March 31, 2008

Jesse H. Buchanan Coffey

Jesse was the son of Joel Benjamin [perhaps just Benjamin] and Exea [sic] Saphronia Stepp [var] Coffey, both natives of North Carolina. Joel was born in the Globe, Caldwell Co. c1790 to Reuben and Sally Scott Coffey. He died in Owen Co., IN c1843. Exea was born in NC c1805, and died in Alanthus Grove, Gentry Co., MO in Jun., 1876.

Jesse was born Oct. 13, 1817 in Burke Co., NC, and married Lucinda Dorcas Burpo on Feb. 14, 1840 in Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN.1 Lucinda was born May 10, 1825 in Burke Co., NC and died Sep. 16, 1897 in Alanthus Grove. Jesse died Oct. 16, 18852 in Alanthus Grove. Both are buried in the Jennings Cemetery at Alanthus Grove.

In 1850 Jesse and his family was in Jefferson Twp., Morgan Co., IN where Jesse was a farmer.

At last count, Jesse and Lucinda were parents of 17 children! The first was born in 1840, the last in 1867. Lucinda lived about 30 more years after the birth of her last child.

By 1860 the family had moved to Gentry Co., MO. Mary, their first child died sometime after 1850 but before 1860.

The family was still in Gentry Co. in 1870. James, Sarah and John as well as Catherine (Kate} were still at home.

Their children were:

Mary Elizabeth, born Dec. 1, 1840, died after 1850

Matilda Jane, born Jan. 12, 1842 in Morgan Co., IN, died Jun. 26, 1910; married Benjamin Franklin Routh. Ben died May 16, 1944

William Wiley, born Oct. 3, 1843 in Jefferson Twp., Morgan Co., IN, died Jun. 6, 1924 in Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO. He married Eliza Anderson, born Jun. 17, 1847, died Oct. 29, 1921 in Kansas City. I have not yet searched for their children, but this appears to be the entire family, all buried together at High Ridge Cemetery in Stanberry, Gentry Co, MO:

  • Coffey, William W. 1843 - 1924;
  • Coffey, Eliza A. 1847 - 1921; wife of William W.
  • Coffey, Emma A. 15 Feb. 1869 - 11 Mar. 1948; possible dau. of Wm. & Eliza.
  • Coffey, Myrtle 03 Aug. 1877 - 14 Apr. 1908; possible dau. of Wm. & Eliza.
  • Coffey, William R. 1881 - 1943; possible son of Wm. & Eliza
  • Coffey, Leora (no dates); possible dau of Wm. & Eliza.
  • Coffey, Walter (no dates); possible son of Wm. & Eliza
  • Coffey, Sarah J. 15 May 1835 - 17 Nov. 1917
Andy Milton, born Oct. 3, 1843

Louise Amanda, born Nov. 3, 1845

Jesse H., Jr., born May 2, 1847

James Lawson, born Mar. 14, 1849 in Jefferson Twp., died Apr. 25, 1918 in Alanthus Grove. He married Leah Meadows in Alanthus Grove in 1871. Leah was born Jul. 25, 1861 in Russell Co., KY, and died Feb. 24, 1926 in Wilson Twp., Gentry Co., MO. They were the parents of at least eight children [names and info on request]. Both are buried in the Jennings Cemetery at Alanthus Grove.

Martha Anne, born Feb. 18, 1851, Morgan Co., IN

Jasper Parks, born Apr. 12, 1853, Morgan Co., died May 22, 1940

Sarah Caroline, born Apr. 13, 1855 in Jefferson Twp., died Apr. 12, 1923 in Buchanan Co., MO. She married Milton Morris. There is evidence of at least six children, but birth record for only one has been found.3

John Benton, born Feb. 19, 1857 in Morgan Co., died Oct. 11, 1940. He married Emma J. Libby who died in 1907. Both are buried in the Jennings cemetery. In know of one son, Ray O., born Mar. 20, 1887, died Apr. 1969.

Lucinda Catherine, born Sep. 30, 1859 in Alanthus Grove, died Jan. 3, 1947. She married Augustus Joshua Door in 1879.

Malinda Emmeline, born Apr. 2, 1861 in Alanthus Grove, died Jul. 27, 1887.

