June 5, 2007

John Davidson COFFEY (1821-1909)

John Davidson Coffey was a son of James D. and Hannah Alloway Strange Coffey. James was born Oct. 23, 1786 in Globe, Caldwell Co., NC and died Oct. 27, 1868 in Owen Co., IN. Hannah was born Feb. 18, 1790 and died Dec. 14, 1871. Hannah likely died in Indiana, but I have not confirmed that. James was a son of Reuben and Sarah (Sally) Scott Coffey.

John Davidson COFFEY1 was born in Ashe Co., NC on Jul 8, 1821, and died on Jan 5, 1909 in Ellettsville, Monroe Co., IN.2

John D. Coffey, retired farmer, is a son of James and Hannah (Alloway) Coffey, natives of North Carolina, and respectively of Irish and English extraction. John D. was also born in North Carolina July 8, 1821, whence when he was eleven years old, his parents removed to this county and purchased a timbered tract near Ellettsville, in the clearing of which our subject took a full part and remained with his parents until he was twenty-three years old, when he married his first wife, Mary A. Whisnand, and who died in 1846, leaving one son - James W. His second marriage took place December, 1848, the bride being Miss Mary A. Mayfield, who died May 2, 1878, leaving two sons - William R. and Anderson T. His third marriage was with Miss Mary J. Ridge, who died May 18, 1883. After his first marriage he leased twelve acres, and after his second marriage he purchased a small farm, where he resided until 1855, and two years later located near Ellettsville, improved land and lived until 1869, as which time he purchased part of his father's farm. In addition to a good farm, he has some village property, and has a comfortable living. Mr. Coffey is a member of the Masonic order and of the Baptist Church.1

John Davidson COFFEY and Mary Ann WHISENAND were married on Sep 12, 1844 in Monroe Co., IN.3 Mary Ann WHISENAND was born in Eadsville, Wayne Co., KY about 1823, and died in 1846 in Indiana. John and Mary Ann WHISENAND had the following children:

i. James W. COFFEY was born in Indiana about 1846. He appeared in the census on Apr 16, 1860 in Monroe Co., IN, enumerated in the household with his Coffey grandparents.

John Davidson COFFEY and Mary A. MAYFIELD were married on Dec 23, 1847 in Monroe Co., IN.4 They appeared in the census on Sep 19, 1850 in Monroe Co., IN., 5 and the census on Aug 24, 1860 in Monroe Co., IN.6 Mary A. MAYFIELD died on May 2, 1878 in Indiana. John and Mary A. MAYFIELD had the following children:

i. William R. COFFEY was born in Aug 1849.
ii. Anderson T. COFFEY was born in Indiana about 1863.

Based on the large difference in years between William and Anderson's birth, there were perhaps other children. I have been unable to find this family in the 1870 census.

John and Mary J. RIDGE were married in 1874. They appeared in the census on Jun 22, 1880 in Monroe Co., IN.7,1 Mary J. RIDGE died on May 18, 1888 in Indiana.

Additions and corrections welcomed.


1. Charles Blanchard, Editor, Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana. Historical and Biographical. (Chicago, IL: F. A. Battey & Co., Chicago, IL, 1884). 2. Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920 Original data: Various Indiana county death records indexed by the Indiana Works Projects Administration. Indiana: circa 1938-1941. Name: John D. Coffey Date: 5 Jan 1909 Location: Ellettsville Age: 87 yr Gender: Male Race: W Source Location: City Health Office Bloomington Source Notes: The source of this record is the book H-11 on page 45 within the series produced by the Indiana Works Progress Administration. 3. Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850, Indiana State Library online [], accessed Sep.,2005. Coffey, John D. [to] Whisenand, Mary, Monroe Co., 9-12-1844. [There is also a marriage record for John D. Coffey to Mary Ann Wayfield [Mayfield] on Dec. 23, 1847 in Monroe Co.]. 4. Ibid., Coffey, John D. [to] Wayfield [sic], Mary Ann, Monroe Co., 12-23-1847. [Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana gives marriage date as Dec., 1848]. 5. United States Federal Census for years indicated. 1850 Monroe Co., Richland Twp., Dist. 74, dwelling/family 303, John D. Coffey, age 29, male, farmer, born NC; Mary, age 27, female, born KY; James, age 4, male, born IN; William, age 10 mos., male, born IN. 6. Ibid., 1860 Monroe Co., Richland Twp., Ellettsville PO, Page 107, dwelling 778, family 754, John D. Coffey, age 39, male, farmer, $3000, $600, born NC; Mary, age 38, female, born IN; Riley, age 11, male, born IN. 7. Ibid., 1880 Monroe Co., Richland Twp., ED280, Page 26, dwelling 245, family 250, Coffey, John D., white male, age 59, married, farmer, born NC, parents born NC; Mary J., white female, age 47, wife, married, keeping house, born IN, father born MD, mother born KY; Anderson T., white male, age 17, son, single, laborer, born IN, father born NC, mother born KY.

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