sdsmith on Family Tree Circles
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I'm Shannon De'Nee Norris Smith(female)Mother Karen Denise Norris, her mother Josephine Coffelt,father Leon Norris(died 4-4-94). My grandparent's, the Norris' raised me in Altoona,Alabama, I took my mother's maiden name, she was unmarried. But my father is Roland Johnson from Nectar,Ala. I have 2 sons, last name Baugh born 1997 from a previous marriage, and Smith born 2002 from my present marriage. I'm researching the Leo Coffelt(died around 1983) ancestry line. He was my great grandfather, father of Josephine Coffelt Norris, my Grandmother. Leo's wife was Francis Cleveland(died 1976). They last resided in Altoona,Ala. But Leo was from Marion County Tennessee, a descendant of the Bible(Biebel)family, and the Coffelts or Kauffelt's. Leo's children were Floyd(deceased),Josephine,Velma"Sis"(deceased),Mary Ruth,James"Buddy"(deceased), & Morris(deceased). There were 2 babies that died. I believe there names were G.Coffelt(male)and L.Coffelt(female),and they are buried in Orme Mtn Cemetery next to their grandfather John Cleveland who was the husband of Lydia Lou Alice Anderson Cleveland, and they are the parents of Leonard,Charles,Robert,Tennie,Mary and my ggrandmother Francis Angeline Cleveland. I visited Orme TN recently and it is so beautiful there and I just feel like I'm home even though I never lived there. I wished I knew where John and Lydia lived. Lydia is buried in Mt Carmel at Bridgeport,AL in unmarked grave, at least that's what I was told by my Grandmother Norris and there are no records for her there I can find and I even spoke with the cemetery caretaker. My other relatives in Orme were George and Alice Hannah Coffelt, my gggrandparents,David Coffelt and Susan Bible Coffelt, my ggggrandparents. I believe they are buried in the Dove Cemetery. Not far from them lived Susan's parents, Phillip Bible and Rebecca Naomi Speegle Bible in Comfort,TN which is also known as the Fiery Gizzard. Phillip and Rebecca are buried in the Bible Cemetery. So far from what I've researched, I've found mostly German ancestry. If you have any info, please let me know, thanks.
From what I know, my great grandparents Leo and Francis Coffelt originally resided in Orme,TN (Marion County), and Papa worked at the Battle Creek Coal and Coke Co. He was born in 1898. His parents were George and Alice Coffelt. Leo's mother died of an illness when he was age 1 or 2. His father remarried to Ida Gilliam, and they had 3 more children, George,Jewel,and Lewis. I heard that Ida was mean to Leo and he moved in w/his grandparents. But I found out that him moving in w/his grandparents wasn't true, but that it was his Aunt Martha Bible Anderson or "Mattie", wife of Jasper "James or Jape" Anderson, and they raised him along w/their other children and another child named William Pressley, and I'm not sure who he is right now. Leo was listed in the 1910 Marion County Census,District 4 as living w/the Anderson's at age 12. His father lived in Sherwood,TN, died and was buried there, I'm not sure which cemetery, but he is buried w/his wife Ida. I can't find any record of Leo's mother Alice's death or burial, not even sure of her maiden name. I heard it was Hannah, but I don't believe this is correct. But it could have been her middle name. I can't find any Hannah's in the census in Marion County at all. I did see a Mallisie Coffelt, and I wondered if this could be Alice.
Papa Coffelt moved to Altoona around 1925 or so, and he was the overseer of 3 coal mines in Altoona,Alabama,and was the bookkeeper, and owned a grocery store in town. He registered for the WWI draft in 1918 at age 20 and signed his name as Leo Elias Coffelt, and was said his nearest relative was his wife Francis Coffelt, and lived in Orme,TN, and also said he was slender build, medium height, and gray eyes, and brown hair.
