February 3, 2008

The Watson & Courtney Families, Part I

William Watson was a son of Jerry John and Susanah Lyles Watson. He was born c1848 in Perryville, Perry Co., AR. He is thought to have first married Martha L. Stevenson but nothing is known of this union.

He became part of my Coffee family when in 1879 he married Mary Elizabeth Bowman Coffee, the widow of James M. Coffee, my GG-Grandfather. Mary was the daughter of Joseph T. and Naphania Hardin Bowman.

Joseph, and his father Jesse are well known in the history of the Texas Revolution. Jesse died at the Alamo on Mar. 6, 1836. Joseph was born in Illinois and came to Texas with his parents in 1835. He married Naphania on Jan. 26, 1843 in Hempstead Co., AR.

Mary was the third of the 10 children known to have been born to Joseph and Naphania. She was born Mar. 5, 1846 in DeKalb, Bowie Co., TX. As the wife of James M. Coffee, Mary gave birth to my grandfather, Albert Lilburn Coffee in 1873. Her first child was Sarah Ellen Coffee, born Sep. 19, 1869.

She and William were married and remained in Texas until 1883 when Mary died. She is believed to have died shortly after the birth of her second child. She and William had two daughters, Lillie Wes, born Feb. 10, 1880, and Mary Elizabeth, born Aug. 28, 1883.

William is said to have served on the Confederate side during the Civil War, and either lost an arm or had one that was severely injured.

The family was in Bowie Co., TX in 1880, and both Sarah Ellen and Albert Lilburn were enumerated as step-children of William. Next door to the Watson family was the Finis Ames family. Finis was the husband of Mary E. Coffee, sister to James M.

At the death of Mary Bowman Coffey Watson, William desired to return to NW Arkansas. The Coffee children were turned over to the Ames family and William departed with his two daughters for Crawford Co., AR. His mother was still living in the Lee Creek area of Crawford Co., and this is where he is believed to have temporarily settled. He later moved into the Sequoyah Co., OK area and died in Adair Co. c1918.

His daughter Lillie married William Joseph Courtney on Dec. 23, 1896 in Crawford Co., AR. William's various records throughout nearly his entire life spelled his name Coatney. He was the son of James George and Mary Jane (Polly) Yancey, and was born Dec. 14, 1872 in Lee Creek. He died in Crawford Co. on Apr. 10, 1946.

Lillie and William had twelve children, several of which are thought to still be living:

- Willie Mae, born Dec. 10, 1898, died 1899

- Mary Lela, born Jun. 8, 1899, died Apr. 20, 1999. Mary married Jackson S. Summerlin, a son of Leander A. and Sarah Jane Lewis Summerlin. They were the parents of nine children.

- William Herbert, born Sep. 13, 1901 in Sallisaw, Sequoyah Co., OK, died May 24, 1993 in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., OK. He married a lady by the name of Ellen, and I have no additional information.

- James Virgil, born Dec. 11, 1903, married Jan. 20, 1924 to Essie (Pete) LaBass on Jan. 20, 1924 in Vian, Sequoyah Co. Essie died on Aug. 27, 2001 in Baton Rouge, LA. They were the parents of five children.

- Frankie Mae, born Feb. 15, 1905, died Jul 20, 1934

- George Lester, born Apr. 24, 1908, died Aug. 19, 1979. George married Wilma Carol and they were parents of 10 children.

- Ethel Evelyn, born Jul. 17, 1910, married Albert Clifton Young on May 13, 1928 in Sallisaw. They were parents of six children.

- Meredith Raymond, born May 27, 1912 in Greenleaf, Seequoyah Co., and died Aug. 14, 1999 in Seminole, Seminole Co., OK. he married a lady name Florence who was born Oct. 10, 1914 and died Jan., 1986 in Seminole.

- Garland Clifford, born Jul. 21, 1914, died Jn. 25, 1917

- Cecil Leonard, born Jun. 10, 1917 in Greenlead and died Mar. 26, 1990 in Box, Sequoyah Co. He married Verna Tynes.

- Samuel Harden, born Mar. 3, 1921 in Box. Married a lady named Katherine (Katy). I have no other information.

- Verlin Lorraine, born Sep. 17, 1923, died Dec. 4, 2000 in Glendora, Los Angeles Co., GA. She married Elmer C. Murray, born Jun. 27, 1897, died May, 1974 in San Diego, San Diego Co., CA.

Check out Angela's Attic for more photographs of this and collateral families.

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