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Nimrod Combs ALIAS Luttrell, b. by 1767, before the presumed marriage of his parents in about 1773-1777. His father John Combs Jr. died 1780, will recorded in Fauquier Co, VA, names Nimrod as his son. He is also named in his grandfather John Combs’s 1785 Fauquier Co. will, and his mother Sally’s 1833 Fauquer will. Nimrod was married twice; first to Elizabeth Markham who died circa 1812-1813, and then secondly (identity unknown) per his mother Sally’s will by whom he had 3 more children.

Nimrod is shown in one court record as Nimrod B Combs.

Compiled and submitted by Natalie McClendon.

Updated by Sue Elfving with new research from Fauquier Co., VA Chancery Court records.

With respect to Nimrod’s family, the most important suit is John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c (LOVA Chancery Court Index # 1839-016). The complainants were the six surviving children of Nimrod Combs and his wife Elizabeth MARKHAM, the d/o of RW Navy Capt. James MARKHAM. More information given below.

Two additional chancery suits, both filed in 1833, were Nimrod Combs v admr of Sarah Combs decd (LOVA Chancery Record Index # 1836-015), and Behethilon Cummins v Nimrod Combs (LOVA Chancery Record Index # 1852=013). These provide more information about Nimrod himself and his financial circumstances. These two suits are discussed in more detail in the John and Sarah LUTTRELL Combs Family Report.

Nimrod’s first appearance in the tax lists occurred in 1788 where he is listed as a male over the age of 21 in the household of his mother Sarah Combs. This record suggests Nimrod was born by 1767.

1788 Fauquier Co. Tax List “C”

4/1 Combs Sarah (chrgd)..(>21 Nimrod Combs) 1wm 16-21, 3 blk>16, 0blk 12<16, 1 hr/m

1789 Fauqueir Co. Tax List “C”

3/28 Combs Sarah (wm>21 Combs Nimrod), 1wm, 2 blk>16, ?blk 12<16, ? hr/m

12 Nov 1791, Fauquier Co, VA

Nimrod Combs marries Betsy Kenner Markham, bondsman Robt. Luttrell. Betsy was d/o Capt. James Markham, per 1832 Mason Co, KY court records and John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c (LOVA Chancery Court Index # 1839-016).

1799 Fauquier Co, VA poll list:

Nimrod Combs

1810 US Census, Kanawha Co, VA (WV)

Charleston, p. 201
Combs, Nimrod, 0-2-1-1-0: 1-0-0-1-0: 0: 0
(2 boys b. 1795-1800, 1 boy b. 1785-1795, 1 man b. 1765-1784; 1 girl b. aft 1800, 1 woman b. 1765-1784)

Nimrod and Elizabeth Combs moved west to Kanawha Co., VA. His father-in-law Capt. James Markham, a RW soldier and noted personage, and Elizabeth’s sister Mary Ann Seal Barker and her husband William had removed to Cabell Co. Nimrod, in an answer to a chancery bill, stated they lived near Charleston in Kanawha.

1810-1814 Sometime in this range of years, Elizabeth Markham Combs drowned in the Kanawha River leaving six surviving children: John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Jane Combs who later married Josiah WILLIAMS, Fielding Combs, and Sally Combs. There was a seventh child who died in infancy. The children state their mother died in 1810. Nimrod states she died in 1815. Nimrod’s sister Behethilon Cummins deposes Elizabeth died before her son John C Cummins went off to the War [1812 which would be 1814]. John himself states it was sometime before his service. Nimrod returned to Fauquier with his children after her death. Court papers state Elizabeth died two years prior to her father who died in 1816.

21-23 Dec 1819 Fauquier Co, VA Marriage Bonds. James COMBS & Betsy PAYNE, 21 Dec 1819 by Nathaniel GROVES/GRAVES. Elizabeth aka Betsy, d/o Benjamin PAYNE. Marriage returned 23 Dec 1819 (Source: (Extracted by Combs Researcher Debi Houser from Fauquier County, Virginia Marriage Bonds: 1759-1854 & Marriage Returns: 1785-1848 by John K. Gott)

Note: James, s/o of Nimrod Combs and Elizabeth Markham, and Betsy Payne, d/o of Helen Combs and Benjamin Payne.

