February 28, 2007

Caroline Jackson and Noble R. Ladd

Noble R. and Caroline Jackson Ladd and daughter Callie

Caroline was the daughter of Stewart Jackson and Elizabeth Woodson Coffey. Elizabeth was a descendant of Peter Coffee through her father, Thomas Graves and Mary Knight Coffey.

Caroline was born c1820 in Alabama and married first to Carlisle Woodson Knight on Apr. 18, 1842 in Lauderdale Co., AL. In the 1850 Lauderdale Co. census, Caroline was enumerated with her widowed mother as Caroline Knight, age 30 with Elizabeth Knight, age 8. I presume that Elizabeth was Caroline's daughter, and that Carlisle had died.

The following year, on Dec. 18, 1851, Caroline married Noble R. Ladd. Noble was born c1799 in Virginia. Together they had at least two children: Caroline "Callie" Coffee Ladd, born c1854 (in photo), and Linnie, a daughter, born c1862.




Photo courtesy of Betty Moss

February 27, 2007

Granville Spencer Coffey

Granville was a son of Hiram and Charlotte Stansbury Coffey, born Jan., 1832 in Indiana. He married Mary Elizabeth Stansbury on May 25, 1856 in Clarke Co., IA. Granville died Oct. 1, 1902 in Clarke Co. Mary Elizabeth was born Oct. 20, 1839.

Their children were:


Lydia, born Aug., 1859
Hugh S., born Aug., 1867
Cora Belle, born Oct., 1875
Charlie H., born Nov. 1877


With the exception of Cora Belle, and with the possible exception of Hugh, I have been unable to find much information about their children.

Hugh appeared in the 1900 census in Knox Twp., Clarke Co. as a widower in the household with his parents. He was there again in 1920 as a divorced man in the household with his widowed mother. Hugh was likely too old to be required to register for the WW1 draft. In any event, he was not found in the draft registration files.

He was enumerated twice in the 1900 census. He is also found in Elm Twp., Allen Co. with children: Agnes, born Nov. 1889; Russell [sic], born Aug., 1893; and Ellis, born Jun. 1896. Also in the household was Elizabeth Fesler, Hugh's mother-in-law. There were 11 days between the time he was enumerated in Allen Co., and the enumeration in Clarke Co., apparently giving him enough time to make the trip, and to be recorded twice.

The May, 1910 census for Geneva Twp., Allen Co., KS contains an entry for Hugh Coffey, widower, age 43, born in Indiana. With him are two children: Reuben C., age 16, and Ellis, age 12, born born in KS.
Cora Belle married a Mr. Brown c1897 in IA. A child, Georgia was born in Jan., 1898. I have not yet found Mr. Brown but, because Cora was enumerated as a widow in the 1900 census with her parents, it seems likely that Mr. Brown died shortly after they were married.

In c1903 Cora married Andrew Bishop in IA. This was the first marriage for the 40+ year old farmer. Cora was 28 years old, and bore born Mr. Bishop at least three children: Raymond, born c1904; Beatrice, born c1906, and Leota, born c1908.

This family was found in the 1910 Madison Co., IA, Walnut Twp., census.

Charlie should have registered for the WW1 draft, but he has not been found in those files.

Nothing is known of Lydia.

Please contact me with additions and/or corrections.

Wyatt and Mary Jane Coffey Hayes

Wyatt and Mary Jane Coffey Hayes Jesse T. Coffey, a son of Jesse and Margaret Edmiston Coffey, was born Jan. 16, 1807/08 in North Carolina. He moved from NC to Grainger Co., TN where he married Lettie Collins on Dec. 24, 1838.

I know of only two children for them: Mary Jane, born Feb. 13, 1841 in TN, and Sarah E. (Saphronia?), born c1843.

Mary Jane found herself in Boone, Watauga Co., NC in 1865 where she married Wyatt Hayes on Aug. 24th of that year. Wyatt was born Oct., 1842 in NC and died Dec. 22, 1930 in Watauga Co. Mary Jane died there on May 30, 1911.

Wyatt was the son of Rice and Elizabeth Cook Hayes. Rice was the son of John and Millie Medaris Hayes. In addition to Rice, John and Millie were also the parents of Rachel Hayes who married Reuben Coffey, and Sarah Hayes who married McCaleb Coffey.

