|Biram Combs, Sr.|
(a.k.a. Abiram, Abraham, Bram, Byram)
of Surry NC, KY and IN
"one of the eight"
s/o John & Nancy HARDING Combs, Sr.
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.
Biram Combs, Sr., one of the “eight” (John, Sr., Mason,, Sr., John, Archdale), born 1760-1769, died aft 1830(?), probably in Indiana; married bef 1791, Unknown RIDGE, d/o William RIDGE, Sr., who later m Biram's paternal aunt, Winnifred Combs Ridge Allen.
Biram is documented as a s/o John Combs, Sr. by the Dickey Diary Interviews (which identify him as “one of the eight” Combs brothers of East Kentucky); and the William Ridge, Sr. Estate File (which identifies Biram both as (a) the nephew of William RIDGE, Sr. and (b) the h/o a natural daughter of William RIDGE, Sr.). Moreover, there is apparently also East KY Oral Family History which states that “Biram married a RIDGE” (seeking source). Biram is also found in records with his given name spelled variously Byram, Byron, Birem, Barm, Abiram, Abram, Abraham, etc., but his given name seems (at this point) most likely to have been Biram, and possibly after the BIRAM family of Stafford Co, VA.
The 1804 Davidson Co, TN Deposition of John P. McCONNELL includes the statement that: “There was two of the elder children of William RIDGE that is not mentioned in the Complainants Bill of Complaint (to wit), Godfree RIDGE & Nancy RIDGE & two others that was said to be William RIDGES base begotten children to wit the before mentioned Thomas RIDGE* and the wife of Biram Combs.”
*Thomas RIDGE was not William's son, but his half-brother, and was a.k.a. Thomas McGEE and Thomas McGee RIDGE. This is not only by his own declaration, but statements made by all other deponents who responded to questions abt his relationship to William RIDGE.
According to The Combes Genealogy…, which does not include any sources, Biram was not supposed to have had children as early as 1790 (p. 65), and was “considered one of the youngest of the brothers.” (p. 74). This same source states that Biram had a son, Biram Combs, Jr., described as having bought land on Carr's Fork, mouth of Irishman Creek in 1827 (then Perry or Letcher Cos, present-day Knott Co, KY) (p. 75), and refers to Robert Combs of Wayne Co, KY as a “presumed” son (based solely on his having been in the same county many years later). In other words, none of Biram's children are documented.
Biram “8” is first found of record as a notorious, murdering, thieving Tory in Surry Co, NC -- according to numerous depositions in the William Ridge Estate File , all of which are clearly “tilted” against the Tory Combs and Combs-Associated Families, with Biram's activities undoubted exaggerated, but nevertheless including the specific charge that in 1780, he and Jeremiah Combs murdered Francis BRADLEY of Mecklenburg Co, NC.
Biram “8” has been located nowhere else in the records of North Carolina, nor has he been found of record in Virginia (probably indicating that he was early to Tennessee or Kentucky), and the next record of him is not found until 1799 when Byram Combs is taxed in Cumberland Co, KY, probably that part which became Wayne County shortly thereafter, which is where Biram Combs is found in 1804 when granted land surveyed on 24 Feb of that year. He is listed on the 1808 Clay Co, KY Tax list, but has not been found on any 1810 census. Although a Biram Combs is found on 1816-1819 Clay Co, KY tax lists, no Biram is found in 1820 on either the Clay Co, KY tax list or census. This 1816-1819 Biram of Clay may, however have been a younger Biram, possibly the same whom The Combes Genealogy… terms Biram Combs, Jr.
According to the Dickey Diary Interview of John S. Combs, Biram “8” had moved to Indiana, where the 1820 census lists a Biram Combs in Harrison Co, IN on p. 63: 1mu10, 2m16-26, 1m45+, 1fu10, 1f16-26, 1f26-45. On the same census page, two names below that of Biram is a Jehu Combs, age 18-26 with one female, age 16-26, and 1 male under 10 in the HH (possibly a son?). Other Combs found on this census include Felix and Lewis, abt which no more is known (except note that Felix is a name also found later amongst Biram's younger relations in East KY). No further record of a Jehu has been located aft 1820.