Colonel R., born Alanthus Grove, Jan. 26, 1863.

Ruphus K., born Alanthus Grove, Mar. 15, 1864

Lincoln Sherman, born Apr. 2, 1865, Alanthus Grove, died Jan. 28, 1933 in Fair Twp., Platte Co., MO. He married Emma A. (Coot) Gunter c1889. She was born in MO in Feb., 1871 and died Feb., 1941 in Platte Co. They were parents of at least eight children [names and info on request].

The last child was Elijah Melvin, born Apr. 22, 1867 in Alanthus Grove and died Jun. 4, 1940. He married Elizabeth, last name unknown. Elijah is thought to be buried in Minot, Ward Co., ND.

Please contact me to add to or correct any of this information!

1Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850, Indiana State Library online [http://199.8.200.229/db/marriages_search.asp], accessed Sep.,2005 Coffey, Jesse [to] Burpo, Lucinda, Morgan Co., 2-16-1840

2[http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/mo/gentry/cemeteries/c1000001.txt]

3MO birth & Death Records, Gentry Co., Roll No. C 8987, Number 1697, Date of return: 6 May 1891, Morris [no first name given], male, sixth child; born May 2, 1891 in Alanthus, MO; Nat. of Father: American, born Gentry Co., age 38; Nat. of Mother: American, born Morgan Co., IN, age 35; Full name of Mother: Sarah C. Morris, maiden name: Coffey, residence: Gentry Co., Full name of Father: Milton Morris, farmer; J.C. Farr, MD

Born 18 Nov 1818, died 7 Aug 1904. Married Dorcas, born 10 May 1825, on 16 Sep 1897 in Owen Co. IN. Lott records show death of Jesse 16 Oct 1885 in Alanthus Grove, Gentry Co. MO. Dorcas also died there, 16 Sep 1897. She was born in Burke Co. Her father was John Burpo, born 1790 in NC and died about 1860 in Morgan Co. IN. Her mother was Leanna Guy, born 1790 in NC and died 1867 near Gosport, but in Morgan Co. Jesse was son of Benj. and Exa [sic] Stepp Coffey. Benjamin was born about 1790/1800 in NC, died about 1840/1849 in Monroe Co. IN. Exa was born 1790/1800 in NC and died April, 1856 (perhaps 1880) in Alanthus Grove, Gentry Co. MO. Matilda Janey, their daughter, was born 12 Jan 1842 in Morgan Co. IN and married Benj. Franklin Routh (b1840, d1921) on 16 May 1864 in Gentry Co & d 26 Jun 1910 in Perry, OK. Source: Deloris M. Ward, Stanberry, MO (deceased). Additional information on this family was provided to Coffey Cousins' newsletter by Betty Ann VanderWegen of Union, WA.

*Not all sources have been cited

March 30, 2008

The Good Old Days

This article no longer on line!


"What we refer to as “The Good Old Days” were not so good if you were convicted of a crime. A century or more ago, justice was more swift and public. Whether justice was served accurately or not will not be addressed here."

Thus begins a short article by O.C. Stonestreet, writing in the Mar. 30, 2008 issue of the
Statesville Record and Landmark of Iredell Co., NC.

Click on the title link to read about 1800's style "crime and punishment" in the US.

March 25, 2008

Norma Joan Coffey


Norma Joan Coffey, born May 11, 1916 in Grainger Co., TN was the daughter of Amos and Faun McGinnis Coffey. Amos was the son of Coby Willis and Malissa "Lizzie" Reece Coffey. Amos was born May 23, 1915 in TN. I have found no information on Faun.

Norma Joan married her very distant cousin, Ethridge H. Coffey, who was born Aug., 10, 1934 to Benjamin Adam and Birdie Mae Singleton Coffey. Ethridge died on Oct. 14, 1976 in Knox Co., TN. Norma Joan died Mar. 5, 2008 in Washburn, Grainger Co. Benjamin Adam was the son of Thomas and Martha Simmerman [Cinnamom?] Coffey.

