November 21, 2006

Charles Shelby Coffey

Charles S. Coffey

Among the well known and able representatives of the bar of Hamilton county is Charles S. Coffey, a resident of this city, for the most part, since 1900. Mr. Coffey is a native son of Kentucky, being born on the old home place of his parents near Monticello, in Wayne county, on the 18th day of June, 1882. He comes of old and honored families of the Bluegrass state, and his parents being Lewis and Sophia (Buster) Coffey. His father is now living retired in Danville, Kentucky. His mother passed away on January 1, 1894. Lewis Coffey was long numbered among the representative farming men of Wayne county, Kentucky, and was successful in his lifework, and so conducted himself as to win and hold the unqualified confidence and esteem of his fellow men.

Charles S. Coffey gained his early education in the public schools of Monticello, Kentucky, and was graduated from the high school of that place as a member of the class of 1898. Thereafter he held a position as bookkeeper in a bank in Monticello for two years, at the expiration of which time, in 1900, he came to Chattanooga, where he was for some little time in the employ of the D. B. Loveman Company, one of the largest department stores in the city. In January, 1902, Mr. Coffey entered the University of Tennessee, and in 1905 was duly graduated from the institution with the degree of Bachelor of Science. the following year he was graduated from the law department of the same institution with the degree of Bachelor of Laws.

After his graduation Mr. Coffey returned to Chattanooga, and for some time he was supervisor at the real estate loan department of the Chattanooga Savings Bank, a position that was placed at his disposal soon after he returned to the city, and he continued in that position until September, 1910, when he resigned the same to engage in the practices of his profession. About one year later he formed a partnership with Mr. Paul Campbell, under the firm name of Campbell & Coffey, and this alliance continued in effect for a year, at the expiration of which time Mr. James F. Finlay was admitted to partnership, and the title changed to its present form - Finlay, Campbell & Coffey. this is known as one of the strong and successful law firms of Hamilton county, and Mr. Coffey, as one of its principals, has met with a pleasing degree of success in his profession, the branch which clamim his chief attention being that of civil practice.

Mr. Coffey is unmarried. [Charles, Jr. eventually married.  His wife was Mary Helen Stewart, born Jul. 22, 1920 in Winchester, Johnson Co., TN.]  He is a member of the Chattanooga Bar & Law Library Association, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and the Commercial Club, and he is affiliated with the Theta Lamda Phi and the Pi Kappa Alpha college fraternities. Mr. Coffey is a Democrat, and while he is enthusiastic in the cause of the party, he has no desire for political preferment. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and has served for a number of years as a member of the board of the church of this denomination in his home city.

It may be mentioned here with all propriety that the father of Mr. Coffey was a valiant soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war, and served in the command of General John H. Morgan. Under this noted leader he participated in the famous Ohio raid, and was captured at that time by the Federal forces. Thereafter he was held a prisoner at Camp Douglas, in the city of Chicago, until the close of the war.

Update Oct. 20, 2010

Charles Shelby Coffey, Jr. was a son of Charles, Sr., and a descendant of Lewis Coffey and Sophie Buster Coffey.  A sister to Charles, Jr. was Mary Katherine "Bitsy" Coffey, born Mar. 27, 1920 in Chattanooga, Hamilton Co., TN.

Bitsy married James Garland Rawlings in 1940.  He was born in Louisa Co., VA in 1916 and died on Jan. 19, 1994 in Lookout Mountain, Walker Co., GA.  Bitsy died this week on Oct. 28, 2010 in Lookout Mountain.

Her obituary:

Mary Katherine "Bitsy" Coffey Rawlings
Longtime Lookout Mountain Resident Was Red Cross Volunteer, October 28, 2010

Mary Rawlings

Mary Katherine "Bitsy" Coffey Rawlings, 90, of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, died on Thursday, October 28 at her home after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born March 27, 1920, in Chattanooga to the late Charles and Margaret (Anderson) Coffey. She grew up on Lookout Mountain, attending Lookout Mountain Elementary School and GPS in Chattanooga. She attended Hollins College and the University of Chattanooga.

Mary Katherine Coffey Rawlings*
In 1940, she married James Rawlings at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. After his service in World War II, he joined the Army Corps of Engineers. The family moved 17 times until his retirement with the rank of Colonel in 1961. The family then returned permanently to Lookout Mountain.

Bitsy rejoined Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, singing for many years in the church choir. She was a member of a book club formed by wives of Lookout Mountain servicemen that continued for more than 50 years.

She was also a member of the Fairyland Garden Club, the Outlook Club, and the Study Club. For many years, she served as a Red Cross volunteer at Memorial Hospital and Alexian Brothers Nursing Home.

Her beloved Lookout Mountain home was the gathering place for almost 50 years of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family.

Bitsy was from a family of long standing in Chattanooga. Her great-grandfather was the Rev. Jonathan Bachman, 50-year pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga. Her father, Charles Coffey, was an attorney in the city who served on the boards of the YMCA, Public Library and Baylor School.

From her father, Bitsy learned and would pass on to her children the importance of community service and lifelong education. Like her mother, she was a lady in the true sense of the word, with graciousness growing from kindness, personal dignity and quiet spirituality. She was cheerful by nature, compassionate and generous.

Bitsy was preceded in death by her parents, husband and three brothers, Charles, William and Robert Coffey.

She is survived by her children, Margaret (Bill Meindl) Rawlings, Green Bay, Wi.; Colonel James S. (Ginny) Rawlings, Steilacoom, Wa.; Dr. Peter (Milly) Rawlings, Lookout Mountain; Katherine Rawlings, Roswell, Ga.; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her brother, Rev. Jonathan Coffey, Palm City, Fl.

The family would like to thank her son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Milly Rawlings for their many years of care for Bitsy in her later life. The family is grateful for the compassion and support given to Bitsy in her last months by Jennifer Brewer, Diane Robinson, Kim Wyatt, Margaret Rainey and Hospice of Chattanooga.

Memorial service arrangements are pending. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church or Girls Preparatory School, Chattanooga.

Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory, and Florist, 404 South Moore Road. Please share your condolences at

*The photo of Mary Katherine accompanied her obituary at, Oct. 28, 2010.

Source for Charles, Jr. bio: Hale, Will T., A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans (Chicago, IL: Lewis. Pub. Co., 1913)

Update Dec. 19, 2012

Charles Shelby Coffey, Jr. died in June, 1974 at Chattanooga.  His wife was Mary Helen Stewart and they were married on Jun. 23, 1942 at Franklin Co., TN. [1]  Mary Helen was a native of Winchester, Johnson Co., TN.  I am missing her death date and burial site.

Mary Catherine and James Garland Rawlings were married in Hamilton Co., TN on Sep. 4, 1940.[2]

Jonathan Bachman Coffey was the third child and second son of Charles Shelby and Mary Anderson Coffey.  He was born Sep. 26, 1921 in Chattanooga and died in Palm City, Martin Co., FL Dec. 15, 2012.

