Chapter XIX

Children of John Combs

John's children and their descendants are too numerous to go into in detail; they are listed in the General Table at the end of this book. Four of them, Cuthbert, Joseph, Benjamin and Ennis, came to [what became in 1792] Clark County [KY], in May, 1775. John had taken up a large tract of land in Clark, and these sons, including also Fielding, and maybe John, Jr., acquired considerable boundaries there. John, Jr., lived in Fauquier [Co, VA]; he died October 7, 1780. Elizabeth (Bettie of the will) married Marquis Calmes, and lived in Frederick County [VA]. Sarah married Richard Blanton, and moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky. Her daughter, Elizabeth, married her cousin, William Richardson Combs, Gen. Leslie's brother. (1)

Cuthbert, Joseph, Ennis and Benjamin, along with their brother in law, Marquis Calmes, and others, came to Boonesboro [Boonesborough, Madison Co, KY] in May, 1775. They enjoyed the protection of the fort for a few weeks, and went over into Clark County, where they had taken up a large boundary of land lying between Upper Howard's Creek and Lulbegrud Creek. Much of this tract lay around Indian Old Fields. Four years later Joseph took up 1,000 acres on Combs Creek, eight miles from Boonesboro. (It was called Combs Creek first, then Lower Howard's Creek). He in turn took up large tracts on Beech Fork of Salt River, Nelson County [KY], then 500 acres on Upper Howard's Creek, and finally, 4,200 acres were surveyed for him on Eagle Creek, in 1785, after he had gone back to Stafford County, Virginia. He was a captain in the Revolution, and died in Stafford [Co, VA].

Ennis married Margaret Rousseau, of a French family; his brother, Joseph, married Mary Rousseau. Ennis was back in Fauquier [Co, VA] by 1779; by 1785 he was back in Clark [Co, KY], as his father's will shows. But he went back to Fauquier, and died there. A son, Seth


Rousseau, was a major in the Mexican War. Cuthbert had a very large family, but he jumped around a lot. He was back in Stafford [Co, VA] in the 1780's; he shows up in Nelson County [KY] by 1797, and later in Clark [Co, KY], where he died, 1815. His descendants are scattered hither and yon, over a number of States. They called him "Cud". Fielding lived in Stafford. (2)

Elizabeth (Bettie) married Marquis Calmes, of Frederick and Hampshire Counties [VA]. This Calmes was a son of Marquis (de la) Calmes, justice of Frederick County, and Winifred Hardin Calmes, and a grandson of the Marquis de la Calmes, the French immigrant. He was a brother of Isabella Calmes Richardson, whose daughter, Sarah, married Capt. Benjamin Combs, Elizabeth's brother, and Gen. Leslie's father. Back in those days the Combses were mixing up with French families in a big way.

Capt. Benjamin Combs, one of the founders of Winchester [Clark Co], Kentucky, was John's most celebrated son. He was born in Fauquier [Co, VA], in 1749. He was in the party that took up nearly 6,000 acres of land in Clark [Co, KY] in 1775. These pioneers struck out on the old Brenttown Road, on the south side of Beaver Dam Creek, in Stafford County [VA], which led them over into Fauquier County [VA] and to the Dumfries Road, and on the road to Ashby's Gap Turnpike leading to Winchester [Frederick Co, VA]; thence northward to Hagerstown [then Frederick, now Garrett & Washington Cos], Maryland, where they took the old National Pike westward to Cumberland, thence over into the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, where they proceeded either to the present site of Pittsburgh [Allegheny Co, PA] or to Wheeling [Ohio Co, VA, now WV]; thence down the Ohio by boat to the present site of Maysville [Mason Co], Kentucky, thence overland to Boonesboro [Boonesborough, Madison Co, KY]. There is a tradition among Benhamin's [Benjamin's] kinsmen in the mountains that before the party landed at Maysville it was agreed that the first man to set foot on Kentucky soil was to be allowed the pick of the land they were to take up; that "Benny" jumped into the water and swam to the Kentucky shore.

At the outbreak of the Revolution he returned to Virginia, and served first as a lieutenant, and later as a captain. He lived in Frederick [Co, VA] several years after the Revolution. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky, may be in error when it says that Benjamin returned to Kentucky in 1782. The records of Frederick show him in land transactions in that county in the 1780's and in the 1790's; in fact, he was there as late as 1798. However, the will of his brother-in-law, Marquis Calmes, made in Frederick in 1793, names a nephew, Marquis Combs, who was living with him, and whose father (Ben-


jamin) was living in Kentucky. But he came back to Clark County, Kentucky, and died there in 1838. He and Sarah are buried on the old Combs farm on the Combs Ferry Road, about five miles southwest of Winchester [Clark Co, KY]. In 1933 the place belonged to Thad. W. Hampton; but the title to the graveyard is still in the Combs family. Benjamin is John's third oldest son. The monument over the graves of Benjamin and Sarah was erected by their youngest son, Gen. Leslie Combs. The inscription on it reads: "Capt. Benjamin Combs, a Revolutionary officer and Hunter of Kentucky, died December 10, 1838, aged 89 years.'' (3)

