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|John & Nancy HARDING Combs, Sr.|
s/o Mason Combs, Sr.
(1735-1738 to 1820)
"Father of the Eight"
Updated 20 Mar 1999
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As is the case with all Combs Research Family Reports, when a source is not specifically referenced herein, the source can be found via a “hot link” to the applicable Combs County of Record, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Bible Records, etc.
John Combs, Sr., “father of the eight” (Mason, Sr., John, Archdale), b 1735-1738, probably in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; may have d ca 1820, Floyd Co, KY; married bef 1755, probably in Frederick Co, VA, Nancy HARDING (d/o Henry & Wilmoth GEORGE Harding II*), probably b bef 1739, probably in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA.
John's marriage to Nancy HARDING is documented by the Shenandoah Co, VA wills of both of her parents, the 1783 Shenandoah Court Minutes regarding settlement due John Combs from his HARDING brothers-in-law, and the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of their son, Elijah. Also note that the Combs and Harding lands in Shenandoah were adjacent; and that no other Combs are found recorded with Henry HARDING II other than John (for whom Henry HARDING made bail in 1779); and that both John and his son, Mason, are later found in Montgomery Co, VA adjacent to his brother-in-law, Henry HARDING III.
*Henry HARDING II was the s/o Henry HARDING I (deceased by 1756), and his wife, Wilmoth the d/o Nicholas GEORGE (See Stafford and Frederick Co, VA Records).
Although the Dickey Diary Interviews have been invaluable in helping to sort out the sons of his sons, the “eight brothers,” not a single reference is made in that source to the “father of the eight” himself. Moreover, they are not always referred to as brothers in this source, but sometimes only as “the original eight” (Combs). The Combes Genealogy…, however, includes the following on p, 59:
"...on her one hundredth birthday, July 7,1945, old Betty DOBSON, of Lott's Creek, Perry County, and granddaughter of “Chunky Jerry” Combs, stood in her yard feeding her chickens, and chatted with J.D. SMITH, of Dwarf, Perry County, on the CombsES. She related that John Combs was father of the eight brothers, and how he had come to Perry and build his ''improver's" cabin and cleared a few acres of ground, before returning to bring back his family."
Ed. Note: Elizabeth “Betty” Combs, w/o Henry DOBSON, was the d/o Andrew & Polly FELTNER Combs, and gd/o Jeremiah C. “Chunky” Combs (See below).
|Documenting the Ancestry and Descendants of John Combs, Sr.|
|The “Eight” (sons of John Combs, Sr.)|
|A Tentative Chronology of His Life|
|Note: The following is an incomplete and tentative report, pending additional much-needed research. Both the life and the death of John Combs, Sr. remain filled with question marks as very little is known of him. Moreover, an excess of John Combs throughout the Southern States has also hindered further research of this line.|
Documenting the Ancestry and Descendants of John Combs, Sr.
John Combs, Sr. can be documented as a son of Mason Combs, Sr. only by first documenting him as the father of Nicholas and Elijah Combs:
12 Sep 1855 Died: Elijah Combs, Sr., 85 years old, married, farmer, resides Perry County [KY], born Va, son of John and Nancy Combs, died 12 Sept 1855 of dysentery (Transcribed by Combs Researcher Debi Kendrick from “Ky Vital Returns-Perry County, Ky,” microfilm copy)
16 Nov 1845. Perry Co, KY. The Declaration of Jesse Combs,* 46, that he is the nephew of pension applicant Nicholas Combs. The (incomplete) Declaration of Elijah Combs, 74, that he is the brother of applicant Nicholas Combs. (RW Pension File of Nicholas Combs, Sr.)
*Jesse is documented as son of Elijah by both Dickey Diary Interviews and Elijah's 1855 Perry Co, KY Will.
Depositions in the William Ridge Estate File identify both Nicholas and Biram* Combs as nephews of his widow, Winnifred Combs Ridge (Allen) (who is herself documented as a d/o Mason, Sr. by the Overwharton Parish Register of Stafford Co VA).
