Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts

June 15, 2010

Number 1000!

This blog began on Dec. 7, 2004.

Since then I have been adding to it for 5 years, 6 months and 8 days.  I thought that reaching this milestone would be an inspiration for writing something brilliant and perhaps historical.  But, as it turns out the mere creation of 1000 essentially one name blogs, may be historic in its own right.  I don't know!

Research has found a lot of bad Coffey genealogies on the web.  Most of it lacks sources and, in general, are mere copies of another bad copy.  That is not to say that there are no good Coffey genealogies on the web; they are just few and far between.  

Over the course of the five and a half years I have met and/or corresponded with some very serious Coffey researchers who have faithfully documented their work and have been willing to share their hard work with me*.  In many instances, they have gone out of their way to help.  They inspired my goal to help improve and add to those good genealogies and perhaps inspire others to correct their bad ones.

I am always the skeptic when someone tells me they are new to genealogy yet have "documented" their Coffey line back to Ireland and include the mythical John Coffey and Mary Joliffe [sometimes his wife is Rebecca Ireland] as parents of Edward Coffey.  No serious Edward researcher that I know [and I know a few] has ever documented that.  Some folks that I know who claim to have seen documentation, cannot recall where it was found or why they did not get copies. 

In these genealogies, John and Mary/Rebecca are always followed by the addition of "Joshua" as Edward, Jr's middle name.  It is then rather obvious that the "newby" has merely copied someone's poor work and believes they have the perfect family history!  I often wonder why they wrote to me in the first place!?

One of my favorite finds on the web was the unblemished photo said to be of a Coffey couple who lived and died long before cameras were invented!

I don't know if I have accomplished my goal. However, if my statistics are correct, these blogs and photographs have been downloaded by readers a few thousand times.  Although I have found many genealogies on the web with information that could have come only from me [verbatim sentence structure, poor grammar, lack of punctuation, and other clues], "researchers" are still failing to document the work with the proper source.

In many instances I have provided sources for information contained in my blogs.  Sometimes I have been lazy and anxious to wrap up a blog and failed to show sources.  But, they are available to anyone with questions about how I - or a contributor - arrived at a particular conclusion.  Typical responses from those who I question about their sources are usually glib and/or evasive.

I will now be taking a sabbatical from this blog to concentrate for a time on my other work.

It is my obligation to my family to once more concentrate on our COFFEE ancestry by correcting, updating, and better documenting what research I have completed.  I doubt that anyone of my children - at this stage of their lives - or any of my distant cousins will want to pick up where I left off, so, it falls to me to make available as much of it as I can.

This blog will still merit my attention, just not as often as in the past.  I will continue to update it from time to time as needed.

Research of the Edward Coffey-Ann Powell line will continue when time allows.  I will also update the Edward Coffey Project in a timely manner.  The CD and/or DVD will still be available for purchase.  A reminder to anyone wishing to buy either:  They are not mass produced and each is burned only when the order is received, thereby assuring that the buyer gets the latest update.

One last word and it is directed to those critics of the researcher's fondness for family crests and/or coats of arms:  I believe that most of us are aware of the fact that they were awarded to individuals and that we have no claim to them.  However, knowing the history behind the design, colors and symbols is fun and, knowing the history cannot be anything but helpful.  So, don't write to me with trite comments about displaying and/or making the Coffey coat of arms available for download on this blog page!

*I hesitate to name those who have helped me over the years for fear that I will omit someone.  However, credit must go to my biggest supporters:  John Taylor who did a lot of the up front work on the Jordan Coffey family; Margaret Coffey Farley who provided so many marriage records, original documents, obituaries and photographs of those Coffey families in Western North Carolina; Wayne Coffey who offered guidance and provided headstone photographs and other information for those Coffey families in Virginia, especially those in Augusta county and in Staunton; Sharon Steele-Smith for her help with families in and around Bristol, TN and twin city, Bristol, VA.  I also want to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Marvin Coffey (dec'd) for his early work on Edward and Ann Powell Coffey.  I have heavily relied on him because he was a careful and trustworthy researcher. With grateful thanks I apologize to all of the others who have submitted family files, documents, photos, etc.:  you are too numerous to list but are nevertheless appreciated.

