New and improved Report for Amelia County. Instead of using red text (as in the past) to indicate newly added material, look for blocks that reflect this text to find the updated records and/or annotations.

NEW! Roberta Estes' s transcriptions of early Amelia County Chancery Court papers, including several depositions, document:

  1. that John I and George Combs (the Elder) of Amelia County were contemporaries (both born about 1705), close associates, and likely brothers.
  2. the ages and therefore approximate dates of birth for neighbors and associates
  3. the children (and some spouses) of John Combs I of Amelia:
  4. the probable alliance and/or intermarriage with the Farguson/Ferguson family of Amelia.

Chancery transcriptions records are given below. The Combs &c. Research Group is indebted to Roberta for her contributions.

Updates of and corrections to various reports, including John COMBS I of Amelia and other pages are in progress to reflect the new data.

Prince George County, VA was established in 1702-3 from Charles Co VA. Amelia County, VA was established from Prince George & Brunswick Cos in 1734-5. No Combs Records have been located in Brunswick as yet. The Flatt Creek land, patented in 1732 by John Combs, the earliest Combs of Amelia, was originally in Prince George. No Combs have been located in Prince George prior to this 1732 patent. There are at least two groups of Combs in Amelia that may or may not be related. The Combs (John I and George the Elder) of Prince George-Amelia (Raleigh parish) may have an earlier connection Essex Co VA where they may have been the same associated with the BOOKER & JETER and perhaps Callico families --- in which case, they may also have been of the families (somehow) of Abraham & Archdale COMBS of Old Rappahannock Co VA. The Philip Combs family (Nottoway parish) that appeared about 25 years later in Amelia may have a connection with the Philip Combs line of Westmoreland County, VA, and is the same associated with Benedict HAMMOCK II in Amelia and later in Wilkes County, GA. See also (new) Atkinson Connections for more Amelia Families, Thomas ATKINSON, father of Muscoe and Joshua (among others) also possibly having come to Amelia from Essex, and Overton Families (also new).

There was also a brief appearance (1752) in Amelia of one William Combs who may be the same as William Combs in Halifax Co in 1756.

John Combs I's early neighbors in Prince George County were Edward BOOKER (1727 and 1732 grants), John ANDERSON (1728 grant), Benjamin WARD (1728 grant), Samuel COBBS (1732 grant), John FARGUSON (1732 grant), John ELAM (1735 grant), and Field JEFFERSON (1733 grant) whose land, between Flatt Creek and Knibbs Creek and adj. Col. Samuel Cobbs was actually in Henrico County.

Amelia County Chancery Court Records

Source: Library of Virginia Amelia County Chancery Court Cases on Microfilm Records transcribed and contributed by Roberta (Bobbi) Estes.

Introduction: There are four Amelia Co. Chancery Causes.

  1. Blake vs Tabb (1745) - Chancery Cause 1745-002 (LOVA Reel 232-89) Frederick Blake vs Thomas Tabb
  2. Combs vs Jefferson (1749-1755) - Chancery Cause 1755-005 (LOVA Reel 232-492) George Combs vs Field Jefferson
  3. Estis et us vs Combs (1762-1764) - Chancery Cause 1764-001 (LOVA Reel 234-247) Moses Estis and wife and Heirs of John Combs vs Frances Combs
  4. Eastis et al vs Combs (1763-1769) - Chancery Cause 1769-001 (LOVA Reel 235-247) Moses Estis and wife Lurany vs George Combs

The salient facts from these four suits:

  1. John Combs I of Amelia (Raleigh parish) was born 1705. George Combs (the Elder), likely brother was born 1705, employed as an overseer for Field Jefferson in 1740 and later lived in Charlotte Co., VA (age 60 in 1765).
  2. George Combs (the Younger), eldest son of John Combs I, was born 1740-41, and had an Uncle Jamey (b 1720) and Aunt Patty Farguson.
  3. John Combs 1 of Amelia had 7 surviving children at his death: Lurany (married Moses Estes aka Eastes aka Estis), Martha (married James Bowlin or Bowls), George Combs, Samuel Combs, Mary Combs, Clarissa Combs, and John Combs.
  4. Names and ages of neighbors and associates: John Farguson (b 1705), James Farguson (b 1720), Thomas Markham (b 1710), Agnes Markham, Daniel Hamblen (b 1705), Edward Booker (b 1731), William Eggleston (b 1731)
  5. Frederick Blake was an overseer (prior to 1745) for Thomas Tabb whose plantation was owned by the orphans of Benjamin Ward. John Combs a witness for Frederick Blake.
  6. George Combs (the Younger) had an Uncle Jamey and Aunt Patty Farguson per George the Elder's deposition

At this time, there is still no link between the later Philip Combs and Benedict Hammock to this early John and George Combs. Furthermore, no specific link to the John and Sarah MABRY Combs line has been found beyond similarities in naming patterns (ie. Philip, Lewis, Sterling). But there is new evidence of a link between John and George Combs and the Farguson/Ferguson line which may also be a link to the HAMMETT family that was allied with the UNDERWOOD families.

Amelia Co Va Chancery cause 1745-002 Blake Vs Tabb
LOVA Reel 232-89

Fredrick BLAKE in Raleigh Parish of Amelia…Thomas TABB Goal? enter into the service of Blake as overseer to over see and direct and have the care and management of a certain plantation belonging to Thomas Tabb with the slaves thereon to make a crop of corn, tobacco, wheat and shoat…and Blake to have share of the crop…considerable crop…Tabb took into his services another overseer whereupon your orator was ejected out of possession so that he was disabled from finishing his crop. Orator continues to state that Tabb did not share and he wants his portion.

Def response indicates the plantation belongs to the orphans of Benjamin Ward.

Depositions of witnesses, all taken Sept. 19, 1745:

Notice to Frederick Blake and Thomas Tabb that at the house of John Baldwin on Sept. 19 1745, depositions will be taken of Thomas Markham, Daniel Hawlin [Hamlin], Agness Markham and John Combs being sworn on the Holy Evangelist.

Deposition of Agness MARKHAM

That a negro woman belonging to Capt. Tabb came to her house on a Sunday morning and acquainted her that the overnight which the negroes were in the barn doing something to the corn a negro child was burnt (born?) in the quarter and that this deponent saw the child dead? next day. Agness “Z” Markham (her mark)

Deposition of Thomas MARHAM ages 35 or thereabout.

States that he never knew of any ? ? Thomas Tabb Sr.? and Fredrick Blake during the time that Blake was his overseer and that he thinks Blake left the plantation where he lived about ten days? or a fortnight before another overseer came through. This deponent thinks Blake discharged ? ? as on overseer during the time of his being the plantation and ? ? the tobacco was all in the ?. Thomas “T” Markham (his mark)

Deposition of Daniel HAMLIN aged about 40 years.

Blake discharged his duty as overseer for Capt. Tabb but at what time he left the plantation this deponent knows not.

Daniel Hamblen (signed)

Deposition of John Combs aged about 40 years.

Says that he assisted Frederick Blake away with his food? whom he removed from Capt. Tabbs plantation whereon he was overseer in cold weather and it snowed that night and snow was on the ground next morning. John “+” Combs (his mark) Sept 19th 1745

SE Notes and Implications: Previous assumptions that John Combs I of Amelia was born somewhat earlier were mistaken. This record establishes John Combs I of Amelia Co. as being born 1705 or thereabout. John and George Combs often appear in Thomas Tabb's list (Raleigh parish, between Deep and Flatt Creeks) in the early Amelia tax lists. These records also show that Thomas and Agnes MARKHAM, Daniel HAMLIN/HAMBLEN (from Charles City Co. line of HAMBLENS), and Frederick BLAKE were neighbors and associates of John Combs. In 1751 (see Chronology of Records), Thomas Tabb and William Booker examined and returned the estate settlement of Frederick Blake. Names mentioned in the accounts were John Combs and Benjamin HAWKINS, who is likely the same that replaced George Combs as the overseer for Field Jefferson (see Combs vs. Jefferson Chancery Cause).

