonel in the 6th Missouri Cavalry.

John Trousdale Coffee was born December 14, 1816 to Rev. Joshua M. and Jane "Jinny" Trousdale Coffee. Joshua, (whose middle name may have been McAllister after his mother's maiden name (also questionable)) was a grandson of Peter Coffee through Peter's son William.

John was married at least four times, first to Eliza Stone in 1841. Eliza died in 1842 at age 17 years and was buried in Cleveland, Tennessee. In 1842 he moved to Missouri where he met and married Catherine G. Hunt on December 12, 1843. They had one child, Catherine, born Oct. 7, 1844. I do not know when wife Catherine died, but others have reported it "before 1850." She probably died at Catherine's birth, but I don't know for sure. Catherine the daughter is found in the 1850 Polk Co., Missouri census in the household with Rhoda Hunt, age 60, and other Hunt children. It is not clear to me how Rhoda was related to wife Catherine.

After Catherine died, John T. married a third time. He married Harriet Weir on September 14, 1845, this date adding more evidence that second wife Catherine died at or shortly after childbirth. His marriage to Harriet produced six children: Charles Franklin, born March 22, 1847, died December, 1935; Marietta, no dates; Arthur B., born February 1850, died 1880; Samuel Buffington, born about 1855; William F., born about 1857, died 1944; and Lula, born about 1861.

Again, we are without a date for the death of Harriet, but it must have been sometime shortly after Lula's birth, for John T. married for the fourth time on October 26, 1865. This marriage was to Mrs. Eunice Allen Vontress. I do not know where the marriage took place, but probably in Williamson Co., Texas for that is where their first child, John T., Jr. was born on September 15, 1866. Other children born to this union were: Ella Josephine, born November 3, 1868, died January 22, 1950; Florence, no dates; Tommy (spelled Tommye in some records), born August 1, 1871, died March 16, 1963; and James, born 1877, died April 12, 1952.

Some of John's sons and grandsons became wealthy cattlemen, and bankers in Nebraska. Son Charles was one who did very well. He was a veteran of the Civil War at age 18, and later trailed cattle from Texas to Wyoming while working for the Snyder Brothers. He eventually pioneered on the Wyoming-Nebraska frontier. He was elected to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1966.

More on the children of John T. at a later date.

In the meantime please let me know if any factual errors have been made here. Write to me at jkcoffee@yahoo.com.

Recommendations for additional information about John Trousdale Coffee:

Hulston, John K. A Look at Dade County, Missouri 1905-1985. Greenfield, MO:
Citizens Home Bank, 1985.

Hulston, John K. and James W. Goodrich. Colonel John Trousdale Coffee: Lawyer, Politician, Confederate. Missouri Historical Review 77 (April 1983 ): 272-295. Illus.

February 14, 2005

Edward and Ann Powell Coffey Webpage

The webpage for this family was updated today, Feb. 14, 2005.

I continue to search for additions and corrections to this file, hoping to create an accurate as possible descendants list. There are obvious errors in the latest posting, but the files mostly represent what is currently known (or speculated) to be the most accurate information available.

To list a few problems found in this latest update:

Nieces married to uncles
People married before they were of legal age
Children with birthdates after their mothers died

Help from researchers who can repair any error is solicited.

Researchers are also asked not to merely copy and paste the information into their own files without verifying the data. The object of this project is to CORRECT information, not to PROPOGATE it. If users cut and paste information known or suspected to be in error they are working against the project and do themselves no service. There is already too much bad information about this family on the web, and we should not be guilty of adding more!

Click on the above title to visit the webpage.

February 9, 2005

John Reid and Mary Ann Cross Coffey

John Reid Coffey was a son of Rice and Sarah Bradford Coffey. He was born March 27, 1814 in Wartrace, Bedford Co., TN, and died March 21, 1896 in (probably) Jackson Co., AL. His wife Mary Ann Cross was born Dec. 29, 1831, and died Sep. 6, 1887. They were married Aug. 21, 1849.

The Coffey Cousins' website contains at least two researcher submitted papers on John Reid and Mary Ann. Now, through the courtesy of Pamela Howell we have photographs of John and Mary.

The photographs can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/4lzld          [link no longer valid in 2014]

The photographs remain the property of Tammy Howell and should not be used in any other website, forum or service where a fee is charged to access them. Her permission should be asked for prior to using them on any other otherwise "free" website.

Update July 25, 2014

Gen, John Reid Coffey
COFFEY, JOHN R, of Fackler, Jackson County, son of Rice and Sallie (Bradford) Coffey, was born at Wartrace, Bedford County, Tenn., March 27, 1814.