His obituary:

Obituary, Fr. Jonathan Bachman Coffey, Sr., Aycock Funeral Home, Stuart, FL 77228-1717
The Reverend Jonathan Bachman Coffey, Sr. died peacefully in his home at Sand Hill Cove, in Palm City, in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 15, 2012. Fr. Coffey was born just over 91 years ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 26, 1921. 
He was the third of five children born to his parents and he grew up, enjoying a wonderful childhood, on Lookout Mountain. Jon took the now famous Incline to school in the city and frolicked with brothers and his one beloved sister in the Chickamauga National Military Park just one block from their home on Richardson Street. Jon graduated from Baylor Military School and then the University of Chattanooga before enlisting in the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific throughout World War II, and while there met a beautiful missionary's daughter in Honolulu named Mary Corey. He and Mary fell in love and after the war they were married. 
After several years in insurance, Jon went off to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. While he and Mary were there, they had two boys, Chris and David, to follow their first-born, Jon Jr. Jon's first parish was Christ Church in South Pittsburg, 
Tennessee. After two years he moved to Miami, Florida where he built a church, All Angels, in Miami Springs where his beloved daughter Constance Elizabeth, was born. He then served as rector of All Souls in Miami Beach. Jon finished his active ministry as rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Jensen Beach and then he and Mary moved to Martin Downs where they lived for over twenty years before moving to Sand Hill Cove. 
Jon served in many capacities in both church and community, always a leader in everything he undertook. He will be remembered by all as a loving pastor, a good friend, a devoted father and a loving husband to his beloved wife of almost 65 years, Mary.  
Jon is survived by his children: Jonathan Jr. (Julie) and their children Kate (Justin) and Spencer; Christopher (Karen) and their children Brianna and Nicholas; David (Susan) and their children Jeremy (Laura) and their daughters Kristin and Kate, Melissa (Jason) and their son, Cooper, their daughter Caitlin (Justin) and their son Quinn, and their son Andrew; and their daughter Consie (Trampas) and their children Zachary, Shelby, Alexander, Christopher, Corey mand Caleb  
The funeral to celebrate Jon's life will be on Wednesday, December 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Stuart, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Episcopal Relief and Development at 815 Second Ave. New York NY 10017 or www.
The interment will follow at All Saints Cemetery in Jensen Beach at 1:30 p.m. and all are welcome. A cortage [sic] [cortege] will depart St. Mary's at around 1 p.m. Please sign Jon's online guestbook at www.aycock  
All arrangements are entrusted to Aycock Funeral Home, Stuart, FL. 
William Milton Coffey, fourth child and third son was born Aug. 15, 1924 in Chattanooga and died Jun. 26, 2007 in Austin, Travis Co., TX.  Probably to his parents consternation, William quit high school in his third year and enlisted in the Army on Jul. 23, 1943.  I have not yet found any other info; e.g., marriage.

The fifth and last child born to Charles and Mary was Robert Lewis, born Dec. 27, 1926, died Feb. 23, 2010 in Powder Springs, Cobb Co., GA.  Robert married Frances Sue Davidson on Jun. 18, 1948 in Hamilton Co., TN.[3]

His obituary:

Powder Springs, GA - Robert Lewis Coffey, 83, passed away Tuesday, February 23, 2010. 
He was born in Chattanooga in 1926, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Coffey Sr. He grew up in Chattanooga, attended Baylor Military Academy, and then joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 at the age of 17. During WW II he participated in the Battle of Okinawa as a part of the crew of the USS LST 841
After the war he studied business at the University of Chattanooga and then electronic engineering at Valparaiso Technical Institute, eventually joining Lockheed Georgia Co. where he worked for 35 years. 
In 1948 he married Frances Sue Davidson, of Red Bank, Tenn., and then raised his family in Georgia. They were married for 63 years. 
Over the years his interests included photography, short wave radio, woodworking, electronics and more. He was well known for his talent of being able to repair almost anything! He was a loving husband and father who was happiest when with his family and working in his workshop.
He was a member of Faith Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. 
He is survived by his wife, Frances Sue; daughters, Dorothy Sue and Martha Jean; and sons, Edward Parker and Robert Lynn. Additional survivors are a sister, Mary Katherine Rawlings and a brother, the Rev. Jon Coffey, along with eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 
The family will receive visitors at West Cobb Funeral Home from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association on behalf of Robert Coffey. Alzheimer Association, 1925 Century Blvd NE, Suite 10, Atlanta, GA 30345. 
A graveside service will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Cheatham Hill Memorial Park, Marietta.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Faith Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Austell.

[1] Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002", index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Dec 2012), Charles S Coffey and Mary Helen Stewart, 1942.

[2] "Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950", index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Dec 2012), James G Rawlings and Mary Katherine Coffey, 1940.

[3]"Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950", index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Dec 2012), Robert L Coffey and Frances Sue Davidson, 1948.

Photos of Jonathan and Robert were found with their respective obituaries.

November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I will be away for the Thanksgiving holiday, enjoying grand children in south Louisiana, and later in the Houston area. If all goes well and the creek don't rise, I should be back home the first week in December.

James C. and Mary Louise Coffey Coffey

James C. and Mary Louise Coffey Coffey

James was the son of Jesse Calton and Nancy Raines Coffey. Mary Louise was the daughter of Asbury James and Chainey Gragg Coffey. James was born Apr. 14, 1860 in the Bamboo community in Watauga Co., NC, and died Feb. 23, 1924 in that county. Mary Louise was born Nov. 12, 1858 in Caldwewll Co., NC, and died in Watauga Co. on Mar. 3, 1924. I do not yet know their marriage date.

Together they had at least 13 children:

- Mary E., born 1879

- Horace Clinton, born Jul. 8, 1880, married c1910 to Viola L. Cooke, born Apr., 1891 in Watauga Co. Children were: Ralph Robert, born May 12, 1911; Roby C., born c1921; Randolf, born c1923, and Anther Lee, a daughter, born Oct. 30, 1925.

- Jerry S., born Nov. 1881

- Cora B., born Apr., 1882

- Norma, born Jul. 1885

- Nancy E., born Mar. 1887

- Millard M., born Mar. 1889, died Dec. 18, 1950, married Mary A. Nelson c1909 in North Carolina. She was born in North Carolina in about 1891. Children were Rosa Bell, born Apr. 1910 and Evert Turner, born May 20, 1914. There may have been others.

- Minnie J., born Mar. 1891

- Bessie, born Feb. 1893

- Florence M., born Feb. 1895

- Bertha C., born Jan. 1898

- Milton L., born c1902, died Oct. 25, 1970

- James Newland, born c1905, died Jul. 12, 1962

Update Nov. 9, 2011

Horace Clinton and Viola Cook [sic] were the parents of Ralph Robert, born May 12, 1911, died Jun. 15, 1989; Roby Clinton, born Jun. 13, 1920, died Jul. 4, 1989; James Randolph, born Jul. 28, 1922, died Jan. 10, 1989 and Antha Lee, a daughter, born Oct. 30, 1925, died Dec. 28, 2007.

Ralph was married on Jul. 26, 1930 in Boone to Mattie Rose Greene, born Apr. 3, 1911 in Watauga Co., to David and Nellie Savannah Wooten Green[e].  She died Jul. 23, 1944 and was buried at Middle Fork Baptist Church Cemetery in Blowing Rock. Ralph is also buried at Middle Fork.  David Green[e] was a son of Lot W. and perhaps a mother named Ann.  Nellie was a daughter of Oliver R. & Rebecca Louvenia [sic] Shumaker.  I know of only one child born to Ralph and Mattie, a daughter Francis [sic] Lee, born Jul. 23, 1944, died Sep. 19, 1945 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co. and buried at Middle Fork.  The Green family name has been found with and without the ending 'e.'  I do not know which is accurate.

