The Kauffman-Coffman Family Book:
Charles Fah Kauffman had a passion for understanding and locating his family history. His own Kauffman line came through Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, like so many other Kauffman/ Coffman family lines. His original plan was to locate his own pioneer ancestor and maybe trace his background in Europe. As he began to analyze the abstracts of court records, wills, obituaries and county deeds, he soon discovered there were so many Kauffmans in the records that the only way he could discover his ancestor was to track all the Kauffman families.
photo of Charles Fah Kauffman
He discovered his pioneer ancestor was Andreas Kauffman. In his own words, “it seemed improper to discard all the other data I had relating to other Kauffmans, who in some way might be related to Andreas.” To accomplish his work, he had to research court records of over 50 counties in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. He went through church records, genealogies, tombstones, libraries, and numerous personal letters and accounts. He interviewed many people about family relatives and had access to many family Bibles to add to the research. To gather data from Switzerland and Germany, he learned the German language.
His work started in 1917 and was finished in 1940. It is a massive volume of work. He is the first to point out that he has many errors in his research due to the amount of information and overall vague nature of much of the information in its basic raw form. It did not help to have so many Kauffman’s and Coffman’s name their children after themselves or close relatives creating a nightmare of people all with the same name.
For the overall history of our Coffman family lineage, we owe more to Charles Fah Kauffman than anyone or anything else. He spend over 2 decades locating what information he could and even with all the technology we have today, we would still need to review and analyze the raw data located in the many locations as he did so many years ago. He also interviewed many people in the 1920’s and 1930’s who remembered family relatives and much important information that would be lost today.
The Kauffman and Coffman family name:
The three regions from which our ancestors came from were from Switzerland, Württemberg, and the Palatinate. This part of Europe was settled by two ethnical groups. Wurttemberg and Switzerland were largely Allemannic, while the Palatinate was Frankish with a strong infusion Allemannish. These were the German tribes who broke the power of Rome. This part of Europe was inhabited prior to the Germanic tribes by a Celtic tribe called the Helvetii. It is out of the bending of the Allemanni and Helvetti that our ancestry sprang.
The name Kauffman is German and means a trader or merchant. The names would be part of the guild system that existed during the time. As time went by, members and descendants of the founder of the guild would in the course of time be surnamed after their guild such as Weber (weaver guild); Schumacher (shoemaker guild); Gerber (tanner); and so on. With the ownership of land and the need to divide land among heirs, the need for surnames to prove title to property was urgent. Those who were not part of the guilds acquired other surnames which were suggestive to what they did or looked like. Jaeger was hunter; Meyer was steward; Berger was a mountaineer; and many others. The name is spelled in many ways depending on the locality and individuals. The name is written, signed or printed on letters, deeds, wills, old Bibles, church records, and other documents,. It can be Kauffman, Kaufmann, Coffman, Cofman, Cauffman, Kuffman, Coughman, and so on. The possible reason for this is that most county officials in the United States tended to spell the name based on sound. This created multiple spellings of the last name for the same person at times. It is very common to have a clerk spell the last name one way and the owner of the name signed it a different way. Over time, if the communities were speaking English, the predominate spelling became Coffman. In places where communities were predominately German, Kauffman was the common spelling.
Augustine Kauffman relatives from Germany:
Konard Kauffman was father of Melchior Kauffman but nothing is known of him except his name.
Melchior Kauffman was born in 1646 in Palatinate, Germany. He was married on Jan 28th, 1674. His wife name was Maria Magdelena Rippert. She was born in 1652 in Palatinate, Germany. Her father was Hans Rippert and it is unknown who his mother was. They had six children: Johanas Andreas, Johann Michael, Konrad, Johanna Maria, Elizabeth and Ann Margartha. Melchior died on July 13, 1700, in Palatinate, Germany. Maria died in Ottersheim, Palatinate, Germany.
