August 18, 2008

Martha Coffey

Martha - sixth child and second daughter of Rice and Dorotha Jane Medaris Coffey:

According to her death certificate Martha was born in 1847 in Brasstown, Clay Co., NC.  It is more likely however, that she was born while the family resided in Cherokee Co., NC where she was found with her parents in the 1850 census.

Martha and her parents were in Towns Co., GA in 1860 but by 1873 she was in Brasstown, Clay Co. where she was married to William Columbus (Lum) Beach on Aug. 25th of that year.

Lum and Martha remained in that area the remainder of their lives.  She died there from influenza on Apr. 9, 1926, and was buried in the Copperhill Church Cemetery in Brasstown. Lum died the next day, also from influenza.  He was also buried at Copperhill.

I have found only three children for Lum and Martha:

Hanible, born c1874 in Clay Co., and married Martha L. c1898 in NC.  She was born in Apr., 1881.  In 1900 there was only one child in the household:  Willie, born Feb., 1898
The other two children were Georgia, born c1877 and Mary, born Oct., 1880.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address to correct or, to add additional information.


  1. Janine1:31 PM

    The only off thing I can see about Martha's death record is the names of her parents. It lists her father as Lee Coffee and mother as Jennie Medaris. Jennie and Jane are close enough together to not really cause that much of an issue. Perhaps Lee and Levi (Rice's father) confused the informant. Do we know who the informant is? The Greens and Medaris's intermarried, as you certainly know, so I just wonder how familiar they were with Martha.

  2. I must confess that I overlooked the Lee Coffey as her father! The informant appears to be Iwa or Iva Green. In my files I find only one Lee Coffey in Cherokee Co., but he married a Nora Texie Bryson and was born in 1877, died 1974 so I don't think that he's her father. Could be a mixup - as we've surely found in other death certs for this family.

  3. Janine12:26 AM

    Well, I look at it this way. What are the odds of an unknown "Lee" Coffee marrying an unknown "Jennie" Medaris and having a daughter who winds up being the right age for Rice and Jane's daughter, ending up in the same county and city as Rice and Jane?

    No Lee Coffee/y shows up that would be the right age to be Martha's dad. And I have found no Jennie Medaris's either. So, I think we had a bad transcriber and/or informant for the certificate. It's the right Martha with the right parents named wrongly :) Whoever the informant was didn't know that the parents weren't born in Clay either.

    As to the informant, she is apparently Ida Iowa Green, wife of Ruffus E Green. Her mother is living with her in 1920 and is listed as Susie Beach. Susan Ray Beach and Isaac Beach were her parents. Isaac Beach's first wife was Elvira who was Martha's husband Columbus's mother. So, the informant was Martha's half sister-in-law (or so I've been able to glean from my research).

  4. I thought perhaps the given name of the informant might have been Iowa. the I, W and A are very apparent, but I couldn't find an O. Whoever wrote the name probably heard "Iwa". Even today, many people still pronounce only two syllables when referring to that state.


Contact Form


Email *

Message *