January 30, 2006
From time to time a question will appear in one of the many forums that I visit, questioning whether or not there were two Generals John Coffee. There were, and they were Peter's grandsons.
Peter's son Joshua [Jan. 26, 1745-Sep. 8, 1797] married Elizabeth Graves, she probably of the same Graves line into which Edward Coffey married. They had at least five children with number four, John [Jun. 2, 1772-Jul. 7, 1833] becoming a friend, business partner and General who served under Andrew Jackson.
John raised a regiment of volunteers to help Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in Dec., 1814. After that battle he was promoted from Colonel to Major General, and in 1817 was appointed Surveyor-General of Alabama. He moved to Huntsville in that state and in 1819 moved to Florence in Lauderdale Co. He died at the family home, "Hickory Hill" north of Florence. His wife Mary Donelson, as I seem to recall, was a niece of Rachel Jackson.
Peter Coffee, Jr., the eighth child of Peter and Susannah, married Sarah Smith Nov. 14, 1773 in Granville Co., NC. They had at least nine children, with number five, John E. becoming the second General Coffee.
This General Coffee married Ann Penelope Bryan [Sep. 23, 1784-Dec. 12, 1865]. A history of Dodge Co., GA1 relates that General Coffee, a native of Virginia, was among the first settlers in Telfair Co., GA. He fought in the War of 1812-1815, and represented Telfair Co. in the state legislature. He was also elected three times to the US Congress from Georgia, with the third term  coming before his death had been reported.
Please write to me if you can add to or correct any of this information.
1 History of Dodge County [GA], Cobb, Addiie Davis : Atlanta, Foote & Davies Co., 1932, pgs 271
January 29, 2006
He first married Mary (Polly) Moore in Caldwell County probably around 1835 when he was 25 and she was about 15 years old . The first child that we know about was Harvey, born c1838, and if he was their first child, then perhaps they were married a couple of years later.
After Harvey he and Polly had at least five more children: William, born c1840; Harriet, born c1844; Celia, born c1847; Adaline, born c1851, and Emma, born c1855. I have no information about their descendants, but my search continues.
Polly died in Caldwell County May 26, 1871.1 Sometime around 1888 Gilliam married Susan D. Gragg, who had previously been married to a Mr. Green. She was born April 1846 in North Carolina.2 Assuming that they were married in 1887, Susan was 41 or 42 years old, and Gilliam was at least 78 or 79. In February 1888 their only child was born, a son named Hayley.
Gilliam and Susan survived at least until the 1900 census. In addition to Hayley, Gilliam's step-son Isaac G. Green was also in the household. He was born in May, 1879 in Caldwell County.
Please e-mail me if you can add to or correct any of this information
1 Mary E. Throneburg, "Bible Records," Coffey Cousins Clearinghouse Newsletter 39 (June 1990): p10
2 1900 Census, Caldwell Co., ED23, Sheet 11B
January 28, 2006
Conway rests beneath a wooded hillside in south Bossier Parish, deep in the Stonewall Baptist Church cemetery, now fully overgrown by forest. His marker says he died in 1911, age 81, and that he served three years in the U.S. Army."
Click on the title link to read more about the mysterious Dave Conway, and this old cemetery.
Use this link to check names of people buried in the Stonewall Baptist Church cemetery.
January 26, 2006
John Alfred Coffey was born March 9, 1872, son of Colby C. and Sarah Emily Ann Parris Coffey. Colby is in the Edward Coffey/Ann Powell line, and descended from their son John and wife, Jane Graves Coffey.
I have no information on Cynthia. She and John were probably married in Tennessee c1892. They had at least two sons: Henley Clay, born October 12, 1891, died Nov. 13, 1922, and Colby Willis, born December 20, 1893, died December 5, 1966. They had other children, as evidenced by the photo.
Please e-mail me if you have researched this family and can add to or correct any information.
January 21, 2006
I try to update them on average about every six months. I hope to update again in the spring, just prior to taking off the the Coffey Cousins' Convention in late April.