July 1, 2007

Thomas Coffey

The success attained by Thomas Coffey furnishes one instance in thousands testifying to the marvelous oppor- tunities, in this country, for the accumulation of wealth by one who is willing and anxious to work.
Mr. Coffey was born in Ireland, in 1846, to Peter and Mary (Parley) Coffey. In 1859, at the age of thirteen, he ran away from home and engaged as seaman on board a British vessel bound for America. He reached New York after a voyage of over three months, the munificent sum of two cents constituting his entire wealth. He first obtained employment in bridge-building in the City of New York, for which he received seventy-five cents per day. He worked at this employment until he had accumulated enough to take him to Cincinnati, Ohio, where, for a time, he followed the business of a painter. After working in Cincinnati for a year, he went to St. Louis, and engaged in a gas-fitting and plumbing establishment, where he partially learned the trade. At the end of two years he found employment with the St. Louis Gas Light and Coke Company, where he learned the business that he has followed ever since, and in which he has been quite successful.

So begins the short biography on Thomas Coffey, Irish emigrant. Click on the title link to read the remainder. Thomas' bio is well down the page so use your browser's "find" function to locate him.

Visit the home page for this website to find more genealogy related information.

January 20, 2005

Chicago Funeral Notices

This is data from my collection of miscellaneous Coffee/y notes. This list contains funeral notices from the Chicago Daily News, 1878-1902. They are abstracts only, and not the full citation. All of the deceased were Irish emigrants.

Jan. 12, 1885: James Coffey, died at his mother's residence, 568 S. Jefferson St., aged 30 years, native of Newport, County Tipperary. Funeral from Holy Family Church to Calvary; member of A. O. H.

Jan. 7, 1885; John Coffey, brother of James and Dan Coffey, aged 36 years, a native of Newport, County Tipperary; funeral from residence at 66 W. 19th St. to Sacred Heart Church to Calvary

Jun. 19, 1901, John Coffey, husband of Mary, nee Sullivan, father of Mary, Maggie, Josie, Annie and Ella, Mrs. John Cahill, and brother in law of John H., Michael, Maggie Sullivan and Mrs. Murphy, and Mrs. Murnane, age 60 years (all assumed to be surviving kin), native of Kilteely, County Limerick. Funeral from residence at 54 Sigel St., to Immaculate Conception Church to Calvary

Dec. 2, 1885, Maggie Coffey, nee Ryan, second daughter of Michael Ryan of Anna, County Limerick, age 24 years. Funeral from residence at 409 S. May St. to the Jesuit Church to Calvary.

Jul. 17, 1888, Ryan, Johanna, age 80 years, native of Fiddane, County Tipperary, mother of Michael, Patrick, and Dennis Ryan, and Mrs. Coffey (Mrs. Coffey not further defined). Funeral from her son's residence, Dennis Ryan, 3512 S. Dearborn, to St. Elizabeth's Church to Calvary.

Oct. 31, 1888, Michael Coffey, age 75 years 7 months, father of the late Patrick and Michael Coffey, native of Fethard, County Tipperary. Funeral from his daughter's residence, Mrs. Thomas Coffey, 2913 Emerald Ave., to All Saints Church to Calvary.

Dec. 29, 1894, Kate Coffey, age 36 years, sister of John, Jerry, and Dennis Coffey, and Mrs. Peter Ambrose. Native of Ballydarrig, Cahirciveen, County Kerry. Funeral from her sister's residence at 985 W. 37th Ct. to Nativity Church to Mt. Olivet.

Aug. 4, 1895, Catherine Coffey, nee O'Brien, died at residence 6831 Wabash Ave., widow of late Thomas, mother of Mary Welling, Elizabeth Bracken, James F. and Theodore M. Coffey, Katherine Kenny, Thomas A., and Ann Jordenson, Ella Barclay, Georgenia Wilson and Gertrude F. Coffey, aged 64 years, native of Rathhangan, County Kildare. Funeral from St. Bernard's Church to Mt. Olivet.