I know of nine children for Wyatt and Mary Jane:
Sarah A. L., born c1867
George E., born Dec. 1869
Lunna E., born c1872
Henry C., born Sep. 1874
Julia, born Apr. 7, 1876, died Jun. 18, 1955
Bell, born c1878
Lettie M., born Jun. 1880
Connie P., born Sep. 1882
Willie, born Mar. 1885

Julia married Walter Gwyn Coffey, her second cousin, in Watauga Co. on Jul. 5, 1896. Walter was a son of James Cornelius "Jones" and Martha Jane Gragg Coffey, born Sep. 28, 1878 in NC, died Apr. 1, 1945 in Watauga Co. "Jones" Coffey was the nephew of Jesse T. Children of Walter and Julia were: William Harston, born May 29, 1897; Lloyd Edgar, born Jun. 26, 1899, died Jan. 23, 1988; McDonald, born Mar. 13, 1904; Wyatt Hayes, born Apr. 28, 1909; Cecil Gwyn, born Apr. 8, 1912; and Emma Jane, born Apr. 4, 1915, died Jul. 15, 1988. Lloyd Edgar married his distant cousin, Cordie Myrtle Coffey, a daughter of John Wesley "Happy John" and Ella Adelaide Henderson Coffey.

Sarah E., the second known child of Jesse T. and Lettie Collins Coffey, married her first cousin, James Carlton Coffey, a son of Reuben and Rachel Hayes Coffey. James was born Jan. 8, 1838 in Cocke Co., TN and died Feb. 27, 1915 in NC.

I know of only eight children for this couple: Thomas Jones, born c1865; Jesse Finley, born c1867; Charles L., born c1869; Laura, born c1871; Lionel [?], born c1872; Alice, born c1875; Harley, born c1877; and Victoria, born c1880. Jesse Finley married Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Graig in 1889 in NC. Mary was born Jan. 4, 1872 and died Sep. 30, 1936 in Caldwell Co., NC.

Please contact me with additions or corrections.

Reuben and Sarah (Sally) Scott Coffey

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.

February 23, 2007

William Coffey Berry

Descendants of William Coffey Berry, born Oct. 19, 1796, have long claimed that he was the son of Rice Coffey, born Apr. 17, 1766 in Amherst Co., VA, died Jul. 24, 1853 in Bedford Co., TN.

Evidence provided for this claim was a letter alleged to have been written by William to his son, Joseph M. Berry on Jan. 30, 1870. The letter was carried by Joseph to OK where it passed to Joseph's daughter, Lillie Belle Berry Clark in 1917. In 1915 the letter was entrusted to Lillie's niece, Ruth Hope Parker Lessley. Ruth had been raised from infancy by Lillie and was the daughter of Laura Berry Parker.

Many who had never seen the original document were skeptics and, for the most part descendants of Rice were unconcerned. It remained then for the Berry descendants to prove their case.

And they have!

DNA testing has now proven that a known direct male descendant of William Berry Coffey does indeed match DNA of other Coffeys in the Edward Coffey line.

Click on the title link for more information on William Coffey Berry.

Click here for more information on the Coffey DNA project.

February 21, 2007

Cuba Monroe and Minnie Elsie Suddreth Coffey

Minnie, a daughter of James Walter and Pearl Raby Suddreth, was born may 14, 1911 in Caldwell Co., NC. She married Cuba Monroe Coffey c1930 and passed away Apr. 4, 2006 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co.

Cuba was a son of John Sherman and Buena Vista Coffey Coffey. John and Buena Vista were distant cousins with common links to Joseph and Isabella Lindsay Coffey, and Reuben and Sarah Scott Coffey. Cuba was born in Jan., 1910 in Caldwell Co., and died in that county in 1955.

The union of Cuba and Minnie produced seven children:

Mabel Audry, born 1931, died 1941
James Cuba (Jim), born 1932, died Aug. 30, 2003
Sarah Jane, born 1935, died 1950
Mary Alice, born 1937
Nellie, born 1939
Harvey, born 1941
Richard, birthdate not found

Sometime after Cuba died Minnie married for a second time; this time to Haywood Clay, Sr. Haywood was born May 13, 1907 in North Carolina and died Nov. 22, 1982 in Catawba Co., NC.


Obituary, The News-Topic, Lenoir, Caldwell Co., NC, Thur., Apr. 13, 2006

Elsie Clay

Elsie Suddreth Coffey Clay, 94, of Rocky Rd., Lenoir, passed away Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at Gateway Nursing Center.

