January 31, 2007

David Nathaniel Coffey


David Nathaniel Coffey was born Aug. 25, 1853 in Watauga Co., NC and died there on Dec. 30, 1930. David was the son of Austin Coffey and Mary A. Blalock. He married Carolina Lavinia Coffey, a daughter of Levi L. and Temperance Calloway Coffey. Caroline and David were distant cousins, both descendants of John and Jane Graves Coffey.

Their children:

A. Austin Blaine Coffey, born Jan. 14, 1887 in Watauga Co., died Aug. 28, 1970 in Watauga. He married Emma Mahalia Harris, born May 8, 1888 in Watauga Co., died Jul. 6, 1933, also in Watauga, in 1914 in Caldwell Co.

Their children were Murray Harris, born May 9, 1915 in Hudson, Caldwell Co., died Apr. 5, 2003 in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co., married Ruby Evelyn Dula, born Jan. 19, 1910 in Caldwell Co. Their children were Vernon, Terry and Imogene. Second child was Katherine Gwendolyn, born Aug. 1, 1919, and Hardin Blaine Coffey, born Apr. 23, 1923. Hardin married Beulah Mae Coffey, a distant cousin.

B. Vera Esther Coffey, born Sep. 20, 1889 in Watauga Co., died Oct. 28, 1954 in North Carolina. She married Walter (Watt) Lenoir Sims and had one known child, Archie Sims, born Sep. 11, 1916, died May 1939 while serving with the military in the Philippines. Vera later married Joseph Commodore Church, born Jul. 1878 in North Carolina, died May 11, 1956, also in North Carolina. Joseph was married at least twice prior to Vera. His first wife was Lella (Lee Ella) Coffey with whom he had one child, Alma Church. His second wife was Nora Rebecca Hollifield. Lee Ella later married William Washington Collins.

C. Winford B. Coffey, born Jan., 1896 - no additional information.

D. Olin James Coffey - see his story here.

I am still searching for additional information on Walter (Watt) Lenoir Sims, son of Elisha and Charity Sims. He disappeared from Watauga Co. after 1900. That year he was age 16 and in the household with his widowed mother. His brother, Abraham L., age 20, was also still in the household.

In 1910 Charity was still head of household, but both sons were gone. In their place was Mabel M., age 21, Charity's daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, Annie L., age 3, and Ernest W., age 7 or 9 months. We do not know which of Charity's sons was the father of these children.

In 1920 Charity was found in Watauga Co. in the household with another son, Hampton, age 48, and his family.

Please contact me with additions or corrections.

January 29, 2007

Joel Anderson Coffey

Update: Feb. 4, 2010 - Sorry!  The link to Joel's story is dead.  Too bad!



"J. A. Coffey was born in Tennessee June 10, 1818. His father Elijah Coffey, with his little family of seven children emigrated to Indiana in the fall of 1821, stopping and spending the first year in Monroe County, near where Elletsville now stands. He first quartered himself in a little ten by twelve hut, on some lands then belonging to Benjamin Parks, but more recently owned by Samuel Harbison. Here he spent the first year in working for Mr. Parks, and some few others, for what provisions it took to support his family."


And so begins "his life story" as told by J. W. Archer, of Spencer, IN. Click on the title link to read the full story.

January 28, 2007

Lucinda Coffey

The Lucinda who may be the daughter of Enoch married Stanhope Whisenant/Whisenhunt c1852. Stanhope was born c1842 in North Carolina and died on Apr. 18, 1862 at Camp Magnum, Raleigh, Wake Co., NC. Stanhope had joined Co. D., 11th NC Infantry, CSA on Feb. 12, 1862. He was 32 years old! Less than two months later was dead from an unstated disease.

During his marriage to Lucinda he fathered four children:

Jasper, born c1854
Joseph, born c1855
William, born c1856
Malinda, born c1859

After a little more than six years of widowhood, Lucinda married Francis M. (Frank) Herald on Sep. 22, 1868 in Caldwell Co. I have found three children for them:

Lottie, born c1870
Enoch Vaughn, born c1873, died Jan. 10, 1953
Wilburn Dixon, born 1875, died 1956

Enoch married his cousin Nora Celia Coffey, daughter of Julius Calvin and Eugenia Lavania Dellinger Coffey. Their children were Lila Lavada, born 1900, died 1981; Welburn Frank, born Jan. 10, 1903; Lucinda, born 1906, died 1995; Vaughn Isaac, born Jun. 12, 1909; and Stuart Ellis, born Sep. 6, 1922, died Jun. 21, 1994.