1820 Census

Nimrod not yet found. John Combs appears in the Barren Co, KY census.

bef 1825: Nimrod Combs married 2nd? to whom?

1830 US Census, Fauquier Co, VA

p. 407:
line 14: Sarah Combs, 1 f 15-20; 1 f 60-70.
line 19: Margaret Combs, 1 m 50-60; 1 f 15-20; 1 f 70-80.
line 23: Sarah Combs, f 70-80.
line 24: Nimrod Combs, 1 m 50-60; 2 f <5; 1 f 30-40. [Nimrod b. 1770-1780]
line 25: John Cooper, M:1@40-50; 1@50-60; F: 1@15-20; 1@ 30-40; 1@ 40-50.

[John cooper is listed here because Sarah Luttrell Combs’ will in 1833 mentions a daughter Sally Cooper]

It appears Nimrod has two young daughters by his second wife. None of his children by Elizabeth are living with him. None of the sons appear to be living in Fauquier Co. either.

1832 Mason Co, KY, court records lists children of Capt James Markam, all but one deceased. This would include Nimord’s wife Betsy Markham.

1833 Fauquier Co, VA: Sarah Luttrell Combs dies, mentions Nimrod’s three children by his last wife.

[This second marriage not yet found]

1833 Nimrod Combs & others file suit against the Admr of Sarah Combs decd (John C Cummins and others) to contest the validity of his mother’s will. In the same year, he is named as a co-defendant in a suit by his sister Behethilon Cummins. Refer to John and Sarah LUTTRELL Combs Family Report for more information on these suits. Unfortunately, none of the papers found in these two suits provide any information about the second wife of Nimrod Combs.

1836 John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c (LOVA Chancery Court Index # 1839-016).

The children of Nimrod Combs bring suit in 1836 against the children and heirs of Capt. James K Markham and his administrators in 1836. The suit was settled by 1839.

The complainants: John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Josiah WILLLIAMS and his wife Jane, formerly Jane Combs, Fielding Combs and Sarah Combs children of Elizabeth Combs deceased against James K MARSHALL, extr. of John MARKSHALL deceased, James K MARSHALL, Nimrod Combs, Mary Ann BARKER, George GOOD deceased and Elizabeth PENDLETON administratrix of James L MARKHAM decd.

The six living children of Nimrod Combs and his deceased wife Elizabeth Markham bring suit against all the children (4) of their grandfather Capt. James MARKHAM and his administrators for their share of their grandfather James Markham’s estate by right of their mother who predeceased her father. Nimrod Combs states his wife died after her father and that he is entitled to her share; however, other deponents show she died before her father and the children claim the right of inheritance for themselves. The court upheld their claim finding for the plaintiffs. Nimrod and Elizabeth had 7 children, one of whom died in infancy. Nimrod and his family moved to Kanawha County. His wife Elizabeth drowned in the Kanawha River and he returned to Fauquier with his children with one son returning before him. James Marshall was a Navy Captain in the Revolutionary War and was taken prisoner. As an officer, he was entitled to half pay for the rest of his life but this money was never collected until a suit was brought in Henrico against the Commonwealth of Virginia. The amount was a tidy sum of $1430.15 per ¼ share. It is possible there were multiple cases involving Markham’s estate that continued for many years. James Markham’s son James Lewis Markham also predeceased his father and his father died intestate which usually results in long settlements and conflicts. Elizabeth PENDLETON in the defendants’ list was the admx of her husband James Lewis Markham, son of the Capt. There is an 1832 record in Mason Co.,Ky. that identifies the children of Capt. James Markham. His family is well documented and he was a noted soldier and personage in Virginia.

