The Cofer/Copher Families- Part 1 (Wescott Family)

Well, I did it.  I said I’d concentrate on one family line for a while and I did.  I am working on the Cofer/Copher lines.  Miriam Baylor Cofer was Ruby Chapman Wescott’s mother, my great-great grandmother.    She went by “Minnie”.

Minnie married Ruby’s father, Isaac Burns Chapman, at the age of 20 in 1887.   She was the second child born out of eight children in her family.  Unfortunately, her older brother died at the age of seven.  The Cofer family is very prolific, mainly in Virginia.

When Minnie was 3 years old, she lived in house #533 in Norfolk, Va.  She lived with sixteen other people, including her four siblings, her grandmother, and six aunts and uncles.   The house they lived in was valued at $5400 which is worth $94,475.51 in today’s money.  In 1879, she was 11 and lived with her four living siblings at 61 Queen Street in Norfolk which is now Portsmouth, Virginia.  This address is now an empty lot across from the Cottage Place Methodist Church on Jamestown Avenue.

In 1887 she married Isaac Burns Chapman and they had seven children.  She died in 1916 at the age of 49 of cancer of the uterus.  She is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

According to Ruby, Miriam was an organist at Grace St. Baptist Church in Richmond. Ruby stated that her parents had good alto voices.  He played strings in a band as a young man. Ruby said both her mama and papa had good voices and sang together. As children they grew up with an organ and sang together each night before bedtime.


The back of the photo below says it was taken in about 1885 and she’s about 18.  She looks older than that to me though.

Miriam Cofer age 18 according to photo

Minnie is the woman in the black dress in both photos below.  The photos say about 1916 which is the year she died.  The other woman is “Mrs. Halyburton” another big name in Virginia.  Unfortunately, the photos do not say where these were taken.  Where they lived was Bond Avenue and Granville Avenue which is the Brambleton area of Virginia today.  From what I can find through Google, they lived where the railroad tracks are now in that area.

Miriam and Mrs. Halyburton in 1916Miriam Cofer and Mrs. Halyburton in 1916

Miriam Baylor Cofer Death Certificate.jpg






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