July 17, 2009

Elijah and Mary Ann Nelson Coffey

I have just received these photographs from John W. Coffey in Raleigh, NC. He wrote that the beard seen here on Elijah was added to the photo after Elijah died. John also said that he had been told that the beard was lifted from a photo of Lincoln, but he has not been able to verify that.

Elijah was a son of William Coffey, Jr., and his wife Margaret Robbins. William and Margaret married in Caldwell Co., NC in 1829. In addition to Elijah (second born), their other children were: Elbert, Larkin, Bartlett, Cornelius, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, Sarah, William and Margaret.

Elijah and Mary Ann were married on June 20, 1867 in Caldwell Co. Mary Ann was born Feb. 23, 1843, a daughter of John M. and Elizabeth Penley Nelson. She died Jan. 6, 1929 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co.

Elijah was born on Buffalo Creek in Wilkes Co., NC on Aug. 20, 1838 and died in Patterson Twp., Caldwell Co. on Oct. 6, 1891.

Their children were:

Harriet "Hattie", born May 15, 1868, died Nov. 16, 1954. She married James Alexander Stewart on Dec. 22, 1896 at Harpers Chapel, Patterson Twp.

John William, born Jun. 18, 1869 in Patterson Twp., died Jun. 11, 1960 in Raleigh, Wake Co., NC. He married Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Little on Dec. 14, 1898 in Raleigh.

Lee Thomas, born Jun. 24, 1871 in Patterson Twp., died Apr. 15, 1952 in Minco, Grady Co., OK. He married Isis Orpha Winfree (Hmmm!) on Jun. 29, 1916. Isis was born May 30, 1890 in Beaucoup, Washington Co., IL and died in Minco on Mar. 10, 1976.

George Nelson, born Jan. 17, 1875 in Patterson Twp., died in Wooster, Wayne Co., OH on Oct. 4, 1967. He married Clara Estella Kean on Apr. 22, 1914 in Wooster. She was born Jan. 29, 1889 in Wooster and died there on Jan. 26, 1926.

The last child I have found is Mary Etta, born May 18, 1880, died Jul. 25, 1971. I have no descendants for her.

John wrote that this photograph was taken of Elijah's widow and children in the front yard of their home. We can see a lot of detail in the home. It must have been a beautiful place when seen in its full color and environment.
I can be reached at the above e-mail address if corrections or additions are needed.
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July 11, 2009

Lost Cousins!

Actually, they were not lost.  They knew where they were.

For years I have been searching for descendants of my G-pa Coffee's sister, Sarah Ellen Coffee Hill Sutton.  Many of them wandered out of Arkansas and west into California during the depression.  Somewhere along the way their paper trail vanished!

Imagine my surprise and happiness when a few days ago a new cousin on the west coast contacted me, writing that one of Sarah's Sutton daughters was her grandmother.  The new cousin had found my personal genealogy website.

Information that my new cousin offered has opened up a whole new search path (new names, locations, etc.) for me.  As a result, I've been able to find more census records for some of the family.  I now know her mother's maiden name, where she came from, and other details.

She also sent about a dozen photographs gleaned over the years from other family sources.  All of them were of her parents, grandparents and Sarah Ellen.  What a treasure!

Sarah had one son from her Hill marriage.  I have very little information about those cousins, but continue to search for them.

On another subject:  If any regular readers are wondering about my extended absences from the blog, I can only tell you that I'm working on projects other than Edward Coffey.  There have been very few discoveries over the past few years, so I found myself searching for obituaries, attempting to tie those folks into those already in my Ed Coffey project files.

There have been a few corrections submitted now and again, but nothing that I considered really significant.  And frankly, participation by readers has been next to nothing!  I offered an opportunity for readers to co-edit the blog, but received only one promise to help. 

I will continue now and again to post info here as it becomes available, but those posts will likely be few and far between.

Also, I will continue to update the Edward Coffey Project CD with changes and new found info as it becomes available.

The offer to co-edit is still on the table.


July 3, 2009

Thomas Coffey and Sarah Stokes

Marvin Coffey included Thomas and Sarah in his work on James Bluefield Coffey as a possible child of Reuben and Sarah "Sally" Scott Coffey.  He recognized that there was not complete agreement among Edward Coffey researchers that the children of Reuben and Sallly as listed in his work was accurate.

Recently, Sue Ikerd wrote to me that Thomas who married Sarah Stokes was actually Thomas Caffey, a descendant of Michael and Margaret Flowers Caffey.  Her contention was backed up with the following reasoning:

  • Thomas's parents were born father Maryland, mother North Carolina, name usually spelled Caffey; named son Michael.
  • Michael was born in Maryland; name usually spelled Caffey.
  • Thomas's wife's mother was a Chilcuitt from Maryland.
  • Hooper Caffey, grandson of Michael, married a Chilcuitt.
  • John Stokes who married Jane Guerrin, was a brother of Sarah Stokes, wife of Thomas Caffey.
  • Hooper Caffey was Bondsman for John Stokes and Jane Gerrin 1814.
  • Thomas incurred debt to James Walker 1817 in Rockingham Co. NC (I have an original paper with this info and dates). Old family letter states family came to
  • Tennessee in 1824 from North Carolina.
  • Thomas lived in Guildford Co. North Carolina in 1821; appointed Brother-in-law James to recover the inheritance from deceased mother of Rockingham Co. NC.
  • Stokes, Caffey's, McElroy's, Flacks, Patricks, Averetts, all lived in the same general area in Guilford Co. NC and are all connected by marriage. The June 23, 1804 will of Michael Caffey, probated Nov. 1810 in Rockingham Co.
  • NC, lists wife Margaret, sons Michael, Robert, Thomas, John, and daughters Sophia, Mary, and Margaret.
  • Executors were Wife Margaret and son John Witnesses were W. Payne, Waiter Good, and Charity Payne.

This information will not be updated in the on-line version of the Edward Coffey Project for reasons cited in previous blogs.  However, I will include this information in my master file and will be available on the Edward Coffey Project CD.  It has also been forwarded to Bonnie Culley for inclusion in her quarterly Coffey Cousins' Newsletter.

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