Norma Joan's obituary:

Norma Joan Coffey Age 71 Of Washburn, TN was born May 11, 1936 and went to be with The Lord March 5, 2008 at her home. She was a member of Beech Grove Baptist Church and attended Dotson Campground United Methodist Church. She worked At C & M Cabinet Company as a secretary from 1977 for about 25 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ethridge Coffey; parents, Amos "Bud" & Faun Mcginnis Coffey; brother, Danny "Dick" Coffey; brother-in-iaw and wife, Everett and Betty Coffey.
She is survived by her sons: Mike & Charles Coffey of Washburn, TN, daughter & son-in-law: Glenda & Steve Blanken of Rutledge, TN; grandchildren; Ashley & Christy Coffey, Dustin Coffey, Holly & Matthew Elmore, Zack Blanken, brothers & sisters-in-law: Joe & Diane Coffey, Ronnie & Ruby Coffey, Steve & Betty Coffey; sisters & brothers-in-law: Thelma & Collier Atkins, Judy & Ermal Fredrick, Ruby & James Nicely, Ann & Chuck Jahnke, Eva Coffey, half brother: John Paul, Idol; half sister: Jay Dee Edgell; several nieces, nephews and numerous of special friends and neighbors.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 9 P.M. Friday night at the Coffey Funeral Home in Tazewell. Funeral service 11;00 A.M. Saturday March 7, 2008 at the Coffey Funeral Home Chapel. Burial in the Mcginnis-Harrell Cemetery.
Ministers; Rev. Denver Davidson, Rev, Lyndall Welch, Rev. Ronnie Maness, Singers: J.W. Mcginnis Family.
I would like to know more about the McGinnis family. Readers with information to share can contact me at the e-mail address above.

Update 3/26/08: According to a "public member tree" at Ancestry, created by Crystal Phillips, Faun was Tressie Faun McGinnis, daughter of James Wilkerson and Sara E. Wolfenbarger McGinnis. Faun was born Mar. 9, 1920 in Grainger Co., TN and died there on Dec. 14, 1998.

Malissa was probably called "Lissie" rather than Lizzie, and Colby is likely to be the correct name, but called Coby in local parlance. Between 1920 and 1930 I find only six children born to Colby (Coby) and Malissa: Amos in 1915; Dorcas c1917; Walter c1918; Bobbie c1920; Noel c1922 and Colby Jr., in about Oct. 1927. There was however, room for one or two more between Noel and Colby, Jr.

March 24, 2008

Myra Lee Coffee


Myra Lee Coffee, born Nov. 6, 1921, died Oct. 26, 1986, was the daughter of Albert Lilburn and Ora Elizabeth Braley Coffee. She was their only daughter and was a sister to my father, Frank Hurley Coffee.

[I have other photos of her, but thought this one to be rather worthy of use here]

Myra married August Edward (Gus) Howell in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, LA on Oct. 19, 1938. To the union was born three children: Myra Sue, Camille (Jun 1948-Sep 1948), and August (Eddie), Jr. She and Gus, Sr. divorced and Myra was briefly married to a Mr. Rea just prior to her death.

Gus, Sr. was the son of Joe John and Caroline Zoller Howell. The Howell family is first found in Alabama in 1829. John Milam Howell was born there that year and later moved into Mississippi. He married Oney Percilla Flynt in Tishomingo Co., MS on Nov. 12, 1851. She was born Nov. 29, 1831 in Madison Co., AL and died Apr. 21, 1894 in Belmont, Gonzales Co., TX. Oney was the daughter of John Halberet and Martha Roberts Flynt.

Undoubtedly, John and Oney had more than two children [they had a daughter named Margaret for whom I've found no information]. The one son that I have found was Edward Holbert Howell, born Jul., 1853 in Holly Springs, Marshall Co., MS, died Sep. 9, 1942 in Gonzales Go., TX.

I am unsure if John and Oney moved to TX with their children, but it appears that sometime before 1875 Edward moved to that part of Texas. It was here on Feb. 2, 1875 that he married Emily Feroba [sic] Justice, a daughter of Tilman D. and Mildred Ann Williams Justice. She was born in TX c1885 and died in Gonzales Co. on Oct. 26, 1927.

