December 28, 2006

Coffey Facts You Might Not Know

Places of Origin:

Ireland ranks at the top.


The largest number of Coffey emigrants to the US came in 1852 when a total of 81 were recorded. There was a precipitous drop between 1861 and 1862, but peaked again in 1863 when 53 arrivals were recorded. Coffey emigrants continued to drop until about 1883 when 72 arrivals were recorded. Immigration dropped again between 1885 and 1891 and never again reached 1850-51 levels.

Civil War Service:

300 Coffey Confederates out of 1,050,000 total veterans
295 Coffey Union Soldiers out of 2,213,363 total veterans

Average life expectancy:

This is hard to believe. In 1944 average life expectancy for all Coffeys was 24 years. The general public was not much better off. It rose in 1946 to around 63 years and fluctuated around 50 to 55 until a general rise in the early 1960s. It reached a high in 1964 at 72 years, and has continued to trend generally upward ever since. There is not a large difference in life expectancy for the Coffey population compared to the general public.

Name distribution:

There are Coffeys in every state in the union, including Alaska and Hawaii. The largest concentration in the 1920s was in NY and IL. Go figure! I would have suspected states like Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky would have the largest concentration of Coffey families. California, TX, OK, MO, TN, KY, NC, SC, VA, OH, PA and MA contained the next largest population.


The top Coffey occupation in 1880 - as might be guessed - was farming. Thirty-eight percent of those families were farmers while only 35% of the general public were farmers.

Source: Family Facts,

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