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By William Carey Coombs

William Carey Coombs in his book, Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, spends a great deal of time and effort weaving a romantic “French” origin for Anthony based on oral tradition that can not be supported by available facts. Anthony may well have been referred to by descendants as being “French” due to his likely familiarity with the French language, which he would have picked up from Lewis Allen, and by the strong possibility that he was born in “French territory,” east of the Kennebec River. However, there is no currently available data that documents either a French or non–French origin for Anthony.

WARNING: Most of the specifics on the descendants of Anthony Coombs are based on the work of William Carey Coombs in his book, Anthony Coombs and His Descendants. While this book is a useful starting point, his research is totally un–documented and rife with errors. Therefore, all of the data cited as coming from Anthony Coombs and His Descendants needs to be verified through additional sources before being accepted as fact.

Descendants of Anthony1 & Dorcas (Wooden) Coombs

The First Generation

The children of Anthony1 and Dorcas (Wooden) Coombs were born in various towns in MA:64

The Second Generation and their Children of the Third Anthony1 and Dorcas Wooden

Mary2 [Anthony1] Coombs, baptized 3 Sep 1689 in Beverly, married 20 May 170877 in Rochester, MA, Thomas Raymond of Beverly, MA. Thomas was the son of John2 Raymond and grandson of John,1 Raymond. Mary Coombs was Thomas Raymond’s cousin as Dorcas Wooden’s sister, Martha, married John2 Raymond, father of Thomas Raymond.

Children of Thomas and Mary,2 (Coombs) Raymond [based on the dates, this information must be challenged]:78

Peter2 [Anthony1] Coombs, baptized 18 Aug 1691; married Joanna Hodgkins, at Gloucester, MA; died Jan (var.) 1768, as shown by church record and gravestone at New Meadows.

In the 1730s, Peter left Massachusetts and bought land on the New Meadows River in what is now Brunswick, Maine. In the “Plan of the Brunswick lots in 1741”79 [see below], Peter is shown as owning 400 acres of the lands previously claimed by Allister Coombs.

Up until the time of the formation of the Pejepscot Company in 1714, comparatively few persons had made settlement in the New Meadows region. Once the Pejepscot Company was given authority over the prior claims in the area, they began to offer inducements to get people to settle in the region. In a letter from the proprietors of the Pejepscot, dated 18 Jul 1737, the following information was given in regard to the prices of the lots:

“The first settlers were to pay but five pounds for each hundred acres Since that, Giveen and those near him were to pay Sixteen pounds for each hundred acres Some that have more lately taken Lotts at Brunswick Road Ten pounds for each hundred Acres, those at Topsham and New Meadows Twenty five pounds for each hundred acres.”80

Peter Coombs came to the Brunswick area in 1730. “He settled first on Howards point about S.W. from Bisbees (Adams place). He was from Newbury Port and brot with him four sons George, Peter, Samuel, Caleb moved soon after on Freeman Cross’ place where he lived & died.”81 By 27 June 1739, Peter had purchased lot #24 (2 “lotts” for £50).82 These were lands claimed by Allister Coombs in 1675.

In the map of 1741, Peter2 is shown owning 400 acres along with his sons George3 (300 acres), and Peter3 Jr. (100 acres) and his brothers Anthony,2 (lot # 28, 100 acres), John,2 (100 acres), and his brother–in–law, Thomas Berry (100 acres – husband of Tabitha/Abigail2 Coombs).

Children of Peter2 and Joanna (Hodgkins) Coombs:83

Map of New Meadows lands, as laid out by the Pejepscot Company; made about 1741.84

Tabitha2 [Anthony1] Coombs, baptized 1693. Tabitha may be the same person as the Abigail Coombs, who married Thomas Berry. In the late 1730s Tabitha and Thomas Berry moved to New Meadows, ME and purchased 100 acres on the land previous claimed by Allister Coombs (see map of 1741). They had at least one child.

Child of Tabitha2 and Thomas Berry:85

Anthony2 [Anthony1] Coombs, baptized 1695 in Wenham, MA; he grew up in Rochester, MA and then moved to Gloucester, MA by 1722; married 21 Oct 1722, Mercy (Marssah) Hodgkins (by Rev. John White) in Gloucester, MA. Followed his brother, Peter, to New Meadows, ME in 1739 and settled at the James Larrabee place.86

Mercy was the tenth child of Samuel and Hannah (Hodgkins). Samuel Hodgkins and wife first appeared in Gloucester in 1684. In 1694, Samuel was appointed to keep the ferry at Trynall Cove where he had a house. Samuel Hodgkins was a shoemaker.87

Children of Anthony2 and Mercy (Hodgkins) Coombs:88

John2 [Anthony1] Coombs, Born 18 Mar 1699; married 9 Jan 1723–4, Lydia Wooden, daughter of Peter Wooden (Dorcas’ brother), at Rochester, MA. Prior to 1740 he removed to the New Meadows area of ME where he bought 100 acres and then settled on Great Island, Harpswell, ME.