The following additional records and Dickey Interviews further document the ancestry of Nicholas and Elijah, and identify the remaining brothers:
17 Nov 1825. Perry Co, KY. Joint declaration of Nicholas and Henry Combs that they were brothers of Revolutionary War pension applicant, John Combs, who enlisted for three years in Shenandoah Co, VA the latter part of 1776 or first of 1777. Declaration of John Combs that his brother, William, now a resident of Kentucky, was also a Revolutionary War soldier, having served in the 8th Virginia Regiment. (RW Pension File of John Combs)
17 Dec 1855. Perry Co, KY. Declaration of Nicholas (X) Combs, Sr. included the statements that his brother, John Combs, was a pensioner from Perry County, and that his brother, William Combs, was also a pensioner from Kentucky, both now dead. (RW Pension File of Nicholas Combs, Sr.)
1818. Bath Co, KY. Declaration of RW William Combs that he en listed in Shenandoah Co, VA in 1776, in the 8th Virginia Regiment. (RW Pension File of William Combs, the only Revolutionary War Pensioner of that name in Kentucky).
1898 Dickey Diary Interview of John D. WHITE (undated, location not known):
"Mason Combs was the original Combs in the mountains. he setteled on a high hill below the mouth of Carr's Fork, on opposite side. Mace's Creek was named for him and is really Mason's Creek. His brother's [Nicholas] Danger Combs and Gen. Elijah Combs came later."
1898 Dickey Diary Interview of Napoleon Bonaparte Combs, b 1808, s/o Mason “8” & Jane RICHARDSON Combs:
"My father was Mason Combs. My mother was Jennie RICHESON or RICHARDSON. He and seven brothers came. William Combs, my uncle, went to Fayette County."
1898 Dickey Diary Interview of Margaret “Peggy” Combs LEWIS, born 1840-1, Perry Co, KY, daughter of Nicholas & Elizabeth COMBS Combs, and granddaughter of (paternal) Nicholas & Nancy GRIGSBY Combs, Sr. and (maternal) RW Soldier John & Margaret Combs:
"My father was Nicholas Combs. He was a son of Nicholas Combs, one of the original eight brothers who settled in Perry County from Holston River, Virginia. My grandfather John Combs, my mother's father, was a Revolutionary soldier, I am certain of that. One of his brothers was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. I think it was Washington... My mother was Elizabeth Combs, daughter of John Combs and one of the original eight Combs in Perry.
*Margaret's interview states incorrectly that she was born in 1820 or 1822, but she was actually born about twenty years later according to Perry, Clay and Leslie Co, KY census records. Likewise, her interview states incorrectly that her grandfather, Nicholas Combs, Sr., died in 1837 or 1838 when he did not die until approximately twenty years later also (after 1855). Also note that no brother named Washington has been found (unless George was possibly a George Washington?).
1898 Dickey Diary Interview of John S. Combs, born 25 Jul 1819, Kentucky, s/o Jeremiah and Synthia SUMNER Combs, and g/so (paternal) Nicholas & Nancy GRIGSBY Combs, Sr. and (maternal) Samuel & Winnifred Combs Sumner (d/o William & Seth STACY Combs, Sr.):
"...My father was Jeremiah Combs. He was born in N.C. or Va. My grandfather was Nicholas Combs. He was born in Va or New River, N.C. He lived and died near where L.D. Combs now lives in Perry County. He came to Kentucky early in the settlement of Kentucky. There was a large company came together: Mason, George, Nicholas, W [William?], Jeremiah, Byron, Elijah Combs. There was one other who made it. Yes, Henry was his name. Mason was the oldest. I have seen none of these Uncles. Byron moved to Indiana; Wm moved to Bluegrass..."
Note that John S. does not include RW John Combs (Jr.) as a brother, but does include a Jeremiah, and it may have been that he was listing his father among the “company” (See also Early Jeremiah Combs of the Southern Frontier). Also note that although John S. states that Mason was the “eldest,” this may have been confused with “first” (See John D. White interview) as other records indicate that William may have been the eldest. It is not known what was meant by his statement that he had seen “none of these uncles,” nor which uncles were meant (perhaps Biram (Byron) who left in 1819-20, and Mason and George who died in 1822?).
John also makes the inexplicable statement that his grandfather, Nicholas, died in 1838, a date disproved by Nicholas' RW Pension File and other records. Is it possible that John S. might have been referring instead to his maternal great-grandfather, William Combs (h/o Seth STACY and father of Winnifred Combs Hicks Sumner) and Rev. Dickey misunderstood the reference, assuming he meant Nicholas?