Mar. 11, 1895, McCarthy, Michael, husband of Mary, nee O'Brien,, and brother of John McCarthy and Mrs. D. Coffey, native of Newport, County Tipperary, age 62 years. Funeral from residence at 282 Hastings St. to Calvary. Mary McCarthy, his wife, died Apr. 23, 1895, age 58 years, a native of Nenagh, County Tipperary.

Mar. 16, 1895, Dennis Coffey, age 29 years, brother of Simon and Ellen, born in Corrigrous, Parish Cahirciveen, County Kerry. Funeral from residence at 758 W. 29th St., to Mt. Olivet.

Aug. 6, 1895, Michael Coffey, aged 67 years, husband of Nora, nee Ryan, father of Daniel, Dennis, Edward, Joseph, and Frank Coffey, a resident of Chicago since 1849, and was engaged in the ice business. Funeral from residence at 43 Newberry Ave., to Holy Family Church to Calvary.

Mar. 4, 1896, Bridget Coffey, nee Ryan, died at son's residence 22 Sibley St., age 62 years; mother of Mrs. Maggie Corcoran, Patrick, Edward, Bina and Henry Coffey, antive of Annaholty, County Limerick. Funeral from St. Patrick's Church to Calvary.

Nov. 7, 1896, Catherine Coffey, age 55 years, wife of James and mother of Mary. Native of Tralee, County Kerry. Funeral from residence at 207 W. Harrison to St. Patrick's Church to Calvary.

May 27, 1897, Bridget Coffey, age 48 years, wife of Daniel, native of Newport, County Tipperary, died at residence at 2312 Hawley Ave., near 44th and Ogden Ave. Funeral from the Blessed Sacrament Church to Calvary.

Sep. 21, 1897, Michael Coffey, age 42 years, husband of Ellen, nee Sullivan, father of Patrick Coffey and Mrs. Mary Benchie. Died at residence at 3420 S. Union, native of Sneem, County Kerry. Funeral from Nativity Church to Mt. Olivet.

Feb. 18, 1897, Michael Reidy, brother of Mrs. James O'Hearn, Mrs. William Coffey, John and Dennis Reidy of 3405 S. Halsted St., age 25 years, 6 months. Native of Kilmeedy, County Limerick. Funeral from his brother's residence to Nativity Church to Mt. Olivet.

Apr. 23, 1899, Patrick Coffey, son of the late Michael and Ellen, nee Sullivan, brother of Mrs. Burt Beyanky, at his mother's residence, 2809 Emerald, age 23 years. Native of Sneem, County Kerry. Funeral from Nativity Church to Mt. Olivet.

Oct. 19, 1901, William Golden, son of Richard and late Abbey, nee Coffey, father of John, William, Abbey and brother of David, John, Richard, kate, Nora and Mrs. Timothy Sheehan, native of Killurly, Filemore, County Kerry.

Sep. 11, 1901, Meehan, James A., age 26 years, 8 months, native of Murroe, County Limerick, died at residence 4725 Bishop St., brother of Catherine Meehan and Mrs. P. Coffey. Funeral from St. Rose of Lima Church to Mt. Olivet.

Jul. 5, 1901, Richard Coffey, age 87 years, father of Mary and Patrick, and Mrs. Johanna Hogan, and Mrs. Margaret Riley. Funeral from the residence of his daughter Mrs. Hogan, 905 Ogden Ave. to St. Agatha's church to Calvary. native of Parish Nenagh, County Tipperary. (Also mentions Ottawa, Canada, but context unknown).

May 18, 1901, Reidy, John, brother of Denis Reidy, and Mrs. James Ahern, Mrs. William Coffey; native of County Limerick. Died at brother's residence, 4420 Union. Funeral from St. Gabriel's Church to Mt. Olivet.

May 2, 1902, Thomas Coffey, age 49 years, native of County Tipperary, husband of Agnes, nee Coffey, father of John M., Thomas P., Agnes, Edward, Eugene, and Arthur R. Coffey. Funeral from residence at 256 E. 40th St., to Holy Angels Church to Calvary.

