Hon. James Coffin

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James Coffin, Hon.

Also Known As: "James Cofer", "James Coffyn"
Birthplace: Plymouth, Brixton, Devonshire, England
Death: Died in Edgartown, Martha's Vinyard, Massachusetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Tristram Coffin, Sr. and Dionis Coffin
Husband of Mary Coffin
Father of Ruth Gardner; James Coffin, Jr.; Mary Gardner; Abigail Gardner; Lydia Draper and 9 others
Brother of Peter Coffin, Sr.; Tristram Coffin, II; Elizabeth Greenleaf; Deborah Coffin; John Coffin and 3 others

Occupation: Probate Judge
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hon. James Coffin


'James Coffin

was the first settler to settle on Nantucket after the purchase.

He later became a leading figure in Nantucket politics.

He served for many years as the Chief Magistrate on the island.

James and Mary had 14 children, 12 of which survived to adulthood.

James Coffyn (of Tristram/Dionis Stevens)

was born 1 or 12 August 1640, Brixton, Devonshre

Settled in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire in 1662 and died July 28, 1720.

m. Mary Severance December 03, 1663, in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts daughter of John Severance and Abigail Severance. She was born August 05,1645, and died 1724.


James Coffin, Jr., born May 9th 1664, married 1st Love Gardner and 2nd Ruth Gardner March 19th 1692 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died Aug 2nd 1741 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Mary Coffin, born April 18, 1665, married 1) Richard Pinkham, and 2) James Gardner, mentioned in father’s will, died 1st Feb 1741 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Abigail Coffin, born in 1666, married Nathaniel Gardner, died 15th March 1709 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, her children mentioned in father’s will.

Ruth Coffin, b. 1668 married Joseph Gardner, mentioned in father’s will, died 28th May 1748 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Experience Coffin, b. 1670 died young.

Nathaniel Coffin, born March 1671, married Damaris Gayer 17th Aug 1692 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 29th Aug 1721 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

John Coffin, born March 1672, married Hope Gardner in 1692 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 1st July 1747 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Dinah Coffin, born April 1674, married Nathaniel Starbuck, Jr. 20 Nov 1690 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 1st Aug 1750 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Elisabeth Coffin, born Aug 9th or 19th, 1675, married 1) Jonathan Bunker and 2) Thomas Clark 30th 11 mo (Jan) 1723/4 in Nantucket Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 30th Mar 1769 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Deborah Coffin, born July 1676, married George Bunker Esq. (son of William Bunker and Mary Macy) 10th Aug 1695 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 8th Oct. 1767 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Ebenezer Coffin, born 30 Mar 1678 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, married Eleanor Barnard 12 Dec 1700 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 17th Oct 1730 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Joseph Coffin, born 4 Feb 1679 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, married Bethia Macy, died 14th or 15th July 1719 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, his children mentioned in father’s will.

Benjamin Coffin, born 28 Aug 1683 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, died at sea (lost between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard).

Jonathan Coffin, born 28th June 1692 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, married Hepsibeth Harker 24th Nov 1711 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, mentioned in father’s will, died 5th Feb 1773 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, called “Old Shaggin”.



Barney http://www.nantuckethistoricalassociation.net/bgr/BGR-o/index.htm

Coffin Family, online http://www.rootsweb.com/~hft/dad/coffin/.

Ross Coffin, My Father's Shoes. http://www.islandregister.com/rcoffin/rcoffini.html

The Fourth of Nine children, he was a member of the Massachusets General Court. Came with parents to Massachusets in 1642. He lived in Nantucket and became the first representative of Nantucket to the Geat and General Court under William and Mary, in 1691. He held the honor for twenty years. See Life of Tristram Coffin by Allen Coffin and The CoffinSaga by Will Gardner.
Birth: Aug. 12, 1640 Brixton Devon, England Death: Jul. 28, 1720 Nantucket County Massachusetts, USA

Family links:

 Tristram Coffin (1609 - 1681)
 Dionis Stevens Coffin (1610 - 1684)

 Mary Severance Coffin (1645 - 1720)*

 Mary Coffin Gardner (1665 - 1741)*
 Abigail Coffin Gardner (1666 - 1709)*

 Peter Coffin (1630 - 1715)*
 Tristram Coffin (1631 - 1703)*
 Elizabeth Coffin Greenleaf (1634 - 1678)*
 James Coffin (1640 - 1720)
 Mary Coffin Starbuck (1645 - 1717)*
 John Coffin (1647 - 1711)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Unknown

Created by: Deb Record added: Nov 05, 2014 Find A Grave Memorial# 138328231



'James Coffin (1640 - 1720)

Hon. James Coffin

Born 12 Aug 1640 in Brixton, Devon, England

Son of Tristram Coffin Sr. and Dionis (Stevens) Coffin

Brother of

Peter Coffin, Tristram Coffin Jr., Elizabeth (Coffin) Greenleaf,

Stephen Coffin, Deborah Coffin, Mary (Coffin) Starbuck, John Coffin and Stephen S Coffin

Husband of Abigail (Severance) Coffin — married [date unknown] [location unknown]

Husband of Mary (Severance) Coffin — married 3 Dec 1663 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts


of Experience Coffin, James Coffin Jr., Mary Coffin, Abigail (Coffin) Gardner,

Nathaniel Coffin, John Coffin, Dinah (Coffin) Starbuck, Elizabeth (Coffin) Bunker,

Deborah (Coffin) Bunker, Ebenezer Coffin, Joseph Coffin, Benjamin Coffin,

John Coffin, Ruth Coffin and Jonathan Coffin

Died 28 Jul 1720 in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Profile managers: Doug Coldwell [send private message],

Glenn York [send private message], and Michael Dunn [send private message]

Coffin-157 created 14 Apr 2010 | Last modified 11 Nov 2016

Categories: Descendants of Tristram Coffin-221 | Nantucket Founders and Descendants.


