Monday, April 24, 2017

Coffman Records in Mercer County, Kentucky

Coffman Records in Mercer County, Kentucky

Compiled by Nick Cimino, League City, Texas April 2017


Many other genealogists have subscribed to the theory that the father of Jacob Coffman 1780-1852 (buried in McDonough County, Illinois) is Christian Coffman AKA Christopher Coffman who appears to have died in Mercer County, Kentucky in the 1780s.  There is a profile for Christian Coffman in the Family Search family tree at the following URL:

According to the Family Search Wiki: Mercer County was created 17 October 1785 as a Virginia county from Lincoln County. County seat: Harrodsburg. Mercer County became a county in the state of Kentucky upon the formation of that state in 1792.
Lincoln County was created on 1 May 1780 as a Virginia county when Kentucky County (Virginia) was abolished to form Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln counties.
Kentucky County, Virginia was created in 1776 from Fincastle County.
Fincastle County was created in 1772 from Botetourt County.
Botetourt County was created 7 November 1769 from Augusta County.
Augusta County was created 1 August 1738 from Orange County.
The following records were transcribed by Nick Cimino, in April 2017, League City, Texas ancestorpuzzles[at]; Transcriber's notes in brackets [ ]. Underlining was added for emphasis of key names and phrases.

[The following transcription of a deed was received from David Coffman in April 2017, DJmodem[at]]
Mercer County, Kentucky, Deeds, Book 2, Page 446 - The deposition of Edward Davis taken this 8th day of February 1796 at the house now occupied by Isaac Coffman in Mercer County for the purpose of establishing the place whereon the improvement was made in the year 1774 that was claimed by Isaac Taylor deceased which deposition was taken by virtue of an order of the Court of Mercer County between the heirs of said Isaac Taylor deceased of the one party and James Speed, John Lillard and Henry French of the other part, the said James Speed, John Lillard and Henry French having acknowledged legal notice of the taking the deposition aforesaid, before us Thomas Freeman and Garrett Darland Commissioners appointed by the Court aforesaid for the purpose of taking the said deposition and the said Edward Davis having been duly sworn saith: That in February 1780 he was in company with Silas Harlan and they went by the place where Isaac Coffman now lives and the said Harlan showed this Deponent an Improvement which stood near the Spring now used by the said Isaac Coffman and told him it was an Improvement belonging to Isaac Taylor and that him the said Harlan had made it for the said Taylor. This deponent further saith that he was afterwards directed by the said Harlan to purchase the same improvement above said from the said Isaac Taylor and told this deponent that he expected the claim could begot cheap as the improvement had cost Taylor only 3 pounds which he had paid to him the said Harlan for the making of the improvement. This deponent further saith that he was a near neighbor to aforesaid Isaac Taylor and is well satisfied that he the said Taylor never was in this state either before or since the making of the improvement. Question by James Speed: when did you understand this aforesaid sum of 3 pounds was paid by Isaac Taylor to Harlan? Answer: I understand (but cannot tell by whom) that the money was not paid by Harlan until after the battle at the Point [Pleasant], which was the fall of 1774, and further the deponent saith not.
SOURCE: Virginia tax payers, 1782-87, other than those published by the United Stated Census Bureau By Augusta B. Fothergill and John Mark Naugle 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978. This book is online at Family Search Books but I had to visit a Family History Center to download my PDF copy.
Name of Tax Payer, Poll, Slave, County
Coffman, Abraham, 1, 0, Hardy
Coffman, Christopher 1, 0 Berkeley
Coffman, Isaac, 1, 1, Berkeley
Coffman, John, 1, 0, Montgomery
Hungate, John, 1, 0, Botetourt
Hungate, William, 1, 0, Botetourt
[It is notable that Isaac Coffman was the only slave holder but he only had one slave. The proximity of Isaac Coffman and Christopher Coffman in Berkeley County, Virginia may indicate relationship. Christopher and Isaac are also found in proximity in Mercer County, Kentucky records. The original tax records should be reviewed to see if they appear to pay their taxes at the same time.]
SOURCE: The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Vol. 20, No. 58, 1922 Frankfort, Kentucky [Google Books]; Early Marriage Records of Mercer County, Kentucky
page 10, 20 Jun 1788 Wm. Veatch and Elizabeth Coffman, Minister: Rice
page 14, 12 Nov 1794 John Hungate and Mary Coffman, Minister: Rice
page 15, 8 Jan 1795 John Hungate and Polly Coffman, Minister: Rice
page 16, 3 Aug 1796 Isaac Coffman and Mary Calvert, Minister: Rice
page 20, 8 Jul 1800 Wm. Hungate and Sally Coffman, Minister: Rice
SURNAME: HUNGATE see the three above; no more found
[It is notable that the name of the minister is identified in this version of the Mercer marriage records. This minister should be researched further to find out what his role was in the Mercer County community.]