It takes a moderate amount of time and effort to make the updates, even though my genealogy software automatically prepares the pages. However, before I can update the on-line files, I have to input the new info that I have received. Most of that information comes to me from other reseachers, and it takes time to go through their data, ask for more facts or sources, and finally make changes or additions. I also like to research the census for families to verify names, ages, etc. before posting updates.
Some readers have asked if they could perhaps get a CD of the entire database. It does not take too long to create a CD. In fact, it takes more time for me to drive from the country to the post office than it does to create it.
So, in order to accomodate the readers that want the CD I have added a link to the bottom of this page that will (hopefully) make it easy for them do that. I have had a PayPal account for several years, so I've just added a link button to that account. For a $5 "donation" per CD you can get a CD with your choice of how the info is presented. I can create a CD with one large PDF file, or perhaps you want a GEDCOM, or even an "autostart" program created by my Roots Magic software. Any format you choose will include all of the source data and collected photos.
This is not a money making venture. The "donation" is meant to cover cost of the CD, jewel case, envelope and postage...not to mention driving to the post office to mail the packet.
Click on the link to order. If it doesn't work like you expect, cancel the transaction and e-mail me.
January 19, 2006
Whatever the pains felt by those pioneers in the US Genweb project, their efforts have now become premier research sites on the web. I think most, if not all states have a presence under the Genweb flag. Volunteers have "adopted" counties and formed teams of other volunteers who have extracted and prepared for our use wills, deeds, census records, obituaries, cemetery lists, biographies and literally thousands of other documents that now rest in the dust free archives of Genweb. And, they can be freely accessed!
I have been using Rootsweb and Genweb archives for a number of years. Without the work of those volunteers in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky - as well as other states - I would not have been able to "collect" as much information as I have about the various Coffey families, and those families they are allied with. The extraction work by Wayne Coffey has been of particular help to me.
Volunteers also prepare and send out daily updates via e-mail of files that have been added to the archives.
Most researchers should know about Genweb and Rootsweb. If you don't, click on the title link to begin your search.
January 15, 2006
- Parents of 6 of the 9 grooms were not living together (e.g., different residential address on the marriage application; presumed separated or divorced)
- Parents of 3 of the 9 brides were not living together (ibid)
- Of the nine grooms, one was on his fourth marriage, while one other was on his third.
- Of the nine brides, one was on her fifth marriage, while one was on her third.
If I counted correctly, that's 20 divorces in one very tiny segment of a state's population.
I did not check to see if the divorced parents had remarried and re-divorced, but odds are they did.
These are very telling statistics!1
1My wife and I just celebrated our 46th year together; all of our children are all still married to their original spouses. None of their children are yet old enough to marry
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
January 14, 2006
Information that I have thus far found shows that their son, Stephen, born c1830 in KY, married Malinda Coffey, also born c1830 in that state.
I need information that may identify to which Coffey family Malinda belonged.
Another son of Thomas' was Green Berry (Green), born c1825 in Wayne Co. He married Sarah Arthur, and together they had at least nine children, all born between Sep., 1849 and c1868.
Their oldest son, Jefferson P. Kinnett married Eliza A. Coffey probably c1880 in KY. Eliza was the daughter of Andrew Jackson and Martha J. Spann Coffey.
Andrew is a descendants of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey. He descends from James and Elizabeth Cleveland Coffey through their son Joel and wife Martha (Patsy) Coffey. Martha's maiden name is unknown. Joel's son Nathaniel (Nathan), born c1795 married Louisa Eliza Durham c1823 in Wayne Co. and were the parents of Andrew who married Martha Spann.
Please contact me if you can identify Malinda, or would like more information about any of the Coffey families mentioned above.
January 11, 2006
So begins this excellent article comparing life and death between 1850 and 2000. It was written by John Agan, a historial who resides in Minden, Webster Parish, LA.
Click on the title link to read the entire article.
It has been somewhat difficult to determine all of the children born to this union. I have identified them thus far as Clyde Curtis; Edmond Louis; Floyd Fields, born c1908; Ota Albert, born Mar. 29, 1910; Curtis, born Nov. 11, 1914, died Jan. 8, 1991; John Preston, born c1915; and Lewis, born c1923. I have no dates for Clyde and Edmond.
