April 29, 2009

Byron Howe & Nellie Branham Coffey - Updated Apr. 29, 2009

Byron Howe Coffey was born in Owen Co. IN on Jan. 29, 1866 to Wesley W. and Laura Josephine Howe Coffey. Wesley was descended from the Rev. Reuben A. Coffey and his wife Martha "Polly" Dowell, through their son Albert who married Sarah Goodnight.

Nellie Branham was born in Sep., 1873 in Indiana to Larose and Susan A. Halbert Branham. She and Byron were married on Jan. 9, 1894 in Owen Co.

Byron and Nellie moved from Indiana to California between 1910 and 1920, apparently looking for work and a better life. They took four children with them:

Thatcher Howe, born Feb. 7, 1895 in Spencer, Owen Co., died Jul 16, 1956 in Los Angeles, CA. Thatcher joined the Army in WW1, and served with the 40th Div. He was discharged at Camp Kearny in San Diego, CA on Feb. 8, 1919. In Nov. of that year he married Lessa Leona Freeman in Riverside Co., CA. I know of one child for them, a daughter, Mary Jane, born Oct. 5, 1920 in CA., and died as Mary Jane Gratny in West Covina, CA on Jan. 30, 2007. Lessa was the daughter of Fletcher and Margaret McClellan Freeman, born Oct. 5, 1899 in IA died Jan. 24, 1979 in Los Angeles.

Naomi Josephine, born Mar. 22, 1896 in Spencer, died Dec. 4, 1970 in Los Angeles. Naomi married Karl Keeler on Mar. 16, 1916 in Marion Co., IN. They later moved to CA but by 1930 were living in Seattle, King Co., WA. I have two children, Lois, born c1919, and Karl, Jr., born c1921. Lois was born "back home in Indiana," while Karl waited until the family arrived in CA before making his appearance. Karl, Sr. waas born c1896 in Indiana, but I have not yet found a death place or date for him.

Cecile Louise, born Nov. 25, 1897 in Spencer, died Feb. 11, 1946 in Los Angeles. She married Joseph Adolph Iverson c1927, probably in CA. Joseph was the son of Charles John and Agusta Marilda Wagman Iverson. Charles was born in Norway while Agusta was born in Sweden. Joseph died in Nov., 1986 in CA. Cecile preceded him when she died on Feb. 11, 1946 in Los Angeles. I have no children for them.

Jule Hubert, born Dec. 25, 1899 in Spencer, died Mar. 3, 1979 in Los Angeles. He married Harriet Ellen Johnson c1925, a daughter of Gustav and Mary Johnson, both natives of Sweden. I have one child for Jule and Harriet, a son, Harry, born c1927.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address to add to or submit corrections.


I have received the following corrections for this family:

Dear Mr. Coffee,

I offer these corrections to the "Genealogy e-Newsletter for the Coffee/Coffey Surname and related families" that describes the genealogy of Byron Howe Coffey and "Nellie" Branham Coffey. Byron and Nelle were my paternal grandparents.

1. Nellie's actual name was Nelle Branham.

2. My father, Jule Hubert Coffey, in 1926 married Harriet Ellen Johnson, who was born October 30, 1899 in Tracy, MN. She was the daughter of Harry Gleason Johnson and Ellen Armanda Hicks. There never was any connection with Sweden.

Thank you in advance for your attention to these corrections.

Priscilla Coffey McKenna

April 19, 2009

Coffey Families in Russell Co., KY

Fred Coffey, the DNA expert in Coffey Cousins', and Kevin Coffey have undertaken a project to examine "the Coffey Families Living in and Around Russell County Kentucky, in the 1800's."

In an e-mail to some of us interested in the project, Fred announced that he and Kevin had pretty much finished the project " - at least until after the Convention."

The project report is quite large and contains lots of census information and analysis.

If you are researching Coffey families in Russell Co., or any of the closely surrounding counties, click on the title link to view an introduction - so to speak - to the work.  Other links on that page will get you to other parts of their examination.

