January 6, 2011

Allen F. Sherman & Susan Virginia Hamilton Coffey

Allen was born on May 27, 1866 in Rockbridge Co., VA to Jesse C. and Nancy F. Allen Coffey. Jesse was a son of double first cousins, Garland and Nancy Coffey Coffey,  Garland was a son of William and Betsy Giles Coffey; Nancy a daughter of William's brother Rueben and his wife Nancy Giles, a sister to Betsy.

There were at least 12 children born to Jesse and Nancy and Allen was the sixth.  He married Susan, a daughter of Jacob and Susan Virginia Ramsey Hamilton on June 24, 1891 in Rockbridge Co.  Allen died on Apr. 13, 1913 in Lima, Allen Co., OH and was buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen Co.  Susan died in Cairo, Allen Co., OH on Sep. 23, 1912 and was buried at Cairo East Cemetery at Cairo.

She and Allen were parents of at least eight children:  John Henen, Jacob "Jake" William; Susan Emily; Minnie Bell; Anna May, Forest Allen, Naomi Pearl; and George Robert.  All of the children were left orphans at the death of Allen and some spent their early days in an orphanage in Ohio.  Information by other researchers that I have found on Ancestry.com shows that Anna and George were left to orphanages upon their father's death, but it is likely that at least Susan through George spent some time in one.

John Henen was born Aug. 29, 1892 in Augusta Co., VA and died in July, 1962 in Michigan, probably in Adrian, Lenawee Co. where he last appeared in the 1930 census.  His wife was Minnie A. Lowery, born in Ohio, 1894, to whom he was married on Jun. 20, 1914 in Sand Creek, Lenawee Co.  Their children were:  Wesley Allen, born Dec. 27, 1915 in MI, died Apr. 8, 1996 in Toledo, Lucas Co., OH; Coleman, born Feb. 11, 1918 in MI, died there on Jul. 22, 1995; Gatha, born c1920 in Allen Co., OH and John, Jr., born c1924 in MI.  John registered for the WW1 draft on Jun. 5, 1917 in Adrian and was then described as being of medium height and build with dark brown eyes and hair.  At the time he resided with his wife and one child at 627 S. Center in Adrian and was employed by the Adrian Steel Casting Co. as an iron worker.

Jacob "Jake" William was born May 9, 1894 at Union Twp., Scioto Co., OH and died unmarried on Feb. 20, 1971 in Lucas Co., OH.  In 1920 he was found residing with his sister, Minnie B. Hilyard in Lima.

Susan Emily was born in Jan., 1896 in Virginia and died July 20, 1964 in Allen Co.  She married Francis L. Merricle on May 27, 1916 in Allen Co.  Francis was born Sep. 4, 1896 in Allen Co., and died in Lima on Jan. 8, 1953.  He was buried at Memorial Park in Lima.  I suspect that Susan is also there but cannot confirm that.  I know of only one child, Aline Virginia, born Jun. 22, 1919 in Lima and tragically died there on Aug. 11, 1919.  Her death certificate gives the cause of death as strangulation while nursing.  She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima.

Minnie Bill Coffey
Photo Courtesy of Shirley Houk
Minnie Bell was born in June, 1898 in Virginia and married Milton A. Hilyard, born c1897 in OH.  They were found in the 1920 census for Lima, Allen Co.  At the time, Milton was a machinist in a locomotive factory.  Her brother Jake, age 25, was living with them at the time.

Anna May was born Nov. 24, 1903 in Alleghany Co., VA and died on Dec. 16, 1993 at Gig Harbor in Pierce Co., WA.  She married Leo Albert Lind on May 20, 1939 in Pacific Co., WA.  Leo died on Jan. 24, 1991 in Tillamook Co., OR and is found at the Willamette Crematory in Tigard, Washington Co., OR.  Anna May was also cremated and her ashes can be found at the Tacoma Mausoleum in Tacoma, Pierce Co.  WW2 enlistment records show that Anna May entered the US Women's Army Corps on Dec. 2, 1942 at Portland, OR.

Forest Allen was born Sep. 15, 1906, probably in VA, died on May 17, 1959 in Allen Co.  He married Rosalie E. Hoffman, born in 1918, died 1993.  They are buried together at Gethsemani Cemetery in Lima.

According to information found on Ancestry.com, George Robert was born Feb. 23, 1911 in Virginia and died May 10, 1967 in Lima.  After his father died he was placed in the Allen County Children's Home in 1913 from which he was taken in 1915 by the John W. Miller family and eventually adopted by them in 1927, at which time he became George Robert Miller.  An obituary found on Ancestry reports that he was survived by his wife Lucille as well as sisters, Mrs. Naomi Helm, Mrs. Minnie Hilyard and Mrs. Raul [Almeda] Duff.  Almeda was a natural child of the Miller's and married Raul Duff in Mercer Co., OH on Nov. 27, 1902.


"Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/). Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Ohio.

"Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/). Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Ohio.

"Washington State County Marriages, 1858-1950," database, FamilySearch, (http://familysearch.org), from the Washington State Archives. Digital copies of originals housed in County Auditor Offices in various counties throughout Washington.


Fridley, Beth. "Augusta County, Virginia, Birth Records, 1862-1875".

Gethsemani Cemetery (Lima, Allen Co., OH). Grave marker data.

Lynn Coffey, editor, "Backroads," privately published newspaper, published at Love, Nelson Co., VA, 1981-2006.

Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996.

Michigan Marriages 1868-1926.

OH. Franklin Co.. Columbus. Vital Statistics. Ohio Department of Health. Death certificate.

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953, 1938-1944, and 1958-2002.

Oregon Death Index, 1903-98.

Rockbridge County Marriages 1853-1896, VA State Archives, Reel 43; Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.  Obituary Index.  Online [http://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/].  Accessed various.

Social Security Death Index, Master File.

State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.

United States Federal Census.

US World War II Army Enlistment Records.

World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

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