Floyd Fields married Florence (LNU) c1929; Ota married Claudie Woodard on Aug. 5, 1933 in Nevada Co, and Curtis married Margaret L. (Peggy) Barnard. Unfortunately, I have no descendant information for these families.
Ocia and Thad are not found in the 1910 census. In 1920 they are in the Nevada Co. census, and in Hempstead Co. in 1930. Ocia died on Dec. 6, 1959, and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Prescott, Nevada Co. Thad died on Feb. 8, 1930, and is also buried at Pleasant Hill.
Thad was the son of William Preston (Press) Buchanan, and his wife Helen (LNU). Press died on Oct. 25, 1928 in Prescott, Nevada Co. Helen died Dec. 17, 1915, also in Prescott. Both are buried in the Old Smyrna Cemetery in that town.
Press was the son of Charles Clayton Buchanan and Mary H. Abernathy Tarpley. Charles died in 1866 in Nevada Co., and is buried in the Buchanan Cemetery in that county. A death date is not known for Mary, but she is also thought to have been buried in the Buchanan Cemeter.
Other children of Charles and Mary were: Catherine, born c1839; Tilmon D., born Jan. 11, 1840, died Mar. 19, 1927; John R., born c1846; Charles Clayton, born Jan. 1849, died c1939; Timothy, born c1856; Mary Eldora, born c1859, and Melissa, also born c1859.
Tillmon married Josephine A. (Josie) Billingsley c1860. She waas born Jul. 12, 1843 in Mississippi, and died Oct. 4, 1927 in Nevada Co., AR. It is not known if there were children born to this union.
Please contact me if you have descendant information for any of these families.
Current research indicates that Edmund and Mary had at least two children: Henry Thomas, born c1869, and Anna, born c1870. Henry married Nannie Campbell on Sep. 20, 18881 in Nelson Co., VA. Anna married Luke Demasters, probably a cousin but we do not yet know who his parents were, on Oct. 20, 1890 in Nelson Co.1
Anyone with additional and/or corrected information concerning this family are invited to write to me.
1 Marriage Register, Nelson Co., VA - Part 1 is from Marriage Register, Book No. 2, 1854 - 1926
David Garland married Peter Alice Demasters (var.), daughter of Peter and Mary (Polly) Monroe Demasters. Peter Alice was born in Nelson Co., VA in Feb., 18622, and died Mar. 31, 19382 in that county.
David and Peter Alice had at least nine children. In the 1900 Nelson Co., VA census3 Alice reported that she was the mother of 8 children, and that 8 were living. However, only 7 children were enumerated in the family that year. Those were: William Peter, Ana B., Ellis, Johnnie, George, Nelson and Lena. Missing was Woody, thought to have been born c1887, and Massie, who was born after the census was enumerated.
The only child of David for whom we have any descendant information is Nelson Lee Coffey, born Feb. 20, 1896 in Nelson Co., and died Dec. 20, 19292 in Augusta Co., VA. He married Lucy Margaret Mutherspaw c1911-12. She was born c1898 in Rockbridge Co., VA, and died in 19472 in Staunton Co., VA.
Together, they had 7 children: Odie James, born Jun. 27, 1913, died Oct. 27, 19744; Anna Mae, born Nov. 7, 1919, died Apr. 12, 19712; Clyde, born c1921; Linwood, born Feb. 9,, 1924, died Apr., 19824; Charles Lee, born Sep. 10, 1926, died Nov. 23, 20022,4; Frank, dates unknown; and Ida Belle, born c1930.
When Nelson died in 1929, some of the children went to an orphanage. Anna Mae, Linwood and Ida Belle were sent to the "Oakdale Home" in Augusta Co. They are found there in the 19305 census, enumerated as "inmates" and "farm laborers" in a household headed by Oliver Robertson. Oliver's wife Carrie was listed as the county probation officer.