Children of John2 and Lydia (Wooden) Coombs:91

Those in parentheses probably died young, as their names are repeated in the family.

Hannah2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 30 Nov 1700; married 24 Jun 1729, Nicholas Hicks, at Rochester.92

Child of Hannah2 and Nicholas Hicks (listed in Rochester Vital Records as child of Hannah Hicks):93

Rosanna2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 23 Nov 1702; married 21 Jan 1722–3, Nathaniel Whitcomb (Nathaniel Whitcomb and Rose Cumbs), at Rochester, MA; died 8 Mar 1737.94

Children of Nathaniel and Rosanna2 (Coombs) Whitcomb (listed in Rochester Vital Records as children of Nathanel and Rosillah Whitcumb):95

After a record of Rosanna (Coombs) Whitcomb’s death, follows this record:

By his wife Phoebe (Blackmer married Nathaniel Whitcomb 27 July 1738):96

Ithamer2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 20 Nov 1704, at Rochester, MA; married 4 Nov 1731, Hannah Andrews, in Rochester, MA. Hannah was born 30 Jan 1707 in Rochester, MA, daughter of Stephen and Bethia Andrews (Androws).98 Ithamer is believed to have died on 16 April 1768 in Freeman Gross, ME.

Children of Ithamer2 and Hannah (Andrews) Coombs:99

Joshua2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 23 Jul 1706, at Rochester, MA; married 10 Sep 1729, Elizabeth Pratt.

Elizabeth Pratt was the daughter of Eleazer Pratt, who was the son of Benaya Pratt, son of Joshua Pratt, who came over in the “Ann,” the third ship to come over in 1623. He was quite an important man in Plymouth Colony.

Joshua was a shoemaker by trade, though he is said to have engaged in building mills, with his brother John, in later life. One or more of his children were born at Rochester, MA, but the most of them were born at Newburyport, MA. He left this place about 1751 and settled on New Meadows River (ME), where he is said to have bought land near Foster’s Point. His will was probated at Bath, ME, 1789.

Children of Joshua2 and Elizabeth (Pratt) Coombs:100

Frances2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 20 July 1708, at Rochester, MA; married 15 April 1729, James Pratt of Middleboro, MA.102

No record of children has been found.

Jane2 [Anthony1] Coombs, born 29 Mar 1710.

No record of marriage or children found. As Joshua considered himself as “the youngest son and next to the youngest child,” it is probable that she did not live long.103

As can be seen from the forgoing, during the late 1720s the Coombs return to Maine began. Anthony2 moved to Falmouth, ME, in about 1728 and was listed as a landowner there on 9 May 1737.104 His older brother, Peter2 went further east and bought land in the 1730s on the New Meadows River in what is now Brunswick, ME. Anthony2 followed Peter to the New Meadows River. On an “Account of Lotts taken up at New Meadows In Brunswick,” dated 27 Jun 1739, both Peter2 and Anthony2 are listed as having bought, for 50 pounds, two 100–acre lots.105 Peter purchased lots 26 and 27 on the map of 1741 and erected a mill on his land, while Anthony tried to acquire lots 28 and 29, but, apparently he didn’t have a good deed for this land106 and had to subsequently purchase just lot 28:

Jacob Eaton, of a place called Topsham, in the Province of Mass. Conveyed to Anthony Coombs of Falmouth, by deed dated July 14, 1740, one hundred acres of land in the township of Brunswick on Stevens River, joining to land now in possession of Peter Coombs, consideration thirty two pounds.107

By 1742, John2 Coombs, George3 Coombs, Peter3 Coombs, and Thomas Berry are also listed as landowners at New Meadows.108

Anthony2 bought additional land in Brunswick in 1745 and 1747.

John2 Coombs came to New Meadows about 1739 and bought land further south (lot 14), but afterwards sold his land and moved to Great Island, Harpswell Township.

Joshua,2 a fourth brother, worked his way north and finally settled on the other side of the New Meadows River in 1751.

