Last updated  
You are Our     Visitor Since 11 Oct 2000 (counter reset)
Please Email Additions and/or Corrections to Webmaster

William COMBS, Jr., born 11 Jan 1777, Stafford Co, Virginia; died 1841, Russell Co, Virginia; married abt 1798, Anna THOMPSON (dau of William & Nancy JACKSON Thompson), born 1771-1778; died 1850-1859, Russell Co, Virginia

Ed Note: The following is a Special Report originally written by Sharon Combs Mize & Wesley Combs, descendant researchers of William & Anna THOMPSON Combs, Jr. and subsequently updated by members of the Combs &c. Research Group. See Also The Combes Genealogy…, Chapter XX, William Combs, of Russell Co, VA, which (although it contains known errors) includes a lineage developed from oral family history by Frederick Harmon Combs of the Carroll Co, Virginia Combs, prepared by him with the assistance of the Hon. E. R. Combs & Morgan LaFayette Combs (both the latter descendants of William & Anna THOMPSON Combs, Jr. of Russell (d 1841)). The following data includes documentation, but see also The Combs of Russell Co VA, which includes much additional in the way of records that have not yet been added here.

Sharon Combs Mize and Wesley Combs - A Special Report

Whether William COMBS of Russell County (see 1841 will) is William Combs, Jr., son of William and Sarah Ann MILLION Combs, Sr., is yet to be documented at a high level. Sarah Ann MILLION Combs' petition for a Revolutionary War pension states that her only son, William, Jr. is living in Russell County, Virginia in January of 1843. We know that some 19 months earlier William COMBS had died in 1841, his will being probated 9 June 1841.

The 1790 Personal Property Tax List of Russell County shows two COMBS entries, William COMBS and William COMBS, Jr. William COMBS, Jr., son of Sarah Ann MILLION Combs, would have been only 13 years of age at that time. Would he have been listed as the head of household at that age?

The 1810 Property Tax Lists show one William COMBS and the 1812 lists William COMES. The 1820 Census includes one William COMBS and one William COMES. Only one William COMBS is listed in the 1830 census, and only one in the proper age group in the 1840 census. The Russell County Heritage, Volume One includes an entry by Virginia Ann COMBS Lambert b. 1881, who refers to "William, Jr. as "Old Billy" and gives his birthdate as 11 June 1777 (6 months later than Sarah Ann MILLION states) as well as listing the children of William and Anna THOMPSON Combs..

Ed Note: See Combs &c. Russell Co, VA Records

If we accept that Sarah Ann MILLION Combs was, at best, somewhat estranged from her only son and his family; that Sarah Ann was illiterate; that census records as late as 1860 list many of William's children and grandchildren as illiterate; and that communication was both slow and erratic, or that William's family might not know how to contact their grandmother, then the idea that Sarah Ann did not know of her only son's death is not unrealistic. William named a son John M. COMBS. It is generally held by family tradition to be John Million by people who had no knowledge of the Sarah Ann MILLION connection. Josiah H. COMBS in The Combes Genealogy…, 1974, lists John Millon as one of William and Anna's children, as well as the name Million being used by various of their descendents. If we add these clues to Sarah Ann's statements, there is certainly cause to believe that William COMBS of Russell County is the only son of William and Sarah Ann MILLION Combs of Stafford Co., Virginia.

The census records of Russell County, Virginia* show some inconsistencies regarding the age of William Combs, Jr. as well as Anna THOMPSON Combs. Given errors in recording, reporting and transcription, those errors do not appear to disprove William's 11 Jan 1777 birthdate stated in his mother's petition.

*All information is extracted from the 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860 Russell Co, VA censuses except where other sources are noted.


COMES, William (Note spelling)
Age: 45+ (He would be 43 based upon the above birthdate.)
26-45 (1 female, Anna THOMPSON Combs)

This household also has 11 male and female children listed who can be matched by age group to the children of William and Anna THOMPSON Combs


COMBS, William
Age: 40-50 (Inconsistent with 1820 census, inconsistent with birthdate)
40-50 (1 female)

Once again, the children listed match up in age to the known children


COMBS, William
Age: 60-70 (This would be consistent with an age of 63 based upon the 1777 birthdate)
60-70 (1 female)

One male child is still in the household and one female child age 10-15, who may be the daughter of Celia COMBS, fathered by William NASH before her marriage to Isaac Hart.