These families were in Johns River, Caldwell Co. for generations, and can be found in records dating from about 1830 through 1910.

Please contact me with additions or corrections.

Enoch Coffey

Enoch Coffey, born c1812 in Burke Co., NC, was a son of Joseph and Isabella Lindsay Coffey. Joseph and Isabella were parents of at least nine children and Enoch was the first son and second oldest child. Enoch died in 1893.

His first wife was Prudence Gragg with whom he likely had a child or two. However, I have been unable to determine which of his children were by Prudence and which were born to his second wife, Martha Calloway.

Between those wives he fathered at least seven children:

Lucinda, believed born Sep., 1829
Levi, born c1837
Mary, born c1838
Sarah A., born Jun., 1840
Joseph, born c1843
Elizabeth, born c1846
Martha, born c1848


Lucinda is thought to be the Coffey child enumerated in the household with Enoch's sister, Matilda Verlincia Coffey Perkins in the 1850 Johns River, Caldwell Co., NC census. Verlincia had married James Thaddeus Warsaw Perkins in about 1843. He apparently died before 1850. The widow Valencia and her children were in the Johns River district up until 1880. The Lucinda Coffey enumerated with that family in 1850 was seven* years old, indicating that she was born in 1843. However, in each of the following three available census records, she gave her age as 49 (1880), 71 (1900) and 78 (1910), indicating that she was born (on average) in 1830. Based on this large descrepancy it is quite possible that Lucinda with Verlincia in 1850 is not the Lucinda who married 1) Stanhope Whisenant/Whisenhunt and 2) Francis M. (Frank) Herald.

I have not yet found any family information on Enoch's next two children, Levi and Mary.

Sarah married Johnson P. Gragg in 1866 in Caldwell Co. Johnson had previously married Nancy Jane Cuthbertson c1847. Nancy and Johnson had a number of children, several of which married their Coffey cousins. I do not yet know if he sired any children by Sarah.

Joseph married Nancy J. Gragg. I have not yet determined who Nancy's parents were.

The last two of Enoch's children have not yet been researched.

Please send additions and/or corrections to me at the above e-mail address.

*Ben Coffey brought to my attention that what I read in the 1850 census as a very large 7 for Lucinda's age is actually a very large 17. This explains the discrepancies in her age over the next few census years.

January 25, 2007

Polly Dowell Coffey



The Winter 2007 edition of the Owen County History & Genealogy Newsletter has been published. This edition concludes the three-part submission on the Rev. Reuben A. Coffey by Janet Vos Amtower.

Janet included a photograph of Polly Dowell, Reuben's wife of nearly 50 years.

In her concluding article, she wrote:

"Polly Dowell Coffey, the woman who had been by Reuben's side for almost fifty years helping him on the farm and with his ministry lived for thirteen years after her beloved husband died. Reuben and Polly's daughter Miriam who was a widow had moved into her parents' home with her young son Newell in 1852. When Reuben Coffey died in 1854 the two widows ran the farm and raised Miriam's toddler.

When Polly Dowell Coffey died on February 11, 1867 at the age of 79 it was in the middle of a harsh Indiana winter. 'The roads were impassable and the men had to lay down the fences and go through the farms to the graveyard for the burial.' Polly was buried next to her husband in the Coffey Cemetery near the Bethel Church where Reuben had been pastor for eighteen years."

Readers interested in Janet's research should contact the newsletter editor, Vivian Zollinger at 1819 Concord Road, Gosport, IN 47433 or via e-mail.

Janet's work is well documented. It will not only give the reader a good look at this well traveled and pious family, but also a good overview of what life was like for early Owen Co. pioneers. Anyone researching in Owen Co. should be a subscriber to this newsletter.

January 21, 2007

William Columbus Coffey


William Columbus Coffey was already a principal merchant in Boone, Watauga Co., NC when that town was incorporated on Jan. 23, 1872. William's brother Thomas Jefferson was among the first appointed town commissioners.


He was born near Patterson in Caldwell Co. on Apr. 3, 1839. After sometime in TN, William joined the 26th North Carolina Regt. in which he served until 1863 when he was transferred to the 58th North Carolina under the command of Col. J. B. Palmer.


After being elected Second Lieutenant in Apr., 1864, he surrendered at Greensboro with Johnson's Army in Apr., 1865.