Combs vs Jefferson - Amelia Co. Chancery 1755-005
LOVA Reel 232-492

SE Note: Suit was filed by 1749 per Amelia Court Order Records but not settled until 1755.

January in the year of MCDCCXL (1740) in agreement was made and entered into by and between Field Jefferson whom your orator George Combs has made defendants to this bill and your orator, touching your orator´s becoming an overseer for the said Field Jefferson. In which agreement it was properly stipulated by…for in consideration of a share of corn and tobacco should forthwith…ownership of the said defendants plantation in the county together with 5 working slaves thereon belonging to the said defendant in order to raise a crop of corn and tobacco. By virtue of which…and agreement your entered on the said plantation as an overseer accordingly…during the space of two years and about ten months. That your orator raised considerable crops of corn and tobacco with the said 5 slaves on said plantation for the first 2 years for which the defendant duly accounted and that in the third year he had raised and housed among other things a very large crop of tobacco which he had mostly in bulk and shipped of near a hogshead of the same under mike? And which he fully intended to finish or compleat according to the tenor of the said agreement that about 6 weeks before Christmas in the said third year, the said defendant without any application of previous notice to your orator sent for and ordered his said 5 slaves off the said plantation from under the care of your orator his said crop of tobacco being then in the above condition and unfinished and sent a tenant (one Benjamin HAWKINS) to live upon and take possession of the said plantation which the said Hawkins accordingly did and there up your orator being deprived of the assistance of the said 5 slaves and ousted of the said plantation by the said defendant was forced to leave his said crop of tobacco upon the said plantation unfinished. That your orator however well hoped and believed that the defendant would finish and take a just estimate and amount of his said crop of tobacco and duly pay and satisfy unto your orator his ju[s]t share and proportion of the same when he should be thereunto required. But now so it is may please your worships that the said def and although often in a friendly manner thereto requested by your orator doth altogether refuse to account with your orator ? his shares of the said crop or in any manner satisfying him for the same. All which actions and doing of the said def are contrary to the natural equity and good conscience and tend to the manifestation injury apprehension? and impoverishment of your orator. In tender consideration whereof and for that your orator is without remedy and in the premises? Of the strict rules of law he having no proof of the quantity of his said crop of tobacco and his evidence to the said agreement being either dead or beyond the seas and in part remote or unknown by the orator and for as much as he can only…as the defendant to set forth upon his oath and declare whether the agreement aforementioned was not entered into by and between himself and the said orator and whether he did not take the said five slaves and at what time from your orator as above set forth, his said crop being unfinished and whether he did not at the same time put a tenant, the said Hawkins, in possession of the said plantation and thereby oust your orator of his employment on the same. What was the quantity of the tobacco your orator had made ? and left behind him on said plantation? Whether your orator hath not often in a friendly manner requested the said def to settle with him for his share of the crop and whether he hath ever made him any just satisfaction for rendering him ? and that the def may fully and particularly answer all of the matters.

A note further down on the paper, possibly from another paper says “and this complainant doth ? that his share of the aforesaid crop of tobacco for the year aforesaid amounts to 1/6th part to 7000 pounds of tobacco which this defendant prays may be ? to him.”

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For not appearing to answer the bill of complaint of George Combs exhibited against him by the rule of court.

Ordered Field JEFFERSON on the 4th Thursday of December next

Feb Court 1755 George Combs vs Field Jefferson Plaintiff - The court this day heard and finds against the said def Field Jefferson to pay to the said George Combs 1176 pounds of tobacco being one sixth part of the tobacco mentioned in the bill.

RE Note - Field Jefferson is the father of Thomas Jefferson, future president of the US.