Hopefully, some of this information will be useful. Unfortunately, I have no further information on any of these families.

December 9, 2004

The John Coffey-Mary Jolliffee-Rebecca Ireland Myth

In 1960 George C. Greer published his reference, Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666. In that work, Greer wrote that John Coffee came to Virginia in 1637 as the indentured servant of one Nicholas Hill.

In 1969, Nell M. Nugent, in her work, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Vols. I-III, transcribed the same information, but recorded the name as John Coffin or John Scoffin.

Marvin Coffey, in his work of 1984, James Bluford Coffey, His Ancestors and Descendants in America, wrote that he went to the original records, and found that Nugent had copied the name correctly; e.g., Coffin in one place, and what appears to be Scoffin in another. Marvin observed that whatever the name, it is not Coffee or Coffey!

Many Coffee/Coffey genealogists have accepted that John found in Greer's work was the earliest Coffee in America. Some researchers have given him a wife, often two wives; either Mary Jolliffe or Rebecca Ireland.

Records found, in York Co., VA, mention a William Ireland, in that county from 1633-1648. And, there is a John Jolliffee in Nansemone and Isle of Wight counties in 1653 (see Nugent). But, after all of the research, by literally hundreds of Coffee/Coffey researchers over several decades, no one has related any credible evidence that 1) there was a John Coffee/Coffey in that time frame, and 2) that a Mary Jolliffee or Rebecca Ireland ever existed.

Edward is first found mentioned in the 1699 will of William Mosely. The will was proved in Essex Co., VA on April 16, 1700, and in September, 1700 Edward received his "freedom, corn, and clothes" from the Mosely estate. Mosley transported many indentured persons to Virginia from about 1660 until the 1690's. Edward was likely one of his servants.

Edward Coffee/Coffey remains as our earliest known ancestor in America.

Anyone with evidence to the contrary will certainly be hailed by the large and growing family of Coffee/Coffey researchers!

Sometime after I wrote the above, and following questions posted on a well known genealogy forum, I asked Marvin Coffey to revisit this question. He submitted the following:

"Peter Rigllesworth had a will in which he mentions a daughter Mary. It has been said that this Mary married John Jolliffe but I have seen no record to substantiate it. John Jolliffe appears in the deed records of Nansemond and Isle of Wight cos., VA in 1653 and in Lower Norfolk co. in 1661, the latter being just a renewal of the patent of 1653. I have not yet seen a list of John's children or that he had a dau. named Mary, but I think it likely he did."

"The record of a John Coffee(y) arriving in Elizabeth City co. VA in 1637 with a patentee being Nicholas Hill was misread as the original record clearly says "Coffin". I have found no Coffee(y), John or otherwise in early or middle 1600s in Elizabeth City co., Norfolk co. or any closely surrounding ones, except for a John Coffe(?) on an inquisition or jury in Surry co. in 1669. There was also in the same county an Anthony Koffey(?) on a jury in 1654 and a John Coffer in 1665. The ? after the first two names is not mine, it is of the person recording it from some original. It indicates that this person couldn't read it and was guessing at the spelling. There is also a John Coffin in Isle of Wight co. in 1697 and several Coffers, inclcuding a John about this time."

"Going further north in Virginia the records of Northumberland and Lancaster cos. have several Coffins, Coffers and Coffee(y)s in the mid to late 1600s and early 1700s. None of these seems to be a John except a John Coffin or Coffins in 1669-70. In the early 1700s we find Edward Coffee(y) in Essex co. and later his sons John & Edward, Jr. in Spotsylvania and other counties."

"In sum I have seen nothing to demonstrate that there was a John Coffee(y) in the area where this Jolliffe family lived or a Mary who married a John Coffee(y). If anyone should have any further records on this matter I would appreciate them corresponding with me as I would like to solve this problem. Finally, it should be noted that even if there were a Mary Jolliffe-John Coffey marriage there seems to be no connection with Edward in Essex co. who was most likely an immigrant and indentured servant, and not a son of some Coffey already in Virginia."

More information about various Coffee/y families can be found at:

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