She was born May 14, 1911 in Caldwell County to the late Walter Suddreth and Pearl Raby Suddreth. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Cuba M. Coffey and her second husband, Haywood Clay Sr.; one son, James M. Coffey and two daughters, Sarah Jean Coffey and Mabel Coffey.

Mrs. Clay was a homemaker and a member of Edgemont Baptist Church.

Survivors include a son, Richard (Dick) Coffey of Alamonte Springs, Fla.; three daughters, Mary A. Brantley of Eustis, Fla., Nell C. Penley and Judy Phillips both of Lenoir, N.C.; two brothers, J.P. Suddreth of Lenoir, N.C., Earl Suddreth of Beckley, W.Va., two sisters Lena Crisp of Lenoir, Lois Scarboro of Raeford, N.C.; 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, April 7, 2006 at 11 a.m. at the Roseborough Cemetery in Avery County with the Rev. Richard Yount officiating.

The family will receive friends at Pendry's Funeral Home today, April 6, 2006 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and all other times at the home of Judy C. Phillips, 2491 Clay Dr., Lenoir, NC 28645. There will be a closed casket.

Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

Memorials, in addition to flowers, may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, NC 28645.

Please send additions and/or correction to me.

February 17, 2007

The Wright, McCroskey and Coffey Families

Sarah Ellenora (Ellie) Wright was born Jan. 26, 1877 in Caldwell Co., NC to the union of Thomas A. and Margaret Ann Coffey Wright. She was the fourth of their nine children, and their third daughter to that time.

She married Samuel Wiley McCroskey in Nov., 1900 in Knox Co., TN. He was born Apr. 10, 1869 in Bluff City, Sullivan Co., TN and died Apr. 14, 1926 in Burke Co., NC.

To the union was born eight children:

Raymond McCroskey, born May 1902, died Feb. 16, 1926

Mae McCroskey, born Jul. 11, 1904,died Jul. 17, 1983. Mae married Samuel Woodie who died Jul. 11, 1966.

Lula Nevada McCroskey, born Apr. 15, 1907

Earl Lemuel McCroskey, born Feb. 1909, died Jan., 1967. Earl married Mary Lois Coffey, a daughter of Thomas Leroy and Alice Sanders Coffey. Mary was born Mar. 10, 1926 in Caldwell Co., NC and died Apr. 16, 2005 in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co., NC. Their children were Jessie Irene, born 1946; Estie Rosie, born 1952; and Joy Lela, born 1962.

Lany Esther married Clayton McDonald (Mack) Coffey, a son of Samuel Monroe and Safari Josephine (Josie) Dellinger. Lany was born Dec. 13, 1910 in Coffey's Gap, Watauga Co., and died Jun. 7, 1973 in North Carolina. Clayton was born Jun. 1, 1903 in Avery Co., NC and died Jun. 11, 1992 in Watauga Co. I do not have a marriage date or place for them. Their children were: Bertha May; Gladys Virginia; Nellie Alliene; James (Jim) Edward; Margaret Josephine; Clayton McDonald, Jr.; Lonnie Ray; and Steven.

Lawrence Edward, born Mar. 15, 1915

Virgie Edith, born Apr. 10, 1917, died Nov. 12, 1970

Roy Lois, born Oct. 27, 1921, died Jul., 1970

Please contact me with additions and/or corrections.

February 16, 2007

Thomas Avery & Louisa Gragg Coffey



Thomas Avery and Louisa E. Gragg CoffeyThomas Avery Coffey was a son of Austin and Mary A. Blalock Coffey. He was born June 3, 1854 in Watauga Co., NC and died Dec. 21, 1917 in Avery Co., NC. Thomas married Louisa E. Gragg on Sep. 20, 1873 in Caldwell Co. Louisa was a daughter of Johnson P. and Nancy Jane Cuthbertson Gragg. Louisa died in 1922.

