June 15, 2010

Number 1000!

This blog began on Dec. 7, 2004.

Since then I have been adding to it for 5 years, 6 months and 8 days.  I thought that reaching this milestone would be an inspiration for writing something brilliant and perhaps historical.  But, as it turns out the mere creation of 1000 essentially one name blogs, may be historic in its own right.  I don't know!

Research has found a lot of bad Coffey genealogies on the web.  Most of it lacks sources and, in general, are mere copies of another bad copy.  That is not to say that there are no good Coffey genealogies on the web; they are just few and far between.  

Over the course of the five and a half years I have met and/or corresponded with some very serious Coffey researchers who have faithfully documented their work and have been willing to share their hard work with me*.  In many instances, they have gone out of their way to help.  They inspired my goal to help improve and add to those good genealogies and perhaps inspire others to correct their bad ones.

I am always the skeptic when someone tells me they are new to genealogy yet have "documented" their Coffey line back to Ireland and include the mythical John Coffey and Mary Joliffe [sometimes his wife is Rebecca Ireland] as parents of Edward Coffey.  No serious Edward researcher that I know [and I know a few] has ever documented that.  Some folks that I know who claim to have seen documentation, cannot recall where it was found or why they did not get copies. 

In these genealogies, John and Mary/Rebecca are always followed by the addition of "Joshua" as Edward, Jr's middle name.  It is then rather obvious that the "newby" has merely copied someone's poor work and believes they have the perfect family history!  I often wonder why they wrote to me in the first place!?

One of my favorite finds on the web was the unblemished photo said to be of a Coffey couple who lived and died long before cameras were invented!

I don't know if I have accomplished my goal. However, if my statistics are correct, these blogs and photographs have been downloaded by readers a few thousand times.  Although I have found many genealogies on the web with information that could have come only from me [verbatim sentence structure, poor grammar, lack of punctuation, and other clues], "researchers" are still failing to document the work with the proper source.

In many instances I have provided sources for information contained in my blogs.  Sometimes I have been lazy and anxious to wrap up a blog and failed to show sources.  But, they are available to anyone with questions about how I - or a contributor - arrived at a particular conclusion.  Typical responses from those who I question about their sources are usually glib and/or evasive.

I will now be taking a sabbatical from this blog to concentrate for a time on my other work.

It is my obligation to my family to once more concentrate on our COFFEE ancestry by correcting, updating, and better documenting what research I have completed.  I doubt that anyone of my children - at this stage of their lives - or any of my distant cousins will want to pick up where I left off, so, it falls to me to make available as much of it as I can.

This blog will still merit my attention, just not as often as in the past.  I will continue to update it from time to time as needed.

Research of the Edward Coffey-Ann Powell line will continue when time allows.  I will also update the Edward Coffey Project in a timely manner.  The CD and/or DVD will still be available for purchase.  A reminder to anyone wishing to buy either:  They are not mass produced and each is burned only when the order is received, thereby assuring that the buyer gets the latest update.

One last word and it is directed to those critics of the researcher's fondness for family crests and/or coats of arms:  I believe that most of us are aware of the fact that they were awarded to individuals and that we have no claim to them.  However, knowing the history behind the design, colors and symbols is fun and, knowing the history cannot be anything but helpful.  So, don't write to me with trite comments about displaying and/or making the Coffey coat of arms available for download on this blog page!

*I hesitate to name those who have helped me over the years for fear that I will omit someone.  However, credit must go to my biggest supporters:  John Taylor who did a lot of the up front work on the Jordan Coffey family; Margaret Coffey Farley who provided so many marriage records, original documents, obituaries and photographs of those Coffey families in Western North Carolina; Wayne Coffey who offered guidance and provided headstone photographs and other information for those Coffey families in Virginia, especially those in Augusta county and in Staunton; Sharon Steele-Smith for her help with families in and around Bristol, TN and twin city, Bristol, VA.  I also want to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Marvin Coffey (dec'd) for his early work on Edward and Ann Powell Coffey.  I have heavily relied on him because he was a careful and trustworthy researcher. With grateful thanks I apologize to all of the others who have submitted family files, documents, photos, etc.:  you are too numerous to list but are nevertheless appreciated.

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