April 28, 2010

Samuel B. Coffey

Samuel B. Coffey
Sam was born Feb. 25, 1873 in Grainger Co., TN to George and Martha M. Johnson Coffey.  George was a son of Elijah and Rebecca Shockley Coffey.

Sam's wife was Amanda "Mandy" Dalton, born Nov. 15, 1876 and died Nov. 23, 1903 in Grainger Co.  I do not know her parents.

Their children known to me were:

Tina, born c1898, Grainger Co.

Jack Oard, born Oct. 29, 1900, died Jan. 29, 1930, Grainger Co.  Jack married Leva Shockley, a daughter of Enos and Rosa Jackson Shockley on Jun. 28, 1919.  Leva was born Jun. 6, 1901 in Grainger Co., and died there on Nov. 20, 1927.  Both are buried in the Shockley cemetery in Grainger Co.  Their son, Kenneth Edward Coffey was born Apr. 20, 1925 in Franklin, Warren Co., OH and died there on May 16, 1925.  The death certificate for the child indicates that he died of malnutrition.  Sadly, his mother suffered from tuberculosis and there was no one to care for the child. [Ohio death certificate no. 32020]

At one time Sam was the sheriff of Grainger Co. and boasted of the number of stills that he had raided and destroyed.

The photograph is undated and the name of the contributor has been lost.  Please contact me if you are the owner.  I would love to know what other information is on the reverse.

Lee Thomas Coffey - Update

Lee Thomas Coffey
Lee was a son of Elijah and Mary Ann Nelson Coffey.  He was born Jun. 24, 1871 in Patterson Twp., Caldwell Co., NC and died in Minco, Grady Co., OK on Apr. 15, 1952.  He is buried there in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Click on the title link to read an earlier blog about Lee.

His photograph, obituary and biography was provided by John W. Coffey of Raleigh, NC:

Lee T. Coffey was born near Lenoir, North Carolina, June 24, 1871, and passed away April 15, 1952. He was the son of Elijah and Mary Ann Nelson Coffey. Mr. Coffey was educated in the public schools of his native state. After the death of his father in 1891 he took over the management of his father's farm for several years.

In 1906 he came to Minco,Oklahoma and joined his brother-in-law, J.A. Stewart, in the hardware and implement business. After Mr. Stewart's retirement in 1921 he became the sole owner of the business, and operated it until 1943.

Early in life he was converted and became a member of the Advent Christian church near his home. His life was a living testimony of his faith in the saving power of Christ.

On June 29th, 1916, Mr. Coffey was married to Isis Winfree. To this union was born one daughter, Elizabeth, now Mrs. Bill Roby, of Oswego,Illinois.

In addition to his wife and daughter he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. J.A. Stewart of Enid, Oklahoma, and Miss Mary Coffey of Lenoir, North Carolina; also two brothers, John W. Coffey of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dr. George N. Coffey, of Wooster, Ohio[Typescript of obituary.  Coffey Family Archives.]


Lee Thomas Coffey was born in Patterson, Caldwell Co., NC on June 24, 1871, a son of Elijah and Mary Ann Nelson Coffey. After the death of his father, Lee managed the family farm in Happy Valley. He appeared in the 1900 Census in Patterson as head of a household that included his widowed mother. In 1906 he came to Minco, Grady Co., OK, and joined his brother-in-law, James Alexander Stewart, in the hardware and implement business, Stewart & Coffey. After Mr. Stewart's retirement in 1921 Lee became the sole owner of the business, and operated it until 1943. Lee appeared in the 1910 Census in Grady Co., OK listed as a single man in the household with his brother-in-law and older sister Harriet Coffey Stewart. He next appeared in the 1920 Census in Grady Co., with wife Isis and two-year old daughter Elizabeth. Lee died on April 15, 1952 in Minco, Grady Co., OK and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Minco. A typescript obituary records that “Early in life he was converted and became a member of the Advent Christian church near his home. His life was a living testimony of his faith in the saving power of Christ.”

