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.

Cleaveland and Mattie Lenora Swagerty Coffee

Cleaveland C. Coffee
Cleaveland [sic] was a son of Mansel and Georgiana Reynolds Coffee.  He was born Oct. 26 1867 in Texas and died in Reserve, Caltron Co., NM on Aug. 4, 1929.  In this photo he looks a lot like his brother Woodson.

Mattie Lenora Swagerty
He married Mattie Lenora Swagerty on Dec. 31, 1890. She was the daughter of W. T. and Lucy King Swagerty and was born Dec. 15, 1871 in Hunt Co., TX, died Jul. 21, 1959 in Amarillo.

Mattie and Cleaveland were parents of nine children:

First was Clyde M., born Oct. 5, 1892 in Hall Co., TX, died Jul. 8, 1930 in Roberts Co., TX and is buried there in the Miami cemetery.

Norman Coffee
Norman, born Feb. 28, 1894 in Memphis, Hall Co., death date not known.  When he registered for the draft in WW1, Norman was unmarried and farming in Miami.  He was a graduate of the military school, Amarillo Academy.

Floyd Thomas, born Dec. 12, 1895, died Dec. 26, 1971 in Pampa, Gray Co., TX.  Floyd married Cora Lee Orr on Feb. 2, 1921.  She was born Aug. 9, 1895 and died Mar. 24, 1982, also in Gray.  Both are buried at the Miami cemetery.

A daughter, Effie Lelia was born to Cleaveland and Mattie, but nothing else is known.

Bessie Lucy Coffee

Hattie G., born Jun., 1899 married J. B. McCarley.

Bessie Lucy, born c1903, died Jul. 11, 1977 in Randall Co., TX.  She married a Mr. Beair.

Ada, born c1905, married Ellis Buchanan, born Feb. 28, 2006 at Waterloo, Black Hawk Co., IA, married 1932 at Liberal, Seward Co., KS.  He died Mar. 2, 2008 in Amarillo

The last two children were William J. "Bill" and Mattie Lenonra, born Mar. 27, 1907 in Texas, died Jul. 4, 1937 in Amarillo.  She is buried at the Miami Cemetery in Roberts Co., TX.  William was born c1909 in TX.  Nothing else is known of either child.

Photos are courtesy of Kathy Coffee Simmons and used with permission.

No. 999

Woodson Coffee (1862-1953)

Update May 24, 2012

After Ollie died in 1930, Woodson married a second time to Velda Marguerite Bangs in 1932.  Velda was then 36 years old and had not been previously married.  She was apparently visiting with Andrew Bangs, her brother, who was a resident of Amarillo in 1930.

There were no children born to Woodson and Velda.  However, in searching for more information about her life I found that she was a daughter of Waltus Justus and Cora Maria Powers Bangs.

The Bangs ancestors seemed to have migrated to the plains of IL sometime in the early to mid-1800's.  I start Velda's ancestry with Andrew Cook Banks, born in VT in 1830 and his wife, Frances Morse, also born in VT in 1931.

The first Bangs in that part of IL now known as Wauconda (a Sioux word meaning "great spirit") was Justus Bangs.  The area was first known as Rice's Prairie and later renamed Bangs Lake for Justus.  By 1850 it had become the township of Wauconda.*

Justus Bangs was the father of Andrew Cook Bangs.  Andrew was the father of Walter Justus Bangs who married Cora Powers and, they were parents of Velda.

*Kathy Catrambone, Author, Images of Ameria: Wauconda, Marianne Folise, Author (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011), Page 7.

Woodson, born Mar 1, 1862 in Gonzales Co., TX, died June. 12, 1953 in Amarillo, Potter Co., TX.  Woodson married Ollie Pickens on Aug. 14, 1890 in Throckmorton, the daughter of Judge Cornelius Kinchelo and Ruth B. Greenwood Stribling.  She and Woodson had at least nine children: Ruth, Benjamin, Grace, Woodson, Jr., Oran, Roy Coburn, Frank (died young), Ollie and Jack Kinchelo.  Ollie died of influenza on Jan. 23, 1930 in San Antonio.  She and Woodson are buried at the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.

The above was published in the June 4, 2010 blog about Mansel Matthews & Georgiana Frances Reynolds Coffee.

Woodson Coffee, Sr.
Woodson and Ollie were the parents of nine children:

Ruth, born Nov. 17, 1891 in Throckmorton Co., TX, died in Amarillo, Potter Co., TX on Mar. 30, 1987,  Ruth married Edgar Coble on Apr. 7, 1915 in Throckmorton.  He died on Aug. 21, 1954 in Amarillo.  Both are buried there at the Llano cemetery.

