January 25, 2010

Albert Sampson & Mary E. Johnson Calloway

Albert was a son of Larkin and Sarah Coffey Calloway.  He was born in April, 1846, probably in Watauga Co., NC.  His death date and place is not yet known.  He married Mary E. Johnson c1868.  Mary was born Nov., 1851 and her death date and place is also yet unknown.

Albert and Mary had eight children, four sons and four daughters:

Albert Sampson Calloway Family
- William Clingman Calloway was born Jan. 26, 1870 in Watauga Co. and died Jan. 2, 1954 in that county.  He married Minerva Victori[a?] Aldridge, a daughter of James and Sallie Gragg Aldridge.  Minerva was born Nov. 24, 1874 in Watauga Co. and died there on Oct. 21, 1948.  Both she and William are buried at the Coleman cemetery in Foscoe, Watauga Co.

 - Julius Monroe Calloway, born Mar. 30, 1872 in Watauga Co. and died on Feb. 4, 1951.  He married Sabert "Sabra" Caroline Ward c1928.  Julius died on Feb. 4, 1951 in Shulls Mill, Watauga Co. and Sabert died Dec. 30, 1966 in Avery Co., NC.  After Julius died in 1951, Sabra married Joe Presnell but when she died, her children buried her at Calloway Cemetery in Foscoe with their father.

Julius and Sabra had 13 children:  May Belle, Goldie, Albert Johnson, Ivey June, Mary Sadie, Frank Wesley, William Cling, Stephen Monroe, Denver (died in infancy), Robert James (died at age 17), Norma Jean, Jimmy "J.C." Carol and Wanda Sue.

 - Sarah, born Dec., 1875

 - Ella, born May., 1882

 - Larkin Alberton, born Apr. 1, 1885 in Watauga Co., died Jan. 27, 1960 at Boone.  Larkin married his distant cousin, Nettie Louise Coffey, a daughter of Francis Richmond and Etta May Hayes Coffey.  Their children were DeEtte, born 1914; Nellie M., born 1917, died 1923; MacDonald, born 1919, died 1935 and Claude Coolidge, born 1922.

 - Lilly Jane, born 1887, died 1964, married Robert Eli Long.  I know of one child, Bruce Calloway Long, born 1912 in Watauga Co.  Lillie, and probably Robert as well, is buried at Calloway Cemetery in Foscoe.

 - Sherley Blaine, born Jan. 24, 1890.  He married Nettie G. Byers, born c1895 in NC.  They had children: Asia, born 1915; Mary Alice, born 1917; John Henry, born 1919; Della Mae, born 1921; Wanda Lee, born 1924; and Lola Bell, born 1927, all in Watauga Co.

 - Connie Dora, born Apr. 27, 1893 in Watauga Co., married Walter H. Maupin.  They are thought to have settled in Tennessee after their marriage.

In the photo are, sitting, Mary E. Johnson Calloway, Albert C Sampson Calloway, From left to right 1st row Lillie/Lula J, Connie Dora (in Marys lap), Sherley Blaine 1886 (in Sampson's lap), Larkin Alberton.  Second row left to right: Ella, Julius Monroe, Sarah, and William Clingman. The small picture in the corner under Mary is of Albert Calloway and his Aunt Lillie (the baby in Marys lap) [Photo courtesy of Wendy Calloway Lindsey, Jan., 2010].

Peter Virgil "Squire" Coffey

This is a third blog attempt to bring together the family of Peter and his descendants.  I did not have a lot of information on them until I found Wayne Coffey's headstone collection that he submitted to Find-A-Grave.  Wayne also sent the obituary and other information about Peter's family.

Peter Virgil Coffey
Peter was a son of Charles B. & Ophelia* Everette (var.) Coffey.  He was born on Jun. 15, 1849 in Nelson Co., VA and died in Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co., VA on May 21, 1937.  He is buried at Calvary United Methodist Church cemetery at Stuarts Draft.

*Amherst Co. marriage records, 1763-1821 gives her name as Theodora.  Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, spells her name as Theocler with the letter S written in over the letter R.

His obituary:

STUARTS DRAFT, May 28-, -- Peter V. Coffey, peacefully passed to his  heavenly home, at his residence at Stuarts Draft at one a. m. Friday,  May 21, 1937, after an illness of about a month.  He was born in Nelson  county June 15, 1849, of Scottish descent, his father having been Charles Coffey and his mother Ophelia Coffey (nee Everet). He moved to Augusta county when a young man and spent the rest of his long and useful life in, and in the vicinity of Stuarts Draft where he engaged in farming,  lumbering, etc. For the last twenty years of his life he was justice of the peace and was known as "Squire Coffey."

Mr. Coffey was united in marriage to Miss Bettie Catherine Kennedy, of  Augusta county, Dec. 24, 1879*. To this marriage were born four daughters and five sons. His wife, who passed away June 17, 1930, and a son and two daughters preceded him in death.  Children survive: J. E.  and J. L., of Mint Spring; the Rev. H. S., pastor of Granbery Memorial  M. E. church, South, Covington; Mrs. M. E. Elliott, Staunton; Russel E., Bluefield, W. Va., and Mrs. Roy Black, Stuarts Draft, who tenderly cared for him after the death of Mrs. Coffey.