William COMBS, Jr. married Anna THOMPSON abt 1798. He died testate in Russell Co, VA in 1841:

I William COMBS of Russell County & State of Virginia being weak in body by great and severe pains but of sound mind and having the fear of God before me and being satisfyed [sic] that my time of life will be short in the world, I do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form as follows to wit | that is to say to my dear & beloved wife Anna COMBS I will and bequeath my mansion house where I now live and the land belonging to the same as far west as what is called the little field and all my household and kitchen furniture and farming utensils also two horses one old bay horse and one young gray horse ten choice hogs & ten choice cattle also one negro woman named Winney & a boy named Isaac to have and to hold during [her/illegible] life then this above house and lands & household and kitchen furniture and farming utensils & property is to be my son Cullen COMBS the above property is to remain upon the above premises for the benefit and support of the said Anna COMBS during her life. I also will and bequeath to my son William COMBS the lower end of my holm [sic] plantation where he is now living as far this side of his house as the little field and a negro boy named Daniel also my black smith tools all my lands [on?/word omitted] Weaver Creek I will and bequeath to my two sons Thompson COMBS and John M COMBS they mae [sic] divided [sic] it between themselves as they chose [sic] I also will and bequeath to Thompson COMBS one negro girl named Sarah to John M COMBS I will and bequeath a negro girl Chany and I also will and bequeath to Thompson COMBS my mill and itts [sic] aparatus [sic] and my still & tubs the balance of cattle and hogs & 4 horses it is my will they b [sic] divided between my son Fielding COMBS & my grand daughter Cyndesta COMBS it is my will also that my son Cullen have my stock of sheep by his maintaining Anna COMBS in a good and comfortable manner & paying Celia Hart, Jacob COMBS, Sally Lee, James COMBS and Virginia MUSICK, Sally MUSICK, William MUSICK, COMBS MUSICK,

[204 written at top of page, second page of will of William COMBS]

John MUSICK the children of Nancy MUSICK deceased the sum of one dollar each. To my daughter Ibby MUSICK I will and bequeath a negro boy named Crockett to my daughter Lydia GENT I will and bequeath a negro girl named Hannah. To my daughter Anna TIGNOR I will and bequeath a negro girl named Paty Lastly and finaly [sic] it is my will that when my spirit is taken out of this tabernacle of clay that my body be lade [sic] in the grave in a decent and in the customary manner Signed Sealed in the presence of this 29th March 1841

William COMBS {seal}

James Jackson
Russell Duty
Increase S Judd

At a Court of quarterly Session continued and held for Russell County at the Courthouse on Wednesday the 9th day of June 1841. William COMBS, Thompson COMBS, John M. COMBS and Cullen COMBS presented in Court by Dale Carter their Counsel the above writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of William COMBS deceased for probat [sic], which was opposed by Jacob COMBS, Isaac Hart & wife & William MUSICK & wife, by Joseph Stras their Counsel; whereupon James Jackson, Russell Duty and Increase S. Judd the subscribing witnesses to said writing and other persons, being sworn and examined and the parties fully heard, it is the opinion of the Court that the said writing is the true last Will and Testament of the said William COMBS dec'd, and that at the time of making and publishing the same he was of sound mind and disposing memory, and thereupon the same is established and ordered to be recorded. And no executor being named in said Will on the motion of Ann [sic] COMBS widow of said deceased, and of James GENT, who made oath, and together with George Cowan, James Fletcher and John THOMPSON their securities, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty or $6000 conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted them for obtaining letters of administration on the said decedents estate with his will annexed in [disc?, desc? dire?/illegible] form. Teste

James P. Carroll, CRO

(Transcribed 25-26 May 1997 by Wesley COMBS, Kelowna, B.C., Canada, and Sharon Elaine COMBS Mize, Bakersfield, CA, from a photocopy of original handwritten will of William COMBS (d.1841).] The transcribers are gr gr gr grandchildren of William COMBS (d.1841, Russell Co, VA, gr gr grandchildren of daughter, Celia, and gr grandchildren of her son William Cecil COMBS.)