Lee Thomas Coffey and Isis Orpha Winfree were married June 29,1916. They appeared in the 1930 Census in Minco. Isis, the daughter of James M. Winfree and Emma M. (LNU) was born in Beaucoup, Washington Co., IL on May 30, 1890. She appeared in the 1900 Census in Nashville Twp., Washington Co., IL in the household with her parents. At the 1910 Census in St. Louis, MO she was listed as a single woman residing in a boarding house and working in St. Louis. She died on March 10, 1976 in Minco, Grady Co., OK,6 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Minco.

Lee and Isis had the following child:

i. Elizabeth Mae COFFEY was born in Minco, June 21, 1917.

April 27, 2010

2010 Coffey Cousins' Reunion

As expected, the 2010 Coffey Cousins' Reunion was lightly attended. It could have been caused by distance involved or, perhaps it was the economy. Many people just do not have the discretionary funds. Still, 20 regular supporters from across the country did attend along with a number of friends of our hostess Jean Coffee Mower and her husband, Wayne.

My wife and I drove from Louisiana to Delaware on a route that took us from Louisiana through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The return route was down the I-5 corridor to DC. From there we nosed the car towards Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. That totaled seven days, 3151 miles and 60.5 hours behind the wheel.

The cost of gasoline wasn't too bad. It is definitely more expensive across the mid-west and east than it is in the southern part of the country! The most expensive was in Pennsylvania where we paid $2.959 for regular Exxon-Mobil.

"My Friend Freddy"
This driving adventure was good. It added five new states in which our 14-year old Brittany, "My Friend Freddy" has scratched and sniffed. He has now been coast to coast and border to border.

We drove on a number of US highways and at least 12 different interstate systems: I-10, I-12, I-20, I-30, I-40, I-49, I-59, I-66, I-70, I-75, I-76, I-81 and, the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Except through major cities, traffic was mostly light. We drove through Baltimore and DC on Sunday to avoid traffic headaches associated with those cities. The heaviest traffic encountered was on southbound I-59 in Alabama where we got caught up with race fans headed home from Talladega. Of course, the ever present 18-wheelers were constantly blowing by us at 75 to 80 MPH. We drove the speed limit, sometimes a few miles under. According to the GPS, our average speed over the entire trip was 52 MPH. We saw a couple of accidents that appeared to be serious enough for several fire trucks and EMS ambulances to respond.

Interstate repairs were on-going. For the most part, I found all of the ones we were used to be in better condition than I remember from previous years. Delays caused by on-going repairs were minimal.

I discovered that my GPS cannot be trusted 100%! When we neared our destination in DE, it led us off the PA Turnpike and onto surface streets,  We crossed back and forth between PA and DE, through beautiful rural areas, across a covered bridge, down a long, private drive and finally to our hotel! I haven't a clue why the GPS did that - it was certainly neither the shortest in time nor distance.

The next reunion will be held in Indepence, MO. A date has not yet been decided, but it will likely be around the same time of year. We always try to meet before Mother's Day so every one can be back home for that celebration.

More later!

April 14, 2010

Heading for Delaware and the 2010 Coffey Cousins' Reunion

I probably will not have time for any new Coffey blogs before leaving Sunday for a long drive to the east coast and the 2010 Coffey Cousins' reunion.

[Well, we didn't leave Sunday!  Delayed by various obstacles, but we will be on the road in the morning (Tuesday).]

This year's reunion is in Claymont, DE, hosted by CC's president Jean Mower and her spouse, Wayne.  We're looking forward to a good time and seeing many of our "cousins."

I understand that economically, times are bad for many of us - not leaving myself out of that - and the expenditure to make the round-trip will put a dent in a lot of budgets.  But, it's an event that my wife and I haven't missed in years and, thankfully we'll be able to make it this year.

