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Important! We are in the midst of major changes to this Tonoloways Settlement Research Report (and others relating to this Coombs Family), and beg your indulgence pending completion of these Reports (currently more on the order of “work sheets”.

NOTE: DNA testing confirms links to Tonoloways Fort with the lines of Andrew, Samuel, Joseph, Edward and John. Denman Coombs and John Newton Coombs of Boone Co, IN are also linked but their pathway is not yet known. Additional lines of William COMBS of VA and Perry Co, OH; John Joseph COMBS of Hampshire Co, WV; Harvey COOMBES of TX and Douglas Co, WV have been established as related to the Tonoloways COOMBS, however the branches are to be determined.

The Tonoloways (a.k.a. Conolloway) Settlement is in present-day Fulton Co, PA, just across the state line from Washington Co, MD. Tonoloways was the site of numerous disputes - with both Indians and Governments, the latter due to conflicts over the state line between Maryland and Pennsylvania - a state line which Tonoloways straddled, not always successfully, as is shown below. To research the Combs of Tonoloways, it has been necessary to first become familiar with the county organizations of both Pennsylvania and Maryland:

The Tonoloways Settlement lies in present-day Fulton Co, PA, a county organized in 1850 from Bedford Co PA, which in turn was organized from Cumberland Co PA in 1771. Cumberland Co, was organized from Lancaster Co and from unorganized territory in 1750, and Lancaster from Chester Co in 1729.

On the Maryland side of the Mason-Dixon Line is Washington Co, est. from Frederick Co, in 1776. Frederick was est. from Prince Georges and from non-county area in 1748 (and gained from Baltimore Co (to its east) in 1750.

The following chart identifies the MD and PA Counties, but not to be forgotten is that in early years, the western border was the Pacific Ocean.

Chester1695Prince Georges
Lancaster1729Prince Georges

The book, History of Allegany County, MD, Thomas and Williams, 1923, provided by Combs Researchers Matt Combs and Barbara Lovera, offers the following additional source references:

Forman includes the statement:

“Historical details of the families that lived in the area during that period of time are sketchy to say the least, but it is clear that Major Edward COOMBS and his brothers, Samuel & John were living in the area, and perhaps were at one time inhabitants of Fort COOMBS, if not the original builders of it.”

The above author's source for Samuel and John as brothers of Major Edward COOMBS is unknown; howerver, based on the following records, they, along with Andrew and Joseph II, all may have been sons of Joseph COOMBS I who was in Tonoloways by late 1749 or early 1750, at which time the counties of record may have been Lancaster Co, PA and Prince George's Co, MD, although technically the land was unorganized by any colony till 1754.

1730 - 1736 According to writings by PA Governor Patrick Gordon who died in 1736, “The progress of the white population toward the west continued to alarm and irritate the Indians. The new settlers, impatient of the delays of the land office, or unable or unwilling to pay for their lands, or in search of richer soil, sought homes in districts to which the Indian title had not been extinguished. Especially was this the case with the Scotch-Irish, who had seated themselves … in the Great and Little Coves … and at the Big and Little Conolloways, … and rapidly increased, in spite of the complaints of the Indians, the Laws of the Province, or the proclamations of the Governor.” This establishes the settlement of the places above named, prior to 1736, and if, in that year (1736) the settlers had so increased as to 'alarm and irritate the Indians', it is entirely safe to say that the settlement(s) … began, certainly, as early as 1730, and probably earlier …

History of Bedford, Somerset, & Fulton Counties, PA (1884)(republ.1975) pg. 637

24 Aug. 1747 - Original Maryland Grants - 100 acres “Conoloway's Lick” granted to James Dickson

History of Western Maryland by J. Thomas Scarf (1882)

By the time of the following petition (1749-50) however; whether the Tonoloways Settlement was actually in Frederick Co, MD or Cumberland Co, PA was unresolved, and whether it was Indian land or not even a more critical issue.

Conolloway Letter of Late 1749 or Early 1750 (Source: Pennsylvania Archives, Colonial Records, vol. V; Minutes of the Provincial Council, pages 453 & 454 [indexed on The Pennsylvania State Archives Website as 353 & 354])

“ The Petition of the Settlers of the Little Cove on the Temporary Line,

“ To the Honourable Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esquires, true and absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, &ca.

