Combs &c. Research
Combs &c. Families of
Sparsholt, Berkshire, England

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Sparsholt, a parish partly in the hundred of Shrivenham, but chiefly in that of Wantage,* county of Berks, 3-1/4 mi. west of Wantage, 6 miles southeast of Great Farringdon, and six southwest of West Hendred, less than 7 miles south of Buckland, and less than eight east of Bourton, Oxfordshire. "... containing, with the joint chapelry of Kingston-Lisle with Farlow, 817 inhabitants [in 1830]. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Berks, and diocese of Salisbury... in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Queen's College, Oxford. The church, dedicated to the Holy Cross, is principally in the Norman style: it contains three stone stalls, and a piscina, highly enriched with trefoil ornaments and crocketed pinnacles. The Wilts and Berks canal passes through the parish, and the Iknield road through the vale of White Horse, to the southward of the village. Abraham ATKINS, in 1788, gave a school-house, and endowed it with a moiety of the rents arising from a certain estate: the annual income is about 63, for which the master instructs all the children of the parish who apply. Eight others are taught for L2. 10. a year, the gift of Richard EDMONDSON, in 1713. (Lewis, 1830) Sparsholt is in northwest Berks, less than 7 mi. from Wiltshire, less than 7 mi. from Oxford, less than 10 mi. from Gloucester, and less than 17 mi. from Hampshire. (See also Parishes within 11 miles of Sparsholt, Berks).

*According to Berkshire Gen-UKI, early probate records for the Hundred of Wantage in Berks are not in Berks or the "normal" applicable archdeaconries, but in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Also note that even the "normal" (archdeaconry) probates were suspended during the Civil War.

The most activley researched Combes &c. in Sparsholt is John COMBE (s/o John & Margaret ARCHDALE Combs), baptised 16 Aug 1602, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London; d Apr 1652, Sparsholt, Berks; m 8 Jul 1630, Soulbury, Bucks, Elizabeth LOVETT, d/o Sir Robert & Anne SAUNDERS Lovett of Liscombe, Soulbury, Bucks. See Also the Combs-Associated Archdale and Lovett Families.)
1533 Sparsholt Wills and Administrations. Thomas COMBE, Sparsholt A.264 (Extracted by Combs Researchers Joe Kendalll and Denise Mortorff from "The Index Library Index to Wills Proved and Administrations Granted In the Court of the Archdeacon of Berks 1508-1652," ed. by W.P.W. Phillimore. London. British Record Society Limited. 1893, p. 42)

1545Sparsholt Wills and Administrations. Thomas COME, Sparsholt B.20 (Extracted by Combs Researchers Joe Kendalll and Denise Mortorff from "The Index Library Index to Wills Proved and Administrations Granted In the Court of the Archdeacon of Berks 1508-1652," ed. by W.P.W. Phillimore. London. British Record Society Limited. 1893, p. 42)

1573 Maude COMBE, Sparsholt F.358 (Extracted by Combs Researchers Joe Kendalll and Denise Mortorff from "The Index Library Index to Wills Proved and Administrations Granted In the Court of the Archdeacon of Berks 1508-1652," ed. by W.P.W. Phillimore. London. British Record Society Limited. 1893, p. 42)

23 Mar 1573 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1, Record Index 1, p. 16) Burials. 23 Mar 1573 Maud COOME vidua (widow) buried. (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff.

None of the above Combs have been identified as yet. A Maud HAWKINS married a Thomas COMBE in 1570 in Ashill, Somerset, but not known if significant. Nor if it is relevant that John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe later removed to Sparsholt, Berks from Soulbury, Buckingham:

14 Sep 1643 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 73) Burials. 1643 September the 14th was buried Sir Robert LOVET Knight (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff. )