Roby Clinton married his second cousin, Lillie Ruth Coffey, daughter of William Carlton and Bessie Mae Townsend Coffey, on Feb. 24, 1945.  I know of two children:  Shelby Jean, born Oct. 31, 1948, died Oct. 26, 2009 in Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., and Margaret Jeanette, born May 20, 1952 in Watauga Co., died Dec. 23, 1953 in Blowing Rock.  Both daughters are buried at Middle Fork.  Lillie Ruth was born Aug. 21, 1924 in Caldwell Co., and died Jan. 26, 2003 at Blowing Rock.  She is also at Middle Fork.

James Randolph married Emily Trivette on Nov. 22, 1941 in Watauga Co.  She was a daughter of John William and Anna Belle Trivette Trivette, and was born Feb. 2, 1925 in Caldwell Co. She died there on Aug. 6, 1972 and was buried at Big Flat Baptist Church Cemetery at Fleetwood in Ashe Co.  James Randolph was a US Navy veteran of WW2 and was buried at Blue Ridge Memorial Park in Lenoir.

Antha Lee first married Stacey Elms Greer (no info).  Her second marriage was to Fred Thompson Lewis, date unknown to me.  Fred was a son of Clarence Billy and Ruby Wheelings Lewis and was born Jul. 9, 1930 in North Carolina.  He died Jun. 24, 1985 at Hickory in Catawba Co.  Antha Lee is buried at Blue Ridge Memorial Park.  Fred is likely there as well but I have no confirmation of that.

Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

Thomas A. and Margaret Ann Coffey Wright (Update)

Updated Sep. 15, 2008.
 Thomas A. and Margaret Ann Coffey Wright
Thos. & Margaret Coffey Wright

Margaret was a daughter of Austin and Mary A. Blaylock Coffey. She was born Aug 22, 1847 in Caldwell Co., NC and died there on Dec. 1, 1931. Thomas was born c1834 in Georgia and died Apr. 5, 1906 in North Carolina.

Both are buried in the Boone Fork Baptist Church Cemetery in Watauga Co.

They had nine children:

Mary Josephine
- Mary Josephine, born Oct., 18, 1867, died Jan 31, 1944 in Mabscott, Raleigh Co., WV. Mary married Tilmon Monroe Gragg, a son of Edmond and Indiana Gragg Gragg on Mar 3, 1883 [Marriage Book 6, Page 24] in Caldwell Co. Tilmon was born Feb., 1858 in Caldwell Co., and died in Camden Co., NC [North Carolina Death Records, 1968-1996 on Dec. 12, 1928. I know of three children: William Henderson, Rhett and Alverdia.

[Two additional children have been reported to me: Cora E. and Bina. No other information provided]

- Sarah Jane, born c1870, married Edmund G. Haupt in Caldwell Co., 1893. No other info.  [A child, Maude, born Apr. 1892, married Frank Baker. Both families were in Knox Co., TN census records for 1910]

- Robert Arthur, born c1875, married Lurenie Holloway, a daughter of Reid D. and Martha Andrews Holloway, on Jul. 14, 1894 in Watauga. Robert disappeared shortly after marriage but fathered a son with Lurenie.  Robert Reaves Wright was born Jun., 18, 1895.  Robert married Nettie McAlister on Jun. 17, 1917 in Watauga Co.  He died on Jan. 18, 1944.  Lurenie later married William Wiley Church c1896.

Sarah Ellanora
- Sarah Ellanora (Ellie), born Jan. 26, 1877, died Dec. 18, 1942. Sarah married Samuel Wiley McCroskey in Nov. 1900 in Knox Co., TN. Sarah had been previously married on Oct. 16, 1896 to Henderson Phillips. Samuel was a son of William and Mira Johnson McCroskey and was born Apr. 10, 1869 in Bluff City, Sullivan Co., TN and died Apr. 14, 1926 in Burke Co., NC. Their children were: Raymond, 1902-1926, Mae, 1904-1983, Lula Nevada, 1907-?, Earl Lemuel, 1909-1967; Lany Esther, 1910-1978, Edward Lawrence, 1915-?, Virgie Edith, 1917-1970, and Roy Lois, 1921-1970.

More information is available on the McCroskey-Wright family.

- Sarah L., born c1879. No other info.

- Emmerette [born c1876, died 1897] married Thomas Coleman May 17, 1892, Caldwell Co.  [Marriage Book 9, Page 209].  I know of two children: Robert Lawrence, born Feb. 19, 1891 and Lloyd Ziniman, born Aug. 10, 1895.  [There was a third, Ora, born 1897. She married Boyd Ragan.]

Thomas Lemuel
- Thomas Lemuel, born Mar. 22, 1884, died Mar. 23, 1946. He married Sarah Emeline Bragg, daughter of James Jackson and Rhoda Cox Bragg. Sarah was born Mar. 18, 1893 in Summers Co., WVa., and died Sep. 10, 1979 in Caldwell Co., NC. I have found three children for them: Thomas Jackson, born 1915; Rexford Lemuel, born 1922, and Vadis Graham, born 1927.

[Three other children have been found: James Selden, born Jan. 9, 1917, died May 13, 1990; Margaret Marcella, born 1919, died 1979; and Theodore Frank, born Nov. 5, 1924, died Jan. 19, 1982.]
  - Annie Lee, born Jul. 27, 1885, died Dec. 11, 1951, married Roby Monroe Coffey on Mar. 19, 1903 in Watauga Co. Roby was son of George Washington and Matilda Coffey Coffey, and was born Mar. 20, 1881 in Caldwell Co., and died in Lenoir, NC on Oct. 1, 1955. There were at least nine children born to this union and will be a subject of a later blog.

- Doctor Hill, born Apr. 1, 1889, died Oct. 4, 1949 in Watauga Co. He married Virgie Nona Gragg, daughter of Leonard L. and Alva Sims Gragg on May 20, 1913 in NC. Virgie was born Oct. 18, 1897 in NC and died in Watauga Co. on Nov. 13, 1945. At least four children were born to them: Meda Geneva Virginia, born May 22, 1914; William Paul, born Jun. 19, 1918; Agnes Adele (Addie), born Aug. 15, 1921, died Jan. 25, 1988; and Thomas Hill, born Dec. 20, 1930. "Addie" married James Bynum Coffey on Jul. 5, 1939 in NC. James was a son of James Hardy and Lillian Mae Gray Coffey. James died Apr. 26, 1986 in Watauga Co. Their children were Patricia Joe Ann, born Mar. 21, 1941, died c1996, and James Robert, born Sep. 27, 1942, died Nov. 11, 1999.

I am uncertain whether Sarah Ellenora and Sarah L. are the same person. It seems unlikely to me that there would be two, much less three children born to the same parents who gave their children the same first name.

Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

November 19, 2006

George Washington Coffey (1870-1940)

I recently found a death certificate for George Washington Coffey, born Dec. 15, 1870, died Nov. 10, 1940 in West Virginia. The certificate lists his father as Marval [sic] Coffey, and his mother as Mary Ann Coffey.

