March 16, 2013

DNA & The Augustus F. & Betty Beard Coffey Family

The family of Augustus F. Coffey
L:R rear: Archie, Spencer, George, Benson, Robert, Blaine Dillard
L:R front:  Maude, Cena, Betty Beard Coffey, and Bonnie
Photo courtesy of Brent Coffey
I have, over the past couple of days, exchanged much e-mail with Brent Coffey of Maryland concerning his descent from Edward and Ann Powell Coffey.  The exchange resulted from his recent DNA test which does show him to be an Edward descendant.

The problem [if there is one] seems to be one particular marker in his DNA that does not match most of those in the Edward group of the DNA project.  I won't go into a discussion about DNA because I frankly do not understand enough to hold an intelligent discussion.

However, the mis-matched marker also appears in the the DNA of another tested Coffey who descends from Thomas Coffey and Elizabeth Smith; Thomas being a son of John and Jane Graves Coffey.  Brent claims descent from Thomas' brother, Reuben and his wife Sarah Scott Coffey.  So, the question raised by Coffey DNA guru Fred Coffey was how positive Brent is that he descends from Reuben and not Thomas?!

Brent tells us that he descends from Reuben and Sarah Scott Coffey through their son Joseph > Jacob Zachariah > Jesse Patterson > Augustus F. > Blaine Dillard > Blaine Dillard, Jr.

[NB:  The children of Reuben and Sally are not entirely agreed upon by researchers.  The following then may be totally irrelevant in deciding who Brent's ancestor was.]

Joseph and his wife Isabella Lindsay had another son, Elisha born about the same time as Jacob Zachariah.  Both are thought to have been born in the 1813-1815 time frame and, could be twins.  I suggested that the certain DNA marker that does not match might be a result of the possibility that Elisha and Jacob were twins.

I don't believe a consensus has yet been reached and the questions remains open.

Blaine Dillard Coffey &
Faye Dell Van Klaveren
Wedding Photo
Photo courtesy of Brent Coffey
Keeping within that family, I learned from Brent that his grandfather was Blaine Dillard Coffey, born March 4, 1915 in Avery Co., NC to Augustus F. "Gus" Coffey and wife Betty Beard.  He was the eighth of their nine children. In error, I had him married to Maude Dillinger/Dellinger in Caldwell Co., NC on Jul. 13, 1935.  As it turns out, a Dillard Coffey did marry Maude but, it was Dillard Greene Coffey, a son of David William and Martha Etta Destimonia "Dessie" Crump Coffey.*  Dillard Greene and Blaine Dillard were second cousins, both descending from Jacob Zachariah Coffey, the son of Joseph.

Blaine Dillard was married on Sep. 11, 1946 in North Carolina to Faye Dell Van Klaveren, sister to a WWII shipmate of Blaine.  She was the daughter of Dick and Tillie Van Kotten Van Klaveren, Dutch emigrants who first settled in Iowa and later moved to Texas.  Faye was born in Cotulla, LaSalle Co., TX on Feb. 19, 1928.


*Readers who have a copy of my Edward Coffey Project DVD or, who have copied my research from elsewhere, should make a note of this change.

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