Another possible record of Biram references Clay Co, IN (established in 1825 from Owen, Putnam, Sullivan, Putnam and Vigo):
“In the extreme southwest part of the county, west side of Eel river, within what is now Lewis township, early settlements were made by Robert BABER (in 1822), George HOOKER, John J. LANNING. Nicholas CRIST, John STEWART, James BUCKALLEW, Daniel GOBLE, Sr., Henderson CURRY, J. W. McGREW, James MALOY, John SARVERCE, Joseph WHILES, Edward BRADEN, Samuel CHAMBERS, Joseph T. LISTON, the STARKS, the PUCKETTS, the STOUTS and others. The first of the pioneer weddings within this territory was a double one, at the home of Byrum Combs, later the Harry DALGARN place, Rev. Samuel BRILEY performing the ceremony. The couples married were Emery RODGERSON and Sallie Combs, Edward Combs and Barbara FRY.” (Excerpted by Combs Researcher Debi Kendrick from “The History of Clay County” (Indiana) (in reference to earliest settlers) See Also Copyright Restrictions)
No Combs are found on the 1830 Clay Co, IN census index. In 1830, the census index includes four Biram Combs, one in Perry Co, KY (who may have been Biram's putative son, Biram Combs, Jr. -see below), and the other three all in Indiana:
No Biram Combs land records have been located in Indiana yet; however, in Greene Co, IN are BLM records for 1839 for a Sarah Combs and a William Byrom Combs, and the possibility should be considered that these may be a widow and/or children of Biram “of the eight.”
Also note that although The Combes Genealogy… mentions Johnson Co, Indiana in reference to both Biram and his brother, Henry Combs, there is no evidence that either they or their descendants were ever in that county, and it is possible that Henry died in Greene Co, IN.
Biram Combs, Jr. (#1 Biram) According to The Combes Genealogy…, p. 106: “Nothing much is known of Biram's family. That he had a son, Biram, Jr., is certain... Biram Combs, Jr. bought land on Carr's Fork, mouth of Irishman Creek [now-Knott Co, KY]...” On p. 146 of the General Table, listed as a son of Biram “8” is: “Biram, Jr., had: Jackson (Squire Jack), lived on Flax Patch; Louise, died aged 16; Dicie, and probably John (styled John Combs-Couch in the Perry Co. records). John moved to Madison Co., Ark., Others of his children are said to have gone to Ark...”
The author does not state the basis for his certainty, and also notes on page 106 that “I have not been able to disentangle the various Birams....” On both pages 106 and 119, are listed a number of various Biram Combs of East Kentucky, only some of whom have been identified. These two lists of Biram Combs have been included as follows:
1816-1819 Clay Co, KY. Biram Combs, 1 white poll, no land, 1 horse (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving who adds that this is the first year that a Biram appeared on Clay Co, KY tax lists since 1808) Whether this is Biram “8” Combs, or the Biram styled by The Combes Genealogy… as “Junior” is not yet known; however, a Biran Combs appears on the 1817 Clay tax list; a Birom Combs on the 1818; and a Hiram [sic] Combs on the 1819. In each instance, this Biram is listed near to either William Combs, Sr., John Combs, Shadrach, Mason or Jeremiah Combs. If the 1816 Biram is not Biram “8”, his appearance in 1816 may indicate that this he had turned 21 and was born ca 1795.
1822-???? Perry Co, KY Tax Lists. No Biram Combs appears on either the 1820 Clay Co, KY census or tax list (might he have also been in Indiana at this time?), but beginning in 1822, a Biram Combs appears on Perry Co, KY tax lists with no land, and 1 horse, and listed as being on Carr Fork. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving). It is not yet known if this is the same Biram Combs from the 1816-1819 Clay Co, KY Tax Lists.