SOURCE: Marriage Bonds And Consents, 1786-1810, Mercer County, Kentucky; Compiled and Published by: Alma Ray Sanders Ison and Rebecca Wilson Conover, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, July, 1970; digitized book at This book is online at Family Search Books but I had to visit a Family History Center to download my PDF copy.  I have added a few hyperlinks to the original records referenced in these transcriptions by Ison and Conover.

1787- Veitch, William and Elizabeth Coffman, June 19, 1787
Bondsman: Isaac Coffman
Consent: The bride writes consent for the license to be issued
Teste: Vincent Wren and Dan Veitch
[Some researchers have theorized that Elizabeth Coffman is the widow of Christian Coffman and that Isaac Coffman is her brother-in-law.  One can also make the assumption that Dan. Veitch is a close relative of William Veitch. See the full transcription of the consent granted by Elizabeth Coffman transcribed below.]
The consent follows two images beyond the bond.]

1792- Stilts, Frederick and Racheal Goldman, May 30, 1792
Bondsman: John Goodnight
Bride's guardian: Henry Goldman
Teste: James Coffman

1795- Hungate, John and Polley Coffman, January 25, 1795
Bondsman: Charles Hungate
Bride's mother: Elizabeth Coffman, who certifies bride's age is 21. [It is notable that the bride’s mother is described as Elizabeth Coffman rather than Elizabeth Veitch.
 Teste: Major Farris

1800- Hungate, William and Salley Coffman, July 8, 1800
Bondsman: Job Hale, who certifies that bride is 21.

Stoghill, John and Mary Coffman, April 22, 1801
Bondsman: Nicholas Myres
Consent: Isaac Kaufman and Anne Kaufman
Teste: Henry Kaufman
[The parents of Mary Coffman appear to be Isaac Coffman and his wife, Anne. Is this Annie French?]

Steen, Nathan and Sally Hale, April 15, 1807 [Nathan Steen later marries Anne Coffman daughter of Isaac Coffman. Nathan Steen is also a bondsman in 1808 marriage bond of Rachel Coffman below.]
Bondsman: John Hayes
Bride's mother: Hannah Hale
Teste: Elias Passmore

Steen, Nathan and Anne Coffman, March 12, 1808
Bondsman: Isaac Coffman
Bride's father: Isaac Coffman
Teste: Henry Coffman

1808- Brooks, Jesse and Rachel Coffman, April 5, 1808
Bondsman: Nathan Steen
Consent: Travis C?) Coffman
Teste.: Nathan Zachery
[Ison and Conover made an error in transcription as Isaac Coffman also signed this consent.]

SOURCE: Mercer County Loose Marriage Papers
A table of contents of the Mercer County Loose Marriage Papers is found here:

This is the general index to early Coffman marriages:

