August 22, 2008

Wyatt Coffey

A recent query in the Coffey Ancestry forum wondered about Wyatt Coffey, found in the 1860 Plumas Co., CA census.  After checking my files I found that there was a Wyatt Coffey, born c1835 in TN to Thomas and Mary S. (Polly) Hipshire Coffey for whom I had little information.  I also found a note from a researcher who reported this Wyatt had moved to CA before 1860.  Except for that, she had not provided any additional information.

Other researchers had reported the marriage of Wyatt to Julia A. Hipsher on Oct. 4, 1854 in Grainger Co., TN.  She was the daughter of Colbert and Jane Hayes Hipsher.  Wyatt appears to have abandoned or divorced Julia to head west.  Some years later (Aug. 30, 1883) Julia married Joel Mallicoat in Grainger Co.

A quick search of the census records found Wyatt Coffee, age 25, in the 1860 record for Indian Valley, Quincy PO, Plumas Co., CA.  He was unmarried, living alone, and employed as a "packer."

By 1870 he was married and had two children.  His wife was enumerated as Polly, age 30, an "Indian" born in CA.  Their children were Thomas, age 9, and Martha, age 4, both born in CA and enumerated as "Indian."

The family was still in Plumas Co. in 1880.  Children were Jeff, age 17; Martha, age 15; Ira, age 12; Harry, age 9; Rosa, age 4; and Eda [sic], age 1.  Polly and the children were enumerated as "Indian."

Polly apparently died before 1885 when Wyatt was enumerated in the Clark Co., WA  Terr. census.  W. Coffey, age 45 (or, 49?), born in TN, was a saloon keeper.  In the household was Ira, age 18; Harry, age 14; and Rosa, age 10.

I have not found any further information about Wyatt or any of the children except Rosa.  The 1900 census for Salmon Creek, Clark Co., WA enumerated Rosie E. Coffee [sic], born July 1876 in CA, as a servant in the Andrew Belongia household.  Rosie reported that her father was born in TN and her mother in CA.

A check of the WW1 draft registration cards found an Ira Coffey, age 24, in Vancouver, WA.  He was born Jun. 26, 1892 in Vancouver, and was probably not the son of Wyatt and Polly.

Note that in The Edward Coffey Project I have mis-identified this Wyatt as having enlisted in the CSA on Sep. 15, 1862 at Richmond, VA.  The Wyatt that enlisted was the son of Edmund and Martha Snead of Nelson Co., VA.  The correction will be made in the next update of that project.

Anyone with additional information or corrections can contact me at the above e-mail address, or leave a comment in the space below.

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