August 30, 2010

James Coffey, Jr., and Sophia Giebear

Updated Nov. 13, 2010 and June 12, 2011

James, Jr. was one of the sons of James, Sr. and his wife Sarah Emaline “Sally” Sumpter Coffey.  Junior was the sixth of 10, born c1823 in Wayne Co., KY and died Nov. 16, 1872 in Perry Co., MO.  He and Sophie are thought to be buried at the Mount Hope cemetery in Perryville.

Sophie was of French descent; both of her parents were born in France.  She was born in Missouri c1834.  Her date of death and their marriage date is unknown.  I’ve seen her surname spelled several ways, including Gabber, Giebear, Gebbar, etc.  In the 1850 census of Cape Cinque Hommes, Perry Co., MO, the family surname is spelled Giebear.

James may have been married prior to his departure from Kentucky.  Up until c1851 he was in in Pulaski Co., KY.  In 1860 he was in Perryville, MO with Sophie.  However, in the census that year there was a female child named Permelia E., age 14, born in IL.  She may or may not have been James’ child.  James was in the household with his parents in 1850 and there was not a child named Permelia with him  She could also have been Sophia’s child from a previous marriage, but she carried the Coffey family name in the 1860 census.

I have four children for James and Sophia, all born and died in Perry Co. and buried at Mount Hope:

James Henry, born Feb. 14, 1853, died Jun. 11, 1940.  His wife was Mary Emma Dickerson, born c1866 in MO.  She may also be at Mount Hope.  They had at least one child, James Edward, born Aug. 25, 1895, died Aug. 14, 1961.  His wife was Mary Zelpha Layton, born Oct. 18, 1894 in MO, died Nov. 10, 1979.  They are also at Mount Hope.

Red, Mary Jane Coffee
Photo credit: Marita Easterday
William Austin was second born, Mar. 18, 1855, died Dec. 7, 1923.  His wife was Margaret Adaline Fowler, born Feb. 14, 1862 in South Carolina, died Feb. 4, 1935.  I have 10 children for them:  Robert, born c1879 in MO; Florence, born Feb., 1882 in TX [sic]; James Austin, born Mar. 18, 1884 in Cinque Hommes Twp., Perry Co.; Rosalie, born Mar. 23, 1886; John Edward, born Mar., 1889; Maude, born Apr. 12, 1890; Jesse, born Feb. 29, 1892 in Bois Brule Twp., Perry Co.; Everett, born Jun., 1895; Charles H., born Nov., 1896, died May 7, 1923; and Lillie, born Oct., 1899.  Charles H. married Alice Mary Staelens, born Aug. 15, 1895 in MO, died Apr. 30, 1963 in Perry Co.  Alice is thought to be Charles’ second wife.

Mary Jane was born next, on Feb. 12, 1857, died Jun. 24, 1954.  She married c1885 John D. [Douglas?] Red, a native of IL, born Sep. 17, 1842.  He died Jan 30, 1908.  Both are buried at Mount Hope.  Their children were Mary S., born c1886 in IL; Julia, born Apr., 1888 in CA [sic], and Charles, born Mar. 1894 in MO.

Lucinda Elizabeth was last, born Sep. 10, 1859 in Adair Co., MO, died Aug. 7, 1937 in Perryville.  Her husband was John Calvin Welker, born Jul. 9, 1858, died Nov. 6, 1931 in Perryville.  They too are at Mount Hope.

Their children were: Ola Elma, born Mar 11, 1884; Jesse Clarenton, born Jun. 7, 1886; Clinton Oliver, born Jun. 14, 1888; Mary Ethel, born Jan. 5, 1891 and twin daughters, born Sep. 1, 1892 that apparently died at birth and unnamed.  The Missouri birth records report that Ola was the 3d child born to Lucinda and the twins were No. 6 and No. 7.  They also report that Mary Ethel was child No. 6.  If the records are correct, John and Lucinda were parents of at least eight, perhaps nine children.

I have not yet begun to research all of the children belonging to each of James and Sophia’s children.

Readers are invited to add to or correct any of this information.

The first two children of John Calvin and Lucinda Elizabeth Coffey Welker were William E.,  and Victoria Edith.

