Scope of Project
The Starbuck and Coffin families were a group of whalers operating out of Nantucket, Massachusetts from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Some members of the family gained wider exposure due to their discovery of various islands in the Pacific Ocean.
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- Events: Sinking of the Essex, 1820
- Activities: Whaling
- Religions: Quaker
- Political Movements: Abolitionism
- Places: Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Timelines: Colonial America (1620-1789)
- Topics: Cultural History of the United States
- Series: Notables
- For more about resourcing and a listing of general genealogical resources, see Resources
- Nantucket Historical Association
- Bill Putman's Starbuck Genealogy PDF
- Philbrick, Nathaniel. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. New York: Penguin, 2001. Print. ISBN 0-14-100182-8. google books Amazon find in a library
- Starbuck Genealogy on Rootsweb
- Web site directory concerning Coffin family history
- Coffin family tree from 1610
- Coffin family tree from 1280
- Coffin: a 1910 history
- Starbuck / Reynolds lines
- Coffin lines
- American Offshore Whaling Voyages: A Database
- Whalemen's Shipping List and Merchants' Transcript 1843-1914
- Ship registers of New Bedford, Massachusetts compiled by the Survey of Federal Archives 1940
About Nantucket Island and the Whaling Industry
Also see the Nantucket Island project.
The towns of Long Island are believed to have been the first to establish a Whaling|whale fishery on the shores of New England sometime around 1650. Nantucket joined in on the trade in 1690 when they sent for one Ichabod Padduck to instruct them in the methods of whaling. Starbuck (1878), p.17. The south side of the island was divided into three and a half mile sections, each one with a mast erected to look for the spouts of right whales. Each section had a temporary hut for the five men assigned to that area, with a sixth man standing watch at the mast. Once a whale was sighted, whale boats were rowed from the shore, and if the whale was successfully harpooned and lanced to death, it was towed ashore, Flensing|flensed (that is, its blubber was cut off), and the blubber boiled in cauldrons known as "trypots." Well into the 18th century, even when Nantucket sent out sailing vessels to fish for whales offshore, the whalers would still come to the shore to boil the blubber.
In 1715 Nantucket had six sloops engaged in the whale fishery, Starbuck (1878), p.20. and by 1730 it had twenty-five vessels of 38 to 50 tons employed in the trade.Starbuck (1878), p.21-22. Each vessel employed twelve to thirteen men, half of them being Native Americans in the United States|Native Americans. At times the whole crew, with the exception of the captain, might be natives. Scammon (1874), p.204. They had two whaleboats, one held in reserve should the other be damaged by an angry whale.
By 1732 the first Yankee whalers had reached the Davis Strait fishery, between Greenland and Baffin Island. Starbuck (1878), p.168. The fishery slowly began to expand, with whalers visiting the West Africa|west coast of Africa in 1763, the Azores in 1765, the coast of Brazil in 1773, and the Falklands in 1774.
The island of Nantucket's beginnings in western history can possibly be traced to its conjectured sighting by Norsemen in the 11th century. In 1602 Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of Suffolk from Falmouth, Cornwall, England sailed his bark Concord past the bluffs of Siasconset.
The island's original inhabitants, the Wampanoag Native Americans in the United States|Indians, lived undisturbed until 1641 when the island was deeded by the English (the authorities in control of all land from the coast of Maine to New York) to Thomas Mayhew and his son, merchants of Watertown and Martha's Vineyard. Nantucket was part of Dukes County, New York|Dukes County, New York until 1691, when it was transferred to the newly formed Province of Massachusetts Bay and split off to form Nantucket County. The entire area of the New York county had been purchased by Thomas Mayhew (governor)|Thomas Mayhew Sr. of Watertown, Massachusetts|Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1641, buying out competing land claims. The earliest English settlement in the area began on neighboring island Martha's Vineyard, named after Bartholomew's daughter Martha who died on board, en route.
As Europeans began to settle Cape Cod, the island became a place of refuge for regional Indians, as Nantucket was not yet settled by Europeans. The growing population of Native Americans welcomed seasonal groups of Indians who traveled to the island to fish and later harvest whales that washed up on shore.
