William Combs Sr of Green Co, KY, born c1765-1770, place unknown; died after 22 June 1831; married Mary “Polly” SKAGGS, born 1771, d/o of Henry and Mary SKAGGS, died after 1830. He is not to be confused with any other William Combs Sr. All records known for this William occur only in Green Co, KY, where he first appeared in 1799 and where he raised his family.

DNA testing shows this William Combs (through son John) descends from Archdale Combs of Stafford and Old Rappahannock Cos, VA. The specific descent line is not yet clear (research in progress). 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.

The first we know of William Combs of Green Co, KY, is his 1799 appearance on the tax list. Henry SKAGGS’s 1809 will (1810 probate) names daughter Polly Combs, and a later civil suit involving the heirs of Henry SKAGGS Sr. document Mary Combs’ husband as William Combs. It is not certain whether William and Mary aka Polly were married in Virginia before her father left for Kentucky (1790) or whether they met and married later in Kentucky. It is believed their daughter Elizabeth, who married William CRABTREE in 1811 in Green Co, was born by 1790 at the latest which suggests that William and Polly were possibly married in Virginia before coming to Green County by 1799. Archibald THOMPSON’S Diary documents that Mary SKAGGS, d/o of Henery and Mary, was born 19 Dec 1771 and that Henry’s daughter Lucy SKAGGS married John STACY JR on 9 May 1782 [in Virginia].

Henry SKAGGS Sr., noted pioneer, his sons and other SKAGGS relatives and allied families appear in Nelson County, KY in the 1793 tax list and as early as 1795 in the Green County tax list, the first extant tax list for that county. Green was formed in 1792 from Nelson and Lincoln Counties. Henry’s daughter Nancy married Peter DeSpain on 20 Dec 1791 in Nelson Co, KY Henry SKAGGS Jr. stated in his RW Pension application that he moved to Green Co, KY in 1790. Henry SKEGGS [Sr] obtained a Virginia land warrant for 400 acres on Pitmans Creek, Nelson Co, survey dated 15 March 1791 (Early Certificates of Settlement and Preemption Warrants in Kentucky County, Virginia, Kentucky Secretary of State Digital Land Database).

Prior to the SKAGGS’ arrival in Kentucky, they are found in Montgomery Co, VA as early as 1772 [Fincastle tithables list of William ENGLISH] where later we also find the DeSPAINS, Archibald THOMPSON, William CODY, Mason [Jr] Combs and William Combs [s/o of Mason Sr], and Simon Stacy [Jr], Benjamin Stacy [Sr], and John STACY. The SKAGGS certainly knew the Combs very well and had intermarried with the Stacys and Thompsons before they left Virginia. Also in Montgomery Co, VA records in the 1780s were John Combs Sr (s/o of Mason Sr and father of the Eight brothers) and Samuel SUMNER (deceased by 1787) who married Winifred Combs, d/o of William Combs (s/o of Mason Combs Sr) and Sithe STACY. The SKAGGS and THOMPSONS may have initially become acquainted with the Combs, Codys, and Stacys since all had family members in Daniel TRIGG’S 1781 Montgomery Co, VA Militia.

William and Mary SKAGGS Combs may have followed her father a few years later to Green County, that being the reason he does not appears in the tax lists before 1799. By 1800, Benjamin STACY [Sr.], the husband of Ann Combs (d/o of Mason Combs Sr of Stafford Co), and John STACY who married (1782) Lucy SKAGGS, appear on the Green Co. tax list suggesting a subsequent wave of allied and associated families. Archibald THOMPSON states in his Diary that he left the Little River in Montgomery County in October 1796 to make his way to the Green River. He arrived at Solomon SKAGG’S house on Pitman’s Creek on 24 March 1797.