Benjamin Stribling, born Dec. 1, 1892 in Throckmorton, died in Amarillo on Oct. 9, 1914.  He was buried in Miami, Roberts Co., TX at the Miami cemetery.

Grace, born Mar 9, 1894 in OK Indian Territory, died there Mar. 28, 1894.  Burial place not given.

Woodson, Jr and Mamie Coffee
Woodson, Jr., born May 29, 1895 in Morton Co., TX, died in Amarillo on Sep. 1, 1984.  He married Ida Mae "Mamie" LNU on Jun. 10, 1916.  She was born Dec. 8, 1893 in MO and died Jun. 2, 1984 in Amarillo.  They too are buried at Llano.

Oran, born Jan. 24, 1897 in Roberts Co., TX, died Nov. 3, 1965.  He married Frances Elizabeth Rock on Aug. 9, 1931 in Pagosa Springs, Archuleta Co., CO.  She was born there on Jul. 10, 1912 and died on Jan. 3, 2004 in Boerne, Kendall Co., TX.  They were the parents of my friend, Kathy Coffee Simmons.  They too are buried at Llano.

Roy Coburn Coffee
Roy Coburn, born Sep. 15, 1898, died Sep. 12, 1964 in Dumas, Moore Co., TX.  He married in Feb. 1941 to Celia Catherine West, born Jan. 7, 1903, died Jan. 11, 1985 in Amarillo.  Also buried at Llano.

Frank, born Nov. 11, 1900, died Apr. 14, 1901.

Claude and Girlie Coffee Arnot
Oliver "Girlie", born Oct. 8, 1901, died Jan. 31, 1984 in Bexar Co., TX.  She married first Waid Scott Willis and had a son, Waid, Jr., born Aug. 16, 1923, died Feb. 16, 1947 in Bexar Co.  Waid, Sr. died in 1951 and sometime after that, Girlie married Claude William Arnot, born 1895, died Jul. 16, 1991 n Bexar Co.  Waid, Sr. and Jr. are buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wolfe City, Hunt Co., TX.  Girlie and Claude are buried at Locke Hill cemetery in San Antonio.

The last child was Jack Kinchelo Coffee, born Ju. 24, 1903, died Mar. 11, 1969.  He was married on Dec. 19, 1929 to Vida Pearl Davis, born Mar. 11, 1905, died Jan. 18, 1991.

No. 998

June 13, 2010

William Leon & Marion Edna Norris Coffey

This couple married c1912, probably in Watauga Co., NC.  William was a son of William Luther and Mary Salome Moretz Coffey, born Jul. 19, 1892 in Watauga Co.  Marion was the daughter of Millard Harrison and Ida Delrea Davis Norris and was born Oct. 7, 1895, also in Watauga Co.

When William Leon registered for the draft in WW1, he did so on June. 5, 1917 in Watauga Co.  He was described as being tall with medium build, blue eyes and light colored hair.  He was 24 years old, born July 29, 1893 at Meat Camp in Caldwell Co.  Like those before him, he was a farmer and had a wife and two children.

The family appeared in both the 1920 and 1930 Watauga Co. census at Blowing Rock.  His death in August, 1963 at age 71 was ruled a suicide by "asphyxiation, drowning."  Reason for suicide is not known but "depression" was cited as contributing to his death.

He and Marion had nice children together, all born in Watauga Co.:

Homer Leon, born Jun. 29, 1913, married Polly Ersal Presnell, born Jan. 22, 1916.

Thelma Edna, born Feb. 28, 1915, died May 26, 1995 in Hickory Twp., Catawba Co.  Thelma married Odell Cletus Deal, a son of Nathan T. and Mary Elvira Shell.  He was born Jan. 2, 1904 in Catawba Co., and died there on Jan. 6, 1989.  Odell's first wife was Constance Eliza Chester, born 1908, died 1957 in Catawba Co.  He and Thelma were married in 1959 in Caldwell Co.  Thelma was a US Navy veteran of WWII.  Her military headstone marker reads S1 [Seaman First Class] US Navy, World War II.  What an adventure she must have had!  She had no known children.

Arthur Wade, born Jun. 29, 1917, married Dec. 20, 1945 to Annie Elizabeth Cohn, born Sep. 8, 1917, died Dec. 28, 2000 in Boone.

Ida Irene, born Feb. 23, 1919, married Vernon Stokes Woods, born Jan. 27, 1918 in NC, died Oct. 12, 196 in Mecklenburg Co., NC.  They were married Nov. 27, 1944 in Watauga Co.

Jewel Salome, born c1920, married Max R. Moody.  Max was born Mar. 25, 1919 in Watauga Co. and died there on Mar. 31, 2006.