In my files I have Mary Ann Coffey, daughter of Marvel and Nancy E. Pendley Coffey, born Jun. 10, 1850 in Caldwell Co., NC, died Jan. 15, 1910, also in Caldwell Co. Until now I did not know who her husband, and father of her children was: John Kelley, born c1869; George Washington, and Elizabeth G., born Oct. 6, 1873.

But, now I'm confused [not unusual at all!]. Who was Marvel descended from? Did the informant for George's death certificate make a mistake and give his grandfather's name instead?

Please contact me if you can help!

Update Mar. 31, 2012

Marvel and Nancy Pendley Coffey were enumerated in the 1850 and 1860 Kings Creek Twp., Caldwell Co., NC census with a daughter named Mary. In 1850 she was 11 months old and in 1860 she was 12 years old.  In 1870 the family was still in Kings Creek Twp., and Mary, now aged 20, was enumerated as a "domestic servant."

Mary "the daughter" is said to be the mother of three children without benefit of marriage: John Kelly, born c1869; George Washington, born Dec. 15, 1870, died Nov. 10, 1940 in Williamson, Mingo Co., WV; and Elizabeth Jeanette "Lizzie," born Oct. 6, 1873 died May 18, 1958 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co.

There is a marriage record in Mingo Co., WV for John K. Coffey to Mary Crotts on which John names his parents as "Marvel & Mary Ann Coffey."

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Jeanette was married first to Julius F. Barnett* on Nov. 18, 1893 at Kings Creek. On Nov. 8, 1911 she married Frank Wilson** at Granite Falls in Lovelady Twp., Caldwell Co.  Elizabeth died on May 18, 1958 at Lenoir.  The informant named on her death certificate was Mrs. Nellie Triplett, Lizzie's daughter, born to the Julius Barnett marriage.  The certificate names Lizzie's mother as Mary Ann Coffey but the father's name was "Not Obtainable."

So, I now have two of Mary's children who claim Marvel and Mary Ann Coffey as their father.  The third child only names Mary Ann as the mother.

Now, when Mary, the "domestic servant," appeared in the 1870 census, she was apparently the mother of the child John Kelly, age 1 year in that census.   Four years later, Mary "the daughter" married William Zachariah Maltba*** and lived with him until her death in 1910.

In the 1880 Caldwell Co. census, Zacariah [sic] Maltba and wife Mary A., had children (among others): John K., age 11; George, age 9 and Elizabeth, age 6, all of which appear to be the same children attributed to Mary Ann by documents mentioned herein.  Although not enumerated with the Coffey surname, they were much too old to have been children resulting from the Zachariah and Mary Ann union.

So, what are we to make from all this?  Mary who married Zachariah Maltba named Marvel Coffey as her father.  Was Mary's father also the father of her first three children?  Was there another Marvel?  Was Mary "the domestic servant" another Mary Coffey?  Was Mary "the daughter" also Mary "the domestic servant?"

The Maltba family remained in Kings Creek the remainder of their lives.  Elizabeth "Lizzie" remained in the Kings Creek area during her marriages to Barnett and Wilson while the two boys, John K. and George Washington moved on to West Virginia.

Anyone have this figured out?

 *Groom's Name: Julius F. Barnett Groom's Birth Date: 1866 Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: 27 Bride's Name: Lizzie Coffey Bride's Birth Date: 1873 Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: 20 Marriage Date: 18 Nov 1893 Marriage Place: Kings Creek Twp, Caldwell, North Carolina Groom's Father's Name: Thos. H. Barnett Groom's Mother's Name: Sarah Barnett Bride's Father's Name: Bride's Mother's Name: Mary Ann Maltba Groom's Race: White Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: White Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M74468-8 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 590346 Reference Number 

 **groom's name:N. F. Wilson groom's birth date:1862 groom's birthplace: groom's age:49 bride's name:Lizzie Barnett bride's birth date:1874 bride's birthplace: bride's age:37 marriage date:08 Nov 1911 marriage place:Granite Falls, Lovelady Twp, North Carolina groom's father's name:Jacob Wilson groom's mother's name:Margaret Wilson bride's father's name: bride's mother's name: groom's race:White groom's marital status: groom's previous wife's name: bride's race:White bride's marital status: bride's previous husband's name: indexing project (batch) number:M74461-8 system origin:North Carolina-EASy source film number:590349 reference number

***groom's name:Wm. Z. Maltba groom's birth date:1853 groom's birthplace: groom's age:21 bride's name:Mary A. Coffey bride's birth date:1849 bride's birthplace: bride's age:25 marriage date:25 Nov 1874 marriage place:Caldwell, North Carolina groom's father's name:Jonathan Maltba groom's mother's name:Sarah Maltba bride's father's name:Marvel Coffey bride's mother's name:Nancy Coffey groom's race: groom's marital status: groom's previous wife's name: bride's race: bride's marital status: bride's previous husband's name: indexing project (batch) number:M74468-7 system origin:North Carolina-EASy source film number:590345 reference number:bk 3

November 16, 2006

Watauga County, North Carolina Postoffices and Postmasters

According to the website, New River Notes and the sub-page [click on title link to read the entire list], the following Coffeys were postmasters at the location indicated. The dates are no explained, but presumed to be date of appointment.

Blowing Rock:

John S. Coffee [sic] Jul. 26, 1856
Silas C. Coffey Jul. 26, 1856
William C. Coffey Jun. 13, 1873
Thomas H. Coffey Apr. 2, 1914
Mrs. Irene S. Coffey Feb. 2, 1953
Olin Jay Coffey Jun. 5, 1953
Mrs. Irene S. Coffey Jun. 30, 1961


William C. Coffey Jun. 13, 1873


Oscar S. Coffey Jul. 15, 1905


Comodore J. Coffey Jul. 15, 1891
David N. Coffey Mar. 20, 1905

Olin James Coffey

Olin James Coffey*, born Apr. 4, 1900 in Watauga Co., NC was a son of David Nathaniel and Caroline Lovina Coffey Coffey. Caroline was the daughter of Levi L. and Temperance C. [perhaps also a Coffey] Coffey. David Nathaniel was a son of Austin and Mary A. Blaylock Coffey. Austin and David Nathaniel were second cousins.

Olin married Estie Coffey [her parents are yet unknown] about 1923, and together they had a daughter, Norma Pauline Coffey. Either at the birth of, or shortly thereafter Estie died because Olin shows up in the 1930 Watauga Co. census as a widower in the household with his brother, Austin Blaine Coffey.

The child Norma appears in the household with the William W. and Lee Ella Williams family as their "adopted daughter." Interestingly enough, the Williams family had an older daughter named Estie, age 24.

Olin registered for the WW1 draft in Sep., 1918, but apparently was not drafted. In 1942 he enlisted in the US Army and recorded that he was a widower without dependents. In 1918 he was recorded as being of medium height with blue eyes and light colored hair. In 1942 he was 6' tall and weighed 135 lbs.