Following William’s first appearance in Green County, he is found consistently in tax lists, in court records and in marriage records for his daughters. Court and tax records indicate he lived on 200 acres on Pitman’s Creek although we have no early land patent records for him. He is in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 census records. On 19 Sep 1831 (GC-DB14:235) there is a deed from H. SANDERS, Sheriff of Green Co, KY to William Combs of Green Co. KY; 213 acres; sold as a part of an execution against the estate Jefferson RICE and William Combs is referred to as high bidder. The land was on Pitman Creek, beginning at the waters of Salt Lick, corners with Sam Combs, Corners with CRUMPTON, LEWIS and Combs, runs to Abbots Fork and shares a line with BEACHFORD or BOCKFORD (illegible). Perhaps he finally obtained a proper title to his land. Also note it was adjacent to that of Sam Combs. Shortly thereafter on 3 Oct. 1831, a Power of Attorney was executed from William Combs to Elias BARBEE to sell his land on Pitman Creek, and on 16 Nov 1835 (Green Co. KY deed) William COMBS, State of Missouri, by Elias BARBEE, Atty in Fact sold 104 acres, part of RICE & JAMES Survey, to Signor OWEN for $200. It is not clear which William Combs, Jr. or Sr., executed this sale.

The question is whether William Sr. removed to Missouri. His son William Combs Jr. is documented as being in Missouri by 1830 (Jackson Co), son-in-law William CRABTREE also in Jackson Co, daughter Siotha Combs REEVES and possible daughter Polly Combs UNDERWOOD in Madison Co, MO by 1835/6, and the widow and children of son John Combs in Holt Co, MO by 1850. Son Solomon Combs and daughter Parthena Combs REEVES remained in Kentucky.

Henry SKAGGS and Solomon SKAGGS originally lived on Pitman Creek as did Thomas HASH (another early Montgomery Co, VA name). Then we find Samuel Combs and William Combs living on Pitman Creek.

Another large unanswered question is whether William Combs and Samuel Combs were related?

All of the records that have been compiled for William are included on the Green Co, KY Combs &c webpages; therefore, this report does not include a “chronology” of William. From a record/documentation perspective, we only have Green Co records. We have no confirmed record for this William Combs in Virginia or elsewhere; however, there are some suspect William Combs records (see below discussion about his lineage).

Known and Possible Issue
Elizabeth CombsSally CombsJohn CombsWilliam Combs Jr
Solomon CombsPolly [Unknown] CombsSophia aka Siotha CombsParthena Combs
Lineage of William Combs

Known and Possible Issue of William and Polly Combs

Eight children have been identified as the known or possible issue of William Combs and Polly SKAGGS. The 1810 census shows that William, besides himself and his wife, had 3 males under 10, 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-16, and 1 female 16-26. The young males would be John, William Jr, and Solomon. The girls would be Elizabeth, ?Sally, Polly, and Siotha. 1820 census records show William with a very large family, including several young children under the age of 10. It is not known who these children were. He only had one daughter Elizabeth who was married (1811) by 1820. If one eliminates the young (under age 10) children from consideration, then he had 3 (maybe 4) younger males and 3 younger females in his household, a scenario that is more consistent with other records. The 1822 tax lists shows William had 2 white males over 21 in his hh and 2 children aged 4-14. The additional male over 21 appears to have been son John who pops up on the 1823 tax list for the first time. The next male to appear was William Jr, in 1827, so styled in records, and documented being born in 1804. Solomon, born c1805, appears first in 1826. While there may have been another son or two (per unclear tax entries), they either died as young men or left Green Co, KY, very early. William (age 60-70) and Polly (50-60) are still around in 1830. The younger female would be Parthenia who was unmarried at the time. Solomon and John have their own households and William Jr believed to be in Jackson Co, MO by 1830.

William provides consent for the marriages of Sophia aka Siotha, and Parthena, and he was the bondsman for the 1811 marriage of Elizabeth to William CRABTREE. Furthermore, Parthenia REEVES July 11, 1859 Larue Co, KY death certificate states her parents were William and Mary Combs.

Most of William’s children and grandchildren migrated to Missouri. Only Solomon and Parthenia remained in Kentucky.

