Coffin family: John and son, Samuel Coffin

(Coastal families/Coffin branch)

John Coffin and Deborah Austin

* John COFFIN, Lieutenant, was born on 13  Oct 1647 in Haverhill, Essex, MA; died on 5 Sep 1711 in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard; buried in Tower Hill Burying Ground, Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

John Coffin married Deborah AUSTIN in 1668 in Nantucket, MA. They had the following children: Hannah COFFIN, Tristram COFFIN II, Deborah COFFIN, Elizabeth COFFIN, Lydia COFFIN (b. 6 Jan 1669), Peter COFFIN (b. 5 Oct 1671), John COFFIN (b. 10 Feb 1673), Love COFFIN (b. 23 Apr 1676), Enoch COFFIN (b. 1678), ♥ Samuel “King Sam” COFFIN (b. 12 Dec 1680), Benjamin COFFIN (b. 28 Aug 1683).

BIRTH:
John was the 8th of 9 children in his family.

HOME:
In 1677, Tristram Coffin gave his son, John, an interest in Nantucket. While at Nantucket, John lived on his father’s lot. Housing lots of the original settlers were approximately 1000 feet on a side (roughly 25 acres), but often quite irregular shaped properties. Tristram’s lot was bordered on the north side by Capum Harbor, now a landlocked pond. After Tristram died, John moved to Martha’s Vinyard, where he lived the rest of his life.{D1}

His move from Nantucket to Edgartown, on Martha’s Vinyard, occurred ca. 1682-83.

DEATH:
John died 5 September 1711 at Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

BURIAL:
John Coffin was buried at Tower Hill Burying Ground. Directions: Take Katama Road south out of Edgartown. Stay on Katama Rd. at the first fork (Herring Creek Rd goes off to the right), and take the first sand road to the left (east toward Katama Bay) after the fork. Follow it for 0.2 miles and you will be at Tower Hill Cemetery.{D2}

.

OUR COFFIN FAMILY HISTORY
Compiled by Christie Ann (Hill) Russell
http://www.cartar.com/papers/coffinfam/coffinfam.htm

Tristram’s son, John, our second generation ancestor was born 30 October 1647 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He was the seventh of nine children born to Tristram and Dionis. John Coffin was the progenitor of most of the Martha’s Vineyard Coffins. He was about 13 years old when his family moved from the mainland to the town of Sherborn on Nantucket. In 1668, a young man of 21 years, he married at Nantucket, Deborah Austin, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Starbuck) Austin of Nantucket. On Nantucket John was a blacksmith and held a few minor offices. In Tristram’s will, he gave John “… his new dwelling house, with all other houses adjoining unto it etc” to be John’s property to be his immediately upon the decease of Tristram and wife, Dionis. We learn, however, that John removed to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, a year after his father died and two years before his mother died. That was in 1682 when John was 36 years old. Martha’s Vineyard was then a part of New York.

It is believed that Thomas Mayhew asked John to come to Martha’s Vineyard as there was a need for a blacksmith. Mayhew reportedly sold John 8 acres for $1.00 fronting on Edgartown Harbor and running back in a wide swath to Peases’ Point Way. This lot was purchased from Thomas Paine’s estate. Paine, Governor Thomas Mayhew’s stepson and son-in-law, was lost at sea in 1657, along with Thomas Mayhew, Jr., on a voyage to England.

John built his first home on that property in 1682, a one story structure 24′ X 32′ with a shed roof and faced the harbor. The original portion of the house is buried by much enlargement and modification. It was on this property that he had his blacksmith shop. The blacksmithing trade must have been very profitable for John Coffin became the owner of much real estate on Martha’s Vineyard. In the 1700’s, the house was owned by various craftsmen, tailors and coopers among them. Today the address is 55 South Water Street. Looking East from this property today, one sees the Yacht Club, Town Dock, Chappy Ferry, and Chappaquiddick Island.

1.  John and Deborah’s second house on Martha’s Vineyard was built in 1703. Today the address for this house is 22 North Water Street, Edgartown. The house was occupied by John’s descendants for many generations until it was taken over by the North Water Street Corporation in 1946 to preserve it. It, like the Desire Coffin house, is now maintained by the Preservation Society and is occupied by antique and decorator’s shops.

Among the many who have lived in the house was the famed Dr. Daniel Fisher. He married Grace C. Coffin, John’s great-great-granddaughter in 1829 soon after coming to the Island. Her dowry, it is said, was her weight in silver. We don’t know how much she weighed, but no doubt enough to help Dr. Fisher begin his many business enterprises. Dr Fisher built his own sidewalk from the front door to the corner of Main Street so he wouldn’t get muddy shoes. The house sat much closer to the street, then a mere cart path, and when it was widened, the house was moved back and it appears that the rear addition was turned 90 degrees and reattached. There are eight other Coffin homes on the Walking Tour of Martha’s  Vineyard which were built and owned by John’s descendants. [The greatly renovated John Coffin & decsendants house at 22 North Water Street, Edgartown, Martha’s Vinyard. The original house is encased within the much expanded home seen here.]

2.  John and Deborah had eleven children of whom nine grew to be adults. Four sons and three daughters were mentioned in his will dated 1 Sept 1711. In his will probated 17 April 1712, he leaves sheep on Nantucket, now in possession of son Peter, to wife Deborah. (It is wondered if son Peter lived in the house deeded to John by his father?) He also mentions sons, Samuel, Enoch and Tristram and daughters Hannah Gardner, Deborah Macy and Lydia Thaxter. Daughters Love and Elizabeth may have died young or as spinsters prior to 1711. John Jr. and Benjamin probably died young.