It's still not too late to make your reservations.  See the Coffey Cousins' website for details.  If you're anywhere close to Claymont be sure to drop by the hotel and just say "hello" if nothing else.

Curious Colonial Signatures

Click on Image to Enlarge

Read the remainder of this article here.

Source:  The century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 84 (New Series: Vol. LXII) May to October 1912, p158, The Century Co., New York, the De Vinne Press

Chesley Shelton Coffey Revisited

My first blog about Chesley Shelton Coffey can be read by clicking on the title link.

Hardly any information has been found to document the ancestry of Chesley Shelton Coffey.

One source* describes him as a son of Joel Coffey and his wife Sarah Mackey.  It is difficult finding this particular Joel in the US census record.  He is believed to have been born in TN in 1789 and married Sarah Mackey in Maury Co., TN on Apr. 9, 1818.1

This Joel - a son of Chesley and Margaret Baldwin Coffey - made the trek from Cooper Co., MO to the Oregon Territory c1850, and after he reached age 60. He was in Vancouver [Oregon Territory, now in Clark Co., WA] as early as 1855.  Sarah died in Cooper Co., MO,  Joel Died Dec. 10, 1855 and was buried at Fern Prairie Cemetery in Camas, Clark Co., WA.  Joel and Sarah are said to have had at least eight children, including Chesley Shelton, particulars unknown.

Headstone Chesley S. Coffey
I have often wondered if their Chesley Shelton was the same Chesley born in Maury Co., TN in 1816 and died in Fayette, Jefferson Co., MS in 1869.  That Chesley married Miss. Mississippi Davis of Oct. 20, 1850 in Jefferson Co.  Their children were:

Chesley Shelton, Jr.; no particulars
Charles Clark, born c1853, married Olive S. Bullen and had children Anna and Sidney.
Jane Elizabeth, born Jan. 28, 1859, died Jul. 8, 1860, buried Jefferson Co.
John Mott, born Oct. 31, 1861, died Sep. 9, 1915, buried Jefferson Co.
Edgar Nathan, born May 14, 1869, died Nov. 28, 1922

Edgar married Carrie Watkins (or, Watson?) Campbell, born in MS on Jun. 24, 1869, died Nov. 18, 1955.   He was in the US Army when I found the family in the 1910 census; he reported his occupation as Lt., US Army.

Their children, with the exception of one, were born in MS.  The names are as copied from the 1910 Jackson, Hinds Co., MS census record:

Edgar N., Jr., born c1890
Mamie, born, born c1892
Chesley S., III, born c1893
Ruth, born c1898
Robert (William), born c1899
Carroll E., born c1908 in IA
The only child that I have searched for to date is Ruth.  She married Lew Morris c19223 and in 1930 resided in Spokane, Spokane Co., WA with her husband and one child, Robert, born c1828 in WA.  Lew was a native of Washington but his parents were born in Oregon.

With the family that year was Carrie, Ruth's mother.  She was age 60, a widow and worked as a dressmaker.

Carrie, Edgar Nathan and his younger brother, Chesley III are buried at Fort George Wright in Spokane.  I am told that this is now part of Fairchild AFB.

Chesley III was also a military man, having entered the US Navy prior to WW1.  He died Oct. 1, 1918 and I have found no information yet about where he died or otherwise indicates he perished as a result of military action.  His marker is inscribed "Gunners Mate 2CL."  The family is in cemetery section 2, site 15.

Caroline's parents were Robert W. and Anna Cordelia Girault.  Anna was first married to James Davenport c1857 in MS, then married Robert Wickham Campbell on 28 Feb. 1860 at Port Gibson, Claiborne Co., MS.  Robert was first married to Nannie P. Burch of MS on Jan. 22, 1852.  She was born in Jefferson Co. in 1836 and died there in 1858.

