Capt. Hiram Combs, s/o Elijah and Mary "Polly" Combs Combs, Jr.
Private Hiram Combs, s/o Clinton Combs by Matilda Combs

Updated 15 Oct 1999 - 5th Rough Draft
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See also the Combs Counties of Perry Co KY and Madison Co AR

No end of confusion has been caused by the two Hiram and Mary Combs Families - both of Perry Co KY and Madison Co AR, and both about the same age. The following is a rough draft attempt to sort them out, both their ancestors and their descendants:

  1. Capt. Hiram Combs (s/o Elijah and Mary "Polly" Combs Combs, Jr.) b 1832, Perry Co KY, d aft 1888, Madison Co, AR; m 19 Dec 1850, Kentucky, Mary WALKER.
  2. Private Hiram Combs (s/o Clinton Combs by Matilda Combs), b ca 1830, Perry Co KY, d aft 1880, Madison Co, AR; m (1) Mary UNKNOWN; m (2) Martha, widow of Unknown CAMP.

(1) Capt. Hiram Combs

According to his 1889 Goodspeeds' Madison Co AR Biography:

"Capt. Hiram Combs, b Perry Co, KY, in 1832, and is a son of Elijah and Polly (Combs) Combs. His grandfather, Elijah Combs, was a native of Tennessee, served in the War of 1812, was a farmer by occupation, and died at about eighty years of age.

The father was born in 1806, passed his life in Perry Co, KY, and died in 1846. He had a family of eight children, six now living: Louisa, Sarah, Hiram, Nancy, Cornett, Polly Minerva, Elijah and Virgil. Hiram remained upon the home place during his youth, receiving but a limited education.

When 19 began life for himself; soon married and settled on a farm, where he lived until spring of 1854. He then went to Kansas, first stopping at St. Joseph, and then settling twenty-five miles distant. The following fall he came to Madison Co, AR and bought some partly improved land, which he now owns, and upon which he is engaged in farming.

At the commencement of the Civil War he served in the Confederate army, under Brig. Gen. CABELL as lieutenant. Later he organized a company, of which he was made captain until it's consolidation, when he became lieutenant. He afterward became the captain of another company. He was in the battles of Prairie Grove, Mark's Mill, Possom Springs, and a number of skirmishes.

After peace was declared he resumed farm life, and has been a firm Democrat, taking an active interest in politics. After the war he was elected coroner; in 1880 was made sheriff, still holding that office, and in 1888 was appointed postmaster. He is a popular man and a good citizen, and is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Knights of the Horse.

December 19, 1850, he married Miss Mary WALKER, who was born in Kentucky in 1834 and has borne our subject eight children: Of these, Elijah, John S. and Virgil are living, married and residents of this county; Lee, Louisa, James, Ella J. and an infant are deceased. Ella J. left a husband and child two months old, and Lee arrived at maturity.

Mrs. Combs is an active member of the Missionary Baptist Church." (Goodspeeds' History of Northwest, Arkansas…)

Notes: Elijah Combs, Jr. was the s/o Elijah and Sarah ROARK Combs, Sr. Polly Combs was the d/o of Jeremiah L. "Long" Combs, Sr. According to The Combes Genealogy…, she also married a Nicholas Combs, but no evidence of that has been found as yet.

Note that the above includes punctuation errors (misplaced commas) which are documented by other records that prove the listing of the eight children of Elijah and Polly Combs Combs, Jr should have read: Louisa, Sarah, Hiram, Nancy CORNETT, Polly, Minerva, Elijah and Virgil. Further documenting Hiram's birth family are the following records:

1820 Clay Co. Ky. Census
P. 124 Elijah Combs 200101 03010

Notes: The above is Elijah & Sally ROARK Combs, Sr. The younger male in this hh was age 18-26, thus b c1794-1802, and was probablyElijah Combs, Jr. Note also that since Elijah Combs, Jr. was not on the 1819 or 1820 Clay Co KY tax lists, it is likely he was still under 21 at the time; thus confirming a birth year of after 1798

16 Feb 1826 (Perry Co KY Marriage Records, Grooms Index) Elijah Combs.

1830 Perry Co KY Census
P. 347, Line 18: Elijah Combs Jr. 000011-10001-02
(Transcribed by Combs Researcher C. Hammett)

Notes: Not yet known if Elijah Combs was the male, age 20-30, or the male, age 30-40. Polly Combs, age 20-30, thus b 1800-1810, per this census record

