Posted By:Jack
Subject:Re: Joel COFFEE b c1780
Post Date:June 12, 2001 at 07:44:16
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Forum:Coffee Family Genealogy Forum
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This particular Joel Coffee/y line is somewhat suspect. The DAR closed this file a number of years ago because there were unanswered questions, and undocumented lineages.

The DAR has always listed Joel as born 1730 and married in 1753 to Martha Sealey who was born in 1737. But, their youngest son, Nebuzaradon was born in 1789, after his father died making Martha 52 years old!!

In his research on various Coffee/y lines, Dr. Marvin Coffey wrote of several possible explainations for the descrepancies in this Joel line.

1 - Joel married Martha Sealey who died and then he married Martha Stepp; 2 - Joel married a widow by the name of Mrs. Martha Step Sealey; 3 - Sealey was a nickname for Celia which was a middle name of Martha; 4 - Joel was really much younger, born c1750.

Dr. Coffey went on to elaborate a bit on these possibilities:

The son Joseph, who is not listed in Joel's will of 1789, but is on the list of children in the Eliza Emeline Coffey Porter work (see below) was born to a first wife, and died before the will was made. Joseph is also reported to have much older than other children, and went to KY as a young adult. Martha Step's father was named Joseph so it's possible he was named for her father.

A daughter of Joel and Martha was named Celia, so that might be where the Sealey comes from in Joel's will. This in fact might be where the name Sealey comes from. Dr. Coffey reported that he has not been able to find any Sealey family in either VA or NC, where the Coffey family lived.

To further complicate the matter, many of the men identified as Joel's brothers seem to have been born in the 1750's, and none later than 1760. Some researchers have suggested that Joel was born as early as 1730, and could even be the father of those listed as his brothers.

For more discussion on this, see:

According to a history of Nathan Coffey, Eliza was daughter of Nathan Coffey, a son of Joel and Martha. The manuscript she prepared is said to be in the possession of Calvin Reese Porter of El Reno, OK, a descendant of Eliza.

Good luck with your research!