I've spent a number of years trying to find the origin of the Thomas Cofer (c.1715-1791) line, but without success. It appears likely Thomas' father died young and his widow remarried to one George Anderson. Thomas died testate in Culpeper in 1791.
Recently, I was in the Essex County public library taking notes on another line. While jotting down things from deed and will abstracts, I took note that a THOMAS COPER appeared in the deed/will books of Essex for 1701. I also found mention of a Jonathan Fisher who left land to son Benjamin that was located adjacent to Samuel Parey and THOMAS COPER. There was also a reference to a RICHARD COPER and SIMON COPNER.
I finally got round to doing web search for the name SIMON COPNER, that being a somewhat distinct name. This turned up a reference to a will of a John Gatewood of Essex County, VA who lived in South Farnham parish which covered the lower part of the county adjacent to Middlesex County, VA. This will was dated 14 Nov 1706, and had a provision that reads "...Unto my son Henry Gatewood 75 acres beginning at a corner tree standing against SIMON COPNER's house who is now deceased..." Oddly, the Gatewood family was also connected with my Vass line.
I then did a web search for the name THOMAS COPER. This turned up a hit that said that a GRIZZELL COVINGTON was born about 1761 and that she married THOMAS COPER. The name GRIZELL rang a bell with me because some years ago, I had recorded an abstract of the Culpeper County, VA will of a WILLIAM COVINGTON, dated 11 Feb 1783 and proved 18 Aug 1783. I wrote this abstract down because one of William Covington's legatees was GRIZZEL COPHER, and a Robert Hensley was executor.
I know that my Marshall line intermarried with theCofer line in Albemarle/Orange County, VA and also with the Hensley line. In addition, the hit I did on Covington said that Grizzell was d/o William Covington of Essex who was b.c. 1725 and died 18 Aug 1783 and who married Mary Francis Kavanaugh d/o Philemon Kavanaugh and Sarah Ann Williams.
I know that some years ago, I came across the name Philemon Kavanaugh or Cavanaugh and I think it may have related to some research I did on the Durrett line but can't recall now. The name Davis was also involved with the Durretts who were also connected with my Marshall line in Albemarle County, VA. They were also connected with another Marshall line in Caroline County, VA part of which was cut from Essex in the 1720s.
This reminded me of a Virginia land patent of 1662 to a Robert Davis of Lancaster County, VA for transporting several headrights including one JAMES COFFER. It turns out that the year after this patent, in 1663, old Lancaster County was divided into two parts. One part is on the north side of the Rappahannock River and is the county we call Lancaster today. The other part was on the south side of the Rappahannock River and is the county we call Middlesex County today. At this point, it's not clear whether Davis got a patent in present-day Lancaster or Middlesex. Could Thomas, Richard and Simon be descendants of JAMES COFER? I recall the name Richard shows up in the Maryland Cofer line and also in that of Isle of Wight if I recall correctly.
Oneother thing-- two families closely connected with the Thomas Cofer line in Culpeper County were Twyman and Underwood. Interestingly, both these families had roots in Middlesex County, VA. Also, the Thomas Cofer line was closely connected with the George Anderson line as I mentioned earlier. There is one record that places George Anderson in St. Anne's parish of Essex County, VA about 1712.
I haven't had time to try and validate the accuracy of any of this, or whether it relates to the line of Thomas Cofer. If it does, it could suggest further searches in the Essex/Middlesex County area of eastern VA would be useful. I'd like any who are interested in the origins of this line to comment on this.