  1. Elizabeth Combs (b c1785-1790, d before ?1850, probably in MO) married Wm CRABTREE per their 18 Mar 1811 Green Co, KY Marriage Bond. Bondsmen were Wm CRABTREE & Wm. Combs. Her approximate date of birth is based on being one of the daughters (born 1785-1794) in the 1810 Census HH of William Combs and being of age when she married in 1811. Although William Combs was a bondsman, marriage records do not show consent by a father which may indicate she was age 21or older. She has not been located in the 1850 census and may have been deceased since she is not mentioned in her husband’s probate records. William and Elizabeth were in Jackson Co, MO by 1833 when their daughter Nancy married Hugh PATTON. Their children: Thomas CRABTREE, Parthena CRABTREE Graham, Nancy CRABTREE Patton (decd by 1859), Arena CRABTREE Bittle, Robert CRABTREE, Susan CRABTREE Franklin, Lydia CRABTREE Bittle, and Silas CRABTREE.
  2. Sally Combs (b c1785-1794) if she existed, married 20 Jan 1813 one Jettester [Chichester aka Chesterr?] UNDERWOOD per Green Co, KY Marriages, 1793-1836, provided by Ruth Perkins, assistant librarian at Green County Public Library, 1986, to Combs Researcher Karen Gruhala): Jettester UNDERWOOD & Sally Combs. Bondsmen: Jettester, UNDERWOOD & Will CRABTREE. Nothing is known about Sally. It is not uncommon to find a brother-in-law as a bondsman if there is no older brother or if the father of the bride is not required for consent. One Chichester UNDERWOOD (likely the same) married a Polly Combs in 1827 which could have been a second marriage for him. Sally is listed here but be aware that this marriage of Sally and Jettester was not among the films reviewed by Greg Graham of the original loose pages of ministers' returns and bonds. The 1810 census record for William Combs does show a female in this age category in addition to his daughter Elizabeth. Chichester UNDERWOOD and his second wife Polly Combs removed to Madison Co, MO where they are enumerated in 1840 adjacent to the entry for William Sr.’s daughter Siotha [Combs] RIVES, widow of Thornsberry REEVES.
  3. John Combs (b c1800, KY, d after 1840/1, ?KY) married Susanna JONES 20 Dec 1827 (Green Co, KY Marriage Records) Minister's return for the marriage of John Combs to Susanna JONES by minister Clark BLEVINS, Bondsmen John Combs & John T. SKAGGS. Consent bride. Witness: John SKAGGS. Susan remarried to Thomas J WHITNEY and this couple is found in the 1850 Holt Co, MO census with five Combs children: William Combs, John Combs, Melissa Combs, James Combs, and Silas [C] Combs, the latter age 11. The DC for their son John J Combs states his parents were John Combs and Susan JONES. And that he was born in Green Co, KY.
    • John is estimated to have been born c1800 because he first appears as an extra male over the age of 21 in his father William’s 1822 tax list (bc 1800) and then appears under his own name in 1823. He died sometime after 1840 since his son Silas C Combs was born 1 May 1841 per his Richardson Co, NE cemetery records.
    • It is not known if John Combs went to Missouri before he died. Most of his siblings were in Missouri by 1840. The John J Combs family tradition is that he, John J, came to Missouri with his mother and stepfather. John Combs Sr’s brother William Combs Jr and other siblings had all migrated to Missouri by 1840. John’s son Silas C, b 1841, always stated he was born in KY. John’s widow Susan remarried to Thomas J WHITNEY who was from Tennessee; however, no marriage record has been located. Their first child was born in Missouri c1849/50.
    • DNA testing of this branch through John’s son John J. Combs shows a match to the Archdale Combs line.
  4. William Combs Jr (b 24 Jan 1804 Green Co, KY, d after 1876 Atchison Co, MO ) married 6 Jan 1825 Margaret ROBERTS (b 9 Jan 1806, d after 1880). Their marriage: (Green Co, KY Marriage Bonds) William Combs & Margaret ROBERTS. Bondsmen: Wm. Combs & David ROBERTS. Consent, 16 Jun 1825. Jesse ROBERTS, Father. Wit David ROBERTS. William’s first appearance on the tax list was in 1827 (styled as Jr) and he appears to have been the same who was in the 1830 Jackson Co, MO census with a young family. He obtained a Jackson Co. land warrant in 1837. The family later removes (by 1847) to Atchison Co, MO. The 2 Feb 1919 Atchison Co, MO DC for their son Thomas Combs states his parents were William Combs and Margaret Roberts and that he was born 10 Dec 1840 in Ray Co, MO. which provides additional tracking information for this William Combs Jr. (See the William Combs mini-report). Their children were: Lucy, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Daniel, Jesse, Andrew Jackson, William Thomas
