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Joseph Combs I (-ca1756)
of Stafford Co, Virginia


Partial Update Feb 28 1999
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Although some researchers have assigned Joseph Combs I of Stafford Co, VA as an elder son of John Combs who died in Richmond Co, Virginia ca 1717, the records of Richmond and Essex Counties seem to indicate clearly that the eldest son of John Combs of Richmond was Archdale Combs II who died in King George Co, VA in 1735. The ancestry of Joseph Combs I has not yet been determined although it appears that a relationship of some kind existed between him and the descendants of Archdale Combs of Old Rappahannock, particularly since (a) our findings of pre-1700 Combs records in Stafford County and (b) the fact that at least one descendant of Joseph Combs I was named Archdale (See Clark Co, KY).

Both Joseph Combs' year and location of birth are unknown; however, he was an adult by 1723 when he first appears in the records of Stafford County:

"From the Stafford Co, VA rent roll for the year 1723 Returned by James Carter, July ye 18th, 1724."
Combs, Jos., 243 acres, Paid 59 lbs. Tobacco. Land that was Michael JUDD'S.

"1723 Tenders of Tobacco: Joseph Combs - with James CEED, Sofias ROGERS, Patrick BARRAWAY... 36,000 plants"
(The Register of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA, 1723-1758 and Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes, Compiled and Published by George Harrison Sanford King Fellow, American Society of Genealogist, Fredericksburg, VA, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1961, hereinafter OPR)

Although the original deed to Joseph Combs for the above land is not extant, the following series of deeds assist in both locating the property and identifying his neighbors:

12 Sep 1711- 21 Jun 1712 (Stafford - NN Land Patent Book 4:91) George SIMSON of Stafford Co. Wrnt. 12 Sept. last. He assigned to Michaell JUDD, Jr. of said Co., half of land 21 Mar. last. Surv. by Mr. Thomas HOPPER. Grant to SIMSON & JUDD for 243 A. on Beaver Damn Run of N. Runn of Ocquia Cr. in said Co. (Virginia North Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742, Vol. I, compiled by Gertrude E. Gray, GPC, Baltimore, 1987)

9 Aug 1726 (Stafford - NN Pat Bk A:211) Joseph COMBE of Stafford Co., 576 acs. in sd. county on Acquia Crk. adj. COMBE'S land. (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

27 Feb 1728/9 (NN Pat Bk C:195) John GREEN of Stafford 323 acs. in Stafford adj. Col. ROBINSON, Geo. WALLER, Marquis CALAMIES, Jas. BUTLER, on Beaverdam Run of Acquia. [Deed granted John EDY. GREEN neglected to pay charges, but paid before EDY had his deed. EDY'S deed cancelled. D. B. B. fo. 189.] . (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

7 Feb 1728/9 (NN Pat Bk B:168) John WARNER of Stafford, 225 acs. in Stafford on Long Br. of Acquia near Marquis CALMIES, on Cannons Run, on Occaquan Path. . (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

16 Feb 1729/30 (NN Pat Bk C:25) John COOK of Stafford, 1,514 acs. in Stafford on Beaverdam Run of Acquia adj. Joseph Combs, Great Rocky Run, CARY'S line, Br. of Chappawomsick, Wm. BRENT, Mr. John LEE. (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

5 Apr 1730 (NN Pat Bk C:55) Thos. BARBER of Richmond Co., 161 acs. in Stafford adj. Joseph Combs on Beaverdam Br. of Acquia. (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

6 Jun 1731 (NN Pat Bk C:152) John COOK of Stafford Co., 1,665 acs. in Stafford on Beaverdam Run of Acquia adj. CARY'S Patent under which Geo. FITZHUGH claimed, ALLERTON'S Patent, Nicholas BRENT, John WARNER, path from CALAMEZE to COOMBS'S Mill, Joseph COOMBS. (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

28 Nov 1739. (Stafford NN Pat Bk ) Charles HARDING of Stafford County 269 acs. in said County, Mr. WARNER to survey. Adj. Capt. John LEE, Samuel TIMMONS now PEYTON'S, Joseph COMBES, near South Run of Chappawamsick, Brent Town Road. (Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. Gertrude E. Gray)

