February 9, 2011

Woodson Robert & Frances C. Coffey Fitzgerald

Sorting out the Fitzgeralds, Campbells and Coffeys of Nelson Co., VA is like trying to put 1000 decks of playing cards back together after tossing them into the air during a hurricane!  Hopefully, I have correctly put together the following!

[Update:  11-11-11: Thanks to Brad Fitzgerald of Roanoke, VA I have been able to clarify and update some of the information about this family.  First and probably most important is the correction of the name Robert Woodson to Woodson Robert.  Other chances are noted below.]


Woodson Robert Fitzgerald was born in Nelson Co. on Oct. 31, 1807 and died there on Jul. 7, 1886.  He was married on Aug. 23, 1830 to Frances C. Coffey, a daughter of Reuben G. & Nancy Giles Coffey.  Reuben P.* [sic] Coffey was security.  Readers may know that Reuben was a brother to William who married Elizabeth "Betsy" Giles, both daughters of William and Margaret Giles. (anyone know Margaret's maiden name?)  Frances died Nov. 27, 1886 at Massies Mill in Nelson Co. Both are said to be buried at a Fitzgerald Family Cemetery** in Nelson Co.

Their children were at least six.  Approximately 4 years passed after their 1830 marriage before the first known child was born so, perhaps at least one other was born before 1834.

The first child was Mary Jane, born Mar. 17, 1834, died Feb. 14, 1922.  She married Hezekiah Coffey on Dec. 19, 1855 in Nelson Co.  Hezekiah was a son of Edmund Coffey and Martha Snead.  He died in July, 1863 at Gettysburg in Adams Co., PA.
Pension Application:  Hezekiah Coffey, 1889.  Made by his wife, Mary F. Coffey; Transcribed by:  Shirley Moore [w_moore@bellsouth.net]

      Application of a Widow of a Deceased Soldier, Sailor or Marine for a Pension.

     I, Mary F. Coffey, residing at ____ In the County of Nelson In State of Virginia, do hereby apply for aid under an act of the General Assembly entitled :An act to give aid to soldiers, sailors or marines of Virginia, maimed or disabled in the war between the States, and to the widows of Virginia soldiers, sailors and marines who lost their lives in said war in the military service."  And I do swear that I am the widow of Hezekiah Coffey who was a member of Co. F 49th Infantry Regiment and who, while in the discharge of his duty in military service during the late war between the States, lost his life.

And I do further swear that I am not receiving aid from or a pension from any State or from The United States, and that I do not hold any national, State or county office which pays me in fees or salary over three hundred dollars; that my income from no source amounts to three hundred dollars; and that I do not own in my own right property of the assessed value of one thousand dollars; ___ that I am now entitled to receive annually the sum of thirty dollars under the terms of the aforesaid act  of the General Assembly.

And I do further swear that the following answers are true:

1st,  What was the name of the applicants deceased husband?  Ans. Hezekiah Coffey
2d    When and where, as nearly as can be ascertained, did the applicant's husband die, and and from what cause?
Ans.  In July 1863 at Gettysburg _______
3d.   When and where were the applicant and her deceased husband married:
Ans.  In the year 1855 in Nelson Co. Va
4th.  Has the applicant ever married again? Ans. No

                                 Mary F. Coffey (signature)

I, T.P. Fitzpatrick, Judge of the County Court for the County of Nelson do certify that Mary F. Coffey, whose name is signed to the foregoing application, personally  appeared before me in open court, and , having the said application fully read and  explained to her, as well as the statements and answers therein made, she, the said  Mary F. Coffey made oath before me that said statements and answers are true.      Given under my hand this 22nd day of April, 1889.                                      Thos P Fitzpatrick (signature)

Nelson @ No 35
Virginia
Co. of Nelson, TO-WIT:

I, Thos. P. Fitzpatrick, Judge of the ___ Court for the County of Nelson, do  certify that I have carefully enquired and examined into and am fully satisfied from  the evidence adduced before me that each and all of the facts set forth in the within  application are true; that the application is for these reasons approved, and it is  therefore certified  that Mary F. Coffey is entitled to receive annually from the  State of Virginia the sum of thirty dollars.

Given under my hand this 22nd day of  April, 1889.

Thos. P. Fitzpatrick (signature)
Mary Jane died Feb. 14, 1922 and was buried at the Achilles Fitzgerald Family Cemetery.  I think this cemetery is the one at Crab Tree Falls.

They had two children:  Martin Marcellus, born Dec. 27, 1854, died Sep. 24, 1932 in Augusta Co., VA.  His wife was Teressa Catherine Fitzgerald, daughter of James Milton and Ardenia Coffey Fitzgerald.  He and Teressa were married on Dec. 26, 1878 in Nelson Co.  Second child was Sarah Frances, born May 10, 1860 in Nelson Co. and, died Nov. 19, 1906.  Her husband was David Edward Painter, born to John Painter and Nancy Ellen Fitzgerald on Aug. 22, 1856.  He died Jul., 1945 in Nelson Co.

Woodson & Frances' second child was Edward Addison Fitzgerald, born c1838 in Nelson Co., died 1915 in VA.  He married Nancy E. Coffey on Jun. 2, 1865 in Nelson Co.  Her parents were Holloway Stewart Coffey and his wife, Catherine "Kate" Fitzgerald.  Holloway and Frances were first cousins, he a son of William Coffey and Elizabeth Giles.  Children of Edward and Nancy - as I know them - were Blanchetta, born c1866, John Silas, born c1868, Edward Alexander, born about May, 1870 and Raleigh Woodson, born Nov. 4, 1880.  All were born in Nelson Co.

