May 30, 2008

William Webster Davis and his two Coffey wives

William Webster Davis was born Jan. 26, 1837 in Amherst Co., VA and died there on Apr. 10, 1909. He first married Sarah Jane Coffey c1860 in Amherst Co. This union produced two sons, John, born c1861 and Henry c1863. Sarah likely died in childbirth because she disappeared immediately after Henry's birth.

Sarah Jane was the daughter of John Jack and Elizabeth Susan Duff Coffey. John Jack and Henry, father of William Davis' second wife, Avarila Coffey, were brothers. John Jack and Henry were sons of Jordan Coffey.

William married Avarila Coffey on Sep. 14, 1865 in Pedlar Dist., Amherst Co. She was born Mar. 2, 1846 to Henry F. and Elizabeth (Betsy) McDaniel Coffey. Henry is often thought of as a son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey, but may have been the son of one of Jordan's daughters out of wedlock.

John Taylor, a Coffeytown researcher, had this to say about Henry:

"...although Henry Coffey shows for the first time in the 1850 Census as the head of a household, he may have been one of 2 boys his age living with Jordan and Elizabeth in 1840. According to Census reports, Henry was born around 1817. He married, at the age of 31, Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey, who was slightly older than Henry, and she had several children of her own from a previous marriage to Zachariah Ogden. Henry seems to have acted as guardian to her older children and they took his surname, at least for the census reports, but, except for Paulin, they are believed to have used their own surnames later. Henry F. Coffey died 10 June 1871 of Colic, in Amherst County, according to the Amherst County death records. The information on the death record, including naming his parents as Charles and Jane Coffey of Nelson County, was given by Henry's son, Henry L. Coffey. His place of burial is unknown, but is probably up on the hill behind Embree Crawford's house [Coffeytown], in an unmarked grave, perhaps with Elizabeth."

William and Sarah's children were John Davis, born c1861, and Henry, born c1863.

Children by Avarila were:

Virginia Anne (Jenny) Davis, born 1866, died 1941. She married Arthur Coffey, a once removed first cousin and son of William (Billy) and Sarah G. (Sally) Crawford Coffey. Billy was a son of Jordan and Elizabeth.

Arthur Coffey Arthur Coffey

Arthur and Jenny's children were: Hallie Pearl, born c1881, married John Houston Crawford; Hiram Randolph, born Feb. 26, 1886, died Sep. 17, 1924, married Susie A. Catlett; Mabel Irene, born Jan. 3, 1885, married Emmett Boyd Humphries; Ernest Webster, born Feb. 5, 1888, died 1982, married Ethel McClung Stratton, daughter of George Baxter and Elianna [Eleanor?] Coffey. Elianna was the daughter of Charles Edward and Sarah Jane Ogden Coffey.

The next child born to Arthur and Jenny was Alma Gertrude, born c1891, married Thomas Powell Crawford; Fletcher Beadles, born Oct. 3, 1893, died Aug. 11, 1975, married Maggie Lee Harris; Mina Lee, born Jan. 10, 1895, died Feb. 1, 1979, married first to Thompson Massie Davis; second to James William Gibson.

Sally, born c1897, followed Mina. She married first Wallace Earl Palmer and second, Glenn Wyatt; Leonard Carlyle, born May 13, 1903, died Aug. 23, 1959, married Mary Elsie Coffey, a daughter of Hiter Webster and Mary Higginbotham Coffey. Hiter was also a son of Charles Edward and Sarah Jane Ogden Coffey.

Leonard and Mary Elsie Coffey Coffey

Leonard Carlyle and Mary Elsie Coffey Coffey

The last child of Arthur and Virginia was Essie Rose, born Apr. 4, 1907, died Jun. 19, 1999. She married Emmett Lewis Sale.

The remaining children of William Webster and Avarila Coffey Davis were:

Ida Penn, born c1867; Cornelia Catherine, born c1869, married Thomas H. McDaniel; Elizabeth Pendleton, born about Apr. 1870; Amanda Ellen, born c1873; Houston Carlyle, born c1874; Mary Lee, born c1877; Callie Tucker, born Sep. 1881; Tully Ashby, born Mar. 8, 1883; Chester Cleveland, born Jan. 11, 1885; Royal Wilbur, born Oct. 10, 1886; and Edna Belle, born Apr., 1891.

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

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