Monday, March 27, 2017

Jacob Coffman- the Frontiersman 1780-1852

Nick Cimino at his 4th Great Grandparents Gravesite 1993
Hillsborough Cemetery, McDonough County, Illinois
This is a picture of me in July of 1993 when we stumbled upon the Hillsborough Cemetery in McDonough County, Illinois. I had no idea that so many of the Coffmans were buried in this cemetery. Our little family of four was just wandering the countryside near La Harpe in a rented Nissan Altima. We knew the Ketchams were buried in La Harpe Cemetery but we did not know where the Coffmans were buried.

We knew that some of Alfred Coffman's family had been buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery before he moved to California. We had hoped to find Jacob and Eary Coffman and William and Elizabeth Coffman there too but were very disappointed to find that they were not in the same cemetery as the family of Alfred Coffman so we just kept driving around. The kids were starting to weary of the endless rows of corn. Something told me to turn down the road by Hillsborough Cemetery. I am not sure what it was that led me down that road. I really felt at the time that my ancestors wanted us to find them. I still do.

Hillsborough Cemetery, McDonough Co., IL; corner of 100 E and 2150 N; Section 19 Blandinsville Twp. Inscriptions: Eary, Wife of J. Coffman, Died July 25 1855, Aged 70 yrs. 6 mos.; Jacob Coffman, Died Mar 26, 1852, Aged 71 yrs. 5 mos. 11 days.

The Coffman family saga continues this week with the pioneer of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri, Jacob Coffman 1780-1852.  The vital information for Jacob Coffman and his wife and children is presented below:

Modified Register for Jacob Coffman

First Generation

      1. Jacob Coffman  was born on 15 Oct 1780 in , , Germany. He died on 26 Mar 1852 in , , Illinois. He was buried in Hillsborough Cem, McDonough, Illinois.
Jacob married Eary Fowler  daughter of Thomas Fowler and Dorcas on 18 Apr 1805 in , Washington, Kentucky. Eary was born on 7 Jan 1785 in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. She died on 25 Jul 1855 in Laharpe, Hancock, Illinois, USA. She was buried in Hillsborough Cem, McDonough, Illinois.

They had the following children:
               2 F         i.  Elizabeth Coffman  was born on 24 Jan 1806 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died on 19 Oct 1892 in Illinois, USA.
Elizabeth married John Lathrop  on 27 Jan 1827 in Howard, Missouri, USA. John was born about 1805 in London, , England. He died in 1880 in Hancock County, Illinois.
               3 F         ii.  Nancy Coffman  was born about 1807 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died after 1880 in Texas, United States.
Nancy married (1) Joseph Thompson Atchison  on 20 Feb 1822 in Hamilton, Illinois, USA. Joseph was born on 8 Jan 1789 in Port Tobacco, Charles, Maryland, United States. He died on 11 Apr 1864 in Hamilton, Illinois, United States.
Nancy married (2) Major Hungate  on 28 Apr 1823 in Hamilton, Illinois, United States. Major was born on 6 Jan 1805 in Washington, Kentucky, United States. He died on 28 Mar 1891 in Andrew, Missouri, United States.
Nancy married (3) Isaac Kelly  on 14 Aug 1843 in Andrew County, Missouri, USA. Isaac was born in 1806 in North Carolina, United States. He died in 1898 in Texas, United States.
               4 F        iii.  Mary Coffman  was born on 23 Nov 1808 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died on 25 Apr 1891 in Stronghurst , Henderson Co., Illinois. She was buried in Hillsborough Cem, McDonough, Illinois.
Mary married Isaac Crenshaw  son of Daniel Crenshaw and Celetia Cook in 1823 in , , Kentucky, United States. Isaac was born on 15 Nov 1803 in Warren, Georgia, United States. He died on 29 Jul 1880 in Bedford, Henderson County, Illinois. He was buried in Hillsborough Cem, McDonough, Illinois.
               5 M      iv.  Leroy Coffman  was born on 15 Nov 1810 in , Washington, Kentucky. He died on 16 Aug 1886 in , Worth, Missouri. He was buried in Fletchall Cem, Worth, Missouri. 
Leroy married Dorcas Groshong  daughter of Jacob Groshong and Katherine McCoy on 9 Apr 1829 in , Adams, Illinois. Dorcas was born on 18 Jul 1808 in , St. Charles, Missouri. She died on 9 Sep 1878 in , Worth, Missouri. She was buried in Fletchall Cem, Grant City, Missouri.
               6 M       v.  Thomas Fowler Coffman  was born on 11 Jan 1813 in Washington County, Kentucky, USA. He died on 3 Oct 1892 in Willows, Glenn, California, USA. He was buried in Willows, Glenn, California.
Thomas married Alice Seybold  daughter of Jesse Seybold on 13 Oct 1831 in , McDonough, Illinois. Alice was born on 22 Aug 1815 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died on 28 Dec 1901 in Willows, Glenn, California. She was buried in Willows, Glenn, California.
               7 M      vi.  William Fowler Coffman  was born on 30 Jul 1815 in Washington County, Kentucky, USA. He died on 11 Sep 1905 in La Harpe, Hancock County, Illinois, USA. He was buried in Hillsborough Cem, Blandinsville Township, McDonough County, Illinois, USA.
William married Elizabeth Wilson  daughter of James Wilson and Elizabeth Raley on 18 Dec 1837 in Mcdonough, Illinois, USA. Elizabeth was born on 27 Feb 1816 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died on 27 Oct 1893 in La Harpe, Hancock, Illinois. She was buried in Hillsborough Cem, McDonough, Illinois.
               8 F       vii.  Dorcas Coffman  was born on 22 Sep 1817 in , Washington, Kentucky. She died on 14 Nov 1897 in Woodland, Yolo, California. She was buried on 16 Nov 1897 in I.O.O.F. Cem., Capay, Yolo, California.
Dorcas married Charles Duncan  on 10 Nov 1833 in , McDonough, Illinois. Charles was born on 3 Jan 1806 in ,, Tennessee. He died on 19 Sep 1885 in Willow Slough, Yolo Co., California.
               9 M     viii.  Henry Coffman  was born about 1818 in , Washington, Kentucky.
             10 M      ix.  Alfred Coffman  was born on 12 Jun 1823 in Hamilton, Illinois. He died on 28 Aug 1897 in Elk Grove, Sacramento, California. He was buried on 30 Aug 1897 in San Joaquin Cem, Sacramento, California.
Alfred married (1) Sarah A. Pemberton  on 1 Feb 1844 in Andrew Co., Missouri. Sarah was born on 10 Jun 1823 in , , Kentucky. She died on 17 Apr 1863 in , , Illinois. She was buried in Wesley Chapel Cm, Hancock, Illinois.