Johann Andreas Kauffman was born in 1682 in Ottersheim, Reinland Phalz, Germany. He was married on August 14, 1700. His wife, Anna Elizabeth Weinlandt, was born in 1680 in Ottersheim as well. It is unknown who her father and mother were. The reform church at Hassloch, indicateds that on August 14, 1700, Johan Andreas Kauffman, the surviving son of the deceased Melchoir Kauffman, married the surviving daughter of the deceased Weinlandt, former citizen of Birkenau, near Weinland. It appears Anna died just after Augustine was born in 1717 in Ottersheim. It is unknown if Johann remarried after that. It is also not known if he had other children or who they were. Johann died on July 18, 1747, in Hassloch, Reinland Phalz, Germany.
Augustine Kauffman was the son of Johan Andreas Kauffman, and his wife was Anne Elizabeth Weinlandt, of Hassloch, Germany. He was born on Oct 1, 1717, at Hassloch. He was married on Nov 17, 1739, in Ottersheim. The place of the origin of the family is Hassloch, in the district of Newstadt, and Augustine emigrated from Ottersheim in Germershelm district. He married Anna Cathrina Hatzenbohler on November 17, 1739, at the Ottersheim Reform Church in Germensheim District, Rheinland-Pfalz. Anna Cathrina was born December 12, 1716, in Ottersheim and she was the daughter of Lountz Hatzenbohler and Anna Ursula Clausser. The church entry at Ottersheim states, “Left for America on May 17, 1741. Both Hassloch and Ottersheim are in the Germam state of Reinland-Plalz. On August 2, 1741, Augustine Kauffman arrived in America. He disembarked at Philadelphia from the ship the St. Andrew from Rotterdam.
Augustine settled in Lancaster County Pennsylvania and became a part of the Muddy Creek Lutheran Church there. The church records list a Margrata Kauffman being born on Sept 7, 1746. She was the daughter of Augustus and Chatharina Kauffman. No further mention is made of her and it is unknown what happened to her? She may have died young like so many did. If so, she is not listed in the Muddy Creek records as doing so.
At some point, Augustine come to Virginia and settled in the Shenandoah Valley. As of Feb 9, 1756, he is listed as a soldier in the French and Indian War under Captain John Denton and Colonel William Fairfax for Frederick County, Virginia. In September 1755, he was being fined fifty pounds of tobacco for not appearing at one private muster. On March 9, 1763, Fairfax granted Augustine Coffman of Frederick County Virginia, 200 acres of land on the west side of Narrow Passage Creek. In 1772, Lord Fairfax granted Augustine another 424 acres in the same area.
Deeds of Augustine Coffman:
Nov 8, 1751 – Frederick County, Virginia: Augustine Coffman granted 200 acres including where he is currently lives on the West Side of Narrow Passage Creek.
Dec 22, 1769 – Frederick County, Virginia: Augustine Coffman, assignee of Jacob Coffman, 424 acres near Narrow Passage Creek; adjoining John Marin Foltz, George Zeigler, John Hauss, Augustine Coffman and Jacob Coffman.
1771 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Augustine Coffman and John Huddle were sold a small tract of land by the Jacob Miller estate for the Presbyterian Church in Woodstock.
Nov 21, 1774 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Between Augustine Coffman and Katharine his wife to Jacob Cofman, George Cofman, and Andrew Cofman, sons of Jacob Coffman deceased of the same county as consideration of five shillings and a certain tract of Land being part of the greater tract of 424 granted to said Augustine Cofman by deed from the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax on the 15th of May, 1772, contain 142 acres, standing in John Houses line and along George Ziglers line. Witness by Jacob Rinker and signed in German.
Nov 8, 1775 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Augustine Cofman purchased 188 acres of land on Stony Creek which was adjoining Christopher Cofman, Jacob Wetmiller, John Keller and Peter Coffel.
May 25, 1779 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Between Augustine Cofman and Catharine his wife of the County of Shenandoah to Adolph Cofman of said County the consideration of Fifty Pounds for the tract of land on the south side of Stony Creek that had been granted to said Augustine Cofman by deed from the Proprietors Office in November 1775 with a corner to Christopher Cofman containing 188 acres.
