Alfred Clifton Coleman
1914 – 1965
For a printable version of this report go to:
Joyce Stevens Turel
Revised August 2009
Robert Coleman was born between 1619 and 1622 in England. He came to Virginia from England May 2, 1638 as a headright of Thomas Symons. This means that Thomas Symons received a grant of fifty acres of land for having recruited Robert as an immigrant and having paid for Robert’s passage to the Virginia Colony. Robert settled near Tindall's Point at the South Branch of the Severne River at Mobjack Bay, later Gloucester County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Grizzell about 1650 in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Grizzell. She was born 1632 in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, and died after 1666 in Gloucester County, Virginia. In subsequent generations, some Coleman daughters were named Grizzell (called “Gillie”) in honor of Elizabeth Grizzell. Robert Coleman died 1689 in Tindall's Point, Gloucester County, Virginia.
The children of Robert Coleman and Elizabeth Grizzell were:
Thomas Coleman was born 1652 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia and died after 1705.
Robert Coleman, Jr was born 1656 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia and died before August 13, 1713 in South Farnham Parish, Essex County, Virginia. He married Ann Spilsbe.
Joseph Coleman was born about 1658 in Gloucester County, Virginia and died after 1704. He married Agnes Adelston.
Grizzell Coleman, a daughter, was born about 1660 in Gloucester County, Virginia and died after 1701. She married Benjamin Clements.
Daniel Coleman was born about 1662 in Gloucester County, Virginia and died June 7, 1722 in King and Queen County, Virginia.
John Coleman (Second Generation)
Ann Coleman was born about 1666 in Gloucester County, Virginia.
John Coleman was born about 1665 in Virginia and lived in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia. Between 1685 and 1692, he married Margaret who gave him two sons, both of whom were baptized in Abingdon Parish. After Margaret died, John married Ann who gave him two more sons. The family lived in Abingdon Parish until after Richard, Ann’s first son, was born. Then John and his family moved to a 200 acre plantation on Bennet's Creek in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County. On April 26, 1704 the governor granted to John 1200 acres on the south side of the Tappahannock River in Essex County as headrights for transporting 24 immigrants to the Virginia Colony. John’s youngest son and our next ancestor, Samuel, was born in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia. John died there October 4, 1710.
The children of John and Margaret Coleman were:
Daniel Coleman was born 1691-1693 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia and died after 1746.
James Coleman was baptized April 30, 1693 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia.
The children of John and Ann Coleman were:
Richard Coleman was baptized February 26, 1702/03 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia and died before July 1791 in Rutherford County, North Carolina.
Samuel Coleman, Sr (Third Generation)
Abingdon Episcopal Church
Gloucester County, Virginia
The Abingdon Episcopal Church is located on Route 17 almost midway between the towns of Gloucester and Gloucester Point. It’s a lovely, brick, cross-shaped (cruciform) building with walls two feet thick. Unfortunately, while Coleman ancestors may have attended services at this site, they didn’t attend services in this building which was built in 1755 on the site of the original church. The baptism records of this church have survived and are kept at the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary at Williamsburg, Virginia.
Samuel Coleman, Sr
Samuel Coleman, Sr was born about 1706 in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia. He relocated from Gloucester County to the Bent Creek area that was then in Goochland County, but is now in Appomattox County. Since Goochland County didn’t exist before 1727, we know Samuel relocated to Bent Creek after 1727. Between 1727 and 1845 the county lines for this part of Virginia were redrawn four times. This is more important to a researcher than it may seem. To locate a deed, for example, you must first determine what county the land was in at the time the deed was granted. This will determine where you will find the deed recorded. Depending on the year, you might have to visit the courthouse in the town of Appomattox, the town of Buckingham, the city of Charlottesville, the town of Goochland, or the city of Richmond, as these were the various county seats over the years. Samuel Coleman, Sr married Anne Mourning Christian July 17, 1731 in Goochland County, Virginia. Anne was the daughter of Thomas C. Christian and Rebecca New. She was born about 1710 in Henrico County, Virginia, and died about 1766 in Buckingham County. Samuel Coleman, Sr died September 20, 1748 in Albemarle County, Virginia.