Alfred married (2) Elsie E. Howard  in 1866 in , , Illinois. Elsie was born in Jan 1834 in Tennessee. She died on 29 Aug 1907 in Oakland, Alameda, California.

The story of Jacob's life is more than just a disparate bunch of names, dates and places.  However, you can see just from the vitals above that this family spread out over the Midwest and the West with many ending up in my home state of California.  This aspect of the story has echoes of manifest destiny, prospecting for gold and a virtual family reunion sponsored by dozens of family historians throughout the course of three centuries.

No image of Jacob Coffman is known to have survived so his gravestone serves as his profile image on my Cimino and Harrington Ancestors Tree at

Tom Tucker of Port Townsend, Washington took this photo while visiting Blandinsville in 1985, he and his wife cleaned the headstones for Jacob and Arey. JACOB COFFMAN DIED Mar. 26, 1852 Aged 71 yrs. 5 Mos. 11 ds.

My notes on Jacob Coffman are 1) a compilation of research by other genealogists, 2) transcriptions of original records and 3) some of my musings and analysis on both of the above.


!BIOGRAPHY: History of Sacramento County, 1890, by Winfield J. Davis, CA State Library #qc979.453 D2; mfm#C115 #13 Book 2382; p. 479 From sketch of his son, Alfred Coffman: "The father Jacob, a native of Germany, came to this country when four years old [1784] and settled in Kentucky, where they subsisted by digging the ginseng and selling it, and hunting deer and dressing their skins. He was well acquainted with Daniel Boone."

"He moved to Illinois, and was there during the Black Hawk war [1832], in which he took part.  He was the first man to settle in Burlington, Iowa, which place he found while swimming the Mississippi River after Indians for whom he had a deadly hatred. [I have found no record to substantiate this claim, however Isaac Crenshaw, a neighbor and son-in-law of Jacob's, did lead a party of Illinois settlers to the Burlington area.  I have not yet checked early land claims but the histories of the area do not mention Jacob Coffman.]

"When sixty-two years of age [1842] he moved to Missouri, to a town called Jamestown, five miles from St. Joseph [Buchanan County].   He became so fond of frontier life that he followed it until his death, which occurred in Illinois, at the age of seventy-two years. He shot his last deer in Illinois, while on horseback, shortly before his death. His son Alfred has the old rifle with which he killed the deer.  Seven of the children of Jacob Coffman are living, the youngest [Alfred Coffman] being sixty six years of age."


!BIRTH: Recollection by Edith Lucile Stewart Venning, 1903-1994. "The Coffmans must have come to America quite early, my great-great-grandfather and my great-great-grandmother being born in Virginia before 1800."

Perhaps the best source that we have on the birth date and birthplace of Jacob Coffman is the 1850 census wherein it was recorded that he was age 70.  By subtracting 70 from 1850 we are able to approximate a birth year of 1780.  The 1850 census also says that he was born in Virginia. However, it is not uncommon for people that were born in Europe to claim that they were born in the U.S.

A conflict regarding Jacob's own account of the birthplace is found in this 1890 account from his son, Alfred Coffman: "The father Jacob, a native of Germany, came to this country when four years old and settled in Kentucky..."

The Alfred Coffman version of the story would place his arrival in Kentucky about 1784 but keep in mind that this story is in conflict with Alfred's own account of his father's birthplace as Kentucky in the 1880 census.

The recollections of the other children regarding the birthplace of their father only add to the confusion.  For example, my ancestor, William Fowler Coffman 1815-1905 or another informant stated in the 1880 census that his father was born in Germany and in the 1900 census it was stated that his father was born in Kentucky.  Unfortunately, he was the only child of Jacob Coffman to live long enough to be enumerated in the 1900 census.

The 1880 census for the second daughter Nancy Coffman Kelly does not have an entry in the parents birthplace column.

The birthplace given by the other children for their father in the 1880 census are as follows: Elizabeth Coffman Lathrop - Germany, Mary Coffman Crenshaw - Germany, Leroy Coffman - Virginia, Thomas Coffman - Virginia, Dorcas Coffman Duncan - Virginia, and last but not least Alfred Coffman - Kentucky.

The confusion between Virginia and Kentucky might be explained by the fact that Kentucky originated out of Virginia.  When Jacob Coffman was born in 1780, the thirteen colonies had declared their independence and were still in the middle of the revolutionary war.  The first permanent white settlement  was established by James Harrod in 1774 near the present city of Harrodsburg.  Daniel Boone settled Boonesborough in 1775. In 1780 Kentucky County, Virginia had been divided into Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln Counties but they were still part of Virginia.

Slideshow image
SOURCE: Interactive Kentucky Formation Maps

The only other source that we have for the birth date is the grave marker in Hillsborough Cemetery which states: Died Mar 26, 1852, Aged 71 yrs. 5 mos. 11 days.  Using a date calculator in Personal Ancestral File, we arrive at a birth date of 15 Oct 1780 which is the date that I am currently using on his profile at

These two records support a birth year of 1780.

Very little is known of the early life of Jacob Coffman.  Alfred Coffman's account of his father's early life states: "settled in Kentucky, where they subsisted by digging the ginseng and selling it, and hunting deer and dressing their skins. He was well acquainted with Daniel Boone."  So it appears that Jacob Coffman and his father were living the life of a frontier family in Kentucky.

Jacob Coffman's granddaughter gave this account of the early life in Kentucky:

 "...The grandparents of Mrs.  DeWitt, Jacob and Ezra (Fowler) Coffman, were born in Kentucky, and he was a son of Jacob Coffman, a native of Germany.  When Jacob Coffman, Mrs. DeWitt's grandfather was three years old the family started for Illinois, and when they reached the Illinois side of the Ohio River they were attacked by the Indians and old grandfather was killed.  His wife, two sons and a negro servant escaped, fled to the woods and kept on traveling until the crow of a rooster told them they had reached a white settlement.  They finally made their way to McDonough County, where they entered land from the government, but none of the survivors ever forgot their terrible experience with the hostile Red Men." 
SOURCE: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Hancock Co. Scofield Vol. 11; pg. 1186 Sketch of Aaron DeWitt.