Consent granted by Elizabeth Coffman is at the following URL:
Citation: Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954  Microfilm # 004705523 ; Image  67 of 1177
[Transcription of permission to marry by Elizabeth Coffman, June 19, 1787]
This is to certify that you have my approbation in granting a license to Mr. Wm. Veitch the bearer hereof to Marry me. Given under my hand this 10th day of June 1787 signed Elizabeth Coffman [no mark so she was apparently able to write her signature.]
Mr. Tho. Allen Clk. ----sp?
Test. Vincent Wren
Dan. Veith x his mark
[The original image was attached to Family Search profile for Elizabeth Clarke  9N3V-XBN by Nicholas Cimino1]
Reason This Source Is Attached:
Per Ison and Conover, 1970 [See full citation above]: No official approval to marry was given to those under twenty—one years of age unless they had the consent of their parents, grandparents or guardians. Most often these consents were in written form, in the handwriting of the individual giving consent or, if he was unable to write, in the handwriting of a relative or neighbor. A prospective bride who wrote her own note of consent for the license to be issued was either a widow or a woman who was above twenty-one years of age. [It appears that most genealogists are presuming that Elizabeth Coffman was a widow rather than a woman over the age of consent.  It is notable that other consents by the prospective bride actually include an explicit statement that she is a widow and this consent by Elizabeth Coffman does not state that she is a widow.]
Some additional marriages in the loose papers that Ison and Conover appeared to miss are the following as evidenced by the Family Search citations which are copied below:
Bond: "Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (  : accessed 24 April 2017), Isaac Coffman and Mary Calbert, 02 Aug 1796; citing Mercer, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 191,842. No consent was found.
Bond: "Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (  : accessed 24 April 2017), Henry Coffman and Sarah Neals, 08 Oct 1802; citing Mercer, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 191,842.
Consent: "Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (  : accessed 24 April 2017), W Henry Coffman and Sarah Neale, 08 Oct 1802; citing Mercer, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 191,842.
 [Note that the Madison County Courthouse is referenced as the location of these records. This appears to be an error in transcription.]
An original Minute Book record has been attached to the Family Search Tree for the profile of Christian Kauffman, 1750 – 20 June 1787 • Person ID: MQTC-T18 by Nick Cimino.
The source of this minute book is Family Search microfilm #007901429; Image # 72 of 1150. The date of the record looks like it could be 1791 but the number 1 is written very strangely.
A transcription was made as follows: [From Image 71] At a Court held for Mercer county on Tuesday the 23rd Aug. 1791; Present: John Irvine, Samuel McDowell, James Speed and Robert Mosly, Gentlemen;  [here begins transcription of Image 72 from the upper left hand corner] Administration on the Estate of Christian Coffman Dec'd Granted to Martha Veatch, William Veatch and Isaac Coffman they giving bond with Ab'm Banta, ----- [sp?] McClure Sec'y in the Penalty of 100 lbs. [sp?] Cond'r --[sp?] Whereupon they took the Oath --[sp?]

SOURCE: United States, Kentucky, Mercer - Court records; Order books, v. 1-2, 1786-1793; Film #7899116; Transcriptions were made from handwritten Order Book which is available as digitized microfilm images at
[Index page Image 9 of 555. This index is alphabetized by Plaintiff.  There is not a separate Defendant index. Other names in the orders are not indexed.]
[Plaintiff Index] Caughian v. Jennings 216; Coffman v. Campbell 299
[Index page Image 12 of 555] Hungate Charles 472;
 [Page 216 is on Image 126]; May the 27th 1788;
John Jouett came into Court and undertook for Jonathan Jinnings at the suit of John Coughran in an Action of Trespass...
[Page 299 is on Image 167] [From Top of Page] March the 25th 1789 - Present Alexander Robertson and Samuel Taylor Gentlemen
[Towards Bottom of Page]
Isaac Coffman......Plt}    against   John Campbell….Deft} Upon a Petition
   The Defendant though solemnly called came [not] Judgement [sic] is therefore Granted the Plaintiff against the said Defendant for one pound eighteen shillings Current money and also his Costs by him in this behalf expended and the said Defendant in Mercy etc.

[Page 472 is on Image 261] February the 23rd 1790
On the motion of Margaret Divine Widow and relict of John Divine Deceased who made Oath as the Law directs certificate is granted her for obtaining Letters of administration on her late husbands Estate in due form she giving Securety [sic] whereupon She with John Brown her securety [sic] (who was Sworn touching his personal estate) entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of two hundred pounds Conditioned as the Law directs ~
   Ordered that John Kirkland, Charles Hungate, Joseph McCollister and John Hale or any three of them being first sworn do appraise in Current Money the personal Estate (and Slaves if any) of John Divine Deceased and that the Administratrix return an Inventory thereof to the Court as the Law directs ~
[Other items of interest] [Not yet viewed]
Deeds 2, 7, 18, 22, 26, 27, 32, 58, 59, 63, 70, 97, 99, 104, 140, 150, 155, 162, 166, 184-188, 288-291, 308, 309, 313, 349-353, 358, 359, 362, 363, 405, 406, 408, 409, 446, 449, 450, 454, 458, 459, 462, 463, 467, 470, 471, 473, 506, 507, 510, 511, 515-517
Rodes [Roads sp?] 127-129, 140, 184, 186, 191, 154, 403, 404, 409, 411, 415, 451, 471, 473-475, 509, 510
Sheriff 2, 102, 138, 303, 307, 321, 330, 439, 477
Surveyor Record etc. 3, 58, 194
Surveyor Road 20, 21, 22, 91?, 106, 134, 137, 138, 139
[Defendants of interest] French vs. Coffman 296, 306, 330, 331, 375; Hall vs Veaytch 224; Martin vs. Coffman 53, 91, 103; McForse[sp?] vs. Coffman 175, 183; Sheels Ex’r vs. Coffman 124 [Not yet viewed]

