December 22, 2009

Nearly 30,000 and counting!

As of about a half-hour ago,  292 more readers of this blog were needed to reach 30,000 by Dec. 31. 

This isn't the greatest genealogy blog on the internet; perhaps not even the best Coffey/e blog (are there others?), but I have written 919 of them - not counting those I've updated from time to time - since the first one on Dec. 7, 2004.  The blog averages close to 500 readers per month who to date have read a total of 72,092 pages.

Thanks very much to you regulars who write to keep me straight and, to the casual readers who find me via an internet search engine.

I'm using some of this cold and wet weather we're currently having in south Louisiana to work on my Edward Coffey Project, getting headstone photos, death certificates, etc. properly identified, color corrected, etc.  It's a fairly large undertaking, but it's not wasted effort.  I'm hoping that "someday" this project will be the most comprehensive and accurate genealogy of Edward Coffey and Ann Powell in existence.

Next year I'm considering taking on "special requests" for blog subjects.  That is, if a reader has a specific Coffey that they are having trouble finding, I'll give it a try and report my findings in the blog.  I know that's a seriously large undertaking.  I run across hundreds of Coffey families every month in census records, etc. and, haven't a clue which family they belong to.  That makes me nervous!

So, this will be the last of the 2009 blog entries.  I wish all of you a very Merry (but safe) Christmas!

December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

The Real Reason
Excitement and joy are filling the air;
The lights add special decor.
We're shopping for Christmas gifts everywhere,
But are gifts what Christmas is for?
The wreaths and the trees and the parties
Aren't what we need to convey;
It's the birth of our Savior, Jesus,
The real reason for this holiday.
By Karl and Joanna Fuchs

December 19, 2009

James Coffey, son of Annister

Fred Coffey is the Coffey Cousins' DNA "guru."  Today he submitted the following with permission to publish here.  For back issues of the Coffey Cousins' newsletter, contact editor Bonnie Culley..


By Fred Coffey

An article by Bonnie Culley in the last CCC Newsletter, "Currents in the Stream", indicated that we were trying to use DNA to determine the paternal ancestry of James Coffey (born about 1735 in Virginia). James is the base born son of Annister, daughter of Edward. And now we know his father was probably "James Samuel"!

After earlier tries, DNA again became a promising tool after we were pointed to a Virginia court order book dated 20 Feb 1738/9 with a record "It is ordered that the Churchwardens of St. Ann's Parish do bind James Coffy a bastard child to James Samuel as the law directs".

The "James Samuel" referenced would be a man born 14 Jun 1690, died 16 May 1759, married Sarah Boulware on 5 Apr 1714. He was born, lived, married, and died in St. Ann's Parish, Essex County, VA – the same location as the above court record.

We now have in hand y-DNA tests on two descendants of James Coffey, and on one descendant of the brother of the above James Samuel. And this, combined with the court record, proves "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the father of James Coffey was someone from this "Samuel" family.

This is in many ways like the famous "Thomas Jefferson/Sally Heming" case, where DNA proves that some male from the Jefferson family fathered at least one of slave Sally Heming's children. It could have been any male "Jefferson", but the overwhelming "circumstantial evidence" suspect is Thomas himself.

Likewise, the father of James Coffey could be any "Samuel" male, such as a son or brother of the named James Samuel. But James Samuel himself must definitely be the most likely suspect?

I have been "chasing" James Coffey for quite some time, and have a lot more information on him than can be covered here, including more detailed discussion of the DNA. You're invited to visit at


Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated. (Wikipedia)

When looking for my "Walker Family" ancestry, I accidentally discovered records for "James Coffee" in Surry County, NC. I asked questions, and Bonnie Culley told me this James was likely the base born son of Annister Coffey, who later married a Chenault. And then two men who believed they descended from this James joined our DNA project. This suggested there might be "Chenault" DNA matches. We found Chenault tests, but no match. However this led me to start exchanging notes with Reverend John Chenault, a genealogist who had information on Annister, and who was Annister's descendant by her later marriage. Then John pointed out that he had seen the above court record connecting James Coffey with one James Samuel. This led to looking for and discovering the Samuel DNA match. This in turn opened communication with the Samuel family, who turned out to also have connections with the Powell family – the same family that Edward Coffey had married into. And thus a new path of information exchanges is opened – see Bonnie's notes from the last newsletter.

