September 27, 2011

Walter O. & Mamie M. Baltimore Coffey

I touched a little on this family some time ago.

Matilda Baltimore was one of nine children born to Benjamin Edgar and Mamie Lou Donelson of White Co., TN.  Benjamin and Mamie Lou were born in Sep., 1879 in White Co.  Their headstones provide different dates, but the ones cited here come from the 1900 census.*  Ben died on May 28, 1955 and Mamie Lou on Mar. 20, 1967.  Both are buried at Eastland Cemetery in Crossville, Cumberland Co., TN.

The family remained in White Co. through at least 1922 when Luther, the last of their children was born.  In 1930 they were found in McCreary Co., KY.  Benjamin and some of his sons were coal miners in both TN and KY.

Their children were:
William Causby, born Mar. 22, 1901, died Nov. 23, 1966 at Crossville; buried at Crossville City Cemetery.
Bennie Andrew, born Mar. 7, 1904, died Aug. 11, 1919 in White Co., TN.  He is buried at Eastland Cemetery in White Co.
Vera, born c1907; apparently died young.  No other information.
John Nelson "Johnny", born Jul. 2, 1908, died May 26, 1872 at Pine Knot, McCreary Co., KY and is buried at Pine Knot Cemetery.
Lonny or Lonnie Jacob was born Jan. 30, 1911 and died Jul. 27, 1852 at Somerset, Pulaski Co., KY.  He is buried at Chitwood Cemetery in Pine Knot.
Everett, born c1914; apparently died young.  No other information.
Mamie Matilda, born Sep., 1879, died Mar. 20, 1967 in Crossville.  More below.
Edgar, born c1918; apparently died young.  No other information.
Luther, born Mar. 9, 1922, died Jan. 22, 1997 in Loyall, Harlan Co., KY.  He was buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Keith, Harlan Co., KY
Mamie Matilda is the only child and descendant of Ben and Mamie Baltimore know by me to have married into the Coffey clan.  Her husband was Walter Othel Coffey, a son of Captain Dick and Lettie J. McBride Coffey.  Walter was born on Mar. 26, 1913 in Scott Co., TN and died in Lexington, Fayette Co., KY on Dec. 5, 1974.  He and Mamie are buried at Pine Knot Cemetery.

Mamie Matilda Baltimore Coffey
Their children were:

Joyce Lee, born Oct. 12, 1934, died Feb. 18, 2008
McCreary County Record, Whitley, McCreary Co., KY, Feb. 27, 2008
Joyce Coffey
Ms. Joyce Coffey, age 73, of Pine Knot, Kentucky, passed from this life on Monday, February 18, 2008, at the Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville.
Funeral services were held Thursday, February 21, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. at the Freewill Baptist Church in Pine Knot with Rev. Eddie King officiating. Music was provided by Bill Stephens and Company. Burial was at the Pine Knot Cemetery.
Born October 12, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Walter Othel and Mamie Matilda Baltimore Coffey. Besides her parents, she is preceded in death by two brothers Johnny and Ronnie Coffey and a sister Patricia Coffey.
Surviving family include two daughters Theresa (and Fenton) Stephens of Powell, Tennessee, and Sherri (and Mark) Hasson of Louisville. There are three sisters Shelba Kierstead of Pine Knot, Phyllis Huckaby of Russell Springs, Kentucky, Donna Thomas of Charleston, South Carolina, and a brother Charles Coffey of LaGrange, Kentucky.
Joyce had six grandchildren and a great great-grandson.
She was a homemaker and member of the Pine Knot Freewill Baptist Church. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, traveling, and reading the Bible. But most importantly, she cherished the time she was able to spend with her grandchildren.
Pine Knot Funeral Home assisted the family with funeral arrangements.
Patricia Sue, born Dec. 2, 1945, died May 6, 1947; buried at Pine Knot.

Johnny Othel, born Apr. 21, 1948 at Jellico, Campbell Co., TN, died Mar. 17, 1999 at Pine Knot and, buried in Pine Knot cemetery.

Ronnie Dewayne, born May 9, 1952 at Somerset, Pulaski Co., died Sep. 19, 1978 at Pine Knot and buried in Pine Knot Cemetery.

The photos of Benjamin and Mamie, and Mamie Matilda, as well as some of their children, can be found on Find-A-Grave where they were posted by Theresa/Thunderbird584.

*1900 White Co., Bon Air town, ED157, Sheet 7B, dwelling 126/family 129, Baltomore, Benjamin, head, white male, born Sep., 1879, age 20, married 2 yrs., born TN, parents born TN, coal miner; Mary [sic] Lou, wife, white female, born Sep., 1879, age 20, married 2 yrs., mother of none, born TN, father born TN, mother born LA; Morgan, Janie, Aunt, white female, born Jan., 1859, age 40 married, mother of 9, 2 living, born TN, parents born TN; Morgan, Elsie, cousin, white female, born Jan., 1881, age 19, single, born TN, parents born TN; Baltimore, Javob, brother, white male, born Jun., 1882, age 17, single, born TN, parents born TN, coal miner

September 25, 2011

"Nute" Gragg

This genealogy may be way off base, but appears to be somewhat accurate.  Readers with better knowledge of "Nute" are invited to submit corrections.

Updated Oct. 20, 2011

Newton "Nute" Gragg, sometimes referred to as Isaac Newton Gragg, was born May. 13, 1879 in Caldwell Co., NC to William "Billie" and Phoebe Shell Gragg.  He died May 26, 1956 in Bob White, Boone Co., WV and was buried at White Cemetery in Julian, Boone Co., WV.*

It is believed that Newton married and fathered a child, perhaps two, with Ada Coffey, a daughter of Eldelano "Lano" and Mary E. Austin Coffey.  One child is thought to have been Lloyd Gragg, perhaps sometimes referred to as Lloyd Coffey.  He was born c1909 in Caldwell Co., and died there in 1979**. Ada's death certificate does give her name as Ada Gragg and the widow of the late Newton Gragg.

In 1930, Ada, age 44, was enumerated as a Coffey in the Walter Adams household in Catawba Co. Walter's wife was Sarah Jane Coffey, a daughter of Rabon Scott and Margaret E. Hollander Coffey and Ada's cousin. With "Ader" in this census were two Coffey men, Foy [sic] [Floyd], age 25 and Loyd [sic], age 23.  If Nute was the father of Lloyd then this entry may suggest that he fathered both boys.  Floyd was born Dec. 16, 1907 in Caldwell Co.**

Lloyd married Epsey or Epsie Magdelene Coffey on Aug. 16, 1936 in Wilson Creek Twp., Avery Co.***  Epsie was the daughter of Thomas Newton "Black Tom" and Ella Mae Loudermelt Coffey, born Jun. 21, 1916 in Caldwell Co., died Feb. 25, 1989 in Lenoir and was buried at White Springs Cemetery in Blowing Rock, Watauga Co.  Lloyd died in 1979 and was likely to have been laid to rest at White Springs as well.  Lloyd and Epsie were divorced in July, 1964 in Caldwell Co.¹

Update 10/20/2011:  Lloyd Coffey of Taylorsville, NC sent me a photo of Lloyd's grave marker.  He is buried in the Globe Community Cemetery at Globe Baptist Church, Caldwell Co.³

"Nute," as he seemed to be popularly known, appeared as a boarder in the Nannie Young boarding house, Wilsons Creek Twp., Avery Co. in 1910. He married Della V. Hall, a daughter of Franklin Ellis & Alia Louella Greer Hall on Oct. 12, 1915 in Mortimer, Wilson Creek Twp.² Della was born Jun. 10, 1890 in Granite Falls, Caldwell Co., and died Sep. 3, 1959 in Bim, Boone Co., WV. She is believed to have been buried at the White Cemetery as well. I am aware of one child, Bonnie, was born c1918.

In 1918, Nute was in Bryson City, Swain Co., NC where he was registered for the WW1 draft. His registration card describes him as short and stout with blue eyes and bald. In 1920 he and Della were in Forneys Creek, Swain Co. and in 1930 they were in Boone Co., WV.  Nute's death certificate reports cause of death as a "cerebral hemorrhage" and Della's as a "cerebro vascular accident."  I guess both are the same cause and more commonly known as strokes.