That Nov. he returned to Boone with his brother Thomas Jefferson and opened a store in the J.W. Councill building. He left Boone in 1866 and opened a branch store at what is now Zionville in Watauga Co. He remained there until 1869 when he returned to Boone to assist his brother in opening the Coffey Hotel and Store.


In 1866 William married Carrie L. Curtis, daughter of Hezekiah Curtis of Wilkesboro. After Carried died he married Mrs. Ada Penn in Jul., 1908.


The photograph appeared in the July 3, 1972 Centennial Edition of the Watauga Democrat, and was contributed by Mrs. Nell Linney.

January 20, 2007

James Hardy Coffey



James Hardy Coffey was born in January, 1884 to Thomas Avery and Louisa E. Gragg Coffey. He married Lillie Mae Gray but a marriage date has not yet been found. They were the parents of several children. I have found three: Bonnie Juanita, born Aug. 4, 1906; Lola, born May 9, 1908, and James Bynum, born Apr. 28, 1912.


Hardy was a deputy sheriff in Avery Co., NC when he was shot and killed on Apr. 5, 1936 by his nephew, Ernest Reid Coffey, a son of John Wesley Coffey, brother to James Hardy.

Hardy suspected the nephew of breaking into summer camps around the county. After completing work on the night of Apr. 5 and shortly after returning to his home and family, a shotgun blast through a window fatally wounded Hardy.

Hardy's entry on The Officer Down Memorial website.


Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

January 17, 2007

Joseph R. and Martha Elizabeth Gragg Coffey

Joseph R. Coffey, born Dec. 2, 1849 in Caldwell Co., NC, married Martha Elizabeth Gragg, born May, 1850 in Caldwell Co., on Sep. 19, 1869 in that county.

Joseph was the son of Zachariah (Zack) and Margaret (Maggie) Coffey Coffey. Joseph died May, 1936 in Caldwell Co.

Martha was the daughter of Johnson P. Gragg and Nancy Jane Cuthbertson, natives of Burke Co., NC.

Joseph and Martha had eight children:

Reuben Finley, born Jul. 3, 1870, died Nov. 15, 1955, married Flora Elllen Hollifield Dec. 14, 1893 in Caldwell Co. Flora was born May 27, 1876 in Caldwell Co. and died there on Nov. 18, 1956. They had at least four children: Alfred Linney; Martha Viena; Joseph Merritt and Wiley Earl.

Anna Martha - no information

David William, born Oct. 6, 1874, died 1966. Married Martha Etta Destimonia (Dessie) Crump, daughter of David and Mahulda Jane Clark Crump, in 1901. Dessie was born Jun. 20, 1883 in Avery Co., NC. The NC Index to Delayed Births names David as Daniel William Coffey, but his obituary names him David William. Their children were: Jennie Decola; Joseph Howard; Leonard Gilbert; Jerome; Dillard Green; and Verlene.

Update Feb. 11, 2008: David William Coffey obituary, unknown newspaper:

D. W. Coffey

David William Coffey, 91, of Star Route, Lenoir, passed away at 10 a.m. Saturday in a Blowing Rock Hospital following several months' illness.

Born in Caldwell County Oct. 6, 1874, he was the son of the late Joseph Coffey and Elizabeth Gragg Coffey. He was a member of New Hopewell Baptist Church where he served as a deacon for over 70 years. He was self-employed as a nurseryman.

Funeral services were conducted at 3 p.m. today at Globe Baptist Church by Rev. Basil Tester and Rev. Herring J. Crisp. Burial followed in Globe Baptist Cemetery. Greer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Surviving Mr. Coffey are his wife, Martha Etta Destamona Crump Coffey; five sons, Ivey W., Howard and Jerome Coffey, all of Route 8, Lenoir, Leonard Coffey of Star Route and Dellard Coffey of Route 4, Boone; two daughters, Mrs. Sidney (Jennie) Joplin of Route 2, Hudson, and Mrs. Samuel (Verleen) Beck of Warren, Mich.; 28 grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren; one brother, John Coffey of Blowing Rock; and one sister, Mrs. Sam Aldridge of Lenoir.
According to NC birth records (Roll Number: B_C007_68001 Volume: 6 Page: 201), Daniel [sic] W. Cofffey was born Oct. 6, 1874 in Avery Co. to Joseph and Elizabeth Gragg Coffey.

Prior to his marriage to Dessie, David was married to Gertrude Triplett, who was the mother of Ivey Watson. Gertrude apparently died in childbirth because in 1900, Ivey was with his paternal grandparents in Caldwell Co., and David was enumerated as a widower living alone in Globe Twp., Caldwell Co.