Two of Benjamin's sons, Samuel Richardson and Leslie, became more prominent than their father, Samuel R. was a captain in the War of 1812, so was Leslie; both were in the Thames and River Raisin campaigns, serving under Gen. William Henry Harrison. Leslie was a scout and spy, at first, and was personally recommended by Gen. Harrison. Leslie became a colonel, and later a general. Samuel R. represented Clark County [KY] several times in the State legislature. He was killed in a feud between the Combs and Bush families, when he was an old man. A young Bush ran up and slashed his throat; calling on the bystanders to watch a brave man die, he closed the slit in his throat with his fingers and dictated his will. He lived in Clark.

Leslie was born in Clark County [KY], November 28, 1793, but moved to Lexington [Fayette Co, KY]. He represented Fayette County a number of times in the State legislature between 1827 and 1846. The year before Henry Clay died, or in 1851, the most spectacular race for Congress in the history of Kentucky took place. Leslie Combs was Clay's right-hand man in Kentucky, and the "Great Pacificator's" choice for Congressman from the old "Ashland", or Henry Clay's district. His opponent was John C. Breckinridge, of rabid, pro-slavery fame. Gen. Leslie was touted to win easily; but the South had embarked upon expansionism, slavery was a burning issue, the Civil War was in the offing - and Breckinridge won. He was a formidable adversary in debate, and had a keen sense of humor. He and Breckinridge were warm, personal friends, and in the race for Congress, traveled and spoke together. Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson agreed on only one thing, Leslie once said, and that was the old stage coach road that ran through Lexington and Nashville; the estates of both men were situated on the road! One day on the street in Lexington, a very crosseyed man bumped into Leslie, turned and said arrogantly to him, "Can't


you see where you're going?" Leslie looked at his eyes a moment, and replied, "Can't you go where you're seeing?" His house in Lexington stood on the site now [formerly] occupied by the Lafayette Hotel. Gen. Leslie died August 22, 1881. When Lafayette came to Lexington, Gen. Leslie headed the committee of welcome. Leslie, Jr., was a distinguished citizen, serving as United States Minister to Guatemala, Honduras and Peru.

The descendants of Edward Combs (died in 1825) of Fayette and Jessamine Counties [KY] are sometimes classed among the descendants of Joseph of Stafford; or else among those of the eight brothers, of the mountains. They belong to neither of these groups (two), but rather to the Loudon [Loudoun] County, Virginia Combses. Edward Combs married Sophia Hicks, and may be identical with the Edward, son of Andrew Combs (born 1755), of Loudon [Loudoun], who married Mary Hicks. An Andrew Combs patented 1,000 acres of land (military) on Little River, Fayette County [KY] in 1797; may be the Col. Andrew Combs, later of Woodford County [KY].

Edward Combs married Sophia Hicks (b. Sep. 20, 1790). Died 1825, Jessamine Co., Ky. Par[ents]. William Hicks and Mary Swanger Hicks.

Sophia Died after 1853, Iowa. (Pension and census 1850).

The children of Edward and Sophia Combs were:
1. boy (died)
2. boy (died)
3. Jeremiah Combs, b. June 24,1821, Fayette Co., Ky.
4. C. Combs (girl), b. 1823.
5. George Washington Combs - b. 1824.

The third youngest son of Edward Combs and Sophia was Jeremiah, who married Martha Zike in 1842; his second wife was Mrs. Affia D. (Sneed) Munday. Jeremiah was born June 24, 1821, and died May 4, 1899. He lived in Jessamine. He and Martha had 8 children: William E., Belle, Hester, Emma, John B., Francis M., Granville, Sallie, William E., and a son Daniel, who was sheriff of Jessamine; Francis M. was the father of the late C. Hansford Combs, of the village of Arlington Heights, a suburb of Cincinnati [Hamilton Co, OH]; also of Mrs. Lavinia Combs Haney, the wife of Dr. Herschel Glenn Haney, of Greenville [Pitt Co], N. C., Francis M. lived in Jessamine.

The fifth child of Edward and Sophia Combs, George Washington Combs, was born in 1824, Jessamine Co. He married Sarah Jane


Wolsey in 1847, Jessamine County [KY]. Their children were Marquis L., Thomas Wm., Peachy and Sophia. After 1862, Sarah Jane and the four children were in Shueyville [Johnson Co], Iowa.  (4)