Emily and Edward had at least 10 children, the fourth being Joe John on May 7, 1882, died Jun. 24, 1946. Joe John married Caroline Zoller, born c1886 in Belmont, Gonzales Co., TX, and died there on Jan. 18, 1959. Caroline was the daughter of Gustav and Evaline Zoller. Gustav was born in Mexico in Apr., 1865. Evaline was a native Texan, born there in Jul., 1865.

Joe John and Caroline had at least four children: Gus, Sr., Joe M., Mildred E., and Hazel E. Gus was born in Seguin, Guadalupe Co., TX and died on Feb. 26, 1996 in Lafayette, Lafayette Parish, LA.

Most of the Edward and Emily Justice Howell children seem to have remained in Gonzales and/or Guadalupe counties all of their lives. Many are buried the Belmont cemetery in Gonzales Co.

I have additional facts on many of these, and would like to exchange information with anyone researching this Howell family.

Genealogy research is not just for pros

The following item appeared in The News Star, a daily newspaper published in Northeast Louisiana, on Monday, Mar. 24, 2008. It was written by Lora Peppers of the Ouachita Parish Public Library's Genealogy Department.

"Genealogy is one of the fastest growing pastimes in the United States today. It preserves family ties and provides a legacy for future generations. The following suggestions will aid you in tracing your lineage and provide guidelines for compiling your family tree information. Good luck in your search!

The first and most basic principle in doing genealogy research is to always begin with yourself and work back in time. Never try to trace your line from a known person down to yourself. It may turn out that you are not actually related to George Washington, and you will have wasted hours of research!"

Click on the title link to read the remainder.




Use Caution When Accessing Newly Available Army Records

I have often wondered why I could not find the enlistment records of my father and two of his brothers who served in the Army Air Force during WW2.

The Air Force kept, and apparently still safely maintains detailed records of men and equipment from that era. An uncle was a bombardier instructor, and was killed along with several of his crew when an engine on the B-29 in which they were flying exploded. The report provided to me by the Air Force is detailed, and includes eye witness reports, survivor reports, and other valuable information.

An uncle of my wife was also killed during WW2 while flying in a B-24 over the Adriatic Sea. The report that I obtained on that incident not only included the serial number of nearly everything on board the aircraft, but also maps, eye witness reports, crew names, ranks, serial numbers, hometowns, next of kin, etc.

According to an article by Sharon Tate Moody, which appears at Tampa Bay Online, the National Archives tossed some 1.5 million (about one-third) of the WW2 enlistment records which could not be scanned. The article tells how the electronic records were created in 1994 in an attempt to help reconstruct military files lost by fire in 1973. It also describes how errors were introduced by the electronic scanning process, and warns that caution should be used when interpreting certain data from the cards.

Click on the title link to read the complete article.

March 23, 2008

Making Everlasting Memories, worldwide memorialization, establish a living family history

Updated Link Sep. 9, 2011


According to a company fact sheet, "Making everlasting Memories®, MeM, is a progressive memory recording and publishing company, which preserves and publishes to the Internet or other current technology, lifelong memories through stories and images. Established in 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio, MeM distributes its products through e-commerce and 1400+ intermediaries in the US and Canada. MeM is globally accessible via www.mem.com."

I checked it out for Coffey and Coffey and was pleased to find several EY and a very few EE "memories." Many of these included photographs of the deceased.

Access to the files appear to be free (I did not have to do anything to gain access). I suppose they make money through advertisements and contributors to the "memories" files.

Check it out by clicking on the title link.

March 21, 2008

Public Records soon to hit the web

"Ouachita [wash-uh-taw] Parish [LA] Clerk of Court Bill Hodge said more citizens come to his office than any other local government agency for public records.

"The history of Ouachita Parish is right here, from marriages to lawsuits to property records," Hodge said.


And Hodge is about to make it even easier for people to trace their genealogy or property titles or even find out how much their neighbors paid for their houses.

Much of the information now available in Hodge's Ouachita Parish Courthouse office will soon be on the Web."

Click on the title link to read the complete news article.


March 17, 2008

SSDI: Fields and Search Tips

Many researchers do not know about, or forget to use the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). The SSDI at Rootsweb is probably the best available, and provides a couple of search options.

- The basic option permits searching on last name, first name, middle name or initial and/or, social security number. The surname can be searched using exact, soundex or metaphone spelling.