SE Notes and Implications. The previous and mistaken assumption was that the early George Combs of Amelia was the same as George, son of John Combs I: however, this George Combs the Elder, an adult by 1740 when he became an overseer for Field Jefferson, was a contemporary of John Combs I of Amelia Co. He appears to be the same as the George Combs of Charlotte Co., who, in 1765, at the age of 60, deposed for George Combs (son of John Combs I) in the Chancery Suit brought by Moses EASTES aka ESTES against his brother-in-law George Combs who was born around 1740-41, and is the same that married Phebe and removed to Halifax Co, VA. Field JEFFERSON and John Combs are both shown as having property that adjoined the lines of a 1732 patent for Richard BOOKER: 31 Jul 1732 (Prince George - VA Patent Book 14:459) Richard BOOKER, Gent., of James City Co; 970 acs (N. L.), bet. Knibbs' & Flatt Creeks; adj. John FARGUSON; Samuel COBBS; John COMBS; Edward BOOKER, John ANDERSON; & Field JEFFERSON; 5 Lbs., Money. (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol. 3, p. 418). John Combs also obtained his patent in 1732.

Field JEFFERSON was a neighbor of John Combs per their 1732 patent for land in what was then Prince George County. Eight years later in 1740, Field employs George Combs (the Elder) as overseer for 3 years. He is replaced by Benjamin HAWKINS and goes to court in 1749 to obtain his share of the tobacco crop he raised for Jefferson with a settlement not being reached until 1755. George himself is a witness in 1754 in a suit by Jefferson against Ben HAWKINS.

Estis et us vs Combs - Amelia Co. Va. Chancery Causes 1764 001
LOVA Reel 234-247

SE Notes: Plaintiffs are Heirs/children of John Combs decd. against his widow and administratrix Frances Combs. They brought suit (by 1762) to obtain the division of their father's estate. The records name the seven children of John Combs I deceased. The children were: Lurany Combs and her husband Moses ESTIS, Sarah Combs and her husband James BOWLIN, George Combs, Samuel Combs, Mary Combs, Clarissa Combs, and John Combs. Lurany and Martha were married by 1762, and Amelia and Lunenberg deed records show that George was also married to Phebe by 1762 when they sold land that had belonged to his father. The others appear to be unmarried at the time of the suit.

Agreeable to the order here unto annexed we the subscribers have laid off and do assign unto the said Frances Combs widow of John Combs decd her dower in the lands and slaves one third part of the personal estate of said John Combs decd and have also divided the residue of the estate of the said John Combs decd in equal portions among the children of the said John Combs decd and do lay off and assign each their part in manner following viz’

To Frances Combs for her dower in the lands of the said John one hundred and fifety acres beginning in William Eggleston line on the upper side of the same Combs plantation thence down the said Eggleston´s line to his corner at the branch and from thence along Joseph Eggeleston´s line to a new dividing line and then with the said line to the beginning in William Eggleston´s line which includes the houses and plantation whereon the said Frances Combs now lives and for the said Frances dower in the slaves of the said John decd assign unto her one negro fellow named Harry and we do further assign unto the said Frances for her third part of the personal estate the sum of 52 pounds ten shillings 9 pence three farthings.

To Moses Eastis and Lurany his wife for his part of the personal estate of the said John Coombs decd the sum of 14 pounds and 17 shillings and 7 pence farthing.

To James Bowls [could be a slightly different name] and Martha his wife for his part of the personal estate of the said John Combs decd also the sum of 14 pounds 17 and 7 pence farthing.

To George Combs for his part of the personal estate of the said John Combs decd the sum of 14 pounds 17 shillings and 7 pence farthing and being his part equal with the other children.

We also assign and allot unto Samuel Combs, Mary Combs, Clarissa Combs, John Combs each of them the sum of 14 pounds and 17 shillings and 7 pence farthing current money for their part of the personal estate of the said John Combs, decd given under our hand this 25th day of ? 1762.

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Amelia court held July 22 1762
Moses Estes Lorana his wife vs Frances Combs wife of John Combs decd

This cause heard and answered this day and ordered that John Booker, William Eggleston and John Cooke do assign to the def her dower in the lands and slaves of one third part of the estate of her late husband John Combs and that they divide the residue of the estate of the said John Combs among the complainant, children of the said John in equal proportions and assign unto each of them his or her share according to law.