Floyd Co KY was established from Fleming, Mason and Montgomery in 1798-1799. Only a Daniel Combs is found in pre-1800, Montgomery (1797 tax list); No Combs are found in early Fleming County, and in Mason County, only a Joseph Combs is found pre-1800. It is not yet known if any pre-1810 Floyd Co KY tax lists are extant. In 1806-7, Clay Co KY was established from Madison, Floyd, Knox and unorganized area. The first Clay Co KY tax list was in 1807, and the Upper District included Nicholas, Mace, John, Elijah, Henry, John, William, Jeremiah, George and Jeremiah Combs (10).
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The “8” Brothers (Tentatively)
Based on the above, the “eight” sons of John Combs, Sr. appear to have been: William, Nicholas, John, Biram, Mason, Henry, George (Washington?) and Elijah as follow; however, the inclusion above of a Jeremiah by John S. Combs' interview is not to be ignored (See Early Jeremiah Combs of the Southern Frontier).
- RW William Combs (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Shenandoah Co VA, Lincoln, Bath, Fleming and Fayette Cos KY; b Sep 1757, probably in Frederick Co, VA; d 8 Mar 1840, Fayette Co, KY.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; (b) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, Nicholas Combs, Sr.; (c) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, John Combs; (d) his own Rev. War Pension File; and (d) Dickey Diary Interviews. He was possibly named after his paternal uncle, William Combs, Sr.
- RW Nicholas “Danger” Combs, Sr. (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Surry Co, NC; Shenandoah Co, VA; Rockingham Co, VA; Sullivan Co, TN; Clay Co, KY; and Perry Co, KY; b 1761-4, in (probably Frederick Co) VA; d 1856-1859, Perry Co, KY; m Nancy GRIGSBY, sister of Thomas, b ca 1754, d 1850, Perry Co, KY.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; (b) his own Rev. War Pension File; (c) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, John Combs; (c) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, William Combs; (d) depositions in the William Ridge Estate File whereby Nicholas is named a nephew of RIDGE (h/o Winnifred Combs); and (e) Dickey Diary Interviews. He was probably named after his maternal grandfather, Nicholas GEORGE.
Note: The Combes Genealogy…, due primarily to the Dickey Diary Interviews of John S. Combs and Margaret Combs Lewis, takes the position that Nicholas Combs, Sr., h/o Nancy GRIGSBY, was b ca 1736, thus a son of Mason & Sarah Combs, Sr. There are, however, conflicts in the Dickey Diary, and: (a) other records document instead that Nicholas was b abt 20 years later, and one of the “8” (not his own uncle); and (b) all other dates in the Margaret Combs Lewis' interview have been documented as also being abt 20 years “off.”
- RW John Combs (Jr.) (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Shenandoah Co, VA; Surry Co, NC; East TN; and Lincoln, Clay, Perry and Washington Cos, KY; b 7 Feb 1761, probably in Frederick Co, VA; d 1848, Washington Co, KY, m bef 1783, Margaret UNKNOWN.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; (b) his own Rev. War Pension File; (c) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, Nicholas Combs; (c) the Rev. War Pension File of his brother, William Combs; and (d) Dickey Diary Interviews. Named a son, Hardin, probably after his mother's maiden name.
Note: The Combes Genealogy… takes two conflicting positions in regard to John Combs, one of the “8;” i.e. that he was both RW John Combs and the John Combs who d in 1840 in Perry Co, KY (married twice); or that he was John Combs who d 1840, who was not RW John Combs, but whom the author states was nevertheless a Revolutionary War Soldier. Also note that this makes it quite possible that there were two John Combs in Perry Co, KY, and that one was the s/o William & Seth STACY Combs, Sr. (also a s/o Mason Combs, Sr.).
- Biram Combs John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Surry Co, NC; Cumberland, Wayne and Clay Cos, KY; and Indiana; b 1760-1766, probably in Frederick Co, VA; d Indiana; m Unknown RIDGE, d/o Tory William RIDGE.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; (b) depositions in the William Ridge Estate File whereby Biram is named a nephew of Tory William RIDGE (h/o Winnifred Combs) and (c) Dickey Diary Interviews. He was also a.k.a. Abiram (Abraham?), Byrom, Biram, Byron, etc.
- Mason Combs (John, Mason, John, Archdale), of Montgomery, Wythe and Grayson Cos, VA; Clay and Perry Cos, KY; b pre-1765, probably in Frederick Co, VA; d 1822, Perry Co, KY; m 29 Jan 1793, Wythe Co, VA, Jane RICHARDSON
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; and (b) Dickey Diary Interviews. Probably named for his paternal grandfather.