[Volume 2 begins on Image 289]
[Index page for “C” surnames begins on Image 293 but there were no Coffman listings. This appears to be an index of plaintiffs only.]
[Index page for “H” surnames begins on Image 295] Hungate vs. Higgins 369
[Page 369 appears on Image 486 of 555]
John Hungate…Plt. against Robert Higgins and Jacob Tucker… Deft.] In Debt
This day came the Defendant Jacob by his Attorney and acknowledges the Plaintiffs demand against him for Seventy five pounds Current money. It is therefore considered by the Court that the Plaintiff recover against the said Defendant Jacob Seventy five pounds Current money and also his Costs by him in this behalf expended and the said Defendant in Mercy etc.
[Searching the index for defendant names found the following:] Bull vs Coffman 139; Clever vs. Coffman 233, 322; Logan vs. Coffman 251, 383;
[Page 139 appears on Image 370 of 555] January the 25th 1792
Bennett Bull… Pltf} against Isaac Coffman…Deft} Upon Petition
By consent of the parties It is ordered that the Suit be Dismissed each party paying their own costs ~

[Page 233 appears on Image 417 of 555] August the 24th 1791
On the motion of Benjamin Clever by his Attorney legal notice being proved for a Judgment upon a bond for the Delivery of property against Isaac Coffman and Thomas Allin, upon hearing the parties by their Attornies. It is the opinion of the Court that the said Bond is illegal, that the motion of the said Benjamin be quashed and that he pay to the Defendants Isaac and Thomas their costs by them in this behalf expended etc.
[Page 322 appears on Image 463 of 555] March the 27th 1792
On the motion of Benjamin Clever by his Attorney It is ordered that the Clerk when Execution is Ordered by the said Benjamin against Daniel Veach, Isaac Coffman and Thomas Walker upon a judgment obtained on the rules by the said Benjamin against them that he issue the same with Interest to be computed after the rate of five PrCentum PrAnnum from the first day of March 1787 until paid and the Costs ~

[Searching the index for defendant names found the following:] Burke v. Veach 9;
 [Page 9 appears on Image  303 of 555] May the 27th 1790
George Berks…Pltf} against Daniel Veach…Deft} In Case
This day came the parties aforesaid by their attornies and thereupon came also a Jury To wit William Morrow, Samuel Gibb, Bernard Gains, Edward Worthington, Henry Higgins, Peter Kenney, James Robinson, Claborn Harlow, Matthew Rice, Timothy Corn, Charles Chatwell and George Hart who being Elected and Sworn well and truly to Inquire what damages the Plaintiff had Sustained by reason of the Premises upon their oath do Say that the Plaintiff hath Sustained Damages by reason thereof to Six [continued on Image 304] Pounds Twelve Shillings Current Money besides his Costs~~ It is therefore considered by the Court that the Plaintiff do recover against the Defendant the damages aforesaid by the Jurors in their Verdict aforesaid assessed and also his Costs by him in this behalf expended and the said Defendant in mercy etc.

[Searching the index for defendant names found the following:] Ohare vs. Veach 261, 272, 293
[Page 261 appears on Image 432 of 555] August the 26th 1791
Michael Ohare…Pltf} against Daniel Veach} Upon a Petition
   On the motion of Plaintiff by his Attorney an Alias Summons is awarded him against the Defendant returnable here etc. ~~
 [Page 272 appears on Image  438 of 555] September the 27th 1791
Michael Ohare…Pltf} against Daniel Veach} Upon a Petition
Ordered that the suit be continued until the next Court for the return of the Plaintiffs summons ~~
 [Page 293 appears on Image  448 of 555] November the 23rd 1791
Michael Ohare…Pltf} against Daniel Veach} Upon a Petition
Judgment herein is granted the Plaintiff against the Defendant for four pounds ten shillings Current money and his Costs~~