- In addition to the above, the advanced option permits searches using Zip, State, County, City, birth dates, death year and month and issue state.

Before becoming as dependent on it as I have in recent years, I often misinterpreted some of the data fields.

- Last Residence - This may or may not be the location where the person lived or died. Rootsweb believes that a better description for this field might be "the address of record."

- Last Benefit - This "can be the last residence" of the deceased "or, the location where the final lump-sum payment (burial benefit) was sent." Someone [a widow, child, etc.] in the "Last Benefit" zip received the burial benefit from Social Security.

Click on the title link to read more tips about using this valuable resource.

Godparents who helped steer a nation's aviation history

"The Coffeys lavished me with unconditional love and gifts galore - nothing was out of reach for "the godchild." And, because he was so generous and unassuming, my parents were astonished when they discovered that Cornelius Coffey was a world-class aviator."

"Born in Arkansas in 1903, Coffey was fascinated with cars and mechanics as a kid. He had a brilliant, analytical mind that grasped every intricate detail of how car engines and parts work."

Thus begins a short tribute by Rhonda Sherrod of Huntsville, AL to her godfather Cornelius Coffey. The tribute appeared in the March 16, 2008 issue of The Huntsville Times, Huntsville, AL.

Click on the title link to read the complete article.

March 12, 2008

What is a Clearinghouse?

Some folks have recently suggested to me that they were unsure what the Coffey Cousins' Clearinghouse is. The definition that I gave is that we are a central agency for collecting and giving out information. But, we are not an agency; simply a group of people who identify themselves that way, taking that name from the newsletter of the same name.

We (a small core of individuals) attempt to work with those who are having difficulty identifying their ancestors. When someone writes to one of us for help, and information is available that might fit their family, it is given to them, along with any sources that are available. The information given is without guarantee. It is sort of hoped that the person receiving the info will check the sources, prove the facts and later, if they feel like sharing, tell us what they found. It is when we are not updated that erroneous information gets perpetuated.

It is, I like to believe, a mutual effort with no profits realized by anyone on our end. The cost associated with research that I do on fee-based genealogy sites come from my pocket. Whatever information I give is done so freely and without any obligation on the part of anyone to do anything more than send "thanks," and then only if they think about it.

The newsletter that Bonnie Culley edits and publishes operates the same way. People send in information, she publishes it and pushes it out in a multi-page newsletter every quarter. The only charge is the subscription rate of $10/year. For years, the rate was $8/year, but ever increasing postal rates forced her to up the cost. She makes no profit, and pays for the printing and postage out of that $10. She has a "department of corrections" in the newsletter where - what else - corrections from readers are published. I sort of try do do that here by updating earlier blogs.

I believe that the newsletter is in the 26th year. I think I've been attempting to operate the website for close to 18 years!? I don't really recall when I first put it on line at Rootsweb, but beginning in 1991 it was on a server at interesurf.net, then an ISP in my local area. Last year I decided to purchase a domain name and subscribe to a hosting service so that I could do more. I also pay for the hosting service.

We always try to list a source for the information that we share. Sometimes however, the person submitting the info does not have a source, except for "family tradition." In that case we will make an effort to get the person asking and the person submitting in contact with each other. Many times however, that's not possible because e-mail addresses change rapidly. That's why I ask for a USPS address from anyone who contributes or receives information.

I am not aware of any "license" requirements for anyone to research any family name, so I will continue to do what I can to help anyone with any surname closely connected to a Coffey/e family, wherever in the US they might have lived. Perhaps by helping others, someone will someday help me determine which Coffey/e woman co-habitated with what Mills man to produce a child named Lilburn, born c1822 in TN, and who chose to spell his name Coffee. In the meantime I'll have to be satisfied being in the fifth generation of what could possibly be the newest Coffee family in the US.

Finally, should anyone know of and object to any immediate family being included in the Edward Coffey Project please feel free to ask for them to be removed. I will, within reason, completely remove them. At the moment, I think "within reason" means anyone born after the 1930 census. We'll have to discuss a way to handle information if it was submitted by someone else in your family who does not object. In the meantime, if you have information you would like to share, or want to ask for help, please contact me at the above e-mail address.

