A recent e-mail exchange with a descendant of John C. Coffey, born Jul. 14, 1861, died Aug. 27, 1931, raised some questions. Some genealogies name his wife as Martha Wyatt while others name her as Martha White.
John and Martha were married about 1883. Their first child, Evaline was born in March, 1885.
This particular family is a little difficult to read on the census page that I consulted. However, it seems pretty clear that the couple had been married 17 years (i.e., married in 1883), that their eldest child was born in March 1885, and that Martha was born in August, 1861.
1900 Grainger Co., Dist. 10, ED25, Sheet 1B, dwelling/family 17, Coffey, John, head, white male, born Jul. 1861, age 38, married 17 yrs., born TN, parents born TN, farmer; Martha, wife, white female, born Aug., 1861, age 38, married 17 yrs., mother of 8, 7 living, born TN, parents born TN; Em(?)aline, dau., white male [sic], born Mar 1885 (?), age 15 (?), born TN; James Monroe, son, male, white, Jan. 1888, age 12, born TN; Coria [sic], dau., white female, born 1890, July, age 9, born TN; E?aline, dau., white female, born 1892, Aug., age 7, born TN; Charles, son, male, white, born 1895, May, age 5, born TN; Orrena [sic], dau., white female, born 1897, Dec., age 2, born TN; William Brownlo [sic], son, white female [sic], born 1900, Mar (?), age 2 mos., born TN
There was only one Martha Wyatt in the 1870 Grainger Co. census, and she resided in Bean Station. She was 22 years old meaning that she was born c1848. There were none in 1880 Grainger Co. This appears to eliminate her as a potential wife for John C. Coffey.
There was a Martha White of the correct age (age 9, born 1861) in Thorn Hill, Grainger Co in the 1870 census. She was the daughter of Peter White and his wife Mary. Others in the household with Peter were: John, age 21; William, age 19; Meredith, age 17; Bettie Ann, age 15, and Wiley, age 13.