September 7, 2011

Reuben G. & Nancy Giles Coffey

Originally published 2006; revised 9/7/2011. More information on Reuben and his descendants can be found on the Edward Coffey Project DVD.

Reuben G. Coffey, a son of Edmond S. and Nancy Barnett Coffey, was likely born in VA c1777. He died Nov. 24, 1845 in Nelson Co., VA. His wife was Nancy Giles, a daughter of William & Margaret (LNU) Giles on Sep. 5, 1801* in Amherst Co., VA. I have not found any dates for Nancy and their grave sites remain unknown to me.

There were at least 11 children born to this union:

Mildred Ray, born Dec. 20, 1803, died Mar. 14, 1883 in VA. She married John Everitt, born c1806, died Oct. 18, 1892 in Nelson Co. I know of one child, Elias, born Dec. 12, 1842, died Sep. 13, 1931 in Nelson Co. Mildred has a headstone at the Everitt cemetery in Love, Nelson Co. John is probably there as well.

Nancy, born c1808, married Garland G. Coffey, her double first cousin, on Mar. 17, 1825 in Nelson Co. Garland was the son of William and Betsy Giles Coffey, William being brother to Reuben and Betsy, sister to Nancy. There were at least nice children born to this union: William, Nancy, Reuben Wetzel; Jesse C., Elizabeth A., John W., Moses, Harrison, and Alfred James.

Margaret Susanna married her first cousin, John W. Coffey, a son of Edmond and Tildy Fitzgerald Coffey. Edmond was brother to William and Reuben. John was born at White Rock in Nelson Co. c1805 and died there in Mar., 1864. Margaret was born c1810 in Nelson and died there c1877. They had at least four children: Nancy J., Mildred Annister, John Henry, and Colston Harrison.

Winnie, born c1812, married Silas M. Ramsey on May 3, 1834 in Nelson Co. No other information.

Sarah Jane, born c1812, married William W. Coffey, her double-first cousin and son of her uncle William and Aunt Betsy Giles Coffey, on Feb. 18, 1832 in Nelson Co. Their children were James H., Peter Jordan, William Montebello, Robert W., Marvel Maurice, James Rodney, Elizabeth N., Zachariah, and Mary S.

Frances C., born 1813 in Nelson Co., died Nov. 27, 1886 at Massies Mill in Nelson Co. She married Robert Woodson Fitzgerald on Aug. 23, 1830. He was born Oct. 31, 1807 in Nelson Co., died there on Jun. 7, 1886. Both are said to be buried at the Fitzgerald "burying grounds" in Nelson Co. Their children were: Mary Jane, Edward Addison, Philander Hersey; Sarah Ann; Napoleon Dewey, and Josephine.

Reuben C., born c1816 in Nelson Co., died Dec. 16, 1883 in Amherst Co. His spouse was Margaret Bowling, a daughter of William and Martha J. Bowling. Margaret was born c1816 and died Dec. 12, 1883 in Amherst Co. Their children were Marcellus B., and Augustus.

Elizabeth, born c1816, married Joshua Madison Ramsey on Sep. 13, 1850 in Nelson Co. He was a son of William and Catherine Campbell Ramsey, born Oct. 16, 1820 in Rockbridge Co., died Jan. 21, 1897 in VA. I know of one child, Editha, born c1860 in Nelson. Joshua's first wife was Nancy C. Steele, a daughter of John Steele, and Mary Coffey. Mary was a daughter of Edmond and Nancy Barnett Coffey and sister to William and Reuben. Joshua's children with Nancy were: Melvina, Delilah, Dabney Coleman, Andrew Jackson, Mary Susan and Susan Virginia.

Mary, born c1820 in Nelson Co., married Zephaniah Fitzgerald on Aug. 27, 1833 in Nelson Co. He was born c1818 in VA. I know of one child, Achilles Washington, born Aug. 8, 1844, died Feb. 5, 1917 in Nelson Co.

Emily, born c1821 in Nelson Co. No further information.