April 15, 2009

Roots Magic 4.0

Many of you know that I use Roots Magic software to create webpages, genealogy reports, and of course, to record research findings.  I've been a user of that software since it was known as Family Origins, and used several releases and "bug fixes" through Version 3.

Version 4 was released for beta testing a few weeks ago and, before it had been properly debugged it was released for sale!  Well, I've been using it now for about a month and find it so bad that I've tossed it.  My feeling is that they released a beta version to generate income, and customers are paying them to de-bug their software!

There are some really neat features in RM4 and it's obvious that some features received more attention during developement than others.  It's the others that I can't tolerate.

Just a few of the problems that I've experienced:

Extremely slow response from the program as I progress through the various screens inputting data; e.g., 25 to 30 seconds for a search window to appear.

Strange little pop-up windows with odd names in them, the name having nothing to do with the person that I'm editing.

Output reports, especially RTF reports, that instead of paginating, sometimes writes the text portion of a report into the source area.

Blank pages in the middle of a 200 page report.  Remove that blank page and screw up the index.

Reports that mix fonts in the same paragraph.  If I select one font for the entire report, then the report - font wise at least - is properly reproduced.  If you accept the default fonts, a mixture of at least three to be used for various parts of the report (headers, etc), any text associated with any given person in the report will be oddly mixed.

I do not plan on using the software again and, I do not recommend purchase of the software until until at least version 4.1.  Current version is

April 10, 2009

Gilliam & Susan Gragg Coffey

Gilliam & Susan Gragg Coffey
Gilliam was a son of William and Anna Boone Coffey. He was born May 21, 1810 in NC and died on Jan. 8, 1910 in Patterson Twp., Caldwell Co., NC. He married first Mary "Polly" Moore on Jan. 2, 1832 in Caldwell Co.

Mary died on May. 26, 1871 in Caldwell Co. She was the mother of at least six children:

Harvey N., born Dec. 16, 1837, died Aug. 10, 1912. He married Jane Cochran, born Dec. 20, 1848, died Feb. 11, 1911. Both are buried in the Job Moore Cemetery in the Globe, Caldwell Co.

William Elbert, born 1839 in Caldwell Co., married Margaret Anne Kincaid on Feb. 6, 18 60 in Burke Co., NC. Margaret was born in 1837 and died on Dec. 22, 1921 in Morganton, Burke Co.

Harriet E., born Sep. 5, 1843, died Dec. 12, 1937. Harriet married James B. Blain on Oct. 7, 1866 in Caldwell Co. He as born May 1, 1844 in Cedar Valley, Caldwell Co., and died May 24, 1929 in Carter Co., TN. Harried was born Sep. 6, 1843 in Cedar Valley and died Dec. 12, 1937 in Elizabethton, Carter Co., TN. Both are buried in Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery at Keeneburg, Carter Co., TN

Celia Adeline, born c1847 of whom no further information.

Cordelia Adaline, born Jan. 10, 1853, died Jul. 9, 1918. She married John Boone Gragg on Dec. 17, 1877. He was born Feb. 15, 1856 in Caldwell Co., and died May 23, 1937 in the Globe. Both are buried at Job Moore.

Emma, born c1855, of whom no further information.

Gilliam married second to Susan D. (Susie) Gragg, a daughter of Jesse and Malinda Mast Gragg on June 4, 1882 in Caldwell Co. Susan had been twice before married: first to Patterson H. Moore on Sep. 6, 1866, and second to Isaac Green on Dec. 8, 1877. The only known child that survived this union was Hillie Horton, born Jul. 31, 1887, died Mar. 30, 1963.

Hillie marrie Bessie* McLean in 1908, Caldwell Co., and had at least four children: Unnamed son born and died May 16-17, 1921; James Harding, born and died Aug. 3, 1922; Fred Oral, born Mar. 16, 1924 and Ora Lee, born Feb. 27, 1927. Ora married Earl Greene in 1946, Caldwell Co.  Hillie died Mar. 30, 1963 in Collettsville, Caldwell Co., and was buried there in the Shoemake Cemetery.