 Mr. Coffey united with the Baptist church in early life, but many years  ago transferred his membership to the M. E. church, South, in which he was  an efficient and faithful member and held an official relation for many  years, having been a delegate frequently to the annual and district  conferences and was a member of the board of stewards of Calvary church  at the time of his death.  He was interested in the work of his adopted church until his death, often inquiring about the progress of the work  through his pastor and others.  He spoke of death as one who was preparing  for a pleasant journey. Death did not hold any terrors to him. He had  implicit faith in God for the forgiveness of sin through the atonement of  Jesus Christ.  He loved his church and the ministry of his church; always  was ready to speak a good word about the former pastors of his church.  He dearly loved his children and was held in the highest esteem and devotion  by his children and his grandchildren, of which he had a number.  Mr.  Coffey had been a prominent figure in his community for many years, in his  church, in business, in clean politics, and in everything that was for the  betterment of humanity.

His funeral service was conducted from Calvary church Sunday, May 23,  at three p. m. by his pastor, the Rev. A. Van Devander, assisted by Dr.  E. L. Woolf, pastor of the Harrisonburg M. E. church, South; the Rev. H. W.  Craver, pastor of Greenville M. E. church, South, and the Rev. T. H.  Campbell, pastor of Stuarts Draft Baptist church.  His body was tenderly  laid at rest in the cemetery adjoining Calvary church.  It is said by some  that his funeral was attended by the largest concourse of people that ever assembled at Calvary church. Less than half of the people could get in the  church.

At his own request the stewards of Calvary church were the active  pallbearers:  J. T. Almarode, Alden D. Rader, A. G. Painter, C. L. Dodge,  I. F. Fitzgerald, H. L. Henkel, W. Y. Boyd, E. M. Conner, and Layton Thacker.

The following hymns were sung: "The Solid Rock," "Home of the Soul,"  as a solo and "How Firm a Foundation."  His pastor chose as his theme,  "God's Harvest Home;" text, "Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age,  like as a shock of corn cometh in his season," Job 5:26.
Bettie Catherine Kennedy Coffey
Peter married Bettie Catherine Kennedy on Dec. 24, 1879 in Augusta Co.  Betty was born on July 25, 1857 in Virginia and died there on June 17, 1930.  See too is buried at Calvary.

Their children were:

John Emmett, born May 9, 1877, died Nov. 5, 1942.  John married first, Willie Harris c1904 in Augusta Co.  She was born Jan. 8, 1882 in VA and died on Jul. 18, 1915.  She and John had three children:  Bessie, Rudolph Wilson and Ivey, a daughter.  Some years after Willie's death, John married (c1922) Nancy Melissa Berry.  Melissa was born Oct. 3, 1882 and died Sep. 4, 1946.  John, Willie and Melissa are buried at Calvary.

James Leonard, born Nov. 11, 1879, died Jul. 14, 1941, married Bertie May Shue on Dec. 24, 1900 in Augusta Co.  She was born May 10, 1880 to John W. and Elizabeth S. Alvis Shue and died Feb. 19. 1956.  Their children were: (1) Paul H., born c1902; (2) James Austin, born May 17, 1906, died Aug 3, 1976 in Culpeper Co.  He married Jean Gladys Marlowe c1928.  She was born in VA on Jun. 17, 1906 and died Nov. 28, 1955 in Culpeper Co. (3) Allen, born c1908; (4) Ethel Ray, born 1916, married James Ray Strawn on Jun. 30, 1938 in Augusta Co.; (5) Richard Lee, born Mar 31, 1919 in Mint Spring, Augusta Co., died Jan. 14, 1978 in Staunton.  Richard married Nora Lee O'Dell in 1946, Augusta Co.  She was born Aug. 8, 1924 in Fayette Co., KY and died on Sep. 29, 1978 in Augusta Co.  James and Bertie are buried at Calvary.

Bessie Brown, born Jan. 1, 1882.  No other information.

Annie B., born Sep. 20, 1887, died Oct. 9, 1961.  Annie married a Mr. Elliot.  Her grave is also at Calvary.

Rev. Harry Scott Coffey, D.D., born Dec. 6, 1889 at Stuarts Draft, died there on Jun. 8, 1964.  He married Julia Durham c1915.  She was born Dec. 26, 1895 in GA and died at Stuarts Draft on Apr. 28, 1968.  They too are at Calvary.  Their children were Betty R., born c1918; Harry, Jr., born c1924, married Jean Shirley Williams; and John H., born c1929.  For several years (1916-1920) Harry, Sr. was the pastor at Fairfield Methodist Church in Rockbridge Co., VA.

The following was found in The Atlanta Constitution of Apr. 16, 1916:

Mrs. Yula Reese Durham announces the engagement of her daughter, Julia, to Rev. Harry Scott Coffey, of Virginia, the marriage to take place the latter part of May.  No cards.  The marriage will be of cordial interest to a wide circle of friends.  Miss Durham is the granddaughter of the late Judge Augustus Reese of Madison, GA., and a niece of the late Judge Seaborn Reese, of Sparta.  Mr. Coffey is of a distinguished Virginia family.

Russell E., born Mar, 13, 1891, died Aug. 12, 1975 in Mercer Co., WV.  Russell married Ada C., daughter of David Lee and Minnie L. Holtz.  She was born Jul. 12, 1892 in VA and died in Mercer Co. on Aug. 8, 1959.  They are buried at Maple Park Cemetery at Bluefield.  Their children were Helen, born c1911; Russell Lee, born c1916; and Marjorie Elizabeth, born Oct. 5, 1923, died Mar. 27, 2006 at Roanoke, VA.