“ The Petition of Subscribers, Inhabitants of small Tracts of Land situate Westward of the Kittochtinny or Blue Hills, at a place known by the Name of the Little Cove and Conolloway's Creek, humbly sheweth :

Whereas, sundry Inhabitants of the Province of Maryland (some of 'em vested with Authority) divers times within these three Years past have attempted to survey and take possession of the aforesaid Tracts, being at or near where the Temporary Line when extended will run, as we believe ; We, therefore, willing to live under the Protection of the good Constitution and Government of the Province of Pennsylvania, have hitherto prevented the various At- tempts of the People of Maryland, and have preseumed to seat our- selves and made small improvements on the said lands.

“ As we have done this purely to defend it from the People of Maryland, and not in contempt of the laws of the Province of Pennsylvania nor the Governor's Proclamation, we humbly pray that we may be permitted to live on our respective Improvements at least until the Temporary Line shall be extended.

“And your Petitioners shall pray, &ca,

mark his “JOHN 4 LLOYED,
mark his “LEVI † MOORE,

(Provided by Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, and transcribed by Combs Researcher Hannah Friedlander Combs. And as modified by Combs Researcher Thom Montgomery from Colonial Records of PA, Series Vol.5 )

15 May 1750 - Richard Peters, Secretary of the Province [of PA], set out on a mission to locate and compel immediate removal of all settlers living in the western part of PA on lands not yet owned by the Proprietary of PA. His travelling party included magistrates, justices of the peace, Indian delegates, interpreters, and local authorities. After visiting all settlements south and west of Shippensburg over to Big Cove, his report dated July 2, 1750 says “the Little Cove, and the Big and Little Conolloways being the only places remaining to be visited, as this was on the borders of Maryland, the magistrates declined going there, and departed for their homes.” … Mr. Peters further adds that “the bulk of these settlements were made during the administration of President Palmer [of PA Proprietary Gov't.]”, which lasted from May 1747 to November 1748.

History of Bedford, Somerset,& Fulton Counties, PA (1884) (republ. 1975) pg. 595

Joseph COOMBS I of Tonoloways is believed by most researchers (although not yet documented) to have been the father of the above Andrew whose birth is estimated at pre-1730 (based on his having been a minimum of 21 years of age when he signed the petition), and more likely pre-1728 (placing Joseph I's birth year at pre-1708.) New - 12 April 2010 - We now include Hannah (wife of Wm Hynes) as a daughter, Joseph is thought to have had the following five sons:

Andrew I, b pre-1728; d 1774, Loudoun Co, VA; m pre-1752, Mary (CLEMENTS?), b pre 1738, d aft 1800, probably in Loudoun Co, VA.

Samuel I, b ca 1728, d ca 1815, Nelson Co, KY; m (1) pre-1760, Mary WILKES (or CHESTNUT?), b ca 1733, d pre-1791; m (2) by 1791, Mrs. Elizabeth WILLIAMS.

Joseph II, b ca 1728, d 1803, Georges Twp., Fayette Co, PA; m pre-1754, possibly to Ann (may have had more than one marriage) who may have been a BAYLIS or a DAVENPORT.

John I, b 1730-1736, d 1801, Nelson Co, KY; m pre-1760, Alice JOLLY, b pre-1747, d aft 1801.

Edward I, b abt 1736, d Dec 1820, Nelson Co, KY; m pre-1763, Rebecca STILLWELL (d/o Elias and Meriam EDDY Stillwell), b abt 1744, d 25 Dec 1836, Nelson Co, KY.

Hannah, wife of Wm Hynes (Source: 28 Jan 1818 Nelson Co., KY Loose Papers. “Deposition of Edward COOMBES …as evidence in a Suit in Chancery now pending in the Nelson County Circuit Court Wherein John COMES complainant and Andrew HYNES Heirs and executors_____. This Deponent aged 82 years [bca 1735] and duly ___ deposaeth and sayeth That some time in the month of March 1797 he was a the House of Colonel Andrew HYNES who informed this Deponent that he had ___all his land business with his uncle John COMES…” Notes: The above deposition was by Major Edward COOMBS I of Tonoloways (husband of Rebecca STILLWELL). His reference to “uncle John COMES” appears to indicate that Andrew HYNES' mother was sister to Major Edward and his brother, John COMBS I of Tonoloways (husband of Alice JOLLY). The complainant would thus have been John COMBS II, son of John & Alice JOLLY Combs I. See also 1809 Nelson deposition whereby Major Edward refers to his brother, John COMBS.) Hannah married secondly James Harris and they lived in Nelson Co., KY. See also the guardianships of Barnes children Nelson Co., KY dated 8 Dec 1795 and 12 Jul 1796, and also the administration bond of James Barnes October 14, 1795. See Bible Records of William and Hannah Hynes

1754 - Joseph COOMBS is threatened with eviction by John Stone HAWKINS of Maryland, from whom he is renting his land near Ralf MATSON ….… MATSON (see 1756 Indian attack below) is charged with being a go-between.