William was born Aug., 1878, died Jun. 8, 1950, Perry Co.  William's wife was Josephine Maria Lappe, born Dec. 15, 1880 in MO, died there on Jun. 10, 1968.  Children were Rudolph and Elmo.  Wm. and Josephine are buried at St. Maurus Catholic Cemetery in Biehle, Perry Co., MO.

Victoria was born Oct., 1881 at Cinque Homme and married Joseph Baudendistel.  Joseph was born c1885 in MO and died Aug. 28, 1937 in Rulo, Richardson Co., NE.  Victoria died Jun. 26, 1988 in NE and is also buried at Rulo.  This family moved around a lot!  They were in married in MO, c1908.  By 1910 they were in North Dakota where they remained at least through 1912.  From 1914 thru at least 1917 they were back in MO but by 1921 they were in KS and remained there at least until 1930.  That year they appeared in the Irving, Brown Co., KS census on the Iowa Indian Reservation.

Their children were: John E., born c1910 in ND; Raymond S., born c1912 in ND; Victor, born 1914 in MO, died 1916 in St. Louis, MO; Lillian, born c1917 in MO; Paul, born c1921 in KS; Mildred, born c1923 in KS; Juanita B. born c1925 in KS and Wesley E., born c1927 in KS.

August 29, 2010

John William & Nancy Alice Marie Record Coffey

Copy of John William Coffey & Workers on Farm
John in center behind hay rake
John William Coffey was a son of William and Mary Ann Cantrell  Coffey and a grandson of Charles Oliver Coffey and his wife Diana.  John William was born on Dec. 12, 1858 in Texas and died of pneumonia in Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., TX on Dec. 18, 1932.  He was buried at Mountain Peak Cemetery in Midlothian, Ellis Co., TX.

"Nannie" Record was born May 9, 1871 in Tennessee to Joseph S. and Ellen Culbertson Record.  She died of heart failure in Fort Worth on Jan. 28, 1946 and was also buried at Mountain Peak.

Nancy Alice Marie Record Coffey & Family
Nannie on the right in black skirt
Nancy and John moved around the state of Texas quite often.  In 1900 they were in Ellis Co., and before that in Cleburne Co.; in 1910 in Kaufman Co.,; in 1920 they lived in Hill Co., and finally in Tarrant Co.  Most of their 13 children were born in Kaufman Co.

William Henry "Willie" was their first child and was born Nov. 18, 1887 in Tolosa.  He died unmarried on Jan. 6, 1955 in Fort Worth.
The second child was a male named A. T. born in 1889.  I haven't yet determined what they stand for.  He was probably a stillbirth.

Harrison Clyde & Tassie May Coffey Riddels
Next came Tassie May on Mar. 10, 1891 in Cleburne, Johnson Co. and died Feb. 3, 1948 at Pilot Point in Denton Co.  She died as the result of an accidental gunshot wound by a nephew.  She was buried at the  community cemetery in Tioga, Grayson Co., TX.  Her husband was Harrison Clyde Riddels/Riddles.*  Clyde was born Jan. 20, 1885 at Waxahachie in Ellis Co and died on Dec. 31, 1964 at Gainesville in Cooke Co., TX.  He is also buried at Tioga.

Bonnie Lucy, Wm Henry, Tassie & Booker T.
Their fourth child was Bonnie Lucy, born Aug. 26, 1895 in Ellis Co.  A death date and place hasn't been found yet.  She married Riley Glenn Sloan, a son of James "Jim" and Martha Lane Glover Sloan.  He was born Jan. 20, 1890 in Tolosa and died Dec. 29, 1967 at White Settlement in Tarrant Co.  He was buried at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth.  Bonnie is likely buried there as well.

Child number five was probably a stillbirth as he was born and died in Ellis Co. on Jan. 23, 1898.  In the genealogy that I have seen, he was named "Little Java."

There is some question in my mind about the next three children.  They were all born within 27 months of each other making it likely - in my estimation - that at least two of the named children were the same child.

Parlon Booker was number six, born May 22, 1900 in Tolosa and died there on Jan. 16, 1909.  Booker T., was number 7, born c1901 but no substantiating records have been found.  Family members have no idea what became of him.  Mary Ellen was number eight and she was born Sep. 12, 1902 in Tolosa and died in Dallas on Jan. 15, 1986.

The way I figure it, there were 27 months between the birth of Parlon Booker and Mary Ellen.  If there was a child named Booker T. born in 1901, that would mean the mother was giving birth every nine months over a course of two years, three months.  That is rather difficult to believe and I doubt that any mother of that era would have been able to survive.

