December 30, 2010

Another Year Ends!

An awful lot of things have happened to me over the last year!  Some were happy and some were sad.

The happiest were when my wife and I completed our 51st year with each other and, when I survived another year to reach my 71st.  Another came when I was reunited with cousins from both of my mother's sisters.  We had not seen each other in close to 40 years!

One of the saddest came when I lost a younger - by 10 years - first cousin to the ravages of cancer.  He learned of the disease and was deceased within about six weeks.  This was the cousin who was responsible for the reunion.  I suspect he knew then something was not right with his health but did not reveal it until virtually the last few days of his life.  I think his wife and family were as surprised by his diagnosis as the rest of us were.

But, even in this sad time came some joy:  I was able to re-unite with all of his sisters who had not attended the reunion. We are now in almost daily contact and I can't help but wonder what the hell took so long for us to find one another again.

Another happy moment occurred with I was able to connect with a cousin who resides in Alaska.  She descends from the second marriage of our GGG-grandfather Coffee.  The sad part of that is contact came a few months too late to talk to her father.  He would likely have known much more about his own father, grandfather and perhaps GGG, than he had previously shared with his children!  I find it interesting that this cousin's family has always spelled their name Coffey instead of Coffee as mine did.

The 2010 blog year was somewhat productive.  I wrote 132 this year and readers increased from a tad over 30,000 at the end of 2009 to over 44,000 at the end of this year.  Admittedly, the counter includes "transients" who page through blogs without reading them and, that makes it nearly impossible for me to tell how many were dedicated readers.  But, as I look through counter stats, I find many readers who dwell on the site and read for some hours.  Google has introduced a way for us to more closely track what visitors are looking for and are actually reading.  I am hopeful this will make it a tad easier for me to understand what families I should concentrate on.

Many readers again contributed photos and research data, most of which found its way into the blog.  I invite more Coffey/Coffee researchers to participate. 

I hope also that many of you will be able to attend the Coffey Cousins' Reunion in April, 2011 at Independence, MO.  See the appropriate tab at the top of this blog for more info about that!

If you are not already a subscriber to the Coffey Cousins' newsletter edited by Bonnie Culley, you are missing out on a great resource.  For details, contact Bonnie via e-mail or, write to her at 4012 Cambridge Circle, Jefferson City, MO 65109.  She has been the editor of the quarterly since Jan., 1989.

Happy New Year.  I hope that it will be a blessed one for each of you!


Spottswood Dandridge & Martha Jane Whiteside Gilbert

I find Spottswood most often referred to by his initials S. D. or, as Dandridge.  He did appear in some census records as Spottswood.  He was born Apr. 15, 1841 in Amherst Co., VA and married Martha Jane Whiteside there on Nov. 5, 1863.  Martha was born Nov. 18, 1841, probably in Amherst Co., and died there on Dec. 10, 1891.  Both are buried at Oronoco, Amherst Co. in the Church of the Brethren Cemetery.

There were at least 11 children born to their union, three of which married into the Jordan Coffey* family.  All of their children were born in Amherst Co.

The first child I have for them is Pency, born Jan. 12, 1865, died Mar. 31, 1893 in Amherst Co.  She married Edward Jackson Henson on Jul. 11, 1886 and had at least five children in the seven years before she died.  She is also buried at Oronoco.

Nancy was next, born c1867.  No further information.

Ginetta, born c1868, married C. M. Bradley on Oct. 29, 1896 in Amherst Co.  No further information.

Charles Dandridge, the fourth child and first son, was born Oct. 10, 1869 and died Jan. 31, 1954 in Amherst Co.  He married Lutie Virginia Coffey on Oct. 16, 1895 in Amherst Co.  I know of one child; Gracie M., born Jul. 1898.  Lutie was the daughter of John Jack Coffey, Jr. and, his wife Patricia F. "Patra" Tyler.  John Jack, Sr. was a son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey of "Coffeytown" in Amherst Co.

Mary Jane was born Feb. 20, 1871 and died Nov. 18, 1914.  She married Edmund F. "Ned" Coffey on Jun. 16, 1894 in Amherst Co.  Ned was a son of James and Sophia Coffey Coffey.  James was a son of William "Billy" Coffey and his wife Sally Crawford.  Billy was also a son of Jordan and Elizabeth.  Sophia was a daughter of Schylar Coffey**, another son of Jordan and his wife Betsey Hamilton.

Lucy Catherine was born in Sep., 1872 and married Leslie Austin Robertson, a son of James A. and Mary D. Robertson on Jun. 1, 1898 in Amherst Co.  They had at least one child, a daughter Mary E., born May, 1899 in Nelson Co., VA.

Willis, the second son, was born May, 1874 and married Bessie M. Inge on May 25, 1903 in Buena Vista, VA.  No further information.

The next two children, also sons, were Henry, born Jul., 1876 and Eddie, born c1878.  No further information.

Ruth Davis was child number 10, born Sep., 1879.  "Ruthie" married William Luther Green on Jan. 13, 1904 in Rockbridge Co., VA.  No further information.

Bertha Lillian was the last child and was the third to marry a Coffey.  She was born c1886 and married Irvin C. Coffey, born Sep., 1878 in Amherst Co.  He was the son of William Henry "Cripple Henry" Coffey and his wife, Virginia F. "Jenny" Lawman.  William Henry was a son of John Jack, Sr. and his wife Betsey Duff.

