May 31, 2005

John Trousdale Coffee

I have posted the file "Descendants of John Trousdale Coffee" at the above link (click on the title of this blog).

Please, if you are a researcher of this family, take a look and let me know about errors, corrections, or additions.

May 30, 2005

Coffee/Coffey in Hempstead Co., AR

From my personal files:

Thomas Coffee - 1835, Hempstead Co., AR List of Lands, 1868, p280, Section 10, TS13S, Range 25W and Section 11, TS13S, Range 25W

Lilburn Coffee - 1853, Hempstead Co., Marks, Brands, and Estrays, 1819-1959, Hempstead Co., Gen. Soc., (HCGS) 1991 (MB&E) - Principal on bond, Lilburn Coffee; Security, Martin Mouser; Appraisers, L. D. Lawrence, Martin Mouser, James Jones; JP, Eugene Block

John T. Coffee - 1854, Hempstead Co., MB&E - Principal on bond, John T. Coffee; Security, Joseph R. and Wm. Bennight; Appraisers, John Tyree, Wm. Bennight and Joseph Bennight; JP, James S. Jones

Jesse Coffee - 1854, Hempstead Co., married Polly Rogers Dec. 10, 1854 by James S. Jones, JP. Marriage Book A, page 222

Jesse Coffee - 1855, Hempstead Co., Original Purchasers of Land in Southwest Arkansas from 1826, Book 1, HCGS, 1990, Township 1, Range 23, page 17, tract book 3, roll 1302825

Lilburn Coffee - 1855, Hempstead Co., MB&E, Principal, Eliza Lawrence; Security, L.D. and A.B. Lawrence; Appraisers, John Taylor, Lilburn Coffee, George Mouser; JP, J. M. Phillips

Jessee Coffee - 1855 Hempstead Co., Arkansas List of Lands, 1868 Index, page 135, Section 31, Township 12S, Range 23W

Jesse Coffee - 1855 Hempstead Co., Jesse and wife to John T. Coffee, Dec. 8, 1855, Book M., page 345, NW of Sec. 31, TS 12S, R23W; Jesse Coffee and wife to Joseph B. Bennight, Dec. 8, 1855, Book M, page 346, Section 31, TS12S, R23W

John T. Coffee - 1856 Hempstead Co., MB&E, Principal, Joseph Bennight; Security, John T. Coffee; Appraisers, John T. Coffee, L. N. Kirk and Asbury Coffee; J.P., T. J. Purtell of Caruse Twp.

Lilburn Coffee - 1856 Hempstead Co., Original Purchasers of Land in Southwest Arkansas from 1826, (OPL) Book 1, page 186 by HCGS, 1990, tract book 3, roll 1302825

Lilburn Coffee - 1856 Hempstead Co., List of Lands, 1868, index, references to "see Hardin, Daniel." That reference names Abraham Hardin; p376, and pertains to Section 24, Township 9S, Range 27W, 1851 with further reference to Daniel Hardin (assign Coffee, Lilburn, p210, S16, TS13S, R24W in 1859 and (assg) Logan, John, same property.

Joel Coffee - 1856 Hempstead Co., OPL, TS12, R23W, page 18, tract book 3, roll 1302825

Franklin Tribble Coffee - 1860 Hempstead Co. marriage records, to Vitumna Jane Milson, 23 Sep. 1860

Hannah Coffee - 1860 Hempstead Co., Arkansas Mortality Schedule, age 38, female, married, born TN, died Mar. 1860 of Typhoid Fever (This was Hannah Taylor, wife of Lilburn Coffee)

Henry Wesley Coffee - 1867 Hempstead Co., marriage records, married Rosa Moss Dec. 26, 1867

Mary E. Coffee - 1869 Hempstead Co., marriage records, married Finis Ames, Sep. 5, 1869 (daughter of Lilburn Coffee)

James R. Coffee - 1889, Arkansas Gazette, Washington Telegraph, Aug. 16, 1889 edition relates story of "Jim" Coffee confined in county jail for murder of cousin Fred Coffee near Howard Co line. Indicates that evidence was circumstantial. Mob threatned to hang "Jim". Jan. 29, 1904 Washington Post article reports escape of "Jim" shortly after trial, and had been living in Bakersfield, CA under assumed name. Recaptured in 1904 and escaped again while transferring trains in Fort Worth. He was never recaptured.