The ninth child born to John and Nannie was Rada Rachel on Jan. 26, 1905 in Tolosa.  She died on Mar 16, 1977 in Odessa, Ector Co., TX.  Her husband was Robert Earl Barnes, born Mar. 17, 1899 in TX, died Nov. 17, 1965 in El Paso, TX.  He was buried at Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery at Fort Worth.  A burial place for Rada hasn't been found but she is likely also at Shannon.

Areal Carl, Jessie Hazel & Warren Douglas
Jesse Hazel was next, born Mar. 18, 1907 somewhere in Texas and died Aug. 21, 1940 at Covington in Hill Co., TX.  Jesse married Hershel Brown Giddins, born Jul. 26, 1896 in Texas and died Apr. 14, 1981 in Terry Co., TX.  Jesse is buried at Itasca in Hill Co.  Hershel's burial place is not yet known.

John William, Jr. followed in March, 1908 but died the following December in Tolosa.

Warren Douglas "Dub" Coffey was number 12, and was born Dec. 11, 1910 in Kaufman Co., and died Jul. 3, 1987 in Fort Worth.  Dub married Vera Lois Ingram, a daughter of Frank and Pearl Ingram.  She was born Apr. 2, 1910 in Sevier Co., AR and died Dec. 12, 1946 in Fort Worth.  Vera and Dub are buried at Mount Olivet in Fort Worth. Dub's second wife was Blanche Corine Miller.  They married in Feb., 1967 in Parker Co., TX.  He apparently married a third time; there is another marriage record in Parker Co. for Warren D. Coffey, born c1911, to Audrey M. Gilley on Oct. 3, 1970.

The last child born to John William and Nannie Record Coffey was Areal Carl "Sparky", born Jan. 13, 1913 in Tolosa.  He married Zola Beatrice Rives on Jan. 18, 1930 in Marietta, Love Co., OK.  He died Jul. 17, 1985 in Burleson, Johnson Co., TX.  Zola was born Sep. 3, 1914 in Paris, Lamar Co., TX and died June 21, 1987 in Burleson.

*All death records and headstones spell the surname Riddels while some family members tell me that it is correctly spelled as Riddles. 
Photo are courtesy of Laura Coffey Moore, a descendant of John William.

August 23, 2010

Taylor and Coffey of Massies Mill, Nelson Co., VA

John H. [probably Henry] Taylor, was born c1834 in Nelson Co. and died there on May 12, 1896. He was married c1853 to Sarah E. Wood, a daughter of Arthur and Sarah A. Wood. Sarah Wood Taylor was born c1836, death date unknown. Both are buried in the Pleasant [Pleas] Taylor cemetery in Nelson Co.

They were the parents of at least 10 children:

1 - William Henry "Billy" Taylor was born Apr. 10, 1954 at Massies Mill and died in Nelson Co. on Apr. 8, 1928. Billie married Martha Jane Coffey on Jan. 20, 1873 in Nelson Co. Martha Jane was born in Jan., 1856 at Massies Mill and died in Nelson Co. on Feb. 5, 1935. They too are buried in the Pleas Taylor cemetery. Martha Jane was the daughter and ninth child of Edmund and Martha Snead Coffey.

The children of Billy and Martha Jane were:

Emma Jane, born Jan. 1, 1874 at Montebello in Nelson Co., died Apr. 7, 1960 in Waynesboro, VA and was buried at White Rock cemetery near Montebello. Emma Jane married Robert Alexander Coffey, born May 25, 1883 at Montebello, died Mar. 13, 1959 at Waynesboro. He too is buried at White Rock. I do not believe they had any children. Because of their ages at marriage, (Robert was 45 and Emma was 54) they may have been previously married to others.

Lafayette G. was born Mar., 1875 and married Rose Painter. Rose is buried at Pleas Taylor. No other information.

The next three children were Ida or Ada Bell, born Mar., 1879; Estella, born Sep., 1881, died 1934, buried Pleas Taylor; and Dandridge, born Feb., 1884.