I continue to work on this family as time allows.  Drop an e-mail or add a comment to amend any of this information.

Update:  Something didn't look right so I went back over census records for this family:

1870 children: Pensie, age 6; Nancy, age 4; and Harry, 8 mos.

1880 children: Pencie, age 14; Nancy, age 13; Genetta, age 12; Charles, age 11; Marie (Mary), age 10; Lucie, age 8; Willis, age 7; Henry, age 4; Eddie, age 2; and Ruth, 8 mos.

1900 children: Lucie, age 17; Willis, age 26 and Henry, age 24.

So, Lucy in 1880 married in 1898.  Who is the 17 yr-old Lucie in 1900?  Ruth married in 1904.  Why isn't she in the family home in 1900?

Harry, age 8 mos., in 1870 apparently did not survive to 1880 and, Eddie, age 2, apparently did not survive until 1900.

There was a child, Bertha, born in Oct., 1885.  That would have put six years between her birth and that of Ruth in 1879 and leaves room for the second Lucie who, according to 1900 census was born in Sep., 1882.

*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.
**Schylar, Nelson and Henry F. may not have been natural sons of Jordan.  Some believe they were more or less orphans taken in by Jordan and Betsey.  They are the only children of Jordan for which no specific listing of their parents has been found.

December 29, 2010

Agnes H. Hayes

Agnes was a daughter of John Reuben Hayes and Malinda Narcissa "Sis" Coffey.  She was born on Jan. 12, 1895 in Arkansas, probably Fulton Co., and died on Jul. 10, 1978 in Everett Snohomish Co., WA.  She married Andrew Jackson Franks, Jr. on Feb. 23, 1916 in Fulton Co.

Andrew Jackson & Agnes Hayes Franks with daughter Geraldine
Andrew was the son of Andrew, Sr. and his wife Serena V. Benbrook Franks.  They were the parents of 12 children of which 11 grew to adulthood.  Andrew, Jr. was the fifth child and was born in AR on Jan. 31, 1885 and died on Nov. 13, 1965 in Everett.

Andrew, Sr. was born in May, 1847 and died Jun. 11, 1915 in Viola, Fulton Co., AR.  Serena was born Nov. 26, 1854 in Tarrant Co., TX and died Oct. 19, 1946 in Viola.  Both are buried at the Viola cemetery.  Serena's parents were Henry and Elizabeth Trayler Benbrook.  Henry was born in KY on Dec. 17, 1812 and died in Izard Co., AR on Feb. 26, 1872.  Elizabeth was born in Indiana on Mar. 15, 1824 and died in Izard Co. on Jul. 18, 1868.  They are both buried at the Spring Creek cemetery in Calico Rock, Izard Co.

Agnes and Andrew had only one child, a daughter Geraldine R.  She was born Nov. 2, 1917 in Washington state and died in Everett Feb. 13, 2007.  She married a Mr. Tackitt who so far remains a mystery to me.

The photo of Andrew, Agnes and Geraldine is courtesy of Bob Hayes, a descendant of John and Malinda Coffey Hayes.

December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all 30 of my followers, faithful readers and, to the many who stop by just long enough to hit the forward button on their browser.

May the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ enfold you and keep you and your families safe, warm and happy wherever you may be.


December 18, 2010

Edward and Ann Powell Coffey

William Moseley [sic] was a resident of Essex, Colony of Virginia and gained many land grants by importing indentured servants. For each indenture signed, a quantity of land, typically 50 acres, was given and the servant bound to him for a specific number of years. 

Indentured servitude in the colonies generally meant that the servant coming from abroad signed a contract prior to leaving to work in colonial America.  These servants could be from anywhere (England, Ireland, The Netherlands, etc.) but typically left from English ports.  Their contract generally specified they work as a laborer for 4-7 years; the actual number of years depending on the laws of each colony.  In Virginia it could have been as few as 4 years or as many as 9 years.

At the end of his servitude, the servant would receive "freedom dues" in the form of land, money or other considerations. Some of the plantation owners were required to give their ex-servants a couple of hoes, a spade or two, an ax, a bushel of corn, a new suit of clothes and, other tools to help them get started as freedmen.  Along with any of this he might have received, William Mosely also willed his "servant Ed. Coffe one heifer of 2 years old."

The indenture of Edward Coffey to William Mosely apparently did not end amicable as I previously believed.  R. Stanley Harsh, through John Chenault and published in Issue 118 of the Coffey Cousins' newsletter dated Sept. 10, 2010, wrote that Edward achieved his "freedom, corn and clothes..." in a lawsuit in Essex Co., VA on Sept. 10, 1700.  Mosely was already deceased as his will was proved in Essex Co. on Apr. 10, 1699.  The lawsuit may have been a formality, but we may never know without discovery of further documentation.

Some sources used for this blog point out that indentured servants were neither allowed to marry nor, to participate in politics during their servitude. We know from this that Edward and Ann's marriage date of 1700, as given on page 58 of The Index to Marriages of Old Rappahannock and Essex Counties, Virginia, is accurate.  The source cites  record of marriage as contained in Essex Book D&W 10, page 75. 