1840 Perry Co, KY Census, Page 258, Line 18.

Elijah Combs 101001 122001 03 06 18
1 male 30-40
1 female 30-40
1 male 10-15
2 females 10-15
2 females 5-10
1 male 0-5
1 female 0-5
(Transcribed by Combs Researcher Chris Page)

1850 Perry Co KY Census, District 2
152-166 Polly Combs - + 46 F KY $2000
Hiram 18 M KY Farmer
Nancy 16 F KY
Polly 15 F KY
Minerva 19 F KY
Elijah + 6 M KY
John Combs 16 M KY Farmer
(Transcribed by L. Gaskill and C. Hammett from copy of original, 1998)

Notes: The above John Combs may have been the s/o a Biram Combs, and was the brother of Dicey Combs, age 11 in the 1850 Perry Co, KY census HH of Benjamin and Sarah Combs Davidson (d/o Elijah and Polly Combs Combs, Jr.). He, too, removed to Madison Co, AR (see Madison Co, AR 1858 records and 1860 census). It is believed that the census taker erred in giving Minerva's age as 19, and that she was instead 9 years of age, based not only on her position in the above record, but also the 1860 Madison Co AR Census. No record of Virgil Combs has been found. He apparently died before 1850, and the following record, part of the estate settlement of Elijah Combs, Jr., proves that Virgil was deceased before 1854:

22 Dec 1854 (Perry KY DBC:442) Elijah Combs, Jr. heirs to John J. GODSEY. This indenture made this 22nd day of December in the year 1854 between Hiram Combs, Benjamin D. DAVIDSON and Sally DAVIDSON his wife, late Sally Combs, Zachariah MORGAN and Louisa MORGAN his wife, late Louisa Combs, John CORNETT and Nancy Combs [sic], his wife late Nancy Combs, Polly Combs, and Minerva Combs all the heirs of Elijah Combs, deceased, of the county of Perry and the Commonwealth of Kentucky of the one part and John J. GODSEY of the same county and commonwealth aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that said heirs aforesaid for and in consideration of one thousand dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted, bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain and sell unto the said John J. GODSEY his heirs and assigns all that tract or parcel of land situated and being in the county of Perry on the waters of Carr's Fork and bounded as follows towit… [description still needed] In witness whereof the said Hiram Combs together with Mary Combs his wife, Benjamin D. DAVIDSON together with Sally Combs, his wife, Zachariah MORGAN together with his wife, John CORNETT together with Nancy CORNETT his wife, Polly Combs and Minerva Combs who hereby relinquishes their right of dower in and to the land conveyed in this deed hath hereunto set their hands and seals the day and date above written.
Zachariah MORGAN
Hiram Combs
Mary Combs
Polly Combs
Minerva Combs

(Abstracted by JP Downerd, proofed transcription needed.)

The Children of Elijah and Polly Combs Combs, Jr.

  1. Sarah, b ca 1821, Kentucky, m Benjamin D. DAVIDSON bef 1849. They remained in Perry Co KY. See 1850 Perry Co KY Census, District 2, 153-167, 1851-9 Perry Co KY Records; and 1870 Perry KY Census.
  2. Louisa, born 1827/8, Kentucky, m bef 1849, Zachariah MORGAN. They remained in Perry Co KY See 1850 Perry Co KY Census and 1851-1870 Perry Co KY Records.
  3. Hiram , b 1832, Kentucky, d aft 1889, m Dec 1850, Mary WALKER, had removed to Madison Co AR by 1855 (See Below). Note: The Combes Genealogy…, p. 150, erroneously states that Hiram Combs m Mary Combs, d/o Elijah and Polly Ann Combs Combs, Jr., rather than listing him as the son of Elijah and Mary, and her as Mary WALKER.

  4. Nancy, b ca 1834, Kentucky, m 1850-1853, John CORNETT. See 1851-9 Perry Co KY Records; and 1870 Perry Co KY Census, #043. By 1880, Nancy was also in Madison Co AR (See Below)

  5. Polly, b ca 1841, Kentucky, m aft 1876, probably in Madison Co, AR, George W. PRATER (Goodspeeds' Madison Co AR biography of Geo. W. PRATER states that he married (2) aft 1876, "Mary Combs, sister of Capt. Combs.") 1870 Madison Co AR Census lists Polly and her mother, Mary.

