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by Combs Researcher Anne B. Musser, 1998

Copies of these letters were graciously provided to me by Edna's great-nephew, Harold Glenn, who wrote at the time: "I have included copies of letters which my mother's aunt [Edna Florence Hightower] collected." He went on to say that that he doesn't know how many of the "seeming" typos are really typos & how many are exactly from the true originals. Edna Florence HIGHTOWER, b 1894, was the d/o Joshua Thomas and Susan Mathews Combs; gd/o Silas Evans and Martha Jane PREWITT Combs, ggd/o Evan Ennis and Mary Sydnor HINDE Combs; gggd/o Cuthbert & Sarah "Sallie" EVANS Combs, Sr.; ggggd/o John & Seth BULLIT Combs, Sr. and gggggd/o Joseph Combs I of Stafford Co, VA. Capitalization of names is mine. Spelling has not been altered.

Editor's Note: See also Joseph Combs II, John & Sarah LUTTRELL Combs, Jr., Gen. Leslie Combs, and Barbara Rivas' Combs Family Tree as well as the applicable Combs Counties of Record. Also note that words/phrases in [brackets] have been added by the Combs Research Group. All entries prefaced by "ABM" are those of Anne B. Musser. All entries prefaced by "Ed Note" are those of the Combs Research Group. Also note that annotation is incomplete (in progress).

Index to Collection

  1. Mrs. Elizabeth Combs Pierce of Nuttsville, Lancaster Co, VA. Undated.
  2. Nannie K. STARLING, Winchester, Clark Co, Ky, Undated.
  3. Belle Combs Letter, 1940 (d/o Evan Ennis & Sallie Waddell CALLAWAY Combs, Jr.
  4. Catherine "Kitty" EVANS Fisher Letter, abt 1910
  5. T. E. ANDERSON Letter, 1910 (h/o Mary E. Combs)
  6. Mary FISHER Reinhard Letter, Undated. (d/o Catherine EVANS Fisher)
  7. Margaret Leslie Combs Walker, 1909 (d/o Gen. Leslie Combs)
  8. Unsigned, undated Letter
  9. List of Addresses from Belle Combs
  10. Silas E. Combs Letter to daughter, Sue, 1877
  11. R. L. Combs Letter, 1878
  12. Martha J. PREWITT Combs Letter, 1877
  13. Excerpt from Ennis Combs Letter, ca 1875
  14. Dosha Combs Thompson Letter to Caroline "Dolly" Combs Hawes, 1882


[1] From Mrs. Elizabeth Combs Pierce of Nuttsville, Va.

I know nothing of JOSEPH Combs prior to date of above grant. Have heard many claims but have proved none prior to 1725. All proven records after that date. I lean to the claim that he came from Md. due to the fact that so many names in the family are Maryland names, but claim nothing.

On the 10th of Sept., 1756, Stafford Co., Deed, JOSEPH Combs, the elder, to JOSEPH Combs, the younger, of Frederick Co., also deed for slaves, names JOHN Combs, brother to JOSEPH, the younger.

Deed to JOHN Combs, the younger, from JOSEPH Combs, the elder, land upon which he now lives in Prince William Co. Date Sept. 10, 1756. Stafford Co.

Deed to Capt. JOHN ASHLEY [ASHBY] of Frederick Co., as marrying his daughter, JANE Combs, same date. No other children named.

Later on, JOHN LAURENCE* deeds a girl slave to JOHN Combs, and from this he was probably the grandfather of JOHN Combs, but know of no proof.

Will of JOHN Combs. Wills 1780-1789 Stafford Co., pg. 200

I, JOHN Combs, of the Psh.----County of Stafford,

To grandson, son of my son JOHN, heir at law of JOHN Combs, not christened son of my son JOHN, dead. 10s Sterling. To wife SETH Combs, 15 slaves which were given to her and myself by her father BENJ. BULLITT. I give to son CUTHBERT Combs and heirs the lands he lives on which were conveyed to him heretofore, by me, also 1/3 part of slaves divised to his Mother after death of Mother. To daughter BETTY CALMES 1/3 of slaves divised to mother, after her death. I leave to daughter-in-law, SALLIE Combs, under 21, slave for her and her children by son JOHN. to children 1/3 of BULLITT slaves. To son JOSEPH Slaves. To wife SETH, plantation s.e. of Beaver Dam Run and after remarriage or death to son JOSEPH. To son ENNIS 4 negroes and also that tract of land he now lives on in Ky. 803 acres. Son FIELDING under 21 years.--------Sons CUTHBERT, JOSEPH and ENNIS Executors.
Signed, JOHN Combs

JOHN Combs son of JOHN 2, JOSEPH 1, died prior to his father. Names wife SARAH and 4 children but this line will have to be worked out later.

JOSEPH Combs, JOHN 2, JOSEPH 1, married MARY (probably HARRISON) as in Vol. 33 pg. 372 Stafford Co., we find JOSEPH H. Combs sells to GEO. H. TOLSON all Right and title of interest in the estate of and every kind which he hold as dower property from my father, JOSEPH Combs, dead.

Signed, 9th of April 1827.
L.L. 279 Stafford Co. MARY Combs widow of JOSEPH Combs, 19th. Dec. 1837

ENNIS Combs, JOHN 2, JOSEPH 1, married MARGARET ROUSSEAU, Feb. 20, 1779. Living in Ky. in 1785. Returned to Virginia died in Fauquier Co., W.B. 10 pg. 394. Will dated Feb. 6, 1827. Recorded Aug. 25, 1828. Names wife MARGARET, daughter NANCY LUCKETT, married 1st. WM. EDRINGTON, son SETH Combs, son WILLIAM ROUSSEAU Combs. Granddaughter MARGARET Combs.

R.R. pg. 277 Stafford Co. Whereas WILLIAM R. Combs did by his last will and testament (lost or destroyed) bequeath to his wife SARAH Combs a life interest in his real estate and further devise that his said estate be divided among his children and whereas WALTER HORE did intermarry with VIRGINIA E. daughter of said WM. R. Combs----------------. Therefore, according to their decision, we, KENDRICK E. Combs, DAVID W. Combs, SETH R. Combs and BOLIVAR C. Combs----------------land which our father, WM. R. Combs, etc.

