November 20, 2014

Benjamin & Nancy Hayes Coffey

Bennie Coffey Loftin (dec'd) in her 1984 book Lizzie's Legacy and Our Coffey Cousins, with co-author Mary Elizabeth Coffey Self, and second printing in 2002 re-titled work Coffey Cousins, North Side of Clinch Mountain, Tennessee and Beyond, wrote about her ancestor, Benjamin Coffey:

"Benjamin, son of John and Elizabeth Rucker Coffey, b. 8 Feb 1808, Wilkes Co., d. 8 May 1867, Rockcastle Co., KY.  Nancy was b. 23 Jul 1802 in NC; d. 14 Feb 1874, KY. Children are John, 1828-18?; Unk, b. 1830; Richardson, 1832-1922;  Elizabeth, 1835-1922; Ransom, 1836-1917; Calvin, 1839-1863; Calton, 1839-1926; Marvel, 1841-1917; Perry, 1844-1864; and Ausborn, 1846-1923. A descendant of this line is Bennie Coffey Loftin. Benjamin was b. Feb. 8, 1808 in Wilkes Co., and d. May 8, 1867 in Rockcastle Co., KY. He m. Nancy, d. of Thomas and Sarah Hayes, and they had nine sons and one daughter.

"Benjamin did not live long after they moved to Kentucky from Tennessee. They moved shortly after the Civil War. Their sons, Ransom and John, were already living in Kentucky. Ransom and his cousin, James Madison Coffey, were living in Rockcastle County when the 1860 census was taken in the fall of that year. They are supposed to have moved together. Ransom fought on the Union side during the Civil War.

"All of Benjamin and Nancy Coffey's children were born in Tennessee, either Hawkins or Grainger County. They lived near the county line on the north side of Clinch Mountain. Ausbon's pension application for CSA service states that he was born at Rutledge. Rutledge was the county seat for Grainger County. They didn't live there, but lived near Idol (now Thorn Hill).

"Death dates for Benjamin, his wife, his parents, three and maybe four sons and a grandson were all recorded on two pages that Grace Coffey Gill found tucked into a little book that had belonged to her Grandpa Ausbon. There was an autograph on one page that reads, "Benjamin Coffey's Book,  August 1, 1856, T.G. Tilley."

"Rance Coffey (1885-1984) thinks that one of Benjamin's sons was crippled. He had heard a story of him going hunting on crutches. He thought it was Richardson, but he served in the CSA Army and as Rance says, What would the army want with a crippled man."

One of the sons of Benjamin and Nancy was seventh son, Calton Coffey, born Jan. 16, 1839 in Grainger Co., died in Oct., 1926 at Diamond in Stephens Co., OK.  He married Martha Ann Campbell, a daughter of William and Sidney Holt Campbell on Dec. 22, 1857 in Grainger Co.  a couple of years later Calton enlisted as a Sergeant in Co. D., 26th TN Infantry.

Calton survived the war and by Dec., 1870 the family had relocated to Pilot Point in Denton Co., TX. They apparently made a detour or two and made stops in AR and MO. Later, one of their children reported his birth in 1869 Missouri and two others reported their births to have occurred in 1871 and 1875 Arkansas.*  Martha Ann Campbell Coffey died sometime before 1900 and is thought to have been buried near Montegue Co., TX.  She was the mother of at least seven children.

I have been unable to account for three of their children:  William, said to be first born; Benjamin, born 1858 in Claiborne Co., TN and Thomas Jefferson, born c1866.

Hillery, thought to be the third child, was born in TN in 1863.  He married Ella Mae Fleetwood in Denton Co., TX on Oct. 21, 1889.1   He and Ella lived very short lives.  She died on Jan. 5, 1892 at age 22 and probably in childbirth.  Their first child, Charles Belden had been born in Sep., 1890 in the Chickasaw Nation, IT.  Hillery died before before 1898 in Terral, Jefferson Co., IT.  Both are buried at the Fleetwood Family cemetery in Jefferson Co.  Charles is said to have died in Dec., 1943 but I have not confirmed that.

Fifth child was Franklin David "Frank" Coffey, born Apr. 2, 1869, Missouri.  He married Rebecca Jane Kimberlain, a daughter of William and Anna Kimberlain.  She was born on Apr. 1, 1870 in Lebanon, Laclede Co., MO. and married on Apr. 23, 1890 in Fleetwood, Chickasaw Nation, IT.

