Born October 9, 1747, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Benjamin Coffey, one of 9 children born to John and Jane (Graves) Coffey was raised on a sprawling farm filled with horses, cows, chickens and lots of hard work. The Coffey family grew tobacco and they were very prosperous.
In 1762 at the age of 15, Benjamin met Mary “Polly” Hayes aged 20 years old. They ran away to North Carolina and got married and they settled in the area which is now Burkes County, NC.
Benjamin served twice in the fight for our Countries Independence from England. He first volunteered on April 1, 1776, under the Commands of Col. Thomas Whitson and Col. Joseph McDowell and served five months. He was then sent to the North Carolina Frontier to search for the Cherokee Indians that had attacked Fort Crider on the Lower Creek. During the Revolutionary War, most of the Cherokee Indians joined forces with the British against the Patriots.
The second time he served was after he moved his family to Wilkes County, NC. On April 1, 1780, he joined the service of the United States as a volunteer under the Command of Captain John Barton, regiment commanded by Col. Benjamin Cleveland. He marched to several diverse places where there were embedded Tories, sometimes in Wilkes County and sometimes in Burke County. He was then dispatched to Kings Mountain where some Tories and British were held up under the Command of Major Ferguson. They marched through Lincoln County North Carolina under the Command of Col. Cleveland and Col. Benjamin Hearne and there they were joined with other soldiers under the command of Cols. Campbell, Shelby, Sevier and Williams. Their large battle took place and Major Ferguson was killed and his men defeated. Col. Williams from the American side was also killed. He was then sent to guard the prisoners at Moravian Town in North Carolina. During the march Benjamin Coffey was struck by severe pain in his feet and ankles and was furloughed home for the remainder of the war. Several of his kinfolk were also in the battle like his brother-in-laws, Robert Whiteside and Mastin Durham, his nephews Reuben, Ambrose and Ely Coffey and his Colonel, Benjamin Cleveland, was his cousin.
Benjamin Coffey and his family lived in the part of Wilkes County that is now Caldwell County, North Carolina. He sold a one hundred acre tract of land on December 15, 1808, for $1,200.00 in Wilkes County. That tract of land was conveyed to him on October 6, 1785, for his service to his Country. Benjamin also received a grant from the state of North Carolina dated December 24, 1789, for land on the South Fork of Yadkin River called Miller’s Creek. There were several land transactions for Benjamin in Wilkes County.
Benjamin Coffey as an overseer of the road up-keep from Buffalo Creek to the Burke County line beginning January 3, 1789 and records have him resigning as road overseer on May 2, 1793. He also served as a juror in the Wilkes County Courts.
For forty years Benjamin and Polly Coffey resided in Wilkes County, NC and raised their 8 children. They were a well-respected family in this community. They grew tobacco and hemp and raised stud horses. Sometime before 1830 they moved to Hawkins County, Tennessee along with some of their grown children and their families. Benjamin was 80 years old at this time. It was here in Tennessee in1833 that he applied for and received a Military pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. He was given $100 in back payments and was awarded $20 per year going forward. Benjamin died on January 4, 1834, at the age of 84.
Benjamin Coffey is my 4th Great Grandfather.