Monday, June 27, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: Emma Coleman

As part of my “Genealogy Do-Over” efforts AND to force myself to get crackin’ on my James Franklin Jollett book, Jollett Reunion, I will be researching and writing brief biographies of James Franklin, his wives, and his children.

In February 1863, a second child was born to James Franklin Jollett and Lucy Ann Shiflett, a baby girl. Oddly enough, they gave her James Franklin’s middle name: Emma Franklin Jollett.

Like all the Jollett children, Emma attended school and learned to read and write. If she had any aspirations beyond being a housewife and mother, they were not realized. At the age of 17, she married Andrew Jackson “Jack” Coleman on November 26, 1880, in their home county of Greene. That is where they made their home for a few years before a job opportunity with the railroad lured them to the town of Shenandoah in Page County, Virginia, just across the mountain.

Emma and Jack are unusual in the family tree in that they recorded no infant deaths. All five children lived well into adulthood.

Jack and Emma Jollett Coleman family 1896 or 1897
The Colemans late 1896 or early 1897
standing: Mattie, Minnie, John F.
seated: Jack holding Russell
and Emma holding Reba

Mary Frances Jollett Davis, Jack and Emma Jollett Coleman 1929
April 1929
Mary Frances Jollett Davis,
Jack and Emma Coleman
The Colemans were apparently quite religious. According to family lore, Emma adhered to the Dunkard style of dress, wearing black or dark clothing in the winter and white or grey in summer. However, photos do not support the claim. Emma looks like everyone else in a variety of floral dresses which may or may not be Dunkard; however, she wore no prayer covering either.

Emma’s husband Jack was often called on to offer the prayer before a meal, particularly at the Jollett reunions. Supposedly he was rather long-winded when asking for the Lord’s blessings. The less devout members of the clan would call out, “Hurry up, Jack. The food is getting cold.”

Other details of Emma’s life are known perhaps to her few grandchildren. I know only that she and Jack raised intelligent and good-looking children. She died April 10, 1945 from a stroke and complications of diabetes.

Reba Coleman
Mattie Escue

Russell Coleman and Johnny Coleman
Russell and Johnny 

Emma Franklin JOLLETT (1 Feb 1863 Greene Co, VA – 10 Apr 1945 Shenandoah, VA) and Andrew Jackson COLEMAN (29 Jul 1858 Greene Co, VA – 4 Oct 1947 Shenandoah, VA) married 26 Nov 1880 Greene Co, VA
  1. Mattie A. COLEMAN (12 Mar 1882 Greene Co, VA – 10 Feb 1978 Shenandoah, VA) and Harry W. ESCUE (4 Oct 1871 Virginia – 7 Jan 1940 Shenandoah, VA) married 22 Dec 1924 Shenandoah, VA
  2. John Franklin COLEMAN (9 Jul 1883 Greene Co, VA – 2 Aug 1949 Shenandoah, VA)
  3. Minnie Virginia COLEMAN (31 May 1888 Shenandoah, VA – 13 Jan 1981 Arlington, VA) and Arthur L. MAIDEN (31 Aug 1886 Elkton, VA – 27 May 1988 Alexandria, VA) married 17 Feb 1906 Shenandoah, VA
  4. Reba Hildred COLEMAN (29 Jul 1896 Shenandoah, VA – 12 Jan 1994 Chesapeake, VA) and James Mitchell MORRIS (9 Dec 1893 Rockingham Co, VA – 24 Nov 1958 Rockingham Co, VA)  married 2 Jan 1913
  5. Russell Ulric COLEMAN (29 Jul 1896 Shenandoah, VA – Jul 1962) and Mary Evelyn FLUHRER (1906 Ohio - ) married 5 Jul 1923 Page Co, VA 

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. They were a good looking family. Refreshing to hear all 5 of their children made it to adulthood and beyond. She did live a long life!


  2. I imagine that there were not many twins who were born and both lived, in 1896. My mother was a twin, born in 1926 and even then it was quite an event to have premature babies born at home, and have both survive.

  3. They really are good looking children. It's nice to find a family who was able to rear all of their children to adulthood.

  4. Beautiful family. I, too, was struck with both twins living into adulthood, although Russell died so many years before Reba. Too bad you don't have any photos of Minnie.