30 Dec 1643. Sparsholt, Berks. Buried: John LOVETT, Esq. buried. (Memorials)

The first of the above two records is that of Sir Robert LOVETT, father of Elizabeth LOVETT Combe of Soulbury, Bucks; Sparsholt, Berkshire; and, by 1656, Oxfordshire (see below). According to the Visitations of Bucks, John LOVETT of the second record was Sir Robert's eldest son, born abt 1621 and the husband of Katherine WROTHE of Woodford Bridge, Essex, by whom he apparently had no sons (and perhaps no children - no Lovett entries have been found in the parish records as yet, including any possible remarriages for his widow). Both deaths are included in the Lovett Memorials, but no additional mention is made of John (the Memorials erroneously state that 2nd son, Robert, was the eldest son of Sir Robert). Lovett Memorials…, although the author was apparently unaware that Sparsholt was the home of one of his daughters since he wrote: "Sir Robert LOVETT, was not buried at Soulbury [Bucks] he died on his journey home from visiting his son Edward LOVETT, of Tawstock, Devon and was interred at Sparsholt, Berkshire in 1645 [sic]."

The above was apparently John LOVETT, eldest son of Sir Robert (by Ann SAUNDERS according to the Bucks visitations. Although the Lovett Memorials include this record, no attempt is made to identify him, and no mention is made of him. Instead, it is stated that John's younger brother, Robert, was the eldest son.

The only other references to the LOVETT family in respect to Berks is to:

"Laurence LOVETT, esq. of Liscombe [Bucks], who m. Elizabeth, daughter, and (on the death of her niece, Rawson WILLIAMS (only child of her only surviving brother, Nicholas WILLIAMS, of Burfield), without issue), coheiress of Sir Reginald WILLIAMS, of Burfield, in the county of Berks (elder brother of John, Lord WILLIAMS of Thame, and ) son of Sir John WILLIAMS, of Thame Park [Oxfordshire] (the maternal representative of the ancient family of Perceval, Lords of Corevill, in Somersetshire, a branch of the baronial house of Lovel and Holland), by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and coheiress of Richard MORE, esq. of Burfield, by Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of William BROCAS, esq. of Southampton, and was s. at his decease by his only surviving child… (Extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin from "Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronitcies of England, Ireland, and Scotland" by John Burke, Esq., Genealogical Publishing Company, 1977, pp 323-326.)

Burfield has not yet been located in any source.

Documentation of the presence of John & Elizabeth LOVETT Combe in Sparsholt does not actually occur until Feb 1643/4 when a second son named John is both baptised and buried:

20 Feb 1643/4 (Sparsholt Parish Records) "1643 Feb the 20th baptized John COMBE the sonne of John COMBE and Elizabeth his wife
…..Feb the 21 was buried the sonne John COMBE"
(Transcribed from "Sparsholt Parish Records-Baptisms-Marriages & Burials 1559-1812 and Other Parish Records".(FHC Film#0088410) by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff)

09 Mar 1644 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1, Record Index 1, p. 22) Baptisms. Sara COMBE the daughter of Mr. John COMBE & Elizabeth his wife (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff. )

10 Nov 1649 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 46) Marriages. "1649 November the 10th were married Mr. Arthure CREW and Mrs Elizabeth COMBE" (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff. DKM: This marriage is also recorded in "Berkshire Parish Registers. Marriages," Sparsholt Parish, 1599-1812, ed. by the late W.P.W. Phillimore & T.M. Blagg. London. 1914 (Source: FHC Film #0496694 Item 6)

DKM Note: This is very possibly Elizabeth, baptised 22 Jan 1631 in Soulbury Parish, Buckingham, d/o John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe who removed from that parish to Sparsholt, Berkshire, between 1641 and 1643. There is no evidence of a marriage for their daughter, Elizabeth, in Soulbury. This marriage would place her at age 17/18. Other surnames in this source include - PLEDDELL [PLAYDELL], SILVESTER, THATCHER, SAYER and TAME (See Also John and Elizabeth Combs and George THATCHER record in London). Other than a single birth record, no other children of Arthur and Elizabeth COMBE Crew are found in the records of Sparsholt:

12 Jun 1651 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 53) Baptisms. 1651 June the 12th was baptized Elizabeth CREW the daughter of Arthure CREW & Elizabeth his wife (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff)

Notes: See also Edward STEPHENS (1590-1670), of Little Sodbury, Co., Gloucester, b 1590; elected M. P. for Tewkesbury, 1640; m Anne, dau of Sir Thomas CREWE, Knt., of Co. Northampton (Speaker of the House of Commons), by whom he left issue that included his son, Sir Thomas CREW, High Sheriff of Co. Gloucester, knighted by King Charles II. 11-7-1660; m Catherine, dau and co-heir of William COMBES, of Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. Also in Northampton, in the parish of Steane, was (another? the same?) Sir Thomas CREWE. Steane was only three miles distant from Helmdon, Northampton (home of Thomas LOVETT, d 1492), and only five mi. from Soulbury, Bucks, birthplace of Elizabeth COMBE Crewe(?)

