March 6, 2011

Robert William & Nora A. Odell Coffey

Nora Odell Coffey Death Cert.
Robert, a son of Ervin and Elsie Cannon Coffey, was born in Burke Co., NC Apr. 10, 1868 and died before 1910.  He married Nora A. Odell c1893 and fathered three daughters between Dec., 1894 and 1904.  The girls were: Louise, Gladys and Hattie (Probably Harriet).  From 1910 thru 1930 Nora* lived in Morganton as a widow and died there on Apr. 26, 1952. Her death certificate reveals that her parents were Alfred Odell and Hattie Beach.



Harriet L Beach Odell Death Cert.
Through that same period, her widowed mother Harriet Louise "Hattie" Beach Odell**, also a widow, lived with her.  Hattie died Mar. 10, 1932 in Morganton.  Her death certificates reveals that her father's name was Alfred Beach and that he mother was Mary Coffey.  Alfred and Mary lived in Morganton in 1860 and their birth dates are estimated to be 1813 and 1816 respectively.  Their children then were:  James; Elmira, Leona and Harriet.

So far, so good...but!  There is a Burke Co., NC marriage record for William J. Odell to Harriet L. A. Beach with a bond date of May 10, 1868.

Nora's daughter, Hattie Coffey Connelly of Morganton was named as the informant on her mother's death certificate.  It appears that Hattie Connelly while attempting to handle the grief caused by the loss of her mother, mistakenly named her maternal grandfather as Alfred.

What I need to now know is who was Mary Coffey who married Alfred Beach?



*After her husband's death, Nora worked as a "laundress" and later as a "doffer" to support herself and her daughters.  Nora's mother was a seamstress and later, her daughter Gladys was a school teacher while still living at home.  Apparently, all strong women who did what it required for them to live.  A "doffer" removed empty spindles or bobbins from machines in a cotton or textile factory and replaced them with full ones.
**In 1870 Hattie Odell lived with her brother James Beach, the Morganton jailer.  Hattie's husband was not in the household at that census and, I have not found them in 1880.  In 1890, Hattie appeared in the Veteran's census in Morganton but, for whatever reason, her name is over struck!  It shows however, that she was the widow of William J. Odell who was a private in Co. A, 5th OH Cav.  He enlisted on Jun. 1, 1861 and was discharged Apr. 29, 1865, after serving for 3 years, 10 months and 28 days.  So, was he already deceased in 1870?

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