Any number of researchers have searched unsuccessfully for John Coffee and Mary Jolliffee. The thus-far ficticious John Coffey is also credited by some to have had a wife named Rebecca Ireland!
I'm not certain where, or with whom the myth began, but as far as I know, there have never been any records found that confirm the existance of these people. If any exists, many of us would dearly love to see them.
The first record found of Edward appears to be in the will of William Mosely, dated Jan 6, 1699 in which he gives to his "servant Ed. Coffe one heifer of 2 years old." That will was proved in Essex county court April 16, 1700 and on Sep 10 of that year Edward Coffey received a judgement from the Mosely estate for his freedom, corn, and clothes.
Dr. Marvin Coffee, considered by many to be the authority on Coffee/y research, writes that his own "guess" is that Edward came to Virginia from Ireland during the Williamite Confiscation, perhaps around 1690 or a few years later, and was transported by Edward Mosely. Mosely transported many people into Old Rappahannock county from about 1660 thru the 1690's.
Henry P. Scalf, author of "The Stepp/Stapp Families of America", concluded that Martha and Joshua married 1709/10 and her birth as 1690. Those dates are questionable, since Martha could not have been born prior to 1702. Joshua and Martha probably married between 1718 and 1721, with their first child being born about 1720-1722.
Dr. Coffey can be contacted at:
Marvin D. Coffey
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