May 11, 2016

Jesse Perry Coffey

A recent e-mail question concerning a child of Jesse Perry Coffey rekindled my interest in this family, resulting in a re-check of existing data as well as any that I might have missed in the past.

Jesse was a son of Jesse Coffey and wife Tabitha Elizabeth "Betsy" Riffe. 

Betsy was the daughter of Gen. Christopher Riffe and his wife, Mary Agnes Spears.  Gen. Riffe has been recorded as being the first white male to settle in Casey County, KY.  He built a cabin in 1793 near the present town of Middleburg.[1][2]

Jesse and Tabitha were parents to at least 10 children, all born in Casey Co.  Jesse Perry was the ninth, born Mar. 17, 1823 and died in Collin Co., TX on Apr. 5, 1906.
McKinney, Tex., April 5.-Jesse Coffey, one of the most widely known citizens of Collin County, died suddenly at his home near Anna this morning.  He came to Texas in 1852 and settled on the farm where he has lived continuously since, and where he died.  He has been Justice of Precinct No. 3 nearly all the time for about forty years.  He was 85 years of age. [3]
A marriage record for Jesse and Tabitha has not been found.  They were probably married in KY c1843 because their first child, Matthew, was born there in Apr., 1844.  Jesse died on Apr. 5, 1906 in Collin Co., TX and was buried in Highland Cemetery at Melissa. Tabitha died on 26 Aug. 1909 in Collin Co. and was also buried at Melissa. A death certificate for them has not been found.

Their children were:

 - Matthew Slaughter Coffey, born Apr., 1844, died 1929 in Grayson Co., TX. He married Virginia Texana "Jennie" Butridge, daughter of Riley E. and Susan Watson Butridge on Nov. 7, 1871 in Van Alstyne, Grayson Co. Jennie was born in Sherman, Grayson Co. on Jul. 31, 1854 and died there on Sep. 27, 1949.  Both are buried at Van Alstyne cemetery.
Mrs. Virginia Texas Coffey, 95, Oldest Sherman Resident, Dies
Sherman, Texas, Sept. 28. - Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Van Alstyne First Christian Church for Mrs. Virginia Texas Butridge Coffey, 95.
She was the oldest resident of Sherman at the time of her death Tuesdau at the home of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Dick Coffey.
Mrs. Coffey was born July 31, 184 in a house which is now the site of the Texas Hotel. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Butridge.
She was married to M. S. Coffey at Van Alstyne on Nov. 7, 1871.  He died in 1921.  She then moved to Van Alstyne to live with her son, and after his death in 1945, she and her daughter-in-law returned to Sherman to live.
Mrs. Coffey was a member of the Christian Church, and the United Daughters of The Confederacy.  She had been active up until about six months ago.  Mrs. Coffey was one of the principals in the Sherman Centennial parade a year ago.  Two years ago she was awarded an orchid for being the oldest person in attendance at a Breakfast in Hollywood program at the municipal building.
She is survived by a son, E. G. Coffey of Van Alstyne; three daughters, Mrs. C. F. Jones of Dallas, Mrs. W. H. Miller of Pilot Point and Mrs. J. C. Coffey of Hedley; ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. [4]
Their children were: Gabriella, born 1872, died 1959 in Wichita Falls, TX; married Dr. John Cicero Coffey, a very distant cousin and son of William S. and Sarah Lucas Coffey.  Birdie M., born 1875, died 1863 in Houston, Harris Co., TX; thought to have married C. F. Jones.  Pearl B., born 1877, no other information.  Earl Greer, born 1877 in Van Alstyne, died 1968 in McKinney, Collin Co. He married Bird Strickland, born in MS in 1884, died 1962 in McKinney. Richard P., born 1880 in Grayson Co., died there in 1945.

 - George Alfred, born Nov. 6, 1846, died Jan. 2, 1918 in Melissa, Collin Co. His death certificate names Jesse as his father and Tabitha Moore as his mother. No other information found.

 -  Mary E., born Nov., 1848, died Oct. 9, 1929 at Anna in Collin Co.; buried at Highland Cemetery. Her death certificate names Jesse and Tabitha Slaughter Coffey as her parents.
McKinney, Texas, Oct. 12. - Miss Mary E. Coffey, age 80, died at her home in Anna after two weeks' illness.  She is survived by two sisters and three brothers - Mrs. F. L. Coffey of Beaumont, Miss C. M. Coffey of Anna, Mat Coffey of Farmington, J. Perry Coffey of McKinney and Will Coffey of Sulphur Springs.
Funeral services were conducted at Anna on Wednesday by the Rev. A. L. Clinkenbeard of Dallas.[5]
  - James Perry, born Jan. 18, 1851, died Jan. 16, 1931 in McKinney.  He married Sarah Margaret Griffin in Collin Co. on Dec. 7, 1875.  Sarah "Sally" was born to James and Margaret King Griffin on Sep. 1, 1854 in GA and died Jan. 30, 1943 in Collin Co.  Both are buried at Highland Cemetery. His death certificate names Jesse Coffey as his father and Martha Riffe as his mother.

Their children were Malcolm T., born 1876, died 1878.  Ella C., born c1880, married R. L. Johnsey. No further information (NFI). Jessie, born c 1882, married 1901 to J. R. Williams, NFI. Blanche, born Dec., 1886, died Mar., 1977, married A. W. Jernigan in 1906. NFI. George A., died 1889 in Westminster, Collin Co., died Aug. 22, 1967 in Dallas, TX. Married Bernice Emily Matthews in Collin Co., 1907. Bernice died Jul. 3, 1955 and both are buried at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Mausoleum in Dallas.

 - Anna Belle, born Feb. 10, 1855, married first cousin, Finley Luckey Coffey, son of Osborn Nightingale and Jane L. Bell Coffey.  Jesse Perry and Osborn were brothers. They were parents of 10 children: Gertella, 1876-1950; Louis Dennison, 1878-1942; Robert Lee, 1880-1918; Jesse Sanders, 1883-1975; Houston Ernest, 1884-1926; Slaughter Belle, 1887-1962; Myrtle May, 1889-1976; Finley Luckey, Jr., 1892-1948; Henry Stanley, 1894-1926; and John Fielden, 1896-1975. More info on children is available.

 - William G., c1859. NFI

 - Galen, Sep. 2, 1862, died Dec. 4, 1889; NFI

 - Cynthia McKinney, born Oct. 8, 1865, died 23 Feb., 1966.

Additional information is available for the other nine children of Jesse and Tabitha Riffe Coffey.

Additions and corrections to the above family information is welcome.



[1] W. M. Watkins, editor, The Men, Women, Events, Institutions & Lore of Casey County, Kentucky (Louisville, KY : 236 pgs: Standard Print Co., 1939), Page 35.
[2] Fred Jameson Riffe, Editor and Compiler, Reiff to Riffe Family in America: Ancestors and Descendants of Mennonite Reiff Brothers Hans, John, Jacob, and Abraham, 2 Volumes (Madison, WI: F. J. Riffe, 2002), Vol. 2.
[3] "The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Dallas Co., TX", http://bit.ly/1zWUqDA, Fri., Apr. 6, 1906, Page 9.
[4] "The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Dallas Co., TX", http://bit.ly/1bde578, Thu., Sep. 29, 1949, Section I, Page 9.
[5] "The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Dallas Co., TX", http://bit.ly/1EmiHis, Sun., Oct. 13, 1929, Page 6.

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