January 15, 2006

Coffey, Mills and related families

On occasion I have mentioned in this space that my ancestry has proven to be Mills related, and not Coffey1. The following is presented both as a way to record and share my thoughts, and to show the close relationship of these families living in one small corner of North Carolina.

While researching the Mills family, I have discovered that my ancestry goes directly to William Mills who married Sarah Ellis2. The best information found so far indicates that William married Sarah c1741 in Virginia. They had at least eight children:

Isham, for which little is knows, was probably born in North Carolina c1761. Other researchers have indicated that he was much married (perhaps as many as 5 or 6 times), and had about 25 children. I currently show him married to a Giddings c1784 in North Carolina, and the father of six.

His Giddings wife is probably a close relative - perhaps sister - of the James Isham Gideon (sic) written about in two very different biographical sketches [this link no longer available in 2010] by Gideon descendants in the last century.

Hardy, born in Halifax Co., NC c1763, married Frances Carpenter, born c1767 in Stafford Co., VA. She was the daughter of Stephen Carpenter and Rebecca Collins. They are thought to have had at least four children, all boys.

Elizabeth, born c1765 in North Carolina, married Jesse Carpenter c1785 in Wilkes Co., NC. Jesse was a brother to Frances, and was born sometime between 1770 and 1780.

Mary Judah, born c1767 in Virginia, married George Hayes, Sr., on May 14, 1785 in Wilkes Co., NC.

Martha (Patty), born c1768, probably in Virginia, married the above mentioned James Isham Giddings on Feb. 1, 1787 in Burke Co., NC. Bondsman for the marriage was Stephen Carpenter.

Twenty-four years between the marriage of Hardy to Frances, and Martha to Stephen seems to me to be a stretch. I have seen no documentation for Hardy's marriage.

Nancy, born c1770. No additional information available.

William II, born c1780 married Sarah (Sally) Strutton on June 30, 1802 in Wilkes Co., NC. Sarah was the daughter of Hezekiah Strutton; her mother is not known to me.

John, born c1788 in Wilkes Co., NC, married Alice (Alley) Coffey, born c1788 in Burke Co., NC. She was the daughter of Ambrose and Mildred (Millie) Moore Coffey.


Research credited to Raymond Porter, Sr. Giddens Family History)3 who has apparently extensively researched the North Carolina counties of Wilkes and Burke, many of the above mentioned families lived and often moved with each other as they migrated from Virginia to North Carolina and eventually into Tennessee.

One of Porter's research pages shows that Nebuzaraden Coffey was in Burke Co. in Dec., 1778. He is mentioned as having property on "Blares fork of Lower Creek" that joins property transferred to Zadicaha (sic) [Hezekiah] Strutton.

This Nebuzaraden was probably the one who married Elizabeth Hayes c1780. Much is known about the descendants of this couple, but little or nothing about their ancestry. Nebuzaraden has been attributed to Chesley and Jane Cleveland Coffey. However, researchers are having difficulty locating any facts about Chesley, and some are beginning to suspect that he may not have existed. Others believe that Chesley may have been his middle name, and left no records using that name.

James Giddings apparently entered Burke Co. c1779. Porter listed his name "from an index of first entries into Burke Co."

I am slightly confused from this point on in the Porter work. That part of the page cited in the above link is titled "Burke County, NC." However, when he writes of the James Giddens marriage to Martha Mills he asks "Where are the rest of the Giddens? The next record is in 1795. Could there be records in Burke County?" Perhaps Porter is writing about Wilkes Co.? In any case, he also lists a Burke Co. court record dated 1787 naming Moses Waters and John Gatewood, Wm. Wright, Kiah Strutton, and Ezekiel Strutton.

The following men are mentioned in a Nov. 3, 1795 Burke Co. court record ordering that they "view" certain roads:4

- John Coffey
- Thomas Coffey, Sr.
- Benjamin Coffey
- Reuben Coffey
- Eli Coffey
- Ambrose Coffey
- Thomas Coffey

John, Thomas, Benjamin, and Reuben are probably the sons of John Coffey and Jane Graves.
Eli and Ambrose are probably the sons of James and Elizabeth Cleveland. James was also a son of John and Jane, and died in Wilkes Co. in Oct. 1786. The last Thomas listed is likely the son of Thomas, Sr., and the Thomas who married Nancy Pendley.