March 10, 2008

Sandra Cloer Coffey (1945-2008)

Sandra was a co-founder of the Collettsville (North Carolina) Historical Society. She passed away on Mar. 7, 2008 in Caldwell Co., NC.

Her obituary can be found by clicking on the title link.


March 9, 2008

Civil War Bandit in Louisiana

Acadiana Diary: Bandit may have been most powerful Civil War leader

During the Civil War, the most powerful fighting force in Acadiana might not have worn either Federal blue or Confederate gray. Some people think it was a ragtag band of outlaws under the command of Ozeme Carriere of St. Landry Parish.

Read the remainder of this fascinating tale by clicking on the title link.

March 8, 2008

Last Surviving Doughboy

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Frank Woodruff Buckles was just 15 years old when he joined the U.S. Army. Soon, he was deployed to war and headed overseas on the Carpathia -- the same ship used in the rescue mission of the Titanic.

Click on the title link to read more!

March 7, 2008

1930 5th Grade Class, Blowing Rock, NC





This photo is of the 1930 5th grade class at Blowing Rock School.

The newspaper was probably the Watauga Democrat or Blowing Rocket, but I do not know the date.

Coffey Video Service - North Carolina


Steve Coffey is a videographer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

His company is available to document life events that should be made a part of your family posterity.

If you are in that area and interested in obtaining more information for your event, give him a call at the telephone number shown on the graphic, or visit his website.

Missouri Death Records

I have previously visited the Missouri Digital Heritage website. I seem to recall that when it first appeared on-line I was able to download certificates in pdf format without any difficulty.

However, when I visited this morning I found that downloading and viewing the death certificates is not so straight forward.

Instead of downloading a pdf file of the selected certificate, it downloads a file named DispPDF.aspx. Of course, my pdf reader would not open the file, and there is not a reader for any file with extension aspx.

By playing around with the file I found that I could download and view it by changing the name from that offered by the website to something useful. I typically name my files using the last name first name death cert, then add the pdf extension (e.g., Coffey, John J Death Cert.pdf). After renaming the file I could view it with my pdf reader.

I'm unsure if I'm doing something incorrectly or, if the script used to send the file to me is in error. Please write to me at the above e-mail address if you have found a shorter way to download the certificates.

By the way, I no longer use the free Adobe PDF reader to read these files. It has grown too bulky, always wants to "call home" to check for updates, etc. I now use the free PDF-XChange viewer. Among other options, this viewer allows users to place annotations into the pdf file. Check it out at Tracker Software Products. You may also want to consider the free Foxit PDF viewer. You can find that one at Foxit Software.

March 5, 2008

Herbert Wagner

The following is a report taken from the front page of The Watauga Democrat, dated Dec. 30, 1926. It is a description of the events surrounding the murder of Earl Moody and Deck Byrd by Herbert Wagner, husband of Minnie Lee Ella Coffey. Filmore Coffey was the son of Austin and Mary Blalock Coffey:

Earl Moody and Deck Byrd Slain by Herbert Wagner

Christmas Day Tragedy at Foscoe in Which Two Young Men Meet Tragic Deaths Shocks Whole County; Slayer Held in Greensboro Jail; County's First Double Homicide

For the first time in the history of the county of Watauga, a double murder occurred on Christmas Day, when Earl Moody, 22, and Deck Byrd, 40, met their death at the hands of Hubert [sic] Wagner at Foscoe, in the vininity of Shulls' Mills. The young men were all natives of that section.

According to the best available information, Herbert Wagner (familiarly known as "Hub") had just returned from West Virginia where he had been employed for some time, in order, that he could be with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Judson Wagner, during the holiday season. He arrived at the home on Friday night and on Saturday morning in company with some of the good citizens of the community enjoyed target practice neaby for a short time and the friendly Christmas spirit was manifest. According to witnesses, Wager had taken a few drinks of whiskey but apparently was not intoxicated. However, his friends noted that before they had finished their sport he drifted away, going on the railway to a point a short distance away where Mr. Filmore Coffey conducts a mercantile business. There he met Earl Moody. A few words were passed between the two, after which Wagner is alleged to have said, "I'll shoot you, d__ you." And he did, firing five shots all with deadly effect. Then the assailant walked to the side of the little store building, dropped the empty shells from the still smoking revolver, reloaded and proceeded a short distance up the railroad tracks, where he met Deck Byrd, who was starting for a rabbit hunt. Byrd inquired of Wagner what had happened at the store. Wagner is said to have told him he would kill him, too, and shot him down. After he fell two more bullets were sent crashing through his brain.