Her obituary:

Obituary, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV, Mar. 30, 2006

Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey

ROANOKE, Va. — Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey, 82, formerly of 3009 Bluefield Ave., Bluefield, died Monday, March 27, 2006 in a Roanoke nursing home.

Born Oct. 5, 1923 in Bluefield, she was a daughter of the late Russell E. and Ada C. Holtz Coffey. Miss Coffey was a member of the St. Mary's Episcopal Church of Bluefield, Va. and a graduate of Bluefield College. She was formerly employed at Bluefield Optical as an office manager.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother: Russell Lee Coffey, and sister: Helen Bone.

Survivors include a niece; Nancy Arwood of Kentucky and several cousins.

Graveside services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, 2006 from the Maple Park Cemetery located in Bluefield with the Rev. Russ Hatfield officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations if desired, may be made to the Mercer County Humane Society, 1003 Shelter Rd., Princeton, WV 24740.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages may do so by visiting www.mercerfuneralhome.com

Mercer Funeral Home and Crematory of Bluefield is serving the Marjorie Coffey family.
Mary Sue, born Dec., 1892.  No further information.

Ruby Lee, born Jun. 23, 1895, died Jul. 6, 1991 at Staunton.  She married Robert Hamilton Black, born VA c1894, died Mar. 16, 1951.  Their children were Inez, born c1916 and Sherwood, born c1926.

*Virginia marriage records give marriage year as 1874.  Additionally, in the 1900 census Peter and Bettie reported a marriage of 26 years, indicating too that their marriage year was 1874.

Corrections/additions welcomed!

January 23, 2010

Georgia's Virtual Vault

Have you discovered Georgia's Virtual Vault?

What a treasure the Georgia Secretary of State office, Mr. Brian P. Kemp, Secretary, has given us!

This the list of the archives that contain on-line images:

 I found this photo, among others, of the John Gordon Coffey family.  John was born Aug. 24, 1840 in Forsyth Co., GA, died Feb. 5, 1920 in Pickens Co., GA.  The caption under this photo identifies John, but only names the ladies only as his daughter and grand-daughters.  John and Mary Monroe Pettitt (var.) were the parents of at least 14 children, nine of which were girls.

The above links to the site are hot or, you can click on this blog title to go to the home page.

Source:   Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Archives, Office of Secretary of State

William Allen and Mary Wiseman Coffey

I received some nice photos of William and Mary from Jo Ann Coffey Peeper a few days ago.

William & Mary Wisman Coffey
William was a son of Thomas and Kissiah Varnier Coffey, born 1831 in Saline Co., IL. Mary was the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Winfrey Wiseman and, was born on Dec. 27, 1835 in Camden Co., MO. She and William were married Mar. 22, 1855 in Camden Co.  William died Aug. 13, 1906 in Camden Co.; Mary died Dec. 14, 1913 in Reeds Spring, Stone Co., MO.

Their children as I have them, were all born in Missouri:

L-R: Jasper, Albert, James, Rufus & Thomas Coffey
George, born c1856; Louisa, born c1858; Rufus, born c1861; Keziah Clementine, born c1863; Caldonia, born Oct. 5, 1865, died Jul. 24, 1935 in Walla Walla, WA; Sarah Ellen, born c1866; Thomas, born c1868; James E., born c1871 and Jasper, born c1874.

In her e-mail, Jo Ann wrote that William was known by Allen.  All of their children were  born in Miller and Camden Co.  She lists one additional child, a son named Albert, born 1872 that I have not yet researched.

Jo Ann doesn't name George as one of their sons, so it's possible that George is Albert, but ages do not match.  He will require additional research.

Jo Ann noted that William and Mary appear to be stern, "but the story was that everyone loved to be in their home because they were so loving and kind."

Update - Jan. 30, 2010

I received this from Jo Ann yesterday:

"On the photo of William Allen sons you didn't name them from left to right.
Jasper b 1872 - Albert b 1870 - James b 1868 - Rufus b 1861 and Thomas b 1858.
I see I had the date for Albert as 1872, and should have been 1870.

[I have them identified on the photograph.  However, I seem to have omitted a comma between James and Rufus.]

Also there is a conflict with the date for Thomas. The 1880 census has him born in 1868 and the 1870 census has him 1858. (Note: to find William Allen Coffey for the 1870 census he is listed as William Alen, with Alen being the last name.) Crazy!  We know it is the right census because of the place and names.

My brother Fred has the Civil War application for William Allen Coffey, dated Feb.25, 1891. The children listed are as follows: George b. 1856 -  Thomas b. 1858  - Rufus b. 1861 - Clementine b. 1863 -Caldonia b. 65 - James b. 1868 - Albert b. 1870 - Jasper b. 1872. The application is signed by William Allen Coffey and Rufus Coffey.

Also I said James 1871, The Civil War app. has him 1868.

So Fred and I decided to go with the dates on the Civil War Application. I hope this makes sense, and clears up the difference between George and Albert."

Thanks again,

Jo Ann

January 19, 2010

Edmond Jackson "Eddie" McLean (1903-1994)

Eddie McLean
Here is another of my favorite photographs.  It is one of Eddie McLean and his mules and was probably taken in the mid-to-late 1960s.

Eddie was a son of Andrew Jackson and Martha Jane "Mattie" Church McLean.  He was born Oct. 9, 1903 in Caldwell Co., NC and died there on Dec. 3, 1994 at age 91.

