|Henry BANTA & Wilmouth Combs
d/o RW William “8” Combs
You Are Our Visitor. New 12 Feb 2007
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As is the case with all Combs Research Family Reports, when a source is not specifically referenced herein, the source can be found via a "hot link" to the applicable Combs County of Record, Revolutionary War Pension Files, Bible Records, etc.
The Banta Family of Pennsylvania and Kentucky has been thoroughly researched and documented in two primary published sources:
Extensive use was made of public records, family bibles, census records, and various sources of family information by these two authors. Other sources include allied family genealogies and research.
A rather comprehensive overview (with full references) of the Bantas may be found on Ralph J. Turner’s website, Rock Creek Experiment. Mr. Turner includes data on William Combs taken from The Combes Genealogy… that he properly references; however, he has also included some records and text from The Combs site that are not properly credited.
A special thanks is offered to Sandi Goldstein, a descendant of Henry BANTA and Wilmo(u)th Combs. She alerted the Combs researchers to the existence of these Banta publications and has graciously shared with us her correspondence from other Banta researchers and descendants. She has also provided a picture of William J. BANTA and his wife Margaret GOFF; this William being a grandson of Wilmoth Combs Banta.
Hendrick BANTA (1718-1804) led the Dutch migration from Somerset Co, NJ, to Conewago, York Co, PA, where he settled near present day Gettysburg. He and his followers became known as the Low Dutch Colony in that their ancestors had come from the lowlands of Holland. In 1779, Hendrick led 75 settlers, including some members of his own very large family, down the Ohio River to Cove Spring, Kentucky. He was joined by his son Abraham and 11 more of his children. Records show that Henry Sr., Abraham [his son], and Henry Jr. [son of Abraham] were residents at Fort Boonesborough in 1780 (French Tipton Papers, Kentucky Room, Eastern Kentucky University Library).
This BANTA family became a prominent frontier family in central Kentucky. Their history makes for interesting reading. Hendrick’s son Abraham, a leader of the Dutch community, served as agent for the Dutch to negotiate and purchase land (12,000 acres) from Squire BOONE. It took years to resolve the title issues to this land due to Boone’s known “shady” land transactions and surveying methods.
According to Elsa Banta, The Low Dutch Colony was established on 13 March 1786 at the Low Dutch Station near Harrodsburg with Hendrick’s son Abraham BANTA as the trustee. The center of the Dutch settlement was at a place called Bantatown in Henry Co. that is now called Pleasureville.
Elsa Banta states that Abraham and his father Hendrick settled at White Oak Spring Station on the Kentucky River in Madison County, one mile above Boonesborough. Their final location was Bantatown (Pleasureville) in Henry Co, KY. Old Hendrick BANTA died in 1804 in Shelby Co, KY. Could this White Oak Spring Station be near White Oak Creek where William Combs had land?
Abraham’s son Henry BANTA, the same as Henry BANTA Junior of Fort Boonesborough records, was born 31 May 1771 in Conewago, Adams Co (York), PA. It is this Henry that married Wilmoth Combs. Marriage records show that on 06 Aug 1798 in Lincoln Co, KY, one William Combs gave his consent for a marriage between his daughter Wilmoth Combs and Henry Banta (Lincoln Co, KYGenWeb).
Source: Transcription of the Lincoln Co, KY, marriage license by Sandi Goldstein.
Know all men by this presents that we Henry Banta and Peter Banta are held and firmly bound unto James Garrard Esquire Governor of Kentucky in the penalty sum of Fifty pounds current money the payment whereof to be made to said governor and his successor(?) we bind ourselves and heirs etc firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated the 6th day of August 1798. The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly to be solemnized between the above bound Henry Banta and Wilmoth Combs for which a License has been issued. Now if there be no lawful conditions to obstruct said marriage then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.
Henry Banta (signed) Peter Banta (signed)
I Do hereby certify that I W. Combs am fully agreed that my daughter Willmoth and O. Henry Banta be married and license be issued as witnessed my hand and seal this sixth day of August 1798
Signed by W. Combs and Witnessed by Wm Jones and Dowry ChiDovys [? Drewry Childress]
The above Peter Banta was a brother to the groom Henry.
It is believed, but not conclusively proven, that this William Combs, father of Wilmoth, was the documented Revolutionary Soldier William “8” Combs and son of John COMBS Senior and his wife Nancy HARDING. Nancy’s mother was named Wilmouth GEORGE Harding.
Author Elsa Banta provided a complete list of Henry and Wilmoth’s 12 children. Marriages for most are found in Madison Co, KY, marriage records.
An additional source of data comes from the Abraham Banta family bible now in the possession of Sandi Goldstein who descends from William J. BANTA, son of Abraham Banta, the son of Henry Banta and Wilmoth Combs.
The children of Henry and Wilmoth are remarkably easy to track in census records as they moved westward to Missouri with some even settling in California.
Various researchers of later years have provided more detail about each child, some of which is given below.
R J Turner’s (rockcreekexperiment.com) compilation of Banta research includes the 1840 Madison Co, KY will of Henry BANTA wherein he names his wife Wilmoth as well as a later will record for Wilmoth. (Madison Co, KY, probate records).