The wife of Aaron DeWitt was Sarah Coffman, daughter of William Fowler Coffman and Elizabeth Wilson.  Sarah was a sister of my second great grandfather, Archibald Coffman 1850-1935.  She may have garbled the story a bit.  The three year old that was traveling to Illinois was probably her father, William Fowler Coffman.  The obituary of William F. Coffman tells the following version of the story:
"William F. Coffman was born in Kentucky, July 30, 1815.  When he was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided." 
SOURCE: LaHarper, LaHarpe, Illinois, 15 Sep 1905

The kernel of truth in Mrs. DeWitt's story was that the father of Jacob Coffman also known as Jacob was killed by Indians.  For further discussion of this story, please read my previous blog on the topic at this address:

There is no 1800 census of Kentucky from which to draw information about Jacob Coffman.

Washington County, Kentucky shown in relation to adjacent counties.

Jacob Coffman first appears in the written record at age, 25 when he marries in Washington County, Kentucky in 1805.

!MARRIAGE: 1805; Marriage Book I:61 Washington Co. KY; Know all men by these presents that we Jacob Coffman and John Hungate are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency the Governor of Kentucky in the sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment of which ____ and truly to be made to the said Governer [sic] and his successors we bind our selves our heirs to jointly and severally firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and sealed this 18th day of April 1805. The condition of this obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound Jacob Coffman and Arey Fowler for which a license has issued now if there be no careful cause to obstruct the said marriage then the obligation to be void or else to remain in full force and virtue. Witness John Reed           Jacob Coffman   Seal                             John Hungate    Seal

A similar version of the MARRIAGE record above was also found in the Bounty Land file from National Archives in the form of an affidavit from the widow of Jacob Coffman. The widow is named in the file as Arah Coffman, whose maiden name was Arah Fowler. On the 29th of March 1855, she stated that she was "duly married to Jacob Coffman in the year 1805 in the County of Washington and State of Kentucky by one William Long authorized by law of said State to celebrate marriages and that at this time she is the widow of  said Jacob Coffman who departed this life in the year 1852.

Washington County Marriage Book Volume 1, Page 61
Received from Washington County Clerk in 1993

We were lucky enough to get the name of the father of Arey Fowler from this record: Marriage Book 1:61, Washington Co., KY; "This is to let you know that I am willing for a marriage to take place between Jacob Coffman and my daughter Arey Fowler. Given under my hand this 17th day of April 1805. Thomas Fowler. Teste: Nathan Ward & Jno. Hungate." [Nathan Ward is married to Thomas Fowler's daughter, Lucy. John Hungate was married to Mary Coffman who was probably related to Jacob Coffman.]

!CENSUS: 1810; Jacob and family were residing in Washington County, Kentucky in 1810 and enumerated as follows:
Name Jacob Coffman
Home in 1810 (City, County, State) Washington, Kentucky
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44 1 [Jacob age 30]
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10 3 [Elizabeth 4, Nancy 3, and Mary 2]
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25 1 [Arey age 25]
Number of Household Members Under 16 3
Number of Household Members Over 25 1
Number of Household Members 5

!RESIDENCE: 1818-1829 Jefferson County, Illinois per son William's obituary Shawneetown, Jefferson Co. per daughter Mary's obituary.

Here are the exact quotes:

"When [William Fowler Coffman born 1815] was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided" per WFC obituary.
"[Mary Coffman] came to Illinois with her parents in 1818, settling in Jefferson county, near Shawneetown.  Was married to Isaac Crenshaw in 1823...." per Mary Crenshaw obituary.
!CENSUS: 1820; Hamilton County was created 8 February 1821 from White County. This census record for White County, Illinois seems to fit with ages and genders known for the family:
Name Jacob Coffman
Home in 1820 (City, County, State) North of West, White, Illinois
Enumeration Date August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10         4 [Leroy age 10, Thomas 7, William 5 and Henry 2]
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44 1 [Jacob age 40]
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10 1 [Dorcas 3]
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15 3 [Elizabeth 14, Nancy 13, and Mary 12]
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44 1 [Arey age 35]
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture 1
Free White Persons - Under 16 8
Free White Persons - Over 25 2
Total Free White Persons 10
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other 10

!RESIDENCE: 1823 Son Alfred says he was born in Hamilton Co., IL in 1823.

Apparently Jacob Coffman got into a bit of a scrape with the law in Hamilton County as evidenced by the following story posted on by user dwtophat:

"November 1, 1823, Judge Wilson convened court at 7:00 o’clock a.m. to try Jacob Coffman and William Hungate for murder.  This was the first murder trial in Hamilton County.  Defendants Coffman and Hungate put themselves upon their county, whereupon a jury was called, composed of the following men: Mastin Bond, Henry Krisell, John Anderson, Adam Crouch, Nicholas Tramell, Lawrence Stull, Jarrett Garner, Gilbert Griswold, John Richy, Anthony Richy, Daniel Benbrooks, and Ambrose Maulding, who heard the evidence, and returned a verdict finding Jacob Coffman and William Hungate not guilty of murder; and they were promptly discharged. This must have caused another riot, for on the same day the Grand Jury indicted John Hardisty, John Townsend, John Flint, Charles Hurd, Stephen Parker, Samuel Hogg, Sr., Samuel Hogg, Jr., Major Hungate and Charles Hungate “for a riot”.  They were all admitted to bail at $50.00 bond each.  A new Judge, Thomas C. Browne, came to hold court, and on May 28, 1824 all of the defendants, except Samuel Hogg, Sr., were tried before a jury of Hamilton County men who promptly returned a verdict of not guilty, and Judge Browne then dismissed the case as to Samuel Hogg, Sr."
This story appears to have been extracted from an online transcription of court records found here:  This webpage cites as a source the following: From: Goshen Trails, Vol. 5; #2; #3; Hamilton County Historical Society Bulletin 1969;
Reprinted with permission.

An online transcription of the Hamilton County history section of The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887) is found at the following URL:
Jacob Coffman is listed as an early settler of Hamilton County, Illinois on page 244.  Further into the chapter on page 248 William, Charles and Christopher Hungate were listed as early settlers.  Another copy of that chapter is posted here:

The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887) is also found online at the Internet Archive [].

Page 285 of that history book explains that Jacob Coffman and William Hungate were charged with killing a man named Taylor.  "Taylor was charged with being a thief, and the accusation was that they pursued and shot him." But as we know from the description above Jacob and William were found not guilty.

These stories just help to show that the Coffmans and Hungates were friends, family and fellow travelers from Washington County, Kentucky to Illinois.