10/8/1827 -10/8/1827 (Perry Co, KY DBA:258) Samuel and Mary YOUNG of PC to Biram Combs of PC, 25a for $10 mentions a conditional line of George WATTS. Witnesses: Jesse CORNETT, Richard SMITH (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)
10/8/1827-10/8/1827 (Perry Co, KY DBA:259) Samuel and Mary YOUNG to Biram Combs of PC, for $200, 40 acres on Carrs Fk. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)
SE Note: These records might be significant in that the Mason Combs of Perry and Breathitt Cos (listed as the s/o a John Combs by The Combes Genealogy…), married 1825-1829, Matilda WATTS, d/o of George WATTS Sr. Note: I abstracted this deed twice. One abstraction includes a Jr. on George WATTS. I do not know which is correct. This appears to have been the same as the 1827 Biram Combs of Carr's Fork, mouth of Irishman Creek which The Combes Genealogy… states was Biram Combs, Jr., referring to him on p. 119 as “Biram, Jr., On Carr's Fork, Mouth of Irishman Cr., 1827. Old Biram's son.”
11/12/1829. (Perry Co, KY DBA:390) Tarlton Combs of PC to Biram Combs of PC $5..land patented and surveyed in the name of Knox Seminary on N. Fk of the Ky. R .70a. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving who adds that this land was bought by Tarlton from Henry Combs Sr., Perry Co, KY DBA:334.)
Tarleton Combs, b 1803-1804, KY, was the s/o Mason “8” and nephew of both Biram “8” Combs and Henry “8”. This record appears to be the same referenced Biram as the “1829 Biram Combs of the Kentucky River” by The Combes Genealogy…, which lists this Biram both as a 'stray' (p. 75) and as Biram Combs, s/o George “8” Combs (pp. 90 and 119), the latter another uncle of the above Tarleton Combs. Biram, s/o George “8”, was not, however, born until 1812-1813, thus would have still been under 21 at this time, and since he did not marry until 1836, neither the 1827 nor the 1829 Biram Combs records seem likely to have been him(?).
1830 Perry Co, KY Census includes only one Birum Combs (the only Biram found in Kentucky in 1830), enumerated on page 349, line 17, as b 1790-1800. Also in the household were one female, b 1800-1810, and one male, b 1815-1820. This Biram is listed immediately above Elijah Combs, Jr. (s/o Elijah “8” Combs, Sr.), and his wife, Polly Combs, d/o Jeremiah “Long” Combs, and only 4 lines above Mason Combs, h/o Matilda WATTS, whose father, George WATTS, b 1780-1790, appears on the 1830 Perry on p. 350, line 2 (See 1829 above).
Both Mason Combs and Jeremiah “Long” Combs (along with Shadrach “Old Shade” Combs) are said by The Combes Genealogy… to have been s/o a John Combs who appears to have been confused with John “8” Combs. Based on 1850-1860 Perry Co, KY and Madison Co, AR records, it seems possible that this Biram may have been the same whom The Combes Genealogy… terms Biram, Jr. (Biram, s/o George “8”, appears to have been in his mother's 1830 Perry census household).
1836 The only two early East Kentucky marriage records for a Biram Combs were both in 1836 in Perry County (Groom's Index), thus presumably too late to have been the Biram Combs of 1830. One marriage record is dated 7 Apr 1836, and the other 12 Sep 1836. One of the two was probably Biram Combs, b 1812-1813, the above-noted s/o George “8” & Lydia HARRELL Combs, and h/o Mariah MESSER, and the other may have been Biram Combs of Letcher Co, KY, b ca 1815, h/o Hannah OWENS (See also below). Although The Combes Genealogy… mentions one [sic] 1836 Perry marriage of a Biram Combs, he is not identified by this source.
