November 22, 2009

Rev. Berry Wisdom Lafette Coffey


The Rev. Berry Wisdom Lafette Coffey was born Oct. 15, 1857 in Grainger Co., TN to William Wesley and Gelina E. Shouse Coffey.  William was the son of Cleveland and Susan Hayes Coffey.  Cleveland was one of the Burke Co., NC Coffey families that moved into TN in the early 1830s.  Susan was from Ashe Co., NC and their first child, Andrew Jackson Coffey was born there in Dec., 1833.

Berry Coffey married his first wife, Harriet Dalton on May 15, 1879 in Grainger Co.  She gave him at least two children:  Dewitt, birthdate unknown, and Charles "Charlie" Edward, born in Grainger Co. in Jan., 1878, died Jul. 9, 1952 in TN.  Charlie married Susan McDaniel c1904 and they became the parents of at least four children: 

Verdia Alice, born Aug. 24, 1906, died Dec. 1, 1989, married George Nelson Shockley who was born Jul. 23, 1899 in TN, died in Claiborne Co., TN on Aug. 9, 1978.  Both are believed to be buried in the Shockley cemetery in Claiborne Co.  They were parents of at least 10 children.

Laura Bell, born Nov. 29, 1909, died Dec. 29, 1983.  She married the Rev. Gus Harville on Sep. 23, 1926 in Grainger Co.  They were parents of at least two children:  Roy R., born c1928, died Apr. 4, 2007 in Bean Station, Grainger Co., and Clora N. "Sis", born Jun. 5, 1933 in Grainger Co., died Nov. 18, 2006 in Thorn Hill, Grainger Co.  Clora married the Rev. Ira C. Dalton in Grainger Co. in Sep., 1965.

Cephus Henry, born Feb. 2, 1912, died Jun. 18, 1973 in Grainger Co.  He married Virgie Miller on Jun. 26, 1944 in Hamblen Co., TN.  Virgie was born Jun. 10, 1925 and died Oct. 11, 1999 in Knox Co., TN.  I know of only one child, Lonny Hugh, born Jan. 19, 1950 in Hamblen Co., died there on Dec. 30, 1966.

Enos Garfield, born Jul. 9, 1915 in Thorn Hill, died Aug., 19, 1988 in Franklin, Warren Co., OH.  He married Ophia Coffey, a daughter of Elijah and Martha Coffey Coffey and a distant cousin.  I know of no children born to this union.
I do not have a death date for Harriet but she apparently died before Nov. 5, 1887 because on that date Berry married Jincey Shockley.  Jincey was the daughter of Winright and Martha Emaline "Emily" Coffey Shockley and was born in May of 1864.

This marriage brought at least three more children to the family:

Cynthia, born in Aug., 1887

Nathaniel, born Sep. 8, 1893 in Grainger Co., died Apr. 22, 1970 in Bean Station.  Nathaniel married Pearley Dalton on Sep. 24, 1918 in Grainger Co., the daughter of Ira and Sarah Manerva Dalton Dalton.  They had at least six children: Dorsie Ellen, Stella May, Fannie Lucy, Berry, Albert and Kenneth.

George O., born Sep., 21, 1898, died Jan., 1981.  George married Buena Vista Collins on Mar 14, 1918 in Grainger Co.  Buena Vista was born c1900.  They had at least six children:  Lewis, Nelson G., J. D., Hobert, C. A., and Rufus N.
Jincey apparently died before Jan. 1, 1904 because on that date Berry took his third wife, Mary Jane Sheffield.  Mary Jane was born Aug., 25, 1870 to William and Nancy Coulson Sheffield.  She died on Jan. 17, 1956.  Their children were:

Mattie E., born Feb. 13, 1906, died Oct. 14, 1988.  Mattie married Hobart David Carpenter c1925 and had at least one child, Vina Mae, born c1926, died Nov. 3, 2005 in Bean Station.  Vina Mae married Roy Nelson Livesay who died on Sep. 11, 2001 in Grainger Co.

Berry Snyder, born c1909

Rufus Kyle, born May 14, 1912, died Oct. 5, 1994.  Rufus married Cecil Dalton in Sep., 1940.  She was born Jun. 9, 1924 to Simeon and Lula Dalton Dalton, and died Oct. 22, 2007 in Thorn Hill.

The Rev. Berry Wisdom Lafette Coffey died on Jan. 1, 1936.  The following is his obituary as it appeared in the Mulberry Gap Association minutes for that year:

Coffey, Berry W. was born October 15, 1857; d. January 1, 1936, age 78 years 2 months 16 days. He professed faith in Christ Feb 10, 1877 and joined the Methodist church later joined the Missionary Baptist at Oak Hill Baptist Church where he remained a member until death. He was ordained to ministry, April 4, 1893. He was a great lover of the church and Sunday School and great friend to the young ministers. He always told them to stand for the cause of Christ. He leaves to mourn his loss his , wife, 6 children 5 boys sons, 1 daughter, 3 half brothers, 19 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends, but our is his eternal gain. When we will meet where will be no more sad parting. Written by Children.
He was buried in the Coffey Family cemetery in Thorn Hill along with Mary Jane.

Photo and most of this family information is courtesy of Bernice Mullins, Hancock Co., TN

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