(Source Needed)

24-25 May 1754 Frederick Co, MD Records. Indenture. James DICKSON to Andrew COOMBS, both of Frederick Co, MD, tract named “… Conaloway Lick … Beginning at a Bounded white oak Standing on the West Side of Little Conolaway Creek being a drauft of Potomack River about two miles from the Mouth of said Creek…” s/James DICKSON, before Thomas PRATHER, Jos. WOOD, James DICKSON ack. receipt.

(Corrected abstraction by Combs Researcher Thom Montgomery from copy of original)

Notes: Presumably, this is the same Andrew COMBS whose name appears on the 1749-50 petition. See also 1760 below re Andrew of Loudoun Co, VA selling this land.

6 July 1754 Penns purchased from the Six Nations (Indians) the lands encompassing the Tonoloways Settlement.

14 July 1755 Braddocks Army was defeated 75 miles to the west of Tonoloways. Indians threaten entire frontier, War declared by France (French & Indian War) … Yet the Tonoloways Settlers ask PA authorities for protection from Marylanders according to the following :

(Pennsylvania Archives Series 1; Vol. II, Pennsylvania Archives 1755; p. 432-433) The Pennsylvania State Archives Website

Petition to Gov. Morris from Sufferers by Maryland 1755.

Septemr 29h, 1755.

To ye honarable ROBERT HUNTER MORRIS, Esquire, Go- vernor of Pennsylvania. honered Sir, we, your humble pationers, sends you those few lines to inform you that we are very much im- posed upon by ye Sherive of Fredrick County in Meryland, in coming to take our lands from us by a Meryland Right which we have had Surveyed by Mr. William LYON, Survayar, under Mr. John Armstrong, Survayar for Cumberland County, in Pensylvania. Last Spring, one mans place, viz., Richard Abbett, ye Sd Sherive, Peter BUTLER, has got Survayed, by bringing a Captain and a parsal of Soldiers to gard him while he was so doing, and has Gone to farder strengthen him self, protesting yt in two or three weeks time yt he will come and take all land from ye forke of Ta- nolaways Crick, down to ye mouth thereof Straneind, and taking of our Goods, Chatels, horses, or any thing yt he Can find for ye Levies or taxis, which he portends is due to Meryland; So yt without your honour will protect us, we belive we Shall be Ruened in a very Short time, So yt we Desier yt you will be pleased to Send up a few Lines by ye bearer thereof, what way or maner we Shall proseed in ye afare which is ye humble desier of we, your humble patisioners.

William Linn
Elias Stillneell
Wm. Hynes
Richard Abbett
Samuel Coombes
Christr Abbett
Joseph Coombe
William Clinkerbard
John Coombe
Isarael Hynes
John Linn
James Lowder
John McChiney
James Mitchel
Samuel Crown
Joseph Coombe,

and many others might be had but notis can't be givon.

Post. Thos. STODARD, Captain of a fort yt is lately areced with in four miles of Wiliam LINNS, is Going by Governor SHARPS or- ders to run, ye proven line ye 6th of Actor next Ensuing.


Samuel Hicks, Moses Hicks.


Petition Inhabitants of Little Cove and Tonolloways.
reced 6 8ber, 1755

(Provided by Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, and transcribed by Combs Researcher Hannah Friedlander Combs)


  1. By petitioning for PA 'protection' from Marylanders, Joseph Coombs is avoiding paying rent owed to his Maryland landlord.
  2. A second Joseph Combs is in this record, along with a new Samuel and John, while Andrew is now missing;( because he now owned land deeded in MARYLAND?).
  3. It is noted that within the above two petitions, Andrew & Samuel spell their last name with an “s” and the others do not.
  4. As it turned out, 'which government' disputes were the least of the problems of the Tonoloways Settlers as is seen by the following records.