The 1840 Census Index also lists only one Biram Combs in KY, in Perry County on page 257, line 28, appearing immediately above Jackson G. Combs (s/o Elijah “8” Combs, Sr. and, according to The Combes Genealogy…, h/o Martha “Patsy” CRANK); however, this Biram Combs was born 1810-1820, as was the only other individual in the household, a female. He was also neither the h/o Mariah MESSER and s/o George “8” Combs, nor Biram Combs, h/o Hannah OWENS, based on their 1850 Perry and Letcher census records.
4/4/1843. (Perry Co, KY DBB:287) Austin C. GODSEY, deputy sheriff of PC to Jackson G. Combs of PC. This instrument mentions a suit against the estate of John L. Combs, Biram Combs, and James M. HUNDLEY for $91. Biram Combs, and James M. HUNDLEY had given a bond for an estate [unnamed]. Court ordered the sale of a tract of land (50a) at public auction land on line fork adjacent land of Samuel LUSK adjacent RIPPEE survey (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving who adds: In my notes, I wrote that after rereading this instrument, I believed that John L. really referred to Jeremiah L. Combs and that all three men stood security and owed Jonathan R. BROWN. I found this deed very confusing. This record still needs to be read in full).
11/6/1844-11/6/1844 (Perry Co, KY DBB:333-4) Jackson G. Combs and wife Patsy to William and John LUSK, all of PC, 2 tracts (45a, & 50a) for $350,land on the waters of Line Fork adjacent to the end of James RIPPE'S plantation. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)
Notes: (1) Austin C. GODSEY m Marian (Mary Ann) Combs, d/o Jesse (s/o Elijah “8”). (2) Jackson G. Combs was the s/o Elijah “8”. According to The Combes Genealogy…, he m Martha “Patsy” CRANK (although other records indicate she may have been neè Combs). (3) John L. Combs may have been the same who was s/o Jeremiah “Long” Combs. If so, according to The Combes Genealogy…, he m his first cousin, Polly, d/o Shadrach “Old Shade” Combs (although other records show Polly may have been neè MOSELEY). (4) James M. HUNDLEY has not been identified, but note that one James HUNDLEY, d bef 1825, m 2 Nov 1810 Clay Co, KY, Sarah Combs (d/o RW John “8”), who m (2) ca 1826, Claiborne Combs, s/o George “8”. (5) James RIPPEE was “somehow kin to” Joshua RIPPEE who m 28 Oct 1818, Sarah HICKS, d/o Rev. Robert HICKS, Sr. and Winnifred Combs (d/o William and Seth STACY Combs, Sr. and widow of Samuel SUMNER).
Given that John L. Combs is only named once and Biram and James named twice, the estate may have been either that of John L. Combs (who may or may not have been deceased), or John L. Combs may have been the administrator of the estate of whomever, with Biram Combs and James M. HUNDLEY having been security for it's administration. Also note that Jackson G. and Jackson D. Combs (the latter unidentified) are often confused in Perry Records (See below). The 1840 Perry Co, KY census is “somewhat alphabetized,” but the 1830 shows Samuel LUSK listed immediately above Shadrach Combs, b 1780-1790 (said by The Combes Genealogy… to have been brother of Jeremiah “Long” and s/o a John Combs). In 1820, Shadrach Combs is listed on the Clay Co, KY census immediately between the above-noted James RIPPEE and Samuel LUSK.
1848 Letcher Co, KY Tax List. Troublesome Creek. Byram Combs and Cany(?) Combs.
1850 Letcher Co, KY Census includes Biram Combs 35, Hanah 26, Minda 10, Fielden 6, and Eliza 2. The 1919 and 1936 Knott Co, KY Death Certifcates of their sons, Boon and Kenus (respectively) document that Hannah was neè OWENS. This Biram Combs is listed near a Kinick Combs, age 26 (in the household of William CAUDILL), who may have been the same as Kendrick and Elizabeth “Betty” JONES Combs of 1860-1880 Perry census records (who also named a son, Biram).