Children born to this couple were:

William, born Mar. 26, 1891 at Fleetwood, died there in 1893 and buried at the Fleetwood Cemetery.

Rosa M., born in Fleetwood Jun., 1893; no further info.

Albert Wesley, born in Fleetwood Jan., 1895; no further info.

Hillery Newton "Hill", born Nov. 23, 1896 at Fleetwood, died and was buried at Terral Cemetery in Jefferson Co., OK in 1965.  Married Myrtle Ruth Fraysher [sic], a daughter of Louis and Mary Jennings Fraysher.  Their children were at least two: Frankie Brunetta, born Feb. 28, 1920 at Fleetwood, died in Papla, Gray Co., TX on Nov. 15, 2005.  Frankie married Boyd Stewart on Apr. 8, 1942 in Caddo, Bryan Co., OK.  The other child was Roy Elwood, born c1927 in Stephens Co., OK.

Artie Christine, born in IT in 1902, died in Comanche, Stephens Co., OK and buried there at Fairlawn Cemetery.  She married Robert McFatridge c1923.  He was born in Stephens Co. in 1899 and died there in 2000 with burial in Fairlawn Cemetery.  Their children numbered at least four:  J. F., born c1924; Clayton, born c1926; and twins, Haskell J. and Hazel Ann, born c1939, all in Stephens Co., OK.  Robert was a son of James and Mary Wise McFatridge.

Ransom, born Jan 6, 1904 in Fleetwood, died Jun., 1905 and buried at Terral.

Benjamin Franklin, born 1906 at Fleetwood, died 1974 at Comanche.  Married Mae Belle Kinman on Jan. 30, 1926 in Jefferson Co.May Belle was born in Sweetwater, Nolan Co., TX on May 19, 1908 and died in Walters, Cotton Co., OK on Feb. 26, 1987.  Both are buried at Fairlawn Cemetery.  Their children were Edward Gene Coffey, born Aug. 23, 1927 at Fleetwood, died there on Jun. 25, 1930 and, Bobbie Corrine, born Sep. 26, 1930 at Fleetwood and died in Stephens Co. on Jun. 16, 1976.  Bobbie married Raymond Pewitt.

The last children born to Franklin and Rebecca were Edgar Belton and twin sister, Ethel Bell on Nov. 12, 1907 at Fleetwood.  Edgar married Dessie Mabel Nelson, born Nov. 4, 1906 in OK, died in Stephens Co. on Aug. 8, 1998.  Edgar died Apr. 22, 1974, also in Stephens Co.  Both are buried there at Fairlawn Cemetery.  Their children were at least two:  Kenneth W., born c1930 and Jimmie Dee, born c1932, both in Stephens Co.

Ethel married Earl Thomas Chastain on Jul. 12, 1926 in Montague Co., TX.Earl was a son of Thomas and Sarah Kimberlain Chastain and was born on Sep. 27, 1902 in Laclede Co., MO.  Earl died on Jul. 13, 1970 in Lebanon, Laclede Co. and was buried there at the Mount Rose Memorial Park.  Ethel was born on Nov. 12, 1907 in Fleetwood, IT and died on Feb. 14, 1982 at Lebanon.  She too is buried at Mount Rose.  Six children were born to this union:  Glenna L.; Ray; Tommy Franklin; Dottie Jean; Bobby Dean and James.  Dottie and Bobby may have been twins.

Additions and corrections welcomed!


*I do not think this likely.  The family remained in Denton Co., TX through at least 1880 and later moved on the the Chickasaw Nation where they were enumerated in 1900. In 1910 and 1920 they were in Stephens Co., OK where Calton died.

1"Texas County Marriage Index, 1837-1997", index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Nov 2014), H C Coffee and E M Fleetwood, 21 Oct 1889; citing Denton, Texas, county courthouses, Texas; FHL microfilm 1302338.

2"Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1891-1959", index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Jul 2013), Ben Coffey and May Kinman, 1926.

3"Texas Marriages, 1837-1973", index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Nov 2014), Earl Chastain and Ethel Coffey, 12 Jun 1926; citing Montague, Texas, , reference p 253; FHL microfilm 1435394.

Other sources: and Rick Miller, Bedford, NH at

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