  5. Solomon Combs (b 1805 Green Co, KY, d Dec 1891 LaRue Co, KY ) is in Taylor (by 1850), Hart (by 1860), and LaRue (by 1870). He married Ann SCOTT per their Green Co, Marriage Bond dated 24 Nov 1828. Bondsmen: Solomon Combs & Price SCOTT. Consent [?]. Married 24 Nov 1828, Charles BLEVINS. Wits: James SCOTT and others. Their children per census records were: James, Mary, Lydia, Parthena, Cynthia, and William. In 1870 LaRue Co, one Milly REAVES, age 27, is in the household. She may have been the same as Milly, d/o of Parthenia Combs and Henderson REEVES since she is missing from Henderson’s 1870 Larue Co household. In the 1850 Green Co census, one Parthena Combs, age 17, is living in the household of Alexander and Mary Scott and possibly the same as Parthena E in Solomon’s household who may have been the same as Ellen ELLIOTT (born 6 March 1835), the d/o of Solomon Combs and Ann SCOTT per her 1914 DC.
  6. Polly [Unknown] Combs [possible daughter] (b c1798 VA/KY) married Chichester UNDERWOOD per their 6 April 1827 Green Co, KY Marriage Bond. Bondsmen: Chichester UNDERWOOD & Hiram DeSPAIN. This family removed to Madison Co, MO. Polly is not proven to be the d/o of William Combs. She was the mother of Fielding Richard Combs, born 1823 in Green Co, KY, This family later removed to Madison Co, MO. See the Bible Record of Margaret Adelia Combs Graham. The census records for William do allow for another daughter in this age bracket. It is also possible that Chichester married first one Sally Combs (see above for Sally), and then married Sally’s sister or relative. In 1840, Chichester is enumerated next door to Siotha RIVES, and Chester and Polly (age 52 b VA) are found in the 1850 Madison Co, MO census living very close to Siotha Combs REEVES SPIRY (Spivy). There was also a Silas [B] Combs, born on October 25, 1814 in PA, (not KY), who was in Madison Co, MO by 1836 when he married Elizabeth Izely WHITWORTH on 20 Jul 1836. This Silas was living next door to Herod REEVES per the 1860 Madison Co, MO census. Herod was the son of Siotha Combs REEVES and her husband Thornsberry. Could Silas have been a son of Polly Combs UNDERWOOD? William Combs Sr.’s son John had a son named Silas, a given name found in the Crabtree family.
  7. Sophia aka Siotha Combs (b between 1805-1811 KY, d after 1876 MO) married Thornsbury RE(E)VES/RIVES per their 21 Aug 1828 Green Co, KY marriage bond. Consent by William Combs indicating he was her father. Wit: Solomon Combs (Solomon was spelled two ways in this entry.) By 1840, Siotha RIVES is head of her 1840 Madison Co, MO living next door to Chester and Polly Combs UNDERWOOD.
    • Notes: Combs Researcher Greg Graham adds that Vol. 1 of Cemeteries of Madison Co, Missouri, includes several individuals described as children of Thornsberry REEVES and Siotha [sic] Combs. Census records show her name was Siotha; possibly further evidence of a connection to the William and Seth (Sitha) STACY Combs family (See more re the female given name, Seth, in the Combs family). Siotha remarried to Elisha SPIVY in 1849. Their 1850 household shows all children as SPIRYS; however the DC for her daughter Emily Jane REEVES (b Aug 17 1841) who married Thomas Jefferson SKAGGS states her parents were Berry REEVES and Siotha Combs. Siotha was age 45 in 1850, 50 in 1860, and 59 in 1870. Her son Herod REEVES’ 19 July 1912 Madison Co DC states he was born 11 Feb 1833 in Madison Co, MO, son of Berry REEVES and [blank] Combs.
  8. Parthena Combs (b c1811 Green Co, Ky, d 11 June 1859 Larue Co, Ky) married Henderson REEVES per their 22 June 1831 Green Co, KY marriage bond. Consent by William Combs; Bondsmen were Henderson REAVES and Berry REAVES, and witness was Berry REAVES, the husband of Sophia aka Siotha Combs. The 11 June 1859 Larue Co, KY death record of Parthenia REEVES states she was the daughter of William and Mary Combs. Parthenia is a name found in the CRABTREE family. Henderson and Parthenia are found in the Larue Co, KY 1850 census and Henderson is found through 1880. Their children were Martha, Catharine, Mary, Milly, Solomon, Harriett, and Sally per census records. Milly REEVES 13 July 1930 Taylor Co, KY DC lists her parents as Henderson REEVES and F?henny Combs.

