William Nelson Coombes was born 8 Jan 1803 in Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky to Nelson Coombes and Hannah GLOVER.  They were Pennsylvanians. (Nelson Coombes was the son of John Coombes and Alice JOLLY. John Coombes was the son of Joseph Coombes and Mary LUCKENS. She was born abt 1708 in Loudon, VA. (History of Dallas County, 1841-1850 says "Matilda UNKNOWN, instead of Mary Luckens.)

William Nelson Coombes married Ivey GREEN (b. 12 Jan 1805 in Nelson County) in October 1822 in Bloomfield. They had the following children:

  1. Levin Green Coombes, born 9 Jul 1823, married Jane H. HEADY
  2. Isaac Nelson Coombes, born 24 Oct 1824, died 30 Apr 1904, married Berilla K. MYERS
  3. Nancy Coombes, born 4 Feb 1828 (died in infancy)
  4. Margaret Adda Coombes, born 25 May 1829, married Thomas A. CAMPBELL 31 Jan 1849, died circa 1869 (One researcher used 1850 as the date of death.)
  5. Zachariah Ellis Coombes (Sr.), born 30 Mar 1833, died about 1895, married Rebecca F. BEDFORD 10 Dec 1856
  6. Mary Morton Coombes, born 13 Jun 1837, married Levi N. BUMPUS 6 Feb 1855
  7. William Hamilton Coombes, born 26 Mar 1840 (died in infancy)
  8. Matilda Rebecca Coombes, born 18 Sep 1842, married William L. HOLT 2 Jun 1867
  9. twin boys (died at birth)
  10. William Ivy Coombes, born 17 Jun 1847

Note: There seems to be some uncertainty about whether Matilda Rebecca was one person or two.

In 1830 the family appeared in the 1830 Nelson County, Kentucky Census.

p. 135
William COOMBS
1 m-under 5 [Isaac Nelson Coombes]
1 m-5-10 [Levin Green Coombes]
2 m-20-30 [William Nelson Coombes and ?]
1 f-under 5 [Margaret Adda Coombes]
1 f-20-30 [Ivy Green Coombes]

In the 1840 U.S. Census the family appeared as follows:

p. 39 William COOMES
1 m-under 5 [William Hamilton Coombes?]
1 m-5-10 [Zachariah Ellis Coombes]
1 m-10-15 [Isaac Nelson Coombes]
2 m-15-20 [Levin Green Coombes and ?]
1 m-20-30 [?]
1 m-30-40 [William Nelson Coombes]
1 f-10-15 [Margaret Adda Coombes]
1 f-30-40 [Ivy Green Coombes]

William Nelson Coombes came to Peter's Colony as a family man in 1843 and settled on a company survey. He was issued a Robertson Third Class Certificate No. 1512 for 640 acres, which he patented in Dallas County.
On 6 Jul 1847, Ivey Coombes, wife of William Nelson Coombes, died.
On 28 Sep 1848, William Nelson Coombes married Rachel Ann McDOWELL (born 1820 in Missouri) in Dallas County. According to researchers, they had the following children together:

  1. Martha Ann Coombes, born 15 Mar 1851
  2. Octavia Julia Coombes, born 11 Apr 1853
  3. John William Coombes, born 16 May 1858; John married Ollie GRAY
  4. Josephine B. Coombes, born 16 May 1858; Joesephine "Joie" married Wade SHANKLE, Jr.
  5. Samuel Houston Coombes, born 15 Aug 1860, died Nov 1893, married Jennie ?
  6. Sallie Coombes, born 26 Sep 1862

Notes: Notice the Josephine Coombes who appears in the household of Bill Bradford in 1870 in Dallas County, Texas. A letter dated the 25th of March 1896 to John William Coombes from Joie Shankle (Josephine B. Coombes) indicates that she and sister Sallie lived with Bradford after the death of her mother Rachal Coombes.

The 1880 Kaufman Co., TX census lists Wade Shankle (Jr) age 29 b. MS; wife Josephine 22 b. TX; Child: Gilbert age 1 b. TX; also in the household: Sallie Coombes 16 and Emily Beaubin 9.

Question: If John William and Josephine B. were twins, then who is the “Levina J.”, age 2, found in the 1860 Census and where is the “real” Josephine (who should be age 5 - the same age as John William)?

On 26 Nov 1850 the family appeared on the U.S. Census as follows:

HH #259; Farmer
William [N] COOMBS 47 M KY
Rachel A. 30 F MO
Mary M. + 13 F KY
Matilda R. + 7 F TX
Martha 2/12 F TX

Question: Where is William Ivy Coombes?

In 1860 the family appeared on the U.S. Census as follows:

p. 83, #734-734
Wm. COMBS 57 M Farmer KY
R. A. 27 F MO [Rachel]
M. R. 18 F TX [Matilda Rebecca]
M. A. 11 F TX [Martha]
Octavia J. 8 F TX
Jno. Wm. 5 M TX
Levina J. 2 F TX

William Nelson Coombes died 11 Jul 1867.
Rachal A. Coombes died 11 Mar 1868.


Connor, Seymour V. The Peters Colony of Texas: A History and Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlers. Illustrated by Frances Pearce. Austin: The Texas State Historical Association, 1959. Printed in the United States of America by Von Boeckmann-Jones Company, Austin, Texas, pages 227-228. Extracted by Combs researcher Birdie Totty McNutt.

Lu, Helen Mason and Gwen Blomquist Neumann, eds. Marriages: Dallas County, Texas: Volume I, Books A-E (1846 - 1877). Dallas: Dallas Genealogical Society, 1978.

History of Dallas County, 1841-1850. Extracted by Jeannette Lehman.

U.S. Census Records

Researcher Linda Kay Green's reports of Odessa Lee Green Nicholds' discussions with Ellie Coombes Green Craft and her siblings.

Terry Stephenson, the great-great-grandson of William Nelson Coombes and his wife Rachal A.
McDowel through his son John William Coombes. His information came from a trunk belonging to Ollie Gray Coombes, John William Coombes's wife. She had recorded genealogical information on a piece of writing paper.

A letter dated the 25th of August, 1895 to John William Coombes from Jennie Coombes (wife of Samuel Coombes), provided by Terry Stephenson.

Samuel Houston Coombes's family Bible

Lu, Helen Mason, Gwen Blomquist Neumann, and Margaret Gilmore Smith, editors. Index to Probate Cases, Dallas County, Texas: 1846-1900, Volume I. Dallas: Dallas County Genealogical Society, 1978.

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