Mattie's parents were James Franklin "Jim" and Laura Virginia Blackburn Church.  Mattie's brother, Joseph Commodore Church, married Vera Esther Coffey, a daughter of David Nathaniel and Caroline Lavinia Coffey Coffey.

I know of no direct kinship of the McLean family with anyone in the Coffey family.

There isn't a source attached to the photograph.  Please let me know if you or someone you know owns this photo.

John Nelson & Laura Ann Finley Coffey

The following information about the John Nelson Coffey Family was found in an undated document titled The John Nelson Coffey Family, prepared by Mr. Howard M. Day, 3532 28th Parkway, Temple Hills, MD 20748.

The John  Nelson  Coffey Family

The John Nelson Coffey Family
John Nelson Coffey was born 7 Aug 1858 in the  Kings Creek  District of Caldwell County, N.C.  He was the son of Larkin Coffey (b1830, d.1863) and Sibby Wyatt (1831- ). His progenitors can be traced through his grandfather, Thomas Coffey, Jr. (b1804) who on 22 Sept 1823 in Wilkes Co., N.C. married Nancy Barlow (b1804). Thomas Coffey Sr. is thought to be the son of Thomas Coffey from Essex Co., Va. (b7 Mar 1742, d 1825) and his first wife, Elizabeth Smith. He in turn was the grandson of the Coffey who immigrated from Ireland to Virginia about the year 1690 according to a compilation by Laurence H. Coffey.*

*"Thomas Coffey (b7 Mar 1742) and his second wife Sally Field along with six children moved to the area of present day Wilkes County sometime between 1775 and 1780 settling on the Upper Waters of the Yadkin River where he died in 1825 at the age of 33”.

Thomas Coffey (b 1777) was married first to a Coffey and second to Nancy Pend1ey .

Larkin Coffey died of diphtheria while serving in the Confederate Army and is buried in Lafollette, Tennessee, His widow raised their family in the old home place, and on 14 Nov 1875 at the age of 44 married Joseph Isenhour of Wilkes Co. who was then 60 years of age and had a family of his own. In fact on 10 Jan 1875, just 11 months prior to their marriage, her first son, Gilum W. Coffey (b1855), was  married to Sarah Jane Isenhour ( b1853) . To the union of Joseph and Sibby Isenhour was born one son Solomon Tilden Isenhour.  .

The children of Larkin Coffey and Sibby Wyatt were: Gilum W. (bl855); John Nelson (1853); Candus who married Lee Cook; Cordey who married Larkin Cook; Mary Ann who married William West; and Lue who married John West.

John Nelson Coffey came to Watauqa County around the year 1880 probably to work on the Moses H. Cone estate. In Blowing Rock he soon met Laura Ann Henley (10 Apr 1863, 2 June 1936) who 1ived with her mother, Loany Greene Henley (5 Feb 1836, 14 Nov 1917), the widow of Henry Henley (2 June 1821, 5 May 1865).  Henry Henley was a member of the Home Guard who was killed in the raid on Hamby's Fort at the end of the Civil War (2). Laura and John Nelson were married 23 Sept 1881 and took up residence at the old Tom Henley place near where Loany Henley 1ived.

John Nelson Coffey was described as a strong willed man, a little stubborn you might say, but he was known to take great pleasure in his work and his family. He was, of necessity, a subsistence farmer, but he also made shoes and worked on the Cone Estate to fill in. Like many of the local farmers in those days he grew more produce than necessary for his family and hauled it down the mountain with horse and wagon to markets in Lenoir. Members of his family often spoke of taking turns living with and taking care of Grandma Henley since she lived alone until her death in 1917. Soon thereafter Nelson and Laura moved to their last home which was at Cook's Gap east of Boone near the Mt. Vernon Church community.

Apparently Nelson and Laura Coffey were musically inclined because several of their [children] played string instruments and loved to dance. My mother, Bertha, knew many traditional mountain songs which she often sang while accompanying herself on the guitar or banjo.

The progeny of John Nelson Coffey and Laura Ann Henley together with the spouse and children of each are as follows: Henry Edward (23 June 1832, 20 Sept 1960) m. 20 Dec 1903 to Elizabeth Foster with whom he raised three children: Malory James, Marjorie and Edward, George F. (23 Oct 1334, 10 Dec 1941) m. 23 April 1905 to Emma Greene with whom  he raised two boys: Arnold (-) and William Franklin (4 Sept 1923); Essie (9 Jan 1837, 5Feb 1972) m. 25 Dec 1904 to Carol Herman with whom she raised 8 children: Fannie Lee, George Alton, Tracy, Bonnie, Marvin, Edith, Phylis and Dessie; Delia (9 Oct 1889, 10 Now 1973) m. 22 July 1909 to Jacob Dillinger (12 Oct 1833, 14 April 1945) with whom she raised six children: Earl, Margaret, Inez, Jay, Wi11iam R. and Robert L. ; Stella (30 April 1393, 21 Oct 1965) m. 3 July 1914 to Grover Walters with whom she raised 5 children: Elizabeth, Verdola, Clifford, Norman and Robert; C1ara (31 Oct 1896, 3 Dec 1977) m. 18 Jan 1914 to George Danner with no children;,Bertha R. (24 Sept 1899) m. 23 Dec 1917 to Howard Day and they had 3 children: Obed, Dorothy and Howard Jr.; Bernice (29 May 1903) m. 29 June 1921 to Charlie Watson, they raised 6 children: Mary Helen, Kathleen, Carma Lee, Bobby, Clemmon and Harold, (three additional children: Laura Mildred, Charles W. and Claude Wayne died in infancy; Milton (1904..,) m. 9 May 1924 to Bell Gilley (1906), who raised one child, Harvey Edward (27 May 1925). After the death of her husband Bertha married Charlie Cook in 1932 with whom she had one child, Kenneth (b 1 Jan 1933). On 22 Feb 1959, after the death of her husband, Delia married Robert Bratton (1904,1960).