After John died 5 September 1711 at Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Deborah returned to Nantucket where she died 4 February 1718. The will of Deborah Coffin (wife of John ) dated 13 March 1717/18 probated 13 May 1718 names son Tristram who received land in New Hampshire and was executor; and daughters Hannah Gardner and Deborah Macy.  See http://history.vineyard.net/cemetery/th/th29.htm
for a picture of John’s tombstone and genealogy of The Coffin Family of Martha’s Vineyard at http://history.vineyard.net/coffin.htm#john8.

[Internet image Map of Martha’s Vinyard above, from the Massachusetts State Atlas of 1891]

John and Deborah were the parents of our third generation ancestor, Samuel, “King Sam”. In 1706, Samuel Coffin, and his wife Miriam (Gardner) joined the Society of Friends. Two years later his parents (John and Deborah) joined. His sister Deborah joined in 1711 and Samuel’s brother Tristram and wife Mary (Bunker) joined the Friends in 1715. This was in the very early days of the Quaker movement on Nantucket, for it was in 1700 that Tristram’s daughter, Mary (Coffin) Starbuck, sister to John, had become a Quaker.

[Manuscript deed of sale (November 14, 1685) of Nashowamoiasuk, now Neck Point of the Edgartown Great Pond, by “Mr. Harrie, Indian of Nantucket” to John Coffin for six pounds.]

DOCUMENTS:
1.  Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2, Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.
2.  Epitaph and Icon : A Field Guide to the Old Burying Grounds of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket by Diana Hume George and Malcolm A. Nelson.
3.  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.
4.   Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2, Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the  Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.

* Deborah AUSTIN, died on 4 Feb 1724 in Nantucket, MA; buried in Nantucket, MA.

BIRTH:
Deborah was the 4th of 5 children born to Joseph Austin and Sarah Starbuck.

MARRIAGE:
Deborah produced 11 children during her long marriage to John Coffin.
.

Samuel Coffin and Miriam Gardner

* Samuel “King Sam” COFFIN was born on 12 Dec 1680 in Nantucket, MA; died on 22 Feb 1764 in Nantucket, MA, at age 83 years.{D1}

Samuel Coffin married Miriam GARDNER in 1705 in Nantucket, MA. They had the following children: Parnell COFFIN, Sarah COFFIN, Libni COFFIN, John COFFIN (b. 1708), Deborah COFFIN (b. 1708), David COFFIN (b. 1718), ♥ William COFFIN (b. 4 Nov 1720), Miriam COFFIN (b. 1723), Mary COFFIN (b. 1724), Priscilla COFFIN (b. 1730).

NAME:
Samuel was referred to as “King Sam”.

BIRTH:
He was the 6th of 11 children in his family.

EVENTS:
According to one source, Samuel was “known as ‘King Sam’ because he was short and feisty, and was compared to a crowing Bantam rooster trying to be king of the yard. He was a Quaker.”
[Contrubuted by Elaine Coffin Rebori]

John and Deborah were the parents of our third generation ancestor, Samuel, “King Sam”. In 1706, Samuel Coffin, and his wife Miriam (Gardner) joined the Society of Friends. Two years later his parents (John and Deborah) joined. His sister Deborah joined in 1711 and Samuel’s brother Tristram and wife Mary (Bunker) joined the Friends in 1715. This was in the very early days of the Quaker movement on Nantucket, for it was in 1700 that Tristram’s daughter, Mary (Coffin) Starbuck, sister to John, had become a Quaker.

DEATH:
The Friends (Quaker) records give 1763 as the date of his death.

Will of Samuel Coffin, probated March, 1764. Estate given to children John, William, David, Deborah Starbuck, Miriam Pinkham, Mary Barnard, Priscilla Coleman and the heirs of a deceased daughter, Sarah Pinkham.

DOCUMENTS:
1.   Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 266.

* Miriam GARDNER
Miriam Gardner was born on 14 JUL 1685  at Nantucket, Massachusetts. Died: 17 SEP 1750 at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts 

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3 Comments

Filed under My family in history, __3. Coastal families

3 responses to “Coffin family: John and son, Samuel Coffin

  1. Dorothy J. Smith

    Why is that Benjamin and Rebecca Coffin’s son Elisha’s (b 1740 in Nantucket, Ma d 1785 in Savage Harbor St. John’s Island Prince Edward Island are)ggreat who are born in PEI are not listed in any of Ma. Coffin book’s????
    I go Elisha s/o of Benjamin b 1718
    Elisha’s son Andrew b 1774, his son Benjamin b 1806, Thomas D. b 1842, and my guncle(by marriage) William H. Coffin b July 1871 lived in Walpole, Ma. m Josephine A. Cobb (who has a line back to Eunice Myrick) 1897.
    William and Josephine both died in Walpole, Ma. Their daughter Alice May was my aunt she b 1913 her son David is my 1st cousin.
    I don’t like the idea that this side of the Coffin’s are being neglected!!

    ,

    • Hi Dorothy,
      I wouldn’t like it either, its our work that sometimes can remedy such over sights. I’m sorry, but I can’t answer why these members are not in the books you mentioned. The genealogy I traced, has come from the references listed in my post. I certainly wish you luck in your search.
      Distant Cousin, Larry

  2. Dot Smith

    Thank you and now another question that is driving me crazy !!!! I am stumped to make out my chart as we can’t find the parents of George James Coffin b 1761 in Boston d 1852 in Royalston, Ma. from my David to him and then from Peter and Tristam up to James 1640 then nothing.Dot
    D

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