Next document - the complaint

Humble complaining Moses Estes and Luranna his wife, James Bowlen and Martha his wife, Samuel, George, Mary, Clarissa and John Combs that one John Combs, your orators father, being in his lifetime seized and possessed of a considerable estate and on the (blank) day departed this life intestate. Soon after the deceased on the motion of Frances Combs, the widow and relict of the said John admin. of all singular the goods and chattels rights and credits which were of the said John Combs at the time of his death. And that said Frances then took into her possession all the estate, that by a certain act of assembly made in the year of our Lord 1705? And in the 4th year of the reign of her ?. The orators have appealed to the said Frances Combs for their proportional part aforesaid but the said Frances refuses unless she may be ordered by the court. Your orators show that they are in some distress in being detained form their rights above contrary to equity… beg for consideration…ask that she be compelled to deliver (writing very faint).

Last document is a summons

Summon Frances Combs, admin of John Combs decd, Samuel, Mary, Clarissa and John Combs children of he said John Combs decd to appear… to answer a bill in chancery filed by Moses Estis and Loranna his wife.

Eastes et al vs Combs - Amelia Co Va chancery 1769-001
LOVA Reel 235-247

SE Note: This suit by Moses Eastes aka ESTIS who married Lurany Combs (d/o of John of Amelia) against George Combs, his brother-in-law, is over the ownership of a slave named Ned. In this suit, George states he was not yet age 21 when his Dad died (by 1762) but is now not yet age 22. Deponents are neighbors and associates. Deposing for defendant George Combs is aged witness George Combs (the Elder) of Charlotte County who states he is about age 60 in 1765. What is even more interesting is that one Martha HAMMETT (d/o of William HAMMET II) married a JOHN FORGUESON/FERGUSON whose will was proven in 1794 in Culpepper Co (resided previously in Fauquier). Martha's sister Margaret married Thomas UNDERWOOD (see William HAMMETT II Family Report). It is not known if the John Ferguson who deposed (b. 1705) is the same who married Martha HAMMETT and/or the same who was the early neighbor of John Combs. He deposes that John told him he bought the Negro Ned for his son George and that he planned to give George all his land at his death and the remainder of his estate to be divided amongst his daughters. Also deposing for defendant was James Farguson who recalled a conversation with George's father John wherein John, when speaking to son George, referred to George's Uncle Jamey and Aunt Patty (Farguson). This is the only substantive clue we have to any relative of John Combs. John named a daughter Martha and Patty is often a nickname for Martha; however, we do not know if Patty Farguson was a sister to John Combs or perhaps to his wife. John Farguson was a neighbor to John Combs per the 1732 land patent and may be the same who deposed as age 60 in 1765.

Your orator Moses Estes and ? blank Eastes that in the year 17 [blank] and George Combs of this county seized and possessed of a certain negro named [blank] and on the day aforesaid departed this life without making any deposition thereof leaving at that time blank children and on this day your orator being one and after the decease of the said Combs one George Combs being the heir at law of the deceased claiming the same possessed himself accordingly without any regard to your orators and the other children then living and since has utterly refused to make any distribution thereof not withstanding your oratrices ? from said equity she is entitled to her dividend part that being the ? upon an equal distribution all while acting and doing of the said George Combs is contrary to equity and good conscience and tend to the manifest injury and appression of your oratrices. Your orator cannot compel him the said George Combs to make an equal distribution thereof without the assistance of a court of equity where they are properly reliable to the end therefore that the said George Combs my upon his corporal oath make his answer to all the matters of things hereinto contained as to whether blank Combs father of the def was not seized and possessed of a certain negro slave named [blank] at the time of his death an if he was what has since become of him. Whether the said George Combs is not now in the possession of him and how doth he claim the same. Whether the decd did not have 6 children your oratrice being one of them. Whether the said [blank] Combs did not depart this life without disposing of any part of his estate and if any what part your orator and oratrice pray that the said negro slave in the bill set forth may be so disposed of as for them to get their equal and distribution part thereof and that they may have such further and other relief as shall be agreeable to the court.