  6. Minerva, b 15 Aug 1840, Kentucky; d 18 Mar 1907, Madison Co, AR; m 1855-1860, Wiley TUCKER, probably in Madison Co, AR. Minerva Combs Tucker was buried in Harrell Cemetery, Cinncinatti Twp, Washington Co, Arkansas. (1850 Perry Co KY Census. 1860 & 1880 Madison Co AR Census; and Cemetery marker).

  7. Elijah, b abt 1844, d 15 Feb 1852, Perry Co KY, at the age of 8. (Perry Co KY Death Records)

  8. Virgil, b bef 1848, d bef 1850, probably in Perry Co KY.

Additional Information

Hiram Combs' biography states that he removed to Madison Co AR in the fall of 1855. Although he doesn't mention his mother and younger sisters moving with him, that they did so is known by the 1860 Madison Co AR Census:

1860 Census Madison Co, AR:
Hilburn Twp. St. Paul P.O.

HH#312 Hiram Combs 28 m KY
Mary [WALKER] 26 f KY
Elijah 8 m KY
Leonidas 6 m KY
Louisa 2 f KY
James 6/12/ m KY

HH#316 Wiley TUCKER (0/100) (Farmer) 26 m AL
Manerva [Combs] 19 F KY
(Madison Co, AR Gen Soc. Transcription, 1996)

#324 John Combs (0/415) (farmer) 24 m KY
Polly 52 f KY
Nancy SHASTED (0/100) 10 f AR
(Madison Co, AR Gen Soc. Transcription, 1996)

Note: The above John Combs is believed to have been the same who was in Polly Combs Combs' household in the 1850 Perry Co KY Census, both still together, possibly signifying he was related to "her" Combs line?

1860-1865 Civil War Service
Combs, Hiram AR 7th Cav. Co. E. Capt.
(The Roster of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865, Vol. IV edited by Janet B. Hewett. Broadfoot, Publishing Co., Wilmington, NC 1996, page 57)

Notes: Civil War service of "the other" Hiram Combs was as a private in KY.

1870 Madison Co AR Census
Valley Twp, St. Paul P.O.,
HH#84 Mary PRATER 23 f KY
George W. + 14 m AR
Tennessee 9 f AR
Manervy 8 f AR
George GIBSON 20 m KY
Mary Combs 68 f KY
(Source: 1870 Madison Co, AR Census transcription, Madison Co, AR Gen. Soc.)

Notes: The above Mary Combs was Mary "Polly" Combs Combs, widow of Elijah Combs, Jr. and mother of Mary "Polly" Combs Prater, 2nd wife of George PRATER. Remainder of 1870 Madison Co AR Combs Entries to be entered shortly.

1880 Madison Co AR Census
Hilburn Twp

HH192 Hiram Combs M 48 m Farmer KY KY KY
Mary " F 46 m wife "
Ella J. F 18 s dau AR KY KY
John M 15 s son Farm Laborer "
Virgil M 13 s son " "
William WALKER M 24 s servant Farm Laborer KY KY KY
Mary D. CREECH F 7 s servant AR AR AR
(Transcribed by Ruby Johnson Wiedeman, new transcription coming shortly)

Living next door to Hiram & Mary WALKER Combs was their son, Elijah Combs, and his family, wife's maiden name unknown:

HH191 Elijah Combs M 28 m -- Farmer KY KY KY
Armintie " F 24 m wife KH "
Willis " M 05 son AR KY KY
Arizona " F 02 dau "
Milley " F 9/12 dau b Sep "

HH199 Wiley A. TUCKER M 47 m Farmer TN TN TN
Manerva [Combs] F 31 m wife KH KY KY KY
Mary J. F 19 s dau AR TN TN
Nancy A. F 17 s dau "
Emily F 15 s "
Josie F 13 s "
Sarah F 10 s "
Ellen F 5 "
Navada F s "
WILLIS KINNEY 13 s adopted son; Farm Laborer AR MO AR
Thomas R. MONTGOMERY M 38 s boarder Phisician AR AR AR
(Transcribed Ruby Johnson Wiedeman, needs to be proofed)

HH322 John CORNITT M 52 m Farmer KY VA VA
Nancy [Combs] " F 46 m wife KY KY KY KY
Archibald M 26 s son Farm Laborer KY KY KY
John M 25 (ditto above)
Elijah M 23 (ditto above)
Lousana F 18 s dau KY KY KY
Addaline F 15 s dau KY KY KY
Robertt M 12 s son Farm Laborer KY KY KY
Manerva F 9 dau KY KY KY
Emma F 3 dau AR KY KY

Notes: John CORNETT m Nancy Combs, d/o Elijah & Mary "Polly" Combs Combs, Jr., bet 1850 and 1853, per census, deeds, and birth of eldest known child, Archibald. See 1850-1870 Perry Co KY Records.