March 25, 1781 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Between Augustine Coffman and Catharine his wife of the County of Shanando to John Coffman, son of the said Augustine Coffman of the same County the Consideration of one Thousand Pounds the Tract of land lying near the Narrow Passage being part of the two surveys of Land joining each other granted to said Augustine Coffman by deeds from the Proprietors Office on March 9th, 1763 and the other granted to him on May 15th, 1772 with the corner of the land to said Augustine Coffman conveyed to Jacob Coffman deceased containing 146 acres.
March 28, 1781 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Between Augustine Coffman and Catharine his wife of the Country of Shannando to Andrew Coffman, son of said Augustine Coffman of the same County the consideration of one Thousand Pounds for the Tract of Land lying near Narrow Passage being part of two surveys joining each other and were granted to said Augustine Coffman by deed on March 9th, 1763 and the other Tract to him for 424 acres on May 15th, 1772 with the corner to John Coffman and with a line of Land which said Augustine Coffman conveyed to Jacob Coffman deceased containing 178 acres. Augustine Coffman Mystery: According to Charles Fahs Kauffman, Augustine Coffman was married twice, had 16 children, and lived to be 101 years old.
The Kauffman history lacks birthdates for most of children. One must assume they are listed in the order of their birth, but this is no sure thing. The children by Anna Catharine were:
1) Adolph (1755 – 1833) – never married.
2) Jacob (died 1774) – married Catherine
3) John – married Dorothy
4) Andrew (died 1828) – married Rosanna Dellinger.
5) John George (died 1833) – married Christina Dellinger.
6) Daniel – married Barbara Houtz
7) Henry (1764-1827) – never married.
These are listed as the children of Augustine with his first wife Anna Catharine. If we are to believe Charles Fah Kauffman, then she would have died sometime after March 28th, 1781, because she is listed and signed the deed for selling land to their son Andrew on that date.
According to Charles Fah Kauffman, Augustine remarried a Mary Catherine Houtz and went on to have another 9 children by her. The children by Mary Catherine were:
1) Mary Catherine – married Henry Stuber.
2) Christine – married John Wetzel.
3) Adam (born 1778) – married Mary Cook.
4) Anna Mary – married Henry Riffy.
6) Elizabeth – married David Fadely.
7) Barbara – married John Haller.
8) Mary – married Jonathan Fadeley.
9) John (born 1797) – married Rebecca Husflick. Wow – that is a lot of kids.
According to Charles Fah Kauffman, Augustine parceled out his land to the children of his first wife shortly after his married to his second wife. Augustine’s will, which is dated 1818, lists children 8 to 16 by name but makes no mention to any of the children from the first marriage.
Augustine Coffman’s Will – dated Feb 7, 1817 and executed on Nov 9, 1818: Wife – Mary Catherine – my estate and slaves. Sons: John; Adam; Mathias. Daughters: Mary Catharine, late wife of Henry Surber; Christina, wife of John Wetzel; Ann Mary, wife of Henry Riffey; Elizabeth, wife of David Fadley; Barbara, wife of John Haller; Mary, wife of Jonathan Fadley.
So, it is very clear that there was an Augustine Coffman and that he lived until 1818. There is a problem with all this information. If Augustine’s first wife is still alive until 1781, then how could his second wife have a child named Adam born in 1778? There could have been a divorce but there is no record of it and it was not a common thing at that time. Augustine Coffman signed his name in German, as did his wife. We know that he lived on Narrow Passage. But on a deed listed on Nov 8th, 1775, an Augustine Coffman of Dunmore receives a land grant from Lord Fairfax of 188 acres on Stony Creek, which are a few miles south of Narrow Passage creek. Also, on this deed, Augustine does not sign his name in German but signs it with an X. There is a bigger smoking gun with the purchase of Land by Henry Coffman on October 29, 1799; where the land borders John House, William Kelp, said Coffman (Henry), Christian Craibell and Augustine Coffman deceased.