The killer then proceeded to the home of his father. Mr. Harrison Byrd, father of the last boy slain, demanded that he be held until it was possible to move him to the jail at Boone. A party of citizens of that section, led by Mr. Filmore Coffey, surrounded the Wagner home and finally succeeded in capturing Wagner, who was held in the depot at Foscoe. Deputy Sheriffs A. L. Gross and P. C. Wyke hurried to the scene and brought Wagner to Boone and lodged him in jail, where he was guarded during the night. Sunday afternoon he was taken to the Guilford county jail at Greensboro for safe keeping, where he will be held, awaiting the next term of Watauga superior court which convenes the last Monday in March.

The slain men were interred at Foscoe Sunday afternoon, many friends and relatives being present. They were known as good citizens, thoroughly honorable and their death brings sadness to many friends throughout the county. Moody is survived by a wife and one child, while Byrd leaves a wife and three children.


Edith Northern

The name of Edith Northern is not widely known in Caldwell County or anywhere else to my knowledge. In fact, she almost lived her life without notice. The only place I've found her name recorded is in the minutes of Yadkin Baptist Church.

She joined the church by letter at the June meeting in 1814. Since she transferred by letter, she was a member in good standing of another Baptist Church. Just where that church is, I cannot say. I don't know if she was a widow or a single woman. Whatever her marital status, she apparently had no family to care for her and no means to care for herself in her later days as the following will show.

For more of this story, click on the title link.

[Update Sep. 29, 2009:  This link is no longer active.  Sorry!]

Coffeytown and 2008 Coffey Cousins' Reunion

For readers who plan to attend the 2008 Coffey Cousins' Reunion, and are wondering what Coffeytown is all about, click on the Coffeytown "search also" label below. That will bring up all previous blog entries for that area, and provide a pretty good review of the area and the families that lived there.

Please contact me with any questions you might have about the reunion or the area and I'll see if I can find the answer. My e-mail address is above.

William Pinkney and Nancy Caroline Gragg Coffey

Update Mar. 8, 2008 - Some of this lineage is incorrect. Corrections are in the works.

Update Oct. 8, 2012 - Note correction below


William Pinkney Coffey was a son of Silas C. and Eleanor (Nellie) Greene. He was born c1857 at John s River in Caldwell Co., NC, and died Aug. 13, 1942 in Watauga Co.

Nancy was born in Feb., 1863 in the Globe Twp., Caldwell Co., to Johnson P. and Nancy Jane Cuthbertson Gragg. She and William were married Oct. 25, 1883 in Caldwell Co.
William and Nancy were in Caldwell Co. until sometime after 1910, and before 1920 when he was found in Watauga Twp., Watauga Co.

There were at least 12 children born to this union. Two, Nancy Elinder, born Feb., 20, 1886, and William Marshall, born Jul. 28, 1887 died about two weeks apart in Nov., 1890. A third child, Romulous Linney, born in Dec., 1894, died in 1918.
The remainder of the children were:

- Edward Henry, born Dec. 17, 1884, died Mar. 11, 1967. He married (perhaps) three times and fathered at least nine children.
- Grover Alexander, born Jun. 26, 1889, died Apr. 7, 1940. He married Sallie Byrd Moore and fathered at least four children with her.

- Maude Rebecca, born Feb. 6, 1891, died Jul. 24, 1930, married Thomas Harrison Woodie, a son of Rufus and Sara Reid Woodie. They were parents of at least 11 children.

Update Oct. 8, 2012:  In my working file Thomas Harrison Woodie was married to Maude Virginia Coffey, a daughter of Augustus and Betty Beard Coffey, which was incorrect.  The above marriage to Maude Rebecca Coffey is correct.  Thomas and Maude Rebecca are buried at Jonas Ridge community cemetery in Burke Co., NC.

