1839 John Combs &c v James K Marshall &c
Index Id #: 1839-016, Original Case # : None
County: Fauquier
Scanned Images: Yes (129 pages)
Case Filed: 1836 ; Case Settled: 1839 Judgment for the plaintiffs

(Source: John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c., Id # 1839-016, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: Fauquier County, original images from case file, abstracted, transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)

Full list of complainants and defendants:

John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Josiah WILLLIAMS and his wife Jane, formerly Jane Combs, Fielding Combs and Sarah Combs children of Elizabeth Combs deceased against James K MARSHALL, extr of John MARKHAM deceased, James K MARSHALL, Nimrod Combs, Mary Ann BARKER, George Good deceased and Elizabeth PENDLETON admistratrix of James L MARKHAM decd.

Notes: The complainants are the six children of Nimrod Combs (s/o of John Combs & Sarah LUTTRELL). Their mother was Elizabeth MARKHAM, d/o of RW Capt. James MARKHAM decd and the wife of Nimrod Combs. James K Marshall was the admr. of Col John Marshall.

Case Summary:

The six living children of Nimrod Combs and his deceased wife Elizabeth Markham bring suit against all the children of their grandfather Capt. James MARKHAM and his administrators for their share of their grandfather’s estate by right of their mother who predeceased her father. Nimrod Combs states his wife died after her father and that he is entitled to her share; however, other deponents show she died before her father and the children claim the right of inheritance for themselves. The court upheld their claim finding for the plaintiffs. Nimrod and Elizabeth had 7 children, one of whom died in infancy. Nimrod and his family moved to Kanawha County. His wife Elizabeth drowned in the Kanawha River and he returned to Fauquier with his children. James Marshall was a Navy Captain in the Revolutionary War and was taken prisoner. As an officer, he was entitled to half pay for the rest of his life but this money was never collected until a suit was brought in Henrico against the Commonwealth of Virginia. The amount was a tidy sum of $1430.15 per ¼ share. It is possible there were multiple cases involving Markham’s estate that continued for many years. James Markham’s son James Lewis Markham also predeceased his father and his father died intestate which usually results in long settlements and conflicts. Elizabeth PENDLETON in the defendants’ list was the admx of her husband James Lewis Markham, son of the Capt. There is an 1832 record in Mason Co, KY. that identifies the children of Capt. James Markham. His family is well documented and he was a noted soldier and personage in Virginia.

Genealogical Information Gleaned:

Children of Nimrod Combs and Elizabeth Markham (d/o of Capt James Markham): John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Jane Combs who married Josiah WILLIAMS, Fielding Combs, and Sally Combs

Elizabeth, the wife of Nimrod died by drowning in the Kanawha River about 2 years before her father who died on 1 May 1816. After her death, Nimrod returned with his children to Fauquier Co. His children the complainants say their mother died about 1810 but that seems a little early. Other testimony would indicate she died around 1813/4. The youngest child was Sally and she was a baby who could barely sit up when the family returned to Fauquier. No further details were given about the circumstances of Elizabeth’s drowning.

Children of Capt James Markham: James Lewis Markham, Elizabeth Combs, Ann M Goode (wife of George Good), and Mary Ann Seal BARKER (wife of William). The children are James Lewis Markham are listed in the settlement records (p. 112)

The information about Nimrod living in Kanawha County confirms that the Nimrod in the 1810 census is the same as Nimrod, son of John Combs and Sarah LUTTRELL.

No information was found in the file papers about where Nimrod’s children migrated after the suit. His daughter Jane had married Josiah Williams by the time the suit was settled. Since their parents’ marriage bond was dated 12 Nov 1791, the children would have been born between 1792 and 1813/4. Sally was the youngest. For lack of definitive information, one might assume the order of the children corresponds to their listing as plaintiffs in the suit. Daughter Jane married Josiah Williams and James is believed to have married Elizabeth Payne, the d/o of his Aunt Helend Combs Payne and Benjamin Payne.

