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Bristol was a city and county of itself, and a considerable port, situated near the mouth of the Bristol channel, and between the counties of Gloucester and Somerset, 34 miles south southwest of Gloucester, 12 miles northwest of Bath, and 118 miles west of London. Until the late 14th century Bristol north of the Avon was in Gloucestershire, while the south side was in Somerset. In 1373, Edward III rewarded the burghers of Bristol for services rendered at the siege of Calais by granting the borough the rare distinction of becoming an independent county with shire jurisdiction. This lasted for 600 years until the new county of Avon was created in April 1974. Bristol was needed to be the centre of administration for Avon so the ancient Charter of Edward III was rescinded by Act of Parliament. Bristol remained in Avon until March 1996. On 1 April in that year Avon ceased to exist and Bristol became a county once more but this time by Act of Parliament, not by Royal Charter.

Combs &c. Records by Hundred and Parish in which Combs and Associated Families have been found thus far


Researcher Terry Lanfear adds that as a result of early expansions of Bristol into neighbouring counties, some parts of the present City and County of Bristol fell under other jurisdictions in the past; and conversely, some areas which join seamlessly with Bristol have never been part of it, e.g. Kingswood which (was formerly a detached parish of Wiltshire, but) is now in South Gloucestershire

Note: Because Bristol was a major port, some of the following records may not reflect residence, but transportation records only. See also Parishes within 15 miles of Bristol

Also note: Unless otherwise stated, the source for (1) Society of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester vital records is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bristol, Society Of Friends, Gloucester, England (Extracted records). Vital Records Index - British Isles, CDs, 1998, FHL Number 815489, 1654-1690, FHL Number 815485, 1691-1837; FHL Number 815487, 1654-1794; FHL Number 815490, 1681-1700; and FHL Number 917048, 1659-1691; and (2) Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somerset is IGI Batch No.: 7223117, So: 0822005


Combs &c. were in Bristol by the 14th century:

ca 1363 36 EDWARD III. Chancery: Inquisitions Ad Quod Damnum, Henry III to Richard III [28 Oct 1216 - 22 Aug 1485]. C 143/346/9. "Robert CHEDDRE of Bristol, John HACSTON, John de MERSSHTON, William de COUMBE, John de BEKYNGTON, and John de WOTTON to grant a messuage and rent in Bristol to the prior and convent of Witham, retaining messuages in Bristol. Glouc." (Combs &c. Extractions from the PRO Catalogue, C Series - record not yet acquired)

ca 1377 50 EDWARD III. Chancery: Inquisitions Ad Quod Damnum, Henry III to Richard III [28 Oct 1216 - 22 Aug 1485]. C 143/389/7. "Robert CHEDDRE, William CHEDDRE, Walter MULLEWARD, Henry WYVELESCOMBE, John WODEROUE, William COUMBE of Bristol, John BURY, parson of the church of Whatley, John STOURTON, Geoffrey WALDECOTE, Thomas ASTELEY, and Thomas HERDEBURGH to grant messuages and sh…" [incomplete entry]. (ibid.)

ca 1383-4 [6-7 Rich.II]. Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Particulars of Customs Accounts. E 122/16/15. Associated Ports. Port: Bristol & all ports from Chepstow inclusive to Exeter. Corresponding particulars of account by Walter de DERBY & William COMBE, collectors. (Combs &c. Extractions from the PRO Catalogue, E Series - record not yet acquired)

ca 1388 Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Particulars of Customs Accounts. E 122/16/18. Port: Bristol Particulars of account of John CANDEURE & William COMBE, collectors of tunnage. 11 [Rich.II]. (ibid.)

