1847 Admr of Robert Combs, Plaintiff vs Extr of Sylvester Welch etc
Index #: 1847-023
Original Case #: none
Scanned images: yes
County: Fauquier
Filed: 1840, Settled: 1847

(Source: Admr of Robert Combs, Plaintiff vs Extr of Sylvester Welch etc, 1847-023, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: County Name, original images from case file, abstracted, transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)


Case Summary:

The chancery suit was brought by Robert Combs in 1840 against Sylvester Welch Jr., Executor of Sylvester Welch decd and Burr Combs. In 1839 Sylvester Welch Jr., as executor, obtained a judgment against Robert Combs for $458. Robert sued to enjoin the execution of that judgment. Robert Combs died in 1842, and the case was transferred to the name of John T Glascock, administrator of Robert Combs decd. In 1823, Burr Combs, (identified in court papers as the son of Robert Combs), purchased land from John Gibson. Burr’s father-in-law Sylvester Welch, Sr. made a proposal to Robert Combs (Burr’s father) that the two fathers assist Burr with the purchase of his land by each paying for half of the property. Robert Combs agreed and proceeded to give Mr. Welch part of his share in the amount of $250 that he had obtained from his son-in-law Henry Glascock in return for a Negro pledged to Henry by a deed of trust. Shortly thereafter Mr. Welch died and therein began a lengthy court battle between the deceased’s executor (Sylvester Welch Jr.) and Robert Combs relative to a debt still owed by Robert to the deceased’s estate for his share of the purchase money. Sylvester Welch’s will stated he had advanced his daughter Catharine Combs the sum of $600. The suit was a complicated and characterized by lengthy calculations of interest and detailed accounting of who owed what and when amounts were paid and by whom. The case was settled in 1847. Papers include Robert’s plaintiff’s bill, and depositions by Burr Combs (Robert’s son), Catharine (Welch) Combs (Burr’s wife), Henry Glascock (Robert’s son-in-law), Daniel Vowls, John Fishback, John McClanahan, and Baylis Tracey. Robert Combs described his aged condition in his plaintiff’s bill and his son-in-law Henry Glascock described how the transfer of money to Welch occurred and the role Robert’s wife Sarah played. This suit was settled in 1847.

Robert’s son-in-law Henry Glascock filed a second chancery suit 1842 between Henry Glascock, his wife, and the other heirs against Burr Combs and other heirs of Robert. This case provides more definitive information about Robert’s family and documents that Robert’s son Burr Combs was insolvent as of 1847. Furthermore, it is stated Robert died 12 May 1842.

Important Genealogical Information Gleaned:

List of legatees in the estate of Robert Combs decd:

Jane L Combs now Jane L Glascock, Fanny Brashear, Sarah Shacklett, Ann L Glascock, John Combs, Burr Combs with a notation by Henry Glascock that he believes Burr, as of 1847, has no more interest in the estate and that he (Henry) had bought John Combs’ interest in the estate.

This is the first documentation of a list of Robert’s children. It also help identifies the John Combs, bondsman, on the Fauquier Co. marriage records for Robert’s daughters to most likely be his son. It was a common occurrence for the bride’s brother if she had one of age.

The list is surprising in that it does not include a son by the name of Robert. If the above list of legatees is complete, then the Robert Combs (1779-1851) who migrated to Morgan Co, OH from Loudoun Co, VA and who had twin sons children named Burr Harrison Combs and Nimrod Ashby Combs. This Robert still appears to be a relative but not clear as to how.

The case file consists of 84 images herein referred to as pages. Images are organized by document type and each type is preceded by a folder image with description of paper documents included. Both the front and back of the each document has been digitized if any writing appeared.

Below follows an itemization of the images (pages) in the chancery suit. The plaintiff’s bill and the depositions have been partially transcribed, or abstracted, or summarized.