Leonard Bealer, born Mar. 6, 1876, died Aug. 11, 1960. He married Eliza Alice Townsend, born Feb. 24, 1886, died Jul. 16, 1969. Alice had been previously married in 1907 to Willard T. Coffey, born c1880, son of Scott Rabon and Margaret Hollander Coffey. Children by Willard were: Margaret Mae; Florence; Balsom Joseph; Caledonia Doris; Mary Blanche; Harrison; Jimmy Clayton; and Blaine. I do not know of any children by Leonard.

John Wesley (Happy John) - see Singing on the (Grandfather) Mountain

Roby Columbus, born Jun. 16, 1881, died Sep. 1964. He married Lester Pearl Elrod c1907. Lester was born c1889, a daughter of William G. and Laura V. Green Elrod. Their children were: Hellen; Dallas Eugene; Deward Belmont; Omer Roby; Ruby Almeda; Dennis Owen; Edward; and two daughters for whom I have no given name.

Cleveland, born c1883. I'm not certain that Cleveland is a son of Joseph. However, he does appear in the 1920 Caldwell Co. census as a neighbor residing between Joseph and the family of Joseph's son "Happy John." Cleveland married Hattie L. Ramsey, born c1888 and had children: Wheeler E.; and Blain.

Lora Destomonia, born Mar. 1888, married Samuel A. Aldridge, Jr c1917. Sam was born c1894 in NC. Their children were: Howard Glenn; Murphy Lail; Edith Floe; Audry Clair; Darrell Claude; Gerald Guy; Lyle Byard; and Ula.

Please contact me at the e-mail address above with additions and/or corrections.

Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

January 16, 2007

Singing on the (Grandfather) Mountain

Happy John
The 83d Annual Singing on the Mountain will be held Jun. 24, 2007 at the base of Grandfather Mountain near Boone, NC.


The event website - click on title link to visit - describes this as a "...day-long gathering held out-of-doors in a meadow at the base of Grandfather Mountain" where "...some of the top Southern Gospel groups will perform."


In the photo is John Wesley "Happy John" Coffey and was taken in 1963 at the 39th Singing on the Mountain.

Happy John was born Aug. 6, 1877 in Watauga Co., a son of Joseph R. Coffey and Martha Elizabeth Gragg. He married Ella Adelaide Henderson on Feb. 9, 1901 in Watauga Co., NC.


Their children numbered five:


Charlie Edward Coffey, born Oct. 10, 1900, died unknown; married Georgia Missouri Coffey, daughter of George Calvin and Louisa Elizabeth "Lou" Curtis.


Cordie Myrtle Coffey, born Feb. 25, 1902, died Jun. 17, 1978; married Lloyd Edgar Coffey, born Jun. 26, 1899 in North Carolina, died Jan. 23, 1988. Lloyd was a son of Walter Gwyn and Julia Hayes Coffey.


Zadia Elizabeth Coffey, born May 24, 1903, died Feb. 23, 1996; married William McKinley Bolick. He was born Apr. 17, 1895 in Rufus, Caldwell Co., NC and died Jul. 5, 1977 in Watauga County.


James Herman Coffey, born Dec. 5, 1904 in the Globe community of Watauga Co., died Mar. 14, 1979 in Boone. He married Hildred Myrt Church, born Aug. 4, 1907. She was the daughter of Joseph Commodore and Nora Rebecca Hollifield Church.


Dolphus Sylvester Coffey, born Aug. 8, 1906 in the Globe, died Dec. 13, 1981 in Blowing Rock. He married Bessie Downs, born Aug. 19, 1907, died May. 14, 1997 in Blowing Rock.


Some vital information is still missing but I hope to have more research completed shortly.


Please contact me with additions and/or corrections.


Clipping and photograph courtest Margaret Coffey Farley

Watauga High School Class of '45 - 50th Class Reunion

1945 Watauga HS Graduating Class Reunion
This photograph appeared in the Aug. 4, 1995 Edition of the Watauga Democrat. The photographer was not identified.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Clipping courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

January 14, 2007

Samuel Monroe and Safari Josephine Dellinger Coffey

Corrected and updated July 19, 2007

This photograph is of Samuel Monroe and Safari Josephine (Josie) Dellinger Coffey. With them is their grand-daughter, Linda Thompson, child of Sam and Josie's daughter Minnie who married William Thompson.

Samuel was born Jan. 17, 1881 in North Carolina, a son of Eldelano (L.D.) Coffey and Mary E. Austin. He died Aug. 20, 1970 in North Carolina.