The children of Capt James Markham: James Lewis Markham, Elizabeth Combs, Ann M GOODE (wife of George Good), and Mary Ann Seal BARKER (wife of William). His son James also predeceased his father and his widow was Elizabeth who was his executrix. She later remarried a Mr. Pendleton. The Barkers removed further west to Mason Co., Ky.

The case file for the suit is large. Following are a few of the statements from documents and depositions found in the file. The LOVA image number is given in parenthesis.

1836. Complainants’ Bill [very light image]. Bill dated 13 July 1836. The orators were named as follows: John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Josiah WILLIAMS and wife Jane, formerly Jane Combs, Fielding Combs and Sarah Combs children of Elizabeth Combs deceased against James K Marshall extr of John Marshall decd, James K Marshall, Nimrod Combs, Mary Ann Barker, George Good decd. The orators and complainants refer to their grandfather James Markham. The orators state their mother died about 1810 and had only 7 children one of whom died in infancy. Her maiden name was Markham, d/o Capt James Markham who died about 1817 leaving son James L Markham now decd and the estate administration was granted to his widow now Elizabeth PENDLETON of Culpepper also left a daughter Ann M GOODE wife of George Good who is now deceased and another daughter Mary Ann BARKER wife of William BARKER who is also deceased. Capt. Markham left a large claim against Virginia for the Revolutionary War. They say Nimrod Combs has no claim because Elizabeth died before her father died (p. 19-20).

1838. Answer of Nimrod Combs a defendant who says he, by right of virtue of husband of Elizabeth Combs decd, is entitled to the share of her father Capt. James Markham decd in the hands of said Markham’s admr. He states she [meaning his wife] did not die in 1810 [as stated in complainants’ bill] and Capt. Markham died 1817 and that Markham did not survive his daughter who died 3 July 1815 and Markham died 23 Jan. 1815 when Nimrod was living in the county of Kanawhay and Markham had lived and died in the county of Cabell. Nimrod states he lived near Charleston and his wife was alive when her father died. He states he is due ¼ share of Markham’s personal estate. Dated 13 Nov. 1838. (p.3)

Note: Documents state Capt. James Markham died 1 Sept. 1816. Court records state (p. 117) Elizabeth died 2 years before her father leaving issue in the Kentucky as proved by certification of Elizabeth CHAPMAN. James Markham [son of Capt James Markham] died 2 years before leaving 4 children. Ann Good left 2 children. Account was presented 4 Dec 1832.

1838 (p. 120-3) Depositions of Behethilon Cummins, John C Cummins, & Seth Combs dated 5 Sept 1838 at the tavern of Rodham Tallop [?], Somerville, Fauquier Co.
Deposition of Behethilon Cummins. Deponent states she was acquainted with Capt. Markham and family upwards of 20 years, he had 4 children: James, Betsy, Mary Ann, and Nancy called Ann. Elizabeth married my brother Nimrod Combs and she had 6 children: John, James, Benjamin, Jane, Fielding, and Sally. Another child died in its infancy. She says Nimrod told her Elizabeth died just before he removed to this county from Kanawha. She says she understood from hearsay she died before her father. She says she thinks Nimrod was here at the time her son John C Cummins went out into the War [1812] or just afterward. Nimrod brought all of his family with him from Kanawha except his son ????? who had returned before him. His youngest child Sally could just sit alone at the time of his return. Nimrod “brought his wife’s clothes with him when he came in and he told me when he came in that she was dead and that she was drowned in the Kanawha River…”

Deposition of John C Cummins. “When Mr Nimrod Combs returned from Kanawha to this county, Mr Dawson and James Combs the son of Mr. Nimrod Combs who came with him informed me that she Mrs Combs was drowned in the Kanawha River and the circumstances attending her death. Mr. Combs brought all his family with him excep one son who had returned before…” The deponent stated that he returned in July or Aug. 1813 or 1814 to the best of his recollection. He says he thinks Nimrod returned to the county previous to John’s entering the service which was about the middle of Aug. 1814.