!CENSUS:1830 Illinois, McDonough Co., Township 7N- Range 4W; Jacob Coffman, head; male 50-60 [Jacob 50]; 1 female 40-50 [Eary 45]; 1 male 15-20 [Thomas 17]; 2 males 10-15 [William 15 and Henry 12]; 1 female 10-15 [Dorcas 13]; 1 male 5-10 [Alfred 7]; The following children were not enumerated in the household in 1830: Elizabeth 24, Nancy 23, Mary 22 and Leroy 20.

!CENSUS: 1830 Illinois, Schuyler Co.; There is a Jacob Coffman listed on pg. 96 line 22 per index found by Jane Risser.

!OCCUPATION: 1830 "At the special election held August 7, [1830] in the several Magistrate's Districts...In the Third district...were elected...Francis Reading and Jacob Coffman, Constables; History of McDonough County, IL, by S.J.  Clarke, Springfield, IL, D.W. Lusk, State Printer and Binder, 1878, p. 22, SUTRO mfm 292-reel 56-book218

!RESIDENCE: 1830 "Came to McDonough 1830 and erected a cabin on section 8, Blandinsville Township.  After a few years residence removed to Missouri." History of McDonough Co. IL, Continental historical co., 1885, p. 861, SUTRO mfm 292-reel 56-book 219; 1907 history lists him as living on section 3, Historical Encyclopedia of IL and History of McDonough Co., Alexander McLean, Editor, Munsell Publishing Co., Chicago, 1907, p. 670 SUTRO mfm 292-reel 55- book 217

Section 8 is due north of Blandinsville.  The township is in the northwest corner of McDonough County.

!OCCUPATION: 1832-1836; Jacob Coffman was either a party in court cases or a juryman, 1832 to 1836 in Fountain Green Township; History of Hancock Co., 1880 Gregg, pg. 819.

!MILITARY: 1832; Served as private in Black Hawk War [1832] in McDonough County battalion of mounted rangers commanded by Major Samuel Bogart.  Received from the government a bounty of eighty acres of land.  History of McDonough Co. IL Continental historical co., 1885, p. 119, SUTRO, mfm 292-reel 56-book 219.  The Bounty Land file from the National Archives clarifies that the 80 acres was in addition to a warrant that he received for 40 acres at an earlier date so in all he received warrants for 120 acres for his Black Hawk War service.  Not bad for eighty five days of service.

!MILITARY: 1832 "I certify that Jacob Coffman volunteered as a Mounted Ranger into the service of the United States on the Eleventh day of June 1832, and served as a private in my company in the Odd Battalion, commanded by Major Samuel Bogart, and discharged therefrom on the Fourth day of Sept. 1832.      Given under my hand this 14th day of Sept. 1832.                              Peter Butler Capt. The information above was received from the National Archives.  The image above was posted on by Tom Tucker.

!RESIDENCE: 1833; Jacob and Eary's daughter, Dorcas married Charles Duncan in McDonough Co. 10 Nov 1833; IGI-IL p. 5133; Jan 1992.

!CENSUS:1840 Not in Mc Donough most likely in Buchanan County, Missouri.  St. Joseph, Missouri is the major city of Buchanan County.

Daughter, Elizabeth's husband was from Leavenworth, Missouri. The Geographic Names server lists: East Leavenworth Missouri in Platte County which is just south of Buchanan County.

Son Alfred's biography mentions that his father, Jacob Coffman resided in Jamestown, Missouri five miles from St. Joseph.

The 1840 Census index listings below show Jacob with his sons, Thomas Fowler Coffman and Leroy Coffman in Nodaway Township, Buchanan County, Missouri.

  • 1840 COFFMAN JACOB Buchanan County MO 152 Nodaway Township Federal Population Schedule MO 1840 Federal Census Index MOS4a534748 
  • 1840 COFFMAN LEROY Buchanan County MO 152 Nodaway Township Federal Population Schedule MO 1840 Federal Census Index MOS4a534943 
  • 1840 COFFMAN THOMAS F. Buchanan County MO 152 Nodaway Township Federal Population Schedule MO 1840 Federal Census Index MOS4a534949   

The family statistics for 1840 read as follows:
Name Jacob Coffman
Home in 1840 (City, County, State) Nodaway, Buchanan, Missouri
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9 1
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29 1
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59 1 [Jacob age 59 or 60]
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59 1 [Arey age 55]
Free White Persons - Under 20 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49 1
Total Free White Persons 4
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves 4

Alfred Coffman would have been 17 years old in 1840 but he appears to have not been accounted for in this family.  The male 5 thru 9 and the male 20 thru 29 are a bit of a mystery.  William F. Coffman, age 25, was married in 1837 but he has not yet been located in an 1840 census record.  Possibly he was residing with his father, Jacob Coffman and his wife had not yet joined him in Missouri. If this is William Coffman, one of his children might have been in the household but the mystery remains.

!RESIDENCE: 1842 "When sixty-two years of age [1842] he moved to Missouri, to a town called Jamestown, five miles from St. Joseph [Buchanan County]." per biography.

!CENSUS:1850 IL McDonough Co., p. 256a house 372; occupation farmer;age 70; b. VA; Eary, age 65 b. MD

!DEATH-BURIAL: Hillsborough Cemetery, McDonough Co., Illinois; corner of 100 E and 2150 N; Section 19 Blandinsville Twp.; inscription: Jacob Coffman, Died Mar 26, 1852, Aged 71 yrs. 5 mos. 11 days  

One of my Coffman cousins has been working on this family for as long as I have and she provided me with the following leads.  There are definitely more hours to be spent on Jacob Coffman but I leave you with these leads in closing.  MORE TO COME!

