February 17, 2011

Benjamin S. Coffey - Adair Co., KY

Benjamin S. Coffey was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives for the period 1865-1867 but, resigned in 1866.
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There was a Benjamin S., age 19, along with a Joseph Coffey, age 17, in the 1850 Adair Co. census.  He and Joseph were clerks working for the merchant Willis Wheat and were enumerated with Wheat and his family.

At the same time in Adair Co. was the family of Martial (Marshall) L. Coffey, age 31; Jane, age 69 and Eliza, 33; E. J. (Emily Jane), age 26; and L. C. (Louisa Caroline), age 23.  Marshall and the younger girls were children of Ananias and Jane Hindman Coffey.  Ananias died in Adair Co. before 1850.  In addition to Marshall and his sisters in this census, He and Jane had at least six additional children:  Nancy, 1809; Zidner, 1810; Cabaius, 1811; Harriett, 1813; Mary, 1814; and Eliza, 1815.

Benjamin S. appears next in the 1860 Adair Co. census with Jane, age 69 [sic] as head of household, another female, whose name is not recognizable by me and, Benjamin, age 29 with Elizabeth R., age 22, George A., age 3, and Carrie J., age 1.  Elizabeth and the children are probably Benjamin's wife and children*.

Jane Hindman is said to have been born in Rockbridge Co., VA in 1781 and, I have little doubt that she is the Jane with Marshall in 1850.  The Jane in 1860, same age as 1850 Jane, was born in KY c1791.  One plausible explanation could be a matter of simply forgetting her age and place of birth by one of the other family members (or even herself) who gave information to the enumerator.

However, neither a Benjamin nor a Joseph are known (by me) to be children of Jane Hindman and Ananias Coffey.  If Benjamin was born c1831 and Joseph c1833, it would mean that Jane Hindman Coffey was between 50 and 52 years old when they were born, making her a bit unlikely to be their mother.  If her birth year was say 1791 instead, it's conceivable (no pun intended) that she could have given birth in her early 40's to two additional children.  The two boys birth years fall somewhat neatly after the last known child, Louisa Caroline in 1827.  For argument's sake, I'm assuming that Benjamin and Joseph were brothers.

So, my questions are:  Was Jane in 1860 the same Jane in 1850?  If not, who was the spouse of 1860 Jane and the father of Benjamin and Joseph?  Was this Benjamin S. Coffey the same Benjamin S. Coffey elected to the Adair state legislature?

*Benjamin S. Coffey married Elizabeth R. McBeath in Columbia, Adair Co., KY on 9 Aug., 1854 (County Marriage Book 3, Page 101)

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