1 Nov. 1755 A party of about one hundred Indians (Shawnees & Delawares) entered the Great Cove and began murdering the defenseless inhabitants and destroying their property.The savages divided into two parties, one of which attacked the inhabitants of the Cove, and the other swept down upon the Conolloways. All the settlers who had warning of the approach of the savages fled. Many thus saved their lives, and going into the neighboring settlements, gave the alarm to the inhabitants … On November 14 (1755) Sheriff Potter made the following statement to Provincial authorities in Philadelphia “Twenty seven plantations were burnt and a great quantity of cattle killed. A woman ninety three years of age was found lying killed, with her breast torn off and a stake run through her body. Of ninety three families which were settled in the two Coves and the Conolloways, forty seven were either killed or taken and the rest had deserted.”

History of Bedford, Somerset & Fulton Counties, PA (1884)

The next attack :

28 Jan. 1756 According to the Pennsylvania Gazette of Feb. 12, 1756 … On Jan 28th 1756 “they killed and scalped James Leaton. Catherine STILLWELL and one of her children were killed and scalped, and two others carried off; one about eight, the other three years old. Her husband was at a neighbors house when his wife was attacked, and from thence got into Coom's fort. Elias STILLWELL had seven horses and a mare carried off, one cow killed and one burnt. John McKenny's house was burnt, with all his household goods and clothing, and what remained of three beeves and seven fat hogs; he had likewise three cows killed and three calves burnt in Samuel Eaton's barn. Samuel Hicks had eleven cattle and a valuable mare killed. Richard Malone's house and barn were burnt and two of his cattle killed; and a house was burnt that belonged to one Hicks, who had been murdered some time ago. The tracks of seven Indians and of a child, supposed to be Mr. Stillwell's, with those of the horses they carried off,were seen in a cornfield, and they seemed to be going towards Aughwick.”

History of Bedford, Somerset & Fulton Counties, PA (1884)

The following similar version of this same attack is taken from the Stillwell Family Genealogy - Descendants of Richard Elias Stillwell …… “Richard Elias Stillwell lived along the Tonoloway Creek at a spot called 'The Narrows' near Warfordsburg, PA … On the night of 28 Jan. 1756 Richard Elias Stillwell's hearth fire went out in his cabin. Not wishing to try and light it with flint and steel, he went to the home of William Linn before daybreak the next morning to obtain some coals to re-start his fire. The custom was to carry coals covered with ashes. It was three miles to the Linn cabin and while he was gone a war party of savages struck the community without warning. Richard Elias Stillwell's wife, along with his eldest daughter, was killed and scalped. Two younger girls ages eight and three were carried off and never heard from again. Another settler, James Leaton was also killed and scalped. The rest of the community escaped to the Combe's Fort just south of Warfordsburg, PA. This fort was likely named for Joseph and Andrew Coombe who built a blockhouse near an Indian burial ground.”

And then the following report of probably another attack :

29 Feb. 1756 As published by the Maryland Gazette on Mar. 11, 1756 a letter dated Feb. 29, 1756 by Isaac BAKER from Conococheague wrote “… On our march to Toonoloways, about five miles this side of STODDERT'S Fort, we found John MEYERS' house in flames and 9 or 10 head of large cattle killed, besides calves and several horses and sheep. About three miles and a half further up the road, we found a man (one HYNES) killed and scalped, with one arm cut off and several arrows sticking in him; we could not bury him, having no tools with us for that purpose. Half a mile further (within a mile of Stoddert's Fort) we found Ralf MATSON'S house burnt down, and several sheep and hogs killed. When we came to STODDERT'S Fort, we found them all under arms, expecting every minute to be attacked. From thence we went to COMBE'S Fort where we found a young man about 22 years of age killed and scalped; there were only four men in this Fort, two of which were unable to bear arms, but upwards of forty women and children, who were in a very poor situation, being afraid to go out of the Fort even for a drink of water. The house caught fire during the time the Indians were surrounding the Fort and would have been burnt down, but luckily there were some soap suds in the house, by which they extinguished it. The young man mentioned above was one LYNN'S son, and was sitting on the fence of the stockyard with COMBE'S son, when they discovered the Indians, upon which they ran to get into the Fort, and before they reached it LYNN'S son was shot down, and an Indian pursued the other man with a tomahawk within thirty yards of the Fort, but he luckily got into the Fort and shot the Indian. We searched the woods to see if we could discover where the Indian was buried (as they supposed him to be mortally wounded). We found in two places a great quantity of blood but could not find the body. We saw several creatures, some dead and others going about with arrows sticking in them. About a half mile on this side of Mr. KENNEYS (in little Toonoloways), we found a load of oats and a load of turnips in the road which two boys were bringing to COMBE'S and it is imagined the boys are carried off by the Indians. When we came to Mr. KENNEY'S we saw several sheep and cattle killed. From thence we went to one LOWTHER'S about two miles further where we found his grain and two calves burnt, two cows and nine or ten hogs killed, and about 150 yards from the house we found LOWTHER dead and scalped, and otherwise terribly mangled, his brains were beat out as it is supposed with his own gun broken. There was an axe, two scythes and several arrows sticking in him. From here, we returned to COMBE'S and buried the young man and left ten of our men here to assist them to secure their grain, which as soon as they have done they proposed to leave that fort and go to STODDERT'S. From hence we went to STODDERT'S FORT where we laid on Friday night and yesterday. On our way down here, we buried the man left on the road.”