Republic of Texas Poll List for 1846

This is not a complete list and represents only those that I copied for my files. This list was originally compiled by Marion Day Mullins:

Sophia Coffee - Grayson Co.
Holland Coffee - Grayson Co.
Woodson Coffee - Colorado Co.
William Coffee - Titus Co.
William Coffee - Colorado Co.
William J. Coffee - Titus Co.
Thomas J. Coffee - Brazoria Co.
Cleveland Coffee - Colorado Co.
Cyrus Coffee - Titus Co.
Logan Coffee - Colorado Co.
M. S. Coffee - Titus Co.
Joel Coffee - Titus Co.
James Coffee - Colorado Co.

Coffee/Coffey in Texas

From my personal files:

Minerva A. Coffee, spouse James H. Slaughter. James born Apr. 8, 1812 in KY, in TX in 1853. Father was Matthew Slaughter, born VA, and an early settler of Lincoln Co., KY. Married Polly Huston, daughter of Stevenson Huston of VA. James H. was their 3d child. Married Minerva, daughter of Col. Jesse A. Coffee of KY who was a member of legislature for many years. (Biographical Souvenier of the State of Texas (976.4 B6156); Southern Historical Press, Chicago, FA Battey & Co., 1889)

Ella Josephine Coffee, spouse John Francis Yearwood, son of Thomas and Lavinia Yearwood, married Ella Coffee and settled in Georgetown, TX. (Tennessee Cousins, a History of the Tennessee People, Worth S. Ray, Jul., 1950, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1960-1989, and The Mecklenberg Signers and Their Neighbors, originally published as Lost Tribes of North Carolina, Part III, reprint 1993 by Gen. Pub. Co., Baltimore, Md.) John was born 1859, died c1942. Ella was daughter of Capt. John Coffee

James Burl Coffee married Alma Wahene Christopher, Big Spring, Howard Co., TX, Marriage Book 12, page 97 (date not recorded)

John S. Coffey, member of TX State Police from 1870-1871 from Texas Adjutant General Service Records

Catherine Jane Coffee, spouse of John Wesley Snyder; John born 1837, died 1922, rancher and Civil War veteran. Married Catherine, daughter of John T. Coffee of Georgetown and father of 8 children. (The New Handbook of Texas Online)

A. B. Coffee, member of TX Frontier Batallion which was in existance from 1874-1878, and again in 1901. Also a member of TX Special Rangers in existance from 1916-1934. From Texas Adjutant General Service Records

James Coffee, member of TX State Police which was in existance from 1861-1865

W. Coffee, member of TX Loyalty Rangers which was in existance in 1918

Hooper Coffey, to Mr. S. F. Austin, Empesario: "I have emigrated to this name is Hooper Coffey, 50 years of age. My wifes name is Mary, 37 years. I have five children of which 3 are male and 2 female. Moved from the state of Alabama." From Character Certificates in the General Land Office of Texas, compiled by Gifford White, 1985 (976.4 Whi)

Evener Coffee, married Lois Noonkoster , Haskell Co marriage book 5, page 147 (date not recorded)

J. E. Coffee, married Clara Dungan, Haskell Co marriage book 5, page 186 (date not recorded)

Mary Coffee, spouse of Philip Martin. See above link to The New Handbook of Texas Online

James D. Coffee, first arrived in Texas 29 Sep 1837; class 2 land grant of 640 acres; conditional certificate issued 10 May 1839 in Galveston Co. (Texas Land Records)

James Coffee, first arrived in TX Jun 1839; class 3 land grant of 320 acres; unconditional certificate issued 2 Aug 1845 in Houston Co. (Texas Land Records)