Case File Inventory:
p. 1 Folder Image: Notes show 9 folders: Parties, bills & answers; injunction bond, decree, depositions:
Notation: Combs, Robert (died during suit) Glascock, John Thos admr. Of Robert Combs decd v Welch, Sylvester (Extr of Sylvester Welch decd), Burr Combs
p. 2 (repeat of p. 1)

p. 3-4 Answer of Burr Combs, dated 3 Aug. 1840. “The separate answer of Burr Combs one of the defendants of the bill of complaint of Robert Combs against the said Burr Combs and Sylvester Welch executor of Sylvester Welch decd and exhibited in the Circuit Superior Court of Law & Chancery of Fauqr. County. “
Essentially Burr “admits to allegations in bill as substantiated…” Signed Burr Combs and certified by JOP.

p. 5-8 Answer of Sylvester Welch, dated 3 May 1841. [difficult to read]
“The answer of Sylvester Welch Executor of Sylvester Welch decd to a Bill of complaint in the Circuit Superior Court of Law & Chancery for the County of Fauquier by Robert Combs, against him….that it is true the Bond filed as a part of Exhibit A was given by Burr Combs & Robert Combs, was given to the assigns therein named for the purchase money of a tract of land sold by them, and that the Judgments and executions listed in the same exhibit were ______ and issued, but this defendant denies that the Judgment rendered on the 15th May 1839 in his favor against Burr Combs and the complainant was unjustly _____”
“This defendant saith that it is true that Burr Combs did intermarry with one of the daughters of Sylvester Welch decd but he can neither admit or deny, and _______ hereof, that the said Sylvester Welch decd did promise and agree with the complainant and Burr Combs, that of the Complainant would pay one half of the debt referred to in the Bill, he would pay the other half or the residue of the said debt, neither does this defendant admit nor deny that the said Sylvester Welch did make any other promise or agreement with the said Robert or Burr concerning the payment of the purchase money for the land…that still the said Robert & Burr are indebted to him for that _____ debt consisting of three installments of $486.73 on the 20th Nov. 1823 ____ with the interest amounts to an amount little short of $1700…”. [The defendant goes on to state he paid money out of his own pocket]….” This defendant further saith that he can neither admit nor deny the Robert Combs did pay on acct. of the debt ____ in the Bill, the sum of $650 or $600 or that he did hand over to his testator either sum…mentioned in the Bill, or that sum of money______ in the execution Bond in the handwriting of John Gibson, was _____ by the same Robert Combs…”

p. 9-15 Bill of Robert Combs, Plaintiff. Dated 15 Jan. 1840.
“To The Hon. John Scott Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery of Fauquier County. Humbly complaining herewith unto your Honor Your Orator Robert Combs of the County afsd, that Phillip Harrison and John Gibson, in the late Superior Court of Law of Fauquier obtained Judgments against one Burr Combs and your Orator [for] $2920.36 debt and $973.46 with interest $486.73, part thereof from the 19th Nov. 1820, and on $486.73 the residue thereof from the 19th Nov. 1821 till paid, damages and $14.24 costs. To be discharged by the payment of the damages and costs the said judgment was ____ as an obligation executed by the said Burr Combs and your Orator by his security to the said Phillip HARRISON, John GIBSON and one John LINTON for the penal sum of $2920 and dated on the 19th Novr. 1819. On the 30th April 1823, an execution of S___ issued upon the said judgment and Sylvester Welch decd late of the county afsd joined the said Burr Combs and your Orator in the forthcoming bond which was taken by virtue of the said execution. On the 17th Sept. 1823 execution was awarded on the said forth-coming bond against your orator only for the sum of $8237.73 penalty and $6.44 costs ___ to be discharged by $6116.86 with interest from 17th June 1823 till paid and the costs…” [There follows lengthy descriptions of financial arrangements] “….On 8 Sept. 1834 execution was awarded on said forth-coming bond against Sylvester Welch Jr. as Extr of Sylvester Welch Decd n the name of Phillip Harrison and John Gibson for $8237.72…your Orator further showeth that in the said…………..on 15th May 1839 Sylvester Welch Jr as executor obtained a judgment against your Orator & and the said Burr Combs for $458.07 the sum paid by executor Sylvester Welch Jr. to said Phillip Harrison and John Gibson upon an execution on a bond which said Sylvester Welch decd was security…with interest from 26 March 1838…Orator states that judgment of 15 May 1839 on motion of Sylvester Welch Jr. as executor of Sylvester Welch decd was unjustly obtained against your orator, and as your orator has been informed and believes equally so against the said Burr Combs…[Orator] states the first judgment referred to was executed by Burr Combs to secure the purchase money of a tract of land purchased by him and Sylvester Welch became the security…Burr having intermarried with one of the daughters of Sylvester Welch decd…[Orator states Welch wanted to provide for his daughter and that Sylvester Welch decd with the orator, the father of said Burr Combs would pay ½ of the debt which amounted to $650 (or $600) to said Phillip Harrison…
[Orator further states he got the money together and gave it to Sylvester Welch for his share]