Rosa Y. "Rosie" was child number six, born Oct. 11, 1885, died Aug., 1982 in Augusta Co. Rosie married Earnest Drummond Coffey on Jul. 26, 1904 in Nelson Co. He was a son of J. H. Vanvert and Mary Ann "Polly" Coffey Coffey, born Sep. 16, 1882 at Massies Mill, died 1968 in Augusta Co. Both are buried at the Springdale Mennonite Church cemetery in Waynesboro. Their childen were Herbert Less, Gilbert; William Van; Nellie; Perry Dodge; Davis Lee; Wilson Monroe; Earl Drummond; Mary A. and an unlikely Polly. She may be the same child as Mary A.

The seventh and last child was Henry M., born Mar., 1891. No further information.
2 - Mary Jane married Robert Lee Coffey, born c1870 to William and Mary C. Ramsey Coffey.  The marriage took place on Jan. 9, 1902 in Nelson Co.  Mary Jane was born c1859 in Nelson Co., and was buried in the Rob Coffey family cemetery in Nelson Co.  Robert apparently died before 1920 (He was 43 when they married) because Mary Jane lived with her brother Pleas when the 1920 and 1930 census was enumerated.  Mary was 43 when they married and I know of no children.

3 - James Lucien, born c1860 in Nelson Co., married Rose Ella Coffey on Jan. 2, 1896 in Nelson Co.  Rose Ella was the daughter of Floyd Lee and Mary Jane Weaver [previously married to a Mr. Weaver].  I know of no children.

4 - John Emmet, born c1863.  No further information.

5 - McPleasant "Pleas", born Mar., 1865, buried in the family cemetery.  He married Elizabeth G. "Lizzie" Sorrels, a daughter of George D. and Bethanie Fitzgerald Sorrels,  Lizzie was born in Apr., 1872, Nelson Co., and is buried near Pleas.   I know of two children:  Bernice W., born c1915 and Matthew G., born c Mar., 1917.

6, 7 & 8 - Martha A., born c1869, Etta F., born c1872, and Emma L., born Jun., 1873.  No further information.

9 - Nancy B. "Nannie", born Jun., 1873, married  James E. Coffey, born May 1871, a son of Robert Wesley and Elizabeth A. Coffey Coffey.  In 1900 they had been married for 10 years and had no children.

10 - Howard M., born c1878.  No further information.

The title of this blog could also include Giles and Fitzgerald.  All of these families intermarried and many of their children followed suit.

If I have calculated correctly:

Martha Jane and Robert Lee were first cousins, once removed and double second cousins, once removed.

Rose Ella and Robert Lee were second cousins and 2x third cousins.

Rose Ella was Martha Jane's niece; James E. was Martha Jane's nephew.

James E. and Rose Ella were first cousins.

James E. and Robert Lee were first cousins, second cousins and 4x third cousins

They* all go back to Edward and Ann Powell Coffey through brothers William Coffey who married Elizabeth Giles and Reuben who married her sister, Nancy.  Reuben and William were sons of Edmond Steward and Nancy Barnett Coffey.  Edmond was a son of John Coffey and Jane Graves.  John was the eldest and best researched son of Edward and Ann.

Corrections and/or additions welcomed.

*Including Earnest Drummond Coffey whose father was J. H. Vanvert Coffey and mother was Mary Ann Coffey.  Vanvert was a son of Wayett [sic] Wesley Coffey and Nancy Coffey.  Wyaett was a son of William Coffey and Betsy Giles.  Nancy's parents are not known to me.  Vanvert's wife Mary Ann was a daughter of George Washington Coffey and Mary Catherine Demastus [sic].  George was a son of Edmund and Martha Snead Coffey while Mary Catherine was a daughter of John Demastus and Mary Ann Coffey.  Edmund, of course, was a son of William and Betsy Giles Coffey.  Mary Ann was a daughter of Edmund F. and Elizabeth Burger Coffey who goes back to Edward and Ann through William and Elizabeth Osborne Coffey.  Readers may remember that Jane Coffey, a daughter of William and Elizabeth is believed to be the mother of Jordan Coffey who has been shown by DNA testing to be a Taliaferro and not a Coffey.

August 20, 2010

Peter Hilman & Mary Susan Tyree Coffey

Peter was born in Virginia, probably in Nelson Co., in 1865 to George Washington and Mary Catherine Demastus Coffey. Mary Catherine was a daughter of John and Mary Ann Coffey Demastus. herself a daughter of Edmund F. & Elizabeth Burger Coffey. Edmund was a son of William and Elizabeth Osborne Coffey who were also parents of Jane Coffey, the mother of Jordan (Taliaferro) Coffey.