This closer look at the Bantas does not give any strong clues as to the real identity of William Combs. There is; however, some data that warrants a notation.
First is the statement by Elsa Banta that Abraham (Henry’s father) first settled at White Oak Station in Madison Co, KY. Could this be a reference to a location that was near White Oak Creek in Lincoln Co. where William Combs had land?
Second are excerpts from the Wills of Henry BANTA and Wilmoth Combs BANTA:
[Original source: Madison Co, KY probate records as presented on RJ Turner’s website]
Dated and signed 25 Nov 1840, Henry styles himself as being of Madison Co, KY. The will was produced in court on 3 Feb 1841; therefore, Henry died between 25 Nov. 1840 and 3 Feb. 1841. Witnesses were William Oldham and John R. Moberly. He directs that “his new house shall be comfortably furnished as a residence for my wife Wilmouth Banta, and that the dower be laid off to include said building in a proper and farmer like manner.” The remainder of the land and personal property (excepting wife’s one-third) was to be divided equally between his children. He also directs that his son Peter and his children not to be charged for “board or anything else…whilst residing with me, and as I intend to keep them during my life. Peter’s attention to my business & services being in my opinion a full equivalent for their board, etc.” In a P.S , Henry gives to his wife in addition to her dower a bay horse colt given her by her father, and he directs that his daughters Wilmoth, Miranda, & Merva are to receive a silver spoon, the same as he has previously given to his other daughters.
Note: If Wilmoth had a colt from her father, the gift would have been recent since the horse is still referred to as a colt. Could this mean her father William is still alive or could she have received the colt from his estate? In either case, the gift was of a recent nature. According to William “8” Combs’ pension file, he died in 1840. Henry’s will was dated 25 Nov. 1840. Had she just received the colt?
Third, Wilmoth’s will record establishes a close relationship between the Henry Banta family and the HEATHERLY family. Wilmoth mentions her daughters Hetherlys and her granddaughters Elizabeth and Zarelda Hetherlys and she also states that some property she had given to her daughters had been sold (per court order) as the property of Thomas HETHERLY, likely the same as who, on 19 Oct 1820, in Madison Co, married Margaret BANTA [daughter of Henry and Wilmoth]. This Heatherly link seems to suggest that Margaret Combs, daughter of William, who married James B. HEATHERLY in Lincoln Co, would have been a sister to Wilmoth and therefore the daughter of the same William Combs.
Fourth, in the 1880 census, four of Wilmoth’s children stated their mother was born in Virginia and their father in Pennsylvania. If Wilmoth was the daughter of RW William “8” Combs, then she would have been born in Virginia (possibly Shenandoah Co). It is not known when Wilmoth was born, but she was not yet age 21 in 1798 when she married and was likely born between 1778-82.
Fifth, Henry and Wilmoth’s daughter Minerva married Daniel B. GOODE in Madison Co, KY. There is another Goode connection to the Combs. Revolutionary Soldier John “8” Combs’ daughter Nancy married Joseph Goode.
The 20 Oct 1842 Madison Co, KY, marriage record (see below) of Mrs. Wilmoth Banta to Enoch M. SMITH suggests that Wilmoth did not die around 1842 but remarried instead. Perhaps she disposed of her property or made a will before getting married again.
She does not appear in the 1850 Kentucky census but there is an Enoch M. SMITH, age 72, in the 1850 Lincoln Co, KY census. He is living in a Warren household. There is no wife for him, but Wilmoth, if born between 1778-84, would have been a contemporary of this Enoch M. Smith. This 1842 marriage has to be for Wilmoth, the widow. There was no other Wilmoth Banta of marriageable age. Wilmoth’s daughter Wilmoth Banta had married Madison BOULWARE on 4 Sept. 1837 in Madison Co, KY. At this time, no records for Wilmoth Combs Banta have been located following the 1842 marriage record.
Review of pertinent Madison Co, KY Marriages
1785-1844 Marriage Records of Madison County, Kentucky, transcribed by Charlotte Ramsey and found on the Rootsweb Madison Co, KY webpages.
Banta, Elizabeth m. 24 Feb. 1820 Maupin, James (p. 131)
Banta, Margaret m. 19 Oct. 1820 Heatherley, Thomas (p. 130)
Banta, William m. 19 Dec. 1822 Thorpe, Mahala (p. 140)
Bonta, Abraham m. 29 Dec. 1825 Thorpe, Eliza (p. 162)
Bonta, Artemisia m. 9 March 1826 Simeon Moberly (p. 156)
Banta, Malinda m. 28/29 July 1833 Yates, William (p.199)
Banta, Wilmouth (wife) m. 4 Sept. 1837 Bolenare/Boleware (p. 207)
Banta, Minerva m. 9 Sept. 1837 Goode, Daniel B. (p. 207)
Banta, Mrs. Wilmouth m. 20 Oct. 1842 Smith, Enoch M. (p. 231)
Heatherley, James B. m. 13 July 1820 Combs, Margaret (p. 127)
Heatherley, Thomas m. 19 Oct. 1820 Banta, Margaret (p. 130)
Combs, Matilda m. 12 Feb. 1820 Snowden, James (p. 129)
Combs, Margaret m. 13 July 1820 Heatherley, James B. (p. 127)