January 17, 2010

Isaiah Zachariah "Zet" Coffey

Isaiah "Zet" Coffey was apparently the product of an unknown father and his mother, Nancy Coffey.  Nancy was a daughter of Nelson and Rebecca Hamilton Coffey, born May 4, 1836, died Jan. 11, 1922 in Amherst Co., VA.  Nelson was a son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey.
DNA testing has shown that Jordan was not a Coffey but was a child of (probably) Jane Coffey, and an unknown Taliaferro (Toliver) male.  Jane was a daughter of William and Elizabeth Osborne Coffey.
Coffey-Rogers Grave Marker
This stone is probably the most unusual that I have ever seen.  It marks the final resting place of six people: "Zet" and two of his sons, Charlie and Egbert; two first cousins to Zet, Lucy and Calvin Rogers and a granddaughter, Isabelle, daughter of Zet's son, Jasper L. Coffey and his wife Ethyl Blankenship.
Obituary, Buena Vista News, Jul. 9, 1953

Isaiah Coffey, 89, died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Emory Davis, here Thursday night, June 25.  Besides his daughter he is survived by three sons:  Chester Coffey of Lynchburg; Guy Coffey of White Sulfur Springs, West Va., and Wade Coffey of Richmond; also 17 grandchildren. Funeral services were held Saturday, June 27, at 4 p.m. at the Amole Funeral Home with burial in Green Hill Cemetery.
These graves can be found at the Green Hill Cemetery in Buena Vista, VA.

January 16, 2010

Robert Reaves "Little Mac" Wright

Robert was a grandson of Thomas A. and Margaret Ann Coffey Wright.  Margaret was the daughter of Austin and Mary Blalock Coffey.  Before her marriage to Austin, Mary Blalock had given birth to the infamous William McKesson "Keith" Blalock.

Margaret Ann Coffey was born on Aug. 22, 1845 in Caldwell Co., NC and died there on Dec. 4, 1931.  She married Thomas A. Wright on Feb. 22, 1865 in that county.  Thomas was born Nov. 11, 1834 in Georgia and died Apr. 5, 1906 in NC, probably also in Caldwell Co.  Both Thomas and Margaret are buried at the Boone Fork Baptist Church cemetery at Shulls Mill, Watauga Co., NC.

Thomas and Margaret's son, Robert Arthur Wright was born c1875 in NC and married Jul. 14, 1894 to Lurenie Holloway, a daughter of Reede D. and Martha Andrews Holloway.  Lurenie was born c1879 and died Dec. 9, 1959 in Clermont Co., OH.  She is buried at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Withamsville, Union Twp., Clermont Co.  Apparently, Robert died shortly after their marriage because Lurenie was married c1896 to William Wiley Church with whom she had several children.

The only known child of Robert Arthur and Lurenie was Robert Reaves "Little Mac" Wright.  He was born Jun. 18, 1895 at Foscoe in Watauga Co., and died in Caroline Co., VA on Jan. 18, 1944.  He was married to Nettie L. McAlister, a daughter of Walter L. and Betty P. Mcalister, on Jun. 17, 1917 in Washington, D.C.

In September of 1917 Robert Reaves enlisted in the 318th Infantry of the 80th Division at Bowling Green, Caroline Co. and was discharged on Jun. 5, 1919.

He was initially assigned to Co. B, 318th Regt., 80th Div., at Camp Lee, VA, and trained there from Sep. 19, 1917 to May 20, 1918.  He was promoted to Private First Class on Oct. 5, 1918.  The 80th was known as "The Blue Ridge Division" because it was made up of men mostly from VA, WVa, PA and DE.

The unit embarked from Hoboken, NJ on the ship Leviathan on May 22, 1918 and arrived at Brest, France on May 30, 1918.  From there they proceeded to Calais on Jun. 2, 1918.

Robert went into action for the first time on Aug. 10, 1918 in the Artois section and was engaged in the  St. Mihiel offensive at Meuse-Argonne.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the final offensive by the Americans and took place between Sep. 26 and Nov. 11, 1918, when the war officially ended.  Over one and a quarter million Americans took part in the battle against what would eventually total nearly 450,000 Germans.

He arrived at New Port News aboard the USS Maui on May 27, 1919 and discharged at Camp Lee on Jun. 5, 1919.  He returned to civilian life and worked as a farmer for the remainder of his life.
Robert Reaves Wright
When asked about his attitude toward military service in general, and his call to service, he responded that "when I first entered I thought it unnecessary but after I learned the state of affairs, I thought it very essential for boys to go and help their country."*  He believed that he did not suffer any poor effects, either mentally of physically due to "camp experiences" in the United States.  Neither did his military experience overseas have any affect upon his person or affect his religious beliefs.  He was appalled by seeing men around him die in battle.**

He and Nettie were the parents of at least three children:  Robert Reaves, Jr., Mack A., and Lotus Frances.
Robert Reaves and Nettie

Both are buried at the County Line Baptist Church cemetery at Ruther Glen in Caroline Co.