WM. R. Combs married SALLY WICKLIFFE prior to 1810 and had above issue. He died, date not known, estate settled May 1837, L.L. 12, Stafford Co.

Ed Note: *See also Prince William Co, VA re possible conflicts in regard the Combs-Lawrence record.

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[2] The following from Nannie K. STARLING, Winchester, Ky.

From the records of Fauquier Co., Va. Will Book No. 1, page --. Will of THOMAS BULLITE, written Sept. 17, 1775, proven Feb. 25, 1778. Legatees, brother JOSEPH BULLITE, and CUTHBERT Combs, land on Kankawa River, and a horse. Sister SETH Combs 16 pounds for a mourning ring. Mr. BENJAMINE HARRISON two colts. SARAH BRONAUGH land and slaves. "SARAH BRONAUGH, natural daughter of MARTHA BRONAUGH". Rest of estate to brother CUTHBERT BULLITE.

Will Book 1, Page ---. Will of BENJAMINE BULLITE, written May 3rd. 1766, proven Oct. 27, 1766. Legatees, son JOSEPH BULLITE, a tract of land in Maryland where my father JOSEPH BULLITE was buried. Daughter SITH Combs and her husband JOHN Combs, son CUTHBERT BULLITE, daughter ELIZABETH BULLITE, wife SARAH and six sons, viz: WILLIAM, JOHN, GEORGE, THOMAS, BENJAMINE, BENONI, PARMENA and BURWILE BULLITE, Slaves.

From records of Fayette Co., Ky.* Pre-emption Book. Jan. 28, 1784 Surveyed for CUTHBERT Combs, 40* acres of land on certificate for settlement, entered Nov. 3, 1779, at an Indian Old Town, on the water of Lubegrud and Howard Upper Creek and bound as follows, beginning at A, a red oak, on a ridge corner to MARQUIS CALMES, JR., running thence with said CALMES line East, crossing the creek 400 poles to B a red oak, in said line, thence to 160 poles to C, a white oak, between drain, thence west crossing a fork in the creek, 160 poles to the beginning. Also 1000 acres of land, on pre-emption warrant. No. 71. Book C, pgs. 270-71. BENJAMINE Combs and FIELDING Combs also had land, pgs. 270-72.


Winchester, Ky. May 15, 1916


Dear Madam: After close perusal of the 5800 acre transaction I find that BENJ. A. PERRY,* MARQUES CALMES, MARQUES J. CALMES, BENJ. Combs and CUTHBERT Combs, had at their joint expense obtained warrants for the 5800 acres in this transaction & were dividing same. All above named, except CUTHBERT Combs being from Frederick Co., Va., he being from Stafford Co., Va. No mention made of military service.
Very Resp.
H. C. SKINNER, Clerk

From Records of Clark Co., Ky. Will Book 3, page 427. Feb. 20, 1814, Will of CUTHBERT Combs. In this will he mentioned the following. "As ten of my children viz; BETSEY EDWARDS, JOSEPH Combs, BENJAMINE Combs, SALLIE EVANS and NANCY PAYNE, POLLY EVANS, JOHN Combs, SYTHE PAYNE, SUSANNA HICKMAN, CUTHBERT Combs, have married and received a part of my estate, I therefore, desire they should not receive any more until after the death of my wife, SALLY Combs. But to my sons FIELDING ALEXANDER Combs and ENNIS Combs, I give-----. ENNIS Combs was under 21 at this time and unmarried. CUTHBERT Combs, SR. mother was living at the time of his death, name not given, also his brother FIELDING Combs. CUTHBERT Combs, SR. left a large estate, land in Clark County, Nelson and Montgomery Counties Ky. Will of CUTHBERT Combs, SR., was written Feb. 20, 1814. Proven ----26, 1815.

Records of Clark Co., Ky., Will Book 5, page 328, July 10, 1823, FIELDING A. Combs had a settlement of the estate of CUTHBERT Combs, dec'd. SALLY, the wife of CUTHBERT Combs died before August 21, 1819.

Copied from the marriage records of Clark Co., Ky.
JOSEPH Combs---SUSANNA CLARK, Sept. 27, 1797
ENNIS Combs---MARY (POLLY) HINDE, April 17, 1819
JOHN H. Combs---MARINDA VIVION, Jan. 2, 1819
CUTHBERT Combs---REBECCA ALLEN, 1820, (only date)
SAMUEL Combs---MARGARET TOMPTON (?) April 30, 1826, copied as recorded N.K.S.

All of the foregoing is in way of proof of the following history and data. JOSEPH Combs, entered land in Stafford Co., Va. in 1756. MRS. ELIZABETH Combs PEIRCE of Nuttsville, Va. is inclined to believe he came from Maryland but has no proof. The name of his wife is not known but it might have been LAURENCE as JOHN LAURENCE* deeded a girl slave to JOHN Combs, from this he was probably the grandfather of JOHN Combs. Children of JOSEPH Combs:

JOSEPH, who married and lived in Frederick Co., Va.

JANE Combs, second wife of CAPT. JOHN ASHBY and Mother of all his children but one. They went to Ky.

JOHN Combs, born 1715, died 1785. Married SETH BULLITT, daughter of CAPT. BEN. BULLITT and SARAH ELIZABETH HARRISON, See BULLITTE Genealogy.

Issue of JOHN Combs and SETH BULLITT;

JOHN Combs,
ENNIS Combs,
SARAH Combs,
BENJ. Combs. (these are not in order of birth)

ABM: There seems to be another letter after "CHIL", but it is unreadable.

  1. HELEN WICKLIFFE Combs, 1898-1931, married L. LELAND ROBINSON, Issue:

ABM: The page ends here and the gentleman who sent me these papers couldn't find the next page. Of course, the next page would have been my direct line through VIRGINIA ELIZABETH Combs, d/o WM. ROUSSEAU Combs and SARAH WICKLIFFE!!