I have 10 children for them:  Fannie, born Apr., 1910, died Apr., 1981, married Challis Linwood Shell, born Jul. 1910, died Aug., 1962; Rufus Paul, born Sep., 1911, died Dec., 1993; Pearl Mabel, born Jun., 1914; Cordia Lee (Cordie), born Apr., 1916, died Oct., 1983, married Coburn Franklin; Alfred, born c1919; Nancy, born c1921; Joseph David, born 1922, died Jul., 1988, married Josephine Helen Dobber; Robert Dale, born Nov., 1923, died Sep., 1975; Howard Jackson, born Jun., 1925; and Lloyd Eugene, born May 1927, died Aug., 2000.

I am working on confirming spouse names and marriage dates for some of these children.

- Bird Elizabeth (Birdie), born Apr. 26, 1893, died Apr. 25, 1982. She married Horatio A. Aldridge on Feb. 19, 1913 in Watauga Co. He was born Apr. 20, 1891 to Samuel Columbus and Margaret Melissa Buchanana Aldridge. They were parents of at least six children.

- Adelaide Louisa (Addie), born Jan. 4, 1897, died Nov. 10, 1942. She married Thomas Arville Storie, a son of Jeremiah and Alice Carlton Storie. Thomas was born c1891. They had at least five children.

- Jennie Lynn, born Sep. 9, 1899, died Jun. 16, 1974 in Prince George Co., MD. She married a distance cousin, Vance Stephenson Coffey on Jul. 4, 1916. Vance was a son of Charles and Sophronia Phipps Coffey. They were parents of at least four children.

- Walter Johnson, born Aug. 17, 1907, died Aug. 29, 1957. He married Bonnie Sluder, a daughter of Andrew and Judy Sluder. They were parents of at least two children. Bonnie died in 1930, and Walter later married Rachel Dean, the widow of Millard Oscar Hampton. She and Walter had at least one child.

- Emma Destemonia, born Apr. 30, 1902, died May 29, 2000. She married Ben Moore on Feb. 14, 1947 and, was later married to James Logan Bladgett.

- Minnie Lee Ella, born Jun. 9, 1904, died Jun. 8, 1992. She was first married to Herbert Spencer (Hub) Wagner in about 1925. Hub was first married to Ruie Ellen Coffey. After her death in 1924 he married Minnie. Hub was convicted of murdering Earl Moody and Deck Byrd on Christmas Day in 1926. Following his release he is thought to have moved to WVa. After Hub, Minnie married Stanford Councill Coffey, a son of Jesse Filmore and Harriett Melissa Calloway Coffey. Minnie and Stanford were also distant cousins.

Please contact me at the e-mail address above if you can add to or correct any of this information.

March 4, 2008

Coffey Cousins' 2008 Reunion Update

  • If you are a subscriber to the Coffey Cousins' printed newsletter you will have read that the tour to Coffeytown will leave the hotel on Friday morning.  That is an error.  The trip to Coffeytown is on Saturday morning, time to be announced.
  • I have contacted a caterer and am making arrangements for the banquet and box lunches.  The hotel does not provide breakfast, but the caterer tells me that a truck stop very near the hotel serves a great breakfast.  Locals often go there for their meals.
  • If you have been holding off on submitting your menu choices, please fill it out and mail it to me.  I will need an accurate head count very soon.
  • Everyone is encouraged to bring a small and inexpensive item to be used as a door prize.  Whatever you bring should not cost more than a couple of bucks.

Peggy Cornelia Brown Coffey

The death of Peggy Cornelia Brown Coffey was announced today in the Lenoir, NC News-Topic.

She was the wife of Russell James Coffey, a son of Joseph Howard and Florence Oleen Hartley Coffey.

Click on the News-Topic link to read the complete obituary.

March 3, 2008

Ruby Shell Coffey

Obituary, Published Mar. 3, 2008, Commonwealth Journal, Somerset, KY

"Ruby Shell Coffey, 83, Faubush, Ky., died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008, at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Born in Casey County on Dec. 31, 1924, she is the daughter of the late James D. and Mary Lue Shell.

She is survived by her husband, Robert "Bobby" Coffey..."

Click on the title link to read the complete obituary.

Somerset and Faubush are in Pulaski Co.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address if you know who Robert "Bobby" Coffey descends from.

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