So, there was an Augustine Coffman who had died by 1799 but also one who lived until 1818. Something has to give? I think the obvious answer is there are two different Augustine Coffman’s. I know this will not set well with all the researchers and relatives of the second Augustine Coffman but I do believe the facts support this theory. The problem is that Charles Fah Kauffman thought they were the same person and wrote it up as such. Also, both Augustine’s had a wife who went by their middle name of Catherine, or some form of that. It made the wills and deeds of the time look as if there was only a single Augustine and a wife Catherine. I think the signing of documents in German vs just signing with an X is pretty clear there are two Augustine’s. Also, in the will of Mary Catharine Coffman, wife of Augustine, dated Nov 5th, 1840, she lists herself as the wife of the Augustine Coffman of Stony Creek which leads one to believe there might have even been some confusion in their time as to the two Augustine’s.
The Augustine Coffman who came over from Germany had at least 9 children (the 7 listed by Charles Fah Kauffman + Margrata Kauffman born in 1746 and maybe his namesake son, Augustine Coffman junior). This second Augustine lived until 1818 and had another 9 children. This would explain his will and the children listed as such. Augustine Coffman of Narrow Passage left no will we have been able to locate. Who was this other Augustine? It is quite possible it was a son of Augustine Coffman of Narrow Passage. It was very common to name your son after yourself and most families of the time did this. I cannot rule this out and it does make some since given the time frame and the location of the two Augustine’s. There really is only one issue with this and that is all the documents such as wills and deeds, there is no cross over between the two different Augustine families. If you think that there are two Augustine’s, father and son, you would think that there would be some transactions between Augustine Junior and his brothers and sisters. Some mention of a will for some brother mentioning his brother Augustine or his family. Also, there are many deeds between family members selling and exchanging the land on Narrow Passage or the land on Stony Creek, but not between the two. So, really, except for the duplicate name, these two Augustine Coffman families act as if they are not related to each other at all. Augustine Coffman Senior’s Family:
1) John Christopher Kauffman – he was baptized on Aug 12, 1744, at Muddy Creek Church and his father and mother might have been Augustine and Catherine. More than one online person has made the connection but I do not know much about this person. He was known to have married a Sarah Hotsinpiller and they had last one son named John Coffman. Other than this, I know nothing about him and it is hard to say if he is part of this family or not.
2) Catharine Margaret Kauffman – she was baptized on Sept 7, 1946 at Muddy Creek Church and other than this fact, nothing is known of her.
3) Augustine Coffman – married a Mary Catherine Houtz, who was the daughter of Wendel Houtz. I list him as Augustine’s son but this is no sure thing. It is unknown when he was born but we know he died in 1818. His wife, Mary Catherine, died in 1843. His children are listed on the previous page. We have the wills for both these people along with many land deeds.
4) Adolph Coffman – he was born on July 1, 1755 and died on July 17, 1833. He never married. He is buried in the Coffman graveyard on the Augustine homestead. We have information on him from some land deeds, his will and also his gravestone.
5) Jacob Coffman – it is unknown when he was born but we know he died in 1774. No cause of death is known. Christian Heisy was ordered to appraise the estate of Jacob Coffman deceased on May 24th, 1774. Jacob must have died sometime around that time. He was married to a Catherine but we do not know her last name or what became of her. Some information from other researchers have come up with a name of Jacob’s wife as being a Catherine Krumancher, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1748 and married Jacob in 1768. Nothing more is known at the time of this writing about her. If his wife is this person, then it would match with some oral history that stated Jacob was not married very long and died young – maybe in his 20’s. One researcher, has Jacob born in Lancaster in 1745 which would mean he died before he reached 30. He had three children who were quite young when he died. They are George, Andrew and Jacob. We know these are his children because of the deeds listed below: Nov 21, 1774 – Shenandoah County, Virginia: Between Augustine Coffman and Katharine his wife to Jacob Cofman, George Cofman, and Andrew Cofman, sons of Jacob Coffman deceased of the same county as consideration of five shillings and a certain tract of Land being part of the greater tract of 424 granted to said Augustine Cofman by deed from the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax on the 15th of May, 1772, contain 142 acres, standing in John Houses line and along George Ziglers line. Witness by Jacob Rinker and signed in German.