There is a mention of Edward's wife Ann Powell Coffey in the March 10, 1700 will of Thomas Powell of Sittingbourne Parish, Essex Co. in which he willed one shilling to his daughter Ann Coffey.  A witness to the will was Edward Coffey.  From this we can deduce that Edward and Ann married between Jan. 1, and March 10, 1700.

Apparently little or nothing is known of their life together between marriage and Feb. 7, 1706 when "Edward Coffey of St. Ann's Parish, Essex Co., bought 118 acres on branches of Occupation Swamp from Mr. Augustine Smith and wife Susanna for 4720 lbs. of tobacco with apparently half down." Edward and Ann took possession on Mar. 6, 1706/7 as witnessed by Robert King and Thomas Warren.  Edward Coffey's name does not appear on the 1704 Quit Rent Roll of Essex Co. indicating that he owned no land on that date.

"This land was part of 2,359 acres granted Smith by patent on 2 May 1705."  The property "adjoined Thomas Warren on east side of Chickahominy Path, corner to Mr. Francis Gouldman hill near head of branch, corner to Beverly's great tract."

Edward and Ann apparently lived on that 118 acres until Nov., 1714 when they sold it to John Barbee for 5000 lbs. tobacco. On July 16, 1716 they purchased from John Mosely, the son and executor of Edward Mosely, "a plantation of 200 acres in St. Ann's Parish." Edward Mosely appears to be the brother of William.

The plantation purchase included "houses, buildings, barns, tobacco sheds, gardens, etc." It was described as being on the "east side of Occupation Creek, a small ranch [sic] [branch] of Gibsons Creek," and "part of a parcel commonly called Mosely's Quarter. They paid 8,000 lbs. of tobacco for the property.

This is the land that Edward left in his will to his sons John and Edward. He died sometime between making his will on Feb. 14, 1716 and July of that year because title to the land was finally recorded in the name Edward Coffey on July 16 of that year.

Edward likely made the deal with the Mosely family well prior to his death but the deed went unrecorded until his death.  I am uncertain what the age of majority was in the colony at the time, but it seems unusual that a pair of teenagers would be permitted by laws at the time to own property.  There may have been other considerations in the law which allowed it in the case of an inheritance.

This is also an indication - as some researchers have maintained - that John and Edward Coffey were twins.  In his work, Marvin Coffey wrote that the boys "were not 16 on February 14, 1716 but were on July 16."

It is also interesting to consider that William Mosely himself may have been an indentured servant at one time.  There is a record of one Major George Colclough receiving 1050 acres on Sep. 5, 1660 for "transportation of 21 persons into this Collony."  In addition to the other 20, the list includes a William Moseley.

Thoughts, additions or corrections welcomed!

December 16, 2010

Ambrose Rucker Coffey Family at Green Hill Cemetery, Buena Vista, VA

Ambrose Rucker Coffey, born Dec. 20, 1879 to John Jack, Jr. and Patricia F. "Patra" Tyler Coffey.  Married May 25, 1903 Mattie Miles Higginbothan, daughter of Kuihn and Ada Birch Higgingbotham, born May 3, 1886, died Nov. 3, 1954 in Amherst Co., VA

A son, Wendell Holmes Coffey, was born Mar. 6, 1904 and died Mar. 27, 1980.  His wife was Virginia E. Crawford, born Oct. 18, 1911, died Dec. 19, 2011.  They were married c1927.

Obituary, Roanoke Times, Dec. 20, 2011

Virginia Crawford Coffey, 100, of Lexington, died Monday, December 19, 2011, at Golden Living Center in Buena Vista. Born October 18, 1911, in Amherst, she was a daughter of the late Houston Crawford and Hallie Coffey Crawford. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Wendell H. Coffey; and a son, Lewis Dean Coffey. Mrs. Coffey was a member of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church. 
Surviving are one son, Edward C. Coffey and wife, Edith H. Coffey; one daughter, Betty Wilson Jablonka; one sister, Edna Berry; 13 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren. 
A funeral service will be conducted 2 p.m. Thursday, December 22, 2011, at Harrison Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Sarah Payne officiating. Burial to follow at Green Hill Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 21, 2011, at Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington.

Joyce Lee Lynch
Lewis Dean Coffey, son of Wendell and Virginia, born Dec. 3, 1929 at Alto (Coffeytown) in Amherst Co., died Oct. 25, 2004 in Roanoke, VA.  His wife was Joyce Lee Lynch, born Oct. 14, 1933 at Herd, VA, died at Glasgow, Rockbridge Co.

Obituary, The Rockbridge Weekly, Jun. 14, 2005

Joyce Lee Lynch Coffey
Glasgow Resident Was Known For Cooking, Love Of Family

Joyce Lee Lynch Coffey, 71, of Glasgow died Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at her home.  Born October 14, 1933 in Herd, VA, she was the daughter of the late Spurgeon and Elsie Toms Lynch.  She was a member of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. She was a homemaker who helped on the family farm.  She was a graduate of Fairfield High School.  Her husband, Lewis Dean Coffey, Sr.,  son, Michael Dean Coffey, grandson, Michael David Morgan and sister, Katherine Duffy, preceded her in death.