Deposition of Seth Combs. Deponent states he knew the four Markham children: James Elizabeth Mary Ann and Nancy. Elizabeth married Nimrod Combs. She had 6 children: John, James, Benjamin, Jane, Fielding, and Sally. He states it was generally understood Nimrod’s wife was dead at this time.

Deposition of George CHAPMAN of Mason Co., Ky. Deposes he knew Markham and that his son-in-law William Barker left Fauquier County and moved to Cabel County Virginia about 1810. Markham died intestate leaving Mary Ann Seal Barker (wife of William and now a widow) (p. 55).

Deposition of Betsy MORGAN late Betsy PICKETT of Mason Co., Ky., dated 15 Sept. 1830. She deposes she is about the age of 66 and knew the Markhams in Fauquier and says he [Markham] resided with the Barkers in Cabell County. They had 4 children: James L Markham decd, Mary Ann Seal Barker widow of Wm, Ann M Goode widow of George, and Elizabeth Combs decd. She deposes Markham was the cousin of “Old Colo Thomas Marshall” the Father of “Chief Justice John Marshall.” (p. 57)

(Source: John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c 1839-016, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Records Index, original images, abstracted by Sue Elfving for Combs &c).

1840 US Census, Stafford Co, VA,

p. 32
line 5: Nimrod Combs, M: 1@ 10-15; 1@ 60-70; F: 3<5; 1@ 5-10; 1@10-15; 1@30-40

1912/12/26 KY Death Cert of Ennis Combs; cert# 33441white male married; age 70 [b ca 1842] died 26 Dec 1912 Montgomery Co., Ky of ?nephant----s/o Nimrod Combs b Ky & don’t know of Ky; informant Richard TREADWAY of Mt. Sterling, Ky; buried private burial ground 28 Dec 1919; undertaker Eastin & Harris of Mt. Sterling, Ky

There are no other Nimrods in the records known at this time, so this Ennis Combs is possibly one of his children by the “last wife” mentioned in Sarah Luttrell Combs’ will. If this is the same Nimrod, and this death record is correct that Ennis Combs was born in KY in 1842, then perhaps Nimrod’s widow would be found in KY in 1850.

The above records are all that are available on the Combs Etc website and readily findable census records on

Siblings of Nimrod Combs, as mentioned in his father’s (1790) and mother’s (1833) wills were:

Father’s WillMother’s Will
John Combsnot mentioned
Betty Combs Betsy Hopper; [John Hooper, marriage record in Fauquier Co VA 27 Jan 1800];
Hetheland Combs ALIAS LuttrellBehethelon Cummins; grandson John C. Cummins appointed executor; witness Elijah Cummins.
Sarah CombsSally Cooper; A Julia Cooper was also given some money in Sarah Luttrell Combs’ will, “as a compensation to her for her trouble with me”, possibly a granddaughter?
Heland Combs ALIAS Luttrell (Helen?)not mentioned

SEE John and Sarah LUTTRELL Combs Family Report for updated information on all the children of John and Sarah.

According to Col. Brooke Payne’s Paynes of Virginia

Benj. PAYNE married (1) Susannah ROUSSEAU; and (2) Helen Combs, by whom he had 5 children: Elizabeth PAYNE who married her cousin James Combs 21 Dec 1819 Fauquier Co., Va; Jane PAYNE who married Silas BRYANT 19 July 1825 Fauquier Co.; Betty PAYNE who m. Elijah THORNBERRY; and William PAYNE. Benjamin Payne’s first wife was Susannah Rousseau, d/o William Rousseau, and sister-in-law of Ennis Combs.

Sarah Luttrell Combs’ will witnessed by David W. Combs, identified as s/o William Rousseau Combs and Sarah Wickliffe, who would be her great nephew.

Siblings of Betsy Kenner Markham, w/o Nimrod Combs, were named in the 1832 Mason Co, KY court records as:
Mary Ann Seal Markham, m. William Barker, resided Mason Co, KY in 1832;
Anna M. Markham, m. George Goode
James L. Markham

A William Barker appears in the 1810 Census, Fauquier Co, VA. A George Goode and a James Markham appear in the 1810 Census, Botetourt Co, VA.

