June 20, 2008

Levi Lafayette Coffey

Levi Lafayette Coffey was a son of Elisha and Anna Harmon Moody Coffey. He was born May 30, 1833 in Burke Co., NC and died Feb. 11, 1925 in Watauga Co., NC. At the time of death he was a retired farmer.

Temperance (Tempie) Calloway was the daughter of James and Nicey Gragg Calloway, and was born c1844 in North Carolina, and died there in c1890. She and Levi were married c1859.

In 1860 they were in the Valle Crucis district of Watauga Co. With them was their first child, Lavina, age 5 months. They remained in Watauga county through the 1880 census. Tempie apparently died sometime between June 7, 1880 and Jan. 1, 1882 when Levi married his distant cousin, Mary Ella Coffey.

Children of Levi and Tempie were:

Caroline Lavinia, born Mar. 6, 1860 in Watauga Co., died Feb. 13, 1923. She married David Nathaniel Coffey, a son of Austin Coffey and Mary A. Blalock.

Joseph DeKalb, born 1863 in Watauga Co., and died there on Jan. 24, 1939. He married Letitia Walters on Apr. 9, 1899 in Watauga Co. She was born Sep., 1879 in North Carolina and died in Watauga Co. in 1960. Joseph apparently had a wife before Letitia, but she is yet unidentified.

Judith, born c1866 - no further information.

Emma, born Oct. 19, 1869 in Watauga Co., and died in Hickory, Catawba Co. on Jan. 3, 1938. She married William M. Coffey, a son of Smith W. and Charity Elizabeth Redmond.

James Wesley, born May 2, 1873 in Watauga Co., and died Dec. 6, 1960 in Boone, Watauga Co. He married Callie Ward, a daughter of James Ward and Mary Hicks. Callie was born Mar. 30, 1898 in Watauga Co., and died there on Aug. 25, 1975. James had also been previously married to Donnie Brewer. She was the daughter of Marvel Brower, and was born Dec. 15, 1883 in Watauga Co., and died there on Jun. 22, 1924.

Archie E., born c1875 in North Carolina and died there on Apr. 11, 1903. He married Virginia Frances (Jennie) Brown on Sep. 30, 1900 in Watauga Co. She was the daughter of Samuel Walker and Nancy Jane Joyce Brown. Jennie died Jul. 1, 1962 in Taylorsville in Alexander Co., NC. Virginia had been previously married to Leroy Starnes, and after the death of Archie, she married Henry Boone Coffey, a son of Smith and Charity.

[Note: A reader has reported that Leroy Starnes was Jennie's third husband]

A child of Jennie and Archie was Paul Arch Coffey, born Aug. 30, 1902, and died Mar. 25, 1957. He married Margaret Allen Linney on Dec. 6, 1926 in Watauga Co. She was born Apr. 27, 1906 in Boone and died there on un. 10, 1994. Their son, Paul Armfield Coffey married Rachel Ann Rivers, a daughter
of Robert Campbell and Bonnie Jean Lewis Rivers. Rachel's grandfather acquired the Watauga Democrat in 1889, a year after it was founded. Rachel took over the paper in 1975 after the death of her father and sold it in 1999.

Oscar Lee, born Sep. 7, 1878 in North Carolina and died Jul 1, 1977 in Davidson Co., NC. He married Ollie Belle Calloway, a daughter of William Henderson and Almirah M. Johnson Calloway. Ollie was born Mar. 10, 1886 in Watauga Co., and died on Apr. 23, 1943 in North Carolina.

More information is available on the children and their descendants.

According to her death certificate, Mary Ella Coffey was born in 1865 in North Carolina and died on Mar. 27, 1949 at Shulls Mill, Watauga Co. She was the daughter of Smith W. and Charity Elizabeth Baker* Redmond Coffey. She is buried in the Coffey Cemetery at Shulls Mill.

The only child that I have for them is Henry Oliver Coffey, born Jul. 25, 1889. Henry married Zettie Chloe Honeycutt on Mar. 23, 1913 in Watauga Co. She was the daughter of Luke Jackson Honeycutt and Lithia Rotenberry. Luke was born in Alexander Co. in 1860 and died at Shulls Mill, Watauga Co. on Jul 4, 1939. Lithia was born in Mt. Airy, Surry Co., NC in 1860 and died at Shulls Mill on Oct. 7, 1930. Zettie was sister to Ada who married Lee Nelson Coffey, a son of Smith and Charity.

Children of Henry and Zettie were:

Unnamed female, born and died on Dec. 28, 1913

Henry Clay, born Mar. 31, 1916

Mary Helen, born Jan. 30, 1918

Litha Louise, born Jan. 24, 1920

Ruth Odena, born Nov. 25, 1921, died Aug. 27, 1931

Betty Lee, born Jul 26, 1927

Drop me a note at the above e-mail address to add to or correct any of this information. I will also be happy to provide more information on this famiy to anyone who needs it.

*Laurence Coffey gives this name as Elizabeth Baker Redmond, indicating that she was probably married previous to her marriage to Smith. However, in an e-mail dated Aug. 23, 2007, a family researcher wrote this to me:

"Elizabeth was born 6/25/1836 and died 5/20/1912. She was not married prior to her marriage to Smith Coffey on June 25, 1854 (that was her 18th Birthday). According to the Caldwell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session, Volume II – January Term 1848, Elizabeth, an orphan child of 11 years of age, was bound to Lucinda Baker (that is where the Baker name originated) until age 18, at which time she was give[n] her freedom, $6.00, a new suit of clothes, a bible and she was to be taught to read and write."

Another reader has recently informed me that "She was also a Cherokee. We never learned her Native-American name. "Chariety" which is from her headstone) is the only nickname we know of. (Sounds a lot like Cherokee) Redmond or Redman could refer to "a red Man" (Indian) this , of course, is family speculation. She needed a Surname for marriage."

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