Wills 16, 75, 116, 134, 144, 164, 176, 199, 226; [Not yet viewed]
 Boon vs. Harrod 50, 102, 120, 137, 186, 198, 213, 255, 25, 264, 278, 291, 311, 359, 394; [Not yet viewed except one transcription below. It is interesting to note that these two famous fellows were involved in a legal dispute.  A Google search failed to return any articles explaining the nature of this legal dispute between Daniel Boone and James Harrod.]
[Vol. 2, Page 50 is found on Image 326 of 555] August the 25th 1790
Daniel Boon…Pltf} against James Harrod} Upon a Petition
Ordered that these suits be continued until the next session

Bulger vs. Rice 51, 1102, 120, 138, 186, 199, 210-215; [Not yet viewed]
Berks vs Rice 56, 58, 85, 122, 140, 187, 199; [Not yet viewed]
Guardian 392 [Not yet viewed]

United States, Kentucky, Mercer - Court records; Order books, v. 3, 1793-1801; Film # 007899117 [Not yet viewed]

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tax Lists Help to Fill Gaps in Timeline- Jacob Coffman

This map of Marion and Washington Counties, KY is especially helpful for locating watercourses.

Continuing on the the pursuit of Jacob Coffman, I will share the results of my research over the past week.  I found a wonderful online article about the value of the tax lists that I highly recommend that you read at the following link:

Here is the information from the first paragraph that I hope will entice you to read further:

TAX LISTS (1792-1840)
By: Kandie Adkinson, Land Office, Ky. Secretary of State
Buried in microfilm cabinets in Kentucky’s research libraries are rolls of microfilm simply labeled “Tax Lists”. Arranged by county in chronological order, tax lists are a hidden treasure for researchers studying Kentucky’s history, culture, and land title. As census information is collected decennially (every 10 years), data derived from the annual collection of taxes provides a better insight into the household of the taxpayer and his/her acquisition of property, both real and personal. Free males 21 years of age or older are enumerated (and named) on tax lists if they own one horse. Women are included on tax lists if they are the head-of-the-household. Free Blacks are named on tax lists decades before the Civil War. The number of livestock and the value of hemp & other agricultural products provide insight into Kentucky’s agrarian society. Thenumber of town lots, wheeled carriages, jewelry, tavern licenses and billiard tables—yes, billiard tables were taxed or the owner faced severe penalties if the tables were not reported—provide insight into Kentucky’s developing society. (It is interesting to note that tax collectors were local residents; would tax payers withhold taxable items to avoid taxation or would they be more likely to report everything so they could be considered “the richest person in the county”?) In later years, the numbers of school age children reported on tax lists are invaluable for researchers tracing the development of Kentucky’s educational system.
Now these tax lists are accessible from your home thanks to Family Search. I accessed the tax lists by searching for the county in the catalog. Look for the "TAXATION" records then select the original records from the county.  Many of the earliest tax lists have been digitized but you my have to order a microfilm.

I recommend that you search for old maps that help to locate watercourses. An especially helpful map for researchers in Washington and Marion Counties of Kentucky is located on the Library of Congress website at the following URL:  I pasted an image from this web document at the beginning of this article.  Even if you are not interested in this particular county, you should check the Library of Congress catalog for similar maps.  It is really cool how easy it is to zoom in and out of this map.  This particular map shows the residences of landowners that subscribed to the publication in 1877. Marion County was created from Washington County in 1834 so some of the land that appears on the Washington County tax lists between 1792-1833 will be found within the Marion County boundaries.

Here is the results of my research into the tax lists:

Jacob Coffman and Thomas Fowler in the Tax Lists of Washington County, Kentucky
By Nick Cimino,
League City, Texas
April 2017

Jacob Coffman,  1780-1852 is known to have married Arey Fowler in 1805 in Washington County, Kentucky. The marriage record includes a permission slip from Thomas Fowler, father of Arey. The marriage states that Jacob and Arey are both residents of Washington County, Kentucky.  The tax records should help to confirm that Jacob Coffman and Thomas Fowler are residents. I have inserted hyperlinks for the years where Jacob was actually found.

LDS Film #7834519 includes early tax lists for Washington County, Kentucky and it has been digitized on

1805- Image 473 of 1188 is the first “C” listing for 1805. Searching through the end of the “C” listings for 1805 on image 477, there is no listing for Jacob Coffman or any other Coffman.
1806- Image 530 of 1188 is the first “C” listing for 1806. It shows Jacob COFFMAN in 1806 not owning any land but in possession of two mare horses.  His line on the 1806 tax record showed tick marks for white males above 21 and the horses but there were no marks for white males above 16; Blacks above 16; Steed horses; rates of covering (sp?); retail stores; tavern license; or value of lots.  There is also Abraham COFFMAN on the same page and he does not own any land either. Abraham owns five mare horses.  Jacob and Abraham Coffman were the only Coffmans listed in 1806.

