January 10, 2015

McCaleb & Sarah "Sally" Hayes Coffey

McCaleb was a son of Jesse and Margaret "Peggy" Edmisten Coffey, born c1814 in North Carolina.  He married Sarah "Sally" Hayes about 1838 in probably Watauga Co., NC where they lived and died.

There were two Coffey men named McCaleb and were born just 11 years apart.  The older McCaleb was born in 1803 to Thomas and Sarah Fields Coffey.  As best as I can determine, he was always a resident of Caldwell Co. and served as a Commissioner in that county in 1868.  He and McCaleb, subject of this blog, were first cousins, once removed.  Their common ancestor was John and Jane Graves Coffey, a son of Edward.

McCaleb and Sally Hayes Coffey had four sons, three of which were killed during the Civil War:

Thomas Ninevah Coffey was the eldest, born in 1839.  He was one of the first to volunteer for service in the Confederate army and was with Co. E., 37th NC Infantry Regiment when he was killed at Chancellorsville.

John E. Coffey was the youngest, born in 1844, and also enlisted in the 37th.  He too was killed at Chancellorsville on the same day as his brother Thomas.

Jesse Finley was born c1842 and was the third born to McCaleb and Sally.  He enlisted in what became the 58th NC Infantry Regiment in 1862.  The unit was originally Palmer's Battalion of Partisan Rangers.  They were consolidated in Apr., 1865 with the 60th NC Infantry and became the 58th NC.  According to an article found at Footnote.com, "over 1000 men came from Cumberland Gap...and was assigned to guard Big Creek Cap."  Jesse died there on Mar. 7, 1863 but a cause of death was not given.  He is buried at DeLap Cemetery at La Follette in Campbell Co., TN.

The last son born to McCaleb and Sally was Cornelius Jones Coffey and the only one to live and raise a large family.  He was born on Apr. 22, 1840 served in Co. E, 37th NC Infantry Regiment.  He enlisted on Sep. 18, 1861 and was discharged in July, 1863.

Mar. 1918 Notice of Sale
C. J. Coffey Property
In 1866, Jones married his first cousin, Martha Jane Gragg, the daughter of James Burton and Nancy A. Coffey Gragg.  Nancy was a younger sister of McCaleb.  Martha was born in Caldwell Co. in 1843 and died in Shulls Mill, Watauga Co. in 1900.  Jones died there in 1917 and both are buried at White Springs Cemetery at Blowing Rock.

Jones - as I understand he was called - and Martha Jane had at least nine children; seven sons and two daughters.

Their first was Thomas Herndon Coffey, born 1867, died 1946 in Watauga Co.  His wife was Annie Marilda Pendley [sic], a daughter of William Patterson and Lou Ellen Moore Pendley.  Annie was born in 1873, Caldwell Co., and died at Blowing Rock in Watauga Co. in 1959.  Thomas and Annie were parents of at least two children, Ellen Pendley Coffey (1902-1975) and Thomas, Jr., (1905-1978),  They two are buried at White Springs.

Emma Irene was their second child, born Dec., 1868 and died in Apr., 1947.  She married John Alexander Gragg, a first cousin once removed, in Watauga Co. in 1887.  John was born to Johnson P. and Nancy Jane Cuthbertson Gragg in 1856 and died in 1925 in Watauga Co.  Both are buried at White Springs.  They were parents of at least two children, both daughters:  Mary E., born 1888 and Ila Mae, born 1891.

A third child was Simms Coffey, born c1871.  I received that information from Margaret Farley Coffey (decd), and together we searched for any record of this child without luck.  About the only fact that can be associated with the family is that he was not enumerated in the 1880 census with Jones and Martha.

Elbert, fourth child, was born in 1872 and died in 1900 at Kelsey in Watauga Co.  He Margaret Matilda Simms in 1892 at Watauga Co.  They had one son, John B., born in June, 1891, just a few months prior to Elbert's death.  I do not know where Elbert was buried.  Neither do I know if Margaret Simms remarried.  The family needs further study.

John Finley, born 1877 in Caldwell Co. was next born.  He married Frances C. Holloway, a daughter of Reede and Martha Andrews Holloway, in Watauga Co. in 1894.  I have one child born to them; John Stuart Coffey, born c1906.  John Finley died in Carolina Co., VA in 1953 and Frances in 1956 at Partlow, Spotsylvania Co., VA.  Both are buried at County Line Baptist Church Cemetery at Ruther Glen, Caroline Co.  John Stuart married a lady named Ruth in c1922 and had at least three children:  Edity, Conway and Ruth.

Walter Gwyn was next, born in 1878, probably in Watauga Co., and died there in 1945.  He is buried at White Springs.  He was wed to triple third cousin Julia Hayes, daughter of Wyatt and Mary Jane Coffey Hayes in Watauga Co. in 1896.  They had at least eight children:  William Harston; Lloyd Edgar; McDonald; Roberta; Wyatt; Cecil; Emma and Bulah.  More information on several of these children is available.  Julia was born in Watauga Co. in 1876 and died there in 1955.  She too is buried at White Springs.

Charles Burton was number seven.  He was born in Watauga Co. in 1882 and died in Hickory, Catawba Co. in 1960.  He married Amanda Louise Misemore in about 1916 or 17.  She was born in Tennessee in 1888 and died in Hickory in 1967.  They had at least two children; Wiley Monroe, 19188-1921 and, James Grady, 1922-1941. Charles and Amanda were buried at First Baptist Church Cemetery  in Hudson, Caldwell Co.  Their two sons are buried at Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery, also in Hudson.

We know the next child, Hattie, was born in Sep., 1833 at Watauga Co. and that she married Charles Stocks.  Nothing else is yet. known.

The last child was Rufus Monroe, born 1886 in Watauga Co., died there in 1965.  He married Emma Eliza Robbins in that county in 1906.  She was born in NC in 1886 and died there in 1952. Both are buried at White Springs.  Their children were Mabel, Howard, Helen, Edward, and Rhonda.  More information about the children and their descendants is available.

A letter to the editor appeared on page 2, column 2 of the Watauga Democrat of Thursday, March 14, 1895.  It was written by A. W. Beach [several Coffey ladies in Caldwell Co. had Beach husbands.  I do not know who A. W. was] discusses McCaleb's family.  In it he [presumed male] writes that he went to live with "uncle" Caleb and "aunt" Sally at the age of nine years in 1863.  He named their sons as Thomas N., Finley, John, and Jones.  Three sons were already deceased when he arrived and Jones was at home, disabled by a wound to a foot.  He thought that one of the sons had been brought back from the battle field and laid to rest somewhere along the Blue Ridge but, did not name the son nor a specific spot where the burial occurred.

A double third cousin to Jesse and his brothers was Elbert Coffey, a son of William Coffey, Jr. and his wife Margaret Robbins.  Elbert was born at Buffalo Cove in Watauga Co., NC in 1837 and died "of disease" on May 15, 1863 at Big Creek Gap.  He too is buried at De Lap.

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