Ed Note: *The Jan. 28, 1784 survey for Cuthbert Combs was for 400 acres, not 40. Although originally in Fayette Co, KY, this land became part of Clark Co, KY upon it's formation in 1792/3. *Nancy Combs was probably not "Nancy Luckett Combs," but Nancy Combs Edrington Luckett (2 marriages). *The only Combs-LAWRENCE deed found thus far was for an Edward, not a John, and was not a deed of gift, but for "consideration." (See above).

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[3] Copy of letter-written by Belle Combs

Monrovia, Feb. 8, 1940

Dear Cousin Edna:

I was surprised and greatly pleased to receive your letter. I well remember your dear mother. She staid at our home in Missouri one winter when she was suffering with neuralgia. She slept in the living room where there was fire. One night my big white cat got on the window sill out side as he did, when it was cold and he wanted to come in. Pa would raise the window and let him in. 'I'hat night your mother a-wakened and saw him as a white bearded man looking in, Pa and Ma were sleeping up stairs your Uncle Ennis across the hall. Ma was dreaming she heard a pistol fired, just as Cousin Sue began to scream. When Pa and Ma got down stairs Sue was sitting up in bed screaming and Ennis was holding to the foot of the bed so frightened he could not talk. It was quite a commotion,, So you see my childish mind was impressed.

Your grandfather Silas Combs was my mothers favorite of my Fathers brothers There is so much about which I could talk to you but would be too much for me to write. You may know, my sight was injured when I was a child and I only write when the light is good and I lead such a streneous life, the best part of the day is gone before I can set down to write. The 22nd. of this month is my birthday and I will be (Do not tell it) 78 years old! [b 22 Feb 1862] It is awful I cannot bear the thought of being old! And I am the oldest representive of both my fathers and mothers families. I have not been very well since Christmas. I had Christmas dinner and a number of callers and a lot of worries. I took a hard cold and came near having pneumonia. I lost my voice, had a terrible sore throat. I still have a bad cough and to add to my misery, an infected big toe. We have had a nice winter, there has thus far been no cold to freeze the tender things. There is volunteer tomato plant in the back yard that has blossoms and potatoe plants that have come up under the trees. There are dozens of Chinese lillies in bloom and violets. Why do you live where it is so cold? You did not mention your husband. Are you a widow? You see I have an old maid's curiosity, I have an adopted nephew (for the time being, he expect to get married in September. He and his young friends call me "Auntie Belle") I belong to the Baptist Church to The Woman's Club and to the Daughters of the Revolution. I went in on my Mothers Credentials and that brings me 'back to the Combs Ancestors.

My Mother and I did a good deal of writing but I did not get it straightened out. So far as I know the CALDWELLS came to California in a wagon train in 1852. Aunt Dolly Combs rode a pony called "peping" most of the way, and carried Carry CALDWELL a small child in her lap. The pony died of old age and have seen where he was buried. I heard aunt Dolly killed a buffalo on the plains. I think she and Mr. HAWED [HAWES] are buried in San Francisco.

He was considered the smartest lawyer in the West. He was quite wealthy. Gave a great deal to the Catholics. Aunt Dolly gambled in stocks and let sharpers cheat her and when she died she had nothing, but Horace's widow and the daughter had their share.

Tour Aunt Mattie's granddaughter, Roy's daughter is to be married the evening of the 22nd. Of Feb. A fashionable wedding and a reception at a big Hotel. I hope you can read what I have written and excuse the blots. I cannot write.

There is one in the Eastern Art Galleries, a very fine oil painting of General WOLF dyin in the arms of Surgeon HINDE, at the Battle of Quebec during the War between the British and the French. Surgeon HINDE was the father of our great grandfather Combs wife. I do not know where any of the HINDE relatives now are. There was a large family in Saline Co., Mo. Pa took Ma and me to see Uncle Fill Combs family who were then living there, before he brought us to California and we went one day to see great Uncle Himmis HINDE'S family. There were two beautiful blonde girls (Molly and Syd) and when we lived at Redwood City Uncle Jimmie HINDE came out to Aunt Dolly's. My memory of it all is dim and when we lived in Lake Co. there was a Willis HINDE there for a while, I do not know what became of him. I do not know on which side of the Combs family the KAVANAUGHS belong.

Cousin Ben KAVANAUGH performed the marriage ceremony for my father and mother. Bishop KAVANAUGH with his wife visited us when we lived in Lake Co., at that time he was eighty four, he was well preserved and active. Had a wavy head of brown hair. I have cousin Herbert KAVANAUGH'S and his wife's pictures also one of cousin Ben.

I had a lovely auto ride this morning, everything was lovely. We came along a foothill road, there were lovely homes, orange trees loaded with golden fruit, hedge rows of pink Cherikee roses blooming, below them a bank of lavender lautania one solid wall of blossoms, then an uncultivated space where the wild monkey flowers were beginning to bloom, everything is green and shining and in the distance the higher mountains snow capped.

Now, like Mrs. FISHER (Cousin Kitty EVANS) will you do me a favor, will you when you type the Combs Genealogy, send me a copy? I will be glad to again hear from you. You need not wait to hear from all the address I have sent you. The Combs' are long lived but my mothers family were not and I have already accumulated a good many years. With love and best wishes and hoping we may at some time not very distant day meet and have the pleasure of knowing each other. I get awfully lonesome and blue some times, not having any one very near to me or to care for me.

Sincerely your Cousin
Belle Combs.
311 S. California Ave.,
Monrovia, Cal.