1850 Perry Co, KY Census includes two Biram Combs:
(1) Biram Combs, b 1812-1813, KY, h/o Mariah MESSER, b 1815-1818, KY, and s/o George “8” Combs of Perry, b 1812-1813, KY, listed in District 1. Children in his census household were: Anderson, age 10, Milton, age 8, Claborne, age 6, Stephen, age 4, Lidia, age 2, and an unidentified “out of age order” James(?) Combs, age 12. He is listed immediately below Zachariah and Louisa Combs Morgan (d/o Elijah “8” Sr.), and immediately above what appears to be (his sister?) Matilda Combs, d/o George “8”. Listed as Biram S. Combs in 1860 Perry.
(2) Biram I. (or S.?) Combs, b ca 1818, KY, with wife, Feribe, b ca 1824, KY, listed in District 2. Children in his census household were James and Jesse, ages 5 and 3 respectively.* Like Biram of Letcher, this Biram is not identified by The Combes Genealogy…. He is enumerated immediately below Alexander S. Combs, b ca 1825, KY, and his wife, Polly Combs, b ca 1827, KY (ancestry of both unknown, neither identified by The Combes Genealogy…) and immediately above a Rachel Combs, b ca 1796, KY, with Jesse, 22, Louisa, 19, and Margaret, 17, also listed in her household (all unknown, none identified by The Combes Genealogy…, which states that the children of Biram S. were Jesse and June [sic] on p. 106. This Biram not yet located in 1860.
1852. Perry Co, KY(?) (Location not stated). Biram Combs died this year according to The Combes Genealogy…, p. 119, which includes neither a source nor location. Not found in 1852 Perry Co, KY Vital Stats.
4/20/1858-4/20/1858 (Perry Co, KY DBC:478). Jackson Combs states he is heir of Biram Combs and that he inherited land from his father. He sells his ½ share of 200a Wm L. Combs, land on Carrs Fk. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)
4/21/1858-4/21/1858 (Perry Co, KY DBC:476) John Combs of Madison Co., AR sold to Wm L. Combs of PC, for $125, all his interest in the estate of Biram Combs decd. His interest is in land on Carrs Fk that descended to his sister. In DBC:475, John defines his sister as Dicy Combs, decd. (Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)
Clearly these records are part of those used by The Combes Genealogy… to define the children of Biram Combs, Jr., listed as: “Squire Jack of Flax Patch,” Louise, d age 16; Dicey; and possibly John of Madison Co, AR (who is also termed John Combs-COUCH for reasons not yet determined). William L. Combs, purchaser of the land on Carr's Fork, was the s/o Jeremiah “Long” Combs. About this land, The Combes Genealogy… also states (pp. 92-3), John Combs “was in Madison County, Arkansas by 1858; in that year he sold to William L. Combs land at the mouth of Irishman Creek, a part of which land he had previously purchased from Biram Combs, Jr. (son of Biram Combs of the eight brothers), and later known as the Spencer Combs place. On the opposite side of Carr's Fork, at the mouth of Irishman Creek, and continuing up the creek, was the John W. Combs place, and some, or all of it, in the transaction of 1858.” The author also states that “This John is sometimes styled John “Combs-COUCH” in the Perry records. In 1837 John Combs-COUCH conveyed to Robert S. BRASHEAR in the region of Big Creek, in Perry or Breathitt” (This record not yet identified/located).
