January 2, 2013

Lewis Russell and Bidant "Biddy" Moore Coffey



Lewis' will has been transcribed and can be found here.  In his will, he named his children Betsy, Rachel, Polly, James, Henderson, Shelby, Benjamin F.,Thomas, and Edward.  He mentioned his deceased son Jesse and named Jesse's daughter Sophronia as a legatee.  Son Cleveland may have been deceased without descendants as he is not mentioned.



Lewis Russell Coffey was a grandson of John and Jane Graves Coffey through his father, the Rev. James Coffey and his wife, Elizabeth Cleveland.  James and Elizabeth, through their 11 children are responsible for many of the Wayne and Pulaski Co., KY Coffey families.

Lewis was number 11, born Nov. 18, 1772 in Amherst Co., VA, died Sep. 29, 1850 in Wayne Co., KY.[1]    He married Bidant "Biddy" Moore on Dec. 10, 1795 [2] in Wilkes Co. NC, a daughter of Jesse Moore and Alley Johnson.  Biddy was born on May 3, 1775 in Albemarle Co., VA and died in Wayne Co. on Jan. 13, 1857.[1]

Eleven children were born to Lewis and Biddy.  They were:

Elizabeth G. (Betsy), 1797-1868, who married Richard Northcraft Cullom.  Richard was a farmer and a legislator, born in Maryland in 1795.  He and Betsy were married in Wayne Co., KY where Richard's family had moved early in his life.  In 1830, he and Betsy moved to Tazewell Co., IL where they lived the remainder of their lives.  In 1836 he was elected to the 10th Illinois General Assembly where he served with Lincoln.  In 1840 he was elected to the IL Senate.  He served in a number of other elected offices and died in Tazewell Co. on Dec. 3, 1872.  Betsy died on Dec. 5, 1868.  Both are buried at the Old Washington Cemetery in Tazewell Co., IL.  They had at least five children, the third being Shelby Moore Cullom (1829-1914).  He followed his father into politics and was elected to the IL state house in 1855.  In 1865 he was elected to represent IL in the US Congress where he served three consecutive terms.  In 1876 he was elected Governor of IL and served nearly two terms.  He resigned in the middle of the second term to become a candidate for the US Senate, to which he was elected and served five consecutive terms and was considered several times as a candidate for the US presidency.[3]  He married twice, both wives daughters of Samuel and Hannah Beaver Fisher.  All are buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL.

Rachel, 1798-?, married Thomas Jefferson Jones c1830.  They were probably married sometime around 1830 and were in the 1860 Wayne Co., KY census.  Thomas was age 55; Rachel age 59.  I know of two children:  Margaret (1830-1862) married Martin Sallee.  In 1860 a John Jones, age 11, was in the household with Thomas and Rachel and, could be a son or a grandson.

Mary Jane "Polly", c1803-1855, married Jooshua Oatts in Wayne Co. on Jan. 4, 1821.[4]  They were in the 1850 Wayne Co., KY census with children Cleveland, age 21; Emily, age 18; John R., age 15; Safrona [sic], age 14; Lewis, age 10; T. J., age 8 [Thomas J.]; Shelby C., age 6 and Russell, age 5.  In addition to those, they also had Cosby [1823-1890] and James Douglas [1824-1893].  Joshua died in 1858 and is buried at Elk Springs Valley Cemetery in Oil Valley, Wayne Co.  Polly died of typhoid fever in 1855 and is also buried at Elk Springs Valley.

James Lewis, 1802-1855, married Sarah Alloway "Sally" Strange in 1830, Wayne Co.  Sally was born in McMinn Co., TN in 1807 to Archelaus Alloway and Elizabeth Coffey Strange.  Elizabeth Coffey Strange and James Lewis Coffey were first cousins.  James died in Wayne Co. in 1855 and Sally there in 1885.  Both are buried at Elk Springs Valley.  They had at least 10 children:  Jesse Columbus; Elizabeth E.; Anjeletta; George W.; Cleveland McKendree; Mary "Molly"; James Franklin; Sarah J. "Sallie"; Obidah Strange "Obie"; and Verlinda J. "Linnie."  More information about this family is available.

