First Rough Draft - Sep 1999 (Research and Further Editing in Progress)
Please Email Additions/Corrections to The Combs Research Group

John COOMBS (a.k.a. COMBS) (Andrew COMBS I, Joseph COOMBS I), born ca 1754 in present-day Loudoun Co, VA; d 16 Jan 1849, Loudoun Co, VA; m (1) pre-1779, Unknown CRAIG (d/o James & Jane WETHEROW Craig), d pre-1797; m (2) 18 Jan 1797, Loudoun Co, VA, Ann "Nancy" GREEN (widow of George VENANDER), b 1768-1771, d 1860, Morgan Co, OH. John was the s/o Andrew & Mary COMBS of Coombs Fort, Tonoloways Settlement (Frederick Co, MD) and Loudoun Co, VA.

John is first found of record in the 1774 Loudoun Co, VA will of his father, Andrew. His birth year and place are based on his Revolutionary War Pension affidavit, but are at least partially contradicted by (a) the fact that his father "appears" to have been in Frederick Co, MD (Tonoloways) during this time period; and (b) that he was first taxed in Loudoun in 1779, which would make his birth year ca 1758 rather than 1754 (unless he was listed on earlier Loudoun tax lists that aren't extant, or was not residing in Loudoun during the period 1775-1778).

John's first wife's given name may have been Ann (source not known). Her ancestry is documented by the 1808 Loudoun will of his father-in-law, James CRAIG. John's Revolutionary War Pension File documents that he had three children by Miss CRAIG by the time of Cornwallis defeat in Oct 1781, but does not name them (see below).

John was first taxed in Loudoun Co, VA in 1779, with he and William CRAIG (his brother-in-law) both tithed by Nathan COCHRAN. In 1780, John tithed himself, but was listed by tax collector as "lives on COCKRANE'S plantation" (and is listed immediately below Nathan COCKRANE [sic]). John is missing from the 1781 Loudoun tax list, but probably due to an exemption for military service since, according to his Revolutionary War Pension File, from Spring 1781 to Oct 1781, John served in the militia company of Capt. John HENRY under Col. John ALEXANDER of the Virginia Line, and subsequently under other officers. Maj. QUARLES and Col. DABNEY commanded him. He was discharged following the surrender of Lord Cornwallis in Oct 1781.

In 1782, John COMBS was tithed by Andrew COOMBS [sic] who also tithed Mahlon/Mailon COOMBS (although only 2 total were tithed; i.e., one was non-tithable, reason unknown). On 09 Dec 1782 deeds of grantor brothers Andrew COMBS and John COMBS to Thomas MATTHEWS were proved by Margaret and Rebekah COOMBS. (Loudoun VA minute book). It is thought that John and Andrew were possibly selling their share of land from their father's estate. Neither Margaret nor Rebekah have been identified although the latter might have been John's sister. In 1783, brothers John, Andrew and Mahlon are all missing from Loudoun Tax Lists, but it is not known if they were out of the county or if their list was missing. In 1787, John COMBS, tithing only himself, was visited by the Loudoun tax collector on the same date as Thomas MATTHEWS.

On 18 Jan 1797 a Loudoun Co VA Marriage Bond was recorded for John COMBS of Loudoun Co VA and Nancy VINNANDER, a widow, and signed by John and Mahlon COMBS, security. According to the 6 Apr 1854 Revolutionary War Pension affidavit by Nancy, they were married in Loudoun by "George RAWSEL, a minister of the Gospel." Nancy was nee GREEN, the widow of George VENANDER [sic] whom she had been married on 2 Jan 1794 in Loudoun by John LITTLEJOHN, a Methodist Minister.

On 25 Mar 1800, John COMBS and Ann his wife (signed John [his / mark] COMBS and Nancy [her / mark] COMBS), his mother, Mary, and his brothers, Mahlon and Israel, and their wives, Sarah and Jane (respectively) sold one moiety (1/2 interest) of 70 acres previously owned by their father, Andrew COMBS deceased, to William TOMLINSON.

John has not been located on the 1810 census, but is believed to have been in Loudoun at the time, and was probably the John COMBS of the 1820 and 1830 Loudoun Co, VA census index (records not yet extracted). John does not appear on the 1840 census, and died on 16 Jan 1849 in Loudoun.

His widow, Ann "Nancy" GREEN Venander Coombs was still residing in Loudoun in Aug 1849 when she gave affidavits (Rev. War Pension File), but was residing in Morgan Co, OH by 6 Apr 1855 (ibid.) She died in 1860 in Morgan Co, Ohio, where she was buried in Ebenezer Cemetery, Neelysville, Morgan County., her headstone inscribed as "Nancy COMBS wife of John 1860 - about age 92."

