The Combes Genealogy… by Josiah H. Combs
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[1]On the occasion of publishing the book of Combs genealogy and associated history, a few remarks would seem appropriate.

[1]This literary work is the result of approximately thirty years of work by Dr. Josiah H. Combs (my uncle). It embodied research, extensive travel, voluminous correspondence, plus the difficult task of assimilating and recording of the information in correct form. Few of us realize the amount of work involved in such a project. Thousands of documents in court houses were read and many old burial grounds had to be searched. I have several boxes that contain many hundreds of letters that go back to the early thirties.

[1]Had it not been for the actions of Charlotte, Josiah's devoted wife, along with certain nephews, this book might never have been published. Josiah died in 1960. For forty years, Charlotte was his devoted wife and companion in his myriad of intellectual pursuits. His death did not alter that devotion. She made plans for proper disposition of his literary work, from publication to deposit in the Library of Congress. Arrangements were made with me to make certain the Combs genealogy was eventually published. Special credit must be given to Paul C. Combs and James A. Combs. These two attorneys of Prestonsburg [KY], re-worked the manuscript and got it ready for a publisher, plus other arrangements such as photographs.

.....It should be explained why the two chapters, "Philology, Remote Origins" and "Combs of the Valley, Old World Families" are in the back of the book. At first, it was planned to omit them as they were thought to be too esotoric [esoteric] for most of us. Then it was realized that certain scholarly types, present and future, would truly appreciate and make use of the valuable data contained in the chapters. It would have been a pity to have allowed them to become lost.

.....Inasmuch as Josiah died in 1960, the genealogical data is not up to date. Each year brings changes, of course, so each family or individual must keep it active, for their own information.


.....Many Combses will undoubtedly wonder what the book offers and how it can be applied to them. First, it provides a history of Combses, tracing them from England to early Virginia and on westward. As Josiah explains in the book, it does not include every Combs that came to the early United States. That would be impossible. It would seem, however, that most Combses in Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia, as well as ones who branched out from those states, could trace their families. They are of course now scattered to all states and many foreign countries. To trace ones family line, it is suggested that a grandparent or great-grandparent be located in the "General Table" chapter. After that it should be relatively easy to run it back to early colonial days as well as forward to a present day. In some cases, a little research might be necessary. For those who are not familiar with General Tables, the numbers before names indicate the generation, starting with John and Richard of England being number one.

.....Finally, this book is not being published for the purpose of profit. The sale price is based on publishing cost and attendant publicity and distribution expenses. Also, none of the present Combses involved in this project should be held responsible for Genealogical errors. Undoubtedly, some will take issue with certain data. This is understandable. We had had only one purpose. That was, to get it published, for two reasons. One, for the enjoyment of present and future Combses. Second, in deep respect to Dr. Josiah H. Combs, who labored so long to assemble the information and his devoted wife and companion, Charlotte.

May 1976 ...................................Norris K. Combs
................................................... Pensacola, Florida



.....At the outset I humbly confess that this work was not accomplished singlehanded [singlehandedly]. Help came to me from many and diver's [diverse] parts of the United States and Europe, over a period of more than thirty years. My correspondence has reached into nearly half the States of the Union. For the assistance from these correspondents, I am deeply grateful.

.....It is a pleasure to hereby acknowledge my deep debt of gratitude to those in the following, personal, roll-of-honor.

.....J. L. Kendall (who married a Combs), Franklin, Inc. [Johnson or Wayne Co, IN]

.....Rev. Samuel Eugene Hager (whose mother was a Combs), Bradenton [Mamatee Co], Fla.

.....Mrs. Bertha Lyttle Jett (whose mother was a Combs), Maryville [Blount Co], Tenn.

.....Senator Hilliard Hagan Smith (two of whose paternal forebears married Combses), Hindman [Knott Co], Ky.

.....Mrs. Elizabeth Combs Peirce, Nuttsville, Lancaster Co., Va.

