Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ambrose Coffee - Mention In Boone by Cameron Judd

From the novel Boone by Cameron Judd:

"Meanwhile, Ambrose Coffee had just undergone an experience he would thereafter remember as a miracle. He had been lying atop a wall of the unroofed blockhouse, watching the negotiations, when the fight suddenly broke out. He was a fine target for hidden Indian marksmen, and came tumbling down suddenly into the blockhouse, his clothing shredded by bullets. Springing up, he looked about for the expected gushes of blood and found none. Not a single ball had struck him, every one of them merely cutting his clothes and breezing right past his skin."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ambrose Coffee - 1805 Land Dispute Deposition

From Fayette County Records book Volume 1, page 214. Courtesy of the Lexington Public Library. Click image to enlarge.

Text reads:

Deposition of AMBROSE COFFEE (taken on July 5, 1805, before JEREMIAH DAVIS and JAMES TURLEY at house of WILLIAM MEGOWAN in Montgomery County) "I first came to Boonesborough in February of 1777. In March of the same year I learned of Boone's Creek on the north side of the Kentucky river and it was called Boone's creek then."

The Mystery of Ailsey Coffee - Wife Of Ambrose Coffee, KY Pioneer

Try as I might, I have not had any luck finding any source records about the wife of my ancestor Ambrose Coffee. There is some information on various online family trees about her, but no way of knowing where the information about her actually came from - including the biggies! Her name, her birth year, her birth place, her death year... I'm not finding any source for any of those things. Talk about frustrating!

So, I decided to gather together all of this information here in one spot, along with a fairly desperate plea for help - please Internet, send someone who knows something concrete my way!! My email address is - I'm interested in anything that might lead to some record of her, or some mention of her in a family book or family bible - ANYTHING. Drop me a line! :)

Information found online about Ailsey Coffee - Wife of Ambrose Coffee, Boonesborough Settler & Kentucky Pioneer
(Updated 2-24-13 - as of now, no source records...)

Name: Ailsey or Ailseys - Maiden Name Unknown
(My guess is Ailsey is the correct name - it seems that it was passed down through the family, as Ailsey and also as Alcey. I think Ailseys is a misspelling that has been repeated - but of course, I could be wrong.)

Birth Year: between 1755 and 1759

Place of Birth: Russell County, VA - or Fayette County, KY - or Ireland

Death Year: 1824

Place of Death - Slate Creek, Montgomery County, KY

Marriage Year - about 1781 or 1782

Ambrose Coffee - Land Suit Depositions

From And The Battle Began Like Claps Of Thunder - The Siege of Boonesboro - 1778 As Told By The Pioneers (click image to enlarge)

Deposition of Ambrose Coffee in 1809, Madison County, KY Deed Book Letter I, pp.92ff. - Land Suit of Henry Banta

"I was born in the city of Dublin in Ireland and from the best accounts that I have received of my parents, I was between 12 and 13 years of age when I came to America."

Ambrose Coffee's deposition for Ben Harrison, Clark County, Kentucky Depositions, Kentucky State Archives Microfilm Reel #259295, p. 378

Deposeth: that in the year Eighty (1780) he was at this place in company with Col. Richard Callaway... "then I and Callaway returned from this place to Boonsborough and some time in the said year Eighty myself and Pembleton (Pemberton) Rollins came hunting in these woods, and happened to come by the spring and camped all night and Rollins asked me if I noad (knowed) who claimed this place. My answer to him was that I was informed by Colo Richard Callaway that it belonged to Ben Harrison. The place was very much taken with cain (cane)... in the morning we went to get our horses... and so went from this place to Boonsborough...

Ambrose Coffee - 1779 Land Claim

From Kentucky Land Office website: (click image to enlarge)


We do hereby certify that Henry Field assignee of Ambrose Coffer [Coffee] is entitled to Four hundred acres of land in the district of Kentucky on account of the sd [said] Coffee residing in the country ever since the year 1775 and improving the land in the year 1777 lying on the waters of Licking on the Road that leads from Boon[e]sborough to the Salt Springs and that the said Henry Field, assignee, is also entitled to the preemption of one thousand acres of land adjoining his said settlement. Given under our hands at Harodsburgh this 4th day of November 1779.

Willm Fleming - Stephen Trigg - Edmund Lyne

Fort Boonesborough and Old Fort Harrod - Sightseeing Some Kentucky History!

 Fort Boonesborough Illustration

My parents and I took a little two day history nerd trip to Kentucky, to see the Fort Boonesborough and Old Fort Harrod sites. It was a lot of fun, and SO helpful for me as far as my book goes, to actually see what I will be writing about. I imagine I will be visiting Boonesborough again before it is all said and done, in fact in the Spring they have a Women On The Frontier weekend that I would love to check out!

I took some pictures, but I wish I would have taken more - I got so caught up in looking at things that I didn't pull out my camera often enough! I did get some good ones though, and when I go back I will be sure to spend more time with my camera out...

Old Fort Harrod

Fort Boonesborough

Leander Coffee Family Photo

In a future post I will be writing about the murder of my 2x great grandfather, Leander Coffee, in 1894 in Greenup County, Kentucky. It's a crazy story, and I have a bit more research to do before I write it up. For now I have a photo to share - this came to me by way of Nancy Wright Bays and John Paul Bays, who I was lucky enough to meet in a great group on Facebook called Kentucky's Feuds. (If you have ancestors from Kentucky, you definitely want to join that group and have a look around - very interesting stuff there!)

This photo is of Leander Coffee's wife, Elizabeth Slater, and their children - I believe this was taken a few years after his death. My great grandfather is John Henry Coffee.

In the photo:
Elizabeth "Liby" Slater Coffee McAllister
(She married James McAllister after Leander died.)
Lilly Mae Coffee
John Henry Coffee
Charles W. Coffee
Thomas J. Coffee
Ida A. Coffee
James Ellis Coffee
Richard Dickerson Coffee