Josie was born Jan. 1, 1883 in North Carolina, a daughter of Thomas and Eveline McKinney Dellinger. She died Mar. 19, 1979 in North Carolina.

Sam and Josie were parents of twelve children:

  • Clayton McDonald (Mack), born Jun. 1, 1903, died Jun. 11, 1992 married Lany Esther McCroskey in Mountain City, Johnson Co., TN. They had eight children: Bertha May, Gladys Virginia, Nellie Alilene, James Edward (Jim), Margaret Josephine, Clayton McDonald, Jr., and Lonnie Ray. Another son, born 1959, was Steven who was adopted by Clayton and Lany.
  • Alberta (Bertie), married three times. Her first husband was Andrew Jackson (Andy) Jennings with whom she had eight children: Essie (?), Pansy, Claude, Paul Van, Mable Christine, Peggy Ann, Essie and Virginia Dare. Her second husband was Abner J. Loudermilt with whom she had one child, Ronnie, born c1927. Her third husband was Clyde Johnson with whom she had one child, Essie.
  • Robin
  • Minnie married William L. Thompson Sep., 1934 in Watauga Co. They had at least four children: Carolyn, J. T., Charles, and Linda.
  • Lydia Eva, born Jul. 29, 1914, married William Thurman Gragg. Children were: Harold, Beauford Dean, Lewis Dayton, Jack, Niola and Richard.
  • Wilson Woodrow, born Sep. 26, 1916, died Jun. 21, 1994, married Ethel Vada Coffey, daughter of Thomas Leroy (Tom) and Alice Sanders Coffey. Their children were: Douglas, Daniel, Emma Elizabeth, Maude Aleen, Betty Ann, Dennis Charles, and Rebecca Kay.
  • Woodrow Wilson, born Sep. 26, 1916, died c1932
  • Reubin
  • Oscar Joseph, born Dec. 2, 1917
  • Deatte Elsie, born May 29, 1920, married first to Lonnie Byrd and had one child, Lonnie, Jr. She married second to Howard Milton Bolick and had five children: Phyllis Ann, Gerald Keith, Sheldia Jean, Thomas Dale and Gail.
  • Alfred Boyd, born May 21, 1922 married Mary Etheline Woodie and had children: Kathleen Mary, Lela Ann, Alfred Jr., John Samuel, Roger Dallas, Deborah Kay, and Linda Bernice.
  • Pauline, born Dec. 21, 1924, married Otis Arthur Bell and had children: Bobbie Jean, Otis Wayne, Rhonda Gene and Chris Allen.

Additional information is available. Please send additions and/or corrections to me at the e-mail address below.

January 13, 2007

Emma Viola Coffey

Corrected Information

Emma Viola Coffey was the sister of Lee Ella Coffey who married William Washington Collins. She was born Nov. 2, 1888 in Caldwell Co. Emma is thought to have died in about 1987, a year or so shy of her 100th birthday.


She married Emory Joel Young Dec. 28, 1907 in Watauga Co. Emory was born Apr. 4, 1882 and died Mar. 14, 1929 in North Carolina.


Emma and Emory had at least six children:


  • Charles Howell, born Sep. 26, 1910

  • Mary Lou, born Apr. 2, 1913, died 2000

  • Thomas Wood, born Nov. 25, 1915

  • Emery Hugh, born Oct. 25, 1917

  • Hardin Darrell, born Jul. 3, 1920

  • Rawleigh Edgar, born Oct. 7, 1922



  • Mary Lou's obituary, probably from the local Watauga Democrat or Blowing Rocket newspaper, reads:


    Mrs. Suddreth

    Mrs. Mary Lou Young Suddreth, age 87, of 1471 Payne Branch Road, Blowing Rock, widow of John T. "Jay" Suddreth, died Saturday, September 23 at Blowing Rock Hospital.

    Mrs. Suddreth was born April 2, 1913 in the Shull's Mills community of Watauga County, a daughter of the late Emory Joel and Emma Viola Coffey Young. She was a retired weaver from Goodwin Weavers in Blowing Rock, and a member of the Perkinsville Baptist Church in Boone.

    Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Evelyn Shoemake of Blowing Rock; two granddaughters, Michele Shoemake of Lakewood, Colorado and Emma Louise russell of Sunrise, Florida; three grandsons, Doyle Shoemake of Lakeland, Florida; Richard Shoemake and Joseph Shoemake, both of Blowing Rock; and one brother, Hugh Young and wife Florence, of Monetta, South Carolina. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

    Mrs. Suddreth was preceded in death by six brothers; Howard, Charlie, Thomas, Hardin, Edgar and Wesley Young.