They are believed to have had 10 children, but I have found only eight:
Mary Jane, born Aug., 1874, died May 26, 1955. She married Arthur Hill Dula on Oct. 11, 1892 in Watauga Co. Arthur was born Jan. 1867 in North Carolina and died Sep. 7, 1948 in that state. Their children: Clyde Lester; Charlotte Nevada; Olive M.; Beatrice Rema; Ruth Virginia; Earnest; Ruby Evelyn; Lois Esther; Cleda Elizabeth.
John Wesley, born Jan. 28, 1878 in Caldwell Co., died Mar. 17, 1962 in North Carolina. He married Kizzie Ann Hatley on Oct. 9, 1902 in Watauga Co. Kizzie was born Feb. 12, 1882 in North Carolina and died Jun. 19, 1962 in that state. Their children were: Ira Vance; Edgar Hugh; Lillian Delana; Opal; Louise; Avery Jamison; Ernest Reid; and Adell
Milton F., born about March, 1880 - no further information
 Lee Ella, born Nov., 1881 in Caldwell Co., died Dec. 16, 1963. Married 1) Joseph Commodore Church and 2) William Washington Collins
 James Hardy, born Jan. 1884 in Caldwell Co., died Apr. 5, 1936 in Avery Co., married Lillian May Gray.
Theodocia (Docia), born Aug. 28, 1884 in Caldwell Co., and died Feb. 14, 1941 in Watauga Co. She married 1) Columbus Filmore (Lum) Blalock (son of William McKesson "Keith" and Sarah Malinda Pritchard Blalock). Child by Lum was Hazel, born c1913. She married 2) Luther Farthing. Lum had previously married 1) Emma McNeely and 2) Esther Caldonia Calloway.
Emma Viola, born Nov. 2, 1888 in Caldwewll Co., died 1988 in North Carolina. She married Emory Joel Young on Dec. 28, 1907 in Watauga Co., NC. Emory was born Apr. 4, 1882 and died Mar. 14, 1929 in North Carolina. Their children were: Charles Howard; Mary Lou; Thomas Wood; Emery Hugh; Hardin Darrell; and Rawleigh Edgar.
 Kelsey A, a son, born Dec. 7, 1891 died Aug. 12, 1907 and buried at White Springs in Blowing Rock.

Thomas is buried in Avery Co. It is said that the snow was too deep to bring him to White Springs. Louisa is buried in the White Springs Cemetery in Watuaga Co.

Please contact me to add to or correct this information.

February 13, 2007

Bartlett Coffey of Caldwell Co., NC

Bartlett "Bart" Coffey was a son of William and Margaret Robbins Coffey. He was born in Feb., 1842 in (probably) Caldwell Co., NC. He married Mary Hicks in that county in 1874. Mary was born c1848 in North Carolina.

Mary had been previously married to Finley G. Messick with whom she had three children: Henry, born c1866; George H., born c1868; and Dugan F., born c1871. She bore at least three additional children by Bart: Thomas Franklin, born 1877 in Caldwell Co., married Mary Linglefelt, and died 1942 in that county; Bynum Nelson, born 1878 in Caldwell Co., married Eva May "Evie" Crisp in 1901, and died 1950 in that county; and Ada Hanna, born Dec. 1880 in Caldwell Co. She married Robert Amzy Woods in 1896, Caldwell Co. A death date has not been found for Hanna.

Descendants of Thomas Franklin have not yet been discovered.

Bynum Nelson and Evie Crisp Coffey has at least nine children:

Shuford Finley, born Sep. 5, 1901, died Jul. 15, 1973. He married Claudia Leigh Kirby, born Jul. 20, 1912 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co., and died Aug. 5, 1984 in Granite Falls, Caldwell Co. A marriage date has not been found. They had at least one child, a daughter named Gail Mavis Coffey, born Sep. 7, 1935 and died Mar. 25, 2003 in Caldwell Co.

Descendant information has not been found for the remaining eight children:

Fred T., born 1903, died Aug. 13, 1962
Mary Vienna, born May 15, 1905, died 1984
Ada Carolina, born 1907, died 1976
Bina Lee, born Aug. 29, 1909, died Jan. 12, 2001
Jessie M. (female), born c1912
George Stanley, born Apr. 6, 1914, died Jan. 8, 1979
Johnsie Hazel, born Jul. 17, 1916
Edgar Nelson, born 1919, died Oct. 5, 1932


Ada Hanna and Robert Woods had at least seven children:

Mary Irene, born Feb. 15, 1897; married her distant cousin John Ross Coffey, a son of John Calvin and Nancy Caroline Tuttle Coffey. Their children were Vera Caroline, born Dec. 5, 1917; Ulah Christine, born Feb. 28, 1919; John Davis, born Jun. 28, 1922, and Ada Louise, born Jun. 2, 1931.

Maggie H., born Mar., 1899; married Clarence Tuttle Coffey, brother to John Ross Coffey. They had at least one child, a son named Clarence Tuttle Coffey, Jr., born 1921.