The children of Samuel Coleman, Sr and Anne Mourning Christian were:
Samuel Coleman, Jr (Fourth Generation)
James Coleman was born 1732 at Bent Creek and died before September 1796 in Buckingham County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Leake.
John W. Coleman was born about 1736 at Bent Creek, and died before September 7, 1778 in Amherst County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Lucas.
Daniel Coleman was born about 1738 at Bent Creek and died 1769 in Cumberland County, Virginia.
Five generations of Alfred Clifton Coleman’s ancestors lived in the Bent Creek area. The county lines changed over the years as follows:
1634 Henrico County
1727 Goochland County
1744 Albemarle County
1761 Buckingham County
1845 Appomattox County
Samuel Coleman, Jr
Samuel Coleman, Jr was born about 1729 at Bent Creek in St James Northam Parish, then Goochland County, Virginia. On March 30, 1756 he married Nancy Ann Wright. She was born about 1734 and died in 1775. In 1779 Samuel Coleman, Jr married Elizabeth Doss. Elizabeth was born about 1754 and died between 1817 and 1818. The following is the will of Samuel Coleman, Jr written in 1803:
In the Name of God Amen: I, Samuel Coleman, of the County of Buckingham, being sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory do make this my last will and testament this fourth day of April one thousand eight hundred and three.
Item: I lend to my wife Elizabeth Coleman during her natural life or widowhood all the lands in my possession (except one hundred and fifty acres being the land my son William Coleman sold to Robert Harris) and the following Negroes Tom, Charles, Bartley, Dick, Nan, Rose, Cloe, Pattey, Judea, Anica, Jane, Aggy and Dafney, with all my stock of every kind, household and kitchen furniture, and after her death to be divided among my children as undermentioned.
2nd: I give unto my two sons Robert and John Coleman and their heirs forever my land below and joining Bent Creek to a branch which runs up to Richard Phelp's line according to valuation.
3rd: I give unto my son-in-law Robert Harris one hundred and fifty acres above mentioned and his heirs forever it being part of that land I purchased of Williamson Burnett, and the balance of the said tract of land with an entry adjoining I give to my son Drury Coleman to him and his heirs forever.
4th: I give to my son Samuel Coleman all the land above Bent Creek, and another tract below said creek and above the branch that runs to Richard Phelp's line, to him and his heirs forever. I also give unto my sons Samuel and Drury Coleman thirty pounds each, as soon as they come of age, to be levyed out of my estate.
5th: I give unto my son James Coleman one Negro man named Frederick. I give unto my daughter Ann Wooldridge five shillings cash. I give unto my daughter Liza Coleman fifty pounds cash and after the death of my wife Elizabeth Coleman my wish is that the Negroes I lend to my wife namely Tom, Charles, Bartley, Dick, Nan, Rose, Chloe, Patty, Judea, Anaca, Jane, Aggy, and Dafney, and their increase to be equally divided amongst my children namely George Coleman, Sally Pendleton wife of Mace Pendleton, Mary Pendleton, Frances Harris wife of Robert Harris, Betsey Coleman, Ann Mourning Coleman, and my grandchildren Benjamin Pendleton and my daughter Jane to come in as one legatee and all my stock of every kind with all my household furniture after the death of my wife I give to my children that is to possess my Negroes. I appoint John Harris Sr and Edward Doss executors to this my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have put my hand and affixed my seal the day and year above mentioned.
Samuel Coleman (Seal)
To a genealogist a will is a treasure. A will usually lists the children’s names and often has the married names of daughters. Family Bibles are another great resource. Many families carefully recorded the dates of births and deaths there. We have one will and one set of Bible records to help us. In addition, we have some helpful records from the Liberty Baptist Church.
Between 1835 and 1855, some family members requested formal letters of dismissal from the Liberty Baptist Church when they decided to change churches. The reasons for their changing churches aren’t always clear, but we’re grateful for the church’s records which help up by spelling out the ages and family relationships.
The children of Samuel Coleman and Nancy Wright were:
Jane “Jeanie” Coleman (their first child of that name) was born July 18, 1756 at Bent Creek and died as an infant.
Jane Coleman (their second child of that name) was born June 22, 1759 at Bent Creek and died before 1799. She married Benjamin Pendleton born August 3, 1751. They had a son Benjamin Pendleton, Jr who was mentioned in his grandfather’s will.