He apparently never remarried. Another marriage record has not been found and he died as a widower on May 28, 1986 in Watauga Co.**

Norma Pauline married the Rev. Howard Thomas Hodges. After 56 years of marriage and several children, Pauline died at age 79 on Nov. 9, 2003 in Denton, NC. Her obituary, which appeared in both the News Herald in Morganton, NC and The Dispatch in Lexington, NC reads respectively:

Norma Hodges

DENTON--Mrs. Norma C. Hodges, 79, of Denton, died Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003, at her home. Born in Watauga County on June 3, 1924, she was a daughter of the late Olin J. and Estie Coffey Coffey and was a homemaker and a member of Zion Baptist Church in Morganton. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, the Rev. Howard Thomas Hodges, who died April 20, 2001. She also was preceded in death by her foster family, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Collins, Sally Collins, Spencer and Staple Collins.

She is survived by daughters, Rebecca Parsons and husband, Lloyd, of Denton, and Susan Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C.; grandchildren, Jessica, Caitlin and Robb Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C. and Jen Parsons of Richlands and Amanda Perez of High Point.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Zion Baptist Church in Morganton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Cedar Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1048, Linwood, N.C. 27299.

Briggs Funeral Home in Denton is assisting the family.


November 11. 2003 12:00AM

Norma C. Hodges

DENTON - Norma Coffey Hodges, 79, of Denton, died Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003, at her home. A memorial service will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Zion Baptist Church in Morganton, where she was a member.

Mrs. Hodges was born June 3, 1924, in Watauga County to Olin J. and Estie Coffey Coffey. She was a homemaker. She was married to the Rev. Howard Thomas Hodges, her husband of 56 years, who died April 20, 2001. She was also preceded in death by her foster family, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Collins, Sally Collins and Spencer and Staple Collins.

Surviving are two daughters, Rebecca Parsons and her husband, Lloyd, of Denton and Susan Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C., and six grandchildren, Jessica, Caitlin and Rob Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C., Matthew and Jen Parsons of Richlands and Amanda Perez of High Point.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cedar Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1048, Linwood, N.C. 27299.

Briggs Funeral Home in Denton is assisting the family.

*In some records his name is recorded as Olin Jay Coffey, and Olin James Coffey in others.

** North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-1966, and NC Department of Health, Deaths 1983-87

November 14, 2006

Moses Turpin Coffey

According to an on-line source that I can no longer find, Moses Turpin Coffey "was satisfied to spend most of his life within a mile or two of his birthplace. One exception was when at the age of 33 he enlisted in the 148th Indiana Regiment. Their principle assignment was the occupation of recently captured Nashville, Tennessee while the brunt of the war moved to other campaigns. The 148th was organized in February, 1865 and mustered out in September, 1865." [Nancee(McMurtrey) Seifert]

Another on-line source indicates that Moses was the fifth of ten children born to Lewis and Delilah Turpin Coffey on May 23, 1831. Moses married Lucinda Renner on Mar. 11, 1852 in Morgan Co., IN. More of that biography can be read by clicking on the above link.

The sixth of the nine children of Moses and Lucinda was Elizabeth Katherine, born Jun. 1, 1866, died Aug. 2, 1923. She married John Nathan Elgin about 1898 in [probably] Morgan Co. John was born Oct., 1851 in Indiana and died Mar. 14, 1931 in Morgan Co.

They were the parents of at least three children: Bessie, born May 10, 1891, died Aug., 29, 1892; Sidney Joseph, born Jun., 1893 and Fred, born Aug., 1895.

A source for the Elgin family is: Francis Marion Farley and Lulu Cain Farley - their ancestors and descendants by Lucille Farley Speer, Greenfield, IN, 1973.

Robert Whitesides and Elizabeth Coffey

James Coffey was the first son and eldest child of John Coffey and Jane Graves. He was born Jul. 4, 1729 in Essex Co., VA and died Oct. 1786 in Wilkes Co., NC. James married Elizabeth Cleveland, a daughter of Alexander and Mildred Presly Coffey [some researchers dispute this union*; others claim that Elizabeth was a niece of Alexanders], born Feb. 1727 and died about 1827 in Bedford Co., TN. They are thought to have married about 1750 in either Orange or Albamarle Co., VA.

James and Elizabeth are credited with producing at least 11 children. Their eldest was Elizabeth (Betty), born about 1751. According to the work Male Whiteside(s) names in the United States from selected sources ca. 1690-1849 : and Whiteside place names, compiled by Don Whiteside, and published in Ottawa, Canada in 1971, Robert Whiteside[s] married Elizabeth about 1770 in Albemarle Co., VA. Robert died in 1810 in Kentucky, and Elizabeth died about 1812 in Wayne Co., KY.

Many researchers credit them with being the parents of at least eight children:

James, born Jul. 21, 1771, died Apr. 24, 1848, married Betsy Dick.
William, born about 1773, died 1824, married Lavina Singleton
Jonathon, born Apr. 13, 1776 in Burke Co., NC, died Jul, 17, 1796 in Madison Co., KY, married Thankful Anderson Jul. 17, 1796 in Madison Co., KY
Henry, born about 1780, died 1806
Lewis, born 1782, died between 1840 and 1850, married Sarah Dunn
Robert [some researchers claim that it was Robert who married Betsy Dick]
Mary (Polly)

The Whiteside compilation mentioned above does not name the last three as being children of Robert and Elizabeth.

*I received the following e-mail in 2004:

Jack, Please be aware that some of the information you are posting for the Cleveland family is incorrect. John Cleveland who married Elizabeth Coffey was the son of Alexander Cleveland and his wife Mary. She was not named Milly or Mildred and her maiden name was not Presley. The Cleveland's originally lived in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co VA and the parish register has the births of Alexander and his known children, including John.

Part of my reply:

There are at least two different genealogies (Edmund James Cleveland, 1899, The Genealogy of the Cleveland Families, and George A. Martin, Virginia Cleveland Ancestor Discovered, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 46, Sept., 1958) that attempt to straighten out the Cleveland lines.

Cleveland's work appears to confuse two different Cleveland families. He is the source of the Presley name for Alexander's wife, but offers no evidence however, that Alexander existed. Martin cites the Abingdon Register and indicates that Roger and Dorcas Cleveland were the parents of Alexander who was the father of Rev. John who settled in Orange Co.

Whether Alexander's wife was Mary or Milley, it appears that her maiden name was Presley. I'd be extremely interested in any information that you have uncovered that disproves that.

To which the following reply was received:

Alexander Cleveland's wife is listed in the Abingdon Parish register as Mary. To date, this is the only document I have found giving her name. Traditionally, she has been associated with the Presley family of Northumberland Co VA. But I have thoroughly researched that family and come to the conclusion that it is simply impossible. Presley researchers do not include her in their genealogies and there is nothing to tie that family to Gloucester Co. In addition, the father usually cited for her (Peter Presley) died around the time she was most likely born, but there are no orphan court records for her (there are orphan court records for Peter's minor son). The 1899 Cleveland genealogies are riddled with errors on the Virginia Cleveland's. Several children are attributed to Alexander that probably aren't his. The children that you listed are the only ones that can be proven as his. Others were apparently just "stray" Clevelands with no obvious parents who got lumped in. One child, Elizabeth m. James Coffey has recently been shown by a deed to be Alexander's granddaughter. There are lots of records in VA for Alexander, they are all over the place (due to changes in county boundaries). Beginning in 1724 I have found Alexander and his sons Alexander Jr. and John in the records of Spotsylvania Co, then in Orange Co, and then later in Albemarle Co, where Alexander probably died about 1775. For several years he lived with his son-in-law Edward Coffey Jr and Edward received payments from the parish for taking care of him. The last record in the parish vestry book is from 1774. I'm sure he was dead by 1778, otherwise his son John would have probably mentioned him in his will. The Abingdon Parish register also shows a John Cleveland having children in the 1790s. He was either a younger brother or a much older son to Roger Cleveland. It is believed now that the Cleveland's who show up in other parts of VA in the 1720s and later are probably his descendents, not Alexander's. This would include the Jeremiah Cleveland that you mention.