History of Western Maryland by J. Thomas Scharf - 1882

Later that same year still another attack :

September 16, 1756 Pennsylvania Gazette (newspaper). Annapolis, September 2. By Letters lately received from the Frontiers, we learn, That on the 24th of August, Col. CRESAP, Capt. LASHMUTT, with a party of Militia, and an Officer, with a Detachment from Fort Frederick, in all about sixty, marched thence in Pursuit of the Indians, who lately made an Incursion into Pennsylvania, and this Province, and who have almost entirely broke up the Settlement of Conecocheague: The Party is returned without having seen an Enemy, but the following is an Extract from their Journal: “The fist Night we lay near Tonalloway, where STODDERT'S Fort was, and the next Morning went to COMBS'S Plantation, and thence through several deserted Plantations, to a Place where one RYLEY had a Fort; here we discovered the Tracks of several Indians who had gone down Great Tonallaways since the Rain fell on Sunday Night; these Tracks we followed about a Mile to a Place of one Elias STILLWELL, where we found a very large Indian Camp, which seemed to have been a Place of general Rendezvous for a considerable Time past, for there had been six fires, the Rails that enclosed the Plantation were all burnt, and a Row of Beds, near 30 Yards in Length, had been made with Flax on each side of the Fires; the Place was commodiously situation near a Spring, and the Bones, Skins etc. lying about, shewed that several Beaver and Hogs had been killed there: We found here a large Scalping Knife, an Iron Ram-Rod, a small Bag of Powder, some Bullets, and some thongs or ropes that had been just cut out of a Horse's Hide; we saw Tracks leading in and out of this Plantation but as the freshest seemed to lead towards Ray's Town, we pursued them several Miles through the Woods, but without Success: We apprehend that the Party is gone quite off, as we discovered the Tracks of seven or eight Horses among the Tracks of the Indians, and all tending Westward: While we were in Pursuit of the Indians, we found a Dutch Woman blue Apron, and suppose the Owner of it is carried away Prisoner. In the Evening we came around to one HICKS'S crossed a Branch of Big Tonallaway, and the Ridge we fell in with a Track of Indians, which was much larger and more beaten than that we made, it seemed to come from the Big Cove or Sugar Cabins, and to go towards the Rendezvous at STILLWELL'S above mentioned; as this Track seemed to have been made before the Rain, we proceeded down Licking-Creek to MILLS'S; and thence returned the same Night to Fort Frederick.”

Matt Combs from the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728 - 1783, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, CD-ROM Produced by Accessible Ancestry, Inc.

1755 thru 1757 - Andrew Combs listed as taxpayer in Frederick Co., MD for 100 acres known as Tondeloway Luck and Tonoloway Lick.