There are several instances of Campbell-Wickham unions in Richmond and in Powhatan Co., VA.  The Watkins name appears among the first settlers of VA after Jamestown.  Some of the later generations moved into the MS Territory prior to the Civil War.  Robert and probably also Caroline are descended from those Virginia families that came into that territory.

Corrections and/or additions welcomed!

Request for Leave of Absence
May 25, 2011:  The original of this document is privately owned by and available for purchase from Shawn Harrington.  Anyone wishing to purchase the document can contact him at harrington.shawn@gmail.com.  I understand that it will soon be placed for sale on E-bay.

*Dr. Marvin Coffey book, James Bluford Coffey his Ancestors and Descendants in America

1 Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.  Name: Joel Coffee Spouse: Sarah Mackey Marriage Date: 9 Apr 1818 Marriage County: Maury Marriage State: Tennessee:

2 Lewis, Wm. Terrell, Genealogy of the Lewis family in America (Louisville, KY: Courier-Journal Job. Print Co., 1893), Page 122: Sarah Mackey, daughter of Wm. L. Mackey, was born in Rutherford county, N. C., in 1795. She married Joel Coffey, had three children, and died in Missouri. The names of her children are as follows: William; Chesley and Derrindia.

3 The Crescent of Gamma Phi Beta, (Univ. of Idaho Chapter) Vol. 21, No. 1, edited by Lindsey Barbee, pub. Geo. Banta, Mehasha, WI, Jan., 1921, p75, "Engagements: Ruth Coffey, ex-'22 to Lew Morris, Sigma Nu."

George Holland & Samantha Ann Ridgeway Coffey

George was born in July, 1841 to Cleveland and Malinda Coffey Coffey.  Malinda and Cleveland were second cousins, he a son of Jesse and Margaret Edmisten Coffey; Malinda a daughter of George and Margaret Rucker Coffey.

It appears that George was married at least twice, perhaps three times.  He was found in Washington Co., VA in 1870 with wife Rebecca A. V., born c1844 in that state.  There were two children in the home:  John F. M., born c1868 and Charles S., born c1874.  Both were born in TN.

Samantha Ridgeway Coffey
The 1880 census for Richwoods, Sharp Co., AR finds him with wife Samantha Ann Ridgeway.  Samantha was born in Aug., 1851, Henry Co., TN and died in 1943, Lawrence Co., AR.  She is buried at Walnut Ridge in Campbell Twp., Lawrence Co.  Her headstone provides us with only birth and death year.

In addition to George H. and Samantha A. Coffee [sic], in the household at the time of the census was: John F. Coffee, age 11, born TN; Charles F. Coffee, age 6, born TN; Cora D., age 3, born MO, and Millie L. A., age 1, also born in MO.  Thomas Hardy, a third child born to George and Samantha was born Feb. 25, 1881 in MO.

I have seen some genealogies that give Thomas the middle name of Harry. However, his WW1 draft registration, which he completed on Sep. 12, 1918 in Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO, was signed by him as Thomas Hardy Coffey.

There are a few genealogies available that list the child Flora R., born in 1876 to George and a wife named Rebecca Bowman.  If she was the child of George Holland Coffey she must have been born from circumstances we are not familiar with, because George was still living with Samantha in 1880, Sharp Co., AR and there is not a child named Flora in the household.

Another - or perhaps the same - George H. Coffey in Lawrence Co., AR married Sarah E. Barnett.  They were in the 1900 Portia, Lawrence Co. census; George born Jul., 1840 and Sarah born Aug., 1860 in MO.  Their children were Myrtle, born c1897 and Jesse Dewey, born c1898.  Also in the household was Eula Barnett, enumerated as a step-daughter.

I have no idea when George Holland died.  Samantha lived until 1943 when she died and was buried at Walnut Ridge.  In 1920 and 1930 she resided with her daughter Willie, who married Lewis E. Watkins in 1903.

Did George and Samantha divorce?

