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Descendants of William Wilshire Coffin

Shared by David E. Coffin


William Wilshire Coffin (b. 1820 d.1879) came to Annapolis, IN from Guilford County, NC in 1830, with his father Jethro, uncles William G. and Thomas (half-brother of  Jethro and William G.). Thomas mother was Mary Carr, Jethro and William G.'s  mother was Mary Macy.


Their father was Samuel (b. 1749)  son of

                             William (b. 1720, who m. Priscilla Paddock, moved to NC from Marthas   

                                           Vineyard in 1773, d. 1803)  son of

                            Samuel (b. 1680,  m. Miriam Gardner, d. 1764)  son of

                            John      (b. 1647,  m. Deborah Austin, d. 1711)  son of

                            Tristram (b.1609,  m. Dionis Stevens, migrated to MA from Devonshire in 1642,

                                           d.1681 on Nantucket Island)


William G. and Thomas, along with Thomas Woody operated a foundry near Coke Oven Hollow, and were involved with a pottery shop there which was later operated by Jethro's son Robert Addison Coffin. Jethro, who was a blacksmith in Annapolis, was assisted by his son Wm Wilshire. William G. later moved to Eugene (near Cayuga) and operated flatboats down the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. He ended his days in Kansas, where he had headed an Indian Mission. Thomas became involved in the first cannery in Bloomingdale. His sister Priscilla married Wm. Hobbs, and their son Barnabas at one time was head of the Friends Academy at Bloomingdale. Thomas son Robert farmed in Minnesota and a daughter lived there also. A cousin, Addison, also from NC but living at Amo, IN taught briefly at the Bloomingdale Friends Academy and the New Garden Seminary in Guilford County, NC. He traveled the world as a Quaker Missionary and his autobiography " Life and Travels" was published in 1897 by  William G. Hubbard & Co. of Cleveland, Ohio and copyrighted by The Girls Aid Committee of North Carolina Yearly Friends Meeting, 1897. Another cousin, Levi, is well known as the "President" of the Underground Railroad.



Wm. Wilshire's wife Elizabeth Ann Seymour (b. 1828 Stockbridge MA)  came to Annapolis in 1849, 

with her father George and four younger brothers. The family had lived in Ohio for a few years. George

(d. 1857)  operated a mercantile business in Annapolis, and was assited by his sons. Youngest son

Sidney served in the Civil War and lived his later years in San Francisco (until the earthquake), and

San Jose, California, where he is buried.


Wm. Wilshire Coffin and Elizabeth Seymour were married in 1853, and resided in Annapolis where he farmed and blacksmithed. Their home had a concealed staircase behind the fireplace and was utilized as

a sub-station on the Underground Railroad,  the main station being on the Alfred Hadley farm. Alfred's

daughter Emily was married to Addison Coffin mentioned above. 


W.W. and Elizabeth Coffin were blessed with five children:


Sarah Harriet "Hattie" (b. 1854  d. 1885)

Elizabeth Ann "Libbie" (b. 1856  d. 1874) ( both are buried at the Coffin Cemetery)

Emma S. (b. 1859  d. 1933) m. Cyrus Martin (no children)

Frank Seymour (b. 1861 d. 1943) bachelor,once Postmaster at Bloomingdale

John Morton (b. 1864 d. 1941) m. Minnie Carty (buried in Coffin Cemetery with infant

                                                     son Berkley), m. Grace Belle Penney


The Annapolis-Coffin Cemetery was established on their farm. They are both buried there.


John Morton Coffin and Grace Penney lived in a home near his father's place where he

farmed and also was  involved in the construction of county bridges and roads. They were

blessed with six children:


Ruth Elizabeth (b. 1896 d. 1957) m. Frank P. "Cappy" Anderson (no children)

Donald Wilshire "Shux" (b. 1898 d. 1984) m. Helen Purnell, son Donald

Kenneth Boyd "Kate" (b. 1900 d. 1992) m. Pauline Nickell, dau Sue

John Ralph "Jack" (b. 1903 d. 1997) m. Lucille Bowen, daus Mary, Donna and Naomi

Sibyl Naomi "Sib" (b. 1905 d. 1995) m. Ted Van Voorhees, son Paul

Eugene Arthur "Gene" (b. 1912 d. 2002) m. Ruth M. Davies, sons Edward and David (me)

                                                                  They first lived in his father's house, where I was born.


David E. Coffin

2 Humphreys Village

Merkel, Texas 79536-4250

(325) 928-3562