Marion Helen, born Jun. 16, 1924, married Conor Jones Triplett on Sep. 14, 1946 in Watauga Co.  He died in June, 1976.

Rena Marie, born Jun. 21, 1926, married Ralph Junior Broyhill on Jan. 26, 1946 in Watauga Co.

Waymon Wayne, born Jan. 7, 1929 - no information.

Stanley Owen, born Apr. 26, 1931, died Oct. 4, 2005 in Blowing Rock.  Stanley married Betty Moody.

Some of the birth years for these folks were found in the 1900 census.  In many cases when a corresponding death certificate was found the birth year was +/- 1 year off the census record.  This also occurs many times when viewing WW1 draft records.  The birth year is nearly always off by +/- 1 year from headstone, census or death certificate dates.  It is a phenomena that I have noticed many times and often wondered which is the most accurate?

No. 997

June 4, 2010

Mansel Matthews & Georgiana Frances Reynolds Coffee

Amended first Sep. 7, 2010, second Apr. 24, 2011.

This Coffee family descends from the so-far mythical Chesley Coffey who is said to have married Jane Cleveland.  For the most part, this family's surname has been spelled Coffee since at least the early 1800's.

The immediate ancestor of Mansel was Logan McMillon Coffee, born Dec. 7, 1809 in Adair Co., KY, died Jun. 20, 1865 in TX, "the circumstances fraught with suspicions, possibly murder by his companions from the same neighborhood."*  In about 1837, while passing through Alabama heading to Texas, Logan married Mary Elizabeth Ragland.  She was born Jan. 15, 1815 and died in Lavaca Co., TX on Jan. 15, 1879.

From all indications, Logan's family name began as Coffey but left Alabama as Coffee.  My theory is that once they settled (for awhile) in Alabama and began to make records, their family was perhaps thought to be part of the family of General John Coffee, most notably famous for his role at the Battle of New Orleans.  General Coffee, and his Georgia counterpart - also named John - were first cousins, descendants of Peter Coffee.  A recent DNA discovery proves a connection between Peter and Edward, but very distant and well before either came to America.

Mansel M. Coffee
Mansel was the first child of Logan and Mary.  He was born Sep. 12, 1839 in Jackson Co., AL and died on June 5, 1891 in Throckmorton Co., TX.  His unattributed obituary made the claim that "his family was intimately connected with the history of this country as far back as Gen'l Coffee, who was second in command at the Battle of New Orleans in 1816."  Well before the obituary came into my hands, someone over struck that line, knowing as many of us do that it was inaccurate.  This is likely to be the reason why the family surname is spelled Coffee instead of Coffey.

According to that obituary, Mansel was thrown from his horse after it "dashed with great force against a wire fence..." tossing him into the air.  Upon falling to the ground, he struck the back part of his head causing him to fall into a coma from which he never recovered.

Georgiana Frances Reynolds
Mansel's wife was the beautiful Georgiana Frances Reynolds, a daughter of B. F. and Virginia Mayers Reynolds of Mississippi.  Georgiana was born in Rankin Co., MS in Jan., 1845.  She and Mansel were married in Lavaca Co. on Jun. 4, 1861.  Georgiana's younger sister, Emma Gaines Reynolds married Mansel's brother, Robert Marion Coffee.

Georgiana gave birth to at least nine children; seven boys and two girls.  There was, between some of the children sufficient time for her to have borne others, but perhaps they died young or, she was fortunate and did not become pregnant.

Woodson, born Mar 1, 1862 in Gonzales Co., TX, died June. 12, 1953 in Amarillo, Potter Co., TX.  Woodson married Ollie Pickens Stribling on Aug. 14, 1890 in Throckmorton, the daughter of Judge Cornelius Kinchelo and Ruth B. Greenwood Nancy Caroline Stribling Nancy Caroline was a cousin of Judge Kinchelo whom he met during the Civil War.  His first wife had died in 1860 with no children produced.  Ruth Bradley Greenwood was Judge Kinchelo's mother.  She and Woodson had at least nine children: Ruth, Benjamin, Grace, Woodson, Jr., Oran, Roy Coburn, Frank (died young), Ollie and Jack Kinchelow.  Ollie died of influenza on Jan. 23, 1930 in San Antonio.  She and Woodson are buried at the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.

The second child was Logan Alonzo, born Mar. 5, 1865 in TX, died Feb. 19, 1945 in Miami, Roberts Co., TX.  He married Mary Mildred Harrah, a daughter of J. W. and Emogina Fitch Harrah of Wheeler Co., TX.  Mildred was born there on Nov. 16, 1880 and died in Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS on Jul. 26, 1922.  Both she and Logan are buried at the Miami Cemetery.  They were parents of at least six sons:  Joseph Logan, Harry M., Tom Leonard, Tas, Marion Clarence, and Dana.

