Sigh! My Coffman’s Not in Rockingham Co. VA

[pullquote align=”left” color=”#3A5795″ size=”16″]Knowing where your ancestors aren’t saves time in research. None of the Coffman’s below are part of my ancestry. Sigh![/pullquote]

Coffman’s in Rockingham Wills

“The records of Rockingham County, Va., were partly burned in 1864. The remnants of wills that have been recorded prior to 1864 have been collected from the burnt records and recopied in Will Book A. … The date after the name of the testator is … the date when the will was written.”  ~ p. 391, Source 1. (See end for citation.)

Coffman, Christian; June 20, 1848
My wife Catharine. My daughter Elizabeth Lincoln. My other daughter. My daughter Elizabeth’s children. My grandson Christian C. Bear, under 21. Samuel Bare exr. Witness, . . . Bowman. Proved . . . by . . . Bowman and Joel Funkhouser. Bond $15,000.   ~ p. 399, Source 1.

Coffman, Samuel; Feb. 1857
My 3 children . . . . son Benjamin, my daughter Polly and her heirs . . . . and my daughter Katharine and husband. . . . rother [stet] and Polly wife of Will . . . Wikle . . . .  Equally divided between Rebecca Thomas wife of . . . . and my daughter Katharine Miller, wife of John M . . . . Provided said Sarah . . . . Hoover gets married or have any issue before the abo . . . . time the said legacy is to be paid to her husband . . . .  My friend Abraham Knopp exr. Witnesses, Jacob Hoover, Wm. Knopp, Wm. Bull.  Proved Jan. 1860. Joseph Miller and Jacob.  Miller sureties.  Bond $7000.   ~ p. 399, Source 1.

Other Coffman’s mentioned within wills:

  • DeWitt Coffman listed as a exr. in Charles T. Barns will of Sept. 23, 1851. “My friend DeWitt Coffman, exr.” ~ p. 393, Source 1.
  • Andrew Coffman mentioned in Barbara Conrod will of Nov. 16, 1847. “Note I hold against Andrew Coffman.” ~ p. 400, Source 1.
  • Samuel Coffman mentioned as a witness in Jacob Flory will of Feb. 14, 1842. ~ p. 405, Source 1.
  • Joseph Coffman mentioned as a witness in Abraham Grove will of March 17, 1855. ~ p. 408, Source 1.
  • William E. Coffman mentioned twice in Frederick Hummel will of March 12, 1850. “I want Wm. E. Coffman to settle my estate. Proved July 1860 by John Bowman and William E. Coffman.” ~ p. 413, Source 1.
  • Augustine Coffman mentioned in Jeremiah Lamb of 1842. “Augustine Coffman to have use of my . . . . as long as my wife Nancy lives for taking care of my wife Nancy. … At the death of my wife my Plantation to be divided by … and that Augustine Coffman have all the land on . . . . . . , on which the said Coffman lives.  . . . . between the said Augustine Coffman, Annie Lee, and Jacob Shaver in equal porti . . . .” ~ p. 416-417, Source 1.
  • Joseph Coffman mentioned in Abraham Lincoln will of May 14, 1851. “The Vanpelt tract, purchased by me from Joseph Coffman, John Strayer, and others.” ~ p. 417, Source 1.
  • Abegal Coffman and Joseph Coffman mentioned in Jacob Lincoln will of Feb. 7, 1822. “My daughter Abegal Coffman.” And “My three sons-in-law, John Strayer, Joseph Coffman, Joseph Chrisman, exrs.” ~ p. 418, Source 1.
  • DeWitt Coffman listed as exr. and friend in Henry Moyers will of Aug. 11, _____. ~ p. 423, Source 1.
  • DeWitt Coffman mentioned in Benj. H. Rolston will of July 13, _____. “Henry Berry and DeWitt Coffman to choose a third person and make division [of my tract of land]. ~ p. 427, Source 1.
  • Nancy Coffman, Reuben Coffman and J. G. Coffman are all mentioned in Jacob Showalter will of April 10, 1847. “All of my children, except my 3 daughters Elizabeth Bright, Nancy Coffman, and Polly Parrot, the wifes of Amos Bright, Reuben Coffman, and Branson Parrot.” J. G. Coffman is listed as one of three witnesses. ~ p. 431, Source 1.
  • Joseph Coffman listed as a witness for Henry Snell will of Feb. 13, 1860. ~ p. 433, Source 1.
  • Joseph Coffman listed as a witness for Abraham Stoner will of ______ 6, 1850. ~ p. 434, Source 1.
  • You will often see a E. Coffman as clerk or witness. This is Erasmus Coffman and I have never found evidence of any connection to “my” Coffman’s. I do not list his name in this list for each entry found as they are numerous.