*"West Virginia Deaths, 1853-1970." Index, FamilySearch, 2009. Digital copies of originals housed in County Courthouses throughout West Virginia. www/ name: Nute Gragg death date: 26 May 1956 death place: Bob White, Boone, West Virginia gender: Male age: estimated birth year: 13 May 1879 birth place: Globe, N. C. marital status: spouse's name: father's name: Billy Gragg father's birthplace: mother's name: Phoebe Shell mother's birthplace: occupation: Logging street address: residence: cemetery: White Cemetery burial place: burial date: 28 May 1956 film number: 571246 digital folder number: 4228482 image number: 58 source: County Records reference number: v 4

**Caldwell County, North Carolina Register of Deed's Index Search, Wayne L. Rash, Register of Deeds online [], accessed variously, Lloyd Coffey, Death Register, Book 66, Page 100, parents Ada Coffey Gragg and Newtin Gragg.  Floyd Phillip Gragg Date of Birth: 16 Dec 1907 Gender: Male Race: White Birth County: Caldwell Parent1 Name: Newton Gragg Parent2 Name: Adar Coffey Roll Number: B_C017_68001 Volume: 4 Page: 114

***North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979, digital images, FamilySearch.Org (  Groom's Name: Lloyd Gragg  Groom's Birth Date: 1909  Groom's Birthplace:  Groom's Age: 27  Bride's Name: Epsey Coffey  Bride's Birth Date: 1916  Bride's Birthplace:  Bride's Age: 20  Marriage Date: 16 Aug 1936  Marriage Place: Wilson Creek Twp., Avery, North Carolina Groom's Father's Name:  Nute Gragg  Groom's Mother's Name:   Ader Gragg Bride's Father's Name: Tom Coffey Bride's Mother's Name: Eller Coffey Groom's Race: White Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: White Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M75218-2 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 1689135 Reference Number: No. 94

¹North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics. North Carolina Divorce Index, 1958-2004. Raleigh, NC, USA: North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, 2004.  Primary Name: Epsie Gragg Spouse's Name: Lloyd Gragg Divorce Date:13 Jul 1964 Divorce County:Caldwell

²North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (  groom's name: Newton Gragg groom's birth date: 1880 groom's birthplace: groom's age: 35 bride's name: Della Hall bride's birth date: 1895 bride's birthplace: bride's age: 20 marriage date: 12 Oct 1915 marriage place: Mortimer, Wilson Creek, Nc groom's father's name: groom's mother's name: Phoeba Gragg bride's father's name: Ellis Hall bride's mother's name: Hall groom's race: White groom's marital status: groom's previous wife's name: bride's race: White bride's marital status: bride's previous husband's name: indexing project (batch) number: M74476-1 system origin: North Carolina-EASy source film number: 590350 reference number: Cn 165

³"Lloyd Gragg's grave marker is located in the Globe Community Cemetery at Globe Baptist Church in Caldwell County, North Carolina. This information should help with your blog about 'Nute' Gragg. Lloyd caddied during the summer months at Blowing Rock Country Club in Watauga County, North Carolina during the middle 1960's. I also caddied there during those summers and spent many hours talking with and getting to know Lloyd on those occasions that we caddied together. At that time he used the name Lloyd Gragg. I was also aware at that time that Lloyd was married to my father's double first cousin Epsey Coffey Gragg." [Lloyd Coffey, Taylorsville, NC, 10/20/2011]

September 22, 2011

Joe & Dora Ellen Colley Swint

Some time ago I wrote about the Salathiel & Eva Phylena Conner Coffey family of Collin Co., TX.  One of their children mentioned was Laura Ella, born Oct. 23, 1908 in Silverton, Briscoe Co., TX who married Arlie Colley Swint.

That marriage took place c1926 in TX.  An exact date has not been found.  Arlie was born on Jun. 25, 1907 in TX to Joe and Dora Ellen Colley Swint.  There were two children born to that union:  J. "Jay" Ronald & Irma Glyn; Jay on Oct. 30, 1928 and Irma on Apr. 8, 1931.

Arlie died on Aug. 3, 1980 in Wichita Falls Co., TX and is buried at Rosemont Cemetery in Wichita Falls.  Neither a death date nor a burial site has been found thus far for Laura.

This morning I received an "obituary alert" for Jay who died on Sep. 19, 2011 at Sandy, Salt Lake Co., UT.  Jay was married to Lois Mae Roberts on Jun. 17, 1950 in Albuquerque, Bernalillo Co., NM.

Obituary, The Salt Lake Tribune, Sep. 22, 2011

J Ronald Swint, 82, passed away peacefully at his home in Sandy, Utah on Monday, September 19, 2011.

He was preceded in death by his sister and only sibling, Irma Glyn Beck.

Born to Arlie Collie Swint and Laura Ella (Coffey) Swint on October 30, 1928, in Lubbock, Texas, Jay spent his youth in Texas and Louisiana before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he met his lifelong companion Lois Mae Roberts. They were married June 17, 1950 and spent the next 61 years together, raising a family of four children, Mark (Peggy Jo), Mary Colovich (Brad), Carol Bay (Jamie) and Paul (Jayme). He left a large posterity with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Early in his life Jay began a career with Capitol Records. The job took the family around the country before ending up in Southern California where Jay worked in Hollywood as an executive in charge of artist relations and promotions. He later worked as an agent and manager for a number of successful entertainers. He knew and was friends with many famous and talented artists and musicians.

In later years he worked in the health spa business and explored his entrepreneurial skills with a number of interesting endeavors.

After retirement, Jay and Lois spent many hours pursuing their passions for travel and rock hounding, a favorite pastime. He also spent many enjoyable hours fly fishing and playing golf with his sons. He loved his family dearly and found great joy visiting with all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As active and ardent members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since their conversion in 1966, Jay and Lois solemnized their marriage in the Salt Lake Temple. They served an LDS mission to the Central America Area and were based in Guatemala in the mid 1990s. Jay also served in a Bishopric, on a High Council and in a Stake Presidency, as well as numerous other callings throughout his life. He was an inspiration to his family and will be deeply missed.

A viewing will be held from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, September 22, 2011 and again from 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. the next morning at the Dimple Dell Park Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 9880 South 3100 East, Sandy, Utah. Funeral services will be held at the same location on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:00 noon followed by interment at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery, located at 1950 E. 10600 South.  Condolences may be sent to the family at
Jay's sister Irma died tragically from carbon monoxide poisoning on Dec. 22, 1973 in Pampa, Gray Co., TX.  She is buried at the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Potter Co., TX.

September 18, 2011

William Luther Coffey

This William Luther Coffey was born c1855 in North Carolina, likely in Caldwell Co., to Marvel and Nancy E. Pendley Coffey.  He was living with his parents in Kings Creek Twp. in census years 1860 and 1870.  He married Mary Ann Barlow, a daughter of Joseph and Louisa Laxton Barlow, on Mar. 5, 1874 in Caldwell Co.*  In census year 1880 he was again in the household with his mother, enumerated as a married man but a wife and children were not given.**  He has sometimes been mistaken for his distant cousin, also named William Luther, who was born Mar. 6, 1850 in NC, to Jesse Calton and Nancy A. Raines Coffey.

I believe there were at least two children born to William and Mary Ann:  J. (Julia?) Geneva, born 1875 at Kings Creek and, James William, born Sep. 16, 1877 in Caldwell Co.  Geneva married Finley Ferguson Barlow, born to Smith and Mary Jane Suddreth Barlow on Jan. 20, 1875 in Kings Creek, died Sep. 28, 1956 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co.  Finley was probably some kin to Geneva but I have not yet checked into that family.

James William married at least twice.  His first wife was Margaret Boughman to whom he was married on Oct. 1, 1899 in Lower Creek Twp., Caldwell Co.***  At least one child, Roy was born c1902.  His second wife was Thursa Elmira “Myra” Suddreth, born Sep. 27, 1883, died Mar. 6, 1931 at Kings Creek.  Myra had also been previous married.  Her first husband was Henry Coffey, a distant cousin of James’, and a son of Smith and Elizabeth Rebecca Greene Coffey.  Henry was born in Mar., 1883 and died c1906.  He and Myra were married on Dec. 20, 1902 in Caldwell Co.1

Henry and Myra had at least two children:  Roy, born c1902 and Annie, born Apr. 2, 1904, died Apr. 17, 1922.

James William and Myra were married c1907 and had at least seven children:  Clarence Lee, born Sep. 25, 1907, died Dec. 29, 1967 at Kings Creek; Pearl Lucille, born Jun. 10, 1912; Carter R., born Sep. 23, 1914, died 1985 in OH; Florence E., born c1917; Horace J., born c1910; Wayne, born c1921 and Wade Suddreth, born Apr. 10, 1924.

Of all the children named, the only one I have found any data for is Clarence Lee.  He married Winfred “Winnie” Jolly and they were parents of at least two children:  Alex Dale, born Nov. 25, 1936, died Jov. 27, 1936 at Kings Creek; and Jerry Lee, born Sep. 22, 1941.

A death record for William Luther has not yet been located.  Mary Ann Barlow Coffey died Feb. 3, 1943 at Kings Creek and is buried there in Kings Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.  James William died Mar. 29, 1952 and his wife, Myra Suddreth Coffey died Mar. 7, 1931.  Both are buried at Kings Creek.  Clarence Lee died Dec. 29, 1967 and is buried there with his son, Alex Dale.  Others of this family are also likely buried at Kings Creek but I haven’t found a death record or other evidence of that.