Several references to Bristol are found in records pertaining to the colonisation of America in the early 1600s:

1619/20 In regard to John COMBS of the ship Marigold: “It is established that the ship “Marigold” cleared from Bristol Channel in the year 1619. In Hotten's list it is clearly stated that John COOMES (in list given as Jn COMES) sailed on the Marigold, also that there was one other by the came [name] of COOMES, but whether male or female or related to the above John is not shown. Neither does it show his former home address.” (The Society of Genealogists (signed) K. Bloomfield, Secy, Letter Chaucer House, London, ?. C. Aug.10, 1938, Correspondence to James L. Kendall) See Also Early Combs &c. Families to Virginia

29 Jan 1620/1 Bristol, EN
“These are to certifie the Right honorable, Right Worshipfull and others of the counsell and company for this First Southern Colony of Virginia, that there arrived at Barklay in the same country, for the account of the Society and the plantation of the said Hundred, upon the 29th of January 1620/1 (O.S.), these fifty person, under written vist---
“William TRACY, Esq.; Mary TRACY his wife; Thomas TRACY their sonne; Joyce TRACY their daughter; Frances GREVELL; Elizabeth WEBBE; Alice HESKINS; Isabell GIFFORD; Arnold OLDSWORTH, Esq.; Robert PAWLETT, divine; Thomas KEMYS, gent; John HOLMDEN, gent: Richard FERRIBY; George KEENE, gent; Nicholas COMBE, gent; William FINCHE, Maragret his wife and Fances their daughter; John GIBBES; Robert BAKER; John HOWLETT the elder; John and William HOWLETT, his sonnes; Walter PROSSER; Giles CARTER; George HALL; John BAILEY; Thomas BAUGH; Gabriel HOLLAND; Richard HOLLAND; Giles WILKINS; Giles BROADWAY; Richard DALTON; Richard MILTON; Joane COOPY; Antony COOPY and Elizabeth COOPY; Philip Strange; John PAGE and Francys, his wife; John LINZEY; Roger LINZEY; James JELFE; Richard ROLLES, Jane his wife and Benedict ROLLES their sonne; Alexander BROADWAY; Arthur KEMYS, gent.
(Signed) George YEARDLEY
Jo: PORY, Sect.”
(Extracted by Combs Researcher Birdie McNutt from Giles Carter of Virginia Genealogical Memoir by General William Giles Harding CARTER, US Army, The Lord Baltimore Press, Baltimore, MD USA 1909.)

There are conflicts in re whether Nicholas was a COMBE or a CAMME. See Early Combs To Virginia)

04 Oct 1627 High Court Admiralty Examinations. Thomas WITHERLEY (or WETHERLEY) of Horseydown, captain of the John and Frances of London, deposes 4 Oct., 1627 (no age stated), and 1 Oct., 1632, aged 30. (He is the Thomas WITHERLEY, mariner, to whom such frequent reference is made in Lechford's Note-Book. [Author: Savage confounds him with Wetherall]. In 1630 he [WITHERLY] figured in a sea-drama which brought him into the H. C. A. in the capacity of defendant. Early in that year Sir Ferdinando GORGES, Mr. Isaac ALLERTON of New England, and Mr. Thomas WRIGHT of Bristol, set out the Swift of Bristol, Stephen REEKS of Poole master, for New England, laden with passengers and provisions. These were in due course landed at “Sacho and, Cuscoe,” [now Maine] where REEKS reloaded with “fishe and trayne oyl” for St. Michael's, one of the Azores or Western Islands. He could speak a bit of French; so, in accordance with his owners' instructions, and in order to outwit enemy privateers, he called his ship the St. Peter and himself Phillip ALLEY. The ruse would doubtless have succeeded had not Capt. WITHERLEY, then in command of the Warwick letter of marque, swooped down upon him, while he still lay in Damerell's Cove, on the New England coast,.and made him a prize. On reaching London REEKS confessed his deception in WITHERLEY'S presence, at the house of Capt. John MASON in Fenchurch Street, but whether he recovered his ship is not apparent. (James Nicholls, 18 Oct., Stephen REEKS, 30 Oct., Thomas MILLARD, 1 Nov., 1630; Genealogical Notes from the High Court of Admiralty Examinations, J. R.Hutchinson, p. 182)