There was at least one further exchange, but nothing consequential.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has solid evidence that 1) Elizabeth was/was not the daughter of Alexander, and 2) that Alexander's wife was/was not Mildred Presly.

Joel Coffey

There are at least 23 men in my Coffey database named Joel. There are undoubtedly more, and many researchers have a difficult time keeping them separate. This is especially true when there are cousins in the same area and all were born around the same time.

The Joel I am writing about today was born Jun. 15, 1789, probably in Tennessee and died Dec. 10, 1855 in Oregon or perhaps in Camas, Clark Co., WA. He married Sarah Mackey, daughter of William Lewis and Elizabeth Ashbrook Mackey, Apr. 19, 1818 in Maury Co., TN.

Joel is said to be the son of Chesley, Jr. and Margaret Baldwin Coffey. Chesley, Jr. implies that there was a Chesley, Sr., but no one has ever been successful in location Chesley, Sr., or even proving his existance.

Some research that I have seen indicates that Joel took his family to Oregon in 1852 where they settled near Vancouver in what is now Washington state. Some writers claim that he and Sarah were parents of 10 children, but a number of them died young. Three of the children are said to have been buried in the family plot with Joel in Camas. Two of their children, twins Terral M. and Alexander L., born Mar. 15, 1831, are said to have become "noteworthy." Terral went to Umitilla Co., OR where he became a prominent farmer near Pendleton. Alexander became the county surveyor in Adams Co., WA.

In his book Genealogy of the Lewis family in America, published 1893 in Louisville, KY, William Terrell Lewis wrote that "Sarah Mackey, daughter of Wm. L. Mackey, was born in Rutherford county, N.C. in 1795. She married Joel Coffey, had three children and died in Missouri. The names of her children are as follows: William, Chesley and Derindia. After the death of Mrs. Sarah Coffey and her three children, Mr. Coffey moved to Oregon."

In addition to the three children named above, others most often described as being those of Joel and Sarah are:

Alexander L., born Mar. 15, 1831, died Aug. 8, 1913
Terral Mackey, married Mary E. Patterson, was born Mar. 15, 1831
Mary Louise, married Webster Abbott, was born 1833, died 1922
Elizabeth Angeline, married Lewis Van Fleet, was born May 8, 1836, died Apr. 12, 1905

Did Sarah Mackey die before the family left for Oregon? If so, who was the mother of the remaining four children?

Contact me with additions or corrections.

November 11, 2006

Oliver N. Coffey

While researching the William H. and Mary Faulkner Coffey family, I found several researchers who claim that Oliver N. Coffey, born Dec. 2, 1832, died Dec. 30, 1900 is one of their sons.

Actually, Oliver is their grandson, born to their son Hodge Raymond Coffey. Hodge was born about 1812 in North Carolina and married Hannah Wilson on Nov. 13, 1831 in Owen Co., IN. Hannah was born about 1809 in North Carolina.

Oliver was their oldest child, and married Lydia S. Litton on Jan. 30, 1851 in Owen Co. I can find only one child born to this union: Joshua Benton Coffey, born about 1860, died Dec. 7, 1929.

Joshua married Mary Ester (Mollie) Bonner, who was born May 27, 1870 in Harrisburg, PA, died May 7, 1957 in Hays, Ellis Co., KS. Their son, Dr. Francis (Frank) Ellsworth Coffey was born Aug. 1, 1891 in Kansas City, Jackson Co., KS and died Aug. 27, 1946 in Hays, Ellis Co., KS. His wife, Marguerite Hanning Burger was born Jul. 4, 1893 in Kansas City, KS and died Jan. 4, 1984 in Hays, KS.

They had two children: Dr. Roy B. Coffey, born Jan. 26, 1924, and D. Joanne Coffey, born about 1928.

Dr. Roy Coffey died in Port Charlotte, FL on May 6, 2004. His obituary lists survivors as his wife, Louise, two daughters, Diane Sullivan and Gail Kelling; four sons, Frank, Charles, Lee and Gary as well as a sister Joanne Ramph of Kansas. Dr. Coffey was buried with military honors in the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell.

Other children of Hodge and Hannah were:

James L., born Jun. 9, 1834, died Nov. 6, 1890 who married Elizabeth Litton. Children were Martha, born about 1856 and Laura, born about 1858. There may have been others, but I have not found them yet.

Silas D. M., born Feb. 23, 1839, died Mar. 6, 1904 in Manatee Co., FL. He married Caroline Byles, born abt. 1836 in PA, died Apr. 9, 1915 in Brazil, Clay Co., IL. I have found no descendants of this union.

Mary A. R., born abt. 1841 in Indiana, married David H. Allen May 9, 1859. I have found no descendants of this union.

Serena T., born about 1846, and Isaac. These children may have died young. I have not found any information on them.

Please contact me with additions and/or corrections.


Hodge Raymond - 1850 Owen Co., Dist. 83, Washington Twp., dwelling 275, family 276, Hodge R. Coffey, age 38, male, farmer, $1600, born NC; Hannah, age 41, female, born NC; Oliver N., age 18, male, farming, born IN; James L. R., age 15, male, farming, born IN; Silas D.M., age 11, male, born IN; Mary A. R., age 9, female, born IN; Sarene T., age 3, female, born IN

Oliver N. - Marriage: Name: Oliver N Coffey Spouse Name: Lydia S Litton Marriage Date: 30 Jan 1851 Marriage County: Owen Source Title 1: Owen County, Indiana Source Title 2: Index to Marriage Record 1850 - 1920 Inclusive Vol Source Title 3: W. P. A. Original Record Located: Compiled by Indi Book: 27 OS Page: 228

Joshua Benton - 1910 Wyandotte Co., Kansas City, Pct. 23, Ward 5, ED117, Sheet 11A, dwelling 271, family 226, Coffey, Joshua B., head, male, white, age 49, married once for 22 yrs., born IN, father born IN, mother born NC; Mary E., wife, female, white, age 38, married once for 22 yrs., mother of 1, 1 living, born PA, parents born PA; Francis E., son, male, white, age 18, single, born KS, father born IN, mother born PA; Bonner, William B., bro-in-law, male, white, age 36, widower, born PA, parents born PA, farmer; Winchester, Efford L., cousin, male, white, age 34, widower, born IN, parents born US, car inspector for railroad.