*Groom's Name: W L Coffey Groom's Birth Date: 1854 Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: 20 Bride's Name: Mary A. Barlow Bride's Birth Date: 1853 Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: 21 Marriage Date: 05 Mar 1874 Marriage Place: Caldwell, North Carolina Groom's Father's Name: Manvel Coffey Groom's Mother's Name: Nancy Coffey Bride's Father's Name: Joseph Barlow Bride's Mother's Name: Louisa Barlow Groom's Race: Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M74468-7 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 590345 Reference Number: bk 3 [North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (]

**1880 Caldwell Co., Kings Creek, ED55, Page 5A, dwelling 27, family 41, Coffey, Nancy E., white female, age 60, widow, farmer, born NC, parents born NC; Coffey, Robert Lee, white male, age 5, grandson, single, born NC, parents born NC; Coffey, William L., white, male, age 25, son, married, born NC, parents born NC

***Groom's Name: James William Coffey Groom's Birth Date: 1877 Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: 22 Bride's Name: Maggie E. Boughman Bride's Birth Date: 1876 Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: 23 Marriage Date: 01 Oct 1899 Marriage Place: Lower Creek, North Carolina Groom's Father's Name: Luthar Coffey Groom's Mother's Name: Mary A. Coffey Bride's Father's Name: T. Bowman Bride's Mother's Name: Keturah Boughman Groom's Race: White Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M74461-7 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 590347 Reference Number:  [North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (]

1Caldwell County, North Carolina Register of Deed's Index Search, Wayne L. Rash, Register of Deeds online [], accessed variously, Marriage Register, Book 15, Page 139.

September 15, 2011

The Georgians: Genealogies of Pioneer Settlers

This book was compiled by Jeanette Holland Austin and apparently originally published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. in 1984.  It was reprinted for the Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing in 1998 and again in 2002.

It is an ambitious work but not without errors.

Beginning on page 84, the compiler provides a descendants list for Peter Coffee, born in Ireland between 1690 and 1700, who came to VA c1730 aboard the ship “Forward Galley.”  This is documented on page 188 of the 1981 work by Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Emigrants in Bondage.  In this work, it is stated that Peter was received on board the ship October 28, 1730.

Austin ends the Peter Coffee descent with the family of Michael Coffee, of Rockingham Co., NC and dates his will to June 23, 1804, proved Nov., 1810 in Rockingham Co.  In the will, Michael names wife Margaret and children:  Michael, Robert, Thomas, John, Sophia, Mary and Margaret.  She tells us that Michael was a son of Joshua Coffee, born 1745 in Prince Edward Co., VA, later of Granville Co., NC.

Clearly, I am not a Peter Coffee expert, but have read some fairly well documented work on this line.  The one that I most often refer to when asked about Peter is the compilation completed and privately published by Gene Brewington (dec’d).  His wife was a Peter descendant.  Gene named only five children for Joshua and wife Elizabeth Graves:  William, born Sep., 1768, died before 1797; Thomas Graves, born 4 Sep. 1769 in Prince Edward Co., died 1846 in Lauderdale Co., AL; Elijah, born 1770, died before 1797; John, born June 2, 1772 in Prince Edward Co., died in Florence, Lauderdale Co., AL on Jul. 7, 1833.

John Coffee was a life-long friend of Andrew Jackson, and they engaged in many business affairs together.  John raised a regiment of volunteers to help Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in Dec., 1814.  After that battle he was promoted from Colonel to Major General, and in 1817 was appointed Surveyor-General of Alabama.  He moved to Huntsville in that state and in 1819 moved to Florence in Lauderdale Co.  He died at the family home, "Hickory Hill" north of Florence.  William T. Hale wrote a bit about Gen. Coffee in his work A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans, published in 1913 by Lewis Publishing Co. of Chicago.  Coffee Co., AL is named for him.

Joshua’s brother, Peter, Jr. also named a son John who also became a General.  The two Johns are sometimes confused with one another.  Peter Jr.’s son was most famous in GA and served from there in the War of 1812.  He was also a US Congressman.  Coffee Co., GA is named for him.

Austin continues with the genealogy of Michael Coffey by writing that he married Margaret, last name not given, and cites his children as Thomas who married Mary Coffee, a daughter of Hugh Patrick Coffee whose last will and testament was written on June 15, 1828 and proved in August, 1828 at Rockingham Co., NC; John; Michael; Robert; Sophia; Mary; and Margaret.  She ends there, but writes that “The family in Wilkes Co., N. C. are descendants of either Peter, or Joshua, sons of Peter Sr.”

As far as I know, all of that could be correct.  However, following the above quote, Austin appears to tell us that James Coffey who married Elizabeth Cleveland was a descendant of Peter.  All Edward Coffey research that I know of, tells us that Rev. James Coffey was a son of John Coffey and Jane Graves, John being the eldest son of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey.

James is one of the better researched of the known children of John and Jane Graves Coffey.  He was referred to as Reverend because he was a Baptist minister in Wilkes Co., NC.

Many researchers have assumed that James and Elizabeth were married in Orange Co. about 1750, and more specifically Aug. 30, 1750.  However, no source has been given for this date, and a record has not been found in Orange Co. marriage records.

James can be found on the Orange Co. "List of Tithables" in 1749, but not in 1754 meaning that he and Elizabeth moved [to Albemarle Co.?] soon after their marriage.

The first deed record found in Albemarle Co. is dated 1758.  They bought 124 acres from James' father John, at the head of the middle branch of the Hardware River.  (Many early Albemarle Co. records are missing making it impossible to determine the exact date that James settled in Albemarle Co.)

James did enter land on July 26, 1765 for 262 acres "on the head branches of Meechums River, under the Ragged Mountains."    This date is probably much later than actual purchase because James had already moved to Amherst Co. the year prior to that date.

James made his will on Sep. 13, 1786 and it was proved Oct. 26 in Wilkes Co.  All of his children are named except he mentions the "heirs of my son Archelaus."  This indicates that Archelaus died prior to Sep. 1786.

Elizabeth is said to have gone to TN with her son Rice where she died about 1827, at about 100 years of age.

From Virginia DAR Book; Big Blue Book, 1970, page 469:
James Coffey -- Born 1726 Ireland; Died 1813 Wilkes County, North Carolina; Married 1746, Prince Wm. Co., Va., Elizabeth Cleveland, born 1728, died 1828.
James Coffey served as a Private under Capt. Alexander Peoples.  Five of his sons were Revolutionary soldiers.  (Penn. Archives, 5th Series Vol. VI, p. 57).  He resided in Pennsylvania during the Revolution.
The accuracy of that DAR biography is very questionable.
Some researchers have mistakenly given James the middle name of Bluford or Edwen [sic].  I have even seen Ervin as a middle name for James.  Middle names did not become common in America until long after the Rev. War.  It became somewhat common only after the mid-1800’s.  I do not believe anyone can produce documentation that any of our early Coffey ancestors had middle names.  The proliferation of such errors as middle names in web-based genealogies is, in my opinion,  the result of copying undocumented work without question.
In a following paragraph, Austin then seems to name Thomas Coffey, another son of John and Jane Graves Coffey as a descendant of Peter.  I believe that has been proven to not be accurate in the work by Dr. Marvin Coffey, a descendant, in his 1984 work, James Bluford Coffey:  His Ancestors and Descendants in America as well as in Thomas Coffey and His Descendants, compiled by Laurence H. Coffey of Lenoir, NC (pub: Newell Sanders, Chattanooga, 1931).
If she knew differently, Austin may have simply miswrote (e.g., badly worded) or perhaps should have omitted all together the comment about the Wilkes Co. Coffeys being descendants of Peter.  I’m afraid that comment has mislead some to erroneously conclude that some of Edward’s descendants were actually Peter descendants.

September 13, 2011

John Edward Taylor

John Edward and Mary Ann Taylor
Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows of my friendship with John and his contributions to my Coffey research.  I first met John in Richmond, VA a number of years ago when he and his wife Mary Ann hosted a Coffey Cousins’ reunion in that city.  John was not a Coffey descendant, but had an extremely strong interest in Virginia history and genealogy.  He had purchased some land in Coffeytown (Alto) in Amherst Co. and became curious of the families that had settled there.  Over the years as his study progressed he developed theories about the family and descendants of Jordan Coffey, the founder of Coffeytown.  He very early believed that Jordan was not a Coffey but was the illegitimate son of Jane Coffey, a daughter of William and Polly Rippetoe Coffey.  Subsequent DNA testing of a proven descendant of Jordan proved that he was not a Coffey but was fathered by a Talliaferro (Tolliver).

John was also an excellent photographer with an eye for color, contrast and composition.  My digital album contains hundreds of his photographs.  He and Mary Ann spent hours photographing and documenting gravestones in Hollywood, Riverview and other cemeteries in Virginia, including many in Amherst Co.

By profession, John was an architect.  He was also a member of the board of directors of the Powhatan Co., VA Historical Society.  Mary Ann is an extremely gifted pen and ink artist.  My wife and I are in possession of many of their custom made Christmas cards adorned with her drawings of several historical buildings and homes in their part of Virginia.

Most recently John and I collaborated to produce several volumes of work on the Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in Powhatan Co.  He did the photography, composed the verbage, did the lay out and printed the works.  I did the genealogical research on the families buried there.  My part was small, but It was a monumental piece of work for John and one I’m certain that he was very proud of and the Society very happy to receive.

