The Fitzgerald and the Coffey families of Nelson Co., VA are forever tied to one another. Sometimes, it's very difficult to figure out which James, Elizabeth, Martha, Mary Coffey married which John, James, Mary or Elizabeth Fitzgerald. As I go back and forth between the Virginia Coffey families and those elsewhere, I invariably find some family error that I have created or a link that I didn't understand the first time around.
A friend, Wayne Coffey of Georgia, formerly of Virginia, has been a great help to me in figuring out who is who.
Working with these families is much like attempting to unravel a thousand yards of twine that has become tangled and re-tangled over a century or two and, each tangle a Gordian knot. Working on them from the disadvantage of being 800 miles from valuable sources - not otherwise available on the web - probably makes the tangled twine maybe twice as long.
This blog is about Spotswood B. and Nancy Carr Fitzgerald. They had three children, two of which married into the Coffey families of Nelson Co. Spotswood was a few years younger than Nancy; in fact by about 10 years. He was born in Virginia c1811 and she c1801.
The marriage record for him and Nancy reports Aug. 8, 1838 in Nelson Co. and, it gives Nancy's surname as Fitzgerald. I'm lost as to whether she was originally a Carr who married a Fitzgerald and then sometime later married Spotswood. I do not have a source for the Carr surname which means somewhere back in the dawn of this project I found it "somewhere" but did not record the source.
I find them in the 1850 and 1860 census only, both times in Nelson Co. It appears they had only the three children: Joshua, born c1840; Mary Jane, born c1843 and Lewis Perkins, born Jan., 1845, each in Nelson Co. I have not found a death record for them and do not know where they are buried.
Joshua enlisted in the Nelson Light Artillery Battery, Rives Company, on Aug. 31, 1861. The record reports that he was "mustered out" on Feb. 18, 1862, but did not survive the war.
Mary Jane married David Alfred Coffey, a son of Holloway Stewart* and Catherine Fitzgerald Coffey. I suspect that Catherine, born c1814, and Spotswood, born c1811, were brother and sister, making Mary Jane and David first cousins. But, I have no proof of that yet.
David was born in Nelson Co. in 1832 and married Mary Jane on Nov. 16, 1858 in that county. He died there in 1894 and was buried at White Rock Cemetery in Montebello, Nelson Co. Mary Jane survived until 1923 and was also buried at White Rock.
The children that I have so far located for them are: 1) Dilly Jane, born c1860; 2) Vanessa or Vernice "Nicey", born Jan., 1866, married Andrew J. Bryant on Nov. 21, 1883 in Nelson Co. One of their daughters married Wesley Robert Coffey, son of Edmund and Martha Snead Coffey. Wesley was Mary Etta's first cousin, twice removed. 3) Nancy, born c1864; 4) Eli Davis, born 1871, died 1942, married first cousin Frances Catherine Coffey, daughter of Alexander S. and Sarah Ann Fitzgerald Coffey. 5) Mary J., born c1872; 6) Malinda F., born c1874; 7) Fletcher Floyd, born May 1879, died 1934; married Mary Wyatt "Mollie" Fitzgerald on Dec. 29, 1925. Both had been previously married; Fletcher to Viola Bertha Fitzgerald with whom he had at least six children and, "Mollie" to Ernest Hope Fitzgerald in 1898, with whom she had at least five children. 8) M. Belle, born c1884, married Gilbert Thompson in Nelson Co. on Jun. 19, 1922. Belle was 38 yrs. old; Gilbert was 26. They had at least one child, Ester, born c1824.
Lewis Perkins was the third and perhaps last child born to Spotswood and Nancy. He came along in Jan., 1845. I haven't found an enlistment record for him as he was apparently too young to serve when the war began. He lived until 1926 and was buried at White Rock. He and Mary Ann Coffey were married Mar. 5, 1867 in Nelson Co. She was born in 1845 and died in 1925 and was also buried at White Rock. Mary Ann was a daughter of Edmund and Martha Snead Coffey.
There were at least eight children born to them:
1) Nettie, born Feb. 1868, died Apr. 1965, married John Emmett Taylor in Sep, 1892. Parents of at least five children born between 1894 and 1912. 2) Jasper N. (Newton?), born 1871, died Oct., 1896. He married Elvira F. Coffey, a half-sister to David Alfred Coffey. Elvira later married Elliot Walker Fitzgerald (1902) and died in 1960. 3) Eliza Jane, born 1873, died 1900, apparently never married; 4) Martha Elizabeth, 1876-1909, married John Cyrus Fitzgerald; 5) Mary Alice, born 1878, died 1968, married Holloway Stewart Coffey, Jr.; 6) Sally Jane (Henry?), married Mayo Cabell Fitzgerald in 1899. He died in 1955, she in 1925. He is buried at White Rock; I am unsure where Sally is buried. They had at least seven children: Arthur, Savannah, Isaac Harrison; Ezra; Carrie, Waverly Ann; and Chester Martin. 7) Teressie, born 1887, died 1989 in Waynesboro, VA. Married Charles Austin Coffey, another son of Holloway Stewart Coffey and Virginia Bryant. Charles was born in 1878 and died in 1953. Both are buried at White Rock. Their children were at least four: Eula Beatrice; Gladys Green; Woody Austin and Myrtle Virginia.
Corrections and additions welcomed!
*Holloway Stewart Coffey was married at least four times. He had at least six children by Catherine Campbell; one by third wife Delilah Sneed and at least four by fourth wife, Virginia Bryant.
Additional information is available.