28 Oct 1742 (NN Pat Bk 1 pg. 511) Isaac Breedwell: 522 acres beginning at Joseph COMBS corner, on a branch of the Beaverdam Run of Acquia adjoining Fristow, Lee &c. Northern Neck Grants E, 1736-1742, p. 511 (Reel 291)

Of particular interest are (1) the above record of 16 Feb 1729/30, which indicates that Joseph Combs owned property adjacent to a William BRENT; and (2) the following record:

21 Jun 1712 - 31 Oct 1763 (NN Land Patent Book I:100) Mr. John Combs of Stafford Co. 180 A. Beaver Dam & Long Br. of Acquia in said county. Surv. Mr. John MAUZY. Adj. CARY or FITZHUGH (now Washington), grant of George SIMSON & Michael JUDD 21 June 1712, Joseph Combs, said Joseph COMBE, WALLER & WARNER now RALLS. 31 Oct 1763 (Virginia North Neck Land Grants, 1742-1745, Vol. II, compiled by Gertrude E. Gray, GPC, Baltimore, 1987)

The former record is also of interest because we know that Mason Combs, Sr. of Overwharton Parish was on the estate rent list of Capt. Wm. BRENT, dec'd, during the years 1746-1750, and one of our goals is to attempt to determine just how closely the two men lived to each other. As to the second record, it further establishes John Combs, Sr. as a son of Joseph Combs I of Stafford, and that Joseph Combs I was the same individual as the Joseph Combs on the 1723 rent roll. A third land grant of interest is the following:

26 Feb 1728/9 (NN Land Patent Book Born-188) William KENDALL of Stafford County "containing 402 acres situated, lying and being in Stafford County binding on ye land of Coll. CARTER, Nicholas BRENT, Henry BRENT and Maurica LINAH". Dated 26th day of February, in ye second year of ye reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second of Great Brittian, France, and Ireland KING defender of the faith ANNO DOMINI 1728/9.

William Kendall Deed for four hundred and two acres of land in Stafford County
(Researcher Denise Mortorff)

The above William KENDALL was the husband of Elizabeth Combs, daughter of John Combs, died Richmond 1717, and thus the brother-in-law of Mason Combs. The KENDALLS are a significant part of our continuing efforts to determine precise property locations in Stafford County as can be seen when reading the files of William and Elizabeth Combs Kendall and John Combs of Richmond.

Numerous land patents are extant for Joseph Combs, totalling over 2,500 acres between 1725 and 1741. (Combs, A Study in Comparative Philology and Genealogy, privately published ca 1976, based on the manuscript of the late Josiah H. Combs, by Norris K. Combs of Pensacola, Florida, hereinafter JHC) Various land patents and tax lists show that his early holdings were primarily in the Beaver Dam-Aquia Creek area of Overwharton Parish, and later records help to pinpoint the location of his residence, including the following:

27 Jul 1756 (Stafford County Liber N 1739-49: RALLS from Combs 505.) from (Prince William County Minute (Order) Books1755-57; 27 Jul 1756. John RALLS sues John MURDOCK.. the following come to Court: James PHILLIPS (8 mi.), John ASHBY (12 mi), William KENDALL (5 days ten mi.); Richard HEWITT (5 days, 18 mi. for RALLS); William ETHRING (5 days, 13 mi for MURDOCK); Charles HARDIN (1 day, 12 mi for MURDOCK); William BUSSELL (1 day 27 mi for RALLS), Jemima MASON (5 days for RALLS); George MASON (5 days for RALLS); John CARTER (1 day 20 mi. for MURDOCK); John PEYTON Junr (1 day for RALLS); Richard Joseph Combs (4 days 9 mi for MURDOCK; Jane WILLIAMS (2 days 9 mi. for RALLS); John RALLS Junr (2 days, 9 mi for RALLS) (Posted by Patricia Junkin to the Old Frederick Co VA Rootsweb List, 21 Jan 1998, and reprinted with permission)

Notes: This record needs to be ordered due to the "Richard Joseph Combs" listed. No other Richard Combs (with or without middle name of Joseph) has been found in any records, Stafford or otherwise.

Unlike Mason Combs and the KENDALLS, other than the marriage record of his daughter, Jane, to John ASHBY on 11 May 1741, Joseph Combs' family does not appear in the Overwharton Parish Register. It is possible that this indicates Joseph Combs was either Catholic or a Church of England dissenter; however, thus far no evidence as to his religious preferences has been discovered.