1920 Wyandotte Co., Kansas City, Ward 4, ED171, Sheet No. 23A, 1400 Throuwell [?] Ave., dwelling 524, family 538, Coffey, Joshua B., head, male, white, age 52, married, born IN, father born IN, mother born NC, machinest for railroad; Mary Coffey, wife, female, white, age 42, married, born PA, parents born PA, dance teacher; Frank, son, male, white, age 26, married, born KS, father born IN, mother born PA, none; Marguerite, dau.-in-law, female, white, age 24, married, born KS, fathere born PA, mother born IR, saleslady at grocery store; Netter, George W., lodger, male, white, age 40, married, born KS, father born PA, mother born KS, railroad office clerk; Netter, Mary J., lodger, female, white, age 45, married, born PA, parents born England; George, Jr., lodger, male, white, age 9, born KS, father born KS, mother born PA

James L. - 1860 Gentry Co., Twp. 63, Alanthus Grove PO, dwelling 1023, family 1019, James L. Coffee, age 26, male, mechanic, $100, $200, born IA; Elizabeth, age 21, female, born IA; Martha, age 4, female, borm MO; Laura, age 2, female, born MO

November 10, 2006

WW1 'doughboys' dwindle to just 12

"J. Russell Coffey was an Army private who never saw battle overseas. He enlisted in Columbus [Ohio] on Oct. 19, 1918."

See the rest of the story in the on-line version of the Toledo Blade, Toledo, OH by clicking on the title link.

November 7, 2006

Elijah Coffey, son of Cleveland and Jane Witherspoon Coffey

Cleveland and Jane had at least eight children [no sources]:


George W., born 1801, died Aug. 28, 1856, married Nancy LNU. Their children were Albert, Franklin, Martha, George, Jane, Nancy, Sally and Mary. All were born between 1825 and 1850 and probably in Adair Co., KY

Humphrey, born c1805; Elijah, born c1807, died c1876, married Lucy LNU, probably in Wayne Co., KY

Elijah - see below.

Walton, born c1810, married Margaret Green May 21, 1837 in Russell Co., KY. Children were Catharine, Green and George, all born between 1838 and 1844.


Cleveland P.

Martha, married Gabriel Hayes, Jr., Dec. 23, 1813 in Adair Co. Children were Joseph, born Dec. 8, 1822, and D. L.

Elijah was born c1807, and died c1876. He is thought to have married Mariah or Mary Coffey May 18, 1826 in Russell Co., KY. Mariah is said to have been a daughter of Eli and Mary Coffey Coffey. She was born Jan. 17, 1802 in Kentucky, and died Oct., 1855 in Russell Co.

Their children were: Emily Caroline; Lucy Jane, born Jun. 27, 1831, died Jun. 6, 1907, married William T. Jackman, born Mar. 27, 1829 in Russell Co., died Sep. 7, 1891 in Adair Co.; Mary E., born c1833; Mariah, born c1838.

Some researchers have named Robert Pierce as a son, but he was a laborer on Elijah's farm in 1860, and was not related. He is likely the same Robert Pierce who married Elijah's daughter, Mary E., and found in the 1880 Casey Co., KY census. Robert Pierce was operator of a hotel in 1880, and probably the same hotel that Elijah, Sr. ran in Casey Co. in 1870.

Included in the 1880 census with Robert and Mary E. Pierce, was a widow Polly Coffey, age 50, and several Coffey children: Laura, age 15; Martha, age 16; Sarah, age 13; and Elijah, age 11.

I would apprciate hearing from anyone researching Cleveland and Jane, and especially their son Elijah.

November 6, 2006

James Coffey, of Surry County, North Carolina

[Updated Oct. 3, 2009 to add new link to Fred's website]

Fred Coffey, a Coffey Cousin and resident Coffey "DNA expert" has prepared a document containing his prospective on a James Coffey found in early Surry Co., NC. This James might be the illegitimate son of Annister Coffey, daughter of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey.

Little or nothing is known about Annister except that she "was indicted by Grand Jury in Essex County, Virginia, on November 17, 1736 for 'having a base born child.' She named this child, James Coffey."

The author also provides a bit of history of the area, and links are given for those that would like to dig further into this fascinating and historic area of North Carolina.

Readers can find the document by clicking on the title link.

November 2, 2006

McCaleb Coffey

McCaleb Coffey was a son of Thomas and Sarah (Sally) Fields Coffey. He was born Aug. 22, 1803 in Wilkes Co., NC and died Feb. 17, 1881 in Caldwell Co., NC. He married Elizabeth Collett on Feb. 2, 1828 in North Carolina. Elizabeth was born Mar. 8, 1809, probably in North Carolina, and died Jul. 9, 1887 in North Carolina.

He and Elizabeth were parents of at least 14 children, including Thomas Jefferson and Julia Jane, both previously written about in this blog.

The following information was found at a website prepared by Terry Erb:*

McCaleb Coffey, as youngest child, was born (near what is now Patterson, NC) August 22, 1803. Before him were William (the father of Gilliam, Wilborn, Daniel. and Calvin Coffey, and Celia Curtis now or late of this county), Reuben, Martha (wife of Rev. James Dowell), Lewis, and Larkin, who migrated to the West about fifty years ago, Elijah, who went farther South about the same time, and Sarah, who married Samuel Stewart, of Burke County, North Carolina.

McCaleb, soon after his majority, on February 5, 1828, married Elizabeth Collett, a sister of John Collett, Esq., of Burke, and Abraham Collett, of Cherokee County and settled in what was then known as the upper dark hollow of the Yadkin River, where he kindled the cheerful light of a home, since widely known as well for the thrift and hospitality of its inmates as for the noble brood of sons and daughters reared and trained under its shelter. Here sixteen children were born to him, of whom nine survive, four sons: T. J. and W. C. Coffey, of Boone; Charles L. Coffey, of Lower Creek; and Henry C. Coffey of Mulberry; and five daughters: Mrs. J. J. Steele, Mrs. David Farthing, Mrs. Thomas Coffey, and Misses Martha and Jennie Coffey who,with their mother, yet remain at the old homestead. Besides these,there are seventeen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren surviving him.

Without seeking to praise the living, it is but justice to the dead to say that children so taught by precept or example as these have been are the best gifts a citizen can bestow upon the State. To their prudence, energy, and uprightness their several counties owe much, and their immediate neighborhoods very much of their prosperity and reputation.

McCaleb Coffey was one of the last and best specimens of an almost extinct class of men. He was a hunter, pioneer, and backwoods farmer. Never long absent from the place where he first laid his hearthstone, commencing life with scanty means, he was able by steady work and just dealing to erect a slightly and commodious mansion, to raise a large family and equip them for active life, and to accumulate a sufficient fortune for the support of his old age.

While never seeking public position, be was once induced by the united voices of his fellow citizens to act as chairman of the first Board of our County Commissioners, and made a faithful and painstaking officer.

He died February 17, 1881, at his home above Patterson, and was buried February 19, at Harper's Chapel, within sight of the roof tree under which he was born. Without ambition, save to live uprightly and do what he found to be his duties at home, of rare prudence in speech and action, never busied in the affairs of others, inflexibly just, yet not uncharitable, this plain farmer's long life was so useful, clean, and pure that as he was followed to his grave by three generations of his descendants and a large concourse of his neighbors. after more than three-fourths of a century spent under the shadow of the same hills that towered over his birthplace, there was not one in all the throng who pressed near the coffin for a last look at the well-known gray head but who could say, "a good man is gone."

*A source was not provided

Note: Many genealogies and other documents refer to McCaleb as Caleb. He was McCaleb in the 1840 and 1860-1880 census records. He was Caleb in the 1850 census record.