David Coleman was born January 6, 1762 at Bent Creek and died as an infant.
Sally Coleman was born 1763 at Bent Creek. She married Mason “Mace” Pendleton. and died about 1820.
Robert Coleman, Sr (Fifth Generation)
Liza Coleman was born about 1768 at Bent Creek and died there unmarried November 1837.
Ann “Nancy” Coleman was born about 1770 at Bent Creek. She married James Wooldridge and died before 1807.
John Coleman was born about 1775 at Bent Creek. He married Judith “Julia” Harris in 1799. In 1835 John and Judith were dismissed from the Liberty Baptist Church and relocated to Wilson County, Tennessee. He died about 1865 in Wilson County, Tennessee.
The children of Samuel Coleman and Elizabeth Doss were:
William Coleman was born 1780 at Bent Creek and died about 1801.
Frances Coleman was born about 1782 at Bent Creek. She married Robert Harris about 1800. Robert was the brother of Judith Harris above. Frances died at Bent Creek before 1849.
Mary Coleman was born about 1783 at Bent Creek. She married either John or James Pendleton, brother of Benjamin and Mason Pendleton mentioned above.
Samuel Coleman was born about 1787 at Bent Creek.
James Coleman was born 1789 at Bent Creek.
Betsy Coleman was born 1794 at Bent Creek and died November 1837.
George Coleman was born about 1795 at Bent Creek and died July 24, 1849.
Drury Coleman was born March 1795 at Bent Creek. He married Mary Still. They relocated to Warren County, Ky where Drury died in 1835.
Ann Mourning Coleman was born 1797 at Bent Creek.
Jane Coleman, their third child of that name, was born 1799 at Bent Creek.
It was common at this time to name a child after another child who died. This seems to have been the case in the names of the three daughters named Jane. Only one “Jane” is mentioned in Samuel’s will.
Robert Coleman, Sr
Robert Coleman, Sr was born 1770 at Bent Creek and died there March 6, 1846. About 1791 he married Elizabeth Burks who was about sixteen years old at the time but is said to have been a widow. Elizabeth died in 1837 at Bent Creek.
The children of Robert Coleman and Elizabeth Burks were:
Samuel Coleman (Sixth Generation)
Henry H. Coleman was born about 1795 at Bent Creek and died August 12, 1862. He married Mary Sears. She was born 1796 and died 1862.
Charles Coleman was born about 1800 at Bent Creek and died 1876. He married Elizabeth Sears. She was born about 1803 and died 1892.
Robert C. Coleman was born 1802 at Bent Creek. He and his wife Susan are in the 1840 Buckingham census. They later relocated to Texas.
Schuyler Patterson Coleman was born November 1, 1804 at Bent Creek and died June 26, 1884. About 1829 he married Sarah Louise Glover who was born April 8, 1812 and died November 10, 1893.
David Monroe Coleman was born in 1806 at Bent Creek and married Eliza Moses.
Thomas C. Coleman was born 1808 at Bent Creek and died after 1850. He first married Rebecca and next married Dorothy who was born about 1815 and died after 1850.
Nancy L. Coleman was born 1810 at Bent Creek and died January 1856. She married William Phelps.
George W. Coleman was born 1812 at Bent Creek and died July 27, 1849. He married Sarah A. Caswell about 1833. She was born between 1812 and 1818, and died after 1848.
Joseph B. Coleman was born October 3, 1814 at Bent Creek and died August 17, 1886. He married Elizabeth A. Harris about 1841. She was born about 1817.
Mary Agnes Coleman was born in 1820 at Bent Creek and died October 1, 1858. She married John Wooldridge.
Samuel Coleman was born 1794 at Bent Creek. He married Malinda Harris before 1822. Malinda was the daughter of Robert Harris and Frances Coleman. Samuel and Malinda were half-cousins, so to speak. The Harris family has been traced back to Capt. Thomas Harris, born 1583 in England, who immigrated to Virginia in 1611. Immigrants who came to the Virginia Colony before 1616 and survived the hardships were deemed to be “Ancient Planters” and were given land and afforded certain privileges. Capt. Thomas Harris made his home at Longfield Plantation in Henrico County, Virginia. There were many marriages between the Coleman and Harris families starting in the 1770's when they were neighbors in the Bent Creek area. Malinda Harris was born in 1802 and died in October 1838. Samuel Coleman died sometime between the 1860 census and the 1870 census.
