Mary Ann <I>Nelson</I> Coffey

Photo added by John W. Coffey

Mary Ann Nelson Coffey

  • Birth 23 Feb 1843 Patterson, Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 6 Jan 1929 Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA
  • Burial Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 5369619

Mary Ann Nelson was the fifth of ten children born to John Nelson and and his wife Elizabeth Pen(d)ley. On both sides of her family she descended from early settlers in the upper Yadkin River of Caldwell Co. She grew up on her father's farm above Patterson. On June 20, 1867, she married Elijah Coffey (1838-1891), a Confederate veteran and the son of William and Margaret Robbins Coffey of Buffalo Cove. The couple had five children, all surviving to adulthood: Harriet "Hattie" Elizabeth (b. 1868), John William (b. 1869), Lee Thomas (b. 1871), George Nelson (b. 1875), and Mary Etta (b. 1880). Mary Ann saw to it that her children were educated, that they were trained in a strong work ethic, and that their lives were grounded in the austere Protestantism of the mountains. The many achievements of her descendants owe much to the values and ambitions Mary Ann Coffey gave to her children.

After the death of her husband Elijah in 1891, Mary Ann Nelson Coffey remained on the family farm in Happy Valley with her younger children. In 1905 she sold the property and bought a house in Lenoir with her youngest child Mary, a school teacher. The house in Lenoir (no longer extant) stood on the corner or Ashe Ave. and Boundary St. Upon moving to Lenoir, Mary A. Nelson Coffey joined the North Lenoir Advent Christian Church on N. Main St.



Mrs. Mary Ann Coffey died at her home here Sunday at 12:45 o'clock following an illness of about two weeks. She was first taken sick with "flu" which caused her death. She was in her 86th year. Funeral services were held this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home on West Boundary St., Rev. S.E. Thurlow and Rev. R.L. Isbell conducting same. Interment was at Harper's Chapel, Patterson, ground in Yadkin Valley. The city schools closed at noon today out of courtesy to Miss Mary Coffey, a valued teacher in them.

The pallbearers were nephews: J.L. Nelson, Jr., A.S. and J.B. Nelson, Tom Moore, Carlisle Sagle and Dudley Nelson.

Mrs. Coffey, before marriage, was Miss Mary Ann Nelson, a daughter of John Nelson and Elizabeth Nelson, and a brother of our townsman, J.L. Nelson. She was born February 23, 1843, at the old Nelson home just above Patterson. In 1867 she was married to Elijah Coffey, and to them five children were born, all of whom are living. After their marriage they lived for many years in the Valley. On October 6, 1891, Mr. Coffey passed away, and then Mrs. Coffey came to Lenoir and made her home with her daughter, Miss Mary Coffey in 1905. For a number of years Mrs. Coffey has been in poor health, but it was only about two weeks ago that her condition became serious, resulting in death Sunday afternoon.

Early in life Mrs. Coffey joined the Baptist church at Patterson, but later connected herself with the adventist church, of which church she was a member at death. Mrs. Coffey was a woman of christian character, and was held in the highest esteem by her relatives and friends.

Deceased is survived by three sons and two daughters, John Coffey, Raleigh; George Coffey, Worcester, Ohio; Lee Coffey, Minco, Okla.; Mrs. J.A. Stewart, Enid, Okla., and Miss Mary Coffey, Lenoir. Also two sisters, Mrs. J.B. Moore, Elizabethton, Tenn., Mrs. Jane E. Gragg, Blowing Rock and one brother, J.L. Nelson, Lenoir.

With the exception of Mrs. Stewart, of Enid, Okla., all of the children were present when death came and attended the funeral services.

[Lenoir News-Topic (Lenoir, NC), January 7, 1929, 1,3.]

Family Members






  • Maintained by: John W. Coffey
  • Originally Created by: Armantia
  • Added: 17 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5369619
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Ann Nelson Coffey (23 Feb 1843–6 Jan 1929), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5369619, citing Harpers Chapel Cemetery, Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by John W. Coffey (contributor 47365586) .