Children of Nimrod Combs and Elizabeth Markham

The names of the children are documented in the chancery suit John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c (LOVA Chancery Court Index # 1839-016). Their order may be the same as given in their 1836 suit against the heirs and administrators of their grandfather. The order was John, Benjamin, James, Jane, Fielding, and Sarah. It is known Sarah was the youngest.

Unfortunately the court records do not indicate where these children resided when they filed their chancery suit.

  1. John Combs

    NM Notes: The 1810 census shows that Nimrod crossed the mountains by 1810. How long he stayed or how far west he went is not known, but he shows back up in Fauquier Co, VA by 1830. My ancestor, John L. Combs was born in VA in 1794, and a presumed brother Benjamin b. 1796. John L. Combs appears in the tax records of Barren Co, KY for the first time in 1817, owning 100 acres in the Little Barren watercourse. He would have been just barely 21 yo. How he came in possession of this land is not yet known; Combs &c. Barren County, KY page does not list a deed record, but others are listed in this time period. In an adjacent property lived Cuthbert Harding and wife Millie McInteer, both from Stafford Co, VA, and Joseph Reed/Read, probably from Stafford Co, VA and likely related to John L. Combs’ wife’s mother, Philadelphia Read, of Stafford Co, VA. The births of John L. Combs and brother Benjamin fit with those of the boys in Nimrod’s household in 1810. John used the middle intital “L” consistently in census and official documents. No record has been found spelling out what it stands for.

    This John Combs is first found in Barren County, KY records and then removed to Pettis Co., MO.

  2. Benjamin Combs

    Benjamin may be the same found with John Combs in Barren County, KY. Benjamin and his wife Ann are found in the 1850 census record.

    21 Dec 1818 Guardian Bonds extracted by Natalie McClendon from Guardian Bonds, Barren Co, KY 1809 through 1858 by Sandra K. Laughery Gorin: Combs, Benj: Orphan of _____ (no name) decd. G&P James Joliff. Sur: William Hall. 21 Dec 1818.

    NM Note: Benjamin Combs appears in various Barren Co records, and was probably about 20 years old in 1818. Why would they bother to set up this guardianship for a 20-year-old? Does this mean he has property to be managed? His presumed brother John L. Combs appears in the Barren Co., KY, tax lists, Joliff’s district, beginning in 1817 with 100 acres of land. Does the fact that they didn’t fill in a parent’s name suggest the “adults” weren’t acquainted with the parents, that is, the two young men, Benjamin and John, came to Barren Co without their parents? At least this record tells me I’m looking for parents who were not alive after 1818 (or at least the father).

    SE Note: If this Benjamin was a son of Nimrod, then the guardian bond might have something to do with his deceased mother and the estate of her father Capt. James Markham who died intestate and the settlement of his estate took a long time.

    05 Mar 1824 (Barren Co., KY Marriage Records) Benjamin Combs & Anne GOODIN, March 5, 1824, Sur: Louis GOODIN, Md. April 27, 1824 by Robert LEEPER. (MARRIAGE RECORDS OF BARREN COUNTY, KENTUCKY 1799-1849, THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS, by Martha Powell Reneau, p. 49) Search Words: GOODWIN

  3. James Combs

    He married his first cousin Elizabeth PAYNE, d/o of Helen Combs and Benjamin Payne. No more information is available; however, there is an appropriately aged James and Elizabeth Combs in the 1850 Licking Co., OH census whose 1860 record shows them born in Va.

  4. Jane Combs

    She married Josiah WILLIAMS by 1836 as she is so styled in Fauquier Co. chancery records.

  5. Fielding Combs

    No further information is known.

  6. Sally Combs (b c1813/4)

    The youngest of the children who could barely sit up by herself when her father returned to Fauquier from Kanawha in the 1813/4 timeframe. She was not listed as an infant so must have been age 21 when the suit was filed in 1836.

To Be Continued…
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