Note: Preceding on the first page of the will of William COMBS in the Russell Co., VA, Will Book are the final lines of the "sale Bill" of the estate of a James Dixon" and attested to by James P. Carroll CRO. At the bottom of the first page is an undated but recent stamp reading: A COPY TESTE, Joseph H. Gilmer, Clerk, (signed) Ams.? McReynold, D. Clerk. Following on the second and final page of the will of William COMBS is the opening paragraph of a Deed of Trust from a John Snapps to a Daniel Price.

The evaluation of the Estate of William COMBS:

One black boy named Isaac$ 600

One black woman named Winnie400

One black girl named Sarah450

One black girl named Hannah350

One black boy named Daniel400

One black girl named Paty (copied as Caty)250

One black girl named Chany (copied as Chaney)200

One black boy named Crockett (copied as Crokett)100

1 grey horse$ 50

1 bay horse25

42 head hogs100

12 head pigs6

17 head sheep20

1 sorrel horse45

6 young steers55

13 head cattle108

17 head young cattl100 e

5 calves9

1 cow hide2.25

1 sorrel mare50

1 colt17.50

1 sorrel filly40

1 bay colt35

2 stacks old wheat25

a qty. of threshed wheat 20 bu m/l10

1 wagon & harness35

1 red cow8

1 stack hay8

1 pot2

set black smith tools30

old wagon irons5

a qty of iro3 n

1 cross cut saw3

1 sythe [sic] and cradle2.50

a lot of plows6

1 grindstone0.50

4 bee stands & 5 gums8

a lot of farming utensils5

a small lot of carpenter tools2

1 old saddle3

1 side saddle15

1 pr steelyards (scales)0.50

1 shotgun & horns3

1 qty upper leather3

1 qty salt2

2 flax wheels . . . 1 big wheel & 1 rod4

1 chest2

1 old wagon bed0.50

3 beds & bedsteads30

1 bureau & 1 trunk10

1 clock & case10

1 draper, shelf & furniture5

1 cupboard & ware15

1 table1

11 geese3

1 pr dog irons1.50

a qty of sugar2

4 chairs1

1 loom6

1 large kettle and a lot of old castings8

a qty of bacon20

a qty of wool6

a qty of corn50

a qty of flax3

1 cutting bon & knife (boning knife?)50

1 still & 73 tubs65

1 apple mill5

5 kegs5

1 sieve, 1 brood & 1 spade (?)4

1 mill and bolting chest70

1 note on Boyd Vermillion, due the 4th Oct 1839

Cr by $10, Aug 21 '4076.19½

1 note on Wm Johnson, due 9th of Mar 1841

Cr by $15 28th April88.00

1 note on Wm & Js Jackson for (interest and all $6.00)5.00

1 qty old iron & 1 bell1.60

1 qty of flax seed1.00

1 lg steer7

John Farrell by account2.94

Jesse Thatcher by account2.00

Geo W Fields by account4.50

Wm Thatcher (wheel wright) by account3.50

Solomon Crabtree by account0.87½

Boyd V Vermillion 114 gals brandy42.25

Isaac Vermillion 4 barrels8

Boyd V Vermillion 1 note (for int & all)6.75

Cullen COMBS by account2

James GENT by account2

one lot of corn45

2 oat stacks6

1 lot of wheat4

16 gals of peach brandy6

36 ½ gal apple brandy12.90

1 lot shucks2.50

1 lot oats6

an account on J C Shoemaker for amount of

inventory brought over2

Copied from Russell Co., VA, court records by Leslie Combs, 1969, assisted by Patricia Louise KIPP Combs wife of Wesley Combs. Transcribed to MS Word by Wesley Combs, May 1997, Kelowna, B.C., Canada.

Note: The sorrel mare apparently foaled a colt between the writing of the Will in March 1841 and the death of William COMBS in June as evidence by there being one more horse on foot than the six mentioned in the Will. Also note blacksmith tools and 1843 statement of John MILLION that William COMBS, Sr. was a blacksmith. Also see 1756 Stafford Co VA deeds of gift by Joseph COMBS I to his son, Joseph COMBS II, of blacksmith tools.