Isaac ALLERTON was the brother of Sarah ALLERTON, who m (1) Degory PRIEST; and (2) Cuthbert CUTHBERTSON. Degory & Sarah ALLERTON Priest were the parents of Sarah PRIEST who m ca1630 in Plymouth Colony, John COMBS. Isaac ALLERTON, Jr., s/o the above Isaac & Feare BREWSTER, later removed to Westmoreland Co VA. Sir Ferdinando GORGES was the grandfather of Sir Ferdinando GORGES who m Mary ARCHDALE 22 May 1660, the latter d/o Thomas & Mary NEVILLE Archdale, and cousin of John & Margaret ARCHDALE Combs who m in St. Antholin Budge Row, London EN 1587. The ship Warwick was owned by Robert RICH, Earl of Warwick, and cousin of Warwick CAMMOCK of Old Rappa Co VA, close associate of Archdale COMBS. Warwick's uncle, Thomas CAMMOCK, is later found in Saco, ME also (See also Archdale and Cammock Families) Also note that a Nicholas who was either CAMME or COMBE sailed from Bristol, EN on 24 1620 with William TRACY (See Earliest Combs to Virginia where are found additional Combs with connections to both the Virginia Company and to others who were actively involved with the early colonies, including John SMITHE of Nibley, near Bristol).

ca1631 Extracted from a note thought to have possibly been written by Thomas COMBE, a Virginia Company subscriber and close associate of John SMITH and Richard BERKELY mentions: 'A note of the Berkeley cattle. The owners of them are Mr. SMITH of Nibley near Bristol and Mr. Richard BERKELEY of Berkeley 2 miles of [from] Bristol. (See Early Combs &c. of Virginia)

25 Sep 1652 Bristol EN Depositions. William COMBE, Notary Public. Deposition on a bond to be paid after the return of the AMTY [nb: Amity?] of Bristol to EN. (VSLA SR 06578, p. 3)

1654-1679 The Bristol Records List of names of persons who Emigrated to America Bt 1654-1679
Richard COMBES - Sturton (Extracted from New World Immigrants, Volume I, Michael Tepper, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore 1980 P 161 by Combs Researcher Sharon Natolis)

See Stourton, Wilts where one Richard COMBE, probably the same who was christened 26 Aug 1642 (s/o Margaret COMBES), was bound on 9 Oct 1654 to "Henry COLLENDER of Mere Brecnoch [sic] to serve for 7 years in Virginia."

14 Apr 1659 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COMB, Elizabeth d/o Samuell (Samuel) & Elizabeth COMB

2 Mar 1659 [sic, but more likely 1679?] Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somersetshire, EN. Born: Sarah COMB, d/o William COMB & Charity WILKINS

10 Aug 1660. Bristol EN Deposition Book, 1657-1661, f.1.27v. Depositions of James BOXWELL and Henry DAVIS that they knew well Edward CLARKE of the Parish of Temple, Bristol, tucker, and Mary his wife, both now deceased. They had two children, Judith CLARK who is now married to Henry COMELY of Bishport, Som. [Somerset?], and Robert CLARKE, who some years past went to Virginia, and recently, as they have heard, died there. (VSLA Survey Report No. B 4, p. 4, #06580)

2-12 Jan 1660 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COOMBE (COMBE), Mary d/o Samuell (Samuel) & Elizabeth COOMBE (COMBE)

29 Jan 1662 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COMB (COOMBE), Samuel s/o Samuel & Elizabeth COMB (COOMBE)