*Virginia War History Commission, Lynchburg, Virginia, Individual Service Records (Questionnaires), 1919-1921. Accession 33311, State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

**In the War History Commission report he gave date of marriage to Nettie McAlister as Jul 17, 1917 in Washington, DC and birth date of son Robert Wright, Jr. as Jun 6, 1918 at Chilesburg, VA. He was a farmer employed by W. H. Holloway in Chilisburg, Caroline Co., VA. W. H. Holloway was his uncle, brother to his mother.

January 14, 2010

Jim Coffey, Roscommon Giant Update

A new article about Jim Coffey appeared in yesterday's issue of the Roscommon Herald .  I have previously written about Jim, a professional boxer who came to the United States from Ireland in 1919 and returned to his homeland sometime between 1920 and 1923.

Coffey had fought more than 100 fights but only about 44 of them had been officially ruled on.  His record at retirement in 1920 was 38 wins and 6 losses.

Interested readers can click on the above Roscommon Herald link to read this latest article celebrating his life as an Irish Catholic boxer.

I do not know how long articles from the Herald remain online.

From the Bisbee Daily Review [Arizona], Jan. 8, 1916

Moran Whips Coffey

NEW YORK, Jan. 7. - Frank Moran, of Pittsburg, knocked out Jim Coffey, the Dublin Giant [sic], in the ninth round at Madison Square Garde.

This was Moran's second victory over Coffey in twenty weeks. The first fight ended in three rounds. Coffey showed improvement tonight. Moran's terrific smashes failed to show any effect until the eighth. Coffey was knocked down four times in the ninth. The last time Moran almost drove him through the ropes. His seconds realizing Coffey was hopelessly beaten threw the sponge in the ring to avoid a complete knock out.

The Bisbee Daily Review, Sep. 4, 1917

Coffey Wins Bout

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 - Jim Coffey, the Irish heavyweight, outfought Bartley Madden of this city in a ten-round bout here tonight. Coffey was the aggressor through, Madden's footwork enabling him to evade Coffey's best blows. Coffey weighed 203 pounds and Madden 180.

January 13, 2010

Latitude and Longitude

I've been searching for a website that would give me latitude and longitude of a location if I only knew the place name; e.g., an intersection in a town.  Bing Maps and Google Maps, as well as a couple of other websites like Lat-Long.com have been a big help, but just are not complete enough to be of consistent help.  Lat-Long for example, has an extensive database but, if the place you are interested in isn't in that db, you're outta luck!

Just recently, I stumbled onto itouch maps!  Find a place on the map, right click on it and the coordinates are returned in a box at the bottom left of the map.  If you already know the coordinates of a place, enter those in the box at the bottom right of the map and that place is marked on the map for you.  I use the satellite view and zoom in on a spot just to see if it is actually a church, cemetery, etc.

You may have to use a combination of the sites mentioned above, depending on what you already know about the places you are searching for.  Sometimes, I have to look in on-line yellow pages for the address of a church that I know has an adjoining cemetery.  If the church can't be found in lat-long, then I generally use Bing and enter the address which then places a marker on the map.  I look on itouch for that exact place, left click on it, and the coordinates are returned.  If the location is in the lat-long db, I use their map (all of the map sites use some form of Google maps) to zoom in and move around.

Once I have collected coordinates for a county of interest, I can upload them to my GPS.

Hope this helps!

January 9, 2010


Inurnment: The process of placing cremated remains in an urn.

I have probably read a few thousand obituaries and have to admit that I had never seen this word used before in any of them!  Generally, the clue in an obituary that a body will be cremated is the part that reads "A memorial service will be held later."

One of my "reporting sources" sent this to me this morning.  It is from the website of the Kingsport (TN) Times-News.

Geraldine (Gerry) Elmer Coffey, Kingsport

Published January 8th, 2010 
Geraldine (Gerry) Elmer Coffey, died Jan. 8, 2010, after a brief illness. A memorial service will be held on Monday at 3 p.m. at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 213 Colonial Heights Road with Rev. Tom Phillips officiating. Friends will gather to celebrate her life in the church fellowship hall following the service. 

An inurnment service will be held at a later date.

The staff of Oak Hill is honored to serve the family of Geraldine (Gerry) Coffey.

January 7, 2010

2010 Coffey Cousins' Reunion to be Held in Delaware

The 21st Annual Coffey Cousins' Reunion will be held this year from April 22-24 in Claymont, DE. We have had only one reunion that far up the Atlantic and that was in Baltimore some years ago. It promises to be a unique experience for many of us with planned tours of some of the more historic places in nearby Philadelphia.

Cut off date for guaranteed reservations with Coffey Cousins' discount is Mar. 25, 2010. Telephone the hotel front desk at 1-302-7922700.

Many of us will arrive a few days prior to the 22d and depart on the morning of 25th.

Headquarters for the Reunion is the Holiday Inn Select at 630 Naamans Road in Claymont. Click on the image below for a larger view.  Room rates are $69 per night.  The hotel will accept early registrations for the same rate should you want to come earlier to research at the National Archives branch in Philly, or to make additional tours on your own.  Click on the title of this blog to visit the Holiday Inn Select website.

A tour of Independence Park in Philadelphia is planned for Friday, April 23.  Buses will leave the Holiday Inn promptly at 9AM. Independence Hall is reserved for us at 11AM and we need to be 15 minutes early. Here you'll see where Jefferson, Franklin, and others hammered out the Declaration of Independence. You will also be able to see the Liberty Bell. After the tour you will be on your own for the day to visit other historical places such as the home of Betsy Ross, Franklin's home, his grave site, etc. The Archives repository is within very short walking distance from Independence Hall.