- Henry Combs (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Montgomery, Wythe and Grayson Cos, VA and Clay and Perry Cos, KY; b 1765-1768, probably in Frederick Co, VA; d aft 1850, possibly in Greene Co, Indiana; m (1) 26 Sep 1788, Montgomery Co, VA, Rachael, d/o Benjamin CLEMENTS; (2) (possibly 6 Apr 1832, Perry Co, KY), Phoebe FRANCIS.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; and (b) Dickey Diary Interviews. probably named for his maternal grandfather.
- George Combs (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Hawkins or Sullivan Co, TN and Clay & Perry Cos, KY; b pre-1774, (probably Frederick Co) VA; d 1826-7, Perry Co, KY, m bef 1801, Lydia HERALD (Harrell, Herrell, Harrald, etc.), d/o John of Hawkins Co, TN, b 1775-1780, VA; d aft 1830.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of his brother, Elijah Combs, Sr.; and (b) Dickey Diary Interviews. His full name may have been George Washington (Margaret Combs Lewis Dickey Diary Interview), but more likely he was either named after his maternal uncle, George HARDING, or given his maternal grandmother's maiden name.
- Elijah Combs (John, Mason, John, Archdale) of Hawkins or Sullivan Co, TN and Clay & Perry Cos, KY; b 1770, (probably Frederick Co) Virginia; d 1855, Perry Co, KY; m bef 1798, possibly in Montgomery Co, VA, Sarah, d/o RW Michael & Lettie GRIGSBY Roark of Rockingham Co, VA and Hawkins Co, TN.
Documented s/o John Combs, Sr. based on (a) his own 1855 Perry Co, KY death record which names his parents, John & Nancy Combs; (b) the Rev. War Pension file of his brother, Nicholas Combs; and (c) Dickey Diary Interviews.
Note: Additional documentation further identifying “the eight,” although primarily implied, is provided by various public documents included in applicable Combs Counties of Record as noted.
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A (Tentative) Chronology of the Life of John Combs, Sr.
John Combs, Sr. was probably the eldest son of Mason and Sarah, born prior to those of their children who were recorded in the Overwharton Parish Register of Stafford Co VA - where no record of John Sr. is found. Mason & Sarah probably did not marry until after 1734 (when Mason Sr. was last recorded in Caroline Co VA at age 20), and their eldest recorded son, William, was born in Nov 1740 in Overwharton Parish. Although the Overwharton Parish Register includes births as early as 1723, for the years 1723-1735, there are no marriage or death entries, and very few births or baptisms. According to George Harrison Sanford King in his book, “The Register of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, Virginia, 1723-1758,” it was not until after the death of Rev. Alexander SCOTT in 1738 that the Register was used as such (during the tenure of Rev. John MONCURE). This makes it likely that John was born between 1735 and 1738.
By Sep 1757 (the birth of his son, William), John had married Nancy HARDING. So far as is known, he was only married once (According to the 1855 Perry Co, KY death record of their youngest(?) son, Elijah Combs, Jr., b 1770), his parents were John and Nancy).
John appears to have been have been the John Combs of Frederick Co VA, first recorded in 1758 when he purchased 78 acres of land on the south side of the Shenandoah River from John HARROLD Jr.,* land formerly owned by Aaron HARROLD, the deed witnessed by Hugh WEST, John LINDSEY, Jun. and James WOOD, Jun. (dated 3 Jul 1758, rec. 5 Jul 1758. Frederick VA DB4:369-70).
*Note that the surname, HARRELL, was spelled variously HAROLD, HERALD, HERRELL, etc. It is not known if this HARRELL family was the same as that of John HARRELL whose daughter, Lydia, m John's son, George (see below), although it seems likely that there was some kind of relationship. See also the 1787 Shenandoah Co, VA record documenting that land of both the Combs-Harding Families was adjacent to, and also purchased from, the HARRELLS).
In 1759, John Combs is listed on the Frederick Co, VA rent roll (no other Combs listed although it is known that Mason was still in the county at that time). John is also found in other Frederick records in 1759 and 1760, and in March 1761, he and John ALLEN “undertook for” defendant, John STACY when the latter was sued by John COUNTS (see Count-Combs-Stacy also in later Russell Co, VA, and see also Combs-Stacy Connections).