A few months ago John was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.  It appeared not to have spread and he successfully underwent radiation and chemotherapy.  Even through all that he rarely missed a day of his professional work and weekends would often find him and Mary Ann off on a photo safari somewhere in VA.  He and Mary Ann were making plans to once again host Coffey Cousins’ in Virginia in 2012.  But, as the days progressed he found himself easily tiring and in pain.  During Hurricane Irene he admitted himself to the hospital and learned within a day or two that the cancer had spread.  Doctors gave him a few months.  Their predictions did not hold up and within a week or so after returning home John passed away on Sunday, Sep. 11, 2011, with family and friends nearby.  He will be laid to rest on Wednesday, Sep. 14 in Hollywood Cemetery at Richmond.

His obituary as it appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sep. 13, 2011:

TAYLOR, John Edward, 66, of Powhatan, passed away, Sunday, September 11, 2011. He was the son of the late Floyd Nash Taylor and Edith Irene Cardoza. He was a graduate of Virginia Tech's School of Architecture. Mr. Taylor had a passion for genealogy and served on the board of the Powhatan Historical Society. He is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Taylor; son, Mark Taylor and his wife, Heather; two brothers, James Taylor and his wife, Lisa, and Wayne Taylor and his wife, Betsy; and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, at the Central Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 3215 Cutshaw Ave. A graveside service will be held, 10 a.m., Wednesday, September 14, 2011, in Hollywood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. 

God rest your soul, John and thank you for being my friend.  I miss you already!

September 12, 2011

James & Nancy Greene Coffey

This James was born in 1806, probably in Cherokee Co., NC.  He was a son of Levi and Dolly Edmundson Coffey and, brother to Rice, Mary Ann, James, Robert, John, Keziah, Elisha, Levi, Jr., and Nancy.

Rice married Dorothy Jane Medaris; James married Nancy Greene; Robert married Mary LNU, Elisha married Anna Harmon Moody; and Levi, Jr. married Louisa Turnbull.

My interest at the moment is centered on James who married Nancy Greene, a daughter of John “Moccasin” and Elizabeth Coffey Greene.  Elizabeth Coffey Greene was a first cousin to James.

Their children were Abram, born c1829; Charity, born c1831; Sarah Elizabeth, born 1836; Daniel M., born c1844; James W., born c1846; and Mary Jane, born c1847.  All were likely born in Cherokee Co.

Sarah Elizabeth married Thomas Cummins West on Dec. 16, 1855 in Murphy, Cherokee Co.  He was born May 14, 1834 in Buncombe Co., NC and died in Graham Co., AZ on Jan. 8, 1888.  Sarah died Dec. 19, 1877 in McKinley Co., NM.  Thomas is buried at Graham Cemetery while Sarah was buried at Savola Pioneer Cemetery in McKinley Co.

James W. married Jane LNU and had a daughter named Dora, born c1878 in NC.

Mary Jane was born c1847 and is said to have married Henry Alexander Ditmore.

While researching this family I found a marriage for a Jane Ditmore in Clay Co., NC dated 25 Feb. 1875.  Her parents were named as James and Nancy Coffey.  One genealogy that I have found reports that a Mary Jane Coffey married Henry Alexander Ditmore c1865 in Cherokee Co.  A search for Henry Alexander Ditmore found him in Tom Greene Co., TX where he died in 1923.  His wife was named Elvira and they are said to have married c1869 in Panola Co., TX.  He was a native of McMinn Co., TN.

The thought occurred to me that the above Jane LNU who James W. Coffey might be Mary Jane Coffey Ditmore. There are problems with this thought, however:  James W. and Mary Jane Coffey Ditmore were brother and sister and, the marriage record for Jane Coffey Ditmore shows her groom to be James M. Coffey, a son of John Coffey.*

Update 8/15/2013:

Henry Alexander Ditmore (son). Henry was born September 27, 1841 in McMinn County, Tennessee. About 1844 his family moved to Cherokee County, North Carolina. In 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served for the duration of the war. After the war ended he returned home to Cherokee County, North Carolina where he married Mary Jane Coffey. They had one son.

He left Mary and moved west where he settled in Panola County, Texas and remarried to Elvira C. Mathews. They had thirteen children. Around 1886 the family moved to San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas. Henry died there on January 29, 1923. 

Thanks to Elizabeth [lizzyiscrazy23 @] for the update!

The marriage info below* is that of Henry's former wife, Mary Jane Coffey and her marriage to James M. Coffey.  James M. was a son of James Coffey and Nancy Greene, born c1846 in NC.  

Henry Alexander Ditmore and his second wife, Elvira C. Mathews, are buried at the Grape Creek Cemetery in Grape Creek, Tom Green Co., TX. 

*Groom's Name: James M. Coffey Groom's Birth Date: Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: Bride's Name: Jane Ditmore  Bride's Birth Date: Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: Marriage Date: 25 Feb 1875 Marriage Place: Brasstown, Clay, North Carolina Groom's Father's Name: John Coffey Groom's Mother's Name: Bride's Father's Name: James Coffey Bride's Mother's Name: Nancy Coffey Groom's Race: Groom's Marital Status: Unknown  Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: Bride's Marital Status: Unknown Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M75237-1 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 840423 Reference Number: P 5

September 11, 2011

William Rufus & Harriet E. Moore Coffey

William Rufus, a son of Wilborn and Sallie Cottrell Coffey, was born Nov. 17, 1832 in Caldwell Co., NC and died there on Dec. 7, 1902.  He married Harriet E. Moore, born May 3, 1835 to David and Sarah Caroline Moore Moore, on Dec. 4, 1856.  Both are buried at the Rufus Baptist Church Cemetery in the Mulberry community of Caldwell Co.

There were at least three children born to this couple.  The first I know of was Julius Pinkney, born Aug. 24, 1858, died Feb. 11, 1933 in Mulberry Twp., Caldwell Co.  Julius married Louise Ann Edwards on Mar. 30, 1913 in Rowan Co., NC.  She was a daughter of William Dudley and Eunity [sic] Emeline Whitley Edwards. Julius and Louise are buried at the Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Marshville, Union Co., NC.

In the on-line death records index in Caldwell Co., Julius is recorded as Julius Penley Coffey.  His death certificate also provides Penley as his middle name.  His marriage to Louise is recorded as Julius Pinkney and, his headstone is also engraved with that name.  Julius' death certificate reports him buried at "Philadelphia," which I presume to be the Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Lenoir.  He may indeed be there, but his headstones, shared with Louise, is at Pleasant Grove.

Other genealogical difficulties with this couple include the birth of their children.  The first was Bruce Glen, which according to his death certificate was born Dec. 24, 1908 in Caldwell Co., some five plus years before his parents marriage.  The certificate also names his parents as Julius and Louise.  Bruce married Amy Moore, a daughter of Wiley Hill and Ellen Hodges Moore in 1928, Caldwell Co.  Bruce died in Lenoir on Sep. 2, 1971 and Amy on Jan. 25, 1987.  Both are buried at Rufus Baptist Church cemetery.

Hazel Eugenia is the only other child known to me.  According to her death certificate, she was born on Feb. 28, 1913, just about a month before her parents marriage.  She married Thomas Carl Jones, date and place not known.  She died Nov. 14, 1964 at home in Lenoir and was buried at Blue Ridge Memorial Park in that city.

Read my earlier blog for my views on using death certificates and headstones as source data.

Second child born to William Rufus and Harriet was Sarah Ellen, born Apr. 14, 1861 in Caldwell Co., died Jul. 2, 1942 in Butler, Johnson Co., TN.  Her spouse is said to have been Davis S. Vaught.*  No further information.

Their third child was David Milton, born June, 1865 in Caldwell Co.  He married Ida Susan Vaught,** likely a sister to David, on May 15, 1893 in Johnson Co., TN.  I know of two children:  David Duke Coffey, born May 22, 1897 and Broady Bailey, born Feb. 22, 1898.  Both were born in Watauga Co., NC.

*Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955, from FamilySearch Internet ( various dates).
**Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.

September 10, 2011

Ephraim Ellison & Elizabeth Coffey

The Characters:

Nathan Coffey, born c1760 in Rowan Co., NC, died 1823 in Jackson Co., AL.  Married Mary Saunders c1823 in Wilkes Co., NC.

His daughter Elizabeth, born c1791 in NC, died 1837 in Jackson Co., AL.  Marriage records in Adair Co., KY show that “Betsy Coffey, daughter of Nathan Coffey, married James Coffey on Mar. 4, 1804.  James is said to have been a son of Joel and Martha Stepp/Stapp Coffey.  Joel is said to have been a son of Chesley and Jane Cleveland Coffey.

Salathiel Coffey, currently believed to be a brother to Nathan and Joel, was born between 1750 and 1855, died Jul. 28, 1784 in Wilkes Co., NC.  Married Elizabeth Gore and also had a daughter named Elizabeth, born between 1781 and 1784 in Wilkes Co.  She is said to have married Rutherford Coffey, son of Nathan on Mar. 17, 1891 in Green Co., KY

Newton Coffey, born c1773 in Wilkes Co., married Sarah Meredith c1802 in Adair Co., KY, a son of Salathiel.

Longtime Coffey researchers and readers of this blog will know that no documents have ever been found that proves Chesley existed.  The fact that a Chesley, Jr. did, makes that a clear possibility, however.

