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Seneca County was established in 1804 from Cayuga.

Unless otherwise stated, all records contained herein were submitted by Gary Combs, the 4th Great-grandson of Charles Combs.


Surrogate Court Papers

Charles Combs died intestate, at age 47 in Varick, Seneca County, NY on 27 Mar 1838. His wife was Sarah/Sally WATRUS (sometimes WATERS, WATTS) who was born abt. 1800.

Sally is on the 1840 US Census for Varick, Seneca County, NY with 7 children in her household. The estate was finally settled in January, 1851, at which time 5 of the 7 children were still living. They are:

  1. William Combs, b. about 1823, died sometime before 1854, probably in Cleveland, OH. As far as I know, he had 1 daughter, Harriet, (b. about 1853) who was orphaned. Name of wife uknown.
  2. Elizabeth Combs, b. about 1825, married Stephen HATHAWAY.
  3. Harriet Combs, b. 15 Oct 1828, died 29 Jan 1916. Married a man with surname of RAPPELYEA, which is found with many different spellings. They had 2 sons, Richard C. and Cornelius.
  4. Charles C. Combs, b. 23 Oct 1832, died 12 Nov 1913 in Central City, Merrick, NE. He married Fannie HILTON and had 2 daughters and 1 son.
  5. John Combs, b. about 1836, died about 1892 in Nebraska. He had 1 son by first marriage to Mariah VanDYNE, and I believe 4 daughters with 2nd wife Mintie BOWERMAN.

All the Combs children were born in NY, either Romulus or Varick (Varick was formed from the northern part of Romulus in 1830), Seneca County, NY. The surrogate papers confirm the children's names and approximate birth dates. Within the papers, Sarah is referred to as both Sarah and Sally, and one brother, Vincent WATRUS, is identified. There are also names James Watrus and John WATRUS, but no relationship is given. See Combs &c. of Ontario Co, NY for more on this family.


Page 6 of the probate papers of the estate of Charles Combs, who died in March, 1838, in Varick, Seneca County, NY.
The underscored blanks are words I am unable to decipher from the handwriting. (Gary Combs)


Seneca County __.

John Watrus of said county being duly sworn says that Charles Combs late of the town of Varick in the county of Seneca, died a natural death on the twenty seventh day of March last, at his house in said county of Seneca, which was his residence, at the time of his death. _ That he left a widow, who is now here present, and seven children, all of whom are minors._ That the said deceased died intestate, and that no last will or testament has been found, to the knowledge or belief of the deponent. _ That the probable amount of the personal property left by the said deceased is two thousand ____ dollars.__

John Watrus Sworn an subscribed this 16th day of April 1838. Before me, I. (J?) H. Halsey Surrogate

The following is from page 1 of Charles Combs probate papers.


State of New York
Seneca County __.

Vincent Watrus of Romulus in ___ County of Seneca having duly ___ deposes and says- that he is the brother of Sally Combs administratrix __ of Charles Combs deceased, and the __ __ citation named, and is personally well acquainted with the children of the __ Charles and Sally Combs and that their names and places of residence are as follows. Elizabeth Hathaway wife of Stephen Hathaway, residenced Seneca County aforesaid _ Charles Combs residenced in the same County and with the said Stephen Hathaway _ Harriet Combs, now in Jersey City State of New Jersey _ John Combs, residenced Batavia New York _ William Combs- residenced Cleveland Ohio That the above are the only children now living of the said Charles Combs deceased, and the only next of kin of the said Charles Combs deceased. That this deponent personally served the __ __ citation on John Combs, and that the admission in __ __ the __ citation was signed by the said John Combs- and that the __ _ __ __ to __ admission is in her handwriting. As deponent believes and this deponent further says that he made personal service of the __ __ citation on Charles Combs, and also opon the __ Stephen Hathaway and Elizabeth his wife on or about the 30th day of December 1850. That the said John Combs once and Charles Combs are secondly under the age of twenty one years, and __ fourteen years.

Vincent Watrus __ __ and __ before me This 14 day of Jany. 1851 J. K. Richardson Surrogate


Important: All Records collected for this county may not have been added here as yet. See also the Combs Research List Archives

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