The children of Samuel Coleman and Malinda Harris were:
Frances Ann Coleman was born in 1822 at Bent Creek and died there unmarried sometime after the 1860 census.
Robert H. Coleman was born 1825 at Bent Creek and died after 1870 in Amherst County, Virginia. He and his wife, Sallie, had four daughters.
Virginia A. Coleman was born 1829 at Bent Creek and died there unmarried sometime after the 1860 census.
John A. Coleman was born in 1831 at Bent Creek and died after 1870 in Amherst County, Virginia. He and his wife, Lucie, had seven daughters and one son.
Clifton Smith Coleman (Seventh Generation)
Confederate Regimental Flag
Clifton Smith Coleman
Clifton Smith Coleman was born September 25, 1836 at Bent Creek. His mother died when he was two years old. Clifton was raised by two maiden aunts, Elizabeth “Bettie” Harris and Mary P. Harris. In the 1860 census, Clifton was staying at the farm of Samuel Wheeler in the Walkers Church area of Appomattox as an apprentice carpenter.
Clifton served in the Civil War as a private in the Confederate Army, Company D, 38 Battalion, Virginia Light Artillery. This company saw duty at the Battle of Gettysburg July 1 to July 3, 1863. Clifton enlisted April 23, 1861, was wounded July 1861. He served until 1865.
On December 21, 1871 Clifton married Virginia H. Clay in Richmond, Virginia. She was the daughter of Joseph Clay and Purifey Hurt. The Clay family has been traced back to John Thomas Clay who immigrated to Virginia from Wales in 1613 and thus was another “Ancient Planter.” The Clays of Wales have been described as “Coal barons”. Virginia Clay was born August 1851 in Nottoway County, Virginia.
At the time of their marriage, Clifton and Virginia were living in Prince Edward County, and her parents were living in Richmond. In the 1880 census, Clifton, his wife Virginia, son Joseph, and aunt Mary P. Harris were living at the Harris farm at Bent Creek.
Mary P. Harris died around 1897. Clifton inherited the 176 acre farm at Bent Creek in Appomattox. He sold the farm and In the 1900 census, the family was living at 615 Franklin Street, Lynchburg, Virginia. His wife, Virginia, died between 1900 and 1910 in Lynchburg. Clifton Coleman died May 27, 1917 at the home of his son, Joseph Harris Coleman, at 2000 Grace St, Lynchburg, Virginia and was buried May 28, 1917 at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia.
The children of Clifton Coleman and Virginia Clay were:
Joseph Harris Coleman (Eighth Generation)
John E. Coleman was born April 1883 at Bent Creek and died after 1920 in Richmond, Virginia. In the 1920 census, John and his family lived on Sycamore Street in Richmond. He and his wife, Odelle, had two sons: Howard V. Coleman born February 14, 1916 and died May 30, 1994 in Richmond, and William C. Coleman born November 13, 1918 and died August 13, 2000 in Walkerton, King and Queen County, Virginia.
Graves at the Presbyterian Cemetery
Clifton S. Coleman Virginia H. Clay
Joseph Harris Coleman
Joseph Harris Coleman was born March 18, 1873 at Bent Creek. He married Lula Monteze Page September 28, 1898. She was the daughter of Alfred Page and Elizabeth Hudnall. The Page family has been traced to immigrant, James Page Sr, an Anglican pastor, born 1740 possibly in Ireland. The Hudnall family has been traced to immigrant, John Hudnall, born April 28, 1616 on the Isle of Wight, England. Lula Monteze Page was born August 11, 1882 in Virginia. Joseph Harris Coleman died January 25, 1940 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Lula Monteze Page died February 6, 1948 in Lynchburg. Both are buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery on Grace Street in Lynchburg. Here is Joseph Harris Coleman’s obituary as published in the Lynchburg News and Daily Advance, January 28, 1940 (parts are not legible):
Funeral of Mr. Coleman
Funeral services for Joseph Harris Coleman were conducted yesterday afternoon at Trinity Methodist Church by Rev. George H. ~ assisted by Dr. Hawes P. Clarke. Burial was in the Presbyterian Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers were members of the Board of Stewards of Trinity Methodist Church and H.P. Clarke and Mr. H. L. Johnson. These served also as flowerbearers. Other flower bearers were Allen Page, Clarence Hudson, J. Burton Evans, C.C. Candler, C.H. ~, C. L. McKenna, C.R. ~, J.W. Dupriest, P.P. Tyree, Garland Page, W.W. Clay, O.L. ~, C.W. Crist, R.C. Burkholder, J.W. Craddock, T.E. Driskill, J. ~ Payne.