James S. Coffee, migrated to Peters Colony as a family man prior to Jul. 1, 1848. Issued Fannin Third Class Certificate No. 588 for 640 acres which he sold (unlocated) and later patented in Grayson Co. Listed on 1850 census in Grayson Co. as family 251 as a 27-yr old farmer with three children, born in IN. First migrated to MO, then to Cherokee Nation, then to TX (The Peters Colony of Texas by TX State Historical Assn., 1959)

May 29, 2005

Coffee/Coffey in Nebraska

From my personal files:

James A. Coffee - member of Nebraska Volunteers, 1861-1869. From a list of soldiers who volunteered for military service from the territory between 1861 and 1869. James was a Private in Co. A, Omaha Scouts.

Catherine Coffey - married Serafin Garcia on Sep. 18, 1865 in Otoe Co., NE

James Coffey - married Hettie Darrow in Lancaster Co., NE. May have married in Lincoln, NE, and had at least one child named Jennie (from Don Darrow, San Diego, CA in Oct., 1999)

William Edgar Coffee - born 20 Apr. 1889, died 23 Jan. 1922 at Fort Morgan, CO. Married Minnie I. Porterfield 16 Jan. 1909 in Gage Co., NE. Had children: Ivan Herbert, William Edgar, Norris William and Russell Emerson

John Coffey - married Katherine M. Laughlin 9 Oct. 1889 in Adams Co., NE

William Coffey - born 22 Jun. 1890 in NE, died 27 Apr. 1929 in Crete*, NE, buried at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Crete, NE. Married Rose Hladky.

Harry Buffington Coffee - Bio (synopsis) from Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1971, US Government Printing Office, 1971: Rep. from NE, born 16 Mar. 1890, 2d Lt. in Air Service in WW1 (1917-1918). Organized Coffee Cattle Co., Inc. in 1915 in Sioux Co., NE. Elected as democrat to 74th and three succeeding Congresses (3 Jan. 1935-3 Jan. 1943). Unsuccessful candidate for US Senate. President of stockyard company and terminal railway company from 1943-1961. Was a resident of Omaha, NE.

Grace Coffey - Married Arthur Gifford Bryan 2 Nov. 1904 in Platte Co., NE

Roy Coffey - Married Lydia C. Houser 20 Aug. 1910 in Platte Co., NE

Raymond Blain Coffey - Married Bessie Lela Hacker 28 May 1917 in Lancaster Co., NE

Albert J. Coffey - Born 28 Nov. 1924 in Saline Co., NE, son of Edward and Magdalena Patz Coffey. Died 23 Mar. 1992, buried 25 Mar. 1992 at Exeter Cemetery, Exeter, Filmore Co., NE

Dorothy Della Coffey - Born 15 Jun. 1926 in NE, daughter of Edward and Catherine Stewart Coffey. Died 6 Oct. 1934 in NE, buried Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Crete*, NE

John E. Coffey - Obituary (synopsis) Omaha World-Herald, 6 Mar. 2000, page 12: James E., age 82, survived by nieces and nephews; services at St. John's Catholic Church; burial at Holy Sepulchre; military rites by Benson CFW Post 2503

*There are at least two towns in Nebraska named Crete; one in Saline Co., and another in Chase Co.

May 26, 2005

Arkansas History Commission and State Archives

E-mail just arrived from Russell P. Baker, CA, Archival Manager of the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives in Little Rock:



The Arkansas History Commission and State Archives will be open on Saturdays, beginning June 4, for the convenience of those who can’t come during regular weekday hours. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and staff, including either an archivist or librarian, will be on hand to assist researchers and visitors. “We’ve had a lot of demand from the public for Saturday hours,” said Wendy Richter, the new state historian who took office on May 16. “We are aware that it is difficult for some people to visit the archives during the work week, especially those from out-of-town. Being open on Saturdays will make the information more accessible to the public, whether they’re doing genealogical or historical research, or both.”