[Update 11-11-11:  Another son, John C. has been found.  He was born c1842 in Nelson Co. and died during the Civil War.  He was a member of  the Nelson Light Artillery, Rives Battery.  He is believed to have died in a (field?) hospital rather than killed in action.  He appears in the Virginia Regimental History book as a member of the Rives Battery and that he was a brother to Philander Hersey Fitzgerald (Brad Fitzgerald of Roanoke provided info on this son)]

Following Edward Addison was Philander Hersey, born Feb., 1844, died Oct. 6, 1925 in Albemarle Co.  He married Amanda Jane Coffey, born c1849.  She was a daughter of Reuben G. and Margaret Snead Coffey.  This Reuben G. was a son of Edmond S. & Nancy Barnett Coffey.  Philander and Amanda were parents to 12  14 children: Ruth J., James Irvin, Linda J., Anna Parker, Perry Dickerson, Eudora, Richard, Gilbert Walker, Quintus, June C., Myrtle Lee, Mittie Jackson, Lloyd Washington, and Dulcie C.

Woodson and Fannie's next child was Sarah Ann, born Sep. 12, 1846, died Apr. 15, 1926.  She married Alexander S. Coffey, a son of the above Holloway Stewart and Catherine Fitzgerald Coffey.  Alexander was born Mar. 2, 1844 and died Jul. 20, 1929 in Nelson Co.  They were married in that county on Jan. 16, 1873.  Their children were: Frances "Fannie" Catherine, Adolphus Franklin, Mary Docia, Robert Alexander, and Charlie Cleveland.

Napoleon Dewey followed Sarah Ann.  He was born Apr. 20, 1847 and died before 1930  Nov. 18, 1922 in Nelson Co.  His wife was Lucinda C. Blackwell, born c1850 in VA.  They had at least 10 children:  William, Cornelia, Robert, Charles Napoleon, Lilly M., Serena, Ella G., Eliza J., Coral L., and Mary Lula.  Charles Napoleon was born Feb. 7, 1875 and died Dec. 26, 1949.  His wife was Melissa Stevens Truslow, daughter of Joseph Walker and Minerva Ann Thompson Truslow.  They were parents of at least nine children but I have not found any that married into the Coffey family.  Names and particulars are available if needed.

One last child of Woodson and Fannie is said to be Josephine, born c1852.  However, I have no other information about her.  She married in Nelson Co. on Dec. 30, 1869 to William H. Blackwell, born c1849 in Rockbridge Co., VA.

I could use some help sorting out the various Fitzgerald Cemeteries from someone with intimate knowledge of the area!



*This may be an error.  Frances had a younger brother named Reuben C.
**So far, I have discovered three Fitzgerald cemeteries in Nelson.  One is located on North Fork Road, some distance from Lovingston and is "high on a ridge."  The Fitzgerald Family cemetery referred to in the text is said to be located on the "back side of Fork Mountain" and about 4 miles from Lovingston.  A third is said to be at Crabtree Falls and referred to as the Achilles Fitzgerald Family Cemetery.  I do not yet know which is the correct cemetery for Woodson Robert and Frances.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Thanks for this info, very helpful. One comment: I believe the lead character, who married Frances "Fannie" Coffey, is Woodson Robert Fitzgerald (not Robert Woodson F.), s/o John "Jackie" Clarkson Fitzgerald and Nancy Carr. There was in fact a Robert Woodson Fitzgerald, but according to my information that was a different person - he was married to Mary "Polly" Carr and they had a daughter, Matilda A.J. Fitzgerald, who married Benjamin M. Fitzgerald (the latter a brother to aforementioined John Clarkson Fitzgerald). In other words, Woodson Robert F.'s uncle, Benjamin F., married Matilda A. J. Fitzgerald who was the d/o Robert Woodson F/Polly Carr. Right you are about the deck of cards!

    Bradley W. Fitzgerald
    fitzgerald@woodsrogers.com

    PS: Do you have the book "Cemeteries of Nelson Co." by the Historical Society? Very helpful

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comments Bradley. You are correct about the "lead character" being Woodson R. That is how their marriage is recorded:

    Groom's Name: Woodson R. Fitzgerald Bride's Name: Francis Coffey Marriage Date: 23 Aug 1830 Marriage Place: Nelson County, Virginia

    I'm having a bit of difficulty with the John Clarkson-Nancy Carr Fitzgerald children. If Woodson was their son, born in 1807, that 26 years before the birth in 1833 of their daughter Mary who married James Henry Anderson. Of course, Mary may not have been their daughter.

    I believe I have some selected pages from the cemetery book but not the entire publication.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:19 PM

    I, too found this interesting. I am descended from Robert W. Fitzgerald and Mary Carr. If you are interested, I have photos of an Achilles F. Cemetery at the entrance to Crabtree Falls. There are only 2 headstones in it, though, so I don't know if it the official one. A.W. Fitzgerald and Mary Elizabeth Fitzgerald are buried in it. Contact me if you are interested. paul@underscan.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Paul, I am always looking for photos from contributors who want to share them with others. My e-mail address is to the right and up a bit. If you have some particular Coffey family history you would like to share and, believe it would make a good blog, feel free to share that as well.

    ReplyDelete

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *