August 22, 2007

Theodocia Coffey Conundrum (Updated 9/24/07)

I have two different sources that disagree on who the parents were of the Theodocia (Docia) Coffey that married Columbus Filmore (Lum) Blalock on Nov. 13, 1911* in Avery Co. This source is based on intimate family knowledge.

The second source insists that she was the daughter of Thomas Avery and Louisa E. Gragg Coffey. The other source indicates that she was the daughter of Joseph Burgess and Mary** Lagustia [sp?] Gragg Coffey. This source's argument is based on census records.

So, I did some extra census browsing to see what I could prove, or disprove.

This is the Docia who married Lum Blalock:

I have her birth date as Aug. 28, 1884*.

In Nov. 1911 when she married Lum Blalock she had already reached her 27th birthday, meaning she was born 1884.

In the Jan 19, 1920 census for Bend, Deschutes Co., OR she was 35 yrs old, 7 months shy of her 36h birth date. So, on her birthday in Aug., 1920, at age 36, she would have been born in 1884.

She returned to North Carolina after Lum's death in 1925. In the 2 Apr 1930 census she was 45 yrs old and was about 4 1/2 months shy of her 46th birthday. So, on her birthday in Aug. 1930, at age 46, she would have been born in 1884.

When she died on Feb. 14, 1941 she was 56 yrs old, meaning she was born 1884.

So, if she was a daughter of Thomas Avery, she should have been in the 1900 and 1910 census, but was not.

This is the one for Joseph Burgess:

His daughter was born in Jan. 1880, and according to the 1900 census, enumerated Jun. 6, she was 20 yrs old, indicating a birth year of 1880.

She was not with the family in 1910, meaning I suppose, that she married, or went elsewhere (she didn't die until 1955) sometime between Jun. 6, 1900 and Apr. 26, 1910.

There is a 1955 death record in Caldwell Co. for Docia Samanthia Coffey, daughter of Burgess and Mary Gragg Coffey.

In my experience with the Caldwell Co. records, the deceased person is indexed under their married name, then the record lists the name the parents. I think if Joseph Burgess' Docia had married, she would not have been indexed as a Coffey.

So, we are - in my opinion - talking about two different women named Docia, one the daughter of Joseph Burgess and one the daughter of someone else, perhaps Thomas Avery. The only thing that I have not figured out is why - if a daughter of Thomas - she never appears in the census record with them.

On the otherhand, if the marriage date of Docia to Lum is off by a year, that would explain why she wasn't with the Thomas Avery family in 1910. Instead of 1911, she could have married him in 1910 or perhaps living with him at the time of the 1910 census. But, I have not found her anywhere in the 1910 census. I also do not have an explanation why she does not appear with Thomas Avery in 1900.

At this time, I do not believe that the daughter of Joseph Burgess was the one that married Lum.

Write to me at the e-mail address below to correct my math or, to discuss my conclusion.

**One source lists her given name as Margaret, not Mary

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