“…Your Orator is now in a very advanced stage of life…and much bowed down by the afflictions incident to old age, and being wholly unable to give his personal attention to the business of the said motion, took the ___ of a ___, a friend and neighbor of your orators to attend at the courthouse, But the said ___ was prevented by illness from having his name and failed in attendance at the courthouse during any day of the term at which the judgment was rendered… and unknown by orator…….” [SE: I stopped transcription at this point and bill ended on p. 15].
P. 16 Back side of Bill. Injunction awarded on usual terms dated 13 May 1844 by Jno Scott.

p. 17. Cover Sheet with case name
p. 18. Back side of p. 17 with case chronology listed:
Combs vs Welch } Papers
June 1840 Bill
Aug 1840 - Answer of Burr Combs
Sep Sat. for hearing as to Burr Combs on petition
Nov Sat. for hearing as to Sylv on pltfs motion
May 4 1841 Sylv. Welch answer
1842 Oct 11 Pltf dead and suit to be conducted in name of John Thomas Glascock
1847 Oct 11 Decree

p. 19 Folder Cover
p. 20 Injunction Bond of Robert Combs to the court for $458.07 dated 15 May 1840.
p. 21. Back side of injunction bond
p. 22 Folder Cover
p. 23 Consent to Decree awarded 11 Oct. 1843
p. 24. Folder Cover for deposition and court papers
p. 25 [blank]
p. 26-28 Court states execution of bond for $458.07 pd by Welch to Philip Harrison & Jno Gibson
p. 29 Folder
p. 30-31 Sheet of accounting
p. 32 Folder notes and calculations
p. 33-41 Pages of notes and calculations
p. 42-43 Note by Jno Gibson, dated Sept. 31, 1845 that states Sylvester Welch paid for a tract of land previously purchased by Burr Combs which he bought Jan. 3, 1835.
p. 44-45 D. Vowles statement
p. 46 Folder Cover papers rturned with Henry Glascock’s depo.
p. 47 Receipt from Henry Glascock of $260 from Sylvester Welch for Robert Combs & Burr Combs dated 20 Dec. 1823.
p. 48 Back side: Rec’d w/ deposition of Glascock 7 Sept. 1847
p. 49 Deposition of John T Glascock Robert Combs is deceased. States Henry Glascock is intermarried with one of the daughters of the said Combs
p. 50 Flip side: “A” referred to in the deposition of Henry Glascock taken 7 Sept. 1847. Certified by John Marr Cmmsr.
p. 51 Folder
p. 52 Summons of Burr Combs dated 6 July 1840
p. 53 Acknowledgement by Burr Combs
p. 54 Notice to Sylvester Welch by John J Glascock admr Of Robert Combs decd.
p. 55 Acknowledgement by William Leonard
p. 56 Summons of Welch and Burr dated 26 May 1840
p. 57 Notice of Injunction agst Sylvester Welch extr & Burr Combs agst previous judgment
p. 58 Folder Depositions
p. 59-60 Burr Combs deposition dated 23 Sept. 1843 Robert Combs was deceased.
p. 61 Deposition of Baylis Tracey taken at Tavern of Presley Horehead on 27 Sept 1843. Baylis states “he was at the house of Robert Combs decd in his lifetime but does not remember the date….Mr Combs asked the deponent to carry some papers to Mr. Humphrey B Powell at Warrenton, which papers he understood related to a case in court between Welch and Combs…” Deponent went on to say he actually did not go and returned the papers to Mr. Combs
p. 62 Deposition of Burr Combs taken at the Tavern of Presley Morehead on 28 Sept 1843. “As well as I recollect it was a Sunday not a great while before his death, that old Mr Sylvester Welch my father-in-law told me in a conversation in which he was complaining of bad health that he intended to make a will and that he was going to pay the balance due on my land. He then asked me how I wished my portion of the property left whether to me or to my wife and children to which I replied just as you please or may so prefer for I am sure as long as my wife has a house & home that I shall have on…” Burr Combs. Certified by JOP.