Left to cherish her memories are her eight children: Wanda Coffey of Rochester, NY; Virginia Morgan of Buena Vista; Deanie McDonald and husband Barry of Glasgow; Mary Ann Burgdorf and husband Steve of Lexington; Lewis Dean Coffey, Jr. and wife Pat of Lexington; John Lynn Coffey and wife Sonya of Buena Vista; Barbara Ramsey and husband Mack of Natural Bridge Station; and Ronald Coffey of Lexington; grandchildren: Alethia Bailey, Autumn Bailey Visgar and husband Danny, Heidi Burgdorf, Heather Burgdorf, Harley Burgdorf, Travis Coffey, Skyler Coffey, Johnny Coffey, Colton Coffey, Masie Coffey, Zachary Ramsey and Jacob Dawson.

Joyce loved her family, friends, and church and was well known for her cooking.  She enjoyed her flowers, her visits with friends and her church.  It is with great love and pride we return her to God’s care.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 16, 2005 at the Lomax Funeral Chapel with Rev. Bill Thomas officiating.  Burial will follow in Green Hill Cemetery where she will be laid to rest next to her husband and son. The family will receive friends Wednesday, June 15, 2005 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lomax  Funeral Home.  The Lomax Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Obituary, The Rockbridge Weekly, Oct. 26, 2004

Lewis Dean Coffey, Sr.

Local Farmer Was Mt. Zion Methodist Church Member

Lewis Dean Coffey, Sr., of Glasgow, died Monday, October 25, 2004 in the Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  Born December 3, 1929 in the Coffeytown section in Amherst County, he was the son of Virginia Crawford Coffey and the late Wendell Holmes Coffey.  He was a member of Mt. Zion Methodist Church.  He previously worked at Bernson Silk Mill and was a farmer.  He was preceded in death by a son, Michael Dean Coffey and grandson, Michael David Morgan.
John Robey Coffey, another son of Ambrose, was born Nov. 26, 1908 and died Mar 8, 1966.  His wife was Mamie Womack, born Jan. 20, 1910, died Jun. 20, 1983.

Their son, William Lewis "Willie" Coffey was born May 1, 1932 and died Oct. 14, 1999.  His wife was Martha Cropp, born Aug. 19, 1936, died Sep. 25, 1991.

Obituary, The News-Gazette, Lexington, VA, Oct. 20, 1999

William Lewis Coffey, 67, of Buena Vista died Thursday, Oct. 14, at his home.

He was born May 1, 1932, in Amherst County, and was married to the late Martha Cropp Coffey.  He attended St. John's United Methodist Church and was a lifetime member of the Buena Vista Rescue Squad.  He was on the board of directors for the Macedonia Community Association and retired from Georgia Bonded Fibers.

He is survived by two daughters, Gayle Sellars of Roanoke and Joan Dalton of Mooresville, N.C.; a son, Pike Coffey of Coffeytown; a brother, David M. Coffey of Coffeytown; three sisters, Jeanie Thomas of Anniston, Ala., Shirley Humphries of Vesuvius and Patsy Wingfield of Charlottesville; and four grandchildren.

The funeral was held Saturday at Bolling, Grose & Lotts Funeral Chapel by the Rev. Rebekah Johns Glass and David Coffey.  Burial followed at Green Hill Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Macedonia Community Association, 1408 Coffeytown Road, Vesuvius.
Ambrose's son Kyle Brown Coffey and his wife, Marcella Leila Wright are also buried here.  Kyle was born Apr. 20, 1920 and died Dec. 13, 1999.  Marcella was born Feb. 15, 1922 in Richmond, Wayne Co., IN and died in Amherst Co., on Apr. 30, 2007.

Obituary, Lynchburg The News & Advance , Wednesday, December 15, 1999.
Kyle Brown Coffey

Kyle Brown Coffey, 79, of Madison Heights, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999 at Lynchburg General Hospital.

He was born April 20, 1920 in the Coffey Town Section of Amherst County, son of the late Ambrose R. Coffey and Mattie Higginbotham Coffey. He was retired from Reeves Brothers in Buena Vista. He was a member of Midway Baptist Church at the Forks of Buffalo. Mr. Coffey served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

He is survived by his wife, Marcella Wright Coffey; three sons, Roger D. Coffey of Southern Pines, N.C., Jerry B. Coffey of Monroe and Morris R. Coffey of Lexington; three daughters, Judy R. Wimmer of Charlottesville, Linda C. May of Madison Heights and Karen C. Trent of Roanoke; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at Bolling, Grose & Lotts Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Hugh Bumgarner officiating. Burial will follow in Green Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 7-8 p.m. today at Bolling, Grose & Lotts Funeral Service, Buena Vista.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Monelison Rescue Squad.
Obituary, The News Advance, May 1, 2007, Lynchburg, VA

Marcella Leila Wright Coffey

Marcella Leila Wright Coffey, 85, of Madison Heights, died Monday, April 30, 2007. She was the wife of the late Kyle Brown Coffey.

Mrs. Coffey was born Feb. 15, 1922, in Richmond, Ind., a daughter of the late Morris Conway and Bessie Starkey Wright. She was a faithful member of Sandy Bottom Christian Church.