Active Pallbearers were A.P. Pettyjohn, J.W. Crist, T.N. Giles, William H. Smith, O.L. Martin, S.J. Driskoll, O.L. Martin, and W.C. Woody.
The children of Joseph Harris Coleman and Lula Page were:
Ruth Earle Coleman was born September 23, 1899 and died June 17, 1989. She married Rev. Joseph Benjamin Pettus who was born July 27, 1890 and died April 19, 1966. Both were buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia.
Mabel Clair “Mamie” Coleman was born November 7, 1901 and died September 6, 1984 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mamie was buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Virginia Page Coleman was born November 14, 1903 and married Lyle Coffey.
Joseph Harris Coleman, Jr was born February 11, 1909 and died December 16, 1961 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He married Josephine Still on May 28, 1938. She was born February 22, 1913 and died April 27, 1982. Both are buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Alfred Clifton Coleman
Walter Gower Coleman was born February 1, 1916 and died March 10, 1976 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He married Bernice Smith on August 31, 1940. She was born August 14, 1919 and died April 5, 1999 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Both are buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Mary Lulu Coleman was born December 25, 1917 in Lynchburg, Virginia. She married James Burton Evans on July 5, 1940.
Alfred Clifton Coleman
Alfred Clifton “Al” Coleman was born January 3, 1914 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He married Hazel Edith Vaughan on July 2, 1938. Hazel Vaughan was born November 27, 1918 in Landgraff, McDowell County, West Virginia. She is the daughter of John Percy Vaughan and Virginia McClone Brown. The Vaughan family has been traced to William Vaughan, Sr born 1734 in Hanover County, Virginia. The Brown family has been traced to Lindsey Brown born 1813 in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Al died October 29, 1965 in Lynchburg, Virginia and is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery on Grace Street in Lynchburg, Virginia. The children of Al Coleman and Hazel Vaughan are:
Elizabeth Vaughan “Betty” Coleman was born July 1, 1939 in Lynchburg, Virginia. She married James Lee “Jimmy” Mason. Jimmy was born September 3, 1937.
Alfred Clifton “Buzzy” Coleman, Jr was born April 7, 1942 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He married Martha Anne Thompson June 17, 1960. She was born October 24, 1942 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Virginia Clair “Ginnie” Coleman was born February 21, 1947 in Lynchburg, Virginia. She married Daniel K. Bryant. Virginia died September 23, 1976 in Lynchburg, Virginia and is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia.
Joseph Harris “Joe” Coleman III was born March 10, 1953 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Anne Inge July 23, 1971. She was born January 12, 1953 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Lynchburg, Virginia 1877
Here’s a portion of a map of Lynchburg dated 1877. The street we know as Grace Street, unnamed here, runs in front of the Presbyterian Cemetery in the lower left.
Ancestry.com, various data files
Cemetery readings at Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia
Chasin, Cheryl, correspondence
Coleman, Ronald D, correspondence
Death certificate of Clifton S. Coleman
Drinkard, Betty, correspondence
Gray’s New Map of Lynchburg, 1877
James, Tom, correspondence
Liberty Baptist Church at nesbeonline.com
Lynchburg News and Daily Advance, obituary
Marriage certificate of Clifton S. Coleman and Virginia H. Clay
Martin, Hazel Lee Coleman, correspondence
National Geographic, World Atlas, fifth edition, 1981, page 89
Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume One, pages 103 and 115
Parsons, Carol S., correspondence
Usgenweb.com, photo of the Abingdon Episcopal Church
Joyce Stevens Turel
1015 Hidden Bluff
Clermont, Florida 34711
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