P. S. I remember having heard the cousins Sallie REDMAN and Sallie PATE spoken of but I do not know the connection.

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[4] Copy of letter written by Catherine FISHER who was Kitty EVANS of Arapho, Okla. About 1910. Written to Aunt Sarah Combs, (Uncle Ennis's wife)

Mrs. Sarah Combs,

Dear Sarah, Mollie has sent her letter to me to enclose mine, also she has told you the reason we did not answer sooner. Oh! Sarah it has been so hard to give up the dear boy it was all so sudden. Taken down seemingly in the best of health. We know he is better off but Oh! the heart aches and broken homes for Grandma's has always been home to them, I know I have not much longer to remain here. I Know that I will meet him with other loved ones gone before. If it was not for the hopes we have of meeting our loved ones on the other shore we would not bear lifes partings. I want to thank you for Ennis' picture and think you might have sent yours. I have written all I can think about Ennis' ancestors, Ennis' grandfather had brothers in the Revolutionary War. But I do not know which ones. I do not know all of their names. I hope you can understand it, as I have made it as plain as I can in writing, Now Sarah I have a request to make of you will you please send me Aunt Sallie's Sugar tongs, it is not for the value I want them I want them as a relic of my ancestors. I have told you Ennis' great grandmother was a Miss BULLET and she lived to be very old. A widow many many years and was very wealthy and when she died she left all her Granddaughters $80.00 and the silver spoons you have of Aunts was bought with that money. So you know I would prize it very much if you are will to spare it, if not is alright.

Give our love to Ennis Belle and yourself,
Yours sincerely,
Catherine FISHER

Note written on letter by Belle Combs " There are no sugar tongs that were Aunt Sallie EVANS'. Ma's Uncle Wm. WADDELL gave Ma $100.00 worth of flat silver when she married Pa. We know nothing about Aunt Sallie's silver. Pa's mother was Miss Mary Sydnor HINDE of Ky. Sallie Combs married Silas EVANS, her cousin. They raised my father whose mother died when he was three weeks old." Belle Combs.

The following is the information sent by Mrs. FISHER to Aunt Sarah. The EVANS are Welch, Combs English. Ennis Combs Grandfather's name was Cuthbert Combs also his great Grandfather was named Cuthbert.* And his grandmother was Sallie EVANS my Grandfathers sister, and his great grandmother was Cytha BULLET, she was first cousin to President HARRISON and lots of other kin in Virginia that I can, not tell you of in so small a space. Ennis' Uncles was named Benjamin, Joseph, John, Cuthbert, Fielding:. Ennis (his father) and his aunts was Betsy EDWARDS, Molly EVANS, Sallie EVANS, Nancy PAYNE, Cytha PAYNE and Susan HICKMAN, That was all of that family, Ennis' grandfather had several brothers I know the names of some of them John, Fielding, Bill, Leslie, Benjamine and two daughters Cytha BLANTON and Betsy CALMES, she had no children (Betsy CALMES). Aunt BLANTON. I think had four daughters and one son, Harrison BLANTON lived in Frankfort [Franklin Co], Ky. I have just read your letter that Mollie has sent me you wanted to know if I know of any David Combs, I have heard of one of that name. I can not place him but can assure you he is not the head of our. family, some distant relative probably. I have given you a correct statement of the Gen. of the Combs family. I will inquire of Mrs. WALKER if any of her uncles were in the Rev. War. Her father and his brother and some of Ennis' own uncles were in the War of 1812. Ennis Grandfather that married Miss BULLETT was the one that came from England and I don't know how many of his family came to America.

Ed Notes: The father of Cuthbert & Sarah "Sally" EVANS Combs was not another Cuthbert, but John Combs, wife of Seth BULLITT.

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[5] Copy of letter written by T. E. ANDERSON to Aunt Sarah Combs.

Lexington, Mo. Apr. 8, 1910. Mrs. Sarah Combs,
Monrovia [Los Angeles Co.], Calif.
Dear Cousins:
Your card that you addressed to my wife, we received. sometime since and answered it at once, as you failed to tell us where to direct we made out by the post mark that we should direct to Mt. Wilson. This letter was returned so I got the right address from Cousin Tom CALLAWAY but being very busy and having to make several trips to Wellsville I defered writing again until tonight I received your letter which reminded me again of my duty. Well I hope that the list I send you shed some light and help you in tracing your relation. And we would be very much please to get the names of your relation. I married Mar[y] E. Combs of Monroe Co., Mo., her father's name was Thaddeus W. Combs, his father's name was 'William Leslie Combs.

Now on another page I will write a list of the relation and their intermarriage and it may help you trace the relationship much better if any exist.

Well, it is getting late and I will have to bring my letter to a close.

Hoping this may find you enjoying the best of health, and should you ever come to Mo., myself and family would be glad to have you visit us, If you answer this letter you can direct to T. E. ANDERSON, Lexington [Lafayette Co] Mo., as I have not yet brought my family here by directin a 'Letter to my wife I might fail to get it. The last time I was at home Mrs. ANDERSON told me not to fail to answer your card as I had the letter with me that we returned from Mt. Wilson. Your Cousin Ellen is 76 years old and was to see us when I was at home about a week ago. Father died about 14 years ago. I was out to Cousin Emma WORTZ sometime since and was at your brother Jim's last Sunday.

All are well at present. I have located here to work at my trade and finish educating my daughter and son who will move here after school closed in Wellsville. If wife was here she would join me in love to my old cousin but I had as well say she does anyway, so please accept our best wishes and kndly remember us to your family.

Very truly your Cousin,

My wifes Great grand fathers name was John Combs and when young, lived in Stafford Co. Virginia then moved to Lexington [Fayette Co], Ky. and married his own cousin. He had three brothers, William, Leslie and Fielding. John Combs family consisted of he and his wife, who was his own cousin, six sons and two daughters and their names were as follows, Marcus, Samuel, James, Leslie, Davis, Glenmore, Caroline, Mary. All them lived near Lexington and Winchester [Clark Co], Ky. My wife's grandfather's name was Leslie who married his own cousin a daughter of William Combs. My Wife's grandfather had five sons and three daughters as follows, Elizabeth, Margrett and Sarah, Thaddeus, John, Pembro, Oscar, Jacob. My wife's father was Thaddeus Combs came to Mo. with his father Leslie from Clark, Co. Ky. and settled in Johnson Co., Mo. afterward moved to Monroe Co., Mo. and there married, his cousin Manervia WILSON, whose mother was also a Combs. They had one son Will Leslie, daughters only two my wife Mary E. and Dora F. Dora married William STERRETT of Monroe Co. Now my wife's grandfather told me he had a cousin Ennis also cousin Cuthber and a Mary.

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[6] Copy of letter written to Aunt Sarah Combs by Mary REINHARD daughter of Kitty FISHER who wrote the letter and information on preceeding pages.

Arapoho, Okla. May 10, ----
Mrs. Ennis Combs;

Dear Friend: 1 intended writing to you ere this and thank you for the nice lot of plants and slips most all of them are rooted and growing nicely; but the fucia's I never could root them. I appreciate them much more than If I had bought them. I have been house cleaning and I had lots of dirt although it was Feb. when we got settled here but there is so much wind and dust it is impossible to keep clean and we have had no rain to amount to anything but once since I come, here the first of last November there was a good rain about the last of Nov. and there has only been a very few little showers since, the ground can stand lots of drouth; but last week it was too dry to work there has been hundreds of acres of corn planted and cut off twice by the cold and we had about one inch of rain night before last and, now replanting is the order of the day. Horace is very busy his potatoes was cut off 4 times but are coming again he is about as tall as Grant, but slim; and has big burden for his 19 years to bear. Mr. REINHARD is still not able to do anything, his hand is stiff from the rheumatism but the Dr. is trying to limber it up but it is very slow yielding to treatment. We bought a school lease of 480 acres and cows thinking the boys could manage it and make enough to buy them both a home it is fine land.; but since the Father has taken Mercer my darling baby to a home in Heaven; we are sorry we did not buy a home, and we are not sure whether we will keep or sell this. It is 61/2 miles to town and Ma's (she lives in town) and 5 miles to Grants and lots of hills to climb. Grant and Ma have nice places. I have had so much to bear since I come here I don't care for anything, but don't suppose I would feel any better any other place. We are not on a mail route and only have one neighbor so that makes it lonely.

I will answer you questions and hope you will get them all straightened out, your Ennis' Grandfather and Great Grandfather was both named Cuthbert Combs and the Great Grand father was from England. His own Uncles Fielding, John, Cud or Cuthbert, Joe, Ben Bullett (he was Ma's Grandfather) and Ennis (your Ennis' father) that was six brothers and six Aunts, Aunt Sallie that raised Ennis, Betty, Molly, Nancy, Cytha, Susan Combs and the aunts married names are Sallie EVANS, Betsy EDWARDS, Molly EVANS, Nancy PAYNE, Cytha PAYNE, Susan HICKMAN, six sons and six daughters one Ennis' father and one Ma's grandfather. I hope you are all well. Ma is not at all well now.
With love to you all I am ever
your true friend,

Ma says it is all stuff about Gen. Leslie Father being a French Marquise, she says Marcus or Mack is a family name. But the Combs' was from England. She says Betsy CALMES and Cytha BLANTON were Great Aunts to your Ennis. That makes them sisters of Cuthbert Combs of Clark Co. I never could get the thing straightened out. ?Baus? it was the Lasniare river that Cytha PAYNE and her husband was drowned in. Says Mrs. WALKERS Uncle Samuel Combs was killed in Winchester [Clark Co, KY, 1833] when she was little child and so far as she knows the rest is correct.

She thinks the family on the street from Wellsvill [Montgomery Co], Mo. is the one that Grand ma called Jack, while they were kin she did not know them personally. There is a Marcus Combs in Arapaho [Custer Co, OK] but I don' t know anything about him have never seen him he is a black smith and of cou[r]se if he is the same family, it is way off kin so I don't care to hunt it up. Ma says the English Cuthbert that came to Va. was quite a grand old style gentleman with short breeches and knee buckles and very rich and grand but not a saint when wine flowed to free. Leslie Combs married only twice.

Ed Notes: Again, no evidence has been found of an early Cuthbert Combs in VA. John Combs, Sr., h/o Seth BULLITT, is thoroughly documented as the s/o Joseph (not Cuthbert) Combs I of Stafford Co, VA. In fact, the various Marcus a.k.a. Mack Combs were probably originally Marquis, but not due to a title, but after Marquis CALMES, h/o Betty Combs, d/o John & Seth BULLITT Combs (See also next)

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[7] Copy of letter written by Margaret Leslie [Combs] Walker of Lexington [Lafayette Co], Mo. to Aunt Sarah Combs.

Lexington Mo. April, 17, 1909.
My dear Mrs. Combs:

Your kind letter of enquiry regarding the Combs family was received yesterday. I with pleasure will give you the desired information as far as I know. My sister who is ten years older than me possibly could tell you more. She resides in Ky., and I will send your letter to her if she tells anything regarding our ancestors of any importance I will certainly let you hear from me, My father was always called since my earliest recollection Gen'l Leslie Combs. He was a captain in the War of 1812, called the "boy captain". I have a very entertaing [entertaining] account given to me by Mrs. FISHER published in a Sunday school paper, which came to the church they attended before leaving here, while living a few miles from this town. I will copy some parts that will be inter-esting to all of you. There is a minister living in Kansas City of the Christian denomination, named Combs, but I do not know whether he is a relative. Your cousin may have married a relative, as my father had several brothers, as follows, Fielding, who lived near or in Hannibal [present-day Marion Co], Mo., many years ago, he had quite a family of children, though I have never met any of them. When I was a child, two cousins of or ours Elizabeth and Clay PRICE, brother and sister visited at my fathers. I believe my sister (who resided in Kv [KY]) either visited or lived there for a while many years ago and doubtless she knew Uncle Fieldin's children. I will ask her and she may tell us something about them. My father had a brother called William, he married, and had children in Ky., another brother was named Samuel. I don't know of any more. My great great grand father on my father's side was a French Marquis, he came to this land and married having a number of sons and daughters. I had the names and sent them to Ky. for a cousin to see and they were lost either in the mail or in some way. I do not know anything about David Combs. My grandfather was a Captain in the Revolutionary War, and the inscription on his tombstone is very distinct as follows, near Winchester [Clark Co] Ky. at present, "Capt. Benjamin Combs aged 89 yrs. died De. 1838, A Revolutionary Officer and a hunter of Ky." For his wife "This stone is erected in gratitude for her Motherly love in infancey and particular attention to the subsequent education of her youngest son Leslie Combs,"( My father) She died aged 66 years, Nov. 1816. I expect father had this inscription put on and erected the stone to their memory. Of course I am eligible to become a Daughter of the Revolution but I do not care to, my great niece living in Kansas City has become a member of the Society there and went to Washington City [D. C.] at the Annual reunion, had a very enjoyable visit. In 1813 Gen'l Wm. Henry HARRISON was "fighting the British and their Indian Allies in Ohio. He was promised reinforcements, and my father a lad scarcely nineteen volunteered to take the message to him, a very dangerous service, and young as he was, he already had won a Captain's commission and carried a message through the perilous maces of the great black swamp a hundred miles on foot through the snow and wilderness. His father a Virginian, had been an officer in the Revolution and Leslie the youngest of twelve children, had enlisted in 1812 when barely 18. Now he begged for this mission. He said, "If you will furnish me a good canoe, I will carry your dispatch to Gen'l HARRISON and return with his orders,"