Henderon, c1802-1868, married Minerva Alexander in 1827, Wayne Co.[5] Minerva was born c1805 in KY and died in Wayne Co. in 1881.  Harrison died in 1868 and both are buried at Elk Springs Valley.  They had at least 10 children:  Telitha; Mary Alexander; Shelby; Joseph; Emily Biddy; Nancy "Nannie"; Elizabeth "Betsy;" Lewis; Mary Anna and Susan.  More information about this family is available.

Shelby "Shelly," 1811-1863, married Zerilda Emarine Meadows, daughter of Andrew and Jane Graham Meadows.  She was born in Wayne Co., 1822 and died there in 1900.  Shelly died in 1863 [6] and both are buried at Elk Springs Valley.  I have only three children for them:  Shelby, Jr., 1833-?; Andrew Lewis, 1844-1887; and Mary Jane, 1854-?.  More information about this family is available.

Edward Northcraft Cullom, c1813-?, married Rachel A. Isaacs.  Rachel was born in 1823 and died in Wayne Co. in 1872.  She is buried at Kendrick Cemetery in Monticello, Wayne Co., KY.  No further information.

Jesse Moore, 1815-1835, married Elizabeth "Eliza" Smith in 1832. [5]  They had a daughter, Sophronia, born c1833.  No further information.

Benjamin Franklin, 1816-1868, married Mary Ann Worsham in 1842. [5]  Mary Ann was born in 1826 in KY and died in Wayne Co. in 1886.  Both are said to be buried in Monticello at a Coffey Cemetery. [7]  Their children were Emma; Martha; William E.; Mary A.; Ida S.; Benjamin, Jr.; Robert Lee and Nannie J.  No further information.

Cleveland L., 1817-?, married Sophronia Oatts, born 1812m died 1877 in Wayne Co.  Children were at least two:  Lewis J. and Mary C.  Sophronia is buried at Elk Springs Valley.  No further information.

Thomas Coleman, c1819-1890, married four time, first to Mary Heaven or Havens in 1839, Wayne Co.[5]  No children are known to have been born to this union.  Second wife was Patience Jane Miller in 1848.[5][8]  He and Patience had at least three children:  Margaret, c1841, John, c1843 and Marshal, c1850.  Patience died in Wayne Co. in 1855.  That date is not proven and her burial place is not known to me.  Third wife was Sarah Havens, likely some relation to Mary, his first wife.  Nothing is known of her.  Thomas' fourth wife was Mrs. Amanda Jane Hudson Stone, born c1819.  They had at least three children:  Amanda, c1851; Alley, c1853 and Mary, c1856.  According to the KY DAR, Thomas died in Lincoln Co. and is probably buried there.[9]




Some documentation as well as this information and Lewis' ancestors, his family and his descendants can be found on the Edward Coffey Project CD or DVD.  In fact, all of the Coffey's that I have written about in this blog over the past number of years can be found in my Edward Coffey Project, with much of it updated since the blog was written.


[1] Grave monument
[2] Coffey, Laurence H., editor, Thomas Coffey and His Descendants (Chattanooga, TN: N. Sanders, 1931), Page 85.
[3] Governors of Illinois (Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Company, 1891), Pages 175-176.
[4] Dodd, Jordan. Kentucky Marriages to 1850. [database online] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 1997. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Kentucky.
[5] From Wayne County, Kentucky Marriages, 1801-1860. Source gives brides name as Mannen Alexander; Manerva in 1850 and 1860 Wayne Co. census. Bond missing; married 29 March 1827 by Racoon John Smith.
[6] “Kentucky Probate Records, 1792-1977,” Image database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/).
[7] Wayne Co. KY Cemeteries compiled by B. B. Coffey, Sr., Page 31.  This cemetery is referred to in the source as Coffey Cemetery and is said to be located at or near the intersection of Spruce St. and Hiland View Dr. in Monticello.
[8]The bride's name appears to be Jane Meeker in record. Surety was Isaac N. Shepherd. Bond dated 23 August 1848; Minister return is missing.
[9] Kentucky DAR, compiler, Kentucky Bible Records (: DAR, 1966), Vol. IV.

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