1308. Documentation for Tristram Coffin
(11 Mar 1604/5 to 02 Oct 1681)
father of Mary Coffin
(20 Feb 1644/5 to 13 Nov 1717)
and father of Stephen Coffin
(11 May 1652 to 14 November 1734)


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Tristram Coffin born 11 March 1604/05, in Brixton, Devonshire England.(1) He died 02 October 1681, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(2) He was the son of Peter Coffin and Joanna Thember.(3) He married Dionis Stevens in 1628/30, in Devonshire England.(4) She was christened 04 March 1609/10 in Brixton Parish, Devonshire, England.(5) She died between 1681/82 and 06 November 1684 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(6) She was a daughter of Robert Stevens and Dionis (______).(7)

Children of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens:

i.
Peter Coffin was born July 18, 1631.(8) He died about March 21, 1714/15.(9) He married Abigail Starbuck before 1657.(10) She was born about 1634.(11)

ii.
Tristram Coffin, Jr. was born in 1632 in England.(12) He died 03 February 1702/03.(13) He married Judith Greenleaf on 02 March 2, 1652/53.(14) She was born 02 September 1625.(15) She died 15 December 1705.(16)

iii.
Elizabeth Coffin was born about 1631 in Brixton, England.(17) She died on 19 November 1678.(18) She married Stephen Greenleaf on 13 November 1651, in Newbury.(19) He was born about 1628 in England.(20) He died 31 October 1690, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.(21)

iv.
John Coffin was born in 1637 in Devonshire, England.(22) He died 30 October 1642, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(23)

v.
James Coffin was born 12 August 1640, in Devonshire, England.(24) He died 28 July 1720, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(25) He married Mary Severance on 03 December 1663, in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(26) She was born 05 August 1645 in Salisbury, Massachusetts.(27) She died 28 July 1720 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(28)

vi.
Deborah Coffin was born in 1642 and died in 1642.(29)

vii.
Mary Coffin was born 20th, 2 mo. 1645 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.(30) She died 13 November 1717, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(31) She married Nathaniel Starbuck, Sr. in 1662 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(32) Nathaniel Starbuck was born in 1636.(32A) He died 6th, 6 mo. 1719.(32B)

viii.
John Coffin was born 30 October 1647, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.(33) He died 05 September 1711, in Edgartown, Massachusetts.(34) He married Deborah Austin in February 1667/68 in Essex County, Massachusetts.(35) She was born in 1651 in Edgartown, Dukes County, Massachusetts.(36) She died between 04 February 1717/18, and 04 April 1718, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(37)

ix.
Stephen Coffin was born 11 July 1652, in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(38) He died 14 November 1734 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.(39) He married Mary Bunker on 08 October 1668, on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.(40) Mary (Bunker) Coffin died in 1724.(41)

July 2 1659, Tristram Coffin and eight others received the deed to Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew for 30 pounds, " and also 2 beaver hats, one for myself, and one for my wife." as Mayhew declares in his deed. The latter retained a share in the island
.(42) Indian deed for Nantucket on 29 June 1671.(43)

Tristram Coffyn (as he signed his name), founder of the Coffin family line in America, was born at Brixton, Devonshire County, England in 1605. He married Dionis Stevens, also of Brixton, in 1642 and emigrated to America with his wife, five small children , his widowed mother, and two unmarried sisters. He lived alternately in Salisbury, Haverhill and Newbury, in the colony of Massachusetts, until 1660 when he came to Nantucket, part of which he, along with eight other men, had purchased from Thomas Mayhew, Sr. then under the jurisdiction of New York, and made arrangements for the purchase of the Island by a group of men whom he organized at Salisbury. Later that year, he brought his family to the Island and remained there until his death in 1681.

Tristram Coffyn was the leading spirit among the Islanders at the commencement of the settlement, and the interests which he and his sons and sons-in-law represented gave him power to control to a great degree the enterprises of the Island. Among the sons of Tristram was the Hon. James Coffin (1640-1720) who served as Judge of the Probate Court. Mary (Coffin) Starbuck (1645- 1717), daughter of Tristram, participated in town meetings and was consulted on all matters of public importance. In 1701, she became a member of the Society of Friends and held the first Quaker meeting on Nantucket in her home.

Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839), Baronet, was the fifth generation from Tristram. Perhaps his most beneficial and philanthropic act was the founding of the Coffin School at Nantucket. Many of the Nantucket Coffins made whaling voyages; others became involved in local political events and land transactions. Several emigrated to North Carolina, New York and California, drawn by dreams of rich farm lands or gold.

The Coffin family in England is traced back to the time of William the Conqueror, when a Norman Knight, Sir Richard Coffyn, accompanied William in his invasion of England. The knight doubtless had his reward, for "Sir Richard Coffyn of Alwington in Devonshire," became an hereditary name for centuries---from the reign of Henry I. to that of Edward VI. Richard Coffyn was Sheriff of Denvonshire in the time of Henry VIII. Curious agreements in relation to boundaries between Sir Richar Coffyn and the Abbot of Tavistock are still preserved. In one of them the Abbot grants the privilege of his church to the Coffyn family.

The first of the family in America was Tristram Coffyn, as he still spelled the name, son of Peter and Joanne (Thimber) Coffyn of Brixham Parish, in the town of Plymouth, in Devonshire. They seem to have been people of considerable substance. Tristram married Dionis Stevens, and ater his father's death he came to New England, bringing his mother with him. He was said to have been the first person who used a plow in Haverhill. He was a Royalist, and appears to have come to America to escape the Parliamentary party, of which Cromwell soon after this date became the ruling spirit. And several of Tristram's descendants were also Royalists in the time of the American Revolution.

Children (
Coffin):

i. Peter, born 19 May 1666 in England

ii. Tristram Jr., born 1632 in England

iii. Elizabeth, born about 1631 in England

iv. John, born in 1637 in England

v. James, born 12 August 1640 in England

vi. Deborah, born in 1642 and died in 1642

vii. Mary, born 20 February 1644 in Haverhill, Massachusetts

viii. John, born 30 October 1647 in Haverhill, Massachusetts

ix. Stephen, born 11 July 1652 in Newbury, Massachusetts

ORIGINAL SOURCE MATERIAL to support the RELATIONSHIP between
TRISTRAM COFFIN and his daughter MARY COFFIN
TRISTRAM COFFIN and his son STEPHEN COFFIN

1) Starbuck, Alexander, The History of Nantucket, County, Island, and Town, including Genealogies of First Settlers, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, page 698 and 699.

2) Nantucket Vital Records to 1850, Births, page 333, Coffin, Stephen, h. Mary (d. George Bunker and Jane), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 11th, 5 mo. 1652 [see Newbury Vital Records], P.R. 38.

3) NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 185, Stephen, 14th, 9 mo. 1734, C.R. 4. [h. Mary (Bunker), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 14th, 11 mo. 1734. P.R. 38. 14th, 9 mo., P.R. 63.]

4) NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 148, Bunker, Mary, d. George and Jane Godfrey, and Stephen Coffin, s. Tristram 1st and Dionis (Stevens), _____, 1669. Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.

5) NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 314, Coffin, Stephen, s. Tristram 1st and Dionis (Stevens), and Mary Bunker, d. George and Jane Godfrey, _____, 1669. Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.

6) NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 318, Coffin, Tristram, s. Peter of Brixton, Co. Devon, Eng., and Joan Thumber [sic], and Dionis Stevens, d. Robert of Brixton, Co. Devon, Eng., _____, 1630, in England, Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.

7) Macy, Obed, The History of Nantucket, Boston, MA:  Hilliard Gray, 1835.

8) Folger, William C., “A Record of Births, Deaths, and Marriages on Nantucket, Beginning in 1662”, New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, Apr 1853.

9) NVR to 1850, Births, page 302, Coffin, Mary, w. Nathaniel Starbuck (s. Edward and Catharine), d. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 20th, 2 mo. 1645 [see Haverhill Vital Records], P.R. 38.

10) NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 185, Coffin, Stephen, 14th, 9 mo. 1734, C.R. 4. [h. Mary (Bunker), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 14th, 11 mo. 1734, P.R. 38. 14th, 9 mo., P.R. 63.].

11) NVR to 1850, Births, page 507, Starbuck, Nathaniel, h. Mary (d. Tristram Coffin 1st and Dionis), s. Edward and Catharine Reynolds, _____, 1636 [? In Dover, N.H.], P.R. 38.

REFERENCES

1. Starbuck, Alexander, The History of Nantucket, County, Island, and Town including Genealogies of First Settlers. Charles E. Tuttle Company: Rutland, Vermont; Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vols. 2-4, Baltimore, MD: Genelogical Publishing Co., 1990 (originally published Boston, 1860-1862); Philbrick, Nathaniel, Away Off Shore, Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890, Mill Hill Press: Nantucket, Massachusetts; Database of the Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record, Nantucket Historical Association (created from records collected by Eliza Starbuck Barney (1802-1889)); Macy, Obed, The History of Nantucket, Boston, MA:  Hilliard Gray, 1835; Folger, William C., “A Record of Births, Deaths, and Marriages on Nantucket, Beginning in 1662”, New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 7, Apr 1853. See also, Greenleaf, James Edward, Genalogy of the Greenleaf Family, (Boston: Frank Wood, 1896.), 78-79; Walter G. Davis, Sybil Noyes, and Charles T. Libby, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, 189; Dr. Charles Banks, The History of Martha's Vinyard, (1925), Volume III Family Genealogies: pp. 96-103, The Coffin Family.

2. Nantucket, Mass., Vital Records to 1850, 5 vols. Boston, 1925-28, 5:188, (Hereafter Nantucket VR), Coffin, Trustram, Mr., Oct. 2, 1681. [Tristram, "came to New England in 1642 with five children" (Peter, Tristram, Elizabeth, James, John) [see also Haverhill and Newbury Vital Records], "of Haverhill, Mass., Nov. 15, 1642; removed to Newbury abt. 1648; thence to Salisbury, in 1664 or 1665; removed to Nantucket in 1660," h. Dionia (d. Robert Stevens of Briston), s. Peter [see birth record] and Joan Thumber [sic], 2d, 10 mo. [dup. Oct. 2] 1681, P.R. 38. 2d, 10 mo., P.R. 63.] (P.R. 63 = private record, from a copy of a manuscript kept by Hon. Isaac Coffin, Judge of Probate, in the possession of the Nantucket Atheneum.)

3. Ibid.

4.
NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 318, Coffin, Tristram, s. Peter of Brixton, Co. Devon, Eng., and Joan Thumber [sic], and Dionis Stevens, d. Robert of Brixton, Co. Devon, Eng., _____, 1630, in England, Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.
5. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Starbuck, History of Nantucket, page 698.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. No source found.

12. Starbuck, History of Nantucket, page 698; Greenleaf, James Edward, Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family, (Boston: Frank Wood, 1896.), 78-79.

13. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family.

17. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21.
Ibid.

22.
Starbuck, History of Nantucket, page 699.

23.
Ibid; NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 162, Coffin, John, s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 30th, 10 mo. 1642, “young,” in Haverhill, P.R. 38.

24.
Ibid.

25.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 160, Coffin, James, h. Mary (d. John Severance and Abigail of Salisbury), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 28th, 7 mo. 1720, P.R. 38. [Judge of Probate, 1st, 6 mo., P.R. 63.].

26. NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 274, Coffin, James, s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), and Mary Severance, d. John and Abigail of Salisbury, 3d, 12 mo. 1663, in Salisbury, Intention not recorded, P.R. 38; Allen, Orrin Peer, Descendents of Edward Allen of Nantucket, Mass, (Fiske & Co., Massachusetts: 1905), 103-104, James Coffin, b. in England Aug. 12, 1640; m. Dec. 3, 1663, Mary dau. of John and Elizabeth (Kimball) Severence of Salisbury, Mass. He d. at Nantucket July 28, 1720. He spent the last fifty years of his life at Nantucket, where he was judge of the Probate Court. He had fourteen children, all of whom, except two, married and had families. From him descended some of the most noted members of the Coffin family. Among these may be mentioned Admiral, (Sir Isaac8 Coffin, Nathaniel7, William6, Nathaniel5, James4, Tristram3, Peter2, Nicholas1). "He was b. in Boston, Mass., May 16, 1759. Entering the English Navy in 1773, he was commissioned a Lieutenant 1778, Captain 1781; Rear Admiral of the White Squadron, 1804; Baronet and also granted a coat of arms the same year; Vice Admiral 1808, and in 1817 Admiral. He d. at Cheltenham, England, in 1839 without issue." In 1826 he visited Nantucket, when he gave œ1000 for founding a high school there. Afterwards he added to the sum, which now amounts to $50,000.

27. NVR to 1850, Births, page 464, Severance, Mary, w. James Coffin (s. Tristram and Dionis), d. John and Abigail of Salisbury, 5th, 8 mo. 1645 [see Salisbury Vital Records], P.R. 38.

28.
No source found.

29.
NVR to 1850, Births, page 256, Coffin, Deborah, d. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 15th, 11 mo. 1642 [see Haverhill Vital Records], P.R. 38; NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 150, Coffin, Deborah, d. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 8th, 12 mo. 1642, in Haverhill, P.R. 38.

30.
NVR to 1850, Births, page 302, Coffin, Mary, w. Nathaniel Starbuck (s. Edward and Catharine), d. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 20th, 2 mo. 1645 [see Haverhill Vital Records], P.R. 38.

31.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 545, Starbuck, Mary, 13th, 9 mo. 1717, in 74th y. [w. Nathaniel (s. Edward and Catharine), d. Tristram Coffin and Dionis (Stevens), P.R. 38. W. Nathaniel, a. 72, P.R. 63.].

32.
No source found.

32A. NVR to 1850, Births, page 507, Starbuck, Nathaniel, h. Mary (d. Tristram Coffin 1st and Dionis), s. Edward and Catharine Reynolds, _____, 1636 [? In Dover, N.H.], P.R. 38.

32B.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 547, Starbuck, Nath[anie]ll, 6th, 6 mo. 1719, in 85th y. [Nathaniel, h. Mary (Coffin), s. Edward and Catharine Reynolds, P.R. 38. S. Edward, 6th, 8 mo. P.R. 63.].

33.
NVR to 1850, Births, page 287, Coffin, John, h. Deborah (d. Joseph Austin and Sarah), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 30th, 10 mo. 1647 [see Haverhill Virtal Records], P.R. 38.

34.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 162, Coffin, John, h. Deborah (Austin), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 5th, 9 mo. 1711, [see Edgartown Vital Records] P.R. 38.

35.
NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 41, Austin, Deborah, d. Joseph and Sarah (Starbuck), and John Coffin, s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), _____, 1668. Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.

36.
No source found.

37.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 150, Coffin, Deborah, w. John, 4th, 2 mo. 1718. [d. Joseph Austin of Hampton and Dover, P.R. 38.].

38.
NVR to 1850, Births, page 333, Coffin, Stephen, h. Mary (d. George Bunker and Jane), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 11th, 5 mo. 1652 [see Newbury Vital Records], P.R. 38.

39.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 185, Coffin, Stephen, 14th, 9 mo. 1734, C.R. 4. [h. Mary (Bunker), s. Tristram and Dionis (Stevens), 14th, 11 mo. 1734, P.R. 38. 14th, 9 mo., P.R. 63.].

40.
NVR to 1850, Marriages, page 314, Coffin, Stephen, s. Tristram 1st and Dionis (Stevens), and Mary Bunker, d. George and Jane Godfrey, _____, 1669. Intention not recorded. P.R. 38.

41.
NVR to 1850, Deaths, page 170, Coffin, Mary, w. Stephen (s. Tristram 1st), d. George Bunker and Jane Godfrey, _____, 1724, P.R. 38.

42.
Philbrick, Away Off Shore, page 24.

43. Macy, Macy Genealogy, page 52.