In 1739 Joseph Combs I purchased land in Prince William Co, VA that other deeds show was close to the Stafford County line:

12 Mar 1738/9 - 26 Mar 1739 (Prince William Co, VA DB D:69-72) Mar. 12, 1739. Deeds of Lease & Release. John CLARK & Margaret CLARK his wife of St. Mary's Par., Caroline Co., planter, to Joseph Combs of Overwharton Par., Stafford Co., planter, 14 pds. for 152 acs in Hamilton Par., on Derrells' Run...corner to Jeffrey JOHNSON...to James PETERS land... to corner of John CATLET.
/s/ John CLARKE /s/ Margaret (+) CLARKE
Wits: Jonathan GIBSON, James BOWIE John RALLS
At a court Mar. 26, 1739, John CLARKE acknowledged this release.

(Pr. Wm. DB D:116-117) Richd. TALIAFERO and Wm. TALLIAFERRO, Gent., of Caroline, in private examining Margaret CLARK the wife of John CLARK apart from her sd. husband...her free consent duly execute certain deeds of lease and release dated March 19, 1738 [sic] between sd. John CLARKE and Margaret his wife to Joseph Combs and conveying unto Joseph Combs tract of land of 152 acs. in Hamilton Parish. March 31, 1739.
Wm. TALIAFERRO, Richd. TALIAFERRO
At Court May 28, 1739 this comission and certificate were presented in Court. (Prince William County, Virginia, Deed Book Liber D, 1738-1740. June Whitehurst Johnson)

So far as is we know at this point, the above John and Margaret CLARK are not of the St. Mary's Co, MD, Combs-CLARK family. (See Abraham Combs of St. Mary's) Likewise, it is not known if it is significant that they were from Caroline where Mason Combs, presumably the same who was later in Stafford, owned property on Peumans End Run bequeathed to him by his father, John Combs of Richmond. The James PETERS who witnessed the above will may also be of interest - if he was kin to Henry PETERS of Peumans End Run of Old Rappa. (See Combs of old Rappahannock and Combs, Joanne & John MEADOR).

Another possible connection is the CATLETTS: John Combs of Richmond was the step-brother of William UNDERWOOD, Sr. whose aunt, Elizabeth, married John CATLETT, Sr. Their son, John CATLETT, Jr., was born ca 1658 in Old Rappa County and the above John CATLETT was probably a relative although that has not yet been determined. Combs & CATLETTS &c are found living nearby to each other in many early records. Nor did the association between the CATLETTS and Joseph Combs' descendants did end in 1739. In a 1784 Stafford County deed, a Henry CATLETT witnessed the deed of Benjamin and Sarah Combs of Frederick County, to Joseph Combs of Stafford. (Stafford D&W8:348-9) (Research in progress)

Although Joseph Combs I of Stafford did not leave a will, he did leave a series of deeds of gifts that identify his three known children and the land he gifted:

(Stafford Co DB P:121-125) Indenture made Sept. 10 & 11, 1756 between Joseph Combs the Elder of Stafford and Joseph Combs the Younger, son of sd. Jos. the Elder, of Frederick Co., Va...for love and affection and 5 shillings...1,000 acs., all that tract of land in Overwharton Parish on the north side of beaver dam run b/b the North bank of sd. run as far as Brent Town Road & then by sd. road. Said Jos. the younger and heirs shall not by virtue of the presents claim any right to any profit arising from or appertaining to the said Stream called beaver dam run or any part thereof nor build or attempt to build any mill or mills upon any part f sd. stream nor any way disturb John Combs brother to the sd. Joseph...in possession of the mill now upon that stream or of the stream itself with all its profits and provided further that nothing hereby granted shall restrain John from bulding & erecting as many mills on sd. stream as he shall think proper.
Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Esqr.
s/Joseph (mark) Combs
John RALLS, John NELSON/NEILSON, George CROSBY
Admitted to record at Stafford Co.Ct. Oct. 12, 1756. (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

(Stafford Co DB P:125-126) Sept. 11, 1756. I, Joseph Combs the Elder of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co., Va. in consideration of natural love & affection I bear unto my son Joseph Combs the Younger of Frederick Co., Va....have granted ans sell unto Jos. the Younger all and every the Negro Slaves (10 named) togetheer with all my Smiths tools2...

Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Esqr.
/s/ Joseph (mark) Combs
John RALLS, John NELSON, George CROSBY
Admitted to record at Stafford Co.Ct. Oct. 12, 1756. (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

(Stafford Co DB P:126) Sept. 11, 1756. I, Joseph Combs the Elder of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, for love I bear unto my Son in Law John ASHBY of Frederick County who married my daughter Jane...have granted my Negro man called Phill...
/s/ Joseph (mark) Combs
Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Esqr.
John RALLS, John NELSON, George CROSBY
Oct. 12, 1756. Deed of gift proved and admitted to record (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

(Stafford Co DB P:126-129) Indenture made Sept. 10-11, 1756 between Joseph Combs the Elder of Stafford Co. and John Combs, son of said Joseph of Prince William Co., for natural love which he hath unto his sd. son John Combs and 5 shillings, doth grant all that land on which sd. Joseph Combs dwelling plantation now is, lying and being in Overwharton Parish, Stafford County on South side of Beaver dam run b/b North side of sd. run as high as Brent Town Road and then extending over the North bank of the sd. run so as to include all the land above the sd. road to the sd. Tract containing by estimatin 1000 acs. more or less together with the mill upon the sd. run & all the appurtances thereof... John shall possess the separate and sole use of the stream called Beaver dam run with all profits therefrom arising and shall enjoy the same together with the mill thereon without hindrance.
Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Gent.
/s/ Joseph (mark) Combs
John RALLS, John NELSON, George CROSBY
Oct. 12, 1756. Deed proved and admitted to record (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

(Stafford Co DB P:129) Sept. 11, 1756. Joseph Combs the Elder of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co., for natural love I bear my son John Combs of Hamilton Parish, Prince William Co., have granted all the Negroe Slaves following (9 named) together with my Still...
Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Gent.
/s/ Joseph (mark) Combs
John RALLS, John NELSON, George CROSBY
Oct. 12, 1756. Deed of gift proved and admitted to record. (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

(Stafford Co DB P:130) Sept. 11,1756. Joseph Combs the Elder of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County for natural love I bear unto my two sons John Combs of Hamilton Parish, Prince William Co., and Joseph Combs the Younger of Frederick County... have given all my household goods household stuff & implements of household linnen bedding brass and pewter & all my stock of horses cattle sheep & hoggs & my crop of corn and tobacco and all my debts rights & personal estate whereof I am now possessed to be equally divided between them share and share alike to take the same in common and not as joint tenants.
Wits: Evan WILLIAMS Clk. to Thomson MASON Gent.
/s/ Joseph (mark) Combs
John RALLS, John NELSON, George CROSBY
Oct. 12, 1756. Deed of gift proved and admitted to record (Stafford Co, VA Deeds, Sparacio)

The above deeds are a genealogical treasure, of course. Moreover, his identification of Joseph the Younger as a resident of Frederick at this time should be of assistance in sorting out the numerous other Joseph Combs in the North Neck during the 18th century. No deeds of gift for other than the above three children have been located in Stafford County, and it is believed that they are the only issue of Joseph Combs who lived to adulthood. No extant records have been located thus far naming his wife. These final deeds of gift are the last record of Joseph Combs the Elder in Stafford County and probably signaled his impending death.

See also, however, the aged and infirm Joseph COOMBS of Loudoun Co, VA who in 1763, was ordered Levy Free due to 'age and infirmities.' Could Joseph Combs I have removed to Loudoun prior to his death?


Known Issue of Joseph Combs I of Stafford:

John Combs, Sr., of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, born bef 1725, died ca 1786, in Stafford Co, VA; married before 1745, Seth (Harrison?) BULLITT, daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth(?) HARRISON Bullitt, born ??, died after 6 Jan 1810, (probably) Stafford Co, VA
Joseph Combs the Younger (II), born bef 1731, died ????, Loudoun Co, VA; married Elizabeth HARRISON, daughter of Burr and Ann BARNES Harrison, born 1731, died 1781 (possibly not his first marriage); had son (probably Robert Combs alias ASHBY) by Sarah ASHBY (Frederick Co, VA Records).
Jane (a.k.a. Jean) Combs, born bef 1727, died?; married 11 May 1741, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA, Capt. John ASHBY, born? died? Documented Issue: Elizabeth ASHBY, born 9 Jul 1742, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, Virginia (The Register of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA, 1723-1758 and Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes, Compiled and Published by George Harrison Sanford King Fellow, American Society of Genealogist, Fredericksburg, VA, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1961) See Also Combs &c. Research Report of her brother, Joseph Combs the Younger (II)