07 Apr 1662 (Old Rappa Co VA Records?) Power of Attorney: Henry BLACKWELL to John WASHINGTON and Maj. William UNDERWOOD, Old Rappa Co., VA. Know all men that I Henry BLACKWELL now sailor for Capt John POPE and Mr. Henry GOUGH of the City of Fristoll (nb: Bristol?) Merchants have authorized my trusty and well beloved friends Mr. John WASHINGTON and Major William UNDERWOOD or either of them the true and lawfull attorneys for and in the name of them to demand recover and receive by all lawfull means from all persons whatsoever in VA or MD (missing) within the Capes thereof all such sums of money merchandizes and demands payable or belonging by any ways or means whatsoever (missing) Receipt & acquittance or other discharges to make & if need be for the premises to appear and the persons of the sd (missing) & Henry GOUGH to represent in all Courts and before all Judges to impleade attache & condem and out of prison againe when need be to deliver & generally to do all things whatsoever as effectually as the sd POPE and GOUGH them or either of them might do & I the sd Henry BLACKWELL the Constituant do hereby promise to hold for good whatsoever the sd Attorneys or any other by them to be substituted in the sd John POPE & Henry GOUGHS behalf that shall cause to be done in the premises moreover in case of Mortalitie of either of the said John WASHINGTON or William UNDERWOOD I do ordaine the survivor with the like power as above as Witness my hand this 7th of April 1662. Henry BLACKWELL. Wit: John POPE. (Provided by Valjean, 1997, source record not stated)

The above Major William UNDERWOOD was deceased by Feb 1662/3, following which, his widow, Elizabeth, m Archdale COMBS of Old Rappa Co., VA. Among the close associates of the Combs and Underwoods were both POPE and GOFF family members. Neither the above John POPE, nor Henry GOUGH, both apparently of Fristoll/Bristol, have been identified as yet.

22 Jul 1663 (Rappahannock Co VA Records, Vol. 1656-64, p. 342) “July 22, 1663, William UNDERWOOD, son and heir of William UNDERWOOD, Senr., late of Rappahannock County in Virginia in this part of America appoint my uncle William MOSELEY as guardian and attorney for me to care for the estate bequeathed by my father's will. He to send to my uncle Edward BURTON, Gent. of Kedeminster in County of Worcester to whom I have entrusted my education the income out of my estates in Virginia. I the said William UNDERWOOD am of the age of fourteen and one half years. 20 July 1663.” (signed) William UNDERWOOD. Witnessed by Edward GRIGGS [Indexed GRIGGS], Will. JENKINS. Thomas HARTWELL Notr. Pub. of the City of Bristol whom I have desired to certify my true meaning. (Rappa. Co VA Records, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, Antient Press, McLean, VA)

The above William UNDERWOOD the younger was the son of Col. Wm. & Mary (BURTON? MOSELEY?) UNDERWOOD, whose last wife, Elizabeth, m next Archdale COMBS of Old Rappa. Co VA. (See Also Burton-Combs Connections & Underwood Families)

2 Aug 1663 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Married: John HILL & Elizabeth HUNT, d/o John HUNT.

22 Sep 1665 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COMB (COOMBE), Owen s/o Samuell & Elizabeth COMB (COOMBE)

20 May 1673. Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somerset, England. Married: Charity WILKINS & William COMBE

20 Jan 1673/4 (idem A. No. 1; 287-8) Samuel HATTON of the City of Bristol, England, Merchant to Abraham BISHOPP, a tract called “Chairpinham” in St. Michael's River [MD]. (VMHB, The Gorsuch-Lovelace Families)

See Combs-Hatton Families of Talbot County, Maryland.

24 Jan 1675 Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somerset, EN. Born: Rebekah COMB, d/o William COMB & Chariey WILKINS

7 Jan 1677 Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somerset, EN. Born: Ephraim COMBE, s/o William COMBE & Chariey WILKINS

6 Sep 1682 Quaker Chapel, Bristol, Somerset, EN. Martha COMB, d/o William COMB & Charity WILKINS

6 Jun 1684 Bristol Registers. “William POWELL of Caldicote, Mon., to Giles MERRICK, 4 years… unknown destination, “William & Ann,” Mr. Adam COMBS, captain. (Extracted from Coldham's Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654-1686, Page 320)

ca Jan 1685 List of 77 Convicted Rebels by the “John Friggat” of Bristoll, Captn Wm STOAKS, Commander, abt Jan 1685; Master: John BUSTON William COOMB (Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700 by John Camden, Hotten, 1986, pg 337)