- Tristram Coffin first Coffin in the US.
- Sir Richard Coffyn, King Henry III grants freewarren in Coffyn and his heirs forever Charter 28, August 1254
- Sir Richard Coffyn, High Sheriff of Devon, and Knight.
- Sir William Coffin member of Henry VIII of England's court, Master of the Horse, High Sheriff of Derbyshire
- Sir Isaac Campbell Coffin Lt. Gen, KCSI, First Anglo-Burmese War and the Indian Mutiny
- Sir Thomas Coffin, Baronet, Commissary General in the British Army
- Sir Isaac Coffin, Admiral 1st Baronet fought on British side in American Civil War
- General John Coffin, fought on British side in American Civil War, father of:
- Levi Coffin, Quaker, "President of the Underground Railroad"
- Lucretia Coffin Mott, American Quaker, abolitionist, social reformer, and proponent of women's rights.
- William Coffin, Owner of the "Bunch of Grapes Tavern" in Boston
- Martha Coffin Wright, American feminist, abolitionist, and signatory of the Declaration of Sentiments
- Robert Peter Tristram Coffin, Pulitzer Prize for poetry
- Tristram Chalkley Coffin, TV star, The original "Rocketman"
- Charles Albert Coffin, Founder, 1st President, Chairman of General Electric Corp
- Phebe Ann Hanaford (Coffin), Quaker, Preacher, Suffragist
- Rev Henry Sloane Coffin, influential preacher and author
- Rev William Sloane Coffin, Jr., civil rights and antiwar campaigner
- Charles Carleton Coffin, American journalist, Civil War correspondent, author and politician.
- William Sloane Coffin, Sr., President of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Executive W. & J. Sloane Company.
- Joshua "The Historian" Coffin, Esq., Author, teacher, abolitionist, one of 12 founders of the first anti-slavery society in New England
- Owen Vincent Coffin, Connecticut Governor (1895-1897)
- Howard E Coffin of Detroit Motors, Oldsmobile, Founder Hudson Motor Car Company, Inventor of the "Self Starting Engine," Founder FAA, Chairman of United Airlines, President - WWII Committee of Industrial Preparedness, President's Council of Defense, Founder of "The Cloister" at St Simons Island, GA, Liberty Ship, 'SS Howard E Coffin'
- Marian Cruger Coffin: Pioneering Landscape Architect (1876-1951)
- Dr. Lewis Augustus Coffin: Chief Surgeon, Manhattan Ear, Nose Throat Hospital, NYC for 30 years. President - American Laryngological Association, Chairman - New York Academy of Medicine, Inventor of numerous surgical instruments and procedures
- Lewis Augustus Coffin, Jr: Founding Partner, Polhemus & Coffin, AIA 1919-1954 Largely instrumental in the popularity of French Revivalist architecture of the 1920s-1930s in America; Designed numerous properties for the Guggenheim family and many other notable "Gilded Age" leaders
- Edmund "Tad" Sloane Coffin Equestrian; Two Gold medals Pan American Games in Mexico in 1975 and in Montreal 1976 Two Olympic Gold medals Equestrian;Tad Coffin Performance Saddles
- David Coffin, Folk Musician [http://www.davidcoffin.com/]
- Coffin, Charles Edward (1841-1912), iron magnate, owner "The Charles Edward Coffin Co" Boston, MA., producer of nails, railroad ties, spikes, wheels and cannon balls during the Civil War. Owner Pembroke Iron Company, Pembroke ME., Nashua Iron Company, Muirkirk mills; House of Representatives from Maryland.
- Zebulon Erastus Coffin, inventor of the modern Fire Hydrant (1868), part-owner of "Boston Machine Mfg. Co." of Boston MA. Later sole owner of "Boston Valve Co."