p. 63 Backs of Tracey and Burr Combs depositions
p. 64-5 Deposition of Catharine Combs taken at the Plains on dated 18 April 1843. “Catharine Combs having been previously deposed as follows That she is the wife of Burr Combs, who is the son of the decd Robert Combs. That she heard her father Sylvester Welch say that if Robert Combs would pay a certain sum of money on a purchase of land which her husband Burr Combs had made, he Sylvester Welch decd would pay the balance. The deponent does not remember what the sum was that Mr Welch required Mr Combs to pay. Mr Combs was not present when the deponent heard her father make the above declaration…” Catharine A Combs.
The defendant objected to the testimony as an incompetent witness on the grounds of interest. Certified by the JOP.
p. 66 Deposition of Catharine Combs taken at the Plains on 6th Sept 1847.
Question: “By the will of your Father Sylvester Welch decd you are charged with the sum of six hundred dollars, will you say in what manner this sum was advanced to you? Did you or your husband receive any part of it in cash, or was it paid for your benefit towards the purchase money of the land purchased by husband from Col John Gibson and others as ____t sec certain ___ of Richard Graham decd?
Answer: “Neither my husband nor myself ever received a cent of it in case, butit was always my understanding & belief that it was paid for m benefit toward the purchase money of the land mentioned in the question…” Catharine Combs. Certified by Robert E Peyton JOP
p. 67 Notice by John J Glascock of intent to retake the deposition of Catharine Combs
p. 68 Back side of Catharine Combs depo
p. 69-71 Deposition of Daniel Vowls dated 29 Sept. 1843. Deposition of Daniel Vowls taken at the store of Thomas Foster at Thoroughfare in Prince William County in the suit of John J Glascock admr of Robert Combs decd Pltf. agst Sylvester Welch Jr. Extr of Sylvester Welch Decd defendants. Deponent was asked to state what he knew about the sale of Burr Combs land at aforementioned sale. [Could not read the writing very well] Deponent stated he went with Welch the day the land was to be sold and Sylvester Welch said he had to buy the land if it went on sale and could not loan any money to the deponent because he needed it to buy the land.
p. 72 Notice to Sylvester Welch of intent to take the deposition of Daniel Vowls on 25 Sept 1843.
p. 73 Oath of William Leonard that he served above notice
p. 74 Back side of Vowls depo
p. 75 Deposition of John McClanahan 16 Sept 1845. Deposition taken at the house of Thomas Thompson [very light ink] “I have heard old Mr. Welch say that he and Robt Combs had agreed or bargained between themselves that they would pay for Burr Combs land between them each to pay half and that he had paid his half and that Mr. Combs had paid none.”
p. 76 Notice to Sylvester Welch of intent to take the deposition of John Fishback on 16 Sept 1845, dated 1 Sept 1845.
p. 77 [too light to read] JOP Rob E Payton took oath of someone
p. 78 Back of McClanahan’s deposition “returned to court”
p. 79-81 Deposition of Henry Glascock dated 7 Sep 1847 taken on the part of the Plaintiff at the office