Help with the Coffill Family Line

+4 votes


I have been working on the Coffill side of my family for about 5 months and hit about every dead end that I could imagine.  I am hoping that in asking, that I can find a few more avenues to continue my research.

My Coffill family line comes from my Paternal Grandmother who passed away in 1999, she and her oldest Son; who has also passed, were very much into Genealogy.  I do not have any of the research that they compiled since most of the work was lost when my Uncles basement flooded while I was very young. Their research was mostly passed down family records (which were lost in the flood) and hours of research at town halls and libraries.  My Great-Aunt; who is still living, has given me all the information that she has and has confirmed a few details of the family that helped make a few connections.

Here is the research that I have:

Thomas Coffill ( – The progenitor of my Coffill line; based on his Death Certificate ( was born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland approx. 1825.  It says his Parents were: Mixey Coffill (Previously Colough) and Peggy Carr.  It does include nationality of the parents as Ireland (I am inclined to believe that the family might be from England originally).  There are several accounts in records that Thomas is mentioned in, have him being born in Nova Scotia while others say Ireland.  I have not been able to find Thomas or his parents in any of the Irish records for Dundalk.  Thomas settled in Essex, Massachusetts.

There are travel documents that show a Thomas Coffill traveling with a Patrick Coffill from Canada, I am at this time unsure if this Thomas is the same Thomas as mine.  I am hesitant to include this source at this time.

Thomas’ son, James J. Coffill married Mary Augusta Alphen nee Younger; Mary had a son, Milton who married a Coffill girl; Mary E. Coffill (  I was under the assumption that this marriage was to a widow of one of the Coffill Children, until I discovered she was the daughter of a Michael Coffill of Newburyport, Massachusetts.  I was able to confirm that Mary E. Coffill was a cousin of the Coffill family from my Great-Aunt; she claims that Mary was a 3rd cousin.  Milton’s Children cannot confirm Mary’s relationship distance, but did say that there is another Coffill family of Cousin that lived in Maine. 

In researching Mary’s Father Michael Coffill ( I find that he was born in Bath, Maine.  He is the son of John Coffill ( of Ireland born about 1802. Who is the Child of Michael Coffill and Margaret Carr.  The finding of Peggy Carr and Margaret Carr both being the mother of a Coffill child makes me believe that Peggy and Margaret is the same person.  The issue here is John was born in 1802 while Thomas was born in 1828.

To Confirm that Thomas Coffill and Michael Coffill are related, Thomas was buried in the Family Plot in Newburyport, MA with Michael Coffill, father of Mary E. Coffill.

I also came across a Francis “Frank” Coffill ( who settled in Bath, Maine who was born about 1825 in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. 

My assumptions are:

-Thomas and Francis “Frank” are brothers.  John who could be a very older brother, or could be an Uncle (just the parents are confusing). 

-Thomas could have been raised by John’s Parents. 

-I assume that Patrick and Mixey are not the same person, but Michael and Mixey are.  The Colough name change is weird to only show up for Thomas.

-My Coffill family and the Coffill family descendents of William in Canada are not the same family.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated,


in Genealogy Help by Tim Burke G2G1 (1.7k points)
retagged by Tim Burke

1 Answer

+2 votes
I know this guy named John Cofield. Have you tried changing the spelling.

That could be the problem. A lot of families had their surnames changed by government agents and school teachers back in the day.

In early days teachers or tax collectors might be from a different country than a family was.

In my husbands family it was Tankersley but once his great- great- grandparents kids started school it was changed to Tanksley. The kids learned what the teacher taught them and since neither parent could spell or read apparently it just stuck.

There are both commonly used today but are still the same set of dogs. All cousins in other words.
by Gigi Tanksley G2G6 Mach 4 (45.7k points)

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