January 10, 2013

Langston and Mervina Coffey Coffey

Langston Coffey was the son of James Coffey and his wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" Coffey.  James and Elizabeth were first cousins, children of brothers Joel and Nathan Coffey, themselves sons of the mythical Chesley Coffey.

Mervina Coffey, wife of Langston, was a daughter of Absolom Coffey and his wife Mary Lusk or Mary Beard.  My research notes tell the that the Absolom that married Mary Lusk might not be the same Absolom that married Mary "Polly" Beard.

I received an e-mail a couple of days ago reminding me there was a reply to a note which I posted on the Genealogy.com message board back in 2008.  The person (Linda) who wrote the reply invited me to view her Beard Family Wiki History page in which she attempts to make the case that Absolom married Polly Beard, daughter of one Hugh Beard and his wife Esther.  The Wiki author tells us that Absolom Coffey is "said to be the son of Nathan/Nathaniel Coffey and Mary Saunders" but, offers no evidence to support that claim.[1]

Mervina, born Mar. 22, 1814[2] and Langston, born Aug. 11, 1807[2], both in KY, were first and second cousins.  They married, probably in Alabama and before 1832.  In 1845 Langston was appointed first Postmaster of Coffey Town [3], Jackson Co., AL.  The first four of their (at least) six children were born in AL; the last two in TX.

Those born in AL were:

Orita Elizabeth, born Jul. 5, 1836, died in Morris Co., TX on Jun. 25, 1905.  She apparently never married.

Benjamin Benton, born Nov. 15, 1839 - Benjamin was in Titus Co. in 1860 and on census day, Aug. 22, was living with the John M. Cook family.

Julia Ann, born Aug. 6, 1843 - Julia made it to Titus Co. and in 1850 was there with her family.

James Wylie, born Jun. 28, 1846, died Apr. 18, 1880 in Morris Co., TX.  James married Mary Elnora Glass (no date).  They had three children:  Madora J., born 1867, died 1870; William Benjamin, born 1874, died 1938 and James W., born 1878, died 1929.  James W. married Martha C. c1870 in TX.  She was born c1850 in MS.  After at least 5 children, all born in Morris Co. between 1871 and 1879, she and James W. apparently split the blanket, so to speak.  James died in 1929 at Sanatorium[4], in Tom Green Co., TX. In 1900, Martha had been married to James Travis Cherry for 17 years and had two children, Jimmie and Myrtle.  The census record reports both of them as daughters.  Martha's son Richard Coffey was also in the 1900 household.  Cherry died in Titus Co. in 1905.  I have not yet found a death date for Martha.

Those born in Texas were:

Selina Perminter [sic], was born in 1849, in TX and probably Morris Co., and died there in 1904.  She married James Polk Hayes in 1870 and had at least two children; John B., 1872-1875 and William Z., 1876-?.  James was born in TN in 1845 and died in Morris Co. in 1922.  Selina died in Morris Co. in 1904.  Both are buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Naples, Morris Co., TX.
Obituary, Omaha Breeze, Omaha, Morris Co., TX, Aug. 3, 1922
James Polk Hayes was born in Tennessee, a son of William Hayes, and came to Texas in an early day settling at Old Snow Hill and spent his life in this section of the country; moving to Omaha, where he accumulated considerable property interests.
He was married to Miss Salione Coffey, daughter of Langston Coffey, another pioneer family of North East Texas, August 3, 1870 from which union two sons were born, the oldest dying at 3 years of age, and the second, William Z. Hayes, a prominent banker of Dallas, and who was with his father in his last hours on earth, survives: the wife and mother having preceded them both several years since.
Mr. Hayes had been a very strong man in his early life, served faithfully in the Confederate Army for a term of years, and went through many experiences which many of us will never know. 
He was a member of the Primitive Baptist church at Old Spring Hill and was for the past many years considered and known as one of the leading members.
His body was followed to Spring Hill by many friends and relatives on the 28th and interred by the side of his wife after impressive funeral services.
The last child of Langston and Mervina was Louisa Victoria, born 1854.  She was with her family in 1860 but nothing else is know of her.


[1]The only evidence that I have comes from Tim Peterman, long time Coffey researcher and descendant of Chesley.  He wrote in Wilkes County Heritage some years ago that "Absolem Coffey was supposedly born in 1788. He married first to Mary Lusk and second to Nancy Chadwick. He probably settled in Jackson Co., Ala.  Joel Coffey was supposedly born on Aug. 3, 1790. He married Mary Knox in 1817. He died in 1850."  Tim cited DAR records, census records and the James Coffey [Langston's father] family Bible.

[2] Headstones, at Spring Hill Cemetery, Naples, Morris Co., TX

[3] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~holdridge/places/langstonmethodist2.html

[4]Sanatorium is in Tom Green County sixteen miles northwest of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87. It was never an incorporated town, instead, it was a relatively self-sufficient tuberculosis sanatorium. The postmark "Sanatorium, Texas" began with the opening of a post office on the campus in 1919 and disappeared on October 7, 1965, when the post office closed. [John C. Henderson, "SANATORIUM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls16), accessed January 10, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.]

Source for some Langston info received from Glendon T. Johnson of Abilele, TX (1995-96),   Langston, Brinton and Hugh were brothers, and in Titus Co. about 1850.  They and their wives are buried in Morris Co., TX, which in 1850's was part of Titus Co.

TITUS Co. People, Place and Events by Traylor Russell of Mt. Pleasant

The Coffey Families inTitus & Morris Counties

The Coffey families came into Titus Co. in the 1850's and settled near what is now Concord....  Morris Co. was not cut off from Titus Co. until 1875.  Elizabeth Coffey, Livingston (must be Langston) Coffey and William Coffey all patented land in Titus Co. in 1861.

TX. LAND TITLE ABSTRACTS VOL 1-a OF MORRIS Co., Tx. (Mt. Pleasant Library)

Abstract #64 Elizabeth  3-6-1861 Patent #350 Vol 32 160 acres Class d/o File #707

Abstract #67 Langston  3-7-1861 Patent # 351Vol 32 160 acres Class d/o File #810

Abstract #68 William     3-7-1861 Patent # 352 Vol 32 160 acres Class d/o File 811

The map showing this also shows "L. Coffey"  owned land due east of Abstract #67 and due north (of Elizabeth's #64)

Grantee: Langston Coffey-Coffee Patente:  L. Coffey-Coffee Patent Date: 6-9-1862 Acres: 103 and 114.1 District: Bowie Cty:  Morris File : 116 & 202 Patent #: 562 & 564 Patent Volume: 9 Class: R. R. Scrip 

Anna Moreland wrote:  "In addition to his own family, Langston Coffey raised about 8 of his sister's children. Their names were 'Bridges.'"

Kathy Coffey Simmons research also names Langston as a son of James, son of Joel and Martha Stepp and Elizabeth Coffey, daughter of Nathan and Mary Saunders Coffey. 

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