Issue of William COMBS, Jr. and Anna THOMPSON

Note: The 1850 census entries are given for each child's household when available. The birthplace is noted if it appeared on the census. There is little or no doubt that all of the children were born in Russell Co. VA. Also note that a Sally Lee was included in the will of William Combs, Jr., but that she may not have been a daughter, but a slave (Oral Family Tradition says Sallie was a slave woman with whom William raised a family). [See additional discussion of Sally Lee below]

  1. Jacob Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1799 m. Margaret (Peggy)______ of Caswell Co. N.C.

    (Age Occupation Birthplace)
    COMBS, Jacob 51 Farmer Russell Co. VA
    Margaret 50 Casewell Co. NC
    Arminda 18 Russell Co. VA
    Rachael 17 "
    William J. 13 "
    Anna 11 "
    Larken H. 10 "
    Margaret 8 "
    Sally 4 "

  2. Nancy Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1802 d. 1840 (copied from tombstone by Weslie Combs at Hayter's Valley) m. Elijah MUSICK abt. 1830 (no children in 1830 household) The 1840 census shows Elijah alone with 9 children under the age of 10 in the household. William COMBS' 1841 will lists 5 of Nancy's children. The other four are unaccounted for and are probably not her children. Children listed in the will are: Virginia, William, John, Sally, Combs.
  3. Fielding Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1806 m. Sarah (Sallie) Susan FRANCIS of KY. Had one child under age 5 in 1830 census

    COMBS, Fielding 44 Farmer
    Susan 44

    One child, John, is listed by Josiah H. Combs in his The Combes Genealogy…, 1976. The 1830 census shows them with one female child under the age of 5. The 1840 census shows one female child age 10-15 and one male child age under the age of 5. This does not explain the 1850 census listing of:

    COMBS, Fielding, Jr 25
    Sally 22
    Nancy 2
    William 9 mo

    Correction: From Combs &c. Researcher Sue Elfving Feb 2001):

    Fielding COMBS, son of Wm & Ann was married to Susan FRANCIS, not Sarah FRANCIS. Susan FRANCIS is the daughter of Thomas FRANCIS and Jane HAMON of Russell Co., Va., and later Perry Co, Kentucky which became Letcher and is now Knott. Sarah FRANCIS married George Washington JOHNSON, also of Perry, then Letcher, then Knott. Susan and Sarah and all their siblings are documented in the Thomas Francis Family Bible.

    Susan FRANCIS was born 1806 per her father Thomas' bible. Furthermore he left only $1 to "Fieldin COMBS who married my daughter Susan Francis..." in his 13 July 1855 Letcher Co., Ky. will.

    Re: Fielding Combs Jr., According to Michael Dye's annotated 1850 Russell Co., Va. census on the Russell Co., Va. USGenweb site, Fielding COMBS Jr. was the son of Jacob COMBS and his wife Margaret COMBS. Sally is annotated as being a SMITH.

  4. Celia Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1807. Celia had two baseborn children: Cyndesta COMBS b. 1827 and William Cecil COMBS b. 1829 with William (Billy) NASH. (Family tradition and records) before marriage to Isaac HART whose household is listed in the 1840 and 1860 census but not 1850. The daughter Cyndesta COMBS m. Wm CRABTREE and is listed in 1850 census and next door to the HART household in 1860. Known children of Isaac and Celia COMBS Hart are: Julia Ann, b. 1834, Sisie (Susan), b. 1838, Nancy, Charity, b. 1840, Mathilda J., b. 1842
  5. James Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1809 m. Nancy YEARY. The 1830 census shows them with 2 children under the age of 5. They do not appear after the 1830 census. The following children of James and Nancy were furnished by Researcher Mary Bryant Park: William, Solomon H., Fielding, James L., John M., Bartholomew "Bat", Rachel E., Henry C., Elisha H., Mary Virginia, Elbert S.
  6. Lydia Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1811 m. (1) a Mr. HAGUE, one child, Fielding; m (2) James GENT. Fielding HAGUE assumed the name of GENT and appears as Fielding GENT in subsequent census.