Julia Jane (Jennie) Coffey

Julia Jane Coffey

From the Watauga Democrat, Thursday, August 5, 1954

Miss Jennie Coffey, 101 years Old, Succumbs Tuesday Noon

Miss Jennie Coffey, aged 101 years, Watauga county's oldest citizen and pioneer merchant of Boone, died at her home Tuesday noon, following a long period of failing health.
Funeral services will be conducted from the Boone Methodist Church today (Wednesday) at 3 o'clock. The pastor, Rev. J. T. Shackford will conduct the rites and interment will be in the city cemetery.

Miss Coffey was born in Caldwell county December 5, 1852, and had resided in Watauga for more than seventy-five years. In her early years here, she established a millinery shop, and sold school text book and school supplies, and was in business here longer than any other person.

She was a member of the Methodist Church throughout her adult life and for more than half a century had taught an adult Sunday School class. She had retired from active church work, and business activities some years ago, but hadn't suffered critical disability until the last few months.

Miss Coffey was the last survivor of a family of 16, which included the late Capt. Thomas Coffey and Mr. W. C. Coffey of Boone.

Survivors include a number of nieces and nephews, among whom are Mrs. Nell Linney and Mrs. Remmel Porter of Boone.

Aunt Jenny Coffey, Daughter of First Chairman Caldwell Board of Commissioners, Dies

Miss Julia Jane Coffey, 101, daughter of Caleb Coffey, who served as first chairman of the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners when this county was formed, died at her home in Boone yesterday.

Funeral services were conducted at the First Methodist church there at 3 o'clock this afternoon. Interment was made in the Boone cemetery.

Known to a host of friends and relatives in this section of the State as "Aunt Jennie," she was born in Caldwell county in December 1852. She had made her home in Boone for the last three-quarters of a century. She had operated a millinery shop in Boone for many years.

She was the last surviving member of Caleb Coffey in which there were 16* children.

She was a great-aunt of Clarence P. Coffey of Lenoir, and was related to Walter Sullivan, Earl Austin, Howard Powell, Ed Lee Steel, Harold F., D. Archie and Miss Irene Coffey and others in Lenoir and the county.

Jennie was a sister of Thomas Jefferson Coffey
Clippings courtesy of Margaret J. Farley of Winston-Salem, NC

*I have found only 14

November 1, 2006

Jesse S. Coffey

The following appeared in the June 1997 issue of Coffey Cousins' Clearinghouse newsletter. It contains information gathered from several researchers by J.C. and Mary Coffey. Others providing data to the article were: Lucille Seaman Coffey, James Coffey, Jr., Marvis Dilbeck, W. W. Coffey and Joan Hudgins.

Little in known about this Jesse (one of many Jesses)[.] [S]ome sources say that he died young and some say he never married. According to census and marriage records, these claims are in error.

The Jesse S. Coffey of this line was born 19 July 1799 in N.C. The most probably parents of Jesse are Thomas Coffey and his second wife Sara (Sally) Fields. Thomas Coffey was born in 1742 in Essex Co. VA and died 1825 in Wilkes Co., NC.

Thomas and Sara Coffey did have a son Jesse, but no Jesse was mentioned in the will of Thomas Coffey. For this reason some feel that Jesse died single before 1825 or left the area and never was heard from again, or that Thomas Coffey gave Jesse his inheritance before he moved from Wilkes Co. N.C. to Georgia.

Jesse Coffey did marry Winnefred Crumppton, 22 Dec. 1821 in Wilkes Co. N.C. A Larkin Coffey was one of the bondsmen. Thomas Coffey had a son, Larkin that would have been a younger brother of Jesse but old enough to be a bondsman. Also, Jesse's first son was named Thomas (which was a custom for a man to name his first son after his father). Another custom was to name children the same as his father's children. Thomas Coffey had sons with similar names to the sons of Jesse Coffey.

Jesse S. Coffey is buried in the Long Swamp Cemetery, in Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA. His tombstone indicates that he was born 19 July 1799 and died 18 Oct. 1858.

Jesse Coffey and Winneford Crumpton (or Compton) were married in Wilkes Co. N.C. 22 Dec. 1821. [B]oth Jesse and Winneford were born in N.C.

Winneford Crumpton was born 20 Nov. 1801 and died 11 Nov. 1863. She is buried beside Jesse in Long Swamp Church Cemetery. Her parents were Jane and Hezekiah Crumpton.

Hezekiah died after 1818 in Wilkes Co. N.C. and Jane Crumpton still lived in 1853. (In May 1853 she withdrew her letter from the old Suawnee Baptist Church, Gwinnette Co).

The Jesse Coffey family was in GA by 1824 therefore this probably could be another clue that Thomas Coffey who died in 1825 gave his son Jesse his inheritance before he died and before Jesse moved from N.C. to GA.

The 1830 Federal census shows Jesse Coffey family in Gwinnett Co. GA. In the 1832 Cherokee land lottery, Jesse S. Coffey, Lewis and Edmond Coffey all were awarded 160 acres of land.

Jesse Coffey and family were listed in Forsyth Co. GA's 1832 Census. He was listed as a member of the Petit Jury of Forsyth Co. several times.

The 1860 Pickens Co. GA Federal Census list Jesse's wife Winneford living with her son, John Gordon Coffey and his wife Mary. (Jesse died in 1858).

Rev. Willie W. Coffey of Alabama gave further info on Jesse S. Coffey and his marriage. He states Jesse's wife's name as Winneford Crumpton Broom and it was assumed she was a widow. Joan Hudgins also gave similar info, stating that name [was]either Crumpton Broom or Broom Crumpton however, the marriage record only gave Winneford Crumpton. (Marriage Record, grooms List Film #8 county 104. Wilkes Co. N.C. read by Mary Coffey, at the Dallas Library, Dallas, TX July 16, 1981).

Note: Brackets indicate my edits to make the document read more smoothly.

O'Coffey, Cowhig

The following was extracted from Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins originally compiled by Edward MacLysaght and published in 1957 by Hodges Figgis & Co. Ltd. of Dublin. It appeared in the Sep. 1996 edition of Coffey Cousins' Clearinghouse newsletter and was submitted to that publication by Tom Veale.

In Irish this name is O'Cobhthaigh pronounced O'Coffey in English: It is probably derived from the word cobhthach meaning victorious. Coffey is one of those surnames which have not resumed the prefix O, dropped during the period of Gaelic submergence. Several distinct septs were prominent in medieval times, of which two are still well represented in their original homeland. These are O'Coffey of Corcalaoidhe in south-west Co. Cork, where local pronunciation often makes the name Cowhig or Cowhey, as in the place name Dunocowhey, called after them. This sept is the same stock as the O'Driscolls.

A second minor sept was a branch of the O'Maddens of Ui Ma'ine, whose descendants are found to-day in Co. Roscommon.

A third, once of considerable importance but now scattered, belonged to Co. Westmeath where they were famous as a bardic family.

The more recent times the Leinster Coffeys are represented by Charles Coffey (1700-1745), dramatist and actor, the first to introduce Irish airs in a play. George Coffey (1857-1916), the archaeologist, though his family has long associations with Dublin, was descended from the Munster sept. The place-name Rothcoffey occurs both in Co. Kildare and Co. Leix.

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