Revolutionary War Pension File of John COOMBS [partial]

(RW Pension File W1828; BLM File BLW #26793-160-55. Sources: Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Vol 1: A-E, Abstracted by Virgil D. White, Published by The National Historical Publishing Company. 1990; VAGenWeb Archives, 1835 Pension Roll; Reel 644. Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data From Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records, Volumes 1, Patrick Wardell, p. 238; and Virginia Revolutionary Pension Applications, Vol. XXII, Abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman, Washington D. D. 1975)

John (X) COOMBS (a.k.a. COMBS) made declaration on 27 Feb 1834 in Loudoun Co, VA that he was aged about 80, and that he was born in Loudoun County abt 1754. He had no record of his age. "His father's family Bible, which contained a record of the ages of the family, was carried away by his eldest brother when he removed to the west many years ago." He was at the surrender of Cornwallis and then a married man and had three children and he thinks he was about 27. He may have been a year or two more.

He was drafted in the militia in Loudoun County in the spring of 1781, he thinks from the middle to the latter part of march. He marched under Capt. John HENRY and Col. John ALEXANDER to Dumfries, Fredericksburg and Richmond, and to Yorktown. He was subsequently placed under other officers. Maj. QUARLES and Col. DABNEY commanded him. He continued doing duty in the neighborhood of Richmond and Yorktown and at the siege of Lord Cornwallis until his surrender in Oct 1781 when he was discharged and returned home, having been absent about seven months.

When in the neighborhood of Richmond on a dark, stormy night he and several companies took shelter in a large tobacco house, being pursued by British troops. They were ordered out and pursued their march. On the same night another party, alarmed by a false report of the British light horse, scattered in all directions and one of the fellows in attempting to cross a fence was stopped by his clothes becoming entangled and he, supposing a British soldier had hold of him, cried out "Quarter, quarter, I'm only a poor militia man, a good Tory when at home, my name's CROWLEY." This story coming to the knowledge of his companions was a source of mortification as long as he lived.

John QUEEN who, if living, resides in Hampshire Co, could testify to his services.

John COOMBS of Loudoun Co, VA, private in the regiment of Col. ALEXANDER of the Virginia Line for seven months, was placed on the Virginia pension roll at $23.33 per annum under the Act of 1832. Certificate 23720 was issued 26 Mar 1834.

Note: According to the VA GenWeb Archives, RW Pensions, the pension of John COMBS of Loudoun Co VA, Private, VA Militia, age 80, started 3/26/1832 [sic], Annual Allowance $23.33; amount received as of the 1835 Pension Roll was $69.99.

9 Aug 1849. Loudoun Co, VA. Nancy (X) COOMBS of said county, aged 82 or 83, declares she is the widow of John COOMBS who was a pensioner. She was married more than fifty years ago. John COOMBS d 16 Jan 1849. This same date, Martha MEGEATH and David YOUNG of said county declare they were acquainted with John and Nancy COOMBS for upwards of fifty years. One or two of their children are upwards of 50 years of age.

18 Aug 1849. Loudoun Co, VA. Nancy COOMBS declares they never kept a family record. She was married after 1794 and before 1800.

20 Aug 1849. Tho. R. SAUNDERS writes from Leesburg [Loudoun Co], Va., that the marriage bonds in the Clerk's office are very much deranged and the minister who married Nancy COOMBS left shortly after the marriage and no doubt failed to make his return.

COOMBS, John. Richmond (VA) 1832. Loudon County, Va, 22 March 1829. Nancy COOMBS [x her mark], widow of John COOMBS, late pensioner (former private) who resided in this county for 101 years [sic], appoints John G. MOSBY Jr. attorney to collect arrears due from 4 Mar 1848 to 16 Jan 1849, the day of his death; witnesses L. A. MEGEATH, Jos. P. MEGEATH. Richmond, 4 Apr 1849, John G. MOSBY Jr collected $20.20" (Extracted by Combs Researcher George Baumbach from "Selected Final Pension Payment Vouchers- Virginia," p. 124)

6 Apr 1854. Morgan Co OH. Nancy (X) COOMBS of said county, aged 84, declares she was married to John COOMBS in Loudoun Co., Va., by George RAWSEL, a minister of the Gospel. Her husband died at Henry YOUNG'S in Loudoun County on 16 Jan 1849. She applies for bounty land.

Note: A query letter in RW John COMBS' pension file states that Andrew COMBS who died 3/1774 Loudoun Co., VA was survived by sons Joseph (b. 1740 & died 1804), Andrew Jr., Mahlon (b.1748) & this soldier John (b.1745), all RW service. The letter is incorrect regarding the death year of John's brother, Joseph COMBS, who did not die until 1827 in Holmes Co, OH, having resided prior to his death in (at least) Fayette Co, PA and Wayne and Holmes Cos, OH (See 1823 Loudon Records). The Joseph Combs who d 1804 may be the same who, according to George Norbury Mackenzie's Colonial Families of the United States of A*M*E*R*I*C*A* (Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, MD 1912, 1966, 1995), Vol III, pages 46-48, was b 1740, d 1804, Prince George's Co, MD; m Elizabeth BAYLES (d/o Capt. William BAYLES), and was the f/o Baylis COMBS who m 1799, Frederick Co, MD, Sarah RICHARDSON (See also 1799 Loudoun Records). Mackenzie erroneously lists this Joseph (d 1804) as s/o Andrew COMBS (d 1774) and a "Miss CLEMENTS" (no sources).