Western Maryland Genealogy by Catoctin Press, Middletown, MD Vol. 7, No. 1, Oct. 1991

Sep. 1755 - Joseph Coombs & Samuel Coombs obtain Cumberland Co., PA land. Joseph's warranted and larger acreage, Samuel's is not warranted. (See Cumberland Co, PA records)

17 Jun - 6 Nov 1760 Frederick County, Maryland Land Record Liber “F” pages 1146, 1147 & 1148. June 17, 1760. At the request of Jas DAWSON the following deed was recorded the 6th November 1760 to wit : This indenture made this seventeenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & sixty between Andrew COMBS of Louden County in the Colony of Virginia of the one part & James DAWSON of Frederick County in the Province of Maryland of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Andrew COMBS for & in consideration of the sum of seventy pounds current money of Maryland to him in hand paid or secured to be paid by the said James DAWSON, the receipt whereof he the said Andrew COOMBS doth hereby acknowledge, and thereof & of every part thereof doth acquit and discharge the said James Dawson, his heirs & assigns; hath given, granted, bargained, sold, confirmed and made over & by these presents doth give, grant, bargain, & sell, & make over unto the said James Dawson, his heirs and assigns for ever, all that tract or parcel of land called Conoloways Lick lying and being in Frederick County afsd. Beginning at a bounded white oak standing on the west side of Little Conoloway Creek being a draught of Potomack River, about two miles from the mouth of said Creek, just before the lick, and running thence south sixty eight degrees west one hundred and eight perches, then north six degrees west thirty three perches, then north forty seven degrees east fifty six perches, then north twenty two degrees west sixty perches, then north nineteen degrees east eighty six perches, then north six degrees west forty six perches, then north fifty seven degrees east forty perches, then south twenty three degrees east eighty two perches, then by a straight line to the beginning tree. Containing and now laid out for one hundred acres of land more or less, together with all & singular the houses, out houses, gardens, orchards, conveniences & advantages thereon or thereunto belonging or in any way appurtaining; to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land called Conoloway Lick & premises afsd. with the appurtenances unto him the said James DAWSON, his heirs & assigns forever, and to the only proper use & behoof of him the said James DAWSON, his heirs & assigns & to no otherine intent or purpose whatsoever, and the said Andrew COOMBS doth for himself & his heirs covenant, promise, grant & agree to & with the said James Dawson, his heirs and assigns that he the said Andrew COOMBS and his heirs, the afsd. tract of land & premises afsd. with the appurtenances unto him the said James DAWSON, his heirs and assigns forever from and against all other person or persons whatsoever claiming from by or under him or them, will well & truly warrant & defend; and the said Andrew COOMBS for himself & his heirs doth further covenant, promise, grant & agree to and with the said James DAWSON, his heirs & assigns & every of them that he the said Andrew COOMBS & his heirs shall & will from time to time and at all times hereafter at the reasonable request & at the proper costs & charges in the law of the said James DAWSON, his heirs and assigns make do suffer & execute & cause & procure to be made done suffered & executed all & every such further & other lawful acts, deeds, conveyances & assurances whatsoever for the further & better conveying and assureing the hereby bargained land & premises unto the said James DAWSON, his heirs and assigns. Be it by acknowledgement or ___olment or by any other ways or means as by his or their council spearned in the law shall be reasonably advised or required, provided such further deed or instrument of writing contain no other warrantee than is hereby already expressed. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal the day and year above written … SSigned, sealed & delivered in the presence of us … Jos WOOD … Mos CHAPLINE : Andrew COOMBS (seal)

On the back of which deed was the following indorsements to wit : June the 17, 1760 then received of James Dawson the sum of seventy pounds current current money of Maryland being the consideration money within mentioned. I say rec'd. by me … Andrew COOMBE
Witness Jos WOOD … Mos CHAPLINE

June the 17, 1760 then came before us the subscribers two of his Lordships Justices of the Peace for Fred County the within named Andrew COOMBS & acknowledged the within deed to be his act & deed and the land & premises therein mentioned to be the right & estate of the within named James DAWSON, his heirs & assigns forever according to act of Assembly in such cases late made and provided; and at the same time came Mary COOMBS wife of the within Andrew COOMBS, who being by us privately examined out of the hearing of her husband, relinquished all her right of dower to the within mentioned land & premises & acknowledged the same to to be the right & estate of the within mentioned James DAWSON, his heirs and assigns forever. Willingly & freely without being induced thereto by fear or threats or ill ways of her said husband or for fear of his displeasure … Acknowledged before … Jos WOOD … Mos CHAPLINE

6th November 1760 received from James DAWSON four shillings sterling as an alienation fine on the within mentioned one hundred acres of land by order of Edward LOYD Esq. agent of his Lordship the right honorable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland … John DARNALL
Duly paid Jno DARNALL

(Transcribed from copy of original by Combs Researcher Bob Combs who adds that only change has been capitalization of surnames)

BC Notes: Andrew COMBS d testate in 1774 in Loudoun Co, VA where both he and his brother, Samuel, were both residing by 1760. The above land was part of the Tonoloways (a.k.a. Conolloway) Settlement, and purchased by Andrew 24 May 1754 (Frederick Deeds). Also note that Joseph WOOD also signed the 1754 deed, and see Joseph CHAPLINE of 1796 Frederick records with Mary COMBS Booker (Boogher, Booher).