Albert Kent, born Sep. 21, 1900 - no further information.

Jennie Christina, born c1903, died Sep. 5, 1975. She married Wilburn Cary Coffey, another brother of John Ross and Clarence Tuttle. They had at least eight children: Edgar Anson, born 1920; Virginia, born c1923; Ada Coline, born 1925, died 2001; Wilburn Cary "Bug", born Jan. 23, 1927, died Mar. 17, 2004; Betty Sue, born 1930, died 1984; Lucy Laxton, born Feb. 8, 1933, died Sep. 24, 1998; Mary Helen, born Mar. 17, 1935; and Shirley, born Sep. 1, 1938.

Aldred Newton, born 1904 died 1968 - no further information.

Robert S., born c1908 - no further information.

Ada E., born c1909 - no further information.


Please contact me with additions or corrections.

February 11, 2007

Band of Brothers

The feature allowing users to enter family members has apparently been discontinued at the BofB/HBO website.  I could not find it while visiting the site on 12/21/2010.



Several years ago HBO produced a series that is said to be the most accurate depiction of a WW2 unit ever produced. I watched the entire series when it first ran and I like to watch re-runs of it whenever I have the opportunity.

The story follows Company E, 502 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division [Easy Company] from basic training to the completion of the war in Europe. This unit jumped into Normandy and, after fighting their way across Europe, was part of the defense of Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge.

I was a member of the US Army from 1959 to 1968. From the period 1960-1963 I was stationed at Verdun in France. That area has suffered invasion and devestation since well before Charlamagne. I spent a lot of my free time visiting battle fields, old forts and reading about the two great 20th century wars that nearly destroyed Europe.

In addition to my obvious interest in an accurate story about WW2, my particular interest in the HBO series was Eugene Roe, a cousin on my maternal side. Eugene was a medic in "Easy" Company and, although not highlighted enough in the Stephen Ambrose book about this unit, he was given significant time in the HBO production.

HBO created a low-key website to advertise the series, and to offer viewers a place to talk about and to honor veterans in their families. I visited the site when it first appeared, and entered memorials to Loy G. Coffee, a paternal uncle, and to Raymond Bourgeois, my wife's uncle on her maternal side.

So, to make my point here: Except for my contribution, there are no other Coffee or Coffey men or women who have been memorialized on this website.

If you have an uncle, grandfather, aunt, grandmother, brother or sister who contributed to the Allied Effort during WW2 I encourage you to visit the HBO website and create your own memorial to that person. It's easy, painless and free!

Let me know when your memorial has been created and I'll post the link here.

February 10, 2007

Archie Sims


Archie was the son of Walter "Watt" Sims and Vera Esther Coffey. Little in known of him except that he died in May 1939 while serving his country in the Phillippine Islands.

Anyone with information about him, or his parents, please contact me.

Walter "Watt" Lenoir Sims and Vera Ester Coffey



I am searching for information about Walter.

I know only that he may have married Vera Esther Coffey, a daughter of David Nathaniel and Caroline Lavinia Coffey Coffey. Vera was born Sep. 20, 1889 in Watauga Co., NC and died Oct. 28, 1954 in North Carolina. The union produced at least one son, Archie Sims, born Sep. 11, 1916 in Watauga Co., and died May, 1939 in the Phillippine Islands.

Anyone with information on Walter, or his son Archie, please contact me.

February 8, 2007

Cleveland Coffey (c1810 Burke Co., NC - Apr., 1862 Caldwell Co., NC)

The 1850 census for Grainger Co., TN included the Cleveland Coffey family on page 134, dwelling 134, family 882.

Cleveland, age 40, was a blacksmith, born in South Carolina; Malinda, age 27 (thought to be Malinda Coffey, daughter of George and Margaret Rucker Coffey and second wife of Cleveland; William W., age 16, born South Carolina; Thomas M., age 13, born in South Carolina; Susanah, age 11, born Tennessee; George H., age 9, born Tennessee; Margaret, age 8, born Tennessee; Nancy M., age 6, born Tennessee; Frances D., age 4, born Tennessee; and Daniel P. M [?], age 1.

I believe that Cleveland was first married to Susan Hayes in North Carolina on 15 May 1830, and had the following children: Andrew Jackson, born 1833, died 1903, married Louisa Jane Hutchinson; William Wesley, born c1834, died 1864, married Gelina Shouse; and Susan Elizabeth, born 1839, died 1925, married first James C. Webb and second, Aaron McGinnis.