Also Note: The pension file of LEIGHTON/LEATON, entered 1778 Albemarle Co, VA, included a Query letter dated 1928 from descendant Mrs. G. B. DAVIS, Arkansas City, KS which states soldiers death date was 1848, KY, and that she also descends from VA Rev. War soldier John COOMBS b. 1754, died 1849 of Loudoun Co, VA (Reel 648. (Wardell, p.241)

Four Early DAR Lineages exist for John COOMBS:

DAR Lineage Book, Vol. 1 (1890-91). R. E. 202.5. Ai 5. (submitter) Mrs. Anna May EDWARDS, born in Ohio. Descendant of John COOMBS of VA. Daughter of William COOMBS and Barbara Ellen ___________, his wife and granddaughter of John COOMBS and Nancy VINNANDER, his wife. John COOMBS (1754-1849) enlisted in the Continental Army 1781, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. Pension Certificate. (Extracted by Combs Researcher Sherry Marine)

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 30, page 159: Mrs. Gertrude COOMBS Campbell. DAR ID Number: 29663 Born in Mt. Vernon [Knox Co], Ohio. Wife of Noble Thomas Campbell. Descendant of John COOMBS, of Virginia. Daughter of Presley COOMBS and Ann Stuart RYAN, his wife. Granddaughter of John COOMBS and Nancy VINNANDER, his wife. John COOMBS, (1754-1849), was placed on the pension roll, 1831, for service as private in the Virginia militia. He was born in Loudoun Co., Va., and died there. Also No. 90.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 49 Mrs. Edna COOMBS Gove. DAR ID Number: 48452 Born in Columbiana Co., Ohio. Wife of George GOVE. Descendant of John COOMBS. Daughter of John COOMBS and Rebecca EMMONS, his wife. Granddaughter of John COOMBS and Nancy VINANDER, his wife. John COOMBS (1754-1849) was placed on the pension roll 1831 for service as private in the Virginia militia. He was born and died in Loudon County, Va. Also No. 29663.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 48: Mrs. Grace GOVE Dougherty. DAR ID Number: 47632 Born in Allegheny, Pa. Wife of Edward DOUGHERTY. Descendant of John COOMBS of Virginia. Daughter of George GOVE and Edna COOMBS, his wife. Granddaughter of John COOMBS, Jr., and Rebecca EMMONS, his wife. Gr-granddaughter of John COOMBS and Nancy VINANDES [sic], his wife. John COOMBS (1754-1849) was placed on the pension roll 1839 for service as private, Virginia militia. He was born and died in Loudoun County, Virginia. Also No. 29663.

Descendants of RW John COMBS (COOMBS)

The children of John & first wife (Ann?) CRAIG Combs have not been documented other than in number (three born by Oct 1781), but two of those children may have been:

  1. i. James COMBS (undocumented) was born before 1784; married 12 Mar 1804 per Loudoun Co VA Marriage Return of Rev. John LITTLEJOHN, Methodist Episcopal, Ann ORRISON. (Sources still needed)
  2. ii. Martha Ann COMBS (undocumented) married (license) 24 Jul 1827, Frederick Co, MD, Joseph JAMISON. According to research notes of Combs Researcher Thom Mont, Martha Ann was later in Baltimore.

Of the children of John & second wife Nancy GREEN (Venander) Combs, only John, Jr., Presley and William have been documented thus far, atlhough others may have included Jesse and Rebecca.

  1. i. John COMBS Jr. was the s/o John & Nancy and m Rebecca EMMONS according to the DAR Application of daughter, Edna COMBS Gove, b Columbiana Co, OH.
  2. ii. Presley COOMBS is listed on the 1830 Loudoun Co VA census index, was the s/o John & Nancy and married Ann Stuart RYAN per the DAR application of their daughter, Gertrude COOMBS Gove.
  3. iii. William COOMBS was the s/o John & Nancy and married Barbara Ellen (MCCRAY?) according to the DAR Application of their daughter, Anna May COMBS Edwards, born Ohio.
  4. iv. Jesse COOMES (undocumented), m (1) Apr 4, 1832 Frederick Co, MD (Marriage License) to Finetta DELL; was m (2) on 3 June 1834 in Frederick Co, MD by the Rev. Mr. MAGEE, to Miss Thomsa SHIVERS, "both of Frederick County;" m (3) Catherine _____; and (4) Sarah _____ (per Combs Researcher Thom Mont, ref: Frederick Co marriage records, SHIVERS FAMILY CHRONICLES AND CONNECTIONS) According to Thom's research notes, Jesse d in Fayetteville [County?], Pennsylvania in 1881 at age 80.
  5. v. Rebecca COOMBS (undocumented), m 25 Aug 1830, Frederick Co, MD, Henry YOUNG, believed to have been the same at whose home, RW John COMBS died on 16 Jan 1849.