- David Allen
- Hezekiah Strutton
- Michael Israel
- Abraham A. Strange

Michael Israel may be the same Michael Israel, Jr. who married Sarah Coffey on Feb. 26, 1800 in Wilkes Co. She was born 1779 in Wilkes Co., and was a daughter of John and Mary Hall Coffey. This John is the son of James and Elizabeth Cleveland Coffey, mentioned above.

I'm not certain who Abraham Strange is. His middle name is probably Alloway, and descendant of Archelus Alloway Strange who married Elizabeth Coffey (sister of Sarah who married Michael Israel) on Nov. 23, 1802 in Wilkes Co.




Update Mar 8, 2012


Abraham Alloway Strange married Mary A. Moore on Apr. 18, 1778 in Fluvanna Co., VA.  They had a number of children, at least three of which married Coffeys:


Archelus Alloway Strange, born Jul. 12, 1780 married Elizabeth Coffey, born Jan. 10, 1782 in Wilkes Co., NC to John and Mary "Polly" Hall (Hull or Harbord?).  He died Oct 23, 1852 in KY.  Elizabeth died in Adair Co., date unknown.  Only the marriage date is confirmed.*  One of their daughters, Sarah, married James Lewis Coffey, a son of Lewis Russell and Bidant "Biddy" Moore Coffey.


Susannah Alloway Strange, born c1788 in NC is said to have married a Coffey but, which one has not been determined.


Hannah Alloway Strange, born Feb. 18, 1790, died Feb. 14, 1871, probably in Indiana, married James D. Coffey.  James was born in Caldwell Co., Globe Twp., NC in 1786 and died in Owen Co., IN on Oct. 27, 1869.  He was a son of Reuben and Sarah "Sally" Scott Coffey.


*Precision Indexing North Carolina Marriages, 1801-1825, Index Book A-F.



- William Hulme
- George Hulme

No info on the Hulme family.

- Charles Gordan, Jr.
- Charles Gordan (sic)

No information on the Gordan (Gordon) family.

- Robert Epperson
- James Epperson

No information on the Epperson family, except that Lydia Epperson married John Hayes, a son of George and Mary Judah Mills Hayes.

- James Gittings (sic) [Giddings]

- William Parham

No information on the Parham family.

- Thomas Fields

There was a Thomas Fields, Esq. who married Elizabeth Coffey, a daughter of John and Jane Graves Coffey. He died in 1807 in Wilkes Co., NC.

- Owen Humphrey

I find an Owen Humphrey who married a Mary Lea. Their son, William Humphrey married Mary Fields, son of the above Thomas and Elizabeth Coffey Fields.

- Widow Mills

Not sure who she is, but speculate that she is either Sarah Ellis, the widow of William Mills, or Sarah Strutton, widow of William Mills II. I do not have death dates for William or William II.

- Daniel Yarnell
- James Demoss
- William Demoss
- Lewis Demoss
- Thomas Ellison

No information on the above families.

- Mastin Durham

Mastin Durham married Martha Coffey, a daughter of James and Elizabeth Cleveland Coffey. They were married Feb., 1774 in Albemarle Co., VA. He died in Aug., 1844, probably in KY. Martha died in Wayne Co., KY c1826.

Please contact me if any of the above information is incorrect, or unclear.



1 I believe that my surname was originally spelled Coffey. However, my 3G-grandfather's surname was always "Coffee" in public records. In one probate record hearing for Joel "Coffey" in Hempstead Co., AR he was recorded as Lilburn Coffee. In all other documents (census, marks, brands, and estrays, tax rolls, deeds, etc., it is spelled Coffee while the same name for people in the same county, is spelled Coffey.

2 DNA testing using the 37 marker test provided by FTDNA.com. Details on request.

3 See also http://members.tripod.com/~MrCIO/index-gideon.html

4 See the "pages" link for a location description of these roads

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:57 PM

    I believe that I am a descendant of Mastin Durham and Martha Coffey. I am interested in any information you may have on this line

    scott durham
    sdurham@ceres.k12.ca.us

    ReplyDelete

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