Cleveland's third wife was Mary Ann Miles (or, Mills?), who he married on Jan. 8, 1854 in Grainger Co., TN. Children by Mary Ann were: Sarah, born c1857; Napoleon Austin, born Mar., 1858 and Jesse (Cleveland?), born c1859, died Jan. 31, 1941.

The 1860 census found this family in the Johns River district of Caldwell Co., NC. Cleveland, age 50, was born in NC; Mary, age 37, also born in NC. Children were Mahala, age 17; Fanny, age 15; Perry, age 9; Sarah, age 3; Napoleon, age 2; and Jesse, a son, age 1.

Cleveland died in Caldwell Co., NC in April, 1862. The probate records reads:

The petition of D. P. Mast respectfully shows that Cleaveland Coffey died during the month of April 1862 intestate leaving his surviving Mary A. Coffey his wife, and Jackson Coffey of Ozark Co., Mo. Susan Webb formerly Coffey, Mitchell Co. NC, Holland Coffey, Bulls Gap Tenn, Elvira Coffey, Globe NC; Mahala Coffey Catawba Co., Fannie Coffey, Mitchell Co., Perry Coffey, Mitchell, Sarah Coffey, Napoleon Coffey and Jesse Coffey, Globe NC, his children and only his at law and that Perry, Sarah, Napoleon and Jesse Coffey are infants under twenty one years of age and without any guardian. Your petitioney further shows that Mary A. Coffey, widow of the deceased has renunciated the right to administer on her her husbands estate. That said estate consists of about 50 acres of land more or less worth about $100 and personal property in his stock to the value of $150. And your petitioner further shows that after the renuciation of the widow he is next entitled to administer _?_ said estate being the largest creditor against the same, and therefore asks your honor to grant him letter of administration according to law, and your petitioner should even pray.


I am not really convinced that all of these Clevelands are the same person.

Please contact me with additions and/or corrections!

February 6, 2007

Thank You!

I began this work on Dec. 7, 2004. Since then I have written 408 (this is number 409) pages.

To date, visitors have read 20,383 pages for an average of 48 pages per day. That's an average of 4.7 pages per reader or, a little over 10 readers per day. My stats show that researchers from every continent have read the posts. The stats can be skewed somewhat by the few readers who sometime spend a couple of hours, or return more than once per day and read 40 or more pages during their visit.

When I first began researching my family name I thought I was only one of a handful of Coffee/y researchers. Nearly 30 years later I find there are literally thousands researching this ancient surname.

A number of readers have chosen to share their family information, including photographs and other documents, and for that I am thankful.

It appears that many of those researchers descend from ancestors who emigrated to the United States from Ireland or England during the 19th century. By and large however, those interested are descendants of Edward Coffey and Ann Powell through their son John and wife Jane Graves.

Edward and Ann had only three known sons: John, Edward and Austes [sic]. Little to nothing is known of the last two, making John the best researched of all of their sons.

I have compiled more than 8000 of John's descendants. Here are some interesting (to me, anyway) stats:

For those who have a known birth, marriage or death date:

Average age at marriage for males: 24; for females: 21
[I thought the average for females would be lower!]

Average age at death for males: 62; for females: 61
[I thought the spread would be wider and in favor of females!]

Average children per family: 3.4 males; 2.4 females
[Again, I am surprised that the average per family is not higher.]


All in all, I am heartened by your positive response to my meager effort.

February 4, 2007

Roby Columbus Coffey


Roby Columbus Coffey was called "Uncle Potter" by his family. He was born Jun. 16, 1881 to Joseph R. and Martha Elizabeth Gragg Coffey and died in Sep., 1964 in North Carolina. In about 1907 he married Lester Pearl Elrod who was born to William G. and Laura V. Green Elrod in about 1889.

Roby and Lester had nine children, all born in Watauga Co.:

Hellen, born about 1906
Dallas Eugene, born Jul. 3, 1907
Deward Belmont, born May 15, 1909, died May 6, 1994
Omer Roby, born Mar. 2, 1912, died Jul. 16, 1998
Ruby Almeda, born May 8, 1914
Dennis Owen, born Feb. 20, 1918
Edward, born Feb. 16, 1921
Unnamed dau., born Jul. 24, 1922
Unnamed dau., born Nov. 18, 1923


Although not known for certain, the last two children were likely to have been stillborn.