24 Apr 1652 (Sparsholt Parish Records) "1652 April the 24th was buried Mr John COMBE" (Transcribed from "Sparsholt Parish Records-Baptisms-Marriages & Burials 1559-1812 and Other Parish Records".(FHC Film#0088410) by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff. Second source: "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (also FHC Film #088410). )

DKM Note: The above was John COMBE, husband of Elizabeth LOVETT, who apparently assumed the administration of the estate of his brother, William of Oxfordshire within the month (See May 1652 Oxfordshire and 1656.. While there appears to be no will, there is an administration, Reference PROB 6/27 folio 90, p.93 dated May 1652 at the PRO in London. This is part of the will and administration records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The record reads as follows:

13 May 1652 "John COMBE The thirteenth day A Domn: y srued for tz(?) to Elizabeth COMBE the relict of John COMBE late of Sparsholt in the County of Berke Esqr deced havenige goode ___ to adster the same goods & beinge first sworne truly to adster". The term "Mihab" appears in the right column next to the administration statement. (Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff)

The Margaret COMBE who follows has not yet been identified; however, again, see May 1652, Oxfordshire:

25 Feb 1653 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 65) Burials. 1653 Feb. the 25th was buried Margaret COMBE. (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff.

10 Apr 1656 Archadell, son of John of Sparsholt, Berks., Arm, dec, apprenticed to Christopher LOVETT for eight years by John's widow, Elizabeth COMBES of Oxon, for £1000. (Combs &c. Families of the Draper Company)

Notes: Archdale COMBE, s/o John & Elizabeth LOVETT Combe, was b 18 Nov 1641, Soulbury Parish, Buckingham; thus, 15-1/2 years of age at the time of his apprenticeship to his maternal uncle(?), Christopher LOVETT, who was in Dublin, Ireland by 1658. It is not known if Archdale COMBE, whose apprenticeship would not have ended until 1664, also removed to Dublin. Neither is it known as yet where in Oxfordshire (Oxon), Elizabeth LOVETT Combe was residing. It is believed highly possible that her son, Archdale, was the same as Archdale COMBES I of Virginia, who first appears in the records of that colony in Stafford and Old Rappahannock Counties in 1665. (Research in progress).

No more Combs records have been located in Sparsholt as yet, and nothing more is known of either Elizabeth or any of her children other than, possibly, the above Archdale. The only LOVETT records are almost 70 years later (unidenitifed):

03 Jan 1719/20 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 79) Burials. 1719/20 Thomas the son of Thomas L(OV?)ETT of Kingston Lisle & Elizabeth his wife was buried Jan 3rd (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff.

01 Mar 1720/21 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 4, Page 9) Baptisms. 1720/21 John the son of John LOV(ET) & Mary his wife - was baptized March 1st (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff.

30 Jan 1725/6 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 3, Page 72) Baptisms. 1725/6 Robert the son of John LOV(ET) of Westcott & Mary his wife was baptized Jan 30th (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff.

24 Sep 1728 (Sparsholt Parish Records, Book 1 Record Index 4, Page 13) Marriages. 1728 Mr. Joseph SAYER of Wooley & Mrs. Martha HUNSDON of Sparsholt were married Sept. 24th (Extracted from "Sparsholt Parish Records, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1558-1812 & Other Parish Records" filmed at Berkshire Record Office, Shire Hall, Reading, Berks Nov. 1953 (FHC Film #088410), by Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff. (See also Ady and Sarah ARCHDALE (Smith) Sayer)

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