6) Henry Coffman – he was born Sept 3, 1764 and died on Feb 28th, 1827. He was single. He is buried in the Fravel Coffman plot on the Augustine homestead cemetery. He was a tailor. His Brother Jacob Coffman’s sons and wives deeded him a tract of land in 1804.
7) George Coffman – sometimes known as John George Coffman. It is not know when he born but we do know he was married on June 20th, 1786, to Christina Dellinger. They proceeded to have 5 children – Christena, Mary, Rachel, Rebecca and John.
8) Andrew Coffman – It is not known when he was born but we do know he died in 1828. He was married to Rosanna Dellinger and lived on 146 acres on Narrow Passage Creek granted to him by his father in 1781. He had 5 children – George, Andrew, Magdalen, Christina and Elizabeth.
9) Daniel Coffman – It is unknown when he was born. He married Barbara Houtz, sister of Mary Catherine Houtz, who married his brother Augustine Junior. He was married on March 21st, 1782. He had 9 children – Christina, Adam, Catharine, John, Andrew, Elizabeth, Wendel, Daniel, and Henry.
So, one might wonder where Augustine lived and where our relatives lived? Augustine arrived in 1741 in Philadelphia (A on the map). Within a few years, he and his family had moved some 50 miles west to Lancaster County (Bon the map). He was living there when his daughter Margrata was born in 1746. Within the new couple of years, he had moved some 100 miles SW to the upper part of the Shenandoah Valley, which at that time was on the fringe of the wilderness and mostly unsettled.
By 1751, he was living on a piece of property just west of a little town called Woodstock, which was located on the Shenandoah River. It was on a little creek call Narrow Passage. We know this because when he received a land grant of 200 acres 1951 and that grant states that he was living on the land he was granted.
What is shown below is what is known today as Coffmantown. Augustine’s land started from the left on the Back Rd, right down the Coffmantown Rd and across the Rittenour Road for some acres.
Below is a satellite image of some of Augustine’s land grant over what the land looks like today. The top left land grant was 49 acres. Below that section of land, is the 200 acres Augustine got in 1763 (the square box) and this was the land he lived on. Below that, is the 424 acres, Augustine was granted in 1769.
Below is the land shown the box was given by Augustine to his son John in 1794, total of 49 acres.
Below is the original 200 acres Augustine purchased in 1763.
Below is the 424 acres he was granted in 1679, the line through the middle is the current Rittenour Road.
In 1774, Augustine sold 142 acres to the infant sons of his son Jacob Coffman. They were Jacob, George and Andrew. This is important for my family tree as I am descended from Jacob’s son, George. This would mean that this was the land given to him and his two brothers to live on. No mention is made of Jacob’s wife and where she lived or how long she lived.
Normally, a family cemetery would be located on each farm. Markers were made of wood or plain unmarked field stone during the early years of settlement. At the time of Augustine, it was custom for the local church to ring it’s bell’s six times for the death of a women and nine times for the death of a man, and would also told the age of the deceased. Oftentimes, from this information everyone could tell who had died. Wakes were held for the deceased by family and friends. There was no embalming and if the body would not keep the normal three days, it was buried sooner. The graves of the mature person were graced with a sheaf of wheat rather than flowers. The wheat was considered a biblical symbol in that it meant the person had matured and replenished the earth with his seed. The men did not removed hats during the final rites as they would today. Also, the bereaved family presented a huge meal after the funeral for all those attending the service.
In Coffmantown, there were two known cemeteries where our relatives would have been buried. One is currently called the Coffmantown #1 cemetery and it is located on the land owned by Augustine. It is probably where he was buried and his son Jacob as well. The cemetery has many stones and it would appear many missing headstones as well. Adolph Kauffman is buried there. I have no doubt that Augustine is there as well. It is probable that he had a stone that has been damaged or lost over the years. The same would be said of Jacob Coffman senior. Charles Fah Kauffman rights another one of Augustine’s children, his son Henry, was buried there as well but his headstone has gone missing since Charles wrote his book. It is probable that many of the Augustine’s family are interned there including his wife, Anna Catherine. What is disheartening is that none of our relatives in our direct line are able to be located in either cemetery.