I want only four or five volunteers from my own company and one of my Indian guides to accompany me." Rain was falling, the night was pitch dark, and Black Fish the guide steered the little canoe. I have copied a little and those brave men never reached Gen'l HARRISON with the dispatch. Indians shot at them, a band of savages rushed down to the water's edge and fired at them a volley of bullets. Two of the men were mortally wounded. The guide and two others took refuge in the woods, my dear father had eaten nothing for two days, but hickory buds and his feet were cut almost into ribbons but he reached a place of safety. He told the men before being attacked "We must go on boys, if we expect the honor of taking coffee with Gen'l HARRISON this morning"

My brother or half brother at least [Leslie, Jr.], is at present U. S. Minister at Peru. He sent me a picture card of his pretty home there surrounded by palm trees. I well remember my pleasant visit, at your home, and hope I may have the pleasure sometime of renewing our acquaintance. Please remember me to your family. I suppose you are pleased with your California home. I have a dear friend living in San Francisco, with whom I correspond. Am glad you wrote and am sure your daughter will be especially pleased with the little information regarding her ancestors.
Very Sincerely,
Margaret Leslie WALKER.
(Comment, While in Peru his [Leslie Jr.'s] daughter married a German and went to Berlin to live. Belle Combs.)

Ed Note: Margaret Leslie "Mag" Combs, b 19 Mar 1837 (d/o Gen. Leslie & Margaret TROTTER Combs, gd/o Benjamin & Sarah RICHARDSON Combs, ggd/o John & Seth BULLITT Combs, Sr.), m (1) 15 Oct 1855, Fayette Co, KY, Samuel H. DOWNING, after whose death, she m the Hon. William WALKER. Her half-brother, Leslie, was by her father's 2nd wife, Mary Elizabeth BROWNELL. Her sister who was ten years older than she was probably Mary Rebecca who was b abt 1826.

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[8] Unsigned, Undated Letter*

The following is unsigned but it seems to be from the sister Mrs. WALKER above speaks of.*

Benjamin Combs father of General Leslie Combs was a French Marquise and came to America, was Revolutionary soldier and an Indian fighter. He had twelve children. I think Leslie was the youngest. Leslie had a brother Fielding that lived near Hannibal [Marion Co], Mo. William and Samuel lived in Ky. a sister Margaret [d/o Gen. Leslie Combs] that married Sam DOWNING, he died she married Judge William WALKER, of Lexington Mo., lived on South St., a sister married a Colonel WARNER, both lived near Dover [present-day Lafayette or Lewis Cos?] Mo. Leslie the youngest is Consul to Peru, lives at Lima. These are all the children that I have any knowledge of. Gen'l Leslie may have others. Dr. Ennis Combs' G. grandfather was Cuthbert Combs from England, Dr. Ennis Combs' father was Cuthbert of Clark Co., Ky. His children were Fielding, John, Cuthbert, Joe, Ben Bullett, and Ennis, six brother, six sisters, Sally EVANS, Betsy EDWARDS, Molly EVANS, Nancy PAYNE, Cytha PAYNE, Susan HICKMAN. Cytha PAYNE and husband were drowned South Grand Osage river in Mo.---John, Bill, Fielding, Benjamine ,Leslie, two girls Betsy CAMES [CALMES], Cytha BLANTON, don't know who the parents were. (In another hand writing is this "sister and brothers of Cuth of Clark Co.") Dr, Ennis Combs had ten children, Edward, Silas Fielding, Cuthbert, James Ennis, Sarah, Mary, Caroline (Dolly) Susan.

Edward married a BUTLER, Silas a PREWITT of Clark Co. Ky. Fielding a CARTHREE. Cuthbert a SHORTREDGE, James a MARSHALL of Lexington Ky. Ennis a CALLAWAY of Lexington, Mo. Ennis 3rd. son of Dr, Edward Combs lives near Winchester [Clark Co] Ky. The other brothers, Silas, Fill, Cud, Jim, Ennis all live in Calif. Woodson Combs son of Silas lives in Vernon Co. [MO], Bob his brother lives Independence Mo.

Comment: This last information about the brothers is not correct. Silas Combs, my grandfather, went to Calif. on an immigrant train in 1876, some of his came back to Mo., the same year, he and the rest of the family only stayed two years. He died in Vernon Co., Mo., in 1891. I'm pretty sure that Uncle Ed and Uncle Jim, my great uncles went back to Ky. Will know for sure soon. Edna STRAIN.