A treat is in store for those who have never visited the archives, located on the second floor of the Multi-Agency Complex building at One Capitol Mall, west of the State Capitol building. The areas open to the public represent a microcosm of both American and Arkansas timelines. The oldest information owned by the agency is French Louisiana records purchased from France that cover the time frame 1680 to 1800. Some of the other earliest papers on file include “Matrimonios De Blanco” which loosely translated is “White Marriages,” those that took place at "Poste de Arkansea" from 1791 to 1840. These files, along U.S. Census, county, church and military records, are mostly accessible on microfilm.

A couple of Arkansas history gems on view in the offices that are sure to thrill the history buff include Edward P. Washbourne’s original Arkansas Traveller painting, and the original 1912 Arkansas flag design submission by Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka. An interesting note missed by most is that the original flag did not include the state’s name. A mock-up of the winning entry to which Arkansas has been added hangs below the original. nother popular exhibit is one of authentic Civil War currency, which is available for viewing by appointment. Portraits of well-known personages that had an impact on the state, such as Henri de Tonti, plus famous Arkansans like Albert Pike, line the walls. A rotating exhibit of artifacts owned by the Commission can be viewed just outside the office’s main entrance.

For more information, contact Wendy Richter at (501) 682-6900 or e-mail . Directions on how to reach the offices can be found on the official History Commission Web site:

Family Trees and Ancestry.Com

(Disclaimer: I have been a subscriber to for several years, and as a paying customer, feel that I can give an honest critique of the service.)

First, I believe that their charges are too high for a lot of researchers. I do not know what a membership permitting access to everything on the website would cost but, I have access to just a few records, including the census records, and pay over $200 a year. A SWAG is that access to everything would cost over $1000 a year. I have no idea what a fair price would be, but I suspect that it would be something less than a grand!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find the family trees on Ancestry mostly useless. They all appear to be duplicates of each other, with no sources given. If a source is given, it is typically an FTW or GEDCOM file that someone else has already posted there. If a legitimate source is cited, it is often incorrect (I have seen the Social Security Death Index used as source for death date of someone who died in the 1700's!). I have often wondered why some researchers are so opposed to providing sources.

One thing I like about Ancestry is their census collection. For the most part, the indices to the census files are good, but I caution users to not use exact surname spellings. I most often use the soundex for searching, then narrow down large returns by including additional search parameters.

One good feature is the inclusion of other family members in some indices. For example, if I am searching for John Smith, and know that he had a wife named Marion, and a son named Frank, I can quickly look down the index search return for John Smiths, and look for the one with family members with those names.

I do not depend entirely on the indices prepared by Ancestry. Sometimes I know with certainty that a family is in a specific state and county, but the index cannot find them. Perhaps the person extracting information for the index just skipped them, or otherwise did not see them. It is in instances like this when I just have to page through the entire county, or township to find the family I am looking for. Ancestry does make provisions for reporting bad census information, but they don't make it easy to use. I am not sure what I do incorrectly, but the submission has failed each time I have attempted to send them corrected information.

One last thing: Their search engine, especially for old newspaper articles needs improvement (or, perhaps I'm using it incorrectly). But, when I enter a name like Francis Scott Key (extreme example), and get 50 hits for Francis Bacon, Scott Tissue, and Locksmiths, something is wrong.

May 23, 2005

2006 Coffey Cousins' Convention - Early Planning

My wife and I have taken on the responsibility of hosting the 2006 Coffey Cousins' Convention. Normally, this is not a big responsibility: reserve a block of rooms in a local hotel, arrange for a meeting room and dinner, prepare information packets for the guests, and make sure everything runs smoothly for a couple of days.

We have done this twice in the past; once in Baton Rouge, LA, and again in Vicksburgs, MS. We lived in Baton Rouge at the time, and the convention was held at the Holiday Inn just a couple of miles from our home. The one in Vicksburg was handled with one in-person visit to the hotel, and the remainder was handled via telephone and e-mail.