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The defendant George Combs by enotes? Taken not allowing confessing or acknowledging all or any of the matters and things in the said complaintants bill. He says that John Combs died and in his lifetime in the parish of Raleigh in the Co. of Amelia being then possessed of the said slave Ned in the said plaintiff´s bill mentioned as of his own proper slave made an actual gift of the said slave Ned to this def. being then an infant under the age of 21 years whereby the absolute right and interest in the said slave became vested in this def and that he this def by virtue of such gift became possessed and is now possessed of the slave as of his own proper slave and therefore this def doth plead the said gift….the def father John Combs died intestate leaving this def his eldest son and heir at law then an infant under 21 years of age and that this def is now under twenty two years of age. His father left several other children now living and lastly this def.

Next document - Deposition of James FERGUSON taken November 26, 1766

James FARGUSON aged about 46 years being first sworn…says that he was in the company some years past with John Combs decd at John BALDWINS and [t]hat the said Baldwin asked the said Combs if he knew of anybody that wanted to buy a negro when Combs asked what sort of a negro Baldwin said he would show him and brought to him a small boy named Ned when this deponent asked the said Combs what service such a small boy as this would be to him, when the said Combs answered “None at al but that it might be of service to his son George”, this deponent further sayeth the next time he went to the said Combs, the said Combs had bought the above said negro boy Ned and the said Combs says to this deponent “I have got my boy how do you like him?” when this deponent “I have no calion? to like him, how do you like him?” when the said Combs said “my boy likes him” and calling the negro boy Ned and then calling George saying “come here my son” and taking each of them by the hand said “here a negro for you my son” and taking the negro boys hand and putting it into his son George´s hand says “I give you this negro boy here befoe your uncle Jamey and Aunt Patty” which was then delivered to him.

James Fergusson signature

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Deposition of John FEERGUSON ages about 61 years old

Being sworn…says that he heard John Combs in his lifetime say at several times that he had given negro Ned unto his son George and that once he said the he would send his son to court one of my daughters and that he had given him one negro and would make something of him if he lived. John Fergusson

Nov 26, 1766

Deposition of Parriott Poindle [PRINDLE] aged about 47…that he has heard John Combs in his lifetime at several times say that he had bought a negro Ned for his son George and that he shall have him at his death for he had worked for to help to pay for him and he shall have him. Parriott “P” Prindle (his mark)

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Ordered to take depositions July 1766

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George Combs of Charlotte County ages about 60 years being sworn…says that some time about ten years ago John Combs the father of George Combs the def in the dedimus mentioned by the one certain John BALDWIN one negro boy named Ned and this deponent sayeth the first time he see the said John Combs after he had bought the said negro he heard the said John say he had bought him for his son George and that he should have him and he further heard the aid John Combs say that several people had been asking him why he chosed to give all to George and nothing to his daughters when this deponent sayeth that the said John informed him that this intent w[a]s that his son George should have all his land and negroes and that the rest of his estate should be equally divided among his daughters. George “+” Combs (his mark) taken October 6 1765

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Order to examine “George Combs, an aged person” in relation to this case. Aug 1765

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William EGGLESTON aged about 35 being sworn…says he was an appraiser for the estate of John Combs decd and that there was a young negro fellow named Ned appraised of the esate of the said John Combs and that no person laid any claim on property n the said negro at [t]he appraisement as he knowed of and he was appointed by the court to lay off the widow of the said John Combs her third of his estate and that [t]he above said negro Ned was then judged to be the estate of the said John Combs decd and that she had her third of the same. William Eggleston (signature)

Nov 26 1766

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Aug 1763 - George Combs summoned (in the third year of the rein of George the third ) to answer the bill of chancery filed by Moses Estes.

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Deposition of Edward Booked [BOOKER} aged about 35 says he was an appraiser of the estate of John Combs decd and that there was a young negro fellow named Ned appraised of he estate of the said John Combs and that no person laid any claim or property in the said negro at the appraisement as he knows of. Edward Booker (signature)

Nov 26 1766