Ed Notes: Clearly the above letter is not from a sister of Margaret Leslie "Mag" Combs Walker since the author writes: "a sister Margaret [d/o Gen. Leslie Combs] that married Sam DOWNING, he died she married Judge William WALKER, of Lexington Mo., lived on South St., a sister married a Colonel WARNER, both lived near Dover [present-day Lafayette or Lewis Cos?] Mo. Leslie the youngest is Consul to Peru, lives at Lima. These are all the children that I have any knowledge of. Gen'l Leslie may have others." Obviously, Mag's sister would know the names of her own siblings, thus the author remains unidentified until one of our Combs Super Sleuths solves this mystery. <g>

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[9] List of address sent to me by Belle Combs,

Dr. (Dentist) James Combs. do not know if a live. Visalia, Tulare Co., Calif. Bor. [brothers] And sisters all dead. son of Dr. Fielding Combs.

Fanny Combs, Mrs. R. R. CADWELL, next to the youngest daughter of Dr. Cud (Cuthbert) Combs, her daughter Frances married Dr. W. F. CHAMILEE. Son R. R. CADWELL, Jr. address 1508 N. Kamrah St. Hanford, Tulare Co., Calif.

Mattie Combs Jones, youngest daughter of Silas Combs. Address of Dr. Roy Vernon JONES, Suite 805 Bank of America Bldg. San Diego, Calif.

Bessie Combs, daughter of James Combs, Lakeport, Lake Co, Calif.

Old address of Carolina HAWES Robinson daughter of Caroline Combs Hawes, Hooper Tract, Redwood City., Calif, daughter, Mrs. J. W. GOODWIN, Redwood City, Son Porter ROBINSON.

Horace HAWED [HAWES] died a very young man. Had married left a small dau., and a son born later. Widow married a SHREADER. Think son died small. The daughter, whose picture sent, married a young Episcopal minister ( have forgotten name) I think they had two children. She left him. Have heard nothing in years.

Belle Combs, daughter of Ennis Combs and Sarah Waddell CALLAWAY. They had four children, Belle being a twin, the boy died, Annie died when about two and Willie, a baby. Address, 311S. Calif. Ave., Monrovia [Los Angeles Co], Calif.

I think Fanny CADWELL could tell you of a good many of the relatives. She writes to me about once a year and nicely remembers me at Xmas.

I have a cabinet sized photo of grandpa, your great grandfather, a small picture of your own Uncle Ennis and one of Dolly. I have one of Dr. Fielding Combs. I would send you the three last if you would care to have them and later perhaps you could have the one of Grandfather, Dr. Ennis Combs.

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[10] Copy of Letter Written by Silas E. Combs to His Daughter Sue

Lakeport [Lake Co, CA], April 26, 1877

Dear Sue:

As I have not written to you since you have changed your name [married] I will write you a short letter. We are all well and in fine spirits about our crops, they are very fine, we will make lots of money this time if nothing happens to our crops. I will make 2000 bushels of wheat and about 800 of barley and oats and 25 tons of hay. We will have an almost failure in the fruit line especially in apples. Your ma has a great many young chickens, she has had bad luck with her turkeys.

Ennis is over at Cloverdale [Shasta or Sonoma Co, CA] as Stage Agent for Horace HAWES. He gets sixty five dollars per month. Sallie will go over next week. I am glad Ennis is in business. Bob is still going to school and I hope doing well. Dollie and Mattie are going to Mr. WOODS, they are well pleased with him. Fannie is going to the Odd Fellows Barbecue to day. They are going to have a gay time. Your Aunt Dollie was to see us a few days ago. Your Uncle Fil has bought McCOLE'S Drug Store. His family will be out in June.

Annie arrived a few days ago. Old Uncle Jim HINDE is still with us. Kin folks are getting very thick in this part of the country. Think of it all of my brothers here but one. Tell Dote I will write her before many days. This is the first I have written for two months and this is all the paper I have. You and Dote must let us hear from you often.

Love to you all,
Your Pa.
(The Dote he speaks of is Aunt Dote, Mrs. J. Q. THOMSON) E. S.

This was included in the letters----

THIS IS TO CERTIFY that the bearer hereof, Bro. Silas E. Combs and his wife Sister Martha J. and their daughter Susan M. Combs, are acceptable members of the M. E. Church South, at Index, in the bounds of the Index Circuit South West Mo. Annual Conference and they are heartily commended to the care of the Church among whom their lot may be cast.
Sept. 5, 1875 R. H. SHUIFFER, P. C.

Ed Notes: Silas Evans Combs, s/o Evan Ennis and Mary Snyder HINDE Combs, m Martha PREWITT, 22 May 1821, Montgomery Co KY

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[11] R. L. Combs Letter, 1878

Lakeport [Lake Co] Calif., Feb. 12, 1878
My Dear Sister:

I received your letter this evening, I was glad to hear from you and that Dollie was getting well. It looks like I can never say any more. We are all well at this time and doing well you stated that Molly EDMONDS was pining away tell her to get fat again for if Pa does not come to Cal [California] I am coming back next summer and will be glad to meet her in good health and fat. Sue you asked me where I stayed at. I stay at Uncle Fil's. I hope Pa will move to Vernon [Co, MO] to live. I do not think Ma could live in Cal happy without the rest of the family and you know that is impossible, therefore Pa had better remain in Missouri. For myself I would much rather he remain in Missouri. I liked Vernon splendid while I stayed there.

Bill worked at Queen's Hotel. Jim is still with Aunt Dollie. Sue you asked me how Uncle Fil's family was satisfied, they like the country very much so far.

Tell Joshua I will write to him soon. Tell Mr. and Mrs. HIGHTOWER I expect I will be in Missouri before next fall. But understand that I am not dissatisfied yet. When I get dissatisfied I will not be ashamed to let known. Sue you must ???? me a week and I will answer all your letters as soon as I get them. [AM: this could read "you must write to me once a week"] I received a letter from Mr. THOMSON and Dote a few days ago and have not answered yet. Will soon. All the kin are well as far as I know. Give my best regards to all of Mr. HIGHTOWER'S family. Now write to me soon.

Goodby, Love to Mollie EDMONDS.

Your affectionate Bro.
R. L. Combs.