Ellison-Coffey Mar Lic
Ephraim Ellis-Elizabeth Coffey
Marriage Bond
Ephraim Ellison posted bond to marry Elizabeth Coffey in Wilkes Co. on Dec. 18, 1799; Thomas Cole was the bondsman.  I have been unable to determine who Elizabeth’s parents were.  I have a theory that she is somehow closely connected to Salathiel and Elizabeth Gore Coffey, and is perhaps their daughter.

Salathiel died intestate in 1784 in Wilkes Co.  Elizabeth Gore Coffey was named in the administration of the estate but no children were.  Following that, Elizabeth Gore Coffey and her children moved to that part of Green Co., KY that in 1801 became Adair Co.  Salathiel and Elizabeth had a daughter named Elizabeth.

A marriage record exists in Green Co., KY that shows the marriage of an Elizabeth Coffey to a Rutherford Coffey on Mar. 17, 1801.  Rutherford was a son of Nathan and Mary Saunders Coffey.  Nathan also had a daughter named Elizabeth but it is unlikely that Rutherford married his own sister.  Nathan's Elizabeth married James Coffey, son of Joel and Martha Stapp/Stepp Coffey.  Joel is thought be a brother to Salathiel and Nathan.

The best information that I have shows Rutherford was born in 1786*, meaning he would have been 15 years old at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, who would have been between 17 and 20 years old.  Reatherford [sic] Coffey does appear in Adair Co. on Dec. 30, 1802 as a witness to Nathan’s obligation to obtain a property deed.  I suspect that he would already reached majority age in 1802 meaning that he was born closer to 1780 or 1782.

So, Rutherford’s marriage to Elizabeth Coffey in KY is after Ellison’s marriage to the Elizabeth Coffey in Wilkes Co. making it a bit unlikely that Ellison’s Elizabeth is the same one that married Rutherford.  Either Elizabeth could be Salathiel’s daughter but, which one.

Ephraim Ellison and Elizabeth Coffey were married in Wilkes Co. on Dec. 18, 1799.

In Oct., 1805 Ephraim Ellison named Newton Coffee [sic] of Adair Co., KY as his attorney to “…demand…amount of a bond or obligation I have on William Dudley and Thomas Robins of Wilkes County” NC…for $300 or a young negro.  This was witnessed by Joel and Ely Coffee.

On Dec. 16 of that same year, Ephraim again appointed Newton Coffee [sic] as his lawful attorney to “manage any suit or suits in the county court for the County of Wilks and State of N. C. either for or against me… To collect…the proceeds of a bond dated the 20th day of December 1804 and signed by William Dula and Thomas Robins and purported to have by them executed to me for a young negro boy or girl… or 300 dollars…”

This makes it clear that Ephraim Ellison and his Coffey wife were closely connected to Newton.

It is possible that Elizabeth and Ellison did not follow through with their marriage plans and that Elizabeth then married Rutherford once they arrived in KY.

Who were parents of Elizabeth Coffey who married Ephraim Ellison?  Perhaps she had been previously married to a Coffey and then widowed?

Looking for clues! 

*Traditional birth year, but some researchers believe he was born much earlier, e.g., 1779 or even earlier.  However, Nathan and Mary Saunders did not marry until c1785 calling into question even the 1782 birth year.  Perhaps another Coffey's son?

September 8, 2011

Henry S. & Sarah “Sallie” Coffey Roberts

Sallie was a daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth “Betty” Watters Coffey.  Lewis was a son of James and Sarah Emeline Sumpter Coffey.  Sallie was born Mar. 17, 1834 in Pulaski Co.

Henry, in the 1900 census for the Sinking Pct., Wayne Co., KY tells us that he was born in Apr., 1832 in North Carolina.  The census also tell us that he and Sallie had been married for 43 years and that Sallie was the mother of eight children, seven still living.  Unconfirmed sources tell me that their marriage date was Dec. 3, 1856 in Wayne Co.

In 1860, the first census after their marriage, the family received mail at the Monticello Post Office in Wayne Co.  Two children had been born:  Lewis, c1858 and Jesse, c1860.  In 1870 they were enumerated in the Texas District of Pulaski Co.  Lewis was then 12 and Jesse was 10.  In the interim, four additional children had been born:  Manassas, age 8 (born Dec. 1, 1861 in Pulaski Co.); Silas, age 5 (born Sep. 4, 1864); Elijah, age 3 (born c1867) and James, age 6 mos.  It was sometime after the birth of Manassas that the family moved back to Wayne Co. where they lived out the remainder of their lives.

When the census was taken in 1880, the family consisted of mother and father a children Silas, age 16; Elijah, age 12; James C., age 10; Thomas F., age 8; and Williams S., age 3.  Also in the household was Jane Clark, a 22-year old servant girl and her son, William, age 1 mo., all born in KY.

By 1880, the three oldest sons, Lewis, Jesse and Manassas had taken brides.  Lewis and Jesse lived close to their parents with their wives and young children.  Lewis married a young woman by the name of Rebecca and they had one child in 1880, a daughter named Eliza.  Jesse married c1880 to a young woman named Emma who shortly had a son, Tilford.  About the same year, Manassas married Hettie Godsey and they also lived nearby.  Their first child, Sarah came on Jan. 22, 1882; the second that I know of was William, date of birth unknown, died in Ritner, Wayne Co. in 1948.

Hettie Godsey was a daughter of Zebulon and Mahala Jane Thompson and was born Aug. 13, 1862.  Her sister Ruth was born in Nov., 1864 and married Marion Sellers c1885 in KY.  One of Ruth’s children, Ollie Sellers, born Jan. 31, 1898 in Whitley, Pulaski Co., married John William Coffey, a son of James Shelby and Melissa Malvina Holloway Coffey.  James Shelby Coffey was Lewis Coffey’s nephew and also a double-fourth cousin.

By 1900, Henry and Ruth were up in age and the only child remaining at home was Thomas, age 28.

Henry’s headstone in the Martha Coffey cemetery near Ritner tells us that he died on Jun. 1, 1909.  However, he appeared in the Ritner, Wayne Co. census taken on May 10, 1910.  He was 78 then and reported that he had been twice married.  Sally was 76 and 53 years into her first marriage.  Henry was 24 when he and Sarah were married.  Since young men tended to marry by age 20 it seems likely that he had been previously married but, outside this census I have found nothing to substantiate that.
Martha Coffey Cemetery Sign
Sarah died on Sep. 8, 1923 in McCreary Co., KY and was buried the next day in the Martha Coffey cemetery.  I have not found her in the 1920 census.

Silas, born Sep. 4, 1864, died Oct. 7, 1937 in Kidder, Wayne Co. and was buried at Martha Coffey Cemetery.

Elijah, born c1868, died in Wayne Co. in 1937.

Thomas was born Feb. 23, 1872 and died Jul. 20, 1956 in Wayne Co.  He is also buried at Martha Coffey Cemetery.

William was born Apr. 17, 1877 and died Jul. 17, 1962 in Wayne Co.  Like the others, he is also at Martha Coffey Cemetery.

I have found nothing about James C. since his appearance in the 1880 census.

This cemetery is difficult to locate.  It is near Ritner and off the Jones Hollow Road at a fork with a gravel road.  I am told there is a cemetery sign at the fork.

My thanks to Theresa/Thunderbird584 at Find-A-Grave (FAG) for locating this cemetery and providing researchers with headstone photos.

I do not believe the "search also for" function at the very bottom of each blog is working properly. I suggest using the upper right search window and enclose your search terms in quotes; e.g., "Sumpter"

September 7, 2011

William and Henrietta Josephine Coffey Lawrence

Henrietta Josephine Coffey was a daughter of William Saunders and Elizabeth Schooler Coffey. I wrote earlier this year about one of her siblings, John Nathan Coffey and his family with Emma Mariah McCown.

Henrietta was born in Alabama on Jul. 2, 1838 and died Apr. 8, 1916 in Lavaca Co., TX She and William were married on May 11, 1864 in that county where they raised a family of at least seven children.

Lawrence, Henrietta Coffey
Henrietta Josephine Coffey
Photo via Kathy Coffey Simmons
William was born to Joseph E. & Mary Eleanor McGary Lawrence on Dec. 13, 1839 in Washington Co., TX and in Lavaca on Jan. 2, 1926. Joseph is said to have been a fighter in the Texas Army of Independence. His brother, also named William, is said to have fought at San Jacinto. I have not researcher either.