1755 John ASHBY, Colonel (1707-1797), b 1707: Captain, 2nd Company Virginia Rangers, 1755, and took part in the Braddock Campaign under [General George] WASHINGTON; m (l) 11May 1741, Jean Combs and had issue:- Nathanial, Lewis, m Leannah BUCKNER, Edward, John, Elizabeth, m Colonel John PETERS, Charlotte (Extracted by Combs Researcher Patience Northern from "Prominent Families of the United States of America - Burke ISBN 0-8063-1208-0, p226) See Frederick Co, VA

Important! Supposedly there is a letter written by a British officer captured at Yorktown who wrote of his 1781 visit to the Ashby inn and spoke to a woman who matches Jane's description. In their conversation, she said that she would treat him kindly, as her mother was born in England. Seeking source for and transcription of this letter


Research Notes

Numerous other records are extant, including further documentation of Joseph's children and grandchildren, many of which will be entered at a later date. In the meantime, research of Joseph Combs I of Stafford continues. Current emphasis is on land location, neighbors and other early associates. One avenue of research that does not appear to have been taken is an investigation into the five earliest names associated with Joseph Combs I: George SIMPSON, Michael JUDD2, James, CEED, Sofias ROGERS and Patrick BARROWAY. These four men knew Joseph Combs I at least as early as 1723, possibly much earlier. One of them may have been the father or brother of Joseph Combs I's wife. Or possibly his maternal grandfather or an uncle. Thus, it would seem imperative to investigate these four individuals more closely.

Another avenue still in need of exploration is a complete study of all land that Joseph Combs is known to have owned. The results of such a study could determine either (1) that he inherited land; or (2) additional children heretofore unidentified that were gifted land in deeds not extant.


Footnotes

1 Re the blacksmith tools deeded Joseph Combs the Younger by his father in 1756, see also William Combs, Sr. of Stafford.

2The following Michael JUDD has been found in the records of Baltimore Co, Maryland; however, it is not known if he is the same Michael JUDD or related to the Michael JUDD of Stafford Co, VA. Likewise, his relationship to Jane JUDD is not known. Note also, however, that Joseph Combs named a daughter Jane (a.k.a. Jean):

Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume II
pg. 51
LOVE, Robert, Balt. Co.,
26th Mch., 1692;
7th June, 1692,
To son John, ex., all real estate; he to give his brother Robert a
portion of land (unnamed).
To other child. (unnamed), personalty in equal shares; division to be
made by sd. son John.
Test: Wm. SICKLEMORE, Wm. GUDGEON, Jane JUDD. 6. 69.

Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume II
HEMSTEAD, Eliza:, Balto. Co.,
9th Dec., 1690;
To Enoch SPINKE and unborn child of Eliza: WALY, if male, and their hrs., all land. If sd. child be female, personalty only, and Enoch SPINKE afsd. to inherit all land. To Sarah SPINKE, sister of Enoch SPINKE, and hrs., personalty at 18 yrs. of age. To Mary SIMS and hrs. personalty. Exs.: Thos. STALY, Robt. LOVE. The exs. are empowered to recover from Eliza: WALY afsd. and her father, Thomas THURSTON, certain personal estate. Test: Michael JUDD, Jno. WRIGHT, Wm. GUDGEON, Rich'd MILLER. 6. 70.

Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume II
pg. 97
GATES, Robert, Balt. Co.,
28th Apr., 1695;
30th May, 1695.
To Sarah SPIMKE and hrs., 50 A. (unnamed), 1/2 of real estate.
To Thomas LITON, ex., and hrs., residue of estate, real and personal.
Test: Michael JUDD, Jno. WEBSTER, Jane JUDD. 7. 125.

Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume II
page 124
NICHOLLS, John, Balto. Co.
4th May, 1691;
To child. viz., John, Thomas, Mary, and Sarah, personalty.
Wife Mary, extx. and residuary legatee of estate, real and personal.
test: Thos. JONES, Michael JUDD, Jno. HATHAWAY, Robt. OLESE. 7. 288.

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