June 29, 2013

Daniel or David Franklin Coffey?

Photo by Kathy Robinson
In the process of sourcing all of the burials in my Edward Coffey Project, I ran across a burial at Griggsville Cemetery in Pike Co., IL for Daniel Franklin Coffey, born Apr. 18, 1817, died Sep. 22, 1869.  His large monument clearly shows his name as Daniel F. Coffey.  His wife was Elizabeth Conner, born 1820 in KY, died Apr. 1, 1881 in Griggsville and is buried here as well.

His marriage record of Aug. 6, 1842 names him as Daniel F. Coffey.  In the 1850 and 1860 census record he was recorded as D. F. Coffey.  The couple did have a son named Daniel Franklin, born Mar., 1851 in Pike Co.

In the Charles C. Chapman compiled History of Pike County Illinois,¹ 1880, pages 515-516 and 530-531, he is referred to in one part as B. F. Coffey and in another short biographical piece as David F. Coffey.
"David F. Coffey, deceased, one of the pioneers, was born in Simpson county, Ky., May 18, 1817, and was a son of Nathan Coffey, deceased, well known in this county, who brought his family here in 1829 and settled on sec. 3, Griggsville township, at the summit of the hill which was afterward christened "Coffey Hill," and is still called by that name. He was the father of 13 children, of whom David F. was the 6th. The latter was married in 1842 to Elizabeth Conner, daughter of Francis Conner, deceased, who came to Franklin Co., Ill., in 1832."
"An Abolition Melee. - In the year 1838 there occurred an incident in Griggsville which,although not commendable in itself, would be well to record in the annals of Griggsville's history. In those early days, as in more modern times, there were the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery parties. At the annual election that autumn each party brought forth a strong man for Constable. Marshall Key [relative to Frances Scott Key] was the Democratic candidate, and B. [sic] F. Coffey the Whig candidate. A very hot contest ensued, which resulted in the election of Coffey. Some of the opposition seemed to take offense at the proceedings. Whether Coffey was fairly elected or not we are not prepared to say. Be that as it may, however, a Key man assaulted a Coffey man immediately after the election, striking him in the back. A general melee the followed, but no one was seriously hurt."
So, was his given name Daniel or David?  Is it just a happy coincidence that his parents settled in Franklin Co., IL and although born in KY, his middle name was Franklin?

Update Jun. 30, 2013:  In the book Past and Present of Pike County, Illinois², the author writing about the 68th IL Regiment that "Capt. Daniel F. Coffey served the Company as Commander."

¹Charles C. Chapman Co., Compilers/Publishers. History of Pike County Illinois;: Together With Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1880.

²Massie, Melville D., Author/Compiler. Past and Present of Pike County, Illinois:: Together with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Promonent and Leading Citizens and Illustrious Dead. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1906.

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