Van Gundy Family Tree


Notes for Edward Joshua COFFEY


From The Chattanooga Times: Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sunday April 15, 1934
by Penelope Johnson Allen, State Chairman of Genealogical Records, Tennessee Society, Daughters of American Revolution

"John Coffey, of Elizabeth City County, the early Virginia immigrant, was the ancestor of Edward Coffey, who died in Essex County in 1716, leaving issue: John Coffey, who lived for a while in Essex County and then removed to Spotsylvania County, where he lived until 1747, when he settled in Albemarle County. John Coffey married Jane Graves, and his will, which was made March 31, 1774, and proven at the March term of the court of Albemarle County, Virginia, mentions his wife, Jean, and children, James, Thomas, William, John, Edmond, Rubin, Benjamin, Winefred Moran and Betty Fields. The witnesses were Charles Patrick and Alexander Craig. Benjamin and Thomas Coffey qualified as executors."

Jack Coffee posted on the internet:

"The book, Irish Families by Edward MacLysaght (Dublin: Hodges Figgis and Co., 1957) makes frequent mention of "The Wild Geese". A recent article in the magazine Town and Country (March, 1988) tells how the Wild Geese were the thousands of Ireland's nobility who fled overseas as a result of the treaty of Limerick in 1691. Their lands were confiscated by the Crown when William was king. The "Wild Geese" are of interest to Coffey genealogists because it has been speculated that Edward Coffey came to Virginia about 1690 as a result of the "Willamite Confiscation" in Ireland (see James B. Coffey, Vol. II by Marvin Coffey, pg. 17). This would be tatamount to calling him a Wild Goose."

"Lawrence H. Coffey in his book Thomas Coffey and his Descendants (pub. 1931) states that he put the best material together to suggest that Edward came to Virginia about 1690 from Liverpool, England having originated in Ireland. This statement seems to be the original basis for those who claim that Edward immigrated to Virginia from across the ocean rather than having been born in America. However, Lawrence did not even know Edward's name, merely identifying him as the father of John and the other Coffey children of Essex County. Lawrence probably obtained the round date 1690 by extrapolating back to a suspected year of birth for John's father and them assuming that he immigrated as a young man. Some claim that Edward came in 1690 as an indentured servant. I question that Edward came as a result of the Willamite Confiscation, that he came as indentured servant, and that he came in 1690."

"The 1690 supposed arrival date in America for Edward Coffey gained acceptance by Coffey scholars because Edward's indenture to Mosely (unknown to Lawrence Coffey) seemed to buttress Lawrence's earlier independent supposition. The 1690 date was likely a guess on Lawrence's part, however, as shown below. The part that came from old family tradition to Lawrence most likely was that the Coffey progenitor came to Virginia from Liverpool, England, but was Irish."

And from the Coffey Family web site:

"The first record of Edward Coffey in VA appears in the will of Edward Mosely, dated January 6, 1699 in which he gives to his "servant Ed. Coffe one heifer of 2 years old." On September 10, 1700, Edward Coffey received a judgment from the Mosely estate for his freedom, corn, and clothes. Edward Coffey was probably transported to America during the Williamite Confiscation by Edward Mosely. Edward Coffey is a witness to Thomas Powell's will of Sittingbourne Parish, Essex County, VA. in which Thomas bequeathed 1 shilling to his daughter Ann Coffey."

Residences & events:

Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 9, Essex Co VA Wills & Deeds 1714-1717
Ex 9 3
Page 311, Lease and release, dated 10 and 11 Nov. 1714. Edward Coffey of St. Ann's Parish, Planter, sells John Barbee of the same parish for 5000 lbs. of "lawful sweet scented tobacco" 118 acres, which land Coffee bought of Augustine Smith and is on branches of Occupation Creek, adj. to land of Thomas Warren, on E. side of Chickahomony Path, the land of Col. Francis Gouldman "to corner red oak and white oak corner to Mr. Severley his Great Tract", etc. Signed Edward Coffey, Witnessed by Tho. Ramsey, Saml. Stallord, Robert Parker. Ann Coffey, wife of Edward, relinq. her dower rights. Rec. 11 Nov. 1714.

Which is correct?

His will was dated 2/14/1715 and proved 11/20/1716. It said:

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I Edward Coffey being in bed of sickness but in perfect sense and memory thanks be to God; I Edward Coffey do bequeath this to be my Last Will and Testament.

I leave all my Land to my two sons John Coffey and Edward Coffey equal to
be divided at sixteen years of age if the mother of them to be dead otherwise at eighteen years of ages.

I also give one cow and her increase to my daughter Martha Coffey at years of age of sixteen or at her mothers death also one cow and yerlen to my son John Coffey and her increase.

All the tenebel Stock and Bock I give to my wife Ann Coffey til her death but if she marrys then everyone of my children to have their parts as they come of age, and after the decease of my wife all tenagle to be equally divided between my six children John Coffey, Edward Coffey, Martha Coffey, Ann Coffey, Austes Coffey, Elisabeth Coffey.

As witness my hand and seal this 14th day of February 1715/1716:
Samel Edmondson
Themety (mark) Selemon
Edward Coffey (his mark)

Inventory of the estate, was witnessed by James Edmonton, Will Taylor, and Nicholas Faulconer.
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