Case File Inventory:

The case consists of 129 pages (images). There were many depositions and other court records in this file. Not all were reviewed since the primary focus was Nimrod Combs and his children.

p. 3 Answer of Nimrod Combs a defendant who says he, by right of virtue of husband of Elizabeth Combs decd, is entitled to the share of her father Capt. James Markham decd in the hands of said Markham’s admr. He states she [meaning his wife] did not die in 1810 and Capt. Markham died 1817 and that Markham did not survive his daughter who died 3 July 1815 and Markham died 23 Jan. 1815 when Nimrod was living in the county of Kanawhay and Markham had lived and died in the county of Cabell. Nimrod states he lived near Charleston and his wife was alive when her father died. He states he is due ¼ share of Markham’s personal estate. Dated 13 Nov. 1838.

p. 6 Answer of executor of James Markham extr of James Markham decd.

p. 19-20 Complainants’ Bill [very light image]. Bill dated 13 July 1836. The orators were named as follows: John Combs, Benjamin Combs, James Combs, Josiah WILLIAMS and wife Jane, formerly Jane Combs, Fielding Combs and Sarah Combs children of Elizabeth Combs deceased against James K Marshall extr of John Markham decd, James K Marshall, Nimrod Combs, Mary Ann Barker, George Good decd. The orators and complainants refer to their grandfather James Markham. The orators state their mother died about 1810 and had only 7 children one of whom died in infancy. Her maiden name was Markham, d/o Capt James Markham who died about 1817 leaving son James L Markham now decd and the estate administration was granted to his widow now Elizabeth PENDLETON of Culpepper also left a daughter Ann M GOODE wife of George Good who is now deceased and another daughter Mary Ann BARKER wife of William BARKER who is also deceased. Capt. Markham left a large claim against Virginia for the Revolutionary War. They say Nimrod Combs has no claim because Elizabeth died before her father died.

p. 24 List of defendants. Judgment for the plaintiffs.

p. 30 Suit began in 1836. Schedule of actions. Decree issued 15 May 1839
p. 38 Bond. Security was John Phillips, Seth Combs and John C Cummins
p. 41 William Barker, grandson of James Markham, made motion to appoint admr.
p. 43 Document states Markham died 1 Sept 1816. The government owned Markham ½ pay from 22 April 1783 till his death.

p. 48 Fauquier Cout record shows Elizabeth widow of James L Markham decd appointed admx with bond of $15000 dated 22 March 1815. Note this shows that Capt. Markham’s son did predecease him.

p. 52 James Markham, Capt. in the Virginia State Navy and a prisoner.

p. 55 Deposition of George CHAPMAN of Mason Co, KY Deposes he knew Markham and that his son-in-law William Barker left Fauquier County and moved to Cabel County Virginia about 1810. Markham died intestate leaving Mary Ann Seal Barker (wife of William and now a widow).

p. 57 Deposition of Betsy MORGAN late Betsy PICKETT of Mason Co, KY, dated 15 Sept. 1830. She deposes she is about the age of 66 and knew the Markhams in Fauquier and says he [Markham] resided with he Barkers in Cabell County. They had 4 children: James L Markham decd, Mary Ann Seal Barker widow of Wm, Ann M Goode widow of George. And Elizabeth Combs decd. She deposes Markham was the cousin of “Old Colo Thomas Marshall” the Father of “Chief Justice John Marshall.”