She is survived by her children, Roger Coffey and wife, Pat, of Southern Pines, N.C., Judy Wimmer of Monroe, Linda May and husband, Joey, of Madison Heights, Jerry Coffey of Monroe, Morris Coffey and wife, Brenda, of Lexington, and Karen Dooley and husband, Al, of Buchanan; her grandchildren, Randy May and wife, Lori, Paul May and wife, Mara, Scott Coffey and wife, Tracey, Drew Coffey and wife, Stacey, and Amy Trent; one step-grandchild, Brian Claytor, and wife, Katie, four great-grandchildren, Kayla May, Kyle May, Mackenzie Coffey and Avery Coffey; and two step-great-grandchildren. The oldest of eleven children, Marcella is survived by six siblings, Rena Tolley, Norma Friend, Ester Martin, Chester Wright, Willie Wright, and Hamid Wright.

The family will receive friends at from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, 2007, at Sandy Bottom Christian Church.

A funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday, May 4, 2007, at Sandy Bottom Christian Church, with the Rev. Jim Freeman officiating. Interment will follow at 3:30 p.m. In Green Hill Cemetery, Buena Vista.

Memorials may be sent to Sandy Bottom Christian Church, P.O. Box 159, Madison Heights, VA 24572.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, 434-237-9424.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

And last, Ambrose's daughter Nellie Rucker Coffey. She was born Feb. 10, 1912 and died Nov. 19, 1988 in Lynchburg, VA.  No headstone photo available to me.

Obituary, Lynchburg The News & Advance, Friday, November 20, 1998

Nellie Rucker Coffey

AMHERST — Nellie Rucker Coffey, 86, died Thursday, Nov. 19, 1998 at Lynchburg General Hospital. She was the wife of the late Harvey Pryor Coffey.

Born Feb. 10, 1912 in Amherst County, she was a daughter of the late Ambrose and Mattie Higginbotham Coffey. She was a member of the Emmanuel United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Cain of Charlottesville; one brother, Kyle Coffey and wife, Marcella of Madison Heights; two sisters-in-law, Virginia Coffey of Lexington and Bessie Fennell of Richmond; and several nieces, nephews and many dear friends.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at Driskill Funeral Chapel in Amherst with the Rev. James Drapper officiating. Burial will follow in Greenhill Cemetery in Buena Vista.

Friends may call at Driskill Funeral Chapel from 2-8:30 p.m. today.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Amherst Rescue Squad.

There are many more Coffey families buried here and, I will attempt to present as many as possible. These families had been on Find-A-Grave but, someone with more ignorance than a Jackass at pasture [FAG is a wonderful resource but, I have no love for the heavily commercial aspect of FAG nor for the self-appointed grave robbers who patrol and administer the site], deleted not only the headstone photos but all of the information presented above. Readers who need specific information on any of the families can write to me or, leave a comment outlining needs and I will attempt to find the information.

December 15, 2010

Dr. William Bower & Mrs. Alice M. Bostwick Councill

Dr. Councill was a son of Jordon and Sarah "Sallie" Bower Councill, Jr.  He was born on Feb. 22, 1829 in Boone, Watauga Co., NC and died there on Nov. 3, 1899.  He married Alice Margaret Bostwick, a daughter of Jefferson and Marguerite Ballard Bostwick on Jul. 7, 1854 in Sumter Co., SC. Alice Margaret was born on Dec. 1, 1832 in Sumter Co., and died on Jan. 10, 1935 in Hickory, Catawba Co., NC.

They were parents of at least six children:

Jefferson Bostwick Councill, born Oct. 3, 1855
Judge William Ballard Councill, born Aug. 11, 1858 in Sumter Co., died Apr. 1, 1940 in Hickory, NC
Margaret Francisco Councill, born Feb. 10, 1861
Mary Virginia, born Jan. 12, 1862, died Oc. 1, 1897 in Boone, Watauga Co.  This daughter married Thomas Finley Coffey.  I wrote about his family and children in 2006.
Isaac Lenoir Councill, born Mar. 25, 1864
Emma Augusta Councill, born Jun. 19, 1866

In addition to Mary Virginia Councill's marriage into the Coffey family, Her brother, Judge William Ballard Councill also married a Coffey.  His wife was Mary Elizabeth Coffey, a daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Greer Coffey*.

They were married on Jun. 27, 1894 in Boone, Watauga Co.  She was born Aug. 14, 1871 in Boone and died Aug. 28, 1965 in Hickory, NC. Judge was an attorney in Boone, and later served in the North Carolina State Legislature.  He was elected Judge of the District Superior Court in 1900 and served until 1910.  He was elected to the North Carolina Senate in 1912.  Both are buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Hickory.

Their children were:

Howard Folk, born May, 1895; Gordon Stuart, born Oct., 1896; William Thomas, born Sep. 14, 1898, died Apr. 15, 1947 in Catawba Co.; Stedman C., born c1903, died Mar. 11, 1957 in Catawba Co.  His wife was Marion Elizabeth Epps  who likely descended from the colonial-era Epps of Virginia.  Following Stedman was Alan Ballard, born c1905, died Sep. 12, 1923 in Catawba Co.; and Elisabeth Agnes, born c1907.

*More is now known about Thomas Jefferson Coffey and I will present that in a future blog.

December 10, 2010

William Perry Coffey (1857-1926)

Update, May 1, 2012

Victor Lee Coffey and his wife Margaret were in the restaurant business for a number of years in Denver, CO.  In 1947 they sold the restaurant and retired.  They continued to dabble in buying and selling property and water stock through the early to mid-1950's.

