March 4, 2007

Henderson Coffey

Henderson was not too popular a name in some Coffey families. I think there are four or five with that name in my files. Many Coffey families were not too imaginative when it came time to name a child. Of course, some families ventured outside the norm and named their daughers something other than Sarah, Elizabeth, Jane, Margaret or Martha. Boys fared somewhat better, but it's often difficult to find a Coffey family without a James, Jesse, John, Benjamin or Joseph.

I've often wondered how it must have been in town on Saturday when everone came out of the woods to do their weekly shopping, or to attend church on Sunday. It must have been as difficult for the preachers and store keepers to keep everyone straight in their minds as it is for us today. I suppose that's how nicknames such as "Black Tom," and "Red Eye" evolved.

My paternal grandmother had three male first cousins with the same surname and all named Jesse. To keep them separate, the family referred to them as "Wild Jess", "Black Jess," and "Cripple Jess," who had been injured in a sawmill accident.

Nicknames were a convenient way for everyone to sort out men with the same name. Still it must have been a problem with many of the women having one of the more popular nicknames such as Halie, Mattie, Polly, and Molly!

Back to Henderson: He was a son of Nelson and Keziah Watters Coffey, born c1844 in Eadsville, Wayne Co., KY. He married Catherine C. Jones on Nov. 25, 1867 in Wayne Co. Catherine was the daughter of William McKinley and Mary Jane (Polly) Baker Jones. She was born Mar. 27, 1840 in Wayne Co., and died Oct. 16, 1901 in McCreary Co., KY. I do not have a death date for Henderson.

Catherine bore at least six children:

Mary Ann (Polly), born c1868, died Jun. 2, 1944. She married Elisha E. Roberts on Mar. 12, 1891 in Kentucky. He was born in Wayne Co. in 1856, and died Apr. 29, 1947 in that county. Polly also died in Wayne Co. on Jun. 2, 1944. I have no children for them.

Kizzie, born Sep. 17, 1869 in Eadsville, Wayne Co., died Oct. 2, 1959 in McCreary Co. She married John Coffey, son of Shelby and Sarah "Sally" Perkins.

Margaret, third child and third daughter of Henderson and Catherine, married a Henderson Coffey whose first name may have been Richard. They were married on Feb. 27, 1902 in (probably) Wayne Co., KY. Children were:


Ida, born c1902, died Jan. 26, 1934, married William Coffey, son of Lewis Coffey, Jr., and wife, Permelia Ann Tucker. Ida and William had at least two children: Leonard, born c1923 and Eugene, born c1924. When Ida died in 1936, William married her sister Lexie.

Garnett, born Nov. 24, 1903, died Mar. 6, 1975. I don't have any family information on him. There is a KY born Garnett Coffey in Fulton Co., IL in 1930 who is of the correct age to be the son of of Richard and Margaret.

Walter, born Oct. 29, 1906, married Zula Effie Lair in KY in c1929.

Lexie, born Jan. 9, 1909, died Sep. 16, 1967. She married William Coffey, widower of her sister Ida.

Everett, born Sep. 22, 1911, died Jul. 10, 1970 in Wayne Co. He married Sally Belle Coffey, daughter of James Aaron and Canzada Foster Coffey.


Nelson, born Jul. 28, 1874 - no additional information

William, born Feb. 20, 1879 - no additional information

James C., born Jun. 6, 1879 - no additional information


Please contact me with updates and/or corrections.

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