Abigail2 Coombs and her husband, Thomas Berry, also settled along the New Meadows River.

In 1741, the second generation of Coombs owned 700 acres in the area of New Meadows and their children held another 400 acres. As depicted in the overlay map on page 26, most of these 1,100 acres on the west side of the New Meadows River were part of the lands originally claimed by Allister Coombs in 1675.

In 1751, a petition was sent to the Massachusetts Bay Council requesting that a new county be established in the area of Brunswick. Peter2 Coombs, Anthony2 Coombs, Peter3 Coombs, Anthony3 Coombs and Sylvanus3 Coombs signed this petition.

On 22 Apr 1755, “The Proprietors of that Tract of Land lying on both Sides of Kennebeck River…Together with Sundry of the Principal Settlers and Residents within the limits of said Tract” petitioned the Governor of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay stating that the proprietors “…are determined to do all that lyes in their Power to render it a well peopled and Flourishing Settlement, so that Your Petitioners humbly Conceive that in a few years this Settlement may become a Barrier against both the French and Indians, and in all other Respects of Great Benefit to the Public….” The petition went on to request “…some Measures may be by your Wisdom concerted for their Safeguard and Defence against the Enemies [Indians] to whom they are exposed….” Signing this petition were: Anthony2 Combes, Anthony3 Combes jr., Peter2 Comes, Peter3 Combes Junr, George3 Combes, Silvanus3 Cooms, and William Cooms [an unidentified member of the family].109

Where all these Coombs actually lived is uncertain. According to a map of the Plymouth Company in 1752, there were only twenty dwelling houses in Brunswick; one of which was situated across from Howard Point and identified only as “Coombs.”110

The last of the series of Indian Wars began in the Brunswick vicinity on 9 May 1756.

Note: The hatched area approximates the original lands claimed by Allister Coombs in 1665. Overlaid are the properties purchased by the sons and grandsons of Anthony1 during the 1730s and 1740s. This depiction does not include land purchased by Abigail’s2 husband, Thomas Berry, which was below the 300 acres owned by George3 Coombs, nor the land of Joshua2 Coombs who settled on the eastern side on the river.

  1. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, by William Carey Coombs, Addison C. Getchell & Son, Boston, MA, 1913, page 123.
  2. Records of First Parish Unitarian Church, Beverly, MA.
  3. Records of First Parish Unitarian Church, Beverly, MA.
  4. Records of Congregational Church, Wenham, MA.
  5. Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire, by Noyes, Libby & Davis, page 161.
  6. Records of Congregational Church, Wenham, MA.
  7. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  8. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  9. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  10. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  11. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  12. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  13. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, pages 89 and 90.
  14. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, page 253
  15. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 123.
  16. History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, by George Augustus Wheeler, based on Mudge edition, 1878
  17. History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, Chapter 3, page 6.
  18. Pejepscot Record, Volume 5, page 209.
  19. Pejepscot Papers, Folio 90.
  20. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 124.
  21. History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, “Plan of Brunswick lots in 1741 and of the Topsham lots in 1768.”
  22. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 124.
  23. History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Part III, Chap. 2, pages 830-1.
  24. History of Gloucester, Massachusetts, by Babson, page 104.
  25. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 124.
  26. Source unrecorded.
  27. Source unrecorded.
  28. Rochester Vital Records, Volume I, pages 89-90.
  29. Plymouth County Records and Rochester Vital Records, Vol. II, page176.
  30. Rochester Vital Records, Volume I, page 177.
  31. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 125.
  32. Rochester Vital Records, Vol., pages 301-2.
  33. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. II, page 316.
  34. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. page 301 and church record, First Congregational Church of Rochester.
  35. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, page 16.
  36. Rochester Vital Records, pages 89-90.
  37. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 126.
  38. Rochester Vital Records, Vol. I, page89.
  39. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, pages 126-7.
  40. Anthony Coombs and His Descendants, p. 127.
  41. York County Registry of Deeds, Book 18, Folio 193, page 453.
  42. Pejepscot Papers, Vol. 3, page 71.
  43. Pejepscot Papers, Vol. 10, page 131.
  44. York County Registry of Deeds, Book 24, Folio 279.
  45. Pejepscot Papers, Vol. 10, page 131.
  46. Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 136, pages 270-280.
  47. History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, Chapter 3, page 19.

Next: Descendants of Peter2 and Joanna (Hodgkins) Coombs

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