1807- Image 581 of 1188 is the first “C” listing for 1807. Searching through the end of the “C” listings for 1807 on image 584, there is no listing for Jacob Coffman or any other Coffman.

1808- Image 624 of 1188 is the first “C” listing for 1808. Searching through the end of the “C” listings for 1808 on image 628, there is no listing for Jacob Coffman or any other Coffman.

NOTE: Deed Book C, page 315 shows an indenture dated 18 Oct 1807 between Charles DOYLE, Nelson Co., KY and Isaac COFFMAN, Wash. Co. for 45 pounds – land in Wash. Co. on Chaplin’s Fork of Salt River containing 100 acres. Witness: None; Signed: Charles x Doyal [sic] per FS Sanders Deed Abstract Book. However, Isaac Coffman does not show up on the Washington County tax lists that I have viewed and summarized here
NOTE: Deed Book C, page 318 – 1 Feb 1808 – Indenture between Samuel Ward and wife, Susannah and John Keeling, all of Wash. Co. for 200 pounds – land in Wash. Co. on south side of Chaplins Fork of Salt River containing 100 acres. Signed Samuel Ward, Susannah Ward; Witnesses: Charles x Hardesty, Elisha Ward, Jas. Ward

1809- Image 677 of 1188 is the first “C” listing for 1809. Image 680 of 1188 shows Jacob Coffman was registered on May 18, 1809 as a white male over 21 with one mare horse.  There are no other Coffmans on this tax list.

1809-Archibald Daugherty [sic AKA Archibald Dorothy] is on the first page of the “D” listings on image 682 with two parcels of 116 acres and 60 acres on Chaplins Fork. Archibald Dorothy was a brother-in-law of Jacob Coffman. In 1815 Jacob is a witness to a deed of involving Archibald Dorothy.

1809- Elexious Fowler is on Image 684 of 1188. He registered March 16, 1809 with 200 acres on Beechfork

1809- On image 685 of 1188 Thomas and William Fowler both registered on May 19 with no land.  Thomas had four mares and William had 3 mares. On the same image, John Fowler registered on July 12 with 115 acres on W. Roling [sp?] fork

1810- Does not appear to be available

1811-1814 No coffmans found

1814- Fowler Image 965  John Fowler 100 acres Popes Creek, Elizabeth Fowler 153 ¾ acres Cartrights Creek [sp?], Elexious Fowler 200 acres Beech Fork Jno Murry

1814- Fowler Image 966 William no land, 3 horses; There are two men named Thomas Fowler on this page.  The first one had no land and two horses.  The second Thomas Fowler was taxed for 97 acres on Rolling Fork original entry by Tho. Arbuckle and 3 horses.[1]  Rolling Fork becomes part of Marion County in 1834, county seat, Lebanon.

1815- No Coffmans

1815- Fowler- Image 1047- Bernard no land; Elizabeth same tract as above; Image 1048- John 15 acres 2nd rate and 100 acres 3rd rate on Popes Creek entered by Saml. McElroy and 3 horses; Charles no land, no horses; Thomas no land, 2 horses; Image 1049- Thomas has same tract as above on Rolling Fork; Elexious 200 acres Beach [sic] Fork entered by J. Murry, 5 horses;

1816- Coffman- Image 1117 Jacob Coffman owns no land and 2 horses. No other Coffmans listed in this tax year.

1816- Fowler – Image 1129 Thomas Fowler owned 100 acres on Lick Run and 1 horse; William Fowler had no land and 3 horses

Film # 007834520

1817- Coffman- Image 15 of 1254 Jacob Coffman had 50 acres on Chaplin River entered by Grigsby and surveyed by Calhoun and 1 horse (mare); no other Coffmans were found in this tax year.

1817 Tax List of Washington County, Kentucky showing Jacob Coffman paid tax on 50 acres.

Film # 007834520, continued

1817- Fowler- Image 24 of 1254 Thomas Fowler 97 acres Rolling Fork and 3 horses; John Fowler 115 acres Popes Creek and five horses; Elexious Fowler 200 acres on Beachfork [sic] entry by John May[sic] and 1 black over 16, 2 total black and 7 mares;

1818- Is missing from this film.

1819- No Coffmans listed in this tax year through Images 97-104.