Coffman mentioned in letters:

A Letter from Clifton Forge, 1924 dated Clifton Forge, Va., Nov. 11, 1925 to Dr. Jno. W. Wayland, Harrisonburg, Va. (p. 173)

I went to school with Jake Yost, Winfield Liggett, Henry Strayer, Dewitt [stet] Coffman, L. G. Henneberger. The last two were in the Navy. Also Elverton Shands, Herbert Coffman, Jno. Taliaferro, and many others. Some became prominent, and some did not. I think you will find our family listed in the Funk Family History, as my mother was nearly related to the Funks on her mother’s side. She was a Coffman from New Hope, Augusta County, & related to the Harrisonburg Coffmans. Evidently the name was originally Kauffman.

The above is one paragraph near the end of the letter signed by Chas. M. Kirkle. ~ p. 175, Source 1.

The following extract [is] from the Rockingham Register of January 25, 1861 … ~ p. 236

The flag was presented by Dr. Samuel Coffman (father of Vice Admiral DeWitt Coffman, U. S. N.) in behalf of the ladies, and accepted by Capt. Winfield. The date must have been about February 1861… ! p. 237, Source 1.

The following extract is from a section of the book titled The Killing of Lieutenant Meigs, 1864 that was written by P. C. Kaylor in about 1925.

To administer a gentle rebuke to the neighborhood, Sheridan ordered that the houses and barns that did not have a Federal guard and the town of Dayton should be burned. … [follows a list of people & structures destroyed], and Joseph Coffman (barn). ~ p. 189.

In order to reach a ford in Cook’s Creek just below Dayton, on the Joseph Coffman farm, he had to pass by the residence. Grazing around the yard were a number of Federal cavalry horses, loose, but saddled and bridled. The noise made by these horses enabled him to get by with the horse without being detected … By this time it was three ‘clock. The night was dark and drizzly. …
Daylight found him near Ottobine, at the camp of the late Hiram Coffman, refugeeing with some of his livestock. He called Sandy, asked him where all the fires were towards Dayton (Coffman’s home) and Harrisonburg. On being told that his property was not burned he seemed much pleased. He feared from the blazes seen during the night that his home had been burned.
Leaving Coffman’s camp, Sandy went on to Sangerville, distant 15 or 18 miles from his home, by sunrise. ~ p. 190.

Tradition has it that the Yankees went to the Joseph Coffman place, just on the outskirts of Dayton, south, and set the barn on fire; then went to the residence to burn it. There they came across a Masonic apron belonging to Mr. Coffman; and so they did not burn the house. The Coffman place was headquarters of Gen. G. A. Custer. … [What follows is a restatement of the prior burning.] ~ p. 196.

Mrs. [Joseph] Coffman was Abigail Lincoln, daughter of Lt. Jacob Lincoln; the said Jacob being a brother to Abraham Lincoln, the President’s grandfather. ~ p. 196.


Jacob Kafman             Rebecca Earback          October 4, 1823          ~ p. 33.

Daniel Beam                Mary Caufman  married by Rev. John Brown between July 1800 & December 31, 1823 . ~ pp. 36-37.

Note: The Triplett surname in any spelling form was not mentioned in this book.

Wayland, John Walter, and David A. Heatwole. Virginia Valley Records; Genealogical and Historical Materials of Rockingham County, Virginia, and Related Regions (with Map). Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1965.