February 7, 2006

William Perry Coffey (1857-1926)

William Perry & Mary Ellen Wemple Coffey Family
William Perry Coffey was born June 9, 1857 in West Plains, Howell Co., MO to William E. and Sarah Lucinda Coffey Coffey.

William was the son of George and Margaret L. Rucker Coffey. Sarah was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Rucker Coffey.

George and John Coffey were brothers, and Margaret and Elizabeth Rucker were sisters.

At bottom left in this photo of the William Perry Coffey family is Mary Ellen Wemple Roark, and to the right is William Perry Coffey. Their children are (front) Lulu who married George Washington Roberts, and Rose Etta, who married Clarence Elwood Woods. Back row, left to right is: Samuel Wemple; George Washington; Victor Lee; William Adolph; and Andrew Jackson. Two children born to William and Mary died young. they were Minnie, born 1887, died 1888, and Sidney, born 1895, died 1897.

Please contact me if you have additional information.

Photo contributed by Judy Coffey of Colorado

Update 8/6/2011 - While rechecking this family in the census record, I found Mary Ellen Roark residing with her father, Myndert Veeder Wemple in 1880 Howell Twp., Howell Co., MO.  Both were enumerated as married, but spouses where not present in the household.  Next door was the family of William Coffey, age 32 with wife Heellen (?), age 22 and daughter Nora, age 1.

One possibility exists.  Mary Ellen Wemple Roark, according to a family file found at the Family History Library,* had a twin sister named Jane Helen, born Nov. 8, 1857 in Michigan.  The file reports however, that she was married to William Taylor Coffey c1878.  I do not have a William Taylor Coffey in my files.

I have seen a few genealogies in which Levi Coffey, who married Dolly Edmundson, had a son named John Collins Coffey, born c1809.  Levi and Dolly did have a son named John but I have no information that his middle name was Collins.  There was a Collins Coffey, born c1809 in North Carolina, and family which appeared in the 1850 Finley Twp., Greene Co., MO census.  Among other children, they had a son named William T., born c1846 in TN.

It seems then that William - if indeed it was William Perry Coffey who was the neighbor - had been previously married and had a child.  Apparently, the wife and child Nora died prior to his marriage in 1882 to Mary Ellen.  Nora could have survived but I do not know that because of the loss of the 1890 census record.  Mary Ellen's Roark spouse continues to elude me.

William Perry died Sep. 29, 1926 in Eureka, Humboldt Co., CA.   In 1930 Mary Ellen lived alone in Eureka and died there on Jul. 13, 1936.  Both are buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka.

*"Ancestral File v4.19," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.2.1/MWWN-GBB : accessed 6 August 2011), entry for Jane Helen WEMPLE ;TWIN

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