----Original Message Follows---- From: Jane Risser To: Nick Cimino Subject: Jacob Coffman & Siblings? Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002   Here's what I've found re: possible siblings and parents of Jacob Coffman:  By following the Hungates,(remember John Hungate was a witness at Jacob's' wedding to Eary, Washington Co. KY 1805): 1) William Hungate m. Sally Coffman, Mercer Co. KY 8 JUL 1800, (The Hungate Family, vol.2, by Carroll Paul Hungate, MD. Kansas City, MO). Mercer county is next to Washington county.  Wm. and Sally are in Hamilton Co. IL by 1827.  Jacob's son Alfred is b. Hamilton 1823. 2)  Mary Coffman m. Col. John Hungate 1795 Mercer Co. KY. 3) 1810 Mercer County, KY Fed. census: John Hungate, Wm. Hungate, Joseph Hungate and Charles Hungate living next to or with one another.  Also listed, separately, Isaac "Caughman".  [This online, un-indexed, and much of it is illegible-JR]. 4) History of Hancock Co. IL 1880, Gregg p. 819: ;"...parties in cases or jurymen: ...Jacob Coffman......Charles Hungate succeeded to the docket in 1836." 5) History of Hancock Co. IL vol 2 p. 1186 Aaron DeWitt marries [1]Mary Hungate, dtr of Charles and Catherine Hungate...m. [2] Sarah Coffman.  Apparently, there are court records in Mercer Co. stating the Elizabeth Veach, binds out her sons in 1794 to be apprenticed.  It reads in part "...with the consent of Elizabeth Veach, bind out their son Isaac Coffman, son of Elizabeth Coffman and orphan of Christopher Coffman, (dec'd)..."  It looks like Elizabeth was the widow of Christopher Coffman and remarried a Veach.   [I have not seen these records-JR]  From 1992 KY Ancestors v27-3p. 154, submitted by Thomas G. Herwer: Jacob's parents were Elizabeth Clarke and Samuel Coffman.  Jacob apprenticed to a Springfield hatter in Washington Co.[Sources?]  I have seen work of another researcher who states she found Jacob Coffman, Wm. Hungate and Betsy Veatch (dtr of Elizabeth and 2nd husband, with husband Andrew Vance) in 1820 White Co. IL p. 388.  [Have not confirmed this-JR]  Second Census KY 1800 Franklin County (formed May 1, 1795 from Mercer, Shelby, and Woodford co.s): Jacob Coffman and heirs Coffman, Aug 10, 1801  IGI Germany:  Jacob Fried. Wilhelm Kauffmann christened 14 Nov 1781 Konigsberg, Brandenburg, Prussia, son of Christoph Kauffmann and Sophie Bannin. From church records of Sankt Marien Kirche, Konigsberg.  I've read that Germans often had multiple baptismal names and used different ones for different purposes ( public, official, and personal or familial).  Are Samuel and Christopher Coffman the same person?  Researcher Tina Mitchell, whom I hope to hear from this week, has as children of Christopher/Samuel: --Mary  b. abt. 1778 VA or KY [ KY formed from VA July 1790-JR] --Christopher --Jacob b. 15 May 1781 --Isaac --Sarah (Sally) b. abt 1786 VA or KY, d. aft 1860 Hamilton Co. IL.  She also says she has seen many court records that list the father of these children as Christopher.[ Hope she'll share!].  So, in closing, the above is what I'm working with.  There is a lot to confirm or refute, many leads however.   Jane

Monday, March 20, 2017

Backyard History #1 Sacramento

Alfred Coffman- Was He Really an Odd Fellow? 

Alfred Coffman and first wife, Sarah E. Pemberton
This photo was from the Nancy Pemberton-Spangler photo album.
The photo was received from Cal Sale, P.O. Box 41093, Des Moines, Iowa 50311, April 2003.

Have you ever discovered history in your backyard?  Alfred Coffman was my fourth great uncle and he lived almost literally in my backyard in Sacramento.  During my kindergarten year, we moved from Carmela Way to Craig Avenue in Sacramento.  When we first arrived on Craig Avenue we lived on the very southern edge of Sacramento.  On a clear day, we could look out our two south facing patio doors and see Mt. Diablo.

To the southeast of where we lived in South Sacramento was the town of Elk Grove, California. Alfred Coffman settled near Elk Grove in 1875.  I attended John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento and graduated in 1971.  About ninety years earlier, Alfred Coffman was involved in the founding of one of our rivals, Elk Grove High School.  We could not quite see Elk Grove High School out our back window but it was only 10 miles away from my house.

Elk Grove Union High School was the first union high school in the state of California. Sixteen elementary districts voted to tax themselves for a high school, and they all remained as separate districts until the entire K-12 district unified in 1959. Alfred Coffman canvassed the voters in the elementary districts to get their votes for the Union High School.  The high school opened its doors in 1893 at its first site on Main Street now Derr Street and Elk Grove Boulevard in Old Town Elk Grove.   In 1973, my wife, Robin Harrington graduated from the new Elk Grove High School.

My second great grandfather, Archibald Wilson Coffman moved to California prior to 1880 and was residing near his uncle, Alfred Coffman in San Joaquin Township where Elk Grove is located. And the rest as they say is history.  Counting from my direct ancestor, Archibald Coffman, I was in the fifth generation of Coffman descendants to live in California but there were six generations if you include Alfred Coffman in the lineage. Because of the fact that my grandmother, Elaine Coffman was born in New York, I did not realize that I had such deep roots in California.

I was really pleased to learn that Alfred Coffman was a prosperous farmer and a community leader. His biography was published in the History of Sacramento County written in 1890, by Winfield J. Davis:
 "Alfred Coffman was born in Hamilton County, Illinois, June 12, 1823, son of Jacob and Ayre (Fowler) Coffman...Alfred, the subject of this sketch, followed farming and cattle-raising in Illinois, for fifteen years.  In 1875 he came to Sacramento County, and he and his brother-in-law rented the Curtis ranch, which he worked four years.  In 1879 he bought a farm of 320 acres, thirteen miles from Sacramento on upper Stockton road one mile from Elk Grove.  He was married in 1844, to Miss Sarah Pemberton, a native of Kentucky, who died in 1865 [her tombstone says she died 17 Apr 1863] leaving sixteen children, three sets of twins, five living to become twenty-one years of age.  He was married again in 1866 [they were actually married in 1863 in Des Moines County, Iowa], to Miss Elsie Howard, a native of Iowa, by whom he had three children, two of whom lived to become of age... The subject of this sketch carries on a general farming business. He was at one time one of the greatest grain-raisers in this county, having had as high as 7,000 sacks of wheat from one year's crop. In the State fair of 1887-'88 he took a premium on wheat.  He raises his own vegetables, fruit and grapes. He has an orange tree from which he sold $10 worth of fruit in 1888. He is a member of Elk Grove I.O.O.F., No. 274."
San Joaquin Township, Sacramento County, California
The location of the Alfred Coffman ranch is shown highlighted in blue.

When I was growing up, we knew the "upper Stockton road" as Stockton Boulevard.  Half of the 320 acres that he bought in 1879 were owned by Hans Feickert in 1991.  We visited with Hans and he shared many of the historical documents that he had collected. The Alfred Coffman ranch contained 160 acres in the southwest quarter of section 25 and another 160 acres in the northwest quarter of section 36. The Feickert place was the NW quarter of section 36 and six acres to connect to Upper Stockton Road.  Hans was able to locate the Curtis ranch which was 640 acres about two miles south of Elk Grove as shown in his hand drawn map and notes below.