Update May 25, 2013:  A William Lawrence autobiography found at Citizens of the Free State of Lavaca reads:

"I was born in North Carolina, June 15, 1800, came to Texas in 1835 and went to work as a farm hand. I came alone and was not married. Everything went along quietly until the spring of 1836, when I went with a Company of Volunteers to answer the call of Travis to relieve the Alamo. We started from Gonzales with twenty-five or thirty men under the leadership of Deaf Smith. We camped at the Powder House in sight of the city of San Antonio and waited for the signal gun to advance. Hearing that the Fort had been taken, we retreated to Gonzales followed by Santa Anna and army.  At Gonzales we spread the news, and together with Sam Houston retreated toward the Brazos, crossing the country (Lavaca County) where Mr. H. P. Smith now lives, and at Rocky Creek at the "Old Pine Tree Crossing," and the Navidad where the bridge on the Hallettsville and Schulenburg Road now stands. The retreat became general all over the Country, everybody leaving their homes and going east.
"Santa Anna came on, burning everything in his path. Houston, hearing from two Mexican prisoners that Santa Anna was cut off from the main army, resolved to crush him. The next day (April 20) we had several sharp skirmishes, and on the morning of the 2ist of April, Deaf Smith chopped and burned the bridge over the river, cutting off the enemy's retreat. We were camped about a quarter of a mile from the enemy in some large timbers. There was a ridge between us obscuring our view. About three o'clock in the evening we were ordered to parade. I was in the Cavalry on the right wing.  As we advanced they did not see us until we were within a hundred yards of them then they fired a terrific volley of small shot at us. But fortunately they shot over our heads. It seemed at one time that if one had held his hat two feet above his head, it would have caught twenty bullets or more. As we closed in and began the work of the two small cannons (The Twin Sisters) on them, they retreated in disorder towards the bridge. We followed the Cavalry. For the first six miles, they ran very even and kept out of reach; but after that, we gained on them and shot our carbines at them, dropping them off their horses. We then used our holster pistols and long knives. There was not one of our eighty men that did not get one or more of the Mexicans. At the end of twelve miles we all stopped to rest and let our horses rest. When we dismounted, we were so fatigued that we could not stand up and fell around like a company of drunken men. 
"The next day, three men, while out hunting, captured Santa Anna and brought him to Sam Houston, who was wounded and lying under an Elm Tree on the bank of the bayou. Santa Anna would have been killed, but he gave the Masonic sign and several men rushed up and defended him. On the same day, I was out reconnoitering and saw something crawling along, dragging in the grass. I halted it and, as it did not stop, I shot it. When I rode up to it, I found it to be a big, greasy Mexican. I had put a sinker under his ribs. The object he was draggin' proved to be a saddle and blanket of William B. Travis, who had been killed at the Alamo. The saddle sold for $20.00 and the blanket for $10.00. I got my discharge and returned to Washington-on-the-Brazos."
A biography found in A History of Texas and Texans* provides a little more information about William and Henrietta:
William Lawrence. A resident of Lavaca County most of his life, William Lawrence belongs to some of the oldest American stock in Texas, antedating the war for independence in which his father took part. Since the war between the states, in which he was a soldier, he has applied his energies to the staple industry of Lavaca County, farming and stock raising, and has a good estate near Hallettsville.

William Lawrence was born in old Washington County, Texas, December 13, 1839. His grandfather was named William, and among his children are recalled the names of William, Absalom, Jason, Joseph and Mrs. Barbara Beaver.

Joseph Lawrence was the pioneer Texan. Born in North Carolina, he left there at the age of fifteen, spent several years at Nashville, Tennessee, and in 1833 arrived in Texas, then a province of Mexico. He identified himself with the movement for Texan independence during .the years of 1835-36, and joined Houston's army in time to participate in the culminating battle at San Jacinto. This service entitled him to a land warrant, which was laid in Ellis County, and which his sons sold at $2.50 per acre, unconscious of the future value of acres now located in one of the richest agricultural sections of the state.

After independence Joseph Lawrence, who first lived in Washington County, moved to Dewitt County, but that locality was so exposed to Indian raids that he found a safer location in La Grange and spent about five years there. He then moved into Lavaca County, to a place two miles north of where his son William now lives, and there spent his active years in superintending his ranch and stock. When he died, in 1897, at the age of ninety-four, he was one of the oldest residents of Texas, and highly respected both as a soldier of the Revolution and as a man. Though without education, never having signed his name, he possessed the rugged virility of the pioneer, good judgment in business affairs, and had reared and provided home and other advantages for his family of some ten children. Though a Methodist, he was like many of the older settlers rather backward in church matters.

Joseph Lawrence was married at the old town of Washington, on the Brazos, to Mary E. McGary, an Irish lady who died in Lavaca County. Their children were: William; Bettie, who married S. G. McCown, and died in Yoakum, Texas; Cameron, of Goliad, Texas; Margaret, who married Wallace Chrisman, and died in Dallas; Mary, who became the wife of Henry Smith, and died in Floresville, Texas; Ellen, who married James A. Jameson, of Yoakum; Susan, who died in Lavaca County as the wife of Elijah Sewell; Martha, Mrs. James Brown, of Dallas County; Joseph, now deceased; and Jack, who died at Marlin, Texas.

William Lawrence has lived in Lavaca County since 1849. In his youth schools were not held so important factors in training the younger generation as they are now, and his education rather practical than bookish. Just about the time he was getting ready for life on his own responsibilities, the war came on and in August, 1861, his name was enrolled in the Confederate service. Captain Whitfield's company, which he joined, reported for duty to Gen. Ben McCulloch, in Northern Arkansas, and there Whitfield's legion was organized. He fought at the Battle of Elkhorn, armed with a Mississippi rifle, which he had brought from Hallettsville, and after that engagement his command was sent to Des Arc, Arkansas, and there dismounted and sent to Memphis as infantry. It was in the operations about Corinth, fell back to Tupelo, and there rested and recuperated from the epidemic of measles which was making havoc among the soldiers. After the battle at luka, in which they participated, the legion was again mounted and resumed rank as cavalry. They went into Tennessee, fought at Thompson's Station, and were in the raid of Gen. Van Dorn against Grant's supply train at Holly Springs and helped capture a number of Federal prisoners there. They were then attached to Johnston's army for the relief of Vicksburg. The fall of Vicksburg Mr. Lawrence regarded as the death blow to the hopes of a victorious Confederacy, and after that he fought only as a soldier's duty and not with the spirit which he had begun. He was always present for any service, and as orderly sergeant called the roll of his company every day, but he realized that it was a loss of time and waste of men to continue the struggle against the overwhelming odds on the side of the North. In April, 1864, an order directed that one man from each company should be furloughed home. When the captain presented him the hat containing the lots of those who should go and those who should remain, he scratched down to the bottom of the hat and pulled out a '' furlough.'' When he left the army for sixty days he bade his comrades farewell, for he had determined never again to engage in the war east of the Mississippi. A month after he reached home he married, and a little later joined a company that was organizing in Horton County for duty on the frontier. Capt. William Townsend was in command of this company, with headquarters near San Patricio, but they patrolled a large part of the Rio Grande district, from San Antonio to Laredo and Eagle Pass, and he had returned from one of these long rounds when the news came of Lee's surrender and the end of the war.

Once more free to take up the duties of civil life, Mr. Lawrence resumed his old vocation, farm and stock. His present estate, containing some 560 acres, is on the Woodard and Fuller leagues, and he and his good wife have labored wisely and well to accumulate and improve this substantial homestead. They have fenced it and have brought 250 acres under cultivation, have set up six sets of buildings, and have directed the work of the tenants chiefly to producing cotton.

Mr. Lawrence was married May 11, 1864, to Miss Henrietta Coffey, who represents another family of early Texas. Her father, William Saunders Coffey, was born and reared in Kentucky, but came from Jackson County, Alabama, to Texas in 1844, and settled first in Titus County, and in 1859 came to Lavaca County, where he was a slave-holding farmer until the war. He died in November, 1875, at the age of eighty. He married Elizabeth Schooler, who died in 1871, and their children were as follows: Milton, of Morris County, Texas; Mary J., who married Millis Higginbotham, and died in Titus County; Eliza, who married William Riley, and died in Lavaca County; Emeline, who died unmarried; Catherine, the wife of John Williams, lives near Mrs. Lawrence, who is the next in the family; Margaret, who married Steve Pool, of San Angelo; and John Nathan, of Brown County.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence were born five children: Ellen is the wife of Jep Griffith, of Uvalde, Texas; Willie is the wife of Allen English, and they live on the Lawrence farm; Lulu married Laughlin Simpson, a farmer in this neighborhood; Leon died in young manhood, and his twin brother died at the age of eleven years.
There are some inconsistencies in that blurb, especially as pertains to their children.  With the exception of Ellen who died in San Antonio, all were born and died in Lavaca Co.

Three of their seven children died very young.  The first two were Mary Ellen, born Jun. 10, 1865, died Jun. 24, 1864, and Annie, born Sep. 30, 1866, died Sep. 24, 1879.

The next four all lived to become adults, to marry and have families of their own:

Ellen was born Nov. 9, 1869 and died Aug. 28, 1957 in San Antonio.  Her spouse was Jeptha William Griffith, a son of Lewis and Anna McKay Griffith, born Dec. 25, 1866 in TX, died in San Antonio on Feb. 27. 1954.  He and Ellen were married in Lavaca Co. on Nov. 28, 1888.  Both are buried at Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio.  Their children (at least through 1900) were Lula, Etta, Raymond and Bessie.

Willie Lenora was next born on Jul. 7, 1872.  She married Allen English on Jul. 14, 1890 in Lavaca Co.  Allen, a son of William and Addie Esterling English, was born Jul. 30, 1865 in Lavaca and died there on Oct. 7, 1925.  They are buried at Andrews Chapel Cemetery in Hallettsville, Lavaca Co.  Their children, as known to me, were Ford L., born 1893 died 1955 and Ivy, born 1895, died 1969 in Schulenburg, Fayette Co., TX.