Rice Coffey* was born in Pennsylvania [sic] [Amherst Co., VA] in 1766. When a young man he removed to North Carolina and became a gunsmith. He married and again removed to Tennessee about 1801, and settled on a farm of a thousand acres of land which he bought of General Jackson, and on which his son, John R. Coffey, was born. He died in 1853, and his wife in 1840. He was a son of James Coffey, of early times, who raised a large family, all of the older sons of whom served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The Coffey family are Baptists.

John R. Coffey spent his early days on a farm attending the common old-field schools. When he was thirteen years of age he went to a high school at Shelbyville, Tenn., and remained there twelve months. After this, he came to Bellefonte without an acquaintance in the county or a dollar in his pocket, and became a clerk in a store. At the age of twenty-two, he established a mercantile business of his own in that village, and continued it until 1846. In 1840, he was elected Sheriff of Jackson County. At the breaking out of the Mexican War, he enlisted in the army in a company commanded by Capt. Richard W. Jones. He afterwards acted as lieutenant, lieutenant-colonel, and major-general in the militia; went to Mobile and organized the First Alabama Regiment and was elected its colonel, and as such, participated in the siege of Vera Cruz. After the war with Mexico, he became a general of the militia.  He had now returned to his farm and devoted his attention to its cultivation until 1853, when he moved to Stevenson and engaged in the mercantile business, which he prosecuted with considerable success until the beginning of the late war, when he again closed his store and returned to his farm of 4,000 acres, on the banks of the Tennessee River.

In 1861 he was elected a delegate to the convention which passed the ordinance of secession. He was bitterly opposed to that ordinance, but, being overpowered, he submitted with the best possible grace, and thereafter gave moral and substantial support to the Confederacy. (General Coffey's grandmother was a sister to Col. Ben, Cleveland, who commanded a regiment at the battle of King's Mountain.)

Mary Ann Cross Coffey
General Coffey was married January 21, 1849, to Miss Mary Ann Cross, daughter of Col. Chas. and  Eliza (Clark) Cross, of Jackson County. They were natives of North Carolina and came to Alabama about 1826. He was a soldier in the Indian wars, and was drowned in the Tennessee River about 1848. (His wife's great-grandfather, Col.Wm. Maclin, and her grandfather, Robert Clark, were in the Revolutiouary War; the latter was wounded in battle at Eutaw Springs, from which he died. Her grandfather, Maclin Cross, was in the battle at Nick-a-Jack, Indian Nation.)

General Coffey is the father of six children, of whom four grew to maturity, namely: Eliza, wife of Wm. J. Tally; Sallie B., wife of C. W. Brown, chief clerk in the office of the State Superintendent of Education; John B. and Clark Maclin. General Coffey's wife died September 6, 1887. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Masonic order. General Coffey is a man of commanding presence, being over six feet in height and having apparently the vim and energy of a youth. He is one of the best known men of the State and one of the most influential men in Northeastern Alabama.

[Both the General and Mary Ann are buried at the Cross Cemetery just a bit north of Scottsboro in Jackson Co., AL]

Source for this biography: Smith & De Land, Editors/Publishers, Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical (N.p.: n.p., Alabama, 1888), Transcribed by Veneta McKinney at http://genealogytrails.com/ala/jackson/.  Other sources for information on the General and his family are:  TN, Davidson Co., Coffey Collection, file: "Biography of John R. Coffey," Coffey Family 324, Bio, John R. Coffey, 26 December 1894; Coffey Family History, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN and, Thomas McAdory Owen LL.D., Compiler, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, 4 Volumes (Chicago, IL: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921), Vol. III, Page 368.

Shelbyville, Tenn*
November 15, 1844

Dear Jefferson:**

I received your letter of the 16th of September and have read it with entertaining interest. Indeed, it is always a source of gratification to me to hear that my friends are doing well.

You request some information respecting the history of our ancestors. I have no written biography of the Coffee family and therefore can only relate to you such facts as have come within my own recollection and such as have reached me by tradition.

I remember to have seen my paternal grandfather. His name was John Coffee, and he was raised in one of the lower counties of Virginia and died in Albemarle. My grandmother's maiden name was Jane Graves, and my father's name was James Coffee.  He also was raised in the lower part of Essex and from thence to Albemarle, where your father Ambrose Coffee was born in the year 1762. From this county my father (James) removed to Amherst and here his children grew up to manhood. My mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Cleveland. My maternal grandfathers's name was Alexander Cleveland. He was a descendant of the English and was an own cousin of Oliver Cromwell, a gentleman who figured conspicuously in the sixteenth century. He was raised in Virginia and born in the year 1663 and died in 1775, at the age of 112 years.