- William Haskell Coffin, Artist, Illustrator
- Frank T Coffin, Aviation pioneer, brother of William Haskell Coffin
- Addison Coffin Quaker, Pioneer, Teacher, Abolitionist, Traveler and Explorer, Author, ran "Immigrant trains" to the west
- Two brothers, Lemuel and John Coffin, both members of George Washington's 'Commander in Chief' Guard unit
- Albert Peyton Coffin, Rear Admiral, Navy Cross, Hero at Guadalcanal, USS Enterprise Commander of 'TBF Avenger' torpedo plane squadron that sank Japanese Battleship Hiei at Guadalcanal. Navy Cross for 'extraordinary heroism' in combat.Later; Rear Admiral of Carrier Air Group 19N San Diego
- Peleg Coffin Founder New England Marine Insurance Company, United States House of Representatives in the 3rd United States Congress
- Howard Aldridge Coffin (June 11, 1877-February 28, 1956) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.
- Elizabeth Rawson (Coffin) Mormon Pioneer.
- Thomas Aston Coffin, of "Coffin Point Plantation, SC"
- Nathanial "The Cashier" Coffin, Receiver-General of HM Customs of Boston at the time of the Boston Tea Party.
- William Coffin and his brother Nathaniel Coffin, Jr were banished from the colonies prior to the Revolution, after they took part in the cutting down the "Liberty Tree"
- John Coffin Hero in the defense of Quebec against Montogomery/Arnolds attack on Jan 1st 1776
- Frances Holmes Coffin, Admiral, British Navy
- Nathaniel Coffin, AG Upper Canada War 1812
- Nathaniel and Nathan Coffin, brothers, patriots of the Revolution
- William Sloane Coffin Director of W. & J. Sloane
- Robert "The Boston Bard" Stevenson Coffin, Poet, drank himself to death
- David Coffin, Whaling Captain circumnavigated the globe twice
- Andrew Gardner Coffin, Founder of The Coffin-Redington Drug Company, founded in 1849, was the first and oldest pharmaceutical company in the west, by 1870, it was larger than all similar firms combined in California.
- Tristram (“Tris”) Potter Coffin, Folklorist and leading scholar of ballad texts in the 20th century
For more information
- Levi Coffin
- Coffin, Levi. Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground Railroad: Being a Brief History of the Labors of a Lifetime in Behalf of the Slave, with the Stories of Numerous Fugitives, Who Gained Their Freedom Through His Instrumentality, and Many Other Incidents. Cincinnati: R. Clarke & Co, 1880. Print. *find in a library
- available online: Levi Coffin
The Geni Master Profile
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Make sure the name fields of the Master Profiles include first name, middle name, last name, maiden name if known, otherwise blank, suffix for Sr., Jr., etc. In the display name field only add titles such as Gov. or Dr. preceding.
FN Reuben MN (blank) LN Coffin MN (blank) Display name is Captain Reuben Coffin
The United States did not exist until 1789 and the United Kingdom was formed in 1707. Please be careful about using autocomplete. It is better to use the "place" field and type out the place name. Use place names such as England and Massachusetts and spell out the country name with historical accuracy.
Colonial America: Nantucket, Massachusetts After 1789: Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
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Earlham College > Libraries >Friends Collection & College Archives > Manuscripts > C
- Includes collections for:
- Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin Collection. 1732-1916. FMS 1.
- Charles H. Coffin Collection. 1881-1930. FMS 30.
- Elijah Coffin Papers. 1820-1911. FMS 49.
- Gordon R. Coffin Collection. 1942-1946. FMS 105.
- Levi Coffin Collection. 1825- . FMS 54
- William H. Coffin Papers. 1833-1925. FMS 20.