LINEAGE of William Combs Sr of Green Co, KY.

DNA test results from the line of John Combs and Susan JONES, s/o of William Combs Sr. of Green Co, KY, match the genetic profile for Archdale Combs of Stafford and Old Rappahannock Cos, Virginia; however, no records have been found that identify the father of this William Combs Sr. of Green Co, KY. The fact he married a daughter of Henry SKAGGS Sr. tells us he very likely met his wife either in Montgomery, Washington County, or Russell Co, Virginia, which places him in proximity to 4 children of Mason Combs Sr. of Stafford Co, VA and Surry Co, NC. These 4 children were: Ann Combs STACY (wife of Benj STACY Sr), Mason Combs Jr., William & Sith STACY Combs, and John Combs Sr., Father of the Eight).

John Combs Sr (s/o of Mason Sr.) aka Father of the Eight. As best can be determined, John Combs was born c1735-38. He did have a son William Combs; however, he is documented as being a different William. This John is the father of the eight brothers who settled in Perry Co, KY. See the report on John Combs Sr and his wife Nancy HARDING

William Combs (s/o of Mason Sr.) was born 28 Nov 1740 per Overwarton Parish Records. He married Sithe STACY, d/o of Simon STACY Sr and Judith TOLSON. The only documented child of William and Sitha aka Seth was Winifred Combs who married first Samuel SUMNER and secondly Robert HICKS. Depositions relative to William RIDGE state William Combs had a son John. See the report on William Combs Sr and Sitha STACY.

William Combs is found in Surry Co, NC records, the 1781 Daniel TRIGG militia, Russell Co, VA and Sullivan Co, TN records.

Mason Combs Jr was born 21 Feb. 1747 per Overwharton Parish Records. His wife’s name was Dorothy and he resided in Hawkins Co, TN after the war. In 1802, he devised land and property to his wife Dorothy and named sons Jeremiah and Simeon who apparently are not yet of age and are to receive horses. At her death, property was to be divided equally between his surviving (unnamed) children. 1850 Madison Co, AR census records show that Jeremiah was born July 1788. See report on Mason Combs Jr.

Other candidates:

Mason Combs Sr may have had another son for which we have no documentation. Overwharton Parish Records did not cover Frederick Co residents after that county was formed.

Archdale Combs of Stafford and Old Rappahannock Cos., VA had two sons: John (father of Mason) and William Combs. We have no information about this William Combs (uncle to Mason Sr) other than to know his wife was named Mary. He could have had descendants not yet documented.

John Combs, son of Archdale, had 2 sons: Mason Combs Sr. and Archdale Combs II [Jr] who died 1735. Archdale II only named daughters in his will; however, a later deed (1757) from Archdale’s daughter Ann COPE, wife of Henry COPE, refers to her nephew Archdel Combs. There is no information about this younger Archdale. The use of the term “nephew” might have been used differently or perhaps one of her sisters had a child out of wedlock or even Archdale might have had a son out of wedlock that he did not mention in his will. If this nephew was a son of a sister, then his descendants would not share the genetic profile.

There is an adult Jeremiah Combs mentioned along with Biram Combs in the depositions referencing those Rev War “TORY” sympathizers and renegade Combs, Codys, and Stacys. This Jeremiah was at least a young adult by 1780 and therefore not to be confused with Jeremiah, son of Mason Jr. We have no further information about him except that the name Jeremiah was very prevalent in the descendant lines of Mason Combs Jr and John Combs Sr., both sons of Mason Combs Sr. He just disappears unless he later was called by another name.

We also have this interesting information: The deposition of f John P. McCONNELL stated that Biram Combs had married a “baseborn” (natural) daughter of [William] RIDGE. We have no information about any issue of this marriage and we do not know if (but suspect) he is the same as Biram “8”, son of John Combs Sr. and Nancy HARDING, parents of the eight brothers who settled in Perry Co, KY. There is a Biram Combs taxed in Cumberland Co, KY in 1799 and found in Wayne Co in 1801as is a William Combs and a Jesse STACY (s/o of Ben Stacy Sr). More research in Cumberland and Wayne is needed

Cumberland Co was formed from Green County in 1799, and Wayne County was formed from Cumberland and Pulaski Cos in 1801.This 1799 tax record places Biram in the same vicinity with William Combs of Green Co at the same time. See the Family Report on Biram “8” Combs for more information.