My father was born in 1729 and died in 1786. His children were nine sons and two daughters. My brothers'names were John, Archelaus, James, Reuben, Ambrose, Eli, Joel and Lewis Coffee. They are all dead save Eli and Lewis, the first of whom resides in Missouri and the other in Kentucky.

I became acquainted with your maternal grandfather Jesse Moore about the close of the revolutionary war. He then lived in Burke County, N.C., where you were born. He was born in Virginia, and many of his descendants now live in Kentucky.

I am still living at the same place you last saw me, but cannot expect, in the course of nature to remain much longer.  I am now in my 80th year.

May God bless you.

Rice Coffee

* From Tennessee Library and Archives:

**Jefferson was Thomas Jefferson Coffey, born 1805, Burke Co., NC, died 1858 in Brazoria Co., TX.  He was the son of Ambrose and Mildred Moore Coffey, both of whom died in Pulaski Co., KY in early 1800s.

February 7, 2005

Some Amherst Co., Virginia Marriages

These are Amherst Co., VA marriage records from my collection of miscellaneous Coffee/y data:
  • Amelia Coffey to John Campbell, Feb. 22, 1793
  • Arther Coffey to Virginia Davis, Jan. 31, 1884
  • Avarilla Coffey to William W. Davis, Sep. 14, 1865
  • Betsey Coffey to John (James?) Bridge, Sep. 15 (17?), 1795
  • Billy Coffey to Sarah Crawford, Sep. 24, 1835
  • Charles B. Coffey to Tehodora Everett, Jul. 12, 1837
  • Charles Coffey to Sarah Jane Ogden, Feb. 14, 1854
  • Daniel Coffey to Mildred J. Lawman, Apr. 6, 1868
  • Daniel Coffey to Sally Cole Black, Aug. 30, 1880
  • Edmund Coffey to Tildy Fitzgerald, Jan. 3, 1798
  • Edmund Coffey to Elizabeth Burger, Apr. 3, 1802
  • Edward Coffey to Willie Ann Crawford, Nov. 25, 1875
  • Eleanor Coffey to Jesse Shasteen, Nov. 21, 1785
  • Elizabeth Coffee to John Jones, Nov. 30, 1792
  • Elizabeth Coffey to John Hamilton, May 5, 1835
  • Elizabeth Coffey to John P. Hambleton, May 5, 1835
  • Frederick Coffey to Catherine H. Ogden, Mar. 10, 1856
  • George Coffey to Sarah Frances Coffey, May 7, 1878
  • Harden Coffey to Elizabeth Crawford, Jul. 17, 1867
  • Henry Coffey to Elizabeth Ogden, Mar. 10 (7?), 1848
  • Hudson Coffey to Mahala Green Lane, Sep. 20, 1855
  • James Coffey to Sophia Coffey, Jan. 7, 1861
  • Jane Coffey to Meredith Allen, Apr. 21, 1834
  • Jemimah T. Coffey to James Giles, Dec. 19, 1797
  • John Coffey to Elizabeth Duff, Jan. 18, 1830
  • John J. Coffey to Patara F. Tyler, Dec. 10, 1860
  • Jordon Coffey to Elizabeth Rippetoe, Mar. 21, 1803
  • Katherine Coffey to Washington Coffey, 1856
  • Mable Irene Coffey to Emmet Boyd Humphreys, Apr. 4, 1903
  • Madison Coffey to Martha M. Henson, Mar. 18, 1861
  • Martha Coffey to George McWhorter Portman, Apr. 11, 1803
  • Mary (Molly) M. Coffey to William A. Chockley (sic) (Shockley?), Dec. 27, 1877
  • Matthew Coffee to Nancy Adams, Jul. 29, 1823
  • Milley Coffee to John Campbell, Feb. 22, 1793
  • Nelson Coffey to Rebecca Hamilton, Feb. 5, 1833
  • Osborn Coffey to Mary Nightengale, Feb. 15, 1783
  • Reuben Coffey to Nancy Giles, Sep. 5, 1801
  • Schylar Coffey to Elizabeth Hamilton, Jan. 30, 1832
  • Scyler Coffey to Isabella J. Drumhelb , Mar. 5, 1868
  • Skiler Coffey to Elizabeth Hambleton, Jan. 30, 1832
  • Susanna Coffey to John D. Crawford, Jr., Sep. 9, 1835
  • William Coffey, Jr. to Polly Rippetoe, Nov. 2, 1790
  • William Coffey to Betsey Giles, Apr. 18, 1800
  • William Coffey to Sarah Ann Crawford, Sep. 24, 1835
  • William Henry Coffey to Virginia F. Lawman, Apr. 6, 1868
  • Willis Coffey to Roxsinna B. Davis, Aug. 12, 1894

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