Coffmantown Cemetery 1 – Coffman Homestead Cemetery.
1010 Coffmantown Road, Coffmantown
Shenandoah County, Virginia USA
Coffman, Abraham; Oct. 14, 1857 - Jun. 9, 1927
Coffman, Alice E.; Mar. 7, 1858 - Jul. 13, 1921; w. of A.C.
Coffman, Alvertie; Jan. 22, 1853 - Jan. 9, 1901; w. of Jonas W.
Coffman, Annie M.; Mar. 17, 1861 - Feb. 17, 1916; w. of M.L.
Coffman, Christina; Mar. 13, 1828 - Aug. 1, 1893
Coffman, Daniel; Jul. 16, 1858 - Jul. 25, 1889
Coffman, John A.; Feb. 9, 1826 - May 13, 1892
Coffman, Mathias L.; Feb. 24, 1856 - Feb. 7, 1931
Coffman, Virginia C.; Apr. 29, 1857 - Nov. 22, 1900
Coffman, Walton; Apr. 22, 1836 - Apr. 28, 1863; Killed at the Battle of Fishers Hill, Virginia; (NOTE: there was more than one battle at Fisher's Hill)
Fravel, Mary C.; Nov. 29, 1847 - Sep. 28, 1864; d. of Aaron & Isabelle
Hottel, Christina; 1778 - May 2, 1869; Consort of George
Hottel, George; Jun. 22, 1772 - Jun. 4, 1839
Hottle, Andrew J.; 1802 - 1871
Hottle, James H.; Oct. 21, 1853 - May 2, 1884; s. of Andrew & Elizabeth
Hottle, James K.; Oct. 14, 1878 - Nov. 25, 1878; s. of J.H. & S.J.
Hottle, Joseph H.; Jan. 20, 1883 - Sep. 2, 1883; s. of J.H. & S.J.
Kaufman, Adolp; Jul. 1765 - 1833
Mowery, Joseph; Jul. 16, 1821 - Jul. 16, 1895
Mowery, Kathryn; 1824 - May 29, 1906
Mowery, Matilda C.; Aug. 24, 1856 - Dec. 10, 1900; w. of Hugh; d. of John & Rebecca Coffman
Mowery, Perry L.; May 16, 1851 - Jul. 16, 1890
Ryman, Rebecca; Jul. 19, 1824 - Jun. 2, 1897
Shipe, Charles C.; Aug. 2, 1895 - Aug. 4, 1896; s. of John & S.J.
Sine, Mary M.; Mar. 11, 1846 - Mar. 27, 1886; w. of D.R.
Wolverton, John; 1788 - 1868; 80 yr. 7 mo.
Wolverton, Polly; Aug. 31, 1795 - Nov. 7, 1871; w. of John; nee Hottel
Grave of George Hottle
Coffmantown #1 Cemetery – the Homestead Cemetery.
Unknown who this is – A. F. C. – with no dates - could it be Augustine Coffman?
Coffmantown 2 Cemetery:
3545 Rittenour Road, Coffmantown
Coffelt, Ezra; Apr. 5, 1848 - Sep. 22, 1915
Coffman, Amos P.; Jan. 3, 1853 - Jul. 17, 1908
Coffman, Annie E.; Mar. 23, 1898 - Mar. 23, 1899
Coffman, Bertie Cathrine; n.d. - Jan. 14, 1900; d. of Isaac & Mary A.; 20 yr. 8 mo. 23 da.
Coffman, Clarence; Sep. 25, 1884 - Aug. 8, 1886
Coffman, David; Apr. 2, 1862 - Oct. 13, 1937
Coffman, Henry; Oct. 1, 1810 - Aug. 20, 1867
Coffman, I. Geneva; Mar. 4, 1902 - May 27, 1903
Coffman, Isaac F.; 1856 - 1911
Coffman, Marvin P.; Oct. 28, 1911 - Jun. 25, 1913; s. of B.S. & F.M.