Lane-Coffey Headstone
Samantha's oldest child by George Holland Coffey was Cora Duffle Coffey, born Jan. 14, 1878 in MO, died Nov. 2, 1946 in Walnut Ridge.   Cora married William R. Lane on Dec. 31, 1895 in Lawrence Co., AR.  He was born Aug. 18, 1863 in Lawrence Co. and died there on Aug. 12, 1925.  Both he and Cora are buried at Walnut Ridge in the Lawrence Memorial Park Cemetery.  Her headstone reads Duffle C. Lane.

Willie Lea Ann was her second child, born c1879 in MO.  She married Watkins on Dec. 29, 1903 and their children were:  Alma Pauline, born c1906 in MO; William P., born c1912 in AR; Jessie R., a daughter, born c1914 in AR and Bonnie Kathlene, born c1919 in AR.

Samantha's last know child was Thomas - mentioned above.  His first wife was Carrie Belle Lafferty who he probably married c1900 in MO.  He has been difficult to find in census records.

With Carrie, Thomas fathered at least four children:  Mabel, born Oct. 15, 1902 in MO, died Sep. 23, 1979 in Lake City, Columbia Co., FL; Manuella, born Jul. 5, 1904 in TX, died Jan.11, 1970 in Kansas City, MO; Glenn, born c1906 in TX; and Marguerite, born Mar 6, 1908 in MO.

Thomas was married second to Mary Anita Singleton, or Templeton.  They were married on July 30, 1915 in Jackson Co., MO.  He died on Jan. 23, 1952 in Santa Clara Co., CA.

The marriage license application for Thomas and Mary reads in part, "desiring to procure a license to marry Mrs. Maria Templeton of Walnut Ridge, County of Lawrence, and State of Arkansas...," and the license was signed by "Marrie Templeton."  However, typewritten in the top left margin of the license is "Cor. Name by Aff. B 50964 Book B 4530-Page 605-Apr 7-52."  She was a "Mrs." as given in the application, so perhaps her maiden name was Singleton.

The only census record that I have thus far found for Thomas was the 1910 Fishing River Twp, Clay Co., MO record of his family with Carrie.

Please contact me if you have info to share on this family.

April 10, 2010

Meredith and Elizabeth "Betsy" Hopper Coffey

I've previously written a small bit about Meredith as a son of John W. & Rebecca Ragsdale Coffey.  The original blog written in Sept., 2007 can be viewed by clicking on the title link.

This is a little of what I wrote:

Meredith, born Jan. 6, 1822, died Feb. 10, 1892 [unsourced]. In the 1860 McDonald Co., MO census he was 33 yrs old indicating that he was born closer to 1827. This would be a more reasonable date compared to birth years of other children. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Hopper c1841 in McDonald Co. They appeared there in the 1860 census, 1861 McDonald Co. tax rolls, and the 1870 and 1880 census. Meredith is thought to have died there on Feb. 10, 1892.
Beginning with Meredith the family spelled their name Coffee.  All of the photos of family headstones that I have seen now standing in the Jane, McDonald Co., MO cemetery are inscribed with that spelling.  Additionally, all census records that I have inspected spell the family name that way.  The few death certificates so far located also show this spelling.  Living descendants might also continue this practice.

Meredith and Elizabeth's children as I know them were:

Eliza, born c1842 in TN, died c1880, place unknown - is said to have married a Mr. Pitts.  No other information.

William Harrison, born Feb. 24, 1843 in TN, died Jul. 6, 1921 in Pineville Twp., McDonald Co., MO and was buried at Jane cemetery.  He married Hilead* Oakley Caudille on Jan. 22, 1868 in McDonald Co.  She was born Jan. 26, 1850 in Robinson Co., KY and died in Jane on Feb. 6, 1912.  She too is buried at Jane.

William and Hilead had at least 13 children, all thought to have been born in McDonald Co.:

1 - James "Milo", born Jul. 8, 1869, died Mar, 23, 1936 in Fairview, Newton Co., MO.  He is buried at Davey Cemetery in Fairview.

