July 31, 2010

Meredith Coffey - continued

Meredith appears to be the only child born to John W. and Rebecca Ragsdale Coffey.

At some point in time, this family began to spell their last name Coffee and may be a result of their move from TN, where there was an abundance of families with the Coffey surname to an area where there were few.  I suspect that they did not consciously change the spelling; it merely evolved that way after years of making public records in which the Y was dropped in favor of the double-E.  Today, descendants continue to use the double-E spelling.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Hopper is said to be the daughter of John David Hopper, who also had a daughter named Jane who married John after Rebecca's death.  I have not found a specific record documenting the birth dates of these girls and it has been difficult determining the approximate year of their birth. 

In the 1850 census Elizabeth was age 30; in 1860, 33; in 1870, 59; and in 1850, 63.  Likewise, in 1850, Jane was 36; in 1860, 37; and in 1870, 57.  In Jane's case, it's easy to see how the enumerator might have written 37 instead of 47, making her age progression somewhat acceptable as far as census accuracy goes. Elizabeth is another case entirely.

I'll step out on a limb and predict that Jane was the eldest, born c1816 and that Elizabeth was born c1818.


The census record shows Meredith and Elizabeth in Hamilton Co., TN in 1850, Pineville Twp., McDonald Co., MO in 1860 and, in 1870 and 1880 in White Rock Twp., McDonald County.  Meredith died c1892. I do not have a death date for Elizabeth.

Their children, all born in TN, were:

Eliza, born 1842, died May 9, 1880.  She married William Henry Bullard on Oct. 4, 1875 in McDonald County.  Some info that I have read - but remains unconfirmed - reports that William was born in 1842 at Dog Hollow, Pineville Twp.  His slave-owning family later moved to Benton Co., AR where he enlisted in the CSA.  He is said to have been part of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.  He was never wounded during his four years of service.  His first wife was Susan Caudill, sister to Hillead, the wife of William Harrison Coffee, the next child born to Meredith and Elizabeth.

William Harrison was born Feb. 24, 1843 and died Jul. 6, 1921 in Pineville Twp.  He married Hillead Oakley Caudille on Jan. 22, 1868 in McDonald Co.  She was a daughter of Jacob and Mary Kirby Caudille and was born Jan. 26, 1850 in Robinson Co., KY and died Feb. 6, 1912 in White Rock Twp.  She and William raised at least 13 children.**  Both William and Hillead are buried in the Jane, McDonald Co., MO cemetery.

Josiah A. (some say his name was Joseph*) was the third child, born Mar. 25, 1845, died May 5, 1913 in White Rock Twp.  He married Elva Tennessee Clark who was born Jun. 13, 1853 in AR and died in Bentonville, Benton Co., AR on Mar. 16, 1936.  They too are buried at Jane Cemetery.  Their children were:  Florence Bell, born 1870, died 1923, married William Henry Bunch.  William was born in 1867 Arkansas and died in Indian Territory, OK in 1890.  Their burial places are not known to me.  They were parents of two sons, Price, born 1888 and Martin born 1890.  Josiah's second child was Sara, born 1872 and for whom I have no additional info.  The third child was Prissa, born in June, 1879.  She married a Mr. Cook and had Larna, Howard and Toonsie.

Following Josiah was Madison, born c1848 and died sometime between 1860 and 1870, perhaps in the Civil War.

David was born c1849 and died in 1918, McDonald Co.  David married Maria Paralee Clark, the daughter of Wat Clark and his wife Nancy.  She was born Jan. 13, 1853 in AR and died in June, 1919 at Jane.  Both she and David at buried at the Jane cemetery.  They were parents of seven children.

Mary Rebecca was child number six and was born in Oct., 1852.  She married James Smith "Whiskey Jim" Davenport in 1869.  He was born in Aug., 1850 in MO. Rebecca died on May 29, 1914 and was buried at Jane.  Jim's death date and burial place is unknown to me.  They had at least seven children:  William, 1870; Thomas, 1872; Laura, 1874; Eliza, 1878; Josiah, 1880; Viola, 1884 and Goldie, 1885.

James Milo was the last child born to Meredith and Elizabeth.  He was born in Jul 1857 and died in May, 1913 and was buried at Jane.  His wife was Harriet J. Russell for whom I have no information.




*His death certificate reads Joseph.  In 1850 his name was Joseph.  After that, and until 1880 he was enumerated as Josiah.
**More info later

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