Deward married Maude Eliza Mays, born Nov. 17, 1909 and had at least two children: Douglas Bruce, born Feb. 5, 1952, died Jul. 23, 2003, and Deward Burris, born Jul. 21, 1942, died Aug. 22, 2004.

Omer Roby married May Tester and they had at least two children: Arthur Wayne, born Oct. 9, 1933, and Mary Janice, born Nov. 10, 1935.

I have no information on the other children.

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

Reuben Finley Coffey

Reuben was a son of Joseph R. Coffey and Martha Elizabeth Gragg. He was born Jul. 3, 1870 in Caldwell Co., NC and died Nov. 15, 1955 in that county. He married Flora Ellen Hollifield on Dec. 14, 1893 in Caldwell Co. Flora was born May 27, 1876 in Caldwell Co., and died there on Nov. 18, 1956.

They were the parents of four children:

Alfred Linney, born Nov. 19, 1894 in Caldwell Co., and died in France during WW1 on Sep. 18, 1918. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section Euro, Site 3218. He never married. When he registered for the WW1 draft he was employed as a mail carrier in Watauga Co. He was described as being tall with a medium build, brown eyes and dark colored hair.

Martha Viena, the second child, was born Sep. 30, 1896 in Caldwell Co., and died Jun., 1986 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co. She married Jethro Ransom Harmon on Nov. 26, 1921 in North Carolina. Jethro was born Feb. 2, 1898 in Caldwell Co., and died Jun. 13, 1996 in Hudson, Caldwell Co. Martha and Jethro had five children: Edna May, born Nov. 25, 1922; John, born and died 1924; Claude Edward, born 1926; Paul Hubert, born Oct. 27, 1929; and Olan Dale, born Jul. 10, 1932.

Their third born was Joseph Meritt, born Jan. 27, 1899 in Caldwell Co., and died Jul. 11, 1981 in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co., NC. He married Sue Augustus Childs, born Aug. 8, 1899 in North Carolina and died Jan. 1995 in Blowing Rock. I have not found a marriage date for this couple. Their children were Beulah Mae, born Mar. 24, 1924 in Watauga Co.; Evelyn Flora, born Oct. 24, 1928 in Watauga Co.; Joseph, Jr., birth date not found; and Richard D., born Apr. 27, 1948 in Watauga Co., and died Sep. 28, 2003 in Wilkes Co., NC. Beulah married a distant cousin, Hardin Blaine Coffey, son of Austin Blaine and Emma Mahalia Harris Coffey.

Fourth born was Wiley Earl Coffey. He was born Jul. 11, 1902 in Caldwell Co., and died Mar. 9, 1972 in Watauga Co. He first married Blanche Shumate. The only child found for them is Lena Verdola, born Feb. 23, 1923. His second wife was Edna Mae Story, born Jun. 14, 1904 in Watauga Co., and died Aug. 31, 1980 in Catawba Co., NC. A marriage date has not yet been found. Their children were Wiley Earl Coffey, born Jun. 10, 1928, died Aug. 14, 2004. Wiley retired from the United States Navy as a Lt. Cmdr. He was buried in Virginia Beach, VA but I have not yet found the exact site. Their second child was Kenneth Asher Coffey, born Oct. 14, 1931, died Nov. 21, 1978 in Glendale, CA. He was also a veteran of the US Navy and served during the Korean conflict. His gravesite is at Plains View Baptist Church in Fallston, Cleveland Co., NC. The last child is the Rev. Elmer Deal Coffey, born Oct. 5, 1937.

Please contact me with additions or corrections.

February 1, 2007

Edward Coffey Project

I have updated the files on the Edward Coffey Project website. Click on the title link to view them.

The update represents all information that I have added since the March 2006 update, and is current as of Feb. 1, 2007.

Corrections and additions can be submitted to me from the website by using the e-mail link, or from here using this link.

Remember that the information is what I believe is accurate, and have found in various sources. I do not guarantee it to be 100% accurate. Sources cited should be personally checked by everyone before adding my date to their files. Some information is not sourced but is widely believed to be accurate. Researchers should use the information only as a guide.

The time and effort that I - not to mention all of the other researchers who have submitted information - is costly and time consuming. I am proud of the amount of information that I have added to this project and would appreciate credit in any form that someone might use it.

The information is available on CD via USPS for $5.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling. It will also be available on CD at the 2007 Coffey Cousins' Convention in Iowa. Use the address on the website to order a CD.

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