1819- Fowler (Images 110-112)-  Image 110-John Fowler 115 acres on Popes Creek and 5 horses; Electius Fowler 200 acres on Beechfork entry by Jno Murry; 2 white males over 21, 1 black over 16, 2 total blacks and 5 mares; Thomas Fowler 97 ½ acres on Roling fork [sic] and 3 mares; Image 111- William and Thomas Fowler have 50 acres on Chaplin, William has two mares and Thomas has one mare[2]; Elizabeth Fowler 150 acres Rode [sp?] Run, entry by Walton [sp?]

Figure 1 Note that William, Thomas and Elizabeth Fowler are all listed sequentially.  Also note the plus mark in the column for Thomas.

1820- Coffman- There are no Coffmans listed under the “C” portion of the tax roll.  Jacob Coffman is residing in White County, Illinois in the 1820 census in that portion of the county which becomes Hamilton County.

1820 – Fowler- Image 191 Elizabeth Fowler 153 acres on waters of Cartright entered by Walton and 5 horses; Image 192 William Fowler 50 acres on the waters of Chaplin and no horses; Thomas Fowler 97 ½ acres on Roling Fork and 3 horses. It is notable that the Thomas Fowler that has been associated with William Fowler on Chaplin Creek is no longer listed.  This may indicate that Thomas Fowler died before 1820 but it might also indicate that he may have left the county.  Perhaps he left with Jacob Coffman and his daughter, Arey and others of the Coffman, Fowler, Hungate and Ward settlement cluster that was in the part of White County in 1820 which became Hamilton County in 1821.

In summary, it appears that Jacob Coffman only appeared in the Washington County, Kentucky tax books as follows:
  • 1806 no land, two mare horses; Abraham Coffman is also listed with no land and five mare horses
  • 1808 no Coffmans were listed even though Isaac Coffman was deeded 100 acres of land on Chaplins Fork [now called Chaplin River]
  • 1809 no land, one mare horse
  • 1816 no land, two mare horses
  • 1817 50 acres on Chaplin River entered by Grigsby and survey by Calhoun and one mare horse
There are no deeds in the name of Jacob Coffman so the source of the 50 acres on Chaplin River is unknown.  It is interesting to note that William and Thomas Fowler are also associated with a 50 acre parcel. There is a deed for the Fowler parcel described in Note 2 below.

[1] Washington County, Deed Book C, Page 419; Film # 007901325; Image  218 of 1087; Grantor: John Grundy and Jane, his wife of Washington County, KY; Grantee: Thomas Fowler of Green County, KY; Description includes west side of Arbuckles Creek; The number of acres was apparently unreadable by the transcriber. This appears to be the same land on Rolling Fork with original entry by Thomas Arbuckle. 
Washington County Deed Book G, Page 369; Film #007901326, Image 192 of 1241; Date: 10 Dec 1821; Grantor: William Myers et al. heirs of John Grundy; Description: 27 acres lying on the south side of Rolling fork and beginning at the mouth of Arbuckles Creek. Rolling Fork and Arbuckles Creek are located south of Lebanon, the county seat of Marion County which was created in 1834.
There are no deeds through 1860 that name Thomas Fowler as a grantor.  This man appears to be the Thomas Fowler that died in Marion County in 1849. He directed in his will that Catholic masses be said for him and he is buried in a Catholic Church yard so I do not believe that he is related to Thomas Fowler, the father-in-law of Jacob Coffman.
[2] Washington County, Deeds Book F, Page 98; Grantor: Matthew Walton and Frances, his wife; Grantee: William Fowler all named of Washington County, KY; Description: 50 acres on waters of Chaplins.  William Fowler was the grantor to  Charles R. Kinchelow in Deed Book L, Page 466.  Deed Book L covers the period of 1831-1833. Deed Book L is currently only available on microfilm.

Here is a transcript of the Isaac Coffman Deed that I prepared:

Catalog Record: Deed books, 1792-1903; Film Note: Deed books, v. C-F 1803-1820;


TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE:  This film was made of a typescript of the original book C so it is derivative of the original hand written record. The transcription was made as faithfully as possible with the exception of replacing ampersands for “and” as I have had trouble using ampersands with in notes and stories. A key piece of information is missing from this typescript as shown in the following quote: “on the waters of the ------ branch of Chaplins fork of Salt River.”