Peter Hilman Coffey Headstone
Peter married Mary Susan Tyree, born Aug., 1873, probably in Virginia, and believed to have died in 1949. Peter died in Nelson Co. in 1942 and was buried at Demastus Family Cemetery near Tyro in Nelson Co.

Peter and Mary had at least six children:

Alvin Reynolds, born May 24, 1894 in Nelson Co., died Sep. 2, 1956 in VA.  Alvin married Fannie Demastus, a daughter of Luke and Anna Bell Coffey Demastus c1920.  Fannie was born Aug. 19, 1900 in Nelson Co., and died May 19, 1952.  Both are buried at the Calvary United Methodist Church Cemetery, Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co., VA.  Their children were Oakley, Betty Celene and DeWitt Malcolm.  DeWitt married Helen Marie Maupin, born Aug. 9, 1930 in Waynesboro, Augusta Co., VA, died Aug. 9, 2006 in Charlotesville Co., VA.  Helen is buried at Augusta Memorial Park in Waynesboro.  DeWitt's burial site is unknown, but probably also at Augusta Memorial.  Alvin and Fannie in addition to being man and wife were related nine different ways, from first cousin once removed to fourth cousin, one removed.

Annie Coffey, born Sep. 16, 1901 at Massies Mill in Nelson Co., died Jan. 13, 1986 at Sanford in Seminole Co., FL.  She married Jacob Coffey, a son of John James and Lucy Ann Demastus Coffey.  Both are buried at Calvary United Methodist.  I do not have a list of their children.  Annie and Jacob were related eight different ways beginning with third cousin and ending at fifth cousin.

Elwood C. Coffey
Ethel Coffey, born Jun. 29, 1903 in Nelson Co., died Nov. 25, 1971 at Waynesboro.  She married Andrew Coffey, born Jan. 2, 1899, died Aug. 24, 1972 at Waynesboro.  Andrew was a brother to Jacob who married Annie.  Both are buried at Augusta Memorial.  Their children were Andrew, Jr., born Jul 5, 1927, died July 16, 1927 and Elwood C. "Jimmy", born Apr. 23, 1937, died Sep. 28, 2008 at Charlottesville.  Andrew is buried at the Demastus Cemetery near Tyro; Elwood is buried at Augusta Memorial.  Andrew and Annie had the same kinship as Jacob and Annie.

Headstone for Harold, Sr.
Harold Bernard Coffey, Sr. was born Nov. 9, 1909 at Massies Mill and died Aug. 14, 1974 at Waynesboro.  He married Rosey Arline Claytor, born Jun. 13, 1913, died Sep. 13, 1966.  Both are buried at Augusta Memorial  Harold was a veteran of WW2, having enlisted on Nov. 13, 1942 at Fort Belvoir, VA.  I know of one child, Harold, Jr., born Aug. 7, 1942, died May 26, 1996 at Waynesboro.  Jr. is also buried at Augusta Memorial.  Harold, Jr. died of a heart attack at home.  He was a City of Waynesboro policeman.

Dewey Love Coffey,born May 1, 1912, died May 9, 1988.  He married Jessie Jane Ray on Jan. 31, 1931.  Both are buried at Augusta Memorial.  I know of one child, Janet Grey, born Dec. 19, 1933 at Augusta Co., died Aug. 8, 1999 at Fishersville in Augusta Co.  She too is buried at Augusta Memorial in Waynesborn.

Woodrow Wilson Coffey, born May 9, 1916 in Love, Augusta Co., died Oct. 30, 2006 at Fishersville.  He married Eva Virginia Chittum, born Apr. 4, 1917 in Rockbridge Co., VA, died Feb. 21, 1965 in Augusta Co.  Both are buried at Augusta Memorial.  Their children were Paul Allen, Clarene Arthur, born May 12, 1936, died Aug. 24, 2009 in Concord, Cabarrus Co., NC; Mary and Kathleen.

There is another Peter Hilman Coffey (1939-1999) buried at Augusta Memorial and is likely a descendant of this Peter Hilman and Mary Tyree Coffey. If you can connect his for me, please drop an e-mail.

Contact me to add to or correct any of this information.

Click on the Chicken Hollow link below to find general area of Demastus Cemetery.