According to Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, as written to Combs Researcher Hannah Combs Friedlander:

“The tiny community [Tonoloways] in Pennsylvania where your family lived is most interesting. It is exactly on the state line, and was long in dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania. When Mason & Dixon surveyed, they entered into their journal a report of a visit to the home of Edward COMBS.”

“In the French and Indian War, the community suffered greatly. The COMBS Fort (the site bears a historical marker) saved many. It was under much attack.”

“The community has specific historic identity, but is often improperly identified. It lies just west of the first mountain ridge, and is on the Maryland Border. Across the state line is Hancock, Washington Co, Maryland, and the Potomac. It was given its Indian name (Conoloway … now Tonoloways) because of its little streams and sheltered hills. Nearby are two historic coves related to French and Indian War events -- 'Big Cove' and 'Little Cove'. Each is sheltered by hills; but are apart from the Tonoloways.”

The ultimate result of the long-term border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland was the Mason-Dixon Line, a surveyed line itself partially defined by the Coombs of Coombs Fort. The following is extracted by Combs Researcher Hannah Coombs Friedlander from the Mason and Dixon Journal, State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library, published as The Journal of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, Transcribed from the Original in the United States Archives with an Introduction by A. Hughlett Mason. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1969, page 186:

1766, April 23
Continued the line. At 128 miles 24 chains crossed the big Conoloway-creek.

At 129 miles 12 chains 04 links changed our direction to be again in the Parallel at 10' West.
{Omitting 30 lines of survey data.}

April 24
Continued the Line. At 129 3/4 miles by estimation the Northernmost bend of the River Potowmack Bore South distant about a mile and a half.

At: 130 miles 48 chains Mr. Edward COOMB'S House 10 chains, North.

131 miles 20 chains Mr. Joseph COOMB'S House 50 Links, North.

132 miles 28 chains crossed the little Conoloway creek.

April 25
Continued the Line.

April 26
Continued the Line.

At 134 miles 54 chains The foot of Sidelong Hill (Here we could proceed no further with the waggons.)

135 miles 29 chains The Top of Ditto.

April 27, Sunday

April 28
Continued the Line.
At 136 miles 27 chains crossed little Bear-creek at the foot of Sidelong Hill on the West side.

136 miles 50 chains crossed Big Bear Creek.

April 29
Continued the Line. At 138 miles 00 chains 40 links entred Sidelong Hill Creek.

Crossed the said creek three times and at 138 miles 50 chains left Ditto.

April 30
Sent for the Sector from Captain Shelby's.

{End of quoted section}

HCF Note: The sector is a piece of surveying equipment for making astronomical observations, I believe. (One Gunter's chain = 66 feet = 100 links; one link = .66 foot = about 8 inches. 80 Gunter's chains = one mile.)

BC Note: Careful plotting of the above Mason-Dixon entries on a Fulton County map positions 'Mr. Edward Coomb's House' about one-eighth mile west of the historical marker to Fort Coombe. (Close enough, perhaps, for running to in case of Indian raids?) The marker reads:

Fort Coombe, the scene of Indian massacres of early Conolloway settlers in 1755 and 1760 This tablet erected by Franklin County Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and the Fulton County Historical Society, 1932.

HCF: The marker is located in Fulton Co, PA, just north of the narrowest part of the Maryland “panhandle”, and therefore just on the northern side of the Potomac River, below which are Morgan and Hampshire counties in (W) VA. It is close to US I70, near the Warfordsburg, PA exit.