.....Miss Bessie Taul Conkwright, of the Louisville Times [Jefferson Co KY].

.....George H. Smith (who married a Combs), Columbus [Crisp or Muscogee Co], Ga.

.....Miss Anna Belle Combs, Richmond [Madison Co], Ky.

.....Mrs. Electa Ball Spangler (who descends from a Combs), Peoria [Peoria Co], Ill.

.....Mrs. Luella Worrell Coombs, Carthage [Hancock or Ogle Co], Ill.

.....Fred Harmon Combs, Atty., Grundy, Buchanan Co., Va.

.....Senator Thomas A. Combs (deceased), Lexington [Fayette Co], Ky.

.....Fred H. Coombs (deceased), Madison [Dane Co], Wis.

.....George D.A. Combes (deceased), Rockville Centre, Long Island [Nassau Co], N.Y.

.....Worth S. Ray, Austin [Travis Co], Texas.

.....Miss Elizabeth E. Hailman (descended from a Va. Combs), formerly of Boston [Suffolk Co, MA], now of Los Angeles [Los Angeles Co, CA].

.....Mrs. Mary Porter Combs (widow of the late Gilbert Raynolds Combs, head of the Broad Street Conservatory of Music), Philadelphia [Philadelphia Co], Pa.

.....Charles E. Combs, Bloomfield [Adams, Edgar or Johnson Co], Ind.

.....Professor Wm. Hobart Combs, Michigan State College.

.....Professor B. Floyd Flickinger, Hanover Co., Va.

.....J.D. Smith, Dwarf, Perry Co., Ky.

.....Mrs. W. E. Bach, Lexington, Ky.

.....Mrs. Susan Combs Eversole (deceased), Hazard [Perry Co], Ky.

.....E. Fielding Hargis (whose mother was a Combs), Lebanon [Russell Co], Va.


.....Miss Elizabeth Coombs, Bowling Green [Warren Co], Ky.

.....Judge W. E. Begley (whose mother was a Combs), London [Laurel Co], Ky.

.....Professor C. L. Stewart (whose wife descends from a Combs), University of Illinois

.....Brother Hugh (Coomes), St. Joseph Preparatory School, Bardstown [Nelson Co], Ky.

.....Mrs. Stella Combs Mattingly, Hazard [Perry Co], Ky.

.....Carl Combs, Middletown [Butler, Champaign or Crawford Co], Ohio

.....John B. Eversole, Atty. (whose mother was a Combs), Richmond [Madison Co], Ky.

.....Credit is also due to: the various county, state and Federal officials, especially in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, in Washington, D.C. and in London, England, and surrounding shires. The diary of the Rev. J. J. Dickey, of Fleming County, Kentucky, written down largely in the 1880's and 1890's, has been invaluable for research on the "eight brothers" and their descendants, and on "Danger Nick" Combs and his descendants, in the Kentucky mountains. The large mass of Combs data compiled by the late Dr. Wilgus Bach, of Jackson [Breathitt], Kentucky, before the First World War, has been of great help. The data of the late George D.A. Combes are colossal in extent and importance, and constitute a reservoir of information for Combses of the Middle and New England States.

.....Bopp's Glossarium Comparativum Linguae Sanscritae.

.....Boisacq's Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue grecque.

.....Enciclopedia Sopena.

.....Harper's Latin Dictionary.

.....Larousse du XXeme siecle.

.....Liddell and Scott's Greek Dictionary.

.....Littre's Dictionnaire de la lague francaise.

.....Lopes and Bensley's Nuevo diccionario, Espanol-ingles.

.....Murray's New (Oxford) English Dictionary.

.....Spinelli's Dizionario italiano-inglese.

.....Walde's Vergleichendes Woerterbuck der Indogermanischen Sprachen.


.....Abstracts of Old Rappanhannock County, Judge A.T. Embrey.

.....Abstracts of York and Elizabeth City Counties, Beverly Fleet.