On their income tax returns for those years, Victor and Margaret claimed the profits from those sales as Capital Gain income.  The IRS ruled that the property had been held for sale as a matter of "ordinary course of trade" and required the couple to pay taxes on the profit at Ordinary Income rates.

The couple filed a refund claim, which was refused and they followed up with a suit against the U.S. Government, which they also lost.*

In paragraph 9 of the document found at Justia we find the maiden name of Victor's wife when we learn that her brother, Thomas Nevin, a Denver attorney, had originated the suit as party to sale of the property in question.

*333 F.2d 945: Victor Lee Coffey, Sr., and Margaret H. Coffey, Appellants, v. United States of America, Appellee United States Court of Appears Tenth Circuit.

I have previously written about William Perry here, and later, his daughter, Rose Etta.

He continues to puzzle me however.  There is a headstone for him and his wife, Mary Ellen Wemple Coffey at Ocean View Cemetery, Eureka, Humboldt Co., CA.  On it, William's birth year is 1857 and his death year is 1926.

William has not been found in any census after 1900 when he and Mary Ellen were found in Coffeyville, Montgomery Co., KS.  In 1910, while still in Montgomery Co., Mary Ellen reported that she was a widow and the head of the household.  By the 1920 census she was in Eureka and again reported on the record that she was a widow and the head of household.

So, what happened to William?  Did he die in Kansas or Missouri and later reburied in CA?  Perhaps the stone is a memorial!?  It does appear to be a relatively new stone with only very slight weathering appearing in the photo.

Somewhat of another mystery in this family - at least to me - is the son Victor Lee "Dick" Coffey.  He was born in Indian Territory, Rogers Co., OK in 1893 and, is said to have married a lady by the name of Jessie Mable Roberts sometime before 1917.  On June 5 of that year he registered for the draft in Humboldt Co. and reported that he was married with two children.

In Jan., 1920 he was still in Eureka but living with his mother.  His son, Gail*, born Aug. 3, 1915 in Humboldt Co., was living with his grandmother Martha Robertson in Humboldt Co.  The child's father was born in KS and the mother in CA.

In 1930, Victor was in Denver, CO with his wife Margaret.  The couple had been married for nine years.  This wife was born in CO and her parents in "Free Ireland."  In fact, Victor's father was reported as having been born in "Free Ireland."  Correct Victor Coffey or, census error?  There was a child in the family, Victor Lee, Jr., born in 1922, Saline Co., KS.

*Others have reported this child as female, but it was enumerated as "male" and "grandson" in the census.  He is also thought to have died in Humboldt Co. in 1927.

December 8, 2010

William Larkin Coffey & Nancy A. Dryman

William Larkin Coffey was a son of Lewis Elbert & Jester "Hettie" Gravitt Coffey. He was born in Gilmer Co., GA on Mar. 23, 1853 and died in Morgan Co., TN on Nov. 18, 1905. He married Nancy A. Dryman, a daughter of Leonard and Nancy Alexander Dryman on Aug. 6, 1875 in Pickens Co., GA. Nancy was born there on Feb. 23, 1854 and died in Oakdale, Morgan Co., TN on Apr. 3, 1945.

Nancy and William were the parents of nine children:

Leonard Edward, born Apr., 1876 in Georgia, died Nov. 7, 1964 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH. He married Eva Jane Gamble on Spe. 15, 1899 in Roane Co., TN. She was born on Feb. 14, 1882 in Arkansas and died Dec. 28, 1956 in Hamilton Co., OH. They are buried at Crab Orchard Cemetery in Oakdale.

James Harrison, born Jul. 29, 1878 in Pickens Co., died Jul. 15, 1966 in Harriman, Roane Co. TN. His wife was Annie Laymance, born Feb. 21, 1880 in TN, died Aug. 16, 1962 in Roane Co. They were married on Feb. 28, 1897 in Roane Co. They are buried at Riggs Chapel Cemetery in Harriman.

Josie, born Jun. 28, 1880 in GA, died in Murray Co., GA on Nov. 6, 1881. Josie's burial site is unknown to me at the moment.

Rosa Lee, born Nov. 16, 1882 in Murray Co., GA, died Oct. 8, 1960 in Morgan Co., TN. Rosa married Arthur Samuel Shepherd, born Dec. 20, 1882 in VA, died Sep. 17, 1959 in Morgan Co. They are buried at Rankin Chapel Cemetery in Oakdale, Morgan Co.

William M. "Bill,", born Sep. 5, 1855 in Monroe Co., GA, died Jan. 3, 1944 in Morgan Co. His first wife was Lucy Robbins, a daughter of Zachariah & Mary Hurst Robbins. They were married on Dec. 17, 1910 in Roane Co. Lucy was born Nov., 1890 in Bell Co., KY and died in Morgan Co., TN on Mar. 25, 1917. Sometime after her death Bill married her sister, Donnie. William and Lucy are buried at Crab Orchard. I have not located Donnie's burial site.

Walter F., born Mar. 3, 1889 in TN, died My 31, 1970 in Roane Co. He married Nora E. Adkisson, born Jul. 27, 1897 in TN, died Oct. 12, 1982 in Roane Co. Both are buried at Crab Orchard along with three of their children: Jesse Alden, born Jul. 9, 1920, died Apr. 18, 2008; Clara Leon, born Mar. 22, 1922, died Dec. 19, 1944; Clarence William, born Mar. 22, 1922, died May 19, 1998 [twin to Clara]. A fourth child, Laura Mae, was born Oct. 5, 1926 and died Mar. 6, 2000. She is buried at Piney Grove Cemetery near Midtown, Roane Co.