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[12] Martha J. PREWITT Combs Letter, 1977

Lakeport [Lake Co] Cal., June 26, 1877

Dear Mrs. JONES

I received your most welcome letter two or three days ago and was very glad to hear from you but very sorry to hear that you was sick. I would like to be back there. All the family are tolerable well but me. I am not so well. Harvesting time is near at hand. We will have a pretty good crop. I am not having very good luck with the turkeys and chickens this year. What has become of Mrs. WHITNEY and I hope Mrs. ADAMS will come to see you while you are sick. I would like to be there I don't like to live here very much. I think it would be better for you to have a room downstairs.

Have you heard from Mother lately? We can't hear from any of them. We have written to Nelson and Bob and haven't heard a word from them. I think very hard that Mother can't be taken good care of in her old days. I am very sorry I ever left her. I hope you and Mother both will live till I come back. My health is very poor now and if it don't get any better I am coming back this fall and if it improves any will stay until next fall so as we make something. Jim has been home and he was very glad to see us all. He spoke of you all back there. Said he would like to see you all but not worse than we do. Bill says tell you that he will write you in a few days. He seems to be well satisfied. I wish you could hear Bill play on the fiddle. I will send you Jim's picture. I bring my letter to a close with much love to you all. You must write as soon as you receive this for I want to hear from you. I want to see you all very bad. I want to see the children back there so bad especially Woodson. I was so glad that Ed has gotten better. Ennis is getting along tolerable well. Love to all.
From Martha J. Combs.
(this letter was written by Grandma Combs [Martha J. PREWITT Combs], to Mrs. JONES the woman that was with her for 24 years, took care of all the children.) E. S.

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[13] Excerpt from Ennis Combs Letter, ca 1875


I will now give a description of the emigrants, Five cars of us each containing 60 persons, two of them are going to California.

I saw three buffalo at 12 o'clock also deer, elk, antelope and prarie dogs. I haven't saw no timber since we left Omaha. We are now in Black Hills and are going like lightening. Will reach Schyanne [Cheyenne, WY] this evening. I can look up and see the wild animals running off from the track. Everything seems to look natural to Ed. I got acquainted with one of the prettiest young ladies I ever saw in my life on the car, she says her father is very wealthy and she is on her way to Cal. I have already got the worth of my $57.00. This is the prettiest country I beheld. We have just eat dinner and feel bully. My nose has bleed about three times. I don't know how I will come out in the mountains. Kansas City is nice (bridge) thing to be at Omaha Bridge is longer one, but not half so fine. We are going so fast that I can't tell what I am writing, I have seen some few Indians. Woodson looks astonished at every strange thing he sees. I let on to everybody as I thought it an old thing with me.

I hear an old man say "that the young man was a smart fellow" I did not let on as though I heard at all. I will make that appearance all the way through if I can. You know I can do that. We are now about 900 miles from Cass Co., Mo. The train is standing still. The boys are all off looking at the wonderful things. There is some person on from all of the Eastern states and green as you ever heard of. I think some the frost will bite some of them, if the frost don't then they will their necks break running from one car to another.

Bob, Jim and Bill nearly go crazy. I will quit and walk around awhile. I have been sitting still for some time.
Ennis Combs.
(the Bill and Jim spoken of in this and the other letters are the Negro boys, Grandpa raised and took to Calif.) E. S.

[14] Dosha Combs Thompson Letter to Caroline "Dolly" Combs Hawes, 1882

Walker [Vernon Co], Mo. July 29, 1882.

My dear Sister Dollie:

I am anxious to know when you expect to come to go to the Springs. I was down there on the 4th. of this month also on the 20th. and am going to stay a week or ten days as soon as Mr. THOMSON gets through haying. I was at the "Big" show at Nevada on the 22nd. there were about 8000 people there and 'twas a splendid show, and on the 27th. I attended a prohibition picnic two miles south of Walker. I enjoyed it very much. Lizzie S and Tapha went with us to the last picnic.

Now Dollie the saddest news of all I will have to write is that old Mrs. HIGHTOWER is very low not expected to live long liable to die at any hour. She has been bedfast two weeks. I have been to see her several times stayed all night twice and would have gone oftener but have Ennis and Dixie both to take care of while Mrs. HIGHTOWER is so sick. Emma and Susan HOWARD were there with all their children also Mrs. WRIGHT with hers part of the time so I thought it best to bring Ennis and Dixie away. They are splendid children away from Sue and Joshua. Tell Mattie that Dixie is a great deal better now than when she had over here last. He is just as good as any bodys boy. Tis just old age and a general give away of the system that is the matter with Mrs. HIGHTOWER.

Mrs. HAYNES little boy 4 yr. old died day before yesterday of congestion of the brain. Charlie DAVIS is at the point of death with chronic diareah.

Sam LINLEY was thrown from his horse a few days ago and had one of his arms dislocated but tis about well now. Maggie GORDON has a fine girl baby three weeks old.

Dollie blackberry time is about over I have canned thirty quarts made 4 gallons of jam some jelly and cordial. I now have a good many nice plums ready for use. We have plenty of peaches and apples for home use at present. Why don't you come down but don't scold me when you come because I opened your canned peaches a few days ago and they were perfectly splendid. I did so much wish you could have seen them they looked a thied larger to me than when you put them up. I will can you something else in their place. we received a letter from Lucy a few days ago they were all well.

Georgie YOUNG and Dr. SMITY from near Glenwood school house were married about two weeks ago. Uncle Bob has been down several days he will stay with us tonight. Mr. THOMSON has gone to look at Uncle Bob's cattle this evening with the view of buying them. We have just had a splendid rain that stopped the hay business today. Dollie write us word when you are coming and we will meet you at Nevada. This letter is very badly written. I have the neuralgia I have had it every day for the last two weeks and am always very nervous in the afternoon. Love to all write.


(This was written by Dosha Combs Thomson to her sister Caroline "Dollie")

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Important: Although the above has been partially footnoted, all additions/corrections to this collection have not yet been made. See also the Combs Research List Archives or email your query to the Combs Research List at:

To Combs Manuscripts, Etc.

and Harold Glenn, Anne B. Musser.