This article from the Elk, the 1922 yearbook of Elk Grove High School on pages 9 &10 tells the story of Alfred Coffman's role in founding the high school:
"In the spring of 1893, a meeting was held in Toronto Hall, and the subject [of a new high school] discussed.  [The leaders of the high school movement] secured the services of Mr. Alfred Coffman, a trustee of Old Elk Grove District, and a man who, though having had very little schooling in his boyhood, took a deep interest in promoting education among the boys and girls.    Mr. Coffman drove through eighteen districts, interviewing all the residents and trying to convince them of the advantages that a union high school would be to their community.  He asked the head of every family to sign his name to a paper, stating whether he was in favor of or opposed to, the movement.  Dr. McKee carefully arranged that, in Mr. Coffman's campaign, Elk Grove was kept the central point of the territory canvassed.    The opposition which the recent campaign for a new high school met, vividly recalled those days of 1893, when interest was waxing warm in the establishment of the high school.  Mr. Coffman met with many rebuffs, which sometimes really amounted to insults.    But his earnest work was rewarded.  An election was called in each district and a vote taken on the establishment of the union high school; it carried in sixteen districts." 
Alfred Coffman died on 28 August 1897 and the following article appeared in the Sacramento Union newspaper.
Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Sunday August 29 1897, p. 11 "A GOOD CITIZEN GONE-- Alfred Coffman's Death the Result of His Injuries"     "Last Monday Alfred Coffman a well known citizen living near Elk Grove, was thrown from a load of wheat by a sudden movement of his horses, and his breast was badly injured.      He died yesterday morning, it being supposed that an artery burst and that he bled to death.  He was a native of Illinois, aged 74, and leaves behind a number of children-three sons, John, William and Marion Coffman, and four daughters, Mrs. L.B.Locke, Mrs. J.H. Anderson, Mrs. E.W. Rivers and Mrs. E.B. Holmes.  Mrs. Rivers of this city is the only daughter living in this county, the others living elsewhere in the State and in the East.  The funeral will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. from his late residence.      Mr. Coffman was a man whose integrity and sterling qualities had won the regard of his friends and neighbors, and they will deeply regret the loss the community has sustained in his death." 
The image below was posted on

I also have a transcript of an article about the funeral from the Sacramento Bee:
The Evening Bee, Tuesday August 31, 1897 "ALFRED COFFMAN'S FUNERAL--One of the Largest Ever Seen in Vicinity of Elk Grove-- The funeral of Alfred Coffman, who was a prominent citizen of Sacramento County, took place at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon from the family residence near Elk Grove.  The funeral was one of the largest ever seen in that part of the county, and it was under the auspices of Elk Grove Lodge, No. 274, I.O.O.F. The following members of the lodge acted as pallbearers: John Mahon, H.S. Putney, Geo. Taylor, W.D. Haas, S.W. Kennedy, H.G. Alltucker. The members of the Elk Grove High School, which Mr. Coffman had helped to establish, attended the funeral in body.  The sermon was preached by Rev. A.C. Duncan."
The article above helps to confirm the role of Alfred Coffman in the founding of Elk Grove High School and the appreciation felt by the students.

New headstone of Alfred Coffman in San Joaquin Township, Cemetery.
There was another stone on the grave that measured five feet high when I visited in 1991.
A visual clue from this headstone is that the three interlocked links of the chain is the symbol of the Odd Fellows.  Here is the information from the Odd Fellows Register that I obtained in the 1990's by visiting the lodge building:  IOOF Lodge #274 Register, Elk Grove, California; #9 Alfred Coffman, Rank 5, Age 55, Occupation- Farmer, Residence- Elk Grove, admitted by card, May 2, 1878; Last Place of Membership & Name of Lodge- Blandinsville #263, Illinois; Appointed Office When Passed- 3;

The 1890 history of Sacramento County tells us more about Alfred Coffman's role with Elk Grove Lodge, No. 274, I.O.O.F. The lodge met at Elk Grove, Saturday evenings, in the hall over Everson's store.  It was organized May 2, 1878 and Alfred Coffman was a charter member and the first treasurer.  He was also treasurer in 1890.  There were 36 members in 1890 which was the largest number in its early history.  The Odd Fellows Building was valued at $800 in 1890.  So Alfred Coffman was indeed an "Odd Fellow."

The Elk Grove Odd Fellows building was photographed and this photo was placed on  in 2011.

Monday, March 13, 2017

William Fowler Coffman, Born 1815 Kentucky - Died 1905 Illinois

As preparation for the big reveal of my uncle Ernie Coffman's y-DNA, we will focus this week on Ernie's second great grandfather, William Fowler Coffman. He was born 30 July 1815 in Kentucky and died in Hancock County, Illinois on September 11, 1905.  I took this photograph of his headstone in 1993.  The stone appears to have been added much later than 1905.

!BIRTH: 1815 Kentucky;  "...William and Elizabeth (Wilson) Coffman [were] born in Kentucky [and] came when children with their parents to Illinois at so early a day that Indians were still plentiful in the state."  per Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Hancock Co. Scofield Vol. 11; pg. 1186 Sketch of Aaron DeWitt.  The source of this information was probably Sarah Coffman, daughter of Wm. F. Coffman and Elizabeth Wilson and wife of Aaron De Witt.

!RESIDENCE:1818-1830 Jefferson County, Illinois; "When he was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided" per obituary.

 !CHURCH: 1831; United with the Baptist church at New Hope in McDonough County at 16 years of age per obituary.

!MARRIAGE: 1837; McDonough County Marriage License; COFFMAN, WILLIAM to WILSON, ELIZABETH         18 Dec 1837; Book   A/Page  21     License 162 ; "They were married by the Rev. John Logan, a worthy Baptist divine and one of the earliest pioneer preachers in Illinois. " per wife's obituary.

!RESIDENCE: 1838-1841 Illinois; Mary Jane b. IL 1838; Sarah b. IL abt 1841.

!CENSUS: 1840; His father, Jacob Coffman and his brothers, Thomas and Leroy are in Nodaway Township, Buchanan County, Missouri in the 1840 census.  He apparently followed them to Missouri in 1841. According to the story told by Alfred Coffman in his Sacramento County biography they were residing in Jamestown, five miles from St. Joseph. His actual location in 1840 is currently unknown.

!RESIDENCE: 1841-1845 Missouri;  daughter Julia was born in Andrew County,  Missouri 13 November 1845.  Andrew County is directly north of Buchanan County as shown in the image below.
"In 1841 they removed to Missouri, but four years later returned to Illinois, resolved to make it their permanent home. " per wife's obituary.