The photo shows Hillie and his parents c1920. Please contact me if you contributed or know the source of the photo.

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

*I've seen another genealogy that names her Susie or Susan McLean

Children of Charles McDonald & Martha Lura Finley Coffey

The Charles McDonald Coffey family was mentioned in an earlier blog.  Click on the title link to read.
Charles and Martha had two children: 
Lura Finley, born Apr. 17, 1918 in Statesville, Iredell Co., NC and died Apr. 15, 1988 in Austin, Travis Co., TX.  She was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in North Wilkesboro, Wilkes Co., NC.  Lura married James Elliott Deans.
The second child of Charles and Martha was Charles McDonald, III.  He was born Nov. 16, 1927 in Statesville and married Ruth King Wood
Photos and data courtesy Jim Deans, son of Lura and James Elliott Deans.

April 9, 2009

William Zidner & Louise DeBolt Coffey

William was a son of Robert W. and Sally C. Compton Coffey. He was born April 8. 1892 in Columbia, Adair Co., KY and died on Dec. 18, 1961 in Gallia Co., OH. It appears - if I interpret correctly - from the marriage record (below) that Louise was born April 2, 1884 in Wetzel Co., WV. Her parents were John and Ida Boughner DeBolt.  They were married on May 27, 1919 in Akron, OH.

Robert W. Coffey was a son of Zidner and Marganna Keltner Coffey; Zidner, a son of Ananias and Jane Hindman Coffey of Green and Adair Counties in Kentucky.

William stated on the marriage record that he was employed by the Goodyear company in in Akron. Louise gave her occupation as a "domestic." From the marriage record we find that William had been previously married and divorced. My records show that he was first married to Maggie Helm, probably c1914, which produced a child, Eunice Katherine Coffey, born Feb. 14, 1915 in Ozark, Adair Co., KY., and died May 27, 1983 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH.

Louise was also apparently previously married because the record reads that she was "once restored." I take that to mean that her maiden name had been restored after a divorce.

This information and copies of the marriage record were generously donated by Melissa Barker

Update Mar 8, 2012

Additional investigation of William and his families became bit muddled recently when I discovered that Louise had been married not once before William, but apparently twice before.

The 1920 census shows us that in the household with William and Louise were two LeMaster children; Harry and Cody.  In the above marriage record, Louise told that she was previously married to a Mr. Graves, they had divorced and she had her DeBolt maiden name restored.

While checking on who the LeMaster children were, I discovered that Louise had been married earlier to Fenton C. Lemaster and in 1910 the family lived in the Spencer district of Roane Co., WV.  Children in the household were Harry F., age 10, Bessie S., age 8, Ethrelda (?), age 4 and, Cody L., age 4 mos.

At some point between 1920 and 1922 Louise and William apparently "split the blanket."  In 1930 she appeared in the Akrom, Summit Co., OH census as a widow.  In the household with her was son Cody, age 20.  Sharing the household was her other son, Harry, with wife Erica and daughters Eleanor and Catherine.

In the meantime, and c1922, William appears to have taken a third wife, Lydia A. Williams.  They had at least one child, Mary F., born c1925 in OH.

William died on Dec. 18, 1961 in OH and was buried at Saint Nicholas Cemetery in Eureka, Gallia Co., OH.  Lydia was born on Sep. 22, 1895 in OH and lived until Aug. 2, 1991.  She too is buried at Saint Nicholas.

April 8, 2009

James David Coffey

James David CoffeyJames David Coffey was born Nov. 2, 1837 in Monroe Co., IN and died Mar. 3, 1899 in Owen Co., IN. He was a son of Archelaus & Rachael Wilson Coffey; Archelaus a son of James D. and Hannah Alloway Strange Coffey.

James was the second child and first son born to Archelaus and Rachel. He married (date not known) Martha Jane Coffey, a daughter of Isom and Martha Smock Coffey.

Martha Jane Coffey
Martha was born Jan. 2, 1841 in Monroe Co., IN and died in Owen Co., IN on March 26, 1899. She and James were second cousins, both descended from Reuben and Sarah (Sally) Scott Coffey.

James and Martha had at least two children: John, born c1863 of which nothing more is known. Their second child was Rosa Etta, born Mar. 8, 1868, died Mar. 22, 1920.
Rose Etta Coffey

Rosa Etta married James Abraham Pauley, born Jun. 15, 1861 in Monroe Co., IA, and died on Sep. 30, 1943 in Albia, Monroe Co. He was the son of Solomon P. and America Smock Pauley. They had three children, one of which died young. The other two were daughters, Doris, born c1901 and Margery, born c1905.

James and Rosa are buried in Hickory Grove cemetery, Monroe county, Iowa.

James' father, Archelaus, was a native of Wilkes Co. in North Carolina who came to Monroe Co., IN with his parents in 1834. He lived there until 1860 when he moved to Owen Co. He and Rachel were married in Ashe Co., NC in 1834, the year the family departed for Indiana. For more information about Archelaus see Tales of Pioneers: History of Owen County, Indiana, Vol. II published by the Spencer, IN Chamber of Commerce in 1963.

The photographs and updated birth, marriage and death dates for the James David Coffey family are courtesy of Roxanna Crail, a great-granddaughteer of Rosa Etta Coffey Pauley.

Who is William Wallace Coffey?

From The semi-centennial alumni record of the University of Illinois by the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus), 1918:
p. 527, 6168: "George Cleveland Coffey Lawyer; LL. B.; b. O 16, 1884; s William Wallace (b. O 5, 1835, Hopkinsville, Ky) and Helen Baily (Knight) Coffey (b. O 8, 1846, Elktown, Ky.). Prepared in Ewing Coll.; Univ. of Mo., 1907-08.  Lawyer, Mt. Vernon, Ill., 1914-16; Benton, Ill., 1916-.  Married Maud Williamson, O 24, 1908.  Address, Benton, Ill.; Bus. Add., Williams, Lewis & Coffey, do."
I suspect the "O" represents the month of October, but were all born in that month?

David F. Coffey 1817-1867 Pike Co., IL

From a History of Pike county, Illinois, pub. by Charles Chapman & Co., Chicago, 1880

"David F. Coffey, deceased, one of the pioneers, was born in Simpson county, Ky., May 18, 1817, and was a son of Nathan Coffey, deceased, well known in this county, who brought his family here in 1829 and settled on sec. 3, Griggsville township, at the summit of the hill which was afterward christined "Coffey Hill," and is still called by that name.  He was the father of 13 children, of whom David F. was the 6th.  The latter was married in 1842 to Elizabeth Conner, daughter of Francis Conner, deceased, who came to Franklin Co., Ill., in 1832.  Mr. and Mrs. Coffey had 10 children, of whom 9 are living, - Sarah E., Nathan F., J. Hardin, Delitha M., Daniel F., Burton B., Thomas M., Mary J. and Grace L.  Mr. Coffey was Captain of Co. B., 68th Regt. Ill. Inf., in the Rebellion, but was detailed to hospital service during the second battle of Manassas.  He died Sept. 22, 1867, at the age of 50 years; had been a member of the Baptist Church for about twenty-seven years."
I have unsourced information on three of the nine children who survived:  John Hardin Coffey, born Aug. 31, 1847, died Apr. 29, 1917,  was married on Oct. 14, 1875 in West Grove, Davis Co., IA to Ellen Martin.  Daniel Franklin Coffey married Nancy Margaret LNU in Mar., 1851 in Pike Co.  They were parents of at least seven children, born between 1877 and 1899.  Thomas M. married Lillian Mae Hathaway on Jul. 5, 1883 in IL and had at least six chilren, born between 1884 and 1899.

Please contact me if you can add to or correct any of the family information.

Update Oct. 7, 2011 Victor Mahlon French and Grace Harding Coffey were married on Oct. 2, 1907* in Crook Co., WY.  Grace was a daughter of Thomas and Lillian Mae Hathaway Coffey.

