About Lineage Studies and Oral History

Click on Study Title to Access

General Studies

Special Studies

John Combe & Margaret Archdale

Tonoloways Settlement -- Pennsylvania and Maryland - Mid 1700's.
Northeast US Combs-Coombs &c. -- New England, New York & New Jersey.


This section of our project is a “work in progress” devoted to building a picture of the many related COMBS-COOMBS &c. lineages from around the world. The picture is created in the form of “general” and “special” lineage studies, as well as by trying to determine the viability of lineages derived from oral family history traditions.

A “general” lineage study focuses on a specific lineage and outlines the descendants forward in time tying in our knowledge from family history and DNA findings. A “special study” deals with a significant lineage problem or set of problems, typically involving a number of COMBS-COOMBS &c. branches of which the relationships are suspected, but unclear, and that has a widespread affect on the ability of researchers to further their family history, again utilizing family history and DNA findings for the interpretation of relationships.

Since family history often relies on family tradition, “Stories”, to substantiate the lineage one chooses to trace, this section provides a way to examine a story, the lineage it purports, and the likelihood it is true based on a DNA Test results with other contextual factors. Further discussion of this is noted below.

There will be an on-going effort to expand this section of our project over time. Based on the surname origins, spellings and various national archival collections indices, we anticipate the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, the United States, France and West Indies to be represented in this section of our DNA Study.

“General” Lineage Studies

Given our knowledge of COMBS-COOMBS lineages, research interests and level of participation in our project, we will begin by creating lineage studies for COMBS-COOMBS &c. lineages that can be traced back to the pre-1700 period. This is not limited to American colonial period lineages only. If you descend from or know of a pre-1700 COMBS-COOMBS &c. lineage please notify the Project Administrator.

We have created a “prototype” pre-1700 lineage from which to pattern subsequent “general” lineage studies -- the John COMBS and Margaret ARCHDALE lineage beginning in London, England. The form for this study contains an -

The information in this part of our study will be linked to our family history project , our Virtual Archives and the DNA Findings . This part of the project will be where the interpretation of the findings will illustrate the relatedness of different COMBS-COOMBS &c. lineages and more closely help us see what we know and need to find out to further our assumptions in linking our family tree branches together.

“General” lineage studies being developed at this time or are being considered for inclusion in the near future for this part of our Study are:


Originating with John COMBE and Margaret ARCHDALE of London

(Grandson Archdale COMBE emigrated to the Virginia Colony in the late 1660’s)


New Jersey (NJ) COMBS

Vermont (VT) COMBS

North Carolina (NC) COMBS

Maryland (MD) COMBS

“Special” Lineage Studies

Tonoloways Settlement Pennsylvania and Maryland - Mid 1700's COMBES-COOMBS &c. Families

Northeast USA New England, New York & New Jersey COMBS-COOMBS &c. Origins

We have many researchers who have exhausted available resources to pursuing the lineages that merge in SW PA in the mid to late 1700s further back in time, due to the similar given names of their COMBS lineages.

We also have a number of New England lineages in which there is considerable movement between the different states during similar timeframes in that area of the country. In both cases, DNA “lineage genetic profiles” could be useful in clarifying whether or not there is any relatedness among the different lineages being traced and provide opportunities for tracing the lineages further back in time.

Oral History Family Traditions book

Stories play a significant role in defining our heritage and in turn influence how we view our identity in relation to our ancestry. Relying on stories in shaping our family history can both help or hinder us. Depending on the completeness and accuracy of stories passed down from generation to generation, we can rightly or wrongly assume we belong to specific lineages. DNA “lineage genetic profiles”, considered in light of other contextual factors, can help us determine if we are pursuing the correct ancestry. DNA is NOT a be all and end all. There may be instances it cannot affirm OR deny the relationships defined by a story. However, when the connectedness of relationships through a specific lineage can be distinguished by DNA testing, we want to inform persons relying on a story when there are inconsistencies with the findings.

A comparative table has been created to maintain a record of lineages, stories that have been relied on for assuming family relationships in them, and DNA findings. Please refer to our table from time to time to see if your lineage has been included.

Please remember this is a “work in progress”. Feel free to post suggestions to our Project Administrator.