!CENSUS:1850; Illinois, McDonough Co. p. 256 Family 370 William 35 KY farmer $600, Elizabeth 34 KY, Mary J. 12 IL, Sarah E. 10 IL, Aritney 7 (f) IL, John A.  4 MO, Archabold 4/12 IL, Joel Goodrin 17 KY

!CENSUS:1850; McDonough Co., IL;p.507, line 370;GS#007689.

27  370  370 Coffman William        35   M         KY  Farmer  $600
28  370  370 Coffman Elisabeth      34   F         KY
29  370  370 Coffman Mary J         12   F         IL    X
30  370  370 Coffman Sarah E        10   F         IL    X
31  370  370 Coffman Aritney?        7   F         IL    X
32  370  370 Coffman John A [should be Julia]           4   M         MO
33  370  370 Coffman  Archabole  4/12   M         IL

!LAND: 1850-1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; The following series of land transactions appear to be related to Section 18, in the Northwest quarter of Township 7 Norther and Range 4 West; the first name is the grantor and the second name is the grantee.

!LAND: 1850; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Lucy Ward and others to Wm. and A. Coffman; Dec. 25, 1850 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 320; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Wm. Coffman and wife to Alfred Coffman; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 321; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Alfred Coffman and wife to William Coffman; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 322; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to S.L. Charter; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 323; 10 acres North East Corner; Deed

!CENSUS: 1855; Illinois State Census Collection, 1825-1865  about William Coffman Name: William Coffman Census Date: 1855 Residence State: Illinois Residence County: McDonough Residence Township: Township 7 Roll: ILSC_2192 Line: 14; The listing shows William and Alfred Coffman residing in Township 7 North, Range 4 West.  The tick marks show the following listing.  The names and ages have been inserted for comparison purposes.  The listings and tick marks show one male under 10 [Archibald, age 5]; one male 30 to 40 [William, the father 40]; four females 10 to 20 [Mary Jane 17, Sarah 13, Eary Ettna 12, Julia Ann 10]; one female 30 to 40 [Elizabeth, the mother 39].

!LAND: 1854; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to Jos R. Fullerton; January 15, 1854 and January 9, 1855; Book W, Page 123; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1854; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to Jos R. Hunt; May 15, 1854 and August 22, 1854; Book V, Page 170; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1859; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Elias Green to William Coffman; Nov 15, 1859 and April 4, 1859; Book L-M, Page 342; Pt Deed

!CENSUS:1860 Durham Twp., Hancock Co., IL; LDS film #803184, FHL book p. 62 Page 954 P.O. Durham, Enum. 18 August 1860, Dwelling 5004, Family 4870

William 45 KY farmer REAL ESTATE $2400 PERSONAL PROPERTY $930,
Elizabeth 44 KY,
Mary Jane 21 IL (married),
Sarah 19 IL,
Arietta 17 MO,
Julia A. 14 MO,
Archibald W. 10 IL,
Catherine 7 IL,
Luella 5 IL,
Douglas 1 IL.

!BIOGRAPHY: The Pecks of Hancock County, Illinois by Annabelle Witt Linneman "The William Coffman family with their six daughters and two young sons lived in a one room log house nearby and before long, [Christopher Columbus Peck aka Lum] was courting 18 year old Julia." [Reference 1860 census, Durham Township, Hancock Co., Illinois]

!LAND-RESIDENCE: Durham Twp. Pioneers by Suzanne Miller; pg. 9 William Coffman owned land Section 34 Durham Twp. 1860's & 1870's. Wife Elizabeth. Children: Mary Jane, Sarah, Arietta, Julia, "Archibald, Luella, & Douglas.

!CENSUS: 1870; a line by line search of Durham Township in 1870 failed to reveal William Coffman.  Perhaps the Coffman family was traveling in July 1870 or perhaps they were missed by the census enumerator.

!LAND-RESIDENCE: 1874 Map of Durham Twp. north east quarter of section 34; Illustrated Historical Atlas of Hancock County, Illinois, 1874; Published by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois. pg. 70.  In 1874, William Coffman owned most of the of the north east quarter of Section 34, Durham Township, Hancock County, Illinois.

!CENSUS:1880 Durham Twp., Hancock Co., Illinois  Source: FHL Film 1254211  National Archives Film T9-0211     Page 98C                  

NAME Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

William COFFMAN      Self             M M W 63 KY  Occ: Farmer Fa: GER Mo: ENG
Elisabeth COFFMAN   Wife             F M W 62 IL  Occ: Keeping House Fa: KY Mo: KY
Sarah COFFMAN       Dau  F S W 38 IL  Occ: At Home Fa: KY Mo: KY
Frank ONEIL       GSon M S W 13 IL  Occ: Farmer Fa: PA Mo: IL

!RESIDENCE: 1886 Durham Twp.  7N 6W, LaCrosse, NE 1/4 of Sec. 34; Directory of Hancock Co. Illinois, 1886; FHL 977.343 E4d.

!CHURCH: 1886 East Durham Christian Church

!LAND: Deed record Volume 113, page 213; Geo. Locke and Mary Locke, his wife of the town of La Harpe, County of Hancock, State of Illinois for... sixteen hundred dollars in hand paid convey and warrant to Wm. Coffman of the town of Durham, County of Hancock, State of Illinois the following described real estate: Lot No. 13 in the subdivision of the southwest quarter of section number twenty two (22) in Township seven (7) north of range five (5) west; SOURCE: Deed records v. 112-113 1881-1895; Family History Library; United States & Canada Film #954291

!RESIDENCE: 1888-1905 LaHarpe, IL

!RESIDENCE: 1891; William Coffman owned Lot 13 in La Harpe.  This was adjacent to the George Locke property on the east and James McCallister property on the east and fronted the highway. He also owned a 23 acre parcel in Durham Township, Section 6. It was a portion of the northwest quarter of the Southeast quarter. E.J. Smith owned 56 acres of the west half of section 6 and bordered William Coffman on the south. SOURCE: 1891 Plat book of Hancock County, Illinois / compiled and published by Alden, Ogle & Co., page 89.

!NEWSPAPER: La Harper 11 Aug 1893      Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Springer of Carthage, visited with Elias Brandon's family, at Blandinsville, Sunday and Monday and returning visited their good friends Mr. and Mrs. P.D. Williams and spent the night with their old Pilot grove neighbors, Wm. Coffman and family.  John's visit about town was all too short.  He has friends here by the score, who failed to meet him.