    Graveside services were conducted on Tuesday morning at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock. Officiating were the Rev. Vance Triplett and the Rev. David Austin.

    Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Watauga County, 136 Furman Road, Boone, N.C. 28607.

    Hampton Funeral Service of Boone was in charge of the arrangements.

    Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley

    Lee Ella Coffey (Corrected Info)

    William Washington and Lee Ella Coffey Collins
    Lee Ella Coffey was born Nov., 1881 in Caldwell Co., NC to Thomas Avery Coffey and Louisa E. Gragg. She was a grand-daughter of Austin Coffey and Mary A. Blaylock, and half-niece to the infamous Keith Blaylock.

    Lee Ella is shown here with her second husband, William Washington Collins, born c1867 in Georgia. They were married c1903 in North Carolina.

    She and William had at least three children:


    • E. Spencer Halton, born Oct. 9, 1903
    • De Estia Sylvia*, born Dec. 14, 1905
    • Thomas William Staple, born Sep. 6, 1915
    Lee and William also adopted Norma Pauline Coffey, the daughter of Olin James Coffey.
    Lee Ella's first husband was Joseph Commodore Church, born Jul. 1878 in North Carolina. They had one child, a daughter Alma who married Orville Johnson of Tennessee.

    *Some comments to me indicate that her given name was Deatte but was called Sally. The NC Birth Index lists her as De Estia Sylvia Collins**.

    Her obituary reads:

    Miss Sally Collins, age 92, of 112 Collins Store Road, Blowing Rock, died Thursday morning, January 15 [1997], at Watauga Medical Center.

    A retired motel owner and operator and former merchant, Miss Collis was born at Shulls Mills on December 14, 1905, a daughter of the late W.W. and LeElla Coffey Collins. She was a member of the Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church.

    Miss Collins is survived by one sister, Norma Hodges*** and husband, Rev. Howard Hodges of Morganton, N.C.; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Edna Hampton of Boone, two nephews, William S. Collins, Jr. of Conway, South Carolina and Roy Johnson of Kingsport, Tennessee; four nieces, Sharon Dowdy of Altamont Springs, Florida, Ernestine Nanny of Marion, S.C., Rebecca Parsons, of Lexington, N.C. and Susan Ballard of Charlotte, N.C.; several great nieces and nephews also survive.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, W.W. and LeElla Coffey Collins, two brothers, Staple Collins and Spencer Collins, two half brothers and two half sisters.

    Funeral services for Miss Collins were conducted Saturday, January 18 at The Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church. Officiating was the Rev. Ronnie Jones and the Rev. Gordon Nobles. Interment followed in the Boone Fork Cemetery.

    Memorials may be considered to the Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church, in care of Susan Coffey, 146, Wilson Coffey Road, Blowing Rock, NC 25605.

    Austin and Barnes Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

    **Name: De Estia Sylvia Collins Date of Birth: 14 Dec 1905 Gender: Female Race: White Birth County: Watauga Parent1 Name: William Washington Collins Parent2 Name: Lee Ella Coffey Roll Number: B_C102_66001 Volume: 18 Page: 53

    ***Norma Pauline Coffey Hodges died on Nov. 9, 2003 in Denton, Davidson Co., NC. Her obituary reads:

    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.


    Photo courtesy of Margaret Coffey Farley

    January 12, 2007

    Finley Patterson Coffey - Caldwell County, NC

    Caldwell County was formed in 1841 from Wilkes and Burke counties. It is named for Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University of North Carolina. In 1847 a part of Caldwell was taken to form Alexander Co., and in 1849 a part of the county was used to form Watauga Co. In 1861 another bite was taken out of Caldwell to help form Mitchell Co. Avery Co. was formed in 1911, again at the expense of surrounding counties, including Caldwell. The county seat is Lenoir, named for Rev. War figure, Gen. William Lenoir.

    Today Caldwell Co. has a total area of about 472 square miles and is dominated by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Piedmont is also a part of this county and in contrast to the Blue Ridge, is an area of gentle rolling hills. The latest demographics that I have found gives the population in 2000 at a bit over 77, 000.

