Update on Jeffrey Wayne Koonce

In my last entry I posted about fallen Vietnam Veteran Jeffrey Wayne Koonce.  His brief bio was sent to me by J.P. Koonce and as a first step to finding out more about him, I decided look for an obit.  I posted on the Union County, NJ forum for newspaper suggestions and was directed to a website New Jersey has set up for a state memorial of Vietnam Veterans.

On the memorial page, is this picture of Jeffrey Wayne

On his memorial page his siblings are named and that was enough for me to find out more about his family and trace his Koonce line back three more generations to his great-parents Henry Koonce & Elizabeth Ellis of Jackson County, Florida.  Henry was born about 1854 in Alabama.  Geographically, Jackson County is near Houston County, Alabama where I know offhand there were several white Koonce families.  Is there an association between Jeffrey Wayne’s ancestors and these other Koonce families?  Perhaps time will tell.

To see the descendants of Henry & Elizabeth as I have gathered to date,  click here. Remember that the names are hyperlinks to their individual pages.

3 thoughts on “Update on Jeffrey Wayne Koonce

  1. Thank you for the interest and the contact for you have made tears fall from my face because I have not seen a photo of my uncle in over 35 years. The only fact that I can say is Jeffrey W. Koonce is part of my family and I am not familiar with any Koonce’s born that long ago (1800’s) from Alabama, I have always known my Great Grand Father Sidney Koonce to be from Germany. But you may ask another Family member on my list of friends. Maybe Janet might know?

  2. Yes, there is! My great great grandfather Henry Koonce was German or white; he changed the spelling of his last name from Koontz to Koonce, because it was more accepted being that we were at war with Germany. He was a slavery owner, who got my great grandmother Elizabeth Ellis whom was an Indiana, pregnant, but took responsibility and raised my grandfather Sidney Koonce as his own, given him his last name. My grandfather Sidney Koonce, would eat dinner at the master table with his family and his father acknowledged him as his son to everyone. Jeffrey Koonce is my mother’s brother, who died before I was born. But Jeffrey also left behind a daughter named Florrie, whom he never got to know.

  3. Sidney Koonce was the brother of my great grandmother Plassie. I have heard that Henry was perhaps a slave owner, we believe that he was actually mixed but he does look white. He and Elizabeth had several children and we don’t know what happened to all of them. Legend also has it that Henry was the superintendent of schools(not too sure about that) and that he was a postal carrier which was told to me by his daughter Lucille Hughes son Allen. He said that he would ride the mail wagon with his grandfather. I don’t remember my grandfather ever saying much about him. My great Grandmother, Plassie said that Sidney passed as white and got his hair cut in a white barbershop and when they found out he left Jackson county, Fl and went to New Jersey. Perhaps this will all fit together and make sense somehow.

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