Coffman, Mary A.; 1857 - 1923; w. of Isaac F.
Coffman, Mary E.; May 12, 1855 - Oct. 26, 1939
Coffman, Reuben A.; n.d. - May 11, 1887; 61 yr. 2 mo. 2 da.
Coffman, Susie O.; Jan. 15, 1900 - May 24, 1903; d. of C.W. & M.W.
Maphis, George W.; n.d. - Aug. 12, 1861; s. of R. & L.; 4 mo. 22 da.
Maphis, Lydia; Jun. 21, 1822 - Apr. 25, 1861; w. of Reuben
Thompson, Charles H.; n.d. - Aug. 9, 1876; s. of Robert & Martha; 2 yr. 3 ds.
Mystery of the location of the final resting place of our relatives:
It really puzzled me why I could not locate any of our relatives that were live and died in and near the Narrow Passage land. One would think that it is probable that Augustine and Jacob Senior are buried on the Homestead cemetery in what is known today as the Coffmantown #1 cemetery. It is most likely that over the years, the headstones where damaged or lost.
I have never been able to locate the whereabouts of Jacob’s son, George or is wife Mary. George lived on the parcel of land given to him by Augustine, which would be just down the road from Augustine’s land (the 142 acres just on the other side of the Rettinour Road). Not only did George live there, but his son Jacob Coffman as well. That Jacob had three wives. There are no headstones or makers for any of our relatives who lived there? This was baffling for me. Certainly we should be able to locate Jacob or one of his wives but this was not the case.
What else was puzzling was that the two generations of relatives who lived on that land for nearly 100 years, none of their graves could be located. Since it was most common for families to have a family cemetery located on their land and yet, I could not locate any on our relatives land other than the Homestead cemetery of Augustine which at the time was not own by a Coffman.
In 2007, I hired a local Edinburg researcher called Linda Varney. She was in contact with someone called John Mowbry who was writing a book about the history of the area. In the 1980’s, a local resident named John Ryman told John Mawbry a story about growing up in the area. He said, “I grew up in area and as a small child I hunted and fished nearby. Many times I went by a cemetery on the hill and noted many persons with the spelling of Coffman or Koffman. There were others buried there as well but their names escape me. It seems some of the graves were marked with wooden plagues. In the 1920’s, Mr. Stout brought the land and during his ownership, the cemetery was done away with. There is no trace of it today.” According to Linda, “I did just call another friend who goes back in the Coffman family and she verified that the cemetery you are looking for was done away with so the people that owned the farm could farm over that part of the land. She said she has not found anyone who knew where the markers from this cemetery were put. Apparently they were all destroyed. In the information I had sent you about the cemetery, they said there were wooden marker along with other markers. A lot of times people would just burn these old wooden markers up. If there were rock markers used as headstones, they sometimes used them when putting down cement floors in buildings they were building. They would lay the stones down and then pour the cement on top of the stones. It seems that in the early 1900's new people from away from here were moving in the area and they didn't care about the people that lived on the place before they bought it. They just wanted to use as much of the land as they could for farming. This is not the first case I've had were the old cemetery was destroyed so they would have more land to farm.”
This land was the land given by Augustine to Jacob’s sons and the land George Coffman and his son Jacob lived on. This is probably the final resting spot of George Coffman and his wife Mary Pickel. His son Jacob and his three wives were probably buried there as well, and as Mr Ryman stated many others as well.
George was the son of the Jacob Coffman. He and his brothers, Andrew and Jacob, were young when his father died in 1774. He is mentioned in the deed by this grandfather Augustine in 1774. Therefore, he must have been born before that time. Most researchers believe George was born in 1769 or 1770. This is based on the 1850 census showing that George is age 81 and living with his son Jacob, on the same land given to George from Augustine in 1774. He is listed as farmer.