Lawrence W., born Dec. 5, 1891 in McMinn Co., TN, died Jan. 9, 1971 in Morgan Co. He married Essie Edwards on Jun. 5, 1919 in Roane Co. Essie was born Jun. 15, 1905 in Roane Co., and died Jun. 17, 1997 in Morgan Co. They are also buried at Crab Orchard with five of their six children: Vance W., born Nov. 26, 1920, died Oct. 8, 1988; Helen Annalene, born Dec. 16, 1923, died July 20, 1993; Franklin Delano, born Noc. 23, 1932, died Dec. 2, 1998. He is buried at Roane Memorial Gardens in Rockwood, Roane Co. Leonard, born May 10, 1935, died May 2, 2008 and Larry James, born May 6, 1944, died Jul 11, 1972 are at Crab Orchard.

Coral Vernie Mae, born Jun. 22, 1894 in Rhea Co., TN, died Mar. 3, 1975 in Roane Co.  She married Charles Robert Clark on Mar. 11, 1912 in Roane Co.  Charles was born in Morgan Co. on Mar. 30, 1884 and died there on Mar. 23, 1958.  Together, Charles and Coral had eight children:

1) Rev. Arnold Robert, born Apr. 22, 1914, died Sep. 28, 1994.  He married Aline Brooks on Jun. 23, 1940 in TN.  Aline was born Sep. 10, 1916 in Roane Co., and died there on Dec. 20, 1988.  Both are buried at Rankin Chapel Cemetery in Oakdale, Morgan Co.

2) Mable, born Apr. 16, 1916 in Morgan Co. and there died Aug. 24, 1999.  Her husband was David Morgan Blake to whom she was married on Apr. 4, 1951.  He died Dec. 9, 1963, she Aug. 24, 1999, both in Oakdale and are buried at Rankin Chapel.

3) Myrtle, twin to Mabel, died Apr. 15, 2007 in Oakdale.  She married the REv. Fred Ewing Copeland, born Mar. 28, 1918 in Fulton Co., AR, died Feb. 24, 2009 in TN.  They too are buried at Rankin Chapel.

4) Walter Larkin, born May 9, 1918, died Nov. 9, 2006, and buried at Mount Teman Baptist Church cemetery at Rockwood in Roane Co.

5) Albert Lewis, born Nov. 8, 1920 in Oakdale, died Jan. 7, 2009 at Harriman and is buried at Rankin Chapel.

6) Lela Lodena, born Nov. 13, 1922 in Morgan Co. and, died there on Dec. 17, 1999.  Her spouse was Billie Watson, born Jan. 6, 1925, died Oct. 20, 2006.  They are also buried at Rankin Chapel.

7) Carl Boone, born Jun. 2, 1925, died Mar 9, 1995 at Oak Ridge in Anderson Co., TN.  He was also buried at Rankin Chapel.

8) Twin sister to Carl, Carlene, died shortly after birth and also buried at Rankin Chapel.
A descendant who uses the name "Benna J." has established several very nice memorial pages for this family on Find-A-Grave and, has included photographs and obituaries.   Start with this page and following the links she has established.

December 5, 2010

Caveat Emptor

I have been forwarded a few extracts from a book by Jim White who I believe lives in Missouri.  The book is ostensibly about the Boone family but contains some undocumented Coffey family lineage.

The author writes that Edward Coffey Sr. was the son of John Coffey, born in 1611, in Dublin, Leinster, Ireland, and died in 1674 in Essex Co., VA at age 63.  Instead of the usual Mary Joliffee or Rebecca Ireland spouse, author White names a new spouse for John:  Mary Julian, a daughter of William.

In another place, the author reports that descendants of Edward have ignored his eldest son and heir apparent, Edward Coffey, Jr. who White states was one full year older than his brother John who married Jane Graves.

Mr. White also seems to have ignored them.

The author also seems to have mixed descendants of Peter Coffee and Edward Coffey when he writes - without evidence except for the "sheer number of [Coffey] records in South Carolina" - that Edward Jr.'s wife, Grace Cleveland, moved from Caroline Co., VA to Charleston, SC.  He further states that other Coffey/Coffee families, all descendants of the North Carolina branch, moved to SC some 15 years after Grace and began using Coffee as their surname. 

One reason that Edward, Jr.'s children have been somewhat ignored is that no proof of who they were has ever been found.  Marvin Coffey speculated that Cleveland, husband of Elizabeth Coffey, residing in Orange and Albemarle counties from 1762 to 1774 is one of his sons.

Benjamin, born in VA in 1763, in the Burke Co., NC census from 1790 to 1850 (Caldwell Co. in 1850) was possibly a son.  Marvin pointed out that Grace would be been closing in on age 50 when Benjamin was born and that was somewhat late for a woman of that era to have been giving birth.

The possibility exists that other thus far unconnected Coffeys of the period could be Edward, Jr.'s children; e.g., James in the 1785 Botetourt Co. census; William in 1781-1785 Montgomery Co., VA and William of 1783 to 1797 Buckingham Co., VA.  The possibility is equally likely that they were sons of Peter.