On 10 Oct 1761, a court martial was held in Frederick co, VA, and it was ordered that John Combs of Capt. Henry SPEARS Co. be fined for absenting the last General Muster. It was also ordered that Henry HARDIN Sen., also of Capt. Henry SPEARS Company, on the motion of Lt. Abraham KELLER, be discharged of further duty at musters. Henry HARDING, Sr. was the father of Nancy HARDING Combs. This record also places Henry HARDING and John Combs in the same neighborhood (same militia company), and in the neighborhood of Henry SPEARS (an early neighbor of Mason Combs, Sr. and both later found in Surry Co, NC ).
In 1764, John Combs again appeared on the Frederick Co, VA rent roll, and in Oct 1766, he sold land in Frederick to Simon CARSON which may have been the same (or part of the same) which he purchased in 1758 (research in progress), land later documented as also having been adjacent to the HARDINGS.
Despite the land sale, John continued to reside in Frederick - that part which became Dunmore in 1772 (renamed Shenandoah in 1777-8), and in Nov 1772,was sued by Isaac HITE for a debt. In Apr 1773, his father-in-law, Henry HARDING, Sr. made bail for John's appearance in the amount of 80 pounds, 4 shillings and 8 pence.
Two years later, in Nov 1774, John was again sued for debt, this time by Alexander MACHIR. John's brother-in-law, John SMITH (m Wilmoth HARDING) undertook to defend him, but the record also shows that John appeared “in his proper person” to acknowledge MACHIR'S petition. MACHIR was awarded 132 pounds, ten shillings and 2.5 pence plus costs, and John given until the following June to make payment.
In 1779, John's father-in-law, Henry HARDING II, died, and his Shenandoah Co, VA will, dated 28 Sep 1779, proved 25 Nov 1779, named his daughter, “Nanney Combs” (Shenandoah VA DBA:233).
At some point between 1773 and 1780, John Sr. apparently moved to Surry Co, NC*
*That either John Combs and/or his son, John Combs, Jr., was apparently returning to Shenandoah frequently is documented by the records of Shenandoah, where John is recorded in the 1780s, but never taxed. See also records of Wilkes Co, NC, adjacent to and formed from Surry in 1780, and note that further research of Wilkes is also still needed in regard to whether John could have been on or near “New River” (See Dickey Diary Interviews and Revolutionary War pension files of his sons, John and Nicholas re New River, and see below re Montgomery Co, VA.
According to the Revolutionary War pension file of John, Sr.'s son, “Patriot John,” the latter enlisted in Jan 1777 in Shenandoah Co, VA, serving two years and four months (until ca Apr 1779). According to the Rev. War Pension file of John, Sr.'s son, Nicholas (Tory and Patriot), the latter enlisted in late 1780 in Surry Co NC, which is also the first year that a John Combs is of record in that county (his father and brothers, William and Mason, had preceded him, having left Frederick by 1768 at the latest, and probably a year or two earlier). The 1780 record is a Surry Co, NC land entry on West Double Creek, and is only one of several land transactions by John over the ensuing years.
Note: Other than mentions in the William RIDGE Estate File Depositions,* this land entry is the earliest record located for any John Combs in Surry Co NC, which may be the same land which John deeded to his father, Mason Combs, Sr. in 1784 (see below) Also in Surry Co, NC during this time period, however, was John, Sr.'s nephew, Tory John Combs (s/o William and Seth STACY Combs, Sr.), as well as his son, John Combs, and it has been difficult to separate the three in records, although it is possible that both William Combs, Sr. and his son, Tory John Combs, may have also been recorded in Wilkes Co, NC (See 1774 Surry Co, NC tax list of Benjamin Cleveland).
All Surry Co, NC tax lists are not extant, and it is not until 1782 that John first appears on the tax list of Capt. MARTIN, tithing 3 white, 14 slaves and 400 acres on the “North side of the Yadkin River” (On this same tax list is his sister, Winnifred Combs, widow of the above-noted William RIDGE). Presumably, the other 2 white tithes are two of John's sons, probably both in the 16-21 year age bracket (NC Statutes need to be checked), placing their birth years in the range of 1761-1766. John's sons, Nicholas and William, were both in Shenandoah this year, and son, Biram, was probably still “in hiding” (see William RIDGE Estate File), thus likely the two tithables were John, Jr. (b 1761) and Mason (b pre-1765) (with George and Henry possibly still too young, and Elijah, b 1770, definitely too young).