Brashears Cemetery, Madison Co AR
Row 10
Combs, James (fieldstone, b 1858 d 1870 census)
Combs, infant (fieldstone)
Row 11
Combs, Capt. Hiram H. May 1832 Aug 1917
(Combs Researcher Glenda Flaugher who adds that CW marker was placed at this site indicating Capt. Hiram, AR Confederate Service (thus the middle initial "H." may be later addition))

(2) Private Hiram Combs

Born ca 1830, Perry Co, KY; d aft 1880, Madison Co, AR; m (1) Mary UNKNOWN; (2) Martha UNKNOWN, widow of Unknown CAMP. According to Oral Family History from Hiram Combs to Taylor Combs, b 1898, and still living: Hiram Combs was the illegitimate son of "Grizzler" Clinton Combs, and George and Lydia Combs' dau., Matilda. This came straight from Hiram Combs himself, so is supposed to be accurate. Hiram married a Mary, they lived in Arkansas, where his first 2, poss. 3, children were born. They moved back to Perry Co. in the late 1850's, had a few more offspring, and Mary died. This was probably around 1867 or later. She is buried on the Right Hand Fork of Mason's Creek, somewhere on Hiram's old farm. Taylor Combs remembers going up to her grave with his mother when he was a little boy, but because of his near complete loss of eyesight, he cannot identify the spot. After Mary's death, Hiram returned to Arkansas, and lived out his days. (Combs Researcher Tabatha L. Haddix, granddaughter of Taylor Combs)

Note: "Grizzler" Clinton Combs was the s/o Mason "8" and Jane RICHARDSON Combs and, based on the above, Matilda was the d/o George "8" and Lydia HARRELL Combs. According to The Combes Genealogy…, Matilda also had a natural son, George, by "Grizzler" Clinton Combs.

1850 Perry Co KY Census, District 2
147-160 Clinton Combs 41 M KY Farmer $2200
Elizabeth 40 F KY
Hiram 29 M KY Farmer
Martha 20 F KY
Nelson 12 M KY
Hugh 11 M KY
Si????ia? 9 F KY
Emeline 7 F KY
Susan 5 F KY
Adrian 3 M KY
(Transcribed by L. Gaskill and C. Hammett)

Notes: s/o Mason & Jane RICHARDSON Combs. According to 22 Oct 1853 Perry Co KY Records, Clinton Combs m Betsey Combs. Who was Hiram, age 29, thus only 12 years younger than Clinton? Is this actually the Hiram who was s/o Clinton Combs by Matilda Combs? Although record lists age as 29, if the same, he was more likely 19 to 21 (See below)

1860 Perry Co KY Census

HH 639-637 Hiram COMB 30 farmer 300 250 KY
Mary 24 spinner MO
Mary A. 5 AK
Matilda 3 KS
Jer 1 KY

(Transcribed from microfilm by Combs Researcher Debi Kendrick who adds that the copy is very faint and difficult to read - corrected copy Dec 1998)

Notes: It is not known where Hiram and Mary married, but possibly in Madison Co, AR (note her Missouri birth and also that of son, Jer (Jeremiah), b in 1859 in KY).

1861-1865 Civil War Service
Combs, Hiram KY 13th Cav. Co. C
Combs, Hiram KY 5th Mtd. Inf. Co. I
(The Roster of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865, Vol. IV edited by Janet B. Hewett. Broadfoot, Publishing Co., Wilmington, NC 1996, page 57)

Notes: Civil War service of "the other" Hiram Combs was as a captain in Madison Co, AR.