Another possible son of Edward, Jr. was Jesse, found in Wilkes Co. from 1779-1786.  There was also an Isaac in Wilkes Co. from 1782-1796.  Jesse could be the one found in South Carolina in the 1790 and 1800 census.  He named his sons Cleveland, Edward, Joel, Elijah, Elisha and John.  All of these are common names among the descendants of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey so Jesse could be an Edward, Jr. son.

Mr. White offers no bibliography for his book.  He does post a warning on his website however, that readers should first consider his reasons for omitting it:

I'll try to summarize his "top three" reasons:
 - It is his opinion "that family historians need to provoke their own research."  By not providing sources, the author hopes to promote his book as a guide and, "not become the source of data, in and of itself."

 - When he states that an event is "documented" in his book, such as a marriage for some couple and a place is given, the reader should go to the place given to locate the record.

 - His "final point" states that owners of personal documents, with whom he consulted, did not want their names and personal contact information shared with others.  Makes one wonder how Mr. White came to meet them!?
To be fair, I have not read more of this book that the extracts sent to me for review.  I have looked at his website, and that of his publisher and Mr. White appears to be a prolific "author" with probably a dozen or more books, none of which will likely be on my list of books buys this Christmas season.

Whether Mr. White desires it or not, his book may become a "source of data...," and one more publication with probably well meaning but unsourced and often incorrect data.

December 4, 2010

James E. Coffey (1897-1918) of Nashua, NH

James was the son of Daniel J. and Catherine Dillon Coffey.  He was one of the first men from Nashua, NH to enlist in the US Army at the beginning of WW1.
James E. Coffey

He was a member of the 26th Yankee Division under the command of Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards, having enlisted in June, 1917.  His unit was deployed overseas in Sept., 1917.  James was wounded in battle on May 10, 1918 and died later that day.

James' story appears in the Dec. 4, 2010 on-line edition of the Nashua Telegraph. under the by-line of Dean Shalhoup.  Click here to read the rest of the story. 

I do not know how long the article will remain on-line.

December 2, 2010

Rev. Patrick Henry & Cora Lee Coffey Clements

Patrick's father was James P. Clements.  His mother was Eliza Jane Allen.

"Mr. Clements has for ancestors Methodist people for a hundred years; so he has a right to shout, on proper occasions.  His birthplace was on the rich level of blue grass found all along the platform of the Blue Ridge.  He dates from October 9, 1861.  He was blessed with the favor of working on a farm in early life.  It beats a gymnasium to strengthen the thews and tendons of a young fellow.  And he learns much of the things needful in the country pulpit, as illustrations and the drift of thought.  He also was clerk in a store, another valuable aid in knowing the people.  Our Academy at Bedford and our College at Ashland educated Mr. Clements, 'in book-learning.'

He is stout for his inches, five feet nine; 165 pounds, hair, auburn; voice clear, sonorous reaching.  He speaks with moderate speed, perhaps faster that the average.

He came into the Conference in the usual way in 1895.  He and Miss Coffey were married April 19, 1899.  They have a clever boy to gladden their hearts.

Mr. Clements served two years at South View and Providence, near Lynchburg, and then was assigned to Lunenburg, where he now expounds.  He has made marked improvements in the material and spiritual condition of his present charge.  There is much subterranean, wholesome humon in 'Pat' Clements, which bubbles up at times.  And, withal, the grave questions he is charged to expound, fill his soul with profound seriousness."*
The following is amended from what you may have read here previously:

 His wife was Cora Lee Coffey, born Dec. 16, 1875 in Amherst Co., VA to Daniel Rufus and Mildred J. Lawman Coffey. 

Patrick Henry Coffey died on Sep. 29, 1950 in Wakefield, Sussex Co., VA and was buried at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, VA. Cora died on Feb. 8, 1964 in Hampton, VA and was also buried at Blandford.

Their children were Bascom L., born c1901; Louise T., born c1904; and Mildred L., born c1915.

James P. Clements was born in Amherst Co., VA on Aug. 4, 1823 and died there on Mar. 13, 1924.  Eliza was also born in Amherst Co. on May 28, 1827 and died there on Nov. 26, 1899.  Both she and James are buried at Mount Horab United Methodist Church Cemetery at Amherst, Amherst Co.

A daughter of James and Eliza was Mary Jane Clements, born 1858, died 1937 in Amherst Co., married Augustus Decereaux Whitten.  Their son, Marvin Harrison Whitte, born 1882, died 1975, married  Hattie Stinnett in 1902, Caswell Co., NC.  Their daughter, Lottie Pearl Whitten, (1913-1997) married Reuben Loyal Coffey (1909-1988), a son of Reuben Wood and Nettie Belle Nicely Coffey.

James Thomas Clements, another son of James and Eliza, married Lucy Johnson and their daughter Nevie, married John Woodson Coffey, a son of Henry Landon and Lillie Belle Burch Coffey.  Another daughter, Ella Lazenby married Harry B. Coffey, a son of Henley and Avarilla Ogden Coffey.  Still another daughter, Sadie Lillian married Edgar Littleton Coffey, brother to Harry B.

*John James Lafferty D. Litt., Author, Sketches and Portraits of the Virginia Conference: Twentieth Century Edition (Richmond, VA: n.p., 1901), Page 463.

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