Appleton, William S. “Gatherings toward a genealogy of the Coffin family” (1896)[http://www.archive.org/details/gatheringstoward00appl]
Appleton, William S. “Early wills illustrating the ancestry of Harriot Coffin, with genealogical and biographical notes” (1893) [http://www.archive.org/stream/earlywillsillust00appl#page/n7/mode/2up]
Amory, Rgomas, “The Life of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin” [http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeadmiralsiris00amor#page/n5/mode/2up]
Coffin, Addison, “The Life and Travels of Addison Coffin” [http://www.archive.org/stream/lifetravelsofaddis00coff#page/n7/mode/2up]
Coffin, Allen “The Coffin family : the life of Tristram Coffyn, of Nantucket, Mass., founder of the family line in America; together with reminiscences and anecdotes of some of his numerous descendants, and some historical information concerning the ancient families named Coffyn” (1881) [http://www.archive.org/stream/coffinfamilylife00coff#page/n5/mode/2up]
Coffin, Charles A, “Executive profile, GE Corp” [http://www.ge.com/company/history/bios/charles_coffin.html]
Coffin, Charles Carleton “One hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Boscawen and Webster, Merrimack Co., N.H., August 16, 1883. Also births recorded on the town records from 1733 to 1850” (1884) [http://www.archive.org/stream/onehundredfiftie00lcbosc#page/n5/mode/2up]
Elijah Coffin , Charles Fisher Coffin , Mary Coffin Johnson “The Life of Elijah Coffin: With a Reminiscence” (1863) [http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeelijahcoffi00johngoog#page/n12/mode/2up]
Coffin, Gorham Bartlett, “A pioneer voyage to California and round the world, 1849 to 1852, ship Alhambra, Captain George Coffin” (1908) [http://www.archive.org/stream/pioneervoyagetoc01coff#page/n3/mode/2up]
Coffin Henry, “A Memoir of General John Coffin” [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=FnhmAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Coffin, Ida Gardner, Anna S. Jenks The oldest house on Nantucket Island, In two parts [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=_01DAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Coffin, Joshua "A sketch of the history of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury, from 1635 to 1845" [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=FsYMAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Coffin, Joshua “Constitution of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society : together with its by-laws, and a list of its officers” (1832) [http://www.archive.org/stream/constitutionofne1832newe#page/n1/mode/2up]
Coffin, Joshua “Have slave-holders any right to be compensated on being deprived of the power to continue to steal men's personal liberty” (1830) [http://www.archive.org/details/haveslaveholders00coff]
Coffin, Joshua “An Account of Some of the Principal Slave Insurrections,: and Others, Which Have Occurred, or Been Attempted, in the United States and Elsewhere, During the Last Two Centuries.”[http://www.archive.org/details/anaccountofsomeo18601gut]
Coffin, R. S. (Robert Stevenson) “The life of the Boston bard” (1825) [http://www.archive.org/stream/lifebostonbard01coffgoog#page/n4/mode/2up]
Currier , John James “"Ould Newbury": historical and biographical sketches” [http://www.archive.org/stream/ouldnewburyhisto00currrich#page/n9/mode/2up]
Cutter, William Richard, assisted by William Frederick Adams: Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts 1910 [http://www.archive.org/stream/genealogicalpers03cutt#page/n7/mode/2up]
Douglas-Lithgow, Robert Alexander, "Nantucket; a history" [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=jZLuBkTprdUC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Johnson, Mary Coffin, “Rhoda M. Coffin, her reminiscences, addresses, papers and ancestry” (1910) [http://www.archive.org/stream/rhodamcoffinherr00coff#page/n7/mode/2up]
Johnson, Mary Coffin, “Charles F. Coffin, a Quaker pioneer” (1923) [http://www.archive.org/stream/charlesfcoffinqu00john#page/n7/mode/2up]
Folger, Eva Celine Grear, "The glacier's gift" http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=TCQWAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader
Griffis, William Elliot, 1843-1928 “Charles Carleton Coffin, war correspondent” (1898) [http://www.archive.org/stream/charlescarleton00grifrich#page/n11/mode/2up]
Hanaford, Phebe Ann (Coffin) “Daughters of America” (1882) [http://www.archive.org/stream/daughtersofameri00hana#page/n9/mode/2up]
Hallock, Charles ; The Hallock-Holyoke pedigree and collateral branches in the United States being a revision of the Hallock ancestry of 1866 prepared by Rev. Wm. A. Hallock, D.D., with additions and tracings of family genealogies to the present date and generation [http://www.archive.org/stream/hallockholyokep00hallgoog#page/n10/mode/2up]