Note: There were lots of depositions about Markham

p. 60 Deposition of Charles BARKER of Fauquier County. He states his brother William Barker married Mary Ann Seal on 29 Jan. 1798.

p. 66 Deposition of Ann M GOOD, Woodstock, Shenandoah County dated 18 May 1830. She gives ½ of all monies she is entitled to to William J Barker of Mason Co, KY, for securing for her the other half of monies.

p. 70 William HORNER Sheriff of Fauquier County admr Of George Good decd.
p. 72 Newspaper notice of the case by children of Elizabeth Combs beginning 7 Nov. 1836.
p. 74 Summons to Sheriff of Stafford County to appear at Clerk’s Sept next [1836] regarding suit.
p. 80 Another newspaper notice that bill has been amended
p. 90 Summons to George Goode of Madison County dated 3 Oct. 1836 and noted he was no inhabitant.
p. 92 Summons to George Goode and Elizabeth Pendleton admr of James S Markham decd of Culpepper. Noted as no inhabitants.
p. 92 Summons of above to Rappahannock County and noted no inhabitant In Frederick Co.
p. 102 Summons to Robert Turner of Warren County admr. of An M Goode decd, dated 4 June 1838
p. 107 William J Barker admr presented inv. Of James Markham decd, dated 18 June 1838. Mentions the RW pay case in Henrico County to be heard at Richmond.

p. 112 Settlement Sheet dated 30 June 1832. Lists:
Mary Ann Seale BARKER $1430.15
Ann M GOOD $1430.15 div by 2
Elizabeth Combs decd left heirs $1430.15
List of heirs of Jas Lewis Markham Jr.:
Mary Ann Markham heir of James L Markham decd ¼ part of ¼ part
Tennessee Markham who married Benj Franklin Hessa ¼ part of ¼ part
Elmira Markham ¼ part of ¼
Dr N B Spotswood who married Sarah ¼ of ¼ part

p. 117 Court paper says Elizabeth died 2 years before her father leaving issue in the Kentucky as proved by certification of Elizabeth CHAPMAN. James Markham [son of Capt James Markham] died 2 years before leaving 4 children. Ann Good left 2 children. Account was presented 4 Dec 1832.

p. 120-3 Depositions of Behethilon Cummins, John C Cummins, & Seth Combs dated 5 Sept 1838 at the tavern of Rodham Tallop [Tuloss], Somerville, Fauquier Co.
Deposition of Behethilon Cummins. Deponent states she was acquainted with Capt. Markham and family upwards of 20 years, he had 4 children: James, Betsy, Mary Ann, and Nancy called Ann. Elizabeth married my brother Nimrod Combs and she had 6 children: John, James, Benjamin, Jane, Fielding, and Sally. Another child died in its infancy. She says Nimrod told her Elizabeth died just before he removed to this county from Kanawha. She says she understood from hearsay she died before her father. She says she thinks Nimrod was here at the time her son John C Cummins went out into the War [1812] or just afterward. Nimrod brought all of his family with him from Kanawha except his son ????? who had returned before him. His youngest child Sally could just sit alone at the time of his return. Nimrod “brought his wife’s clothes with him when he came in and he told me when he came in that she was dead and that she was drowned in the Kanawha River…”

Deposition of John C Cummins. “When Mr Nimrod Combs returned from Kanawha to this county, Mr Dawson and James Combs the son of Mr. Nimrod Combs who came with him informed me that she Mrs Combs was drowned in the Kanawha River and the circumstances attending her death. Mr. Combs brought all his family with him excep one son who had returned before…” The deponent stated that he returned in July or Aug. 1813 or 1814 to the best of his recollection. He says he thinks Nimrod returned to the county previous to John’s entering the service which was about the middle of Aug. 1814.

Deposition of Seth Combs. Deponent states he knew the four Markham children: James Elizabeth Mary Ann and Nancy. Elizabeth married Nimrod Combs. She had 6 children: John, James, Benjamin, Jane, Fielding, and Sally. He states it was generally understood Nimrod’s wife was dead at this time.

p. 125 Newspaper Notice dated 4 Aug. 1838 regarding the depositions to be taken. Lists the complainants and Jane now married.
p. 129 End of File

(Source: John Combs &c v James K MARSHALL &c., Id # 1839-016, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: Fauquier County, original images from case file, abstracted, transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)