The only other major piece of evidence that I could locate concerning George was he was married on Dec 24th, 1792, to Mary Pickel, in Shenandoah County Virginia. There is very limited information on his wife Mary. Jacob Pickel is listed as the bondman for their marriage. It is not clear who Jacob was. Most likely he is Mary’s father but he could be a brother or an Uncle as well. There also seems to be a question about how her last name is spelled including Pickle or some even saying it should be Bickel. I am not sure what is correct but since it is listed as Pickel on the marriage and I will go with that. There is some evidence that she was born in Pennsylvania in and about 1772.
There is evidence that Mary Pickle had a sister named Margaret Pickle. She was known to have lived from 1776 to 1841 and was married to Jacob Lineweaver on April 26, 1792, in Shenandoah County, Virginia (same year as her sister Mary). The researcher who found this information made the connection between Margaret and Mary and that Jacob Pickle was their father and their mother was named Catherine. There is also an Adam Pickle who married a Mary Hughes in Shenandoah County in 1784 but it is not clear if he is a brother or related at all. Bascially the Mary Pickel side of the family history has yet to be determined pending further information.
George and Mary had four children according to Charles Fah Kauffman:
1) George Coffman was born on Jan 24th, 1795 and died on Sept 17, 1875. He was married to Mary Keller on Nov 28th, 1815, in Shenandoah County. Mary was born in 1795 and died on July13, 1844. They had xxx kids.
2) Jacob Coffman was born on Nov 7, 1797 and died in 1867. He had three wives. We will come back to Jacob later.
3) Rebecca Coffman who married a Jacob B. Keller.
4) Elizabeth Coffman who married David Smulta on Dec 26th, 1823.
Not much else is known about George Coffman Senior. From researcher Linda Varney, George was a farmer and lived on the land he got from Augustine. Chances are that he was buried on that land as well but no final resting place for either George or his wife has ever been found. There was no will recorded for George or Mary either. If there was a will, it was never recorded or lost during the Civil War conflict in which so many records were destroyed. Based on the 1850 census, George is 81 and living with his son Jacob. Mary is not listed and it is presumed she died sometime before 1850. It appears George died sometime after the 1850 census.
It would appear Jacob was the second child of George Coffman and Mary Pickel. He was listed as being born on November 7, 1797, in Shenandoah County. He died in 1867. This information comes from Charles Fah Kauffman. He lived on the land of his father on Narrow Passage and he was married three times.
His first wife was Mary Sayger and they were married on Oct 28th, 1820. He father was Gabriel Sayger and her mother was Sarah Rodeheffer. Her siblings were Eil Sayger, John Sayger, Elisabeth Sayger and Barbara Sayger. She also has a name that seems to have different spellings as many spell her last name as Sager. Researchers have listed her birth year as 1799. She died in 1826 of unknown causes as she was still very young (maybe in child birth).
Mary Sayger and Jacob had two children.
1) Reuben Kirby Coffman – was born in 1824 and died in 1899 - more to come on him.
2) Joseph S Coffman – he was born between 1821 and 1826. He married Sarah Seiver or Seibert on April 4, 1848. They had three children – Fanny, James and Medford.
After Mary died, Jacob then married Catherine Windle on Nov 17, 1826 and then married a Susan Bowman on July 13, 1844. So Catherrine must have died sometime before 1844. According to Charles Fah Kauffman.Charles, Jacob and Catherine had 9 children and Jacob and Susan had one. But he only lists a total of 8 children? Generally it is thought that Jacob W Coffman was the only child of Jacob and Susan Bowman.
3) Samuel W. Coffman who married Sarah Seward.
4) Lydia W. Coffman who married Elias Ritenour.
5) Rebecca W. Coffman who married Isaac May.
6) Catherine W. Coffman who married Simeon Swartz.
7) Mary W. Coffman who married Samuel Hess.
8) Lavina W. Coffman.
9) Savilla B. Coffman who married W. A Spurrier.
10) Jacob W. Coffman was killed in the Civil War in 1863.