Hon. James Coffin, the fourth child of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens, was born in England on August 12, 1640 and died July 28, 1720,[1] aged 80 years, in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He married Mary Severence, a daughter of John and Abigail Severance, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, on December 3, 1663.[2][3] "He came to Nantucket with the first settlers, but subsequently removed to Dover, N. H., where he resided in 1668, being a member of the church there in 1671, and the same year, May 31, he was there made freeman. Soon after this date, however, he returned to Nantucket and resided there until his death. He filled several important public offices at Nantucket, among them Judge of the Probate Court. The first records of the Probate Office are under his administration. He was the father of fourteen children, all of whom, except two, grew to maturity and married. From him have descended, perhaps, the most remarkable representatives of the Coffin family, as doubtless the most numerous and generally scattered. This branch furnished the families that remained loyal to Great Britain in the American Revolution, and General John Coffin, as well as his brother, Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, rendered valiant service against the Colonies, for which they received in time their rewards, two sons of Gen. John now holding Admiral's commissions in the Royal Navy, one aged 88 and the other 84 years, both hale and hearty' when last heard from. The most distinguished woman which America has produced, Lucretia Mott, was also descended from this line, her father, Thomas Coffin, being the 17th child of Benjamin, and not the youngest, either. "[4]

The children of James are:

Mary, b. in Nantucket, April 18, 1665 ;

married first, Richard Pinkham, of Portsmouth, N. H.,

who came from the Isle of Wight, and died in Nantucket in 1718 ;

second, James, son of Richard and Sarah Gardner; d. in Nantucket, Feb. 1, 1741.

James, Jr., b. probably in Dover, N. H.; m., first, Love,

dau. of Richard and Sarah Gardner; second, Ruth, dau. of John and Priscilla Gardner;

d. in Nantucket, Oct. 2, 1741.

Nathaniel, b. in Dover, 1671; m. Aug. 17, 1692, Damaris, dau. of Wm. Gayer; d. Aug. 29, 1721.

John, b. in Nantucket; m. Hope Gardner, dau. of Richard; d. there July 1, 1747.

Dinah, b. in Nantucket ; m. Nov. 20, 1690, Nathaniel Starbuck, Jr.; d. there Aug. 1, 1750.

Deborah, b. in Nantucket; m. Oct. 10, 1695, George Bunker, son of Wm.; d. there Oct. 8, 1767.

Ebenezer b. in Nantucket, March 30, 1678; m. Dec. 12, 1700, Eleanor,

dau. of Nathaniel Barnard; died there Oct. 17, 1730.

Joseph, b. in Nantucket, Feb. 4, 1680; m. Bethia, dau. of John Macy; d. there July 14, 1719.

Elizabeth, b. in Nantucket; m., first, Jonathan, son of Wm. and Mary Bunker; second, Thomas Clark; d. there, March 30, 1769.

Benjamin, b. in Nantucket, Aug. 28, 1683; lost overboard between Nantucket and Martha's "Vineyard.

Ruth, b. in Nantucket; m. Joseph, son of Richard and Mary Gardner; d. there, May 28, 1748.

Abigail, b. in Nantucket; m. Nathaniel, son of Richard and Sarah Gardner; d. there March 15, 1709,

and was the first person buried in Gardner's burial ground.

Experience, b. in Nantucket and died young.

Jonathan, b. in Nantucket, August 28, 1692 ; m. Hephzibah, dau. of Ebenezer Harker; d. there Feb. 5, 1773. In the early 1700's, Hon. James Coffin was the Chief Magistrate on the Island of Nantucket. His eldest son James, must have in some part helped his father manage his land holdings and businesses. It's known that James Sr. had trading sloops going back and forth from the mainland. These sloops would have needed crews of up to ten men, depending on the size. Wool and whale oil would most likely have been the exports.


↑ Vital Records of Nantucket Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Volume V - Deaths, (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1928) pg. 160 ↑ NEHGR 8:162 ↑ Vital Records of Nantucket Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Volume III - Marriages (A-G), (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1927) pg. 274 ↑ Allen Coffin, The Coffin Family, (Hussey and Robinson, Nantucket, 1881) pgs. 55-56. See Also

Barney Genealogical Record



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Hon. James Coffin's Timeline

September 11, 1639
Brixton, Devonshire, England
September 11, 1639
Brixton, Devonshire, England
August 12, 1640
Plymouth, Brixton, Devonshire, England
August 12, 1640
Plymouth, Brixton Parrish, Devonshire, England
Age 21
Nantucket Island
May 9, 1664
Age 23
Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire
April 18, 1665
Age 24
Nantucket Island, Province of New York