    In 1850 the county consisted of the townships of Johns River, Kings Creek, Little River, Lower Creek, Smokey Creek, Summers and Yadkin. By 1880 the townships had changed somewhat. Johns River, Kings Creek, Little River, and Lower Creek remained. Replacing the others were Buffalo, Globe, Lenoir, Lovelady and Patterson.

    Finley Patterson Coffey was born in the Johns River township in 1848. He was the son of an early Caldwell Co. settler, Wilborn Coffey and his wife, Sarah (Sallie) Cottrell. Willborn has been born in Burke Co. in 1807, and married Sarah in Caldwell Co. in Jan., 1832.

    According to my research, Finley was the seventh of eight children. Of course he grew up on his father's farm where he learned how to properly go about the work of providing food for a family. By age 21 he was married to Mary Elizabeth Tuttle, born in Caldwell Co. around 1851, likely the daughter of Robert Tuttle, sheriff of Caldwell Co. in 1860.

    Within the first 10 years of marriage, Mary gave birth to at least 6 children. In 1900, and again in 1910 she told the census taker that she was the mother of 11 children, and that 10 were still living. Most research that I have seen agrees that their fourth child, Wilborn Haywood, born Feb. 9, 1876, died in 1891 at age 15.

    Their first son was Rufus Gamewell Coffey, born Dec. 15, 1871 and died Apr. 9, 1939 in Granville Co., NC. The Caldwell Co. town with that name was named for Gamewell Tuttle, a Methodist minister and likely a relative of Rufus' mother. Rufus married Minnie Ann Welch and they were the parents of Roby Elbert, born 1912; Mabel Alberta, born 1914; Dora Helene, born 1917; Nellie Ruth, born c1920, and Lyle Welch, born 1926.

    Robert Calvin, born May. 15, 1872, married Salah Palistine McHan. I haven't found much information on this family, but believe that Sarah was the daughter of Allison and Eleanor McHan, born Nov. 1883 in North Carolina, died Apr. 25, 1922. I have found only three children: Allison, born c1903, Clara, born c1906 and an unnamed female, born c1909. In 1910 the family was living in Swain Co., NC.

    The next two children were Sarah L., born c1874 and Wilborn, born 1876. Wilborn died young, and I have not found any information on Sarah's descendants.

    John Hill was the fifth child. He was born in 1877 and died in 1965. He married Dessie Cunningham, born 1899 and died in 1979. In 1920 and 1930 this family was in Swain Co., NC.

    The sixth child was a daughter, Cora Estelle, born Jul. 16, 1879. She married George Avery Link on Jul. 11, 1907 in Caldwell Co. They had at least one child, a son named Marshal Gaius, born Nov. 26, 1908. In 1910 and 1920 the family was still in Caldwell Co.

    William Finley followed, born in 1881, died 1972. He married Annie Mae Smith, born 1886 in North Carolina, died 1975. They had a large family - at least 10 children. They remained in Caldwell Co. from 1910 through the 1930 census record. The children that I have found are: Avery Grayson, born 1906; Lexie, born 1908; Hilliard, born c1911; William Garland, born 1912; Raymond Woodrow, born 1914; Mary Lucille, born 1917; Willie M., a daughter, born c1921; George R., born 1923; Margie K., born 1925, and Sarah A., born c1927.

    Lanese Tuttle was next. He was born Jul. 1, 1884 and died Apr. 4, 1964. His wife was Ethel R. Lovelace, born Dec. 6, 1894, died Jan. 2, 1935. They also had a large family of eight children: Vera, born c1914; Claude T., born c1916; Ralph L., born c1918; Paul, born 1919; Doyle Robert, born 1921; William Ray, born 1923; Lee Roy, born 1926, and Max J., born c1930.

    Nancy Alice came next, born Jan. 9, 1890, died Feb. 9, 1983 in Burke Co. She married Hardie Sudderth, born Apr. 8, 1886 in Caldwell Co. and died Jul. 29, 1967. They were married Apr. 15, 1920 in Caldwell Co. I have not yet found any of their descendants.

    The 10th child born to Finley and Mary was Mary Vestal. She married Henry Ward Beecher Anderson, born May 7, 1898 in NC, died Oct. 1, 1984. Mary was born Sep. 10, 1892 and died Feb. 9, 1981. I have no descendant information.

    Their final child was Davis Eugene, born May, 15, 1895 and died Dec. 6, 1935. He married Etoy Greene and they were the parents of at least one child, Jackie Bradley, a daughter, born 1934.

    Please contact me if you need more information, or can add to or correct any of the above information.












