October 13, 2011

The Coffey/Nessel Connection in Oregon and California

In Nov., 1995 I wrote a short blog about Augustus Benjamin "Buster" Coffey, the son of John Taylor and Sarah Adeline "Sofie" Gates Coffey and, touched a bit on their sons.

Following her divorce from Buster c1920, Dolly married again.  Her second husband was Lewis L. Nessel who had been born in Brussels, Belgium on Aug. 6, 1883.  Lewis later became a longshoreman at the Port of San Francisco.

Lewis first married Emma May Coffey, a sister to "Buster."  They were married on Aug. 15, 1916 in Clatsop Co., OR.  Emma died there on Jan. 20, 1919 and Lewis married Dorothy, the ex-wife of Emma's brother.

Dorothy brought to the marriage at least three of the four children that she and "Buster" had together.  They were:

Velma Signett, born Sep. 18, 1913 in Oregon and died Jul. 15, 1993 in Enumclaw, King Co., WA.  Dorothy apparently had this child before her marriage to "Buster."  The Signett name, I am told*, comes from the fact that  some of the family had difficulty with the pronunciation of the Lousignont surname.

George Coffey Nessel
George Norman, born Sep. 27, 1915 in Svensen, died Jul. 17, 1996 in Redwood City, San Mateo Co., CA.  He is said to have married at least three times; first on Dec. 16, 1933 to Frances Louisa Wellcome, born Sep. 4, 1915 in Minnesota, died May 1, 2000 in Riverside Co., CA.  This marriage apparently ended in divorce c1950 because he then married Eileen Mary Nancey, born Nov. 30, 1920 in Minnesota, died Dec. 29, 1983 in San Francisco, CA, on Feb. 12, 1951 in Virginia City, Storey Co., NV.  That marriage also ended in divorce in 1974 in San Mateo Co., CA and in 1978 he married Maudie Gladys Silverman in Carson City, NV.  George died in 1996 in Redwood City., San Mateo Co., CA.  I do not know if George was adopted by Lewis Nessel, but he legally changed it to Nessel in 1976.  He enlisted in the US Army as George N. Nessel on Jul. 28, 1945 at Camp Beale in Yuba Co., CA and served with the 1129th Military Co. He was discharged on Oct. 19, 1946.

Howard Walter Coffey
Howard Walter, born Jun. 27, 1917 in Svensen, and died there on Mar. 28, 2002.  Howard kept the Coffey name and was married to Joyce Lee Mifflin, born May. 8, 1923 in Norfolk, VA, c1940.  They had at least one child, Larry Howard, born Jul. 27, 1941 in San Francisco, died there on Nov. 16, 2006.

Albert Robert Coffey Nessel
Albert Robert took his step-fathers name.  He was born Mar. 24, 1919 in Svensen and died Apr. 25, 2005 at Modesto in Stanislaus Co., CA.  He was married at least four times, first to Helen Volis c1940 in CA.  Helen was the daughter of Michael G. Volis, a 1907 Greek emigrant and, Freda G. Quedens, born Jan. 15, 1897 in Illinois to German emigrant parents, John Quedens and Engeline P. Garretts.  He and Helen had at least two children, Robert and Judith.  Judith died on Jun. 10, 1995 in San Mateo Co., CA.  Albert's second wife was Violet Wallen; third was Alice Rose Prefontaine, a WW2 Army sergeant.  Alice was a native of Boise, Ada Co., ID, born there on Aug. 29, 1927 and died in Modesto on May 31, 2003.  Fourth and last known wife was Norma Beatrice Gaska.  They were married on Sep. 5, 2003 in Carson City, NV. I know of no children born to any of these marriages.

The last known child born to "Buster" and Dolly was Harold Franklin.  He was born Jul. 22, 1921 in Clatsop Co. and also took the Nessel surname.  I am told that he married twice; first to Connie Mifflin** and second to Terry Tryphe.  I have no other information on this son. [No photo available to me]

*Descendants of Lewis Moses Coffey, GEDCOM file submitted by Dorothy Louise Crawford, 289 Maui Circle, Union City, CA 94587, and received 24 Oct 2005., follow-up e-mail Nov. 7, 2005. (Dolly is believed to now be deceased)
**The Mifflin ladies were probably related but I have not investigated a connection.

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