There are trolleys that loop the park and is probably the best way to get around. A one-time ticket purchase is good for all day. One inconvenience: Motorized wheel chairs and scooters are not permitted on the trolleys. If you need a wheel chair, contact Wayne Mower ASAP at the number below.

Another tour is planned for Saturday, April 24. This one will be to Valley Force and will leave the hotel at 9AM sharp. This will be a carpool trip. You will be on your own to tour at your leisure but we will meet at 3PM to return to the hotel. Dinner that night is at 6PM and we can't be late for that! The dinner is buffet style and will include entrees of Beef and Chicken, potatoes and vegetables, rolls, dessert, and beverage.

Cost and Fees:

Independence Park - $30/per person for the Bus
Tickets for the trolly - $27 for adults; children 4-12 years, $10
Independence Hall early reservation fee: $1.50
Valley Forge Park: No charge
Saturday night banquet at Holiday Inn: $30/per person, gratuity included.

Hosts for the event are Wayne and Jean (our president) Mower.  They can answer any additional questions you might have by calling them at (302) 798-3828.

Be sure and contact the hotel directly for reservations.  For Banquet and Tours, please use the form below and mail to Wayne and Jean at the address given.

Cut or copy and return to Wayne Mower, 19 Ruby Dr, Claymont, DE 19703-1420:

Independence Park Tour on April 23:

# ______ @ $30.00 each for Bus

# ______ $27.00 for trolley - each adults

# ______ @ $10.00 each for trolley - each child 4-12

Independence Hall early reservation fee

# ______ @ $1.50 each

Valley Forge Park (No Charge) # ______ NC

Saturday Night Banquet (at Holiday Inn)

# ______ @ $30.00 each Gratuity included

NAME: _________________________________________
PHONE NO. __________________
ADDRESS: ______________________________________

Please include list of all names in your party on a separate sheet

January 3, 2010

William Jackson & Pauline Myrtle Logan Coffey

William Jackson Coffey
Pauline Myrtle Logan Coffey
William is the son of Thomas Jackson "Stonewall" and Mattie Payne Coffey. They are all part of the Coffey/Saufley/Payne/Tartar/Logan families that I've been writing about in the last few blogs.

Thomas was the son of Stanton P. and Mary C. Saufley Coffey.  Stanton descends from Eli and Mary "Polly" Coffey Coffey.  They all descend from the so-far unproven Chesley and Jane Cleveland Coffey through Salathiel and Elizabeth Gore Coffey.  These families migrated out of NC to KY in the late 1700 to early 1800 time frame.  Some settled in Green Co. before moving on to Russell Co., and then to KS.  Mattie Payne was born in Russell Co. in 1866 to William Pigg and Mary Jane Tarter Payne.

William married Pauline c1925 in KS.  Information on some of her family can be found in the last few blogs.  Kevin Coffey of Franklin, TN tells me that his grandmother was quite tall for her era - something close to 5' 10" - and played basketball for her high school in Mulvane, Sumner Co., KS.  She once set a state record for consecutive free throws without a miss.

Kevin also included this photo of Pauline with the rest of her team from 1921.

Please drop me a note if you recognize any of the other ladies.
Pauline - Second from left

Another Logan Family Photo!

James Cleo Logan (fore); Fred Logan
I really like this photo!  I haven't a clue to the name of the oxen, but the driver was James Cleo Logan, son of Fred and Alta Cheatham Logan.  Fred is off to the right.

The date scrawled across the bottom is somewhat misleading.  The family had been in Kansas for many years before 1925.  In fact, Cleo was born there in Oct., 1895.

Kevin Coffey believes, and I tend to concur that Sumner county, or perhaps the town of Mulvane was celebrating pioneer days when the photo was taken.

In any event, it is an excellent and well preserved photo.

How are your old photographs?  Do you have some to share?

January 2, 2010

Frederick William Logan

Kevin Coffey of Franklin, TN continues to submit great photographs of his ancestors. This one is of his great-grandfather, Frederick William Logan, born Jun. 28, 1870 in Illinois, died Aug, 13, 1959 in Mulvane, Sumner Co., KS.

Frederick married Alta May Cheatham c1895 in KS.  She was born in that state on May 28, 1876 and died there on Mar. 19, 1957.  Both she and Frederick are buried and their graves marked by headstones* in the Mulvane cemetery.

The Logans raised seven children:

Cleo, born c1896.

Henry C., born 1898, died 1941, married Nellie, born 1899 in KS, died 1963 in Mulvane.  Both are buried in the Mulvane cemetery**.  I know of two children:  Roger, born c1918 and Vernon, born c1920.

Pauline, who married William Jackson Coffey, Kevin's grandparents.

Velda, born c1904; Fred, Jr., born c1906; Irene, born c1909 and Charles H., born c1917.

*Headstone photo by Find-A-Grave contributor, Dennis Miller.
**Headstone photo by Find-A-Grave contributor Aaron Blake

January 1, 2010

Notes on Housekeeping Changes

Long time readers may notice some additional conveniences (or, distractions if you prefer) added to the sidebar.

One of those is the addition of a "gadget" that gives readers more of a choice in how they subscribe to this blog; actually, a choice of which reader they prefer to use. Personally, I use the Google reader for my subscriptions. They all show up in that web-based reader, and I check them daily to catch up on what my favorite bloggers are writing about. Some of them are listed in the side bar under "Stuff I Read," but not all blogs that I read are included.