Linwood died in April 1982 at Alexandria, Fairfax Co., VA.4 Odie James died at Staunton, VA on Oct. 27, 1974.4
Little is known about the children with the exception of Charles Lee. He married Mabel Cornelia Benson in Jan., 1946, and died on Nov. 23, 2002 in Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co., VA.2 From that union 6 children were born: Mae Cornelia, Jean Carol, Constance Lee2, Charles Lee, Jr., Anthony Frank, and Barbara Ellen.
Researchers seeking the Nelson Lee Coffey family, or those wishing to make corrections and/or additions may write to me.
Additional information concerning other descendants of David Garland Coffey would be welcomed.
1 Nelson Co. marriage records: License date: 3 Jan 1852, marriage date Jan. 1853 (day not
given); security not given
2 Connie Coffey Dorsey, Fairfield, VA, e-mail to Jack Coffee, Dec. 2004-Jan. 2005
3 1900 Nelson Co., Massies Mill, ED86, Sheet 11B, dwelling/family 164
4 Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File
5 1930 Augusta Co., Riverheads, ED14, Oakdale Home
January 4, 2006
Sheriff Holt Coffey and son, Clarence S. Coffey, a Missouri State Trooper, meet up with Bonnie and Clyde.
In 1841 Aeneas Coffey invented the Coffey or Patent Still, enabling the continious process of distillation of grain whiskey.
Joseph Coffey was the first white man to settle within the borders of Pleasant Township, Clark Co., OH.
Cornelius Coffey (1903-1994) was the first black person to hold both a pilot's and a mechanic's license. See this link also.
The preceding is from a longer article in Coffeyville's Legacy, a story by Roger Huff. Click on the title link to read more of Huff's story about this historic figure and to view James' photograph.
From my files:
James Asbury Coffey was born Nov. 18, 1827 in Gallatin Co., IL, and died Jan., 1879 in Dodge City, Ford Co., KS. He was the son of Achilles (some genealogies say his father's nam was Archelus) and Jane Dean Coffey. He is a descendant of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey through their son John and wife Jane Graves Coffey.
As far as we know, James was married only once and then to Louisa Adelade Ferris Long Carnahan, who was born c1833 in Wayne Co., KY. There were at least eight children born to this union: John Jerry, Phoebe, Mary, Ebben Rice, Lulu, Irena, Amy and Elizabeth.
There is some descendant information available for Lulu who married Thomas Cline Murdock on Dec. 25, 1888 in Dodge City, and for Irena who married John Franklin Moore, probably also in Dodge City. However, more research is needed on the families and descendants of the remaining children of James and Louisa.
Update Nov. 23, 2011 - The Huff piece is no longer on-line at the link given. James is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City, Ford Co., KS. Louisa died in Delta Co., CO and is buried there in the Cory Cemetery, along with other family members, chiefly those of her son Eban Coffey.
Update May 4, 2012
Children of James and Louisa:
Ebenezer (Eben) Rice was married c1887 to a lady named Iola. They appeared in the Beaver Co., OK census in 1900 and then from 1910 through 1930 in Austin, Delta Co., CO. Eben died there on Oct. 6, 1935 and is buried in the Cory Cemetery in Delta, Delta Co. Iola died in Delta in 1923 and is also buried at Cory Cemetery. They were parents of at least six: James L., Sarah Louise, Eben Ruble, Clara, Oscar K. and Mary A. All but Oscar were born in OK; he was born in KS.
The daughter Amy is said to have married George Stacy Emerson c1882 in KS. In 1900 they were residing in Huerfano Co., CO and, in 1920 in Pueblo Co., CO. Children were: Waldo S., Louise, Ruth and George E. George died in Mesa Co., CO in 1980 and is buried at Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction.
The daughter Elizabeth is thought to be Laura Elizabeth, born c1859 in Humboldt, Allen Co., KS. I have yet to find any descendant information for her, Phoebe, John Jerry or Mary J. Could be they died young.
Coffeyville has a brief on-line history of that city and cites the Huff book mentioned in the 2011 update to this blog.
January 2, 2006
Click on the title link to read more about Ben. This is a PDF file, and will require the free Adobe reader to view.
*American Ornithologists' Union