1689 Will of John COMBES, merchant, city of Bristol, 1689, 61. (Extracted by Combs Researcher Joe Kendalll from The Index Library - Index to Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and now preserved in the Probate Registry, Somerset House, London, Vol.XI, 1686-1693. ed. C. Harold Ridge. London: British Record Society Limited, 1958, p. 64)

6 Apr 1692 Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Engrossed Inventories Exhibited from 1660. PROB 4/1047. COMBES, Adam, of Bristol (Combs &c. Extractions from the PRO Catalogue)

1692 Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Miscellaneous Inventories, Accounts, and Associated Documents. PROB 5/2718. COOMBES, Adam, of Bristol, Glos 1692

1692 Adam COMBES, mar [mariner]., Bristol, Folio 64 (Extracted by Combs Researcher Joe Kendalll from The Index Library - Index to Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and now preserved in the Probate Registry, Somerset House, London, Vol. XI, 1686-1693. ed. C. Harold Ridge. London: British Record Society Limited, 1958)

22 Nov 1692 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Married: George CHUBB & Sarah COOMBS, d/o Samuell COOMBS

10 May 1694 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COMBE (COOMBE), Mary d/o Samuell & Elizabeth (Elezebeth) COMBE (COOMBE)

17 May 1697 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Married: Owen COOMBE & Barsheba NOBLE, d/o William NOBLE

30 Oct 1701 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Born: COMBS(COOMBE), Bershebe (Bersheba) d/o Owen & Bershebe (Bersheba) COMBS(A second IGI entry, Ba: 8585906 27; So: 1396089 lists mother as Bersheba NOBLE)

8 Jul 1703 Society Of Friends, Bristol, Gloucester, England. Married: John BUTLER & Bersheba COOMB

Barsheba possibly neè NOBLE and widow of Owen?

1 Apr 1708 Richmond County, Virginia Records, 1704-1724. "John DUDLESTONE of Bristoll Baronet" to "My loving friend Mr. Robert VALX of Popes Creek on Potomac River, power of attorney to collect debts. s/John DUDLESTONE, Wits: Robert EDWARDS, Stephen HARVEY Prv. 7 Jul 1708 by EDWARDS (Fleet)

John DUDDLESTONE and Robert VAULX were half-brothers, sons of Mary FOXHALL, Robert by Robert VAULX, Sr., and John by Edward DUDDLESTONE who was in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1688. Edward and Mary may have been the same who married 29 May 1679, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England… except that her family was from Birmingham, Warwickshire and his quite likely from Bristol (where there were several Edward DUDDLESTONE christenings in the 1600s, including Edward DUDDLESTON, s/o Edward, on 19 Nov 1637, St. Mary Le Port, Bristol, Gloucester, England. See also St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London in 1710.

25 May 1709 - no date (Philadelphia MM PA) Samuel COMBS received on certificate from Corke three weeks meeting dated 25 May 1709 (Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Pennsylvania by W. W. Hinshaw) See next

26 Mar 1709 - 2 Apr 1710 Society of Friends (Quaker) Certificate of Removal from Cork, Ireland to Philadelphia, PA dated 5 Mo. 26, 1709. Received 2 Mo. 1710. “Samuel COMBE, “Late of ye Citty Corke, Cooper, having transported himselfe and family to Pensilvania at Such time as severall friends of this place were Removing to that Country and not knowing he Should goe with them, they Layd their Intentions of going before our meeting time nor Season afterwards did not offer for his getting a Certificate to Cary with him wherefore Since his arrivall there he having writ unto a friend here to procure one for him… ye sayd Samuel being a bristall man [Bristol, England] came over into this Country [Ireland] with his wife som time after ye Wars ended to settle in Corke and follow ye Cooping trade and although he was observed to be a Laborious painfull man, ye world favoured him not with Success we hope and desire it may be better in that countrey where we suppose workmen of that Calling are no so plenty as in this nor materials to worke on Soe hard to be obtained as here.” Clear in relation to marriage. Received 2 Mo. 28, 1710. (Immigration of Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, Albert Cook Myers, Swarthmore, PA, 1902) SW: Cooper

COMBS Researcher Dale Larson adds that the above Samuel COMBS had a son, Joseph, b 1697 Cork, Ireland (Cork Ireland Monthly Meetings, births 1625-1859, p 7) who went with his father to Pennsylvania (See 1739 and below).