Oh, the Samuel exchange included a 1754 reference to one "Robert Taliaferro", which shows the Coffey/Samuel/Powell/Taliaferro families were all interacting no later than 1754. And that ties to another DNA article in the last newsletter tying a Taliaferro to the line of Jordan Coffey, born 1790.

And finally, midway through all this, a "Walker" genealogist did a Google search, and discovered postings I had made about James Coffee, wherein I mentioned my Walker search. And this led to more information exchanges and to a Walker DNA test. And that led to new sources of info on the origins of my "Walker" family!

So what will we stumble across tomorrow?

Sign up for our DNA Project, and maybe in addition to helping with your "Coffey" research, our note exchanges may turn up unexpected sources? Visit us at:

December 12, 2009

Albert Galatin and Lois Senora Garrison Coffey

Albert was a junior, son of Albert Galatin senior and his wife Annie E. Campbell.  He married Lois Senora Garrison on Jun. 20, 1911 in Pawhuska, Osage Co., OK.  She was born in North Carolina on Mar. 2, 1891.  Albert, Jr. was born on Jan. 7, 1884 in Lincoln Co., KY.  He died in Fergus Co., MT on Jun. 20, 1967 and was buried at the Winnett City cemetery in Petroleum Co.  Lois died much earlier, on Nov. 1, 1929 shortly after giving birth to her eighth child in 15 years.  She was also buried at the Winnett cemetery.

The family left Oklahoma sometime before Sep. 12, 1918 and lived for awhile in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA where Albert worked as a riveter at the navy yard.  It was on that date that Albert registered for the draft.  He and Lois lived at 1513 Elizabeth St. in Bremerton.  Albert was described on the draft registration as being tall and slender with brown eyes and black hair.  He was 34 years old at the time.

When 1920 arrived the family was still in Kitsap and Albert still worked in the navy yard.  Soon however, the family left for Montana and settled in Petroleum Co.  By 1930 Albert was a widower farmer, raising eight children by himself.  He apparently never remarried.

Children of Albert and Lois were:

Marguerite S. "Deat", born Sep. 12, 1914 in Soper, Choctaw Co., OK, died Apr. 14, 1981 in Lewistown, Fergus Co., MT.  Marguerite married Very Stanly Cook, born 1907 in Sandpoint, Bonner Co., ID, on May 22, 1943 in Winnett.  Vern died in Lewistown on Dec., 1978.

Alberta Lillian "Corky", was born in 1916, probably in Choctaw Co. as well.  She married Stanley August Zeismer, born Dec. 21, 1913 in McGrath, Aitkin Co., MN, died Nov. 9, 1990 in Seattle, King Co., WA.  Alberta died in Dec., 1989 in Winnett.

Joseph Galatin, born 1920, probably in Choctaw Co., married Margarette Livingston on May 12, 1961.  She died on Jun. 10, 1989 in Harrison, Madison Co., MT.

Twila A., born 1921 in MT, married James McCue.  He died in 1971 in Winnett.

Bill Dale, born Mar. 10, 1923 in MT, died there on Jun. 17, 1940.

Lois Madaleen, born 1925 in MT, died there on Mar. 11, 1926.

Robert E. "Bob", born 1927 in Dovetail, Petroleum Co., married Winnie Lorraine Magee in Mississippi on Aug. 14, 1959.

Mary Lou, born 1929 in Montana, married Joseph Bevis.