1870 Perry Co KY Census

HH#98 Hiram Combs 41
Mary 35 Ark
Maryan 16 Ark
Matilda 14 Ark
Jeremiah 12
Peggy 10
Robert 8
Abagale 6
Sally 4
Samuel 2
Grant 3/12

(Extracted by Combs Researcher Tabatha L. Farler Haddix from Perry County, Kentucky Records 1870 Census, transcribed by the Perry County Genealogical & Historical Society)

1880 Madison Co AR Census

Hilburn Twp

HH183 Hiram COMBS Self M M W 50 Farmer KY KY KY
Martha J. Wife M F W 33 Keep Hse MS GA GA
Abba Dau S F W 14 KY KY IN
Sarah Dau S F W 12 KY KY IN
Samuel Son S M W 10 Farm Lbr KY KY IN
Emily Dau S F W 8 KY KY IN
Clint Son S M W 6 KY KY IN
William C. Son S M W 5 KY KY IN
Thomas Son S M W 4 KY KY IN
Allis M. CAMP Dau S F W 9 MS AL MS
Willie M.Dau S F W 6 MS AL MS
Ella J. COMBS Dau S F W 1 AR KY MS

(Transcribed by Ruby Johnson Wiedeman; to be replaced shortly by new transcription)

Notes: The above [Private] Hiram Combs, b ca1830 in KY, was listed only a short distance from [Capt.] Hiram Combs, and appears to have been the same Hiram Combs as the 1870 Perry Co KY census; however, the children do not appear "exactly"; i.e., if Abba & Abigail are the same, and Sarah is Sally, and Samuel the same, then their birth years are off by "exactly" two years, and Grant Combs is missing from the later record. Note also that Hiram Combs had re-married to the widow, Martha CAMP, and based on her children's ages, and the mother's birth location for the Combs children in the HH, it does not appear as though any of the Combs children were joint issue. Whoever the mother of the Combs children was, she was born in Indiana per the 1880 census. The 1880 needs to be checked to make sure the transcription was not in error, and the 1900 also needs to be checked.

According to oral family tradition, Madison Co, AR, Private Hiram Combs was buried in the Greasy Creek Cemetery, Madison Co, AR. A Civil War marker erected by descendants states: Hiram Combs, born 1829, d aft 1880, Madison Co, AR, Confederate Army, Private, Kentucky.

07 Aug 1926
Kentucky Vital Statistics Death Index:

MARY A WELLS Date 260807 Age 077 Place PERRY Volume 043 Cert 21343 Death vol 26 Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics: Certificate of Death, Place of death: County: Perry, Vot pct: #6,

Full name: Mary Ann COMBS Wells
Sex: Female
Color or race: White
Marital Status: Married
Birthdate: 1849, Age: 77
Occupation: Housewife
Birthplace: Madison Co. Arkansas
Name of father Hiram COMBS
Birthplace: (blank)
Maiden name of mother: Mary WILLIAMS
Birthplace: Arkansas
Informant: Elihu WELLS (husband), (sic),
Address: Scuddy, Ky.,
Filled: 8/20/1926, C.D. COMBS, Registrar
Date of death: August 7, 1926
I Hereby certiffy that I attended deceased on Aug 1926 that I last saw her alive on Aug 6, 1926, and that death occurred on the state stated above at 5 a.m.
Cause of death: Cardiac decompensation with cardiac hypertrophy
Contributory: Senility,
Signed: Authur VANDERVENT M.D., Aug 12,1926
Address: Scuddy, Ky.
Length of residence at place of death: 70 yrs.
Place of burial: Defiance, Perry Co. Ky.
Date: Aug. 7, 1926

(Death certificat furnished by Combs researcher Lynda Combs Gipson Transcribed and posted by Combs researcher Jimmie CrashedOne Combs)

Notes: According to the 1860 Perry Co, KY Census, Mary A. COMBs, d/o Hiram & Mary, was b ca 1855; and per the 1870 Perry co, KY census, Maryan COMBs, d/o Hiram & Mauy, was b ca 1854. There were two Hiram and Mary COMBS who resided in both Perry Co, KY and Madison Co, AR: (a) CW Capt. Hiram Combs & Mary WALKER, the former s/o Elijah & Polly COMBS Combs, Jr.,; and (b) CW Private Hiram & Mary UNKNOWN Combs, the former s/o Clinton "Grizzler" COMBS (s/o Mason "8" & Jane "Jennie" RICHARDSON Combs) by his first cousin, Matilda COMBS (d/o George "8" and Lydia HARRELL Combs). This "appears" to be Mary Ann, d/o Hiram and Mary (WILLIAMS) Combs and it appears likely that she was b 1854-55 rather than 1849 (another oft-seen instance of "advanced aging" by the elderly back then)

To Be Continued…