July 19, 1739 Pennsylvania Gazette. BUCKS PENNSYLVANIA. WOMEN. THIS is to inform one Mr. COMBS, eldest Son of Elizabeth COMBS, which said Elizabeth was Born in Beckington in Somersetshire, whose Father was formerly a Wine Cooper in Bristol; That by applying to Mr. Isaac JONES, living opposite to the George Inn in Arch Street, he may hear of something considerably to his Advantage. Note, 'Tis suppos'd the said COMBS lives somewhere in Bucks County. (Extracted by Combs Researcher Matt COMBS from the “Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728 - 1783, Philadelphia Pennsylvania,” CD-ROM Produced by Accessible Ancestry, Inc.)

See 1739-40 Bucks Co, PA records re Joseph COMBS of Plumstead Bucks, eldest son of Elizabeth COMBE, who was the daughter of John HILL and Elizabeth his wife of Paulton, Somerset.(Schedule of deeds relating to Paulton, Somerset, 1678-1780,penes,G.F.T.S.) (from Americans in English Records, publ not known, Coombe-Hill Note PA 1740, AMPR, v1.no. 11 Feb. 1906 from Persi)


1741 Biography of William COMBE [Pronunciation: KOOM], 1741-1823. Writer and adventurer, born in Bristol, England; inherited a fortune in 1762, led the life of an adventurer, and spent much time in debtors' jails; studied at Oxford, and wrote metrical satires such as The Diaboliad (written in 1776), but better known for his three verse satires on popular travel-books, introducing the character of Dr Syntax. (Primary Source: A.N.D Reference Database, which incorporates the Cambridge Encyclopedia Database. Copyright (c) 1997))

William is mentioned, sans genealogical data, in the preface of Josiah H. Combs' The Combes Genealogy… as a “noted Combs.” According to the "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" by E. Cobham Brewer (1810–1897), 1898, p. 4, the phrase "to save one's bacon" is credited to William COMBE, appearing in his "Dr. Syntax (cauto vi, line 240)

"But as he rose to save his bacon,
By hat and wig he was forsaken"

This same source also states that William was sometimes referred to as "Duke COOMBE" due to the fact that "in the days of his prosperity was noted for the splendour of his dress, the profusion of his table, and the magnificence of his deportment. Having spent all his money he turned author, but passed the last fifteen years of his life in the King’s Bench. (1743-1823.)"


03 Mar 1745/6 Richard COMBE, gent., son and heir apparent of Henry COMBE of the city of Bristol [esquire], admitted to the Inner Temple (London) (Combs &c. of the Inner Temple)

14-21 Nov 1774 Passengers to American, Emigrants from England Port of London, 14th to 21st Nov. 1774. Edward COOMBS, age 21, Occupation: Skinner, from Bristol to Virginia to settle John BAILEY, age 21, Occupation: Skinner, from Bristol to Virginia to settle (Immigrants to the New World, 1600-1800, #170 from Broderbund and Banner Blue Division c 1997)

1798 13/1/37-81798 1) George COOMBES of Butleigh [Somerset], yeoman, nephew and heir of James COOMBES of Bristol decd son of John decd 2) Mary COOMBES of Butleigh, widow of James 3) Stephen COOMBES, son of John 4) William ROCKE of Bristol, distiller eldest son of John ROCKE of Butleigh decd 5) James, Baron Glastonbury. Conveyance of Hill House and lands, Butleigh. Enclosed power of attorney to give livery of seisin. (2 docs.) (Somerset Records Office, Index to Archives, Accession: C/174 Group Code: DD/S/BT">, BUTLEIGH COURT PAPERS, WHITLEY HUNDRED COURT and ESTREAT ROLLS)

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