June 8, 2014

Henry Lyman Coffey

Henry Lyman Coffey was the third child and third son born to Martin Van Buren "Van" Coffey and his wife, Frances Millicent Ann "Millie" Pettit.  He was born in Apr., 1863 in Georgia.

Coffey-Pettit Marriage License
Millie was a daughter of John and Eleanor Mooney Pettitt, born Nov 7, 1838 in Georgia, died Sep. 6, 1922 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA.  Martin, a son of Jesse and Winifred Crumpton [var] Coffey, was born Sep. 9, 1833 in Georgia and died in Fulton Co. in 1905. They were married on Feb. 27, 1859 in Pickens Co., GA where they lived at least through 1880 before moving to Fulton Co. in time for the 1900 census.  Both he and Millie are buried at the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Buckhead, Fulton Co.

Henry first married Rosa F. Arwood on Jan. 1, 1888 in Pickens Co. She was born Oct. 7, 1871, probably in GA and died on Sep. 25, 1890 in Jasper, Pickens Co., GA.  It is thought that Rosa died of complications of child birth.  She gave birth to Jessie on Jan. 26, 1890 in Jasper, Pickens Co. and the child died on Aug. 20, 1890.  Rosa died just five days short of a month after Jessie.  They are both buried at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery in Jasper.

Coffey-Woodward Marriage License
Coffey-Arwood Marriage License
On Nov. 1, 1891, Henry married Lettie Lee Woodward in Lumpkin Co., GA.  Lettie was born on Oct. 9, 1866 in GA and died on May 7, 1933 in Atlanta.  The couple apparently divorced sometime after 1903 when their last child was born.

Their children, all born in GA., were:

Margaret E., born Apr., 1892; Joe G., born Sep., 1894; Van Buren, born Oct. 14, 1897, died Jun. 2, 1977 in Cobb Co., GA; Imogene, born c1901 and Henry, born c1903

So far, my search has only located Van Buren.  He married Ruth Goldia Coursie c1919 in GA and were parents of at least five children:

Nelie Ruth, born c1920; Mary E., born c1923; Van Buren, Jr., born Sep., 7, 1925, died Aug. 14, 1991; Harold L., born c1931 and Carolyn V., born c1935.

Van Buren, Jr., served in the US Navy during WW2 aboard the Destroyer Escort 146, the USS Inch.  Seaman 2d Class Van Buren Coffey, Jr. boarded the ship on Mar. 20, 1944.  From then until 1945 he continued to serve on the Inch.  The Inch was heavily involved in hunting the North Atlantic for German submarines and was in on the kill of the U-490 (forced to the surface and surrendered all crew), and the sinking of the U-154.

USS Inch, DE 146
For more information, see http://tw.gs/W6u9bv
After the Atlantic had been cleared on U-boats, the Inch was sent through the Panama Canal to California and on to Pearl Harbor.  She continued training there for the invasion of Japan but, the Japanese surrender cut that training short!  Soon after, the ship sailed to Norfolk, VA where she was placed in mothballs and became part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.  Current disposition is unknown to me.

I do not yet know where Henry is buried.  His last known residence was in 1910 when he was farming in Chalybeate Springs, Meriwether Co., GA** with his son Joe.  Lettie is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Atlanta.*

A recent e-mail from Douglas Coffey, a son of Van Buren, Jr. resulted in this search.  Douglas wrote that he has "...never researched my family..." but, was very interested in learning more.  Anyone who is a descendant of Martin Van Buren and would like to contact Douglas can e-mail me for his address.

*Hollywood Cemetery is a very neglected cemetery.  The state of Georgia and especially the city of Atlanta should be ashamed for permitting this very large and very historic burial ground to deteriorate.  See http://tinyurl.com/mff44yl for photographs.  On a map of the area, the cemetery is identified as a "landfill."

**While searching for information on these families, I discovered that the Georgia Virtual Vault has been removed from the internet.  I guess the State figured they could sell the information and use the revenue to repair Hollywood Cemetery.  I wonder when they will begin restoration? (Tongue in cheek, of course)

Update:  Georgia's Virtual Vault website didn't disappear after all.  They moved it to a new site that can be found at http://cdm.georgiaarchives.org:2011/cdm/

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