Lula Avazine was born Jan. 8, 1875 at Hallettsville and died there on Jul. 26, 1962.  She married Laughlin William Simpson, born Jan. 16, 1876 in TX and died there on Oct. 30, 1927.  Their marriage date is recorded as Jan. 4, 1900 in Lavaca Co.  They are also buried at Andrews Chapel.  Children:  Lawrence Joseph, Leon Laughlin, Fannie Josephine and Samuel Aubrey.

The last two were William Leonard who also died young, and his twin, Joseph Leon, were born Feb. 14, 1877.  William died Sep. 19, 1888.  Joseph lived to age 25 and died on Aug. 15, 1902 in Lavaca Co.  They too are buried at Andrews Chapel.

*Frank W. Johnson, Author, A History of Texas and Texans, Eugene C. Barker Ph. D., Editor, vol. iii (Chicago, IL and New York: The American Historical Society, 1916), Pages 1325-1326.

John Lloyd & Pauline Hoffa Coffey

John Lloyd Coffey was a son of James Daniel and Lou Anna "Annie" Payne Coffey. He was born Oct. 15, 1906 in Indiana, probably Owen Co. He married Pauline Hoffa on May 25, 1929 in that county. She was born Apr. 23, 1911 in Cunot, Owen Co., and died 2001 in Owensburg, Daviess Co., KY. Lloyd died in Indiana in 1954 and both are buried at the Cloverdale Cemetery, Putnam Co., IN.

Obituary, Banner Graphic, Greencastle, Putnam Co., IN

Pauline Coffey, 89, Owensboro, Ky. and Stuart, Fla., died Thursday at Wellington Parc, Owensboro.

Born in Cloverdale, she was the daughter of Henry Hoffa and Nellie Zenor Hoffa.

She had retired as an administrative assistant at IBM Corp. in Greencastle, and was a member of Wesleyan Heights United Methodist Church and the Order of the Eastern Star.

Survivors include a daughter, Betty Barnard, Owensboro; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Lloyd Coffey.

Services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at James H. Davis Funeral Home Chapel, Owensboro.

Graveside services will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Cloverdale Cemetery.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Friday at James H. Davis Funeral Home.

Given the recent insulting remarks about conservative Americans by James Hoffa, current "president" of the Teamsters unions, and son of the convicted union thug James Riddle Hoffa, I thought it might be interesting to find out how Pauline Hoffa Coffey might be related to that family.

Pauline was a daughter of Henry and Nellie L. Zenor Hoffa.  Henry was a son of Isaac R. & Nancy Parthenia Turner Hoffa.  Isaac was a son of John and Ann Hoffa.  Jacob Hoffa was an older brother to Isaac and married a lady by the name of Nancy J. c1871 in IN.  One of their children was John Cleveland Hoffa who married Viola Riddle.  Their son was James "Jimmy" Riddle Hoffa. Pauline and Jimmy were therefore second cousins.

Except for John Hoffa who was born c1818 in PA, all the others were natives of Indiana.

Forgot to mention that Lloyd Coffey is in the Chesley Coffey line.

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."

September 3, 2011

Jordan & Rachel Lorinda Coffey Hampton

Hampton, Jordan Family

Rachel Lorinda "Rinda" Coffey was a daughter of Jesse Calton and Nancy A. Raines Coffey.  She was born on Nov. 14, 1856 in Haywood Co., NC and died Oct. 14, 1934 in the Blue Ridge Twp. of Watauga Co., NC.*  She was probably buried alongside Jordan in the Hampton Family cemetery in Blowing Rock.

Jordan was a son of Emanuel and Sarah Orilla Moreland Hampton and was born Sep. 10, 1856 in Watauga Co.  He and Rachel were married there on Nov. 7, 1875.**  Over the next 30 years, Rachel became the mother of at least 15 children.  The family appeared in every Watauga Co. census from 1880 until 1930, the last available.

The children as I have them:

Martha L., born Sep. 6, 1875, died Nov. 16, 1940 at Blowing Rock.  Her spouse was James Carey Ashley, born Feb. 2, 1868 in Wilkes Co. to Benjamin and Sarah Brown Ashley.  They were married on May 10, 1899 in Watauga Co.  James died Jun. 30, 1955 in Blowing Rock.  Both are buried at Middle Fork Cemetery in Boone.

Emanuel Arkie "Arkie", born Dec. 26, 1879, died Dec. 19, 1963 in Boone.  He married Mary Ann Storie on Nov. 19, 1905 in Patterson, Caldwell Co.  She was born in NC c1883.  Their daughter, Adda Leona Hampton, born Oct. 14, 1918, died Sep. 23, 1968 in Blowing Rock, married Rhonda Lester Coffey, a son of Rufus Monroe and Emma Eliza Robbins Coffey.  Arkie is buried at Mount Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery at Boone.  I have found no other info on Mary Ann.

Harley E., born 1881, died unknown.  He married Estella Lay on Jul. 28, 1901 in Deerfield, Watauga Co.***

William Spencer, born Jul. 21, 1882, died Sep. 7, 1964 at Boone.¹

Sarah Elizabeth, born Nov. 11, 1883.  No further information.

Eliza Jane, born Jul 30, 1886, died Jan. 23, 1972 in Watauga Co.  Her spouse was Roby Luther Storie, a son of J. L. & Martha Caroline Curtis Storie.  He was born Sep. 9, 1879 in Caldwell Co. and died at Boone on Oct. 12, 1952.¹  They were married on May 31, 1908 in Watauga Co.***  Both are buried at Mount Lawn Memorial Park in Boone.

Rev. Jesse Amos, born Jul. 30, 1886, married Verta Harrison, daughter of Jeremiah William and Delphia Melinda Cook Harrison on Aug. 13, 1911 in Watauga Co.  Rev. Hampton died a horrible death on Jan. 12, 1927 when he was crushed in his mill while removing ice from the wheel.  He is buried at the Hampton Cemetery in Boone.¹  Verta was born Aug. 15, 1884 and died Aug. 14, 1966 at Blowing Rock.  She is also buried at the Hampton Cemetery.  Another daughter of Jeremiah and Delphia married Newton Leonard Harrison, a son of Anson Lafayette and Eliza Jane Coffey Harrison.  Eliza was also a daughter of Jesse Calton and Nancy Raines Coffey.
Walter, born Feb. 3, 1889 in Watauga Co., died Mar. 10, 1956 in Statesville, Iredell Co., NC. He was buried at Mount Lawn in Boone.

Finimore Lindley, born Dec. 5, 1890, died Apr. 18, 1970 at Boone.  He married Nevada Bowles on Jun. 29, 1913 in Watauga Co.***  Nevada was born Jul. 1, 1894 in Watauga Co., died at Boone on Jan. 23, 1994.  Both are buried at Mount Vernon.

Constance "Connie" Geneva, born Oct. 12, 1992, died Mar. 3, 1984 at Boone.  She married Joseph William "Joe" Wheeler on Jan. 31, 1915 in Watauga Co.***  Joe was born May 1, 1892 in that county and died at Triplett, Elk Twp., Watauga Co. on May 9, 1951.  Joe's death certificate reports his burial in the "family cemetery" at Triplett.  Connie is probably also buried there.

Birdie, born Oct. 25, 1894.  No further information.

Oliver Estes, born Aug. 1, 1898 at Blowing Rock, died on Oct. 15, 1937 at Statesville.  He married Inez Day, born 1899 in NC, on Feb. 14, 1918 in Watauga Co.***  Oliver is buried at Boone in the Hampton Cemetery.

Elzy (Elsie?) Caroline was born Dec. 21, 1898, married Mar. 2, 1919*** to J. W. Johnson, born in NC c1895.

Jeremiah Russell, born May 8, 1902, died Dec. 21, 1954 in Watauga Co.  He married Fannie Lee Herman, a daughter of Carroll Marvin and Essie Loaney Coffey Herman on Dec. 25, 1921** in Watauga Co.  Essie was a daughter of John Nelson "Nels" and Laura Ann Henley Coffey.  Jeremiah is buried at Mount Lawn.  Fannie died Jul. 18, 1990 at Boone and is probably also buried at Mount Lawn.

Child number 15 was Theodore Augustus "Gus," born May 30, 1904, died Jun. 12, 1956 at Boone.  He married Edna Serena Green, daughter of Albert and Bertha Triplett Greer on Feb. 1, 1926 at Bamboo in Watauga Co.***  Edna was born Sep. 25, 1906 in Watauga Co. and died Jun. 6, 2008 at Boone.

Obituary, The Watauga Democrat, Jun. 10, 2008

Mrs. Edna Serena Greer Hampton, 101, of 206 Ridgewood Road, Deep Gap, died Friday, June 6, 2008, at Glenbridge Health Care Center.

She was born Sept. 25, 1906 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Albert and Bertha Triplett Greer.

Mrs. Hampton was one of the original 43 charter members of Trinity Baptist Church in Deep Gap, N.C., where she attended for many years and also taught Sunday School.

