For the past month or so I have been given invaluable research material by one of Reuben's descendants. Margaret Coffey Farley of Winston-Salem, NC has given me photos and family history that would have otherwise taken me years - if ever - to uncover.
Thank you, Margaret!
Margaret descends from Reuben Coffey and Sarah Scott. Reuben, a son of John and Jane Graves Coffey, were parents of at least 13 children, 12 of which have known descendants. Two of his sons, Jesse, born between 1775 and 1780, and Joseph, born c1785, are pretty much responsible for most of the Coffeys found in North Carolina today.
Many of Reuben's children moved out of North Carolina and headed west. Many of them settled in Missouri and Indiana. Jesse and Joseph remained pretty close to home.
- Reuben, Jr. married Naomi Hayes. Some of their children were born in NC and TN, but much of the family was in Indiana by the late 1820's.
- Jesse who married Margaret Edmiston, remained in North Carolina where they produced at least 10 children. His son Jesse married in Grainger Co., TN in 1838. At least one of son Jesse's children, Mary Jane, returned to North Carolina where she settled with husband Wyatt Hayes in Watauga County.
- Elizabeth married John Greene and produced at least 10 children, all of which are thought to have remained in NC. After John Greene died in 1853, Elizabeth married Thomas Roper and moved to Greene Co., IN. She is thought to have had at least one child with Thomas.
Nancy, one of the Greene children, married James Coffey, a son of Levi and Dolly Edmundson Coffey. Levi was a grand-nephew (as well as first cousin twice removed) to Reuben.
Many of Levi's descendants are also found in North Carolina today.
- Elijah married Polly Dyer. The first six of their 11 children were born in NC. In about 1816 or 17 they moved west. Their seventh child, Joel Anderson, was born in Tennessee, William Trimble, their eighth, was born in Kentucky, and the next three in Indiana. It seems that all of the children born in North Carolina eventually settled in and around Owen Co., IN.
- Sally married Samuel Curtis and had at least one child, Hezekiah, born c1810. Hezekiah later married Celia Coffey, a daughter of William and Annie Boone Coffey. William was nephew to Reuben. Some of the Curtis children are believed to have remained in Wilkes and Burke Counties.
- Joseph married Isabella Lindsay. They produced seven children, most of which remained in Caldwell County. Margaret Coffey Farley is his descendant through his son Zacheus (Zack) who married his first cousin, Margaret, daughter of Jesse who was Joseph's brother.
- James married Hannah Alloway Strange, producing at least seven children. Many of those children were born in Wilkes Co., but moved on with their parents to settle in Spencer and Owen Counties in Indiana.
- Nancy married Joel Anderson Dyer and raised at least nine children. Her first husband was a Durham but I know nothing of him. I have not looked at this family sufficiently to know where the Dyer children were born, but both Joel and Nancy died in Indiana; Joel in 1850 and Nancy in 1866.
- William, married Mary Faulkner and had at least two children. The family moved out of North Carolina sometime after 1812 and ended up in Owen Co., Indiana.
- Joel Benjamin married Saphronia Stepp/Stapp. They had at least seven children, one of which is know to have been born c1817 in Burke Co., NC. The remainder are thought to have been born in Monroe Co., IN. After reaching adulthood, many of Joel's children moved on to Gentry Co., MO.
- Thomas married Sarah Stokes and became mother to at least 12 children. I do not have a lot of information on any of them except Leven Stokes, born Dec. 4, 1819. He moved on to Meigs Co., TN where he married Celia Perry in 1844. He and his family eventually settled in Laclede Co., MO. Another of Thomas' sons, Joseph Alson, also settled in Laclede Co.
- And finally, Jane, Reuben and Sarah's last child. She married James Benjamin Webb. Little is known of them, but James died in 1827 in Overton, Shelby Co., TN.
I suppose it would be safe to say that if your surname is Coffey and your parents and grandparents were born in North Carolina, you are very likely to be a descendant of Reuben through either his son Jesse, or son Joseph.
Please contact me to add to or correct any of this information.