This is a little story about my grandmother Josephine Coffelt Norris, who is the apple of my eye. I always call her my "jewel" because that's exactly what she is. I was raised by my grandmother as a baby. I lived w/her and my grandfather Leon Norris in Altoona,Alabama (Etowah County). She was born in Marion County Tennessee, in Orme, and her parents were Leo and Francis (Cleveland) Coffelt. She has 5 more siblings, Floyd,James "Buddy",Velma "Sis",Mary Ruth, and Morris Coffelt. Floyd,Buddy, and Velma are all deceased. PaPa Coffelt came to Altoona when Grandmother was a small child to work in the Coal mines, and he also owned a grocery store in town. My Granparents (the Norris's)were both wonderful people. Grandaddy's parents were William Zebedee "Bill" and Verna (Freeman) Norris, and he had 8 other siblings, Garland,Dean,Buddy,Billy,Lovee, Pauline,Shirley,and Brenda. They lived in Altoona but I believe they came from Blount County originally. Grandaddy worked at Republic Steel(the furnace department), in Gadsden, Alabama until he retired due to illness. He'd suffered a heat stroke, and that led to many more strokes, depression, then seizures, and eventually he was in a hospital bed, and was sick for many years, and died on April 4,1994. This was my grandmother's 2nd husband to die. Her first husband was Floyd Babe Mann, who died of diabetes at age 39 around 1955 or so, and left w/my grandmother 3 children, Glenda, Sandra, and Charles, ages 5 to 12, she remarried a couple years later to my grandaddy,Leon Norris,and they gave birth to my mom, Karen Norris. I had a happy life w/my grandmother....I say my grandmother only because I can't remember much life w/grandaddy since he was sick in bed most of the time. I remember him taking me to Mrs.Prince's Dairy Bar in Altoona in his aqua colored 4 door 57 chevy, and steering the wheel w/his leg and pretending it was driving itself. I also remember him filling up my yellow plastic kiddie pool w/giraffes on it, and getting in it w/me and he busted it!! I cried my heart out. I was probably age 3 at the time. The other memories I have of him are of him being sick, and Grandmother checking me out of school to go w/them to Gadsden to the Psychiatrist, Dr. Feist, and his other doctors. I always got car sick, and they would have to pull over for me. My kids now are the same way....I wish there were more happy times w/him. I miss him a lot. But Grandmother was the one who was more like my mother, and she made sure I had nice things, and took me to church, and only let me hang around w/good friends. She was kinda strict, but I did sneak around and party a bit w/my friends, but most teens do that. I slept w/her until I was 12 because I was afraid of the dark(and still am), but finally I made myself move across the hall in what she called the guest room, and claimed it as my own. I remember when sleeping w/her, that she would stand there in the dark next to her bed and close her eyes and pray, and raise her hands to the Lord, she would speak in tongues and cry sometimes. She was a good woman. She is getting very old, and year and a half ago she had a heart attack and open heart surgery, then her 3rd husband was diagnosed w/mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure. George Long died on Feb 29th (leap year), 2008. He was a story teller, and loved to talk. He was a knife maker, and loved to show them off, and each knife had a story w/it. He'd been in the navy many years ago, and has been all over the world. He took my grandmother traveling in their motor home out west, in the Tennessee mountains, North Carolina, and Florida, and gambling in Mississippi. She really enjoyed that. And now he's gone as well, and will be missed. Grandmother has really been thru a lot, taking care of and loosing her 3 husbands, and being a widow raising her 3 children, heart attack and open heart surgery but she is the strongest willed, and most stubborn person I know. She smiles and laughs a lot, and is just so sweet, and I love to visit her on Sundays after church, and she cooks me and my husband a wonderful home-cooked meal. She has given me a lot of great advice, and has done so much for me. I know there were times growing up that I took her forgranted and I wish I could go back. Lord I don't know what I'll do when that lady is gone to be w/Jesus. I just hope I can be there in heaven w/her someday....
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