A life well lived, Edna is fondly remembered by her family and friends as a maker of beautiful quilts, fine embroidery, good cooking, love of family, and a gentle spirit. As a descendant of some of the first settlers in this area (as well as Daniel Boone’s sister and Benjamin Greer, a soldier of the Revolutionary War) she is one of the last of a pioneering breed of true Americans. She enjoyed most of all family get-togethers, always featuring loads of good food. Edna enjoyed gathering and preserving food when in season. She is remembered best sitting at her quilting frames, or holding an embroidery hoop and needle, peeling and paring vegetables and fruits for canning, drying, freezing or preserving.

Survivors include four daughters, Rosella (Kay) Nolte of Millersville, Md., Evalee Stone of Lenoir, Bonnie Steelman and husband, Harold, of Deep Gap, and Margaret Jewell of Raleigh; two sons, Dale Hampton and wife, Marie, of Boone, and Kenneth Hampton and wife, Hazel, of Bowling Brook, Ill.; one sister, Maude Clawson of Boone; and four half-sisters, Bernice Cox of Lenoir, Ruth Miller of Boone, Gladys Gilbert and Melba Hayes, both of Boomer. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.
Obituary Photo
She was preceded in death by her husband, Theodore Augustus Hampton (Gus); two daughters, Reba Rourke; and an infant, Shelby Jean Hampton; one grandson, Claude Nolte; three sons-in-law, Robert Rourke, Bernard G. Stone and Joseph Jewell; three sisters, Mrs. Lawrence "Maggie" Green, Mrs. Walter "Lily" Triplette and Mrs. Willard "Ora" Watson; two brothers, Virgil Greer and Sherman Greer; two half-brothers, Bynum Greer and Vaughan Greer; and one half-sister, Chloe Greer.

Services will be conducted Monday afternoon, June 9, 2008, at 2:00 o'clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 12:30 until 2:00 o'clock. Officiating will be Dr. Wayne Brown. Burial will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

The family will receive friends, Monday afternoon, from 12:30 until 2:00 o'clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service. At other times, friends may call at the home of Bonnie and Harold Steelman, 206 Ridgewood Road, Deep Gap.

Online condolences may be sent to the Hampton family at

Hampton Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.

*Racheal L. Hampton, death certificate No. 442 (14 October 1934), Bureau of Vital Statistics, North Carolina State Board of Health, Caldwell Co., NC. (
**Historical Studies, Appalachian State University, Department of History (Editors Evelyn G. Shepherd and Brenda M. Greene), compiler, Marriage Register of Watauga County, North Carolina 1873-1954 (Boone, Watauga Co., NC: Dept. of Hist., Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC, 1995).
***North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (
¹Source available on request 

Note:  Someone appears to have been cropped out of the family photo.  A shoulder and arm appears to the far right. Source of photo unknown; appears to be from a publication.

September 1, 2011

Henry Columbus & Ruth Annie Carter Coffey

Henry was born in North Carolina on Oct. 23, 1903 to Thomas Franklin and Mary Kathryn Lingafelt Coffey.  He died in Hickory, Catawba Co. on Jul. 18, 1949 and was buried at Pinecrest Cemetery in Granite Falls, Caldwell Co.

Ruth Annie was a daughter of Robert Alexander "Bob" and Mary Martha "Mollie" Cooper Carter.  She was born Dec. 3, 1904 in Caldwell Co., and died in Granite Falls on Dec. 9, 1994.  Ruth is likely buried at Pinecrest as well, but I have not found any evidence.

Bob Carter was born Jul. 26, 1882 in Watauga Co., NC and died Jan. 27, 1958 in Granite Falls.  Mollie was born in North Carolina on Sep. 11, 1886 and died in Granite Falls on May 9, 1918.  Her death certificate reveals only that she was buried at Granite Falls.  On Nov. 1, 1919 Bob married Carrie Mae Hayes, born Aug. 16, 1882 in NC, died May 18, 1972 at Kenansville in Duplin Co., NC and was buried in Warsaw, Duplin Co. at Devotional Gardens.  Her parents were J. Robert and Caroline Neal Hayes.

Henry and Ruth were married on Jul. 2, 1921* in Lovelady Twp., Caldwell Co. and were the parents of at least eight children:

Annie May, born Mar., 1922 in Caldwell Co., died on Jan. 4, 2009 in Seattle, King Co., WA.  Her husband was Kenneth Jefferson Holverstoot, born Oct. 5, 1924 in OR, died in Seattle on Oct. 6, 1982.  He and Annie were married in King Co. on Apr. 29, 1950.**

Lois, born 1923 in Caldwell Co.  No further information.

Van, born 1927 in Caldwell Co.  No further information.

Marylyn Coffey Franklin Obituary Photo
Marilyn Miller, born Jun. 30, 1928 in Caldwell Co., died Aug. 23, 2011 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co.  Her husband was George Jennings Franklin, born Jul. 16, 1924 in NC, died May 28, 1984 in Statesville, Iredell Co., NC.

Obituary, Mackie-High Funeral Home,  On-line , Aug., 2011
Marilyn Miller Coffey Franklin
Hudson – Mrs. Marilyn Coffey Franklin, 83, of Hudson, NC, went home to be with our Lord, Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at Caldwell County Hospice and Palliative Care of Lenoir.

Mrs. Franklin was born June 30, 1928 in Caldwell County, N.C. to the late Henry C, Coffey and Ruth Carter Coffey.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, George Jennings. Franklin, a sister, Mae Holverstott, of Seattle, Washington, two brothers; Harold Coffey of Granite Falls and Bill Coffey of Rutherford College. She is survived by four sons; George A. Franklin and his wife Becky Newton, NC, Richard Franklin and his wife Aileen from Raleigh, NC, Audie Franklin and his wife Judy from Statesville, NC, and Fabian Franklin of Hudson, NC. Four daughters; Diane Carswell and her husband Gene of Valdese, NC, Kay Geouge and her husband Dennis of Lenoir, NC, Doris Sigmon and Gale Franklin, both from Lenoir, NC. Two brothers; Gary Coffey of Rhodhiss and Van Coffey of Alexander County. Two sisters; Lois Coffey of Burke County and Frances Underwood of Davie County. In addition to her children, she is survived by 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held Friday, August 26, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Mackie High Chapel, with the Rev. Mike Isaacs officiating. Burial will follow at Center Grove Baptist Church in Hudson, NC. The family will receive friends on Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Mackie High Chapel.

Serving as pallbearers will be Cody Conner, Damon Hood, Jeff Carswell, and Marty Mooney.

The Family would like to thank Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care of Lenoir, NC Nurses and Staff for all the love and care for our family through this difficult time. A special thanks to Kelly Mitchell, BSW.
Mackie-High Funeral Home is serving the family.
Harold Thomas, born Dec. 5, 1929, died Mar. 23, 2001 at Valdese in Burke Co.  Harold never married.

Gary Cooper, born 1934 in Caldwell Co., married Jeanetta J. Garnett.

Frances Irene, born 1937 in Caldwell Co.  No further information.

Billy Joe, born Mar. 2, 1940 at Granite Falls, died May 2, 2010 in Valdese.
VALDESE - Mr. Billy Joe Coffey, 70, of Rutherford College, died Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Valdese, after a period of declining health.

Mr. Coffey was born March 2, 1940, in Granite Falls, a son of the late Henry and Ruth Carter Coffey. He was a faithful member of Abernethy Memorial United Methodist Church. Bill was famous for his cooking chicken pie, barbecue and fish fries. He loved his family; to garden and share his vegetables with his friends and family; to fish and his time at the beach; and especially to make people laugh. Bill retired from General Electric in Hickory and worked part time for 17 years as a cook at Valdese General Hospital. After retirement, he worked part-time at Westpoint Stevens in Hickory.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Harold Coffey; and a sister, Mae Holverstott.

Surviving are his wife of more than 48 years, Lillian Rutherford Coffey of the home; a daughter, Kellie Coffey Clay of Morganton; two sons, Neal Coffey and wife, Holly, of the George Hildebrand community and Mark Coffey and wife, Angela, of Morganton; brothers, Gary Coffey and wife, Joan, of Rhodhiss, Van Coffey and wife, Ginger, of Taylorsville; sisters, Frances Underwood of Mocksville, Lois Coffey of Valdese and Marilyn Franklin of Hudson. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Jordan and Bryant Clay, Whitney, Zachary and Mason Coffey, Sydney Coffey; and a number of nieces and nephews.

A service of remembrance will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, May 10, 2010, at Abernethy Memorial United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Sally Queen officiating. The family will receive friends from 3:30 until 5 p.m. Monday at Abernethy Memorial United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to ACE & TJ's Grin Kids, P.O. Box 37192, Charlotte, N.C. 28237; or Wrights Pantry in care of Abernethy Memorial UMC, P.O. Box 127, Rutherford College N.C. 28671; or Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, N.C. 28690 An online guest book and obituary notice are available at Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory is assisting the Coffey family.

*North Carolina County Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (
**"All Record Series." Transcription. Washington Secretary of State, Washington State Digital Archives. : 2010.

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