The 2006 will be held in Chadron, a small town located in the NW corner of the Nebraska panhandle. I'm hoping to be able to handle most things through the tourist bureau there, including getting hotel recommendations.

I realize that the trip will be long for those living in the southeast and eastern parts of the US, but may draw in Coffee/y researchers from western areas that we haven't been able to visit in the 23 years that Coffey Cousins' has held a convention.

That part of Nebraska was home to several sons of John Trousdale Coffee, a descendant of Peter Coffee. There are a number of historical homes there which were built by these Coffee families. I don't know yet if any of their descendants still live in Chadron, but perhaps there are and they will attend with information to share with othere Peter Coffee researchers.

The above link will take the reader to a preliminary webpage describing some of the attractions in the area. Personally, my wife and I will make a long vacation out of the trip and use the opportunity to see some of America's most treasured landmarks.

Nebraska weather promises to be unpredictable in late April-early May, the traditional time of our convention. That may require moving the convention to a later date in May. We won't make that decision for a few weeks yet, as we get more input from members, and locals in Chadron.

In the meantime, I would like for readers to visit the website, and perhaps pass along the information to other Coffee/y researchers. Comments and suggestions are requested.

May 9, 2005

2005 Coffey Cousins' Convention Report

My wife Nelda and I have just returned from spending a cold, wet week in Nashville, Tn. That's where the 23d Annual Coffey Cousins' Convention was held. It was hosted by Billie McKinnie and daughter, Patsy Burns. I don't have an exact count handy, but there were 50-plus registrants.

We arrived a couple of days early to visit the state archives, and I ended up walking a couple of miles in the rain on the day I chose to go. It's difficult enough to get around in Nashville under normal conditions. Add rain and road construction and it becomes extremely difficult. I also found out that not everyone in Nashville knows the difference between the "state archives and library" and the "public library."

Soon, other 'cousins' began to arrive, and I was drafted to drive some, and lead some from our hotel headquarters to the archives. Other drivers in the pool left ahead of me, or so I thought. I was racing to catch up with them on the interstate, and they were racing to catch up with me. They had not actually left the hotel parking lot, but had lagged behind waiting for me to lead.

But, we all got to the archives safely, and even had some time to do research. Once there we were greeted by the archives staff, given a brief summary of archives duties and holdings, then turned loose amongst the microfilm, stacks, and books.

Many of our 'cousins' chose to remain at the hotel, and sit around in the conference room set aside for us by the hotel. Bonnie Culley, editor of the Cousins' newsletter, always brings her outstanding collection of Coffee/y books. Those generally attracts a number of researchers, and keeps many busy reading and copying from them the entire three days of the convention.

Our hostesses in Nashville were Billie McKinney and her daughter, Patsy Burns. They "employed" their entire family - brothers, sisters, some in-laws, etc. - to put on a memorable convention. They are an especially talented family. Roger Burns, Patsy's husband, entertained us on the keyboard accompanied by guitarist Scott McKinney, Patsy's brother. Mindy Odum, a member of their church choir, sang two inspirational songs for us.

Saturday night is always set aside for our banquet, business meeting, and election of officers for the coming year. We also discuss plans for the next convention (e.g., where and when). We also hope there will be volunteers willing to host future convention.

There were no volunteers to host us in 2006, so Nelda and I will host the convention in Chadron, Nebraska! That's going to be a long distance affair since we live in Louisiana! But, I think we can do it. Darlene Clarke, a cousin from Iowa offered to host the group in 2007 at Dubuque. Readers can get a brief overview of Chadron at the following link:

I will write more on the Coffee families that settled in that area in a subsequent blog!

Officers for the coming year are:

Jack Coffee of Louisiana, President; Ed Coffee of Virginia, Vice President; Jo Langwell of Texas, Secretary; Darlene Clarke of Iowa, Treasurer. We continue to be supported by Reams Goodloe who has patiently indexed 24 and a half years of Coffey Cousins newsletters; Bonnie Culley, who edits those newsletters; and Bennie Coffey Loftin, past hostess of two conventions.

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