Lucy Ann, born c1824 in Nelson Co. Lucy married Robert Alexander Fitzgerald on Dec. 17, 1850 in Lovingston, Nelson Co. I do not have their death dates but, both are buried at the Pleas Taylor Family cemetery in Nelson Co.** Lucy and Robert had at least two children: Alexander Robert and Susan Massie.

Nancy Giles Coffey died sometime between 1824 and c1830. It was around 1830 when Reuben G. married Margaret Snead of Nelson Co. They had at least four children: Meredith J., born c1832; James Solomon, born c1835; Missouri A., born c1836 and Amanda Jane, born c1849.

The Will of Reuben G. Coffey:

Will: Reuben G. Coffey Source: Nelson Co., VA Will Book G, Page 173.

Contributor: Shirley Houk

I Reuben G. Coffey, of the County of Nelson & State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory, but weak in body, do make and constitute this to be my last will and testament revoking all will or wills made by me.
1st. My desire is that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid in the most convenient way that my executors may think proper, whom I shall hereafter name

2nd. I give to my daughters Betsey and Lucy and my son Reuben C. Coffey my tract of land on the Fork Mountain where Forbesh formerly lived, to be equally divided between them, share and share alike.

3rd. I give to my Reuben C. Coffey, my Cupboard and Bureau extra for past favors he had done for me which he shall not be accountable to my estate for in any future division. I also deem it unnecessary to say anything about the disposition of the negro girl Daskus which I formerly owned as I have heretofore sold and she is now the property of my son Reuben C. Coffey for which he has the bill of sale.

4th. I heretofore sold a tract of land lying on the Fork Mountain known by Clarks place to William W. Coffey for the payment of Six Thousand pounds of Toba which is hereafter to be paid and my desire is that the said sale shall stand good by one third of the payment or bond for said payment to be given to my wife, Margaret on the condition that she joins my executor or legal representative in making right of said to the said William W. Coffey.

5th. I give to my beloved wife, Margaret during her natural life or second marriage the one third part of all my estate of every description, which is not before disposed of to be enjoyed by her and her three children Meredith, Soloman and ____ and at the death of my wife Margaret, or second Marriage, she is at liberty to dispose of ?? childrens part between all my children in any that she may think proper, of the third part left to her.

6th. The other two thirds of my estate, at my death, my desire is that it shall be equally divided between all my children Milly, Polly, Nancy, Susan, Jane, Betsey, Fanny, Reuben, Winny, Lucy, Emily, Meredith, Solomon and ____ share and share alike taking into consideration what I have heretofore advanced to them which advancement I have made in writing.

7th. The One third part of my estate which I gave to my beloved wife Margaret during her natural life or second marriage after the childrens part, I gave her the liberty to take out at her death or second marriage my will is that the balance be also equally divided between all my children as before named share and share

Lastly I do hereby appoint my son Reuben C. Coffey my executor of this my last will and testament. Given under my hand this 22nd day of September 1825.

Reuben G. (X) Coffey
Joseph B. Coffey
Nancy Campbell
Nancy Parrish
Sylvanus Meeks

At a Court held for Nelson County the 2_th day of November 1845 This last will and testament of Reuben G. Coffey decd, was this day presented in said Court and proved by the oaths of Sylvanus Meeks and Joseph B. Coffey, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Reuben C. Coffey the executor named in said Will, who made oath thereto and together with Nelson Clarkson his security entered in and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of Six hundred dollars conditioned according to law certificate is granted him for obtaining probate of said Will in due form of law. Teste Sp. Garland, Ck.

Elizabeth N. J. Coffey Martin
Update: Mar. 26, 2012

William W. and Sarah Jane Coffey Coffey were parents of at least nine children, one of which was Elizabeth Nancy Jane Coffey, born Jun. 21, 1845.  On Jan. 27, 1870 she was married to John N. Martin in Nelson Co.

Yesterday, I received this photo of Elizabeth N. J. from Jinni Kerdi, a great-granddaughter.

*Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 at See also "My Virginia Kin", 1958,Press-Journal Pub. Co., p64.

**This cemetery is located off the Mill Creek School Road on private land owned by Larry and Nancy Long of Richmond, VA. Source notes about this cemetery indicate that it is "In very sad state of disrepair."

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