August 16, 2010

Martin Coffey Descendants

I have written a bit about Martin in a previous blog; click on the title link to read that posting.

Martin is often said to have been married twice, each time to a wife named Nancy.  His first wife is alleged to have been Nancy Phelps with whom he had at least six children.  His second wife is alleged to have been Nancy Hereford with whom he had at least five more children.

I have not found a birth or death date for Nancy but she must have died c1818 as that is the year that her last child Joel is thought to have been born.  I am somewhat suspicious of that account however, as Martin's first child with Nancy Hereford, named James, is said to have been born on Sep. 7, 1818 in Jamestown, Russell Co., KY.

The children of Nancy Phelps are believed to have all been born in Wayne Co., while the children of Nancy Hereford are believed to have all been born in Russell Co.

Two daughters of Nancy Phelps Coffey, Mary Ann, born Sep. 16, 1799 in Wayne Co., died Aug. 24, 1881 in Warren Co., IL; and Nancy Ellen, born c1813 in Wayne Co., married brothers, sons of James and Jane Heriford (Hereford) Meadows.  Their parents lend a bit of credence to the Nancy Hereford wife because of the close association of the Coffey/Meadows families.

Be that as it may, I will discuss the two daughters who married the Meadows brothers.

Mary Ann Coffey married Henry Meadows on Mar. 24, 1818 in Barren Co., KY.  Henry was born on Mr. 28, 1797 in Russell Co., and died in Berwick, Warren Co., IL on Jan. 13, 1851. 

The were parents of at least five children, probably more.  The ones that I know of are:

James V., born Nov. 11, 1825 in Barren Co., KY, died Jun, 15, 1911 in Woodward, Dallas Co., IA

Henry Winfrey, born Dec. 20, 1831 in Warren Co., IL,  and died there on Oct. 3, 1896

Althea, born Jan. 15, 1834 in Warren Co., died Aug. 17, 1924 in Indian Point, Knox Co., IL.  She married Joseph Henry Murphy, born c1829 in KY, prior to 1850.  In 1900 Althea reported in the census that she was the mother of nine and that eight were still living at that time.  They were:  Melangthon Calvin, born Jul. 23, 1853, died Apr. 15, 1920 in Abingdon, Knox Co., IL; Ada E., born c1855; Clorinda, born c1857; Meadie or Medeah, born Feb., 1859, died Oct. 9, 1944 in Abingdon; Ira E., born c1861; Joseph Warren, born Noc. 24, 1865, died Mar. 8, 1942 in Abingdon; Dr. Orley H., born Apr. 20, 1868, died May 19, 1933 in Nixon, Dewitt Co., IL; and Ava, born Sep., 1876.  All of the children were born in Warren Co.  Meadie and Joseph Warren are buried at the Abingdon cemetery.

Artemesia, born Sep. 20, 1836 in Knox Co., died Dec. 20, 1919 in Abingdon.  She too is tought to be at Abingdon cemetery.

Erastus, born Apr. 16, 1842, died Sep. 19, 1882.
Nancy Ellen Coffey married William Perry Meadows on Apr. 15, 1831 in Barren Co., KY.  William was born Jun. 26, 1811 in Wayne Co., and died Apr. 24, 1870 in Warren Co., IL.  I have not found death information of Nancy.

I only know of two children; there were probably others:

Elijah Jenkins, born Mar. 16, 1844, in Berwick, Warren Co., and died there Apr. 19, 1927

George Washington, born Aug. 14, 1852 in Warren Co., and died in Berwick on Apr. 24, 1934.
All of these folks are said to be descendants of Chesley and Jane Cleveland Coffey.  Martin is most often written about as "Mystery Martin."  In other words, he may or may not be a descendant of the even more mysterious Chesley.

Do you know more?

August 14, 2010

John Coffey 1699-1775

All Edward Coffey researchers know that John was Edward's eldest son and that he married Jane Graves.  But, was Jane his first and only wife or, was he married before Jane?

In studying his will, which reads in part:

Imprimis, I order that my just debts & funeral expenses be first paid out of the whole.

Item. I will & bequeath to my sons, James & William Coffey, to each of them five shillings sterling.

Item. I lend to my dearly beloved wife, Jean Coffey, during her widowhood the rest of my estate, real & personal, & at the end of her widowhood to be equally divided among the rest of my children, viz. Thomas Coffey, John Coffey, Edmond Coffey, Reuben Coffey, & Benjamin Coffey, Winifred Moran & Betty Field & the above estate to be sold at said time.
All of John's nine children were named in his will.

The question then is why John chose to leave 5 Shillings to each of his two eldest sons while deferring the legacy of the other seven until their mother died and the estate was sold?  That would probably be normal if the wife were young and children were young and dependent on the surviving spouse for support.  All of the remaining children, with the exception of Elizabeth (Betty) were over 30; all were married and presumably self-sufficient.

Were James and William sons from a first marriage and perhaps more endeared to him?

I don't think we'll ever know!

2011 Coffey/Coffee Cousins Reunion

Bonnie Culley, editor and publisher of the Coffey Cousins' newsletter, is also host of the 2011 Reunion to be held at Independence, MO April 28-30.

Attendees will have their choice of two side-by-side Inns.  I understand they are owned by the same company.  One is the Residence Inn by Marriott; the other is Fairfield Inn.

Anyone wishing to make reservations early should contact the Inn of choice, making sure the desk knows you will be attending the Coffey Cousins' reunion.  The Residence Inn is located at 3700 S. Arrowhead Ave., telephone 816-795-6466.  Price for a room with a king or two queen beds and breakfast is $74/night.  Suites are available if needed.  The Fairfield Inn is located at 18700 E. 37th Terrace, telephone 816-795-1616.  Price at that hotel, per night for king or two queen beds and continental breakfast, is $69.  Room rates quoted do not include tax.  That is separate and I do not know the tax rate.

Meeting and hospitality room will be at the Marriott.  The only organized outside activity will be a tour of the Truman Library, probably beginning at 9AM on Friday.  Bonnie is searching for a cafeteria in the downtown area that can accommodate the anticipated large group that will make the tour.  Travel to the Library will be by carpool.

Fred Coffey has agreed to present a program on DNA, either Friday evening or Saturday morning.

The traditional banquet will be held Saturday evening at the Marriott beginning at 6PM.  Cost per person is $15.00.  Bonnie has selected Herbed Roasted Pork Loin and Chicken Parmesan for entrees.

To get an overview or street level view of the area, use and enter either hotel address.

More later as plans coalesce.

August 7, 2010

Mary Annis Coffey

Mary Annis Coffey
KENWOOD - Mary Annis Coffey was a passionate flamenco dancer and a gifted pianist, who gave acclaimed piano concerts under the late Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conductor Erich Kunzel.

She was also a devoted mother of three and touched hundreds of other young lives over the years teaching piano lessons in her home and ballet for more than 20 years at Cincinnati Country Day School in Indian Hill.

"I saw her as a person who was very proud of her profession and carried herself that way," said Marcella Trice, a former colleague and principal at Country Day. "When you saw her you knew she was something special."

Mrs. Coffey died Aug. 4 at Hospice in Blue Ash. She was 76.

Mrs. Coffey was born in Dante, Va., where she started playing the piano at age 3 and gave her first radio concert at age 5, according to her family. She moved to Cincinnati in the 1940s after getting a scholarship to the Conservatory of Music (now the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music).

She graduated in 1956 with a piano major and a voice minor.

She met her soon-to-be husband, Warren Coffey, through her profession. He was a concert guitarist working in concert management and he needed a pianist. She fit the bill. Soon they discovered they had more in common than music.

"I had to propose inside my car," he recalled. "There wasn't much room. I said 'You're going to have to move over' and got on my knees inside the car."

They married in 1961. Although they divorced about four years ago, the Coffeys remained close until her death.

Click on the title link to read the remainder of her obituary.

  Who were parents of her husband?

August 4, 2010

Bennett Coffey and Sarah Ferguson

While plowing through my Edward Coffey files today I ran headlong into Enoch Jordan whose wife is either Alice "Allie" Mills or Alice "Allie" Coffey.

If Mills, then I have no idea who she belongs to.  I have touched base with a couple of Mills researchers who tell me she was Alice Coffey, a daughter of Bennett Coffey and his wife Sarah Ferguson.

Some researchers believe but cannot prove that Bennett was a son of Benjamin and Mary "Polly" Hayes Coffey.  He - Bennett - is said to have been born in 1779 in Wilkes Co., NC which fits with the speculative birth year of 1747 for Benjamin and 1760 for Polly.  They are thought to have married c1773 in North Carolina.  That year would have made Polly a brand new teenager while Benjamin would have been twice her age.

Tax lists, witness to deeds, etc., show that Bennett and Benjamin had more in common than a shared surname.  Is it coincidence that while in Wilkes Co., Benjamin and his family resided in Ferguson's District and that Bennett married a Ferguson girl?

Laurence H. Coffey, researcher of the book Thomas Coffey and His Descendants* wrote that Bennett married Sarah "Sally" Ferguson on Feb. 5, 1805 in Wilkes Co.  Marriages of Wilkes County, North Carolina, 1778-1868** by Brent Holcomb, reports that the groom was Bengiman [sic] Coffey and Benet [sic] Coffey was the bondsman.  I believe Holcomb's book inadvertently transposes the names.  In both compilations, Thomas Norman was a witness.

One would think that having married so early and fathering a number of children well before 1830 Bennett would have shown in early census records.  I made a search for him from 1787 (NC state census) through 1830 and he appears only once, and then in 1830 Hawkins Co., TN.  I did find a number of Benjamin Coffeys, and a few Bens but, only one Bennett.  It's impossible - for me anyway - to figure out if one of those might have instead been Bennett.

I know that his name appears on a document dated Feb. 9, 1812 in Hawkins Co. in which he was witness to an indenture*** involving John Claxton of Grainger Co., TN and Hezekiah Stratton of Hawkins Co.  The tract was 75 acres on War Creek.  In addition to Bennett, William Stuart and James Byrd were also witnesses.  Patrick Donihae [sic], Hezekiah Stratton and Joseph Claud [sic] [Cloud] were mentioned as owning adjacent property.

Bennie Coffey Loftin in her book Clinch Mountain, Tennessee and Beyond,**** wrote that Bennett and his sons Joel and Caswell lived near Benjamin on Big War Creek.  Bennett sold to his son Joel, 94 acres for $300 on Feb. 10, 1834.  That part of Hawkins Co. later became part of Hancock with was created in 1844.  Bennett was also involved in some sort of land dispute with Shadrach Epperson in May of 1835 ending with a judgment for Epperson in which Bennett had to pay him $121.44 for a tract of land that Bennett was then residing on.

The 1840 census for Hawkins county show only four Coffey families in the county:  Bennett, Caswell, Jesse and Jane.  I am not certain who Jane is.  She appeared there in 1830 as well, and with children.  Jesse was her neighbor in 1830 and 1840 but I have not identified him either.  He could be Bennett's son.  Caswell is believed by me to be Bennett's eldest child.  By the time of the 1850 census, Bennett was a widower and a Jesse, age 22, and Louisa Coffey, age 19, were living with him.  By 1850 Bennett was dead.****

The thought that Jane might be Jane Graves, wife of John Coffey and mother of Benjamin, briefly crossed my mind, but she died in Wilkes Co. in 1792.

In addition to Caswell, Joel and Jesse, it is speculated that William Carrol Coffey, born c1824 in Hawkins Co., and Louisa Coffey, born c1831 are his as well.  It would seem likely that we have not yet identified all of his children.  In 1830 there were seven people under the age of 20 in his household and two aged 20 to 49, which would account for him and Sally.

In all likelihood Benjamin is Bennett's father.  He may also have been named Benjamin and called Ben or Bennett to distinguish one from the other.  It would be a plus if it can be documented that Alice Coffey, wife of Enoch Jordan was also his daughter.

Tips and discussion are welcomed.

Aug 4 Update: One important thing I left out:  Marvel Jordan was enumerated in the 1880 Rockcastle Co., KY census with his "cousin," Thomas Jefferson Coffey, Jr.  This becomes more puzzling as Thomas Jefferson's father was not Thomas Jefferson, Sr.  His parents were Ausburn and Matilda Dalton Coffey.  I need to work a bit on T.J, Jr. to see if I can gain a bit of insight as to how he might have become a cousin to Marvel.

*Chattanooga, TN: N. Sanders, 1931, Page 85
**Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1983, Page 41
***Joyce Martin Murray, 2921 Daniel, Dallas, TX 75205, compiler, Hawkins Co. TN Deed Abstracts 1801-1819; Deed Book 3, Page 329
****Privately published by Loftin, 1984 [Hawkins Co. Deed book 14, pages 406-410]

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