Update Oct. 15, 2011:  After Dana came Lona, a daughter born Apr. 22, 1912; Merle R., a son, born May 14, 1913 and David, born Nov. 20, 1918, all in Miami, Roberts Co., TX.  There remains some confusion on my part about the child Merle.  Some genealogies name him Mansel.  However, I have found two documents, both relating to births on May 14, 1913:  One reports only on the birth of an unnamed male child on that date.  The second document was created on Mar. 10,1951 as a correction to the original birth certificate.  This document reports the birth of Merle R. Coffee on May 14, 1913 to Logan and Mildred.  The document was sworn to by Logan before the Roberts Co. clerk of court on Mar. 10, 1941.  So, was the first document for the unnamed child for one named Mansel that died at birth and the one for Merle as a surviving twin?

Next came Cleaveland C. (probably Charles), born in TX on Oct. 26, 1867.  He married Mattie Lenora Swagerty, daughter of W. T. and Lucy King Swagerty, on Dec. 31, 1890.  She was a native of Hunt Co., TX, having been born there on Dec. 15, 1871.  She died Jul. 21, 1959 in Amarillo and was buried at Miami.  Cleaveland is probably there as well; I just haven't located him yet.  Their children were nine:  Clyde M., Norman, Floyd Thomas, Effie Lelia, Hattie G., Bessie Lucy, Ada, Mattie Lenora and William J. "Bill."
Children of Mansel and Georgiana Reynolds Coffee

Fourth was Henry Coleman, born Nov. 7, 1869 in TX, died Jul. 4, 1956 in Pampa, Gray Co., TX.  He married Mary Eppie Thomas, born in TX in Aug., 1871, died in Ochiltree Co., TX on Jun. 21, 1904.  Henry was buried at Miami while Mary rests in an unmarked grave at Ochiltree Cemetery, Perryton, Ochiltree Co., TX.  Their children were Vida, Frances, Albert Mansel, Eugene L. and Raymond Oliver.  Raymond was a musician and died in an automobile accident near Amarillo in 1922.  According to cemetery records, Eppie is buried next to Raymond.  There is an open area next to him, but no marker to indicate anyone is buried there.

Fifth, and first daughter, was Hattie C., born Apr. 15, 1874, died in 1887.  Nothing else is known and she is thought to have died young.

James Volney was sixth.  He was born Aug. 15, 1875 in Lavaca Co. died Oct. 26, 1957. He married Alice Gertrude Tidwell, daughter of Will and Josephine Kendrick Tidwell.  Alice was born in TX on May 7, 1878 and died in Potter Co. on May 10, 1931.  Alice is buried at Miami; I'm still looking for James' final resting place.  Their children were:  William Cleveland, Joe F., Guy T., Volney Lanius, and Allene G.

Glenn L. was number seven, born in Dec., 1878.  He married a lady by the name of Mary Gentry, born c1883 in TX. but nothing more is yet known of this couple. Their children were Georgia Lee, Glenn F. and Katheryn Jean.

Mansel Reynolds was next.  He was born in Throckmorton on Oct. 28, 1885 and died in Perryton on Jun. 26, 1948.  His wife was Lillian Lee Long, born Nov. 28, 1889 in TX, and died at Perryton on Jun. 25, 1959.  Both are buried there in the Ochiltree Cemetery.  Their children were Doris Lorene, Mansel Reynolds, Jr., Mary Margaret and Georgia Nell.

Mary Virginia Coffee Locke
Mary Virginia was the last child.  She was born Feb. 28, 1888 in Throckmorton and died in Big Spring, Howard Co., TX on Oct. 26, 1965.  She was buried there in Trinity Memorial Park.  She married Claude B. Locke, a son of Judge Newton F. and Dora Barton Locke of Roberts Co.  Their children were Winnie, born c1907, Claude, Jr., born c1909 and Dorothy F., born c1912.  One of the daughters married Adolph Swartz and was the informant on her mother's death certificate.

My opinion:  There appears to be somewhat of a very tiny element of veracity to the Chesley Coffey/Jane Cleveland theory.  They are said to have had a son named Jesse Cleveland.  Joel, also thought to be Chesley's son, named a son Cleveland.  Joel's son James named a son Cleveland.  Logan, brother to that Cleveland named one of his sons Cleveland, and Mansel, son of Logan named one of his sons Cleaveland [sic].  Interesting to note however, is that none of the descendants name a son Chesley.

All photos belong to Kathy Coffee Simmons and used with her permission

*"On the Headwaters of the Lavaca and Navidad, Paul Boethel,Von Boeckmann - Jones, Austin, Texas c. 1967

No. 996

Contact Form


Email *

Message *