    Sources: NC State Archives. North Carolina Deaths, 1908-67; US Census records; Caldwell Co. Register of Deeds; WW1 Draft Registrations; North Carolina Birth Index, 1800-2000

    January 10, 2007

    James Edward Coffey (1934-2004)



    James Edward Coffey was the fourth child and oldest son of Clayton McDonald (Mack) and Lany Esther McCroskey Coffey. He was born Sep. 13, 1934 in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co., NC and died Jan. 11, 2004 in Crestview, Okaloosa Co., FL.

    Obituary, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV, Jan. 16, 2004, and the Lenoir News-Topic, Jan. 17, 2004

    James E. Coffey

    CRESTVIEW, Fla. - James E. Coffey, MSGT, USMC, retired, 69, of Crestview, passed away Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004.

    He was born on Sept. 13, 1934 in Blowing Rock, N.C., and moved to Crestview 17 years ago from Matoaka. He retired from USMC after 27 years of service.

    Mr. Coffey was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers: Lonnie Ray Coffey and Clayton Coffey Jr.; one sister: Mrs. Floyd (Nellie) Coffey; two sons: Rocky and Carl Gene Coffey.

    Survivors include his three sons: Curt Coffey of Fallbrook, Calif., Steven Coffey of Blowing Rock, Brad Coffey of Carlsbad, Calif.; three sisters: Mrs. Vencil (Bertha) Akers of Cambridge, Md., Virginia Bailey of Qwinton, Va., Margaret Farley of Blowing Rock; friend: Kim Staley of Crestview; numerous other family members.

    Graveside services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Barrancas National Cemetery with military honors.

    The family will receive friends today from 5-7 p.m. at the Brackney Funeral Home in Crestview.

    Brackney Funeral Service, Crestview, is in charge of arrangements
    .

    January 9, 2007

    Clayton McDonald Coffey (1903-1992)

    Clayton McDonald Coffey


    Lany Esther McCroskeyClayton McDonald (Mack) Coffey was born Jun. 1, 1903 in Avery Co., NC. He was the first child and oldest son of Samuel Monroe and Safari Josephine Dellinger Coffey.

    He married Lani Esther McCroskey and they were the mother of my Watauga Co., NC correspondent, Margaret Coffey Farley. Lani Esther was born Dec. 13, 1910 in Coffey's Gap, Watauga Co.

    Clayton and Esther's children were:

    - Bertha May, who married Vencil Akers
    - Gladys Virginia, who married Sherman Eugene Bailey
    - Nellie Alilene, who married Floyd Carl Coffey, son of Thomas Leroy and Alice Sanders Coffey. Floyd and Nellie were very distant cousins.
    - James Edward, who married 1) Estelle Levy, 2) Yaeshie Yong
    - Margaret Josephine, who married 1) Kinney Eugene Ellis, 2) Vivian Edward Farley
    - Clayton McDonald
    - Lonnie Ray, who married 1) Arlene Dishner, 2) Dorothy Creighton*
    - Steven, an adopted son

    Photos courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley, Winston-Salem, NC

    *Corrected spelling 12/18/2007

    January 2, 2007

    Lany Esther McCroskey Coffey

    Lany Esther McCroskey Coffey and Pauline Coffey BellLany Esther, left in the photograph, was the wife of Clayton McDonald (Mack) Coffey. She was born Dec. 13, 1910 in Coffey's Gap, Watauga Co., NC.

    She and Clayton had eight children:

    Bertha May, who married Vencil Aker

    Gladys Virginia, born Mar. 31, 1931, married Sherman Eugene Bailey

    Nellie Alilene, born May 30, 1932, Caldwell Co., married Floyd Earl Coffey, son of Thomas Leroy and Alice Sanders Coffey

    James Edward, born Sep. 13, 1934 in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co., died Jan. 11, 2004 in Crestview, Okaloosa Co., FL.

    Margaret Josephine, born Apr. 26, 1936 in Caldwell Co.*

    Clayton McDonald, born/died 1938

    Lonnie Ray, born 1941, died 1991, married Arlene Dishner

    Steven, born 1959

    The young woman on the right is Lany's sister-in-law, Pauline Coffey, daughter of Samuel Monroe and Safari Josephine Dellinger Coffey. She married Otis Bell c1944 and had at least three children: Wayne, Chris and Rhonda.

    More information shortly on both families.

    Additions and/or corrections appreciated.




    *Margaret is my source for the photograph, and a number of others that will soon appear here. She is also my source for much of the Caldwell, Watauga and Avery Co. Coffey information in my files.

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