2 - Mary Eliza, born Jan. 8, 1873, died Apr. 20, 1933 in Pineville Twp.  She married James William Ross, born Oct. 5 1865 in Lincoln, Lancaster Co., NE, died Feb. 12, 1937 in Pineville Twp.  According to their death certificates, both are buried in Pineville.  James was a son of Samuel Lafayette and Mahala Prigmore Ross.

3 - Edward Enoch, born Apr. 27, 1874, died May 27, 1961 in Pineville.  He married Pearl C. [LNU], born C1888 in MO.  They had at least two children; Gladys, born c1907 and Glesnor [sic] (male), born c1910.  Both are buried at Pineville.

4 - Minnie Zeronia, born Oct. 16, 1875 and died May 29, 1943 in Jane.  She is said to have married a Mr. Mulkey.

5 - Alby or Albie, [female] born Jan. 27, 1877, died Mar. 11, 1923.

6 - Alex M., born Jun. 8, 1878, died Aug., 1879, buried at Jane.

7 - Arthur E., born Oct. 8, 1879, died Feb. 4, 1938 in Sioux City, Woodbury Co., IA.  He married Nora [LNU], born c1883 in MO.  They had children: Violet, Martin, Winfred, Jesse, Aaron, Earl and Viva, all born in MO between 1904 and 1918.

8 - John Finis, born Jun. 23, 1881, died Jan. 3, 1957 in Rogers, Benton Co., AR.  He married Coral L. [LNU] c1909 and had children: unnamed infant, born before Dec. 22, 1912, died on that date and buried at Jane; Pansy, born Aug. 30, 1914, died Oct. 15, 1904, also buried at Jane and shares a headstone with the unnamed infant; Orreta, born c1916 and Loretta, born c1917.

I have not yet found spouses for the remaining children, some of whom are also likely buried at Jane or Pineville:

9 - Meredith, born Feb. 26, 1884, died May, 1885 in Jane. 

10 - Albert, born May 26, 1885, died 1887 in Jane.

11 - Pearl, born Jan. 7, 1887, died Jan. 24, 1977.

12 - Grace, born Mar. 20, 1890, died Aug. 5, 1921.

13 - Oma, born Jan. 13, 1893, died Sep. 7, 1958.  She is said to have been buried at Brush Creek cemetery in Pineville.

More later...

*Her death certificate reads Hildred; her headstone reads Hilead.  Marriage sources (Hunting for Bears and  Woodrunn's 1971 Marriage Records, McDonald County, Missouri, read Hilead

April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, yaw'll

Happy Easter!

Me and my two youngest grandsons dying Easter Eggs yesterday!

L-R Drew, Jack, & Cole Coffee

April 1, 2010

The Veteran

The following seems to me to be as appropriate today as it was in 1880:

Stand by the Old Flag!

For the Chicago Tribune

Rouse, Patriots! Gird on your armors,
  Ye loyal of every degree!
Rouse, merchants, mechanics, and farmers,
  Who prize your blood-bought liberty!

The Traitors are stealing your thunder:
  A chieftain they've lured from your camp,
And leagued, for the purpose of plunder,
  With one of Old Shylock's own stamp.

They have signed a prize in their vision -
  A stanch, gallant "Ship," as she rolls
Along with majestic precision,
  Midway 'twixt the rocks and the shoals.

But your Vet'rans will let nothing harm her,
  From Maine to the Pacific Coast;
With the conquering ballot for armor,
  There'll spring an invincible host.

They'll flock to the true Union banner,
  For Garfield and Arthur and Right,
In the same loyal spirit and manner
  They met the same foes in fight.

And during the ides of November
  A shout shall ascend to the sky,
For Treason's last smoldering ember
  Shall then be extinguished and die.

The Chicago Tribune, Aug. 28, 1880, page 9

Contact Form


Email *

Message *