Hart, Joseph C. “The Whale-fishermen, a tale” [http://www.archive.org/stream/miriamcoffinorw00hartgoog#page/n11/mode/2up]
Haskins, Charles Warren, The Argonauts of California, being the reminiscences of scenes and incidents that occurred in California in early mining days[http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=TH1L60nlSw4C&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters “The New England historical and genealogical register –, New England Historic Genealogical Society” [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=hcCJeNtX9PQC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Hinchman, Mitchell and Swain, Lydia, "Early settlers of Nantucket, their associates and descendants" [http://www.archive.org/stream/earlysettlersofn00hinch#page/n7/mode/2up]
Hussey, Christopher Coffin; Hussey, Lydia Coffin, Mrs “Talks about old Nantucket” (1901) [http://www.archive.org/stream/talksaboutoldnan00huss#page/n7/mode/2up]
Locke, Arthur Horton A history and genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627-1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, N.H., and his descendants [http://www.archive.org/stream/historygenealogy00lock#page/n5/mode/2up]
LOSSING, BENSON J.; THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL RECORD, AND REPERTORY OF NOTES AND QUERIES.CONCERNING THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF AMERICA AND BIOGRAPHY OF AMERICANS. Volume I [http://www.archive.org/stream/pottersamericanm01lossuoft#page/n7/mode/2up]
LOSSING, BENSON J.; THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL RECORD, AND REPERTORY OF NOTES AND QUERIES.CONCERNING THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF AMERICA AND BIOGRAPHY OF AMERICANS. Volume II [http://www.archive.org/stream/pottersamericanm02lossuoft#page/n7/mode/2up]
Lukins, Charles E “Tristram Coffin family” (n.d.]) [http://www.archive.org/stream/tristramcoffinfa00luki#page/n5/mode/2up]
Macy, Obed “The history of Nantucket ed. by W. Coffin” (1835) [http://www.archive.org/stream/historynantucke00macygoog#page/n8/mode/2up]
Macy, William Francis, The story of old Nantucket; a brief history of the island and its people from its discovery down to the present day [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=xCcSAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Macy, William, F, The Nantucket scrap basket: being a collection of characteristic stories and sayings of the people of the town and island of Nantucket, Massachusetts [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=2HoSNv77r9EC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Sinnott, Mary Elizabeth “Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and allied families” (1905) [http://www.archive.org/details/annalsofsinnottr01sinn]
Starbuck, Lucy Coffin “Seaweeds from the shores of Nantucket (1853) [http://www.archive.org/stream/seaweedsfromsho03stargoog#page/n6/mode/2up]
Stark, James Henry, “The loyalists of Massachusetts and the other side of the American Revolution” [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=jkgSAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Worth, Henry Barnard, Nantucket Historical Association (1896) Quakerism on Nantucket since 1800 [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=jZo-AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Worron, Harriet B. “"Trustum" and his grandchildren” (1881) [http://www.archive.org/stream/trustumandhisgr00worgoog#page/n6/mode/2up]
Wyer,Henry Sherman (1906) "Sea-girt Nantucket" [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=a8DUC5rZCUQC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
The Boston directory, ...including all localities within the city limits, as Allston, Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Roxbury, West Roxbury [http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=8m_PAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader]
Ship registers of New Bedford, Massachusetts compiled by the Survey of Federal Archives, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Project Administration ; the National Archives, cooperating sponsor. [http://www.archive.org/stream/shipregistersofn02nati#page/n5/mode/2up]
History of the Marine society of Newburyport, Massachusetts, from its incorporation in 1772 to the year 1906 together with a complete roster and narrative of important events in the lives of its members. [http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7032892M/History_of_the_Marine_society_of_Newburyport_Massachusetts_from_its_incorporation_in_1772_to_the_yea]
Argument settlers; what has happened on and around Nantucket. Published 1917 by The Inquirer and mirror press in [Nantucket, Mass . [http://www.archive.org/stream/argumentsettlers01turn#page/n3/mode/2up]