Readers can subscribe to comments only; e.g., those remarks left by other readers. However, those are rare as most readers prefer to e-mail comments to me.

Another way to read this blog is to click on the "Follow" button. You can use several accounts that you may already have such as Twitter, Yahoo, Google, etc.

Readers may also notice the copyright notice under the "creative commons act." Basically, it means that you can use nearly everything you find in this blog for your personal use but, you must credit me and this blog. If you also have a blog and use any of my info, you are requested to place a permanent link back to me on your blog page. Photos appearing in the blog are owned by their contributor and permission to use should be obtained before you use them elsewhere on the internet. Full details can be found by clicking on the link. You may not edit any photo to remove credit lines.

A suggested source templet:

Jack Coffee, Subtitle, Coffey/Coffee Call, Blog Date, URL, access date, specific content.


Source: Jack Coffee, Descendants of John Coffey, Coffey/Coffee Call, Jan. 12, 2005, http://coffeycousins.blogspot.com/2005/10/descendants-of-john coffey.html, Jun. 15, 2007, "John Coffey, born to James and Vera Smith Coffey, Jan. 1, 1810."

At the top left of the blog page you will find a Search block. Type in a surname and click on the magnifying glass. Any of my blogs in which that surname appears will (should) open in a new window on your monitor. Of course, if you type Coffey, it will return nearly all of the 900+ blogs that I have written! If you are looking for a specific Coffey, try entering their first and middle name, surrounded by quotes. Otherwise, search for them using a wife's maiden name or, some other parameter.

Way down at the bottom of the each blog page you will find a link to display all of the Coffey/Coffee (and allied families) whose grave sites and headstone photos I have submitted to the Find-A-Grave website.

Just below that link is a Google search bar that has been customized to find Coffey related info.

The Edward Coffey Project link remains in the sidebar. This link allows readers to purchase a CD or DVD of all the descendant information that I have compiled to date on that family. The price remains at $10 for the time being. You are not required to have a Pay Pal account to order the CD.

30 Thousand Mark

At a little before midnight on Dec. 31, the counter at the bottom of this page displayed 30,000 when a reader from out west visited the blog!

On Dec. 22, 292 readers were needed in order to reach the 30,000 mark. I didn't think we'd make it, but thanks to the average 32+ readers per day over that nine day stretch, we did! I missed my personal goal of writing 1000 blogs but, maybe I'll be a bit more prolific this year!

Thanks to everyone one, and I wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2010!


Thomas Jackson "Stonewall" & Mattie Payne Portwood Coffey

This is an update on the family of Thomas Jackson "Stonewall" Coffey and his family with Mattie Payne Portwood.  Click on the title link for earlier information and here for additional information.

Mattie Payne Portwood Coffey &
first husband, William Bruce Portwood
This photo of Mattie is with her first husband, William Bruce Portwood, probably taken on or shortly after their wedding day, Nov. 23, 1890.

William died in Texas on Sep. 9, 1893 and was buried at Friendship Cemetery in Boyd, Wise Co., TX.  He was 27 years old.

Some years after William died and after Mattie had returned to her parents home in Jamestown, Russell Co., KY, she married Thomas Jackson "Stonewall" Coffey, a son of Stanton P. and Mary C. Saufley Coffey.

William Bruce Portham
Mattie and "Stonewall" had several children in Russell Co. before moving to Kansas. Their children were:

Robert L., born Oct., 1889
Elaine - born Feb., 1897.
Robert and Elaine appear in the 1900 census as grandchildren of William and Mary Jane Payne, Mattie's parents. The Coffey family was living with Mattie's parents in Jamestown. In that census, Mattie reported that she was the mother of two children and, two were living. Because she had two children by Portman, Robert and Elaine seem likely to be Stonewall's from an earlier marriage.

The order of children becomes a bit confused when in 1910 William J., age 12, born in KY, appeared with the family as a son. Robert E. was 10 years old. Reubin Payne and Charles Sofley were also enumerated as their children. Reubin was born in 1902 and Charles in 1907. There was a son, George Stanton, between them who was born in 1905, but was not enumerated with the family in the 1910 census.

Mattie's two children with Portwood, Ella May, age 18 and Thomas B., age 16 were with the Coffey family in 1910.

In 1920 the children still at home were: William, age 22; Robert, age 20; Reubin, age 17; George, age 14 and Charles, age 12.

Robert was Robert E. Lee Coffey who married a lady by the name of Lula and appear in the 1930 census of Mulvane, Sumner Co., KS without children.

William Jackson married Pauline Myrtle Logan c1925. They also appear in the 1930 Mulvane census with children William, born c1927 and Dorothy M., born c1928.

A Reuben P. Coffey, age 25, born KY, was an inmate at the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory in 1930. Also in the Reformatory that year was Bill Coffey, age 20, born KS, but no relationship to Stonewall's family is known to have existed.

Also that year, a Charles S. Coffey, age 22, born KS, was a boarding house lodger in Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS. He was unemployed.

George was a US Army student aviator at Kelly Field when he died in a plane crash in 1929. Injuries were described in his death certificate as "fracture, compound, comminuted, two (2) inches above right eye. Death was instantaneous."

Most from this family are buried at Belle Plaine Cemetery in Sumner Co., KS.

The photograph of Mattie Coffey and William Bruce Portman is courtesy of Kevin Coffey.  Kevin has submitted additional photos and comments that will be published in subsequent blogs.

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