.....Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Court Records of Augusta County (1745-1800), Judge Lyman Chalkley.

.....Cavaliers and Pioneers (Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800). By Nell Marion Nugent.


.....Colonial Families of the United States.

.....Genealogical Gleanings in England, Henry F. Waters.

.....Historic Sullivan County, Oliver Taylor.

.....History of Carolina County, Virginia, Marshall Wingfield.

.....History of Cosmopolite, Lorenzo Dow.

.....History of the Lost "State of Franklin," Judge S.C. Williams.

.....Kentucky Land Grants, Willard R. Jillson.

.....Minutes of the Virginia Company (London).

.....National Archives (Washington, Pensions, Census, etc.).

.....New American History, William E. Woodward.

.....New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

.....Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, John Fiske

.....Original Lists, The, John Camden Hotten.

.....Publications of the D.A.R.

.....Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine.

.....United States War Department.

.....Virginia, John Esten Cooke.

.....Virginia Genealogies, Rev. Horace E. Hayden.

.....Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.

.....William and Mary Quarterly.

.....OLD PERSONS INTERVIEWED. These people, most of whom are now deceased, were interviewed by different parties between the 1890's and 1946. Several of them appear in the Dickey diary.

.....Brashear, Mrs. Henry Combs; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Andrew, b. 1806; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Combs, John S., b. 1819; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Harrison, b. 1848; Powell Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Judge Wiley A., b. 1860; Knott Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Samp B., b. 1863; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Stephen Sewell, b. 1840; Wolfe and Madison Co's., Ky.

.....Combs, Alfred, b. 1844; Breathitt and Fayette Co.'s., Ky.

.....Combs, Wm. Mason, Breathitt Co., Ky.

.....Combs, Napoleon Bonaparte ("Boney"), son of Mason, one of the "eight Brothers"; b. 1807; Perry and Owsley Co's., Ky.

.....Combs, John L. ("Tight"); Perry and Knott Co's., Ky.

.....Combs, Elsie ("Dutch"), b. 1827; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Cornett, Mrs. Adeline Brashear, b. 1832; Knott Co., Ky.

.....Cornett, Elijah Combs, b. 1822; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Dobson, Mrs. Betty Combs, b. 1845; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Eversole, Susan Combs, b. 1855; Perry Co., Ky.

.....Lewis, Mrs. Margaret Combs; Perry and Leslie Co's., Ky.

.....Smith, "Squire" John; Knott Co., Ky.

Back to 
Table of Contents, p. iii
Forward to 
Introduction, pp. ix-xxix

To "The Combes Genealogy," Full Name/Location Index
To "The Combes Genealogy" (Combs &c. Research Forward)
To The Combs &c. Research Master Index

Important Copyright Information and Restrictions: This electronic edition of Combs, A Study in Comparative Philology and Genealogy, by Josiah H. Combs, Ph.D., University of Paris, copyrighted 1976 by Norris K. Combs, published by Norris K. Combs, Pensacola, Florida, 1976, reprinted 1979, and electronically reprinted by the Combs &c. Research Group in 1999, has been authorized by copyright holder Norris K. Combs for the free use of those engaged in non-commercial genealogical research only. Permission is freely granted to Hot Link to this site; however, copying and/or distribution of this work is strictly prohibited.

The Index and Annotated Footnotes to The Combes Genealogy have been provided by the Combs &c Research Group for the free use of those engaged in non-commercial genealogical research only. Any and all commercial use is strictly prohibited. Researchers are permitted to copy and distribute the Index and Footnotes only, but with the provisos that (1) said files must be copied in their entirety, including this notice, as well as all sources, bibliographies and credits; and (2) only for non-commercial use. Permission is not granted to copy any Combs &c. Research Files to other electronic locations. Instead, all are welcome to Hot Link to our sites (prior permission not required).
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©1999, Norris K. Combs and the Combs &c. Research Group