More information is available from the Petroleum County Public Library publication, A History of Petroleum County, Montana, Vol. 1, 1989.  The book is also available as a pdf at Rootsweb.

December 1, 2009

Thomas Reed Crawford of Amherst Co., VA

Update 12/03/2009:  The bottom photo was taken c1902 and shows Tom Crawford and his wife, Mary Frances "Fannie" Ogden.  The top photo is Tom Crawford in his later years.

The child between the couple is Van who married Estelle Crist.  Children behind Tom and Fannie are, l-r: Thomas Powell, who married Alma Gertrude Coffey; Lawrence and Houston.  Houston married Hallie Coffey, daughter of Arthur and Jenny Davis Coffey.  Lawrence is believed to have never married.

The older children, l-r, are: Massie, wife of "Fed" Coffey; Walter who married Beatrice Coffey; Christina who married a Wright; Ora who married Hugh Nelson Coffey; Zack Coffey and his wife, Catherine.

I believe this is the Thomas Reed Crawford family of Amherst Co., VA.  Several of their childred married into the Coffey family.

Thomas married Mary Frances Ogden c1873 and subsequently fathered at least 10 children.
The problem with the photo being of this Crawford family is, not withstanding how young the [apparent] wife appears, the age difference between the four younger children and the six older children. 

My files show that Thomas Reed was born Jan. 20, 1847 in Virginia and died Feb. 5, 1926 in Amherst Co.  Mary Frances Ogden, a daughter of Zachariah Ogden, Jr. and his wife Mary Elizabeth White, was born Feb., 1860 in Amherst Co.  Thomas was a son of Mansfield and Catherine [maiden name unknown] Crawford.

Their children were:

Mary Katherine, born c1874, married Zachariah Coffey c1897.  Zach was the son of Frederick and Catherine H. Ogden Coffey.

Christianna, born Oct., 1874.  No other information.

Susie Massie, born Apr. 6, 1876 in Amherst Co., and died there on Dec. 8, 1938.  Susie married Frederick "Fed" Coffey, Jr.   He was a brother to Zach who married Mary Katherine.

Walter J., born Oct. 5, 1878 in Amherst Co., died in VA on Jul. 13, 1943.  He married Beatrice Coffey on Jan. 13, 1909.  Beatrice was a daughter of George Washington and Sarah Frances Coffey Coffey. 

George was born Sep. 16, 1853 to Reuben Wetzel and Sarah Jane Wood Coffey.  He died May 31, 1928 in Amherst Co.  Sarah Frances was born Sep. 2, 1856 to William "Billy" and Sarah G. (Ann?) Crawford Coffey.  Reuben and "Billy" were distant cousins, and "Billy" was a son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey, founders of "Coffeytown" in Amherst Co.
Ora Wills, born Jul. 28, 1881 in Amherst Co., died there on Dec. 20, 1976.  She married Hugh Nelson Coffey, a son of Harden and Elizabeth "Bettie" Crawford.  Hugh was born Jul. 4, 1876 in Amherst Co. and died there on Dec. 20, 1957.

Thomas Powell, born Jul. 12, 1884 in VA, married c1907 to Alma Gertrude Coffey, born May, 1890 to Arthur and Virginia Ann "Jenny" Davis Coffey.

John Houston, born Nov. 14, 1886 in Alto, Amherst Co., died Mar. 28, 1973 in VA.  He married Hallie Pearl Coffey, born Feb. 21, 1892 in Amherst Co., died Oct. 2, 1973.  Hallie Pearl was sister to Alma Gertrude.

Lawrence DeWitt, born Aug. 28, 1890 in Alto.  No other information.

Lucy, born May, 1893 in Amherst Co., married John E. Cash c1915.

Van Talmage, born Jun, 6, 1898 in Amherst Co., married Estelle Crist c1923.

Please contact me if you can confirm that the photo is this family.  It would be extremely helpful if you can also assign names to the children.

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