Their children were:

Russell Elmore, born Jul. 23, 1908 in Alva, Crook Co., died Aug. 11, 1992 in Belle Fourche, Butte Co., SD. His wife was Dorothy, last name unknown. He is buried at Alva Cemetery in Crook Co.

Celia Mae, born Jan. 27, 1910 in Alva, died Jul. 26, 2006 in Gibbon, Buffalo Co., NE. She married Morton Lee Howard on Aug. 16, 1934. He was born Dec. 11, 1912 in Pierre, Hughes Co., SD and died in Nebraska on Jun. 17, 1982. Both are buried at Riverside Cemetery in Gibbon.

Geraldine Belle, born Jun. 26, 1917 in Alva, died May 9, 2009 in Rapid City, Pennington Co., SD. Her husband was Willard Beard to whom she was married on Dec. 22, 1940. Geraldine's remains were cremated and her ashes scattered in an unknown location.

After Grace's death in 1917, Victor was married to Delia Foley, born Mar. 7, 1900 in Cheyenne, Laramie Co., WY, died Sep., 1973 in Cheyenne. From Russell's obituary** we learn that they were the parents of two children: Naomi Jean, born May 9, 1927 in Alva, and Eleanor who married a Mr. Egan. Delia is also buried at Alva in Crook Co.

Naomi married Edwin Gibson Rounds, retired Major, USMC, born Jun. 20, 1920, died Mar. 31, 1985 in ND. Jean died on Jul. 2, 2011 in ND. Both she and Edwin are buried at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, Meade Co., SD.

*Groom's Name: Victor M. French Groom's Birth Date: Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: Bride's Name: Grace H. Coffey Bride's Birth Date: 1884 Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: 23 Marriage Date: 02 Oct 1907 Marriage Place: , Crook, Wyoming Groom's Father's Name: Groom's Mother's Name: Bride's Father's Name: Bride's Mother's Name: Groom's Race: Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M71134-1 System Origin: Wyoming-VR Source Film Number: 968135 Reference Number: 2:1VQRD96 [NB: Oct. 2 could be the license date and the marriage occured on Oct. 7 as given below by Debra Tower]

**Obituary from The Sundance Times, Sundance, Crook Co., WY
Russell E. French, 84, Belle Fourche, and former longtime Crook County resident, died Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Belle Fourche Long Term Health Care Center.  Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, Belle Fourche; two sons, Joe Russell, Crawley, LA, and ned Victor, Winnemucca, NV; two daughters, Marlys Grace, Lander, WY, and Lea Kathryn, Wasilla, Alaska; 10 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; four sisters, Celia Howard, Gibbon, NE, Geraldine Beard, Edgemont, Elanor Egan, Maple Valley, WA, and Jean Rounds, Cheyenne.  Services were held Friday at Alva Community Church in Alva, WY with Elder Merlin O'Haver officating. Burial was in the Alva Cemetery.

Nebuzaradan Coffey 1789 Wilkes Co., NC - 1867 Marion Co., OR

This Nebuzaradan Coffey was the son of Joel and Martha (or Sealey, depending on which genealogy is used) Stepp/Stapp Coffey. He was born on August 29, 1789 in Wilkes Co., NC and died on January 20, 1867 in Marion Co., OR.

"Neb" spent some time in Wayne Co., KY where he married Elizabeth Easley on September 13, 1810.*
The family left Kentucky sometime before 1850 because they appear in the Marion Co., OR census on January 24, 1850.  Sometime shortly after that, "Neb" was apparently elected to the territorial legislature because between December 2, 1850 and February 2, 1851, he was the "Doorkeeper" for the territorial legislature.

The document shown here is from a report published by the Oregon Secretary of State, H. R. Kinkaid, Biennial Report of the Secretary of the State of Oregon, published by the state in 1899.  It is the only place in the book where "Neb" is mentioned.

*History of Cumberland County, Kentucky, J. W. Wells, 1947

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