THIS INDENTURE made this eighteenth day of October in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and seven by and Between Charles Doyle of the County of Nelson and State of Kentucky of the one part and Isaac Coffman of the County of Washington and State aforesaid of the other part Witnesseth that for and in Consideration of the sum forty five pounds lawful money of this State Doyle have hereby Confessed fully satisfied and therefore doth aquit and discharge him that Said Coffman his heirs etc. by these present have bargained and said unto Isaac Coffman one tract or parcel of land lying and being in Washington County on the waters of the ------ branch of Chaplins fork of Salt River and bounded as follows Beginning at a sugar tree hickory and Dogwood thence East 143 poles to three hickorys and haw tree north 112 poles to a hickory sugar tree and Ironwood in a drain thence west 143 poles to a hickory and sugar tree thence South 112 poles to the Beginning including one hundred acres at least being part of 5000 acres in the name of West and Banks and by their agents Deeded to Day all and from him the said Doyall now deeded to the Said Coffman to have and to hold the Said land and premises and every part or parcel of the same with all appurtenances from the claim of all persons claiming the same by viture [sic] of the sd Doyall [sic] and will warrant and forever defend in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this above date
Charles x Doyal  (SEAL)

Washington County Set I John Reed clerk of the County Court for the County afd do hereby Certify that on the day of the date hereof This Indenture was acknowleged [sic] before me in my Office by the within Named Charles Doyle to be his act and Deed and thereupon admitted to Record In Testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand this 4th day of Janurary [sic] 1808

                                                                                                                                John Reed
A Copy Attest:   John M. Smothers Clerk Washington Count Court
                                                                By [signature] Jessie Gregory D.C.


The 5000 acres are referred to in several deeds in Book C  regarding land acquired by the Ward family.  These deeds were abstracted in a post to the WARD-L Archives [Archiver > WARD > 1999-09 > 0938660830] which was found at the following URL:

The message is credited as follows and signed by “Phyllis in Phoenix”:
From: <> 
Subject: Ward deeds in Washington Co.,Ky 
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 23:07:10 EDT

Deed book C, page 238
7 March, 1806, Thomas West of the County of Fairfax and State of Virginia as attorney in fact and heir and devisee at law to Thomas West Sr. Decd. sold to James Ward of the County of Washington and State of Kentucky, 150 acres in Washington County for "one Dollar in hand paid". Mentions Nathan Ward's NW corner. Witnesses Wiley Malloney, Nathan Ward and Archable (Archibald) 

Deed book C, page 239
7 March 1806, Thomas West of Fairfax etc. (see previous deed) sold to Nathan Ward of the County of Washington and State of Kentucky for "one Dollar in hand paid" 100 acres in Washington County on Chaplins fork being part of Thomas West's 500 acre survey, beginning at James Ward's northeast corner, also mentions "south west corner to James Ward". Witnesses: Archibald Dorethy, Wiley Malloney and Hamilton Freeman.

Deed book C, page 240
7 March 1806, Thomas West, attorney for Thomas West Sr. etc (see book C page 238) sold to Samuel Ward of the County of Washington and State of Kentucky, 150 acres "being part of a tract of land patented in the name of Henry Banks & from him deeded to Thomas West Sen". Mentions William Merideth twice in the land description. Witnesses: Wiley Malloney, Nathan Ward and James Ward. 
Note: This deed has been copied (typed), and it appears part of it is missing. The phrase "consideration of the sum of in hand paid" is missing the "sum", and it also does not mention where the land is located. Since William Merideth lived in Washington County, and the deed was recorded in Washington County, it's a good bet that is where this land was located. 


In my review of the tax records for Washington County, I have focused on the surnames COFFMAN and FOWLER. I found no record that Isaac Coffman ever paid taxes on his parcel of land. In 1987, Mary Jo Maguire published a grantee and grantor index for Washington County, Kentucky from 1792-1860.  There is no record of Isaac Coffman as a grantor.  The only Coffman deed in her “Co” index was this solitary deed that has been transcribed herein.


I have photocopies of the “Co” section of Maguire’s Index but I should also get copies of the “Ca” and “K” sections just to be sure that Coffman deeds were not under a variant spelling. 

Search the Fowler deeds as I did find that William Fowler also paid tax for 50 acres on Chaplin Creek.  

Another task is to attempt to sort out the records of the Coffmans in Mercer County, Kentucky.

I have also been searching for web resources related to the search terms: "Coffman killed by indians".  This will have be the subject of an upcoming blog post.