In 1784, the Surry Co, NC tax list of Capt. LEWIS includes three John Combs:
- John COMES [sic], Sr., with 1 white poll (sons, Mason and Henry already gone?);
- John COMES, 1 white poll, no acreage (probably his son, John Combs, Jr.); and
- John COMES, 1 white poll, no acreage (probably John Combs, s/o William & Seth STACY Combs, Sr.?).
Also on this list are Mason COMES, 400 acres (Mason, Sr.?) and Winnifred Combs RIDGE, 100 acres and 1 white poll (who might have possibly been one of her nephews?)
On 9 Aug 1784, John Combs sold to Mason Combs, Sr. for 150 pds., “the land on which I live, mill, livestock, personalty.” The deed was witnessed by George HUSTON and William COOK (the latter father of John COOK of Charlotte Co, VA and guardian to some of Winnifred Combs RIDGE's children?).
It is not known if John left the county immediately upon this sale, but either way, he was back by November when the Surry County courts appointed him administrator of his father's estate (which included 400 untraced acres).
No Combs by surname are listed on either the 1785 or 1786 Surry Tax Lists (which may have been incomplete), and oral family tradition (according to The Combes Genealogy…) has it that John, Sr. left Surry County following the death of a twelve year old daughter in 1784.
He was, however, apparently still in the county on 7 Sep 1786 when, it is charged that “John Combs the elder late of Surry County... with force and arms in the county aforesaid one white hogg commonly called a sow of the proper goods and chattels of Zachariah RAY Esq'r of the value of six pence then and there being found feloniously did steal take and carry away contrary to the statute in such case made and providing against the peace and dignity of the State...” This alleged act of thievery did not go forgotten, the Surry County Sheriff having been directed annually through 1792, to seek out John (apparently not a resident of the county), and years later was referred to in a deposition in 1800 in Davidson Co TN by Obediah Martin BENGE (s/o John & Elizabeth LEWIS Benge), who stated “…John Combs Senior left Surry County with a … hog that was not his property…"
The above is the last record found thus far for John Combs, Sr. in Surry County, and John appears to have been the John Combs who was on Little Reed Island Creek of New River in Montgomery Co VA by 1787, residing adjacent to his son, Mason, and his brother-in-law, Henry HARDING, who had purchased land earlier owned by Benjamin CLEMENTS (whose daughter, Rachael, m John's son, Henry, in 1788).
By 1790, John and sons, Mason and Henry, were in Wythe Co, VA (formed from Montgomery in 1789-1790) where John is recorded in a dispute with the BREEDINGS (whose land had been purchased from the HARDINGS), and where Mason married Jane RICHARDSON in 1793 . Although both Mason and Henry are found on Wythe Co, VA tax lists, no other record of John Combs, Sr. has been located in this county, or its descendant county of Grayson (where Mason and Henry are both later recorded).
The fact that John is missing from 1790 Wythe Co, VA tax lists may indicate that he was the John Combs on the 1790 Russell Co VA tax list, but this John “looks more like” John, s/o William Combs, Sr., and again, we have the problem of segregating multiple John Combs (research in progress).
John Combs, Sr. probably also resided in Sullivan Co TN at some point during this time period (RW Pension File of his son, Nicholas Combs, Sr.) although he is not believed to have been the early John Combs recorded in that county in a 1788 militia list (not only was John, Sr. in Montgomery Co, VA at the time, but he was also over 50 years of age), and may have been the second John Combs who was in Russell Co, VA in 1799 (See also the John Combs of Russell in 1802 who tithed 3).
John may have been one of the two John Combs who was on the 1807 Clay Co, KY tax list, and possibly the one who 'goes missing' in 1808, who may be the John who appears on the 1810 Floyd Co KY tax list.
The one John Combs on the 1810 Floyd Co, KY was born pre-1765, with only one additional person in the household, a female who was also born pre-1765. However, the one John Combs on the 1810 Clay Co, KY household appears to have also been born pre-1765 with the eldest female also born pre-1765, but with also a second (and possibly third) family in his household (research in progress).
Although The Combes Genealogy… states that the John Combs who died in Floyd Co, KY in 1820 was John Combs, Sr., this is based solely on his estate having been administered by John Sr.'s son, Elijah, and in fact, this John Combs has not yet been identified.
In other words, we've come a long ways, but with a long ways yet to go (To be continued)
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