Jackson Combs states he is the heir of Biram Combs and that he inherited land from his father (Biram Combs, deceased?), but which Jackson Combs was he? (1) Jackson G. Combs, b ca 1816, KY, d 1855-1860, was the s/o Elijah “8” who had died in 1855. (2) Jackson D. Combs, also b ca 1816, KY, had d Sep 1849 in Perry according to the 1850 Mortality Schedule (neither he nor his children are included in The Combes Genealogy…). The only other Jackson Combs in 1850 Perry were: Jackson, age 15, s/o Stephen & Martha “Patsy” FRANCIS Combs; Jackson, age 7, in the HH of Matilda Combs (d/o George “8”); Jackson, age 14, s/o Jeremiah L. & Sarah KELLY Combs; and Jackson, age 7, s/o above Jackson G. Combs. The only Jackson Combs in the 1860 Perry Co, KY Census were: Jackson, age 25, laborer, Ky, listed “out of age order” in HH of Matilda WATTS Combs, widow of Mason Combs. Jackson “Jack” Combs, age 15, in HH of his mother Martha A. “Patsy” (CRANK?) Combs, widow of Jackson G. Combs. Jackson Combs, age 23, h/o Ava, age 20 (married in census year). No Jackson Combs found in 1860 Madison Co, AR Census (Neither Perry, nor Madison have been checked yet for a “Squire” or “Esquire” Combs).
John Combs of Madison Co, AR (brother of Dicey) has been mistakenly identified by The Combes Genealogy… as the John Combs who was in Madison Co, AR in 1850 (b 1810-11, TN, and h/o Malinda). Instead, he was the John Combs, age 16, listed “out of age order” in the 1850 Perry Co, KY Census District 2 HH#152-166 of Polly Combs, widow of Elijah Combs, Jr. and d/o Jeremiah “Long” Combs. The next household, #153-167, is that of Benjamin & Sarah Combs Davidson (d/o Elijah & Polly Combs Combs, Jr.) includes what appears to have been John's sister, Dicey, age 11. In 1854-5, Polly Combs Combs, and several of her children and their families, left Perry Co, KY for Madison Co, AR. The 1860 Madison Co, AR Census lists John Combs, brother of Dicey and heir of Biram, as head of household and Polly Combs Combs is a member of that household (See Two Hiram and Mary Combs of Perry Co, KY and Madison Co, AR).
1860 Perry Co, KY Census includes (a) the family of Biram S. Combs (s/o George “8” and h/o Mariah MESSER) and (b) an unidentified Biram Combs, age 43, with (sons?), Felix, 19, Elijah, 17, and Boone, age 14. He is found on neither the 1850 or 1870 Perry census. He is listed immediately above an unidentified William Combs, age 24, who is listed immediately above Shade Combs, s/o John L. Combs (s/o Jeremiah “Long”, d Aug 1859, Perry). Also in his household was his mother, Polly Combs, d/o Shadrach “Old Shade” per The Combes Genealogy… (but also possibly neè MOSELEY).
11-20-1862 Biram Combs - Civil War, Private, Company D 19th Regiment of KY Volunteer Infantry under Commander William Landram. Entered service 11-1-1861 at Irvine, Estill Co., KY. Served three (?) years. Was at Harrodsburg, KY 1-2-1862. Was 5'7" tall, fair complexion with blue eyes and dark hair. Died in Lexington Hospital 11-20-1862 of diarrhea and is buried in Lexington Cemetery, marker>#99, Lexington, KY. (Combs Researcher Debbie Hanks from Garnard Martin) This Biram is listed on p. 119 of The Combes Genealogy… as “Biram, killed in Civil War” with no more information. No Biram Combs is found on 1860 Estill census.
*including var. sp. and excluding Early KY and Indiana, which are included above under Biram “8” Combs, and Perry Co, KY, which is included above under Biram Combs, Jr.
19 Apr 1808 (Jefferson Co TN Marriage Records) Abraham COMES & Sally HUGGINS (“Early American Marriages: Tennessee to 1825, Jordan R. Dodd, et al, Precision Indexing Publishers, Bountiful, UT)
1847-1884 Abram Combs, in California with the Mormon Colony in 1847 with wife and three children, and in Utah by 1884 “his wife being dead.” (California Pioneer Register 1542-1848, p.103)
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