    GENT, James 43 Farmer Tazewell Co. VA
    Lydia 40
    Fielding 20 Farmer
    Ann Eliza 15
    Jacob C 14
    Margaret 12
    Sarah C 10
    William 8
    Evaline 7
    Albert 4

    (A photograph of Lydia COMBS GENT and James GENT is published on p. 108, Polly Ryan. 1975. Journey in Virginia - Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 75-22604)

  7. Thompson Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1813 per 1850 census, the 1860 census would give him an 1810 birthdate, m. Virginia "Jentz", "Jenny", "Jane" FRANCIS of KY, sister to Sally FRANCIS m. to brother Fielding.

    COMBS, Thompson 37 Farmer
    Jane 30 (This age is inconsistent with a b/d of 1811)
    Anna 18 (Her age is listed as 49 in the 1860 census which would reflect the 1811 b/d.)
    Cullen 15
    Samuel 14
    John M 12 (Later known as "Big John" by family tradition)
    William 10 (Also listed as Wm. F. known as "Blue Bill")**
    Simeon F. 3 (Simeon Floyd)**

  8. William Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1814 m. Nancy McCLOTHLIN, possibly McGlothlin or McGaughlin

    COMBS, William 36 Farmer
    Nancy 36
    Thompson 15
    Timothy 13
    Benson 12
    Anna 6 .
    Shadrick 3

  9. John M. Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 19 Sept 1816 d. 22 August 1882 m. Sarah "Sallie" HAGINS 14 Sept 1836 (copied from tombstone by Weslie COMBS in Hayter's Valley)

    COMBS, John M. 35 Farmer
    Sally 31
    Fielding 11
    Nancy Jane 5
    Colbert 1

  10. Anna Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1818 m. Josiah TIGNOR, Jr. By 1860 3 TIGNOR children are living with Anna's family. family. Catherine TIGNOR, age 19, (probably Sarah C) is living with James and Lydia COMBS GENT, Patrick TIGNOR, age 14, with William and Nancy COMBS, and Elbert TIGNOR, age 5, is living with Thompson COMBS, Jr.

    TIGNOR, Josiah, Jr. 36 Farmer King & Queen Co.
    Anna 32
    Isabel J 15
    William H 13
    Rebecca A 11
    Sarah C 9
    Cindesta M 8
    Patrick 4

  11. Cullen Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b. 1820 m. Sally (Sallie) SARGENT

    COMBS, Cullen 30 Farmer Russell Co. VA
    Sally 25
    Eliza 6
    William D 5
    Frederick J. 3
    Julia A 2
    Virginia B 5 mo.
    Anna 79
    William 19 Laborer (not certain who this is)

    Anna THOMPSON Combs appears here in the 1850 census living with her son, Cullen. Her age is listed as 79. This is certainly possible, but would give her a birthdate of 1771, making her 6 years older than William COMBS, Jr. The 1820 census indicates that she is younger than he is, 1830 and 1840 places them in the same 10 year span age brackets.

  12. Isabella (a.k.a. Ibby and Issabella) Combs (William, Jr., William, Sr.) b.1822 m. William "Old Billy" MUSICK 10 May 1839**

**MUSICK, Rev. Grover Cleveland, 1964, Genealogy of the MUSICK Family and Some Kindred Lines, Meadow Bridge, WVA.

The naming of William and Anna THOMPSON Combs children follows a rather consistent pattern and may hold a source of clues to William's parentage. The children are primarily named for members of Anna THOMPSON'S family, supporting the idea that William was an only child.

One of the three exceptions points directly at Sarah Ann MILLION and William COMBS of Stafford County. The other two are open for investigation.

Jacob - Anna THOMPSON's grandfather, Jacob JACKSON
Nancy - Anna THOMPSON's mother, Nancy JACKSON
Fielding - Unknown, but the given name, "Fielding", occurs among the earlier descendants of Joseph COMBS I of Stafford (Josiah COMBS, pp 126, 127) but not among those of Mason COMBS of Stafford.
Celia - Anna THOMPSON's sister
James - Anna THOMPSON's brother
Lydia - Anna THOMPSON's grandmother m. to Jacob JACKSON and Anna's sister.
Thompson - Anna's maiden name
William - for his father and 2 grandfathers, William THOMPSON and William COMBS of Stafford Co. VA
John M. - known as "Million" through family tradition, his grandmother's maiden name, and the given name of her brother, John MILLION
Anna - for her mother
Cullen - another unknown and potential clue
Ibby - possibly Elizabeth for Anna THOMPSON's sister


As an alternative to the theory that Sally Lee was a slave, there is a theory that Sally Lee was the daughter of William COMBS, Jr. and Anna Thompson. Supporting this theory are the following facts: (i) the Will of William COMBS, Jr. [transcribed above] lists Sally Lee among the names of a group of William's children and grandchildren receiving a devise of $1-a strange place to locate the identity of a slave mistress, (ii) Sally Lee is not designated as a child in the list, but none of the other children are so designated, (iii) the individuals included in the list are receiving $1 each, a common means of disinheriting children and grandchildren whose parent is deceased, (iv) William's Will disposes 8 slaves and his inventory lists 8 slaves, none of which are Sally, and (v) since slaves were property at that time, Sally would have been listed in the inventory if she was William's slave at his death.

At this point, neither theory for Sally can be documented, but they provide leads that bear further research. For example, if Sally was a slave and was freed by William during his lifetime, there might be some record of that event.

Following the theory that Sally Lee was the daughter of William and Anna, Carter L. Combs has developed the following theory for Sally and her descendants, which while not fully documented, does provide additional avenues for future research:

“Whether Sarah “Sally” Combs is a daughter of William COMBS, Jr and Anna Thompson is not documented at a high level. Sally Lee is named in William's will (1841) between two of his sons, Jacob and James and with his daughters, Celia Hart and before his MUSICK grandchildren.

“A Lee Family researcher had stated years ago that Sarah “Sally” Combs, daughter of William COMBS, Jr and Ann Thompson had married Ephraim Lee. This was intriguing, as the old story about the slave appeared a little far-fetched.

“Since there was no marriage book for Russell Co VA in existence, the first order of business was to link Ephraim Lee to Russell Co VA. There is a will for a William Lee, probated, 5 Jun 1810 in Russell Co VA. William Lee names his minor children, Ephraim Lee, Joseph Gold Lee and Alva Low Lee. This sets the age of Ephraim as early 1800's. Next was to find Ephraim of this age in a census record. Ephraim was found in Greene Co MO 1840 census along with his brothers, Joseph Gold and Alva Low with birthplace listed as VA. Ephraim is not found in the 1850 Greene Co Mo census however his brothers are still there. Apparently Ephraim died between 1840 and 1850 in Greene Co MO. Have not yet found a death record.

“Ephraim and Sally's daughter, Sarah Ann Lee married Jefferson Kinser in Greene Co MO. Jefferson Kinser also came from VA to Greene Co MO with his parents. Jefferson and Sarah Ann are in Greene Co MO in the 1870 and 1880 with Sarah Lee in the household with them all listed a born in VA. Sarah's age in the census record set her age as early 1800's. Sarah Lee is listed as mother-in-law in the 1880 census.

Sarah Ann Lee and Jefferson Kinser's son John was born in Greene Co MO in 1852. In a report in a Greene Co newspaper, John Kinser describes how his father came from VA to Greene Co MO in a wagon drawn by oxen.

“Finally, the caretaker of the cemetery in which the family is interned is a Kinser that descends from the family. This Kinser descendent stated that he knew that Sarah “Sally” Combs Lee was a Combs but he had no knowledge as her origin.

“More research is in order for Sarah “Sally” Combs Lee; however, the belief on my part is that there is enough evidence to strongly suggest that she is the possible/probably daughter of William COMBS, Jr and Anna Thompson.”

See the Greene County, Missouri page for more discussion of Sally Lee.

This alternate theory for Sally Lee Combs submitted by Carter L. Combs.

This Combs &c. Research Report was prepared by: Sharon Combs Mize, email:, and Wesley Combs, 1997,1998, and with the assistance of Combs Researchers Mary Park Bryant & John & Doris Hamilton. It has subsequently been updated and corrected by records and research provided by members of the Combs &c. Research Group. (©1997, 1998, 1999 Sharon Combs Mize, Wesley Combs & Combs &c. Research Group (through 2005))