Chapter XI

Jeremiah ("Long Jerry") Combs

Jeremiah was born in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1782-'83. This date is pretty accurate, since Jerry's brother, Shadrach, was born in 1784-'85 (Census of 1850), and since Jerry married at least as early as 1802 or 1803. Jerry settled first at the mouth of Montgomery Creek (named for Montgomery County, Virginia, where his grandfather, John, had lived [)], later on the old Jim Stacey place; he later moved to the present site of Sassafras. He patented land a number of times on Carr's Fork and its waters, and became one of the largest land-owners among any of the sons of the eight brothers. He owned most of Montgomery Creek. By the 1830's he had moved over to Troublesome Creek, about eight miles below Hindman [now Knott Co, KY]. He took up considerable land on that stream.

Rob Morgan and the children of "Blinky" Shade Combs, one of Jerry's grand- children, now live (1947) on the old place on Troublesome. Jerry's house stood in the field just below Rob Morgan's house, and below the new highway. Jerry died in 1843, and is buried in an old, deserted graveyard among the trees, on the point above Rob Morgan's house. The stone bears the date, 1843, and "J. Combs".

It has been definitely established that "Long Jerry" was a son of John, the Revolutionary veteran. He was twice married, and had seventeen or eighteen children. Who his first wife was is a matter of conjecture. Whatever her maiden name, her first name was Nancy. But it was not Nancy Sumner; she married "Chunky Jerry". Aunt Adeline Cornett (born 1832), who lived just above Sassafras, told my father in 1917, that Jerry married Nancy Combs, a sister of Millie Combs. Aunt Adeline was eleven years old when Jerry died. Some say he married a Smith. (1)

"Long Jerry' [sic.] married Sallie Whitley for his second wife, Febru-


ary 26, 1829. He already had thirteen or fourteen children. Polly Ann, John L., and William L. maybe another, were born by 1809; Polly Ann (b. 1804-'05, Census of 1850), married Elijah Combs, Jr., "Gen." 'Lige's son February 16, 1826. An[d] so, "Long Jerry" must have married around 1802-1803. He had four children by Sallie. Margaret ("Peggy") is not usually included among the children by his first wife, but Mrs. Polly Ann Combs, "Blinky" Shade's widow, says (1941) that Jerry had a Margaret; that she married Nicholas Combs. The Perry County [KY] Deed Books record that in 1934 [1834] a Nicholas Combs conveys to Shade Stacey (Jerry's son-in-law) interest in "Long Jerry's" land. "Long Jerry" had a Nicholas ("Shanghai") but being a son by Jerry's second wide [wife], and not born until after 1829, he could not have been a party to the above conveyance. Elijah, Jr. died in 1847, and his widow married a Nicholas Combs; this is not the Nicholas of the conveyance. Apparently, then, "Long Jerry" had not only a son named Nicholas ("Shanghai"), but also two sons-in-law of the same name. The following six or eight pages will bring my line on down from William L. Combs, "Long Jerry["]'s son, and my grandfather. (2)