BC: Directions to the marker; … from Hancock, MD go north on Pennsylvania Ave. to Resley St., turn left onto Resley and follow it into the state of PA. Just after passing under I70, and at the end of a big sweeping righthand curve in the road, turn sharply back to the right onto a gravel drive. The stone with plaque is on right about 100 yards ahead alongside drive, and in front yard of a new small home. (June 1999)

The above reference to Mason-Dixon may be to the following records, extracted by Combs Researcher Matt Combs from the late Hazel Groves Hanrote's research notes:

15 Mar - 29 Apr 1766Edward and Joseph COMBS were recorded on Sidelling Hill Creek”.

(Mason & Dixon Diary and Mason's Journals, Hazel G Hansrote microfiche, 196-1 & 3)

Note: Sideling Hill Creek runs in both present-day Fulton Co, PA (then Bedford Co) and Maryland, but is west of Tonoloways. In Maryland, it marks the county line between present-day Washington and Allegany Cos (then Frederick), with one part of the creek running along the Mason-Dixon line. Sideling Hill Run, however, is a branch of Little Tonoloway Creek, and just north of Warfordsburg in Fulton Co., PA.

From another document provided Combs Researcher Hannah Combs Friedlander by Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, unsourced, but appearing to be from a local history:

Maj. Edward COOMBS was baptized and received into the church in March of 1766. He served as clerk of the church for several years, beginning in January of 1767. Appearing on a list of local residents in 1750, one may find the names of Andrew and Joseph COOMBS. They very likely lived near what was known during the Indian Wars as Coombs' Fort, which was reportedly a blockhouse located just north of the present Maryland-Pennsylvania line near Warfordsburg. Maj. Edward COOMBS served as county commissioner in 1774. During the Revolution, he served in the 1st Battalion of the Bedford County Militia, serving as a major. His wife's name was Rebecca. She was born the daughter of Elias and Meriam STILLWELL, mentioned later. The STILLWELLS were some of the earliest and most prominent residents of this community.”

The index to the History of Tonoloway Baptist Church by Harry Stuart Holman, 1980, printed at The Printaway, Chambersburg, PA (near the marker for “Fort Coombe” in Fulton County, PA) includes: John COOMB, Edward COOMBS (wife Rebecca nee STILLWELL); Ann COOMBS, poss. w. of John COOMBS; Rebecca WINK, “who married a COOMBS”; and Joseph and Andrew are also mentioned as residents of area.

1762 - At years end the Seven Years War (French & Indian War) was concluded.

4-6 May 1763 (Frederick Co VA DB8:392-5) Lease. Right Honourable Thomas Lord FAIRFAX Barron of Cameron in the part of Brittain called Scotland, Proprietor of Northern Neck of Virginia, to Joseph COMBES of County of Frederick Yeoman … Consid. of Rents and Covenants hereafter Reserved … Granted to farm lett unto said Joseph COMBES … Tract of Land Containing by Estimation Eleven Hundred [1100] Acres lying and being on Potomack River near the Warm Springs and joining to Lands of Joshua BAKER late Thomas BERWICKS … for and during the Term of Twenty one Years … Yielding and paying Yearly and every Year on the first Day of January the sum of Twenty Pounds. Dated: 4 May 1763. s/FAIRFAX. Joseph COMBES. Wits: John DALTON, Peter HOG, Gabriel JONES. Rec: 6 May 1763.

(Frederick Co, VA Deed Book Series Volume 2, Deed Books 5, 6, 7, 8, 1757-1763, Abstracted, Amelia C. Gilreath, 1990)

The above land is further identified by the following patent:

11 Jan 1768 North Neck VA Patent Book O-113. George William FAIRFAX, Bryan FAIRFAX & Thomas Bryan MARTIN Esqs. 12 A. on Warm Spring Run in Frederick Co., part of Tract surv'd & reserved for His Lordship's use. Adj. Joseph COMBS.

Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. II, Gertrude Gray, GPC, Baltimore, 1988

Notes: Warm Springs Run of the Potomac River is across from the mouth of Little Tonoloways Creek at Hancock, Maryland, and only a few miles south of Coombs Fort of the Tonoloways Settlement. In 1772, Warm Springs became part of Berkeley Co, VA and in 1820 part of Morgan Co, VA (now WV). In 1763, the town of Hancock was in Frederick Co, MD, but in 1776 became part of Washington Co, MD. See also Frederick Co, VA re connection of this Joseph COMBS to George WASHINGTON and also note Andrew's son another Joseph COMBS and George WASHINGTON of Franklin Twp, Fayette Co, PA.

01 Sep 1768 John Dormeyer aquires 300 acres in Cumberland Co.,then Bedford Co., now Fulton Co., Ayr Twp. including Poplar Spring and adjacent to the Provincial Line, John Kline, Joseph Commee & Canallaway Hills in Ayr Twp. # 3760

(Source Needed)