!WIFE'S DEATH: Elizabeth Wilson Coffman, wife of William F. Coffman, died on 25 October 1893 at their home in La Harpe, Hancock County, Illinois.  Her obituary tells a great deal about their life together. 

!OBITUARY: From the LaHarper or The Quill, LaHarpe, IL    Elizabeth Coffman was born in Washington county, Kentucky, February 27, 1816 and died at her home in LaHarpe, Illinois, Oct. 28, 1893 at the age of 77 years, 8 months and 1 day.    She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Wilson.  She came with her parents to Illinois in 1833.  They settled in McDonough county in what was then known as "Jobe's Settlement."  This became a typical pioneer home, the hearth glowed with genial warmth and all was hospitality and good cheer.  Here in the bloom of womanhood, surrounded by parents, brothers, and sisters, she became affianced to a young man, also hailing from her old neighborhood, who had come out west to try his fortune and build up a family.  The wedding took place Dec. 7, 1837 and she became the wife of Mr. Wm. Coffman.  They were married by the Rev. John Logan, a worthy Baptist divine and one of the earliest pioneer preachers in Illinois.  They started on life's journey with bright hopes and cheerful hearts.  They resolved to make the most of the situation and to endure all the evils in order to enjoy the sweets of pioneer life.  In 1841 they removed to Missouri, but four years later returned to Illinois, resolved to make it their permanent home.    Mrs. Coffman became the mother of nine children, two sons and seven daughters, two of the daughters died before attaining womanhood and four, Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Earlywine, Eary Ettna and Luella preceded her to the better world, Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Earlywine leaving small children.  Mrs. Coffman cared for these children during their tender age and lavished upon them the wealth of her motherly affection.  Her two surviving daughters, Mrs. Dewitt and Mrs. Peck and one son, Alfred D. Coffman, live in Hancock county, and all have been most devoted to their mother in her last illness.  One son, Archibald D. Coffman, lives in California.  She also leaves her surviving husband.    Faithful indeed have they kept their marriage vows.  For over half a century have they loved cherished and assisted each other along life's journey.  She was always kind and hospitable and with all possessed a cheerful disposition. In all the varied circumstances, come what might, she was equal to the occasion and maintained a cheerful mien and a happy spirit.   These noble qualities endeared her to a host of loving friends and made her home agreeable and pleasant to all about her.  She was a devoted wife a kind mother and a noble friend.  From childhood to old age she had practiced those virtues which dignify human character and adorn the Christian.  Those who knew her best loved her most.  Let us keep her memory green until we too are called hence.

!CENSUS: 1900; Name:Wm Coffman
Birth Date: Jul 1815
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1900: La Harpe City, La Harpe Township, Hancock County, Illinois
Race: White
Gender:  Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace: England
Occupation: Retired Farmer
Ownership: Owned a house, free of mortgage
Household Members:
Name Age
Wm Coffman 84
Sarah De Witt 59
Sarah De Witt was the daughter of William F. Coffman.  She was born October 1840 in Illinois and she was a widow and had no children according to this census record.

!LAND: Deed Book 143, page 381, The grantor, Wm. Coffman, widower of this city of La Harpe in the County of Hancock, State of Illinois for consideration of love and affection and one dollar convey and quit claim to Sarah E. Dewitte of this said County of Hancock and  State of Illinois all interest in the following described Real Estate to wit:
Lot Thirteen in the subdivision of the South West quarter of Section 22 in Township seven (7) north of range five (5) west according to plat thereof recorded in the recorders office of said county in plat book #3, page 58
!BIRTH-DEATH-BURIAL: Hillsborough Cemetery, McDonough Co., IL; corner of 100 E and 2150 N; section 18, Blandinsville Township; inscription: William F. Coffman July 30, 1815 - Sept 11 1905; on same stone as Elizabeth, his wife. Printed in the Rural Cemeteries of McDonough County, Illinois; Volume XVII; Blandinsville Township by Duane Lester, Good Hope, Illinois, no date, Printed by Schuyler - Brown Historical and Genealogical Society and the The Schuyler Jail Museum;  Remarks:
"This cemetery was established in 1849 at the same time that the Hillsborough Baptist Church congregation was organized.  A frame church building was built immediately south of the cemetery and stood at that location for several years.  Present condition of the cemetery grounds is good; the area is regularly maintained, well fenced, and most stones are in relatively good repair, although, many are badly weather-worn; some are broken.  At least two stones were located that were completely unreadable due to wear and damage. "
!OBITUARY: From the LaHarper, LaHarpe, IL 15 Sep 1905  William F. Coffman Died--At his home in this city, 8 o'clock Monday evening, Sept. 11, 1905, William Fowler Coffman, aged 90 years, 1 month and 13 days.    William F. Coffman was born in Kentucky, July 30, 1815.  When he was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided.  He united with the Baptist church at New Hope in McDonough county at 16 years of age and has been doing Christian service all through his life, not only professing discipleship but doing his Master's work to the best of his ability.  None doubted his sincerity.  There being no Baptist church near LaHarpe he united with the East Durham Christian Church in 1886, and later removed his membership to LaHarpe.  He was zealous in Christ's cause, and a worker in the church.  He had a kindly interest in his fellow man, recognizing the brotherhood that made all men akin.  He was honest in action, honest with himself as well as with his God and his fellow man.  His life was rightly lived from early youth and to this may be attributed the attainment of his many years and the good health he always has enjoyed.  He was married to Miss Elizabeth Wilson in 1837.  Eight children were born to them, four of whom are living. Mrs. Sarah Dewitt who has lived with him since the death of Mrs. Coffman some ten years ago.  Mrs. C.C. Peck, now of Augusta, Archibald of Oakland, Cal., and A. Douglas Coffman of Graceville, Minn.  There were born twenty-one grandchildren, fourteen of whom are living and fifteen great grandchildren.    Mr. Coffman came to this city from South Durham about seventeen years ago. He has been quite feeble for a year or so and of late was unable to get around without assistance.  Last Friday he fell from his chair and while it did not seemingly cause him serious injury, he rapidly declined and passed away at 8 o'clock Monday evening.    The funeral services were held at the Christian church Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, Eld. Huff officiating, and the burial was at Hillsborough, four miles east of this city.  The floral offerings were beautiful.

!WILL: Online will records were searched on 13 March 2017 but not record was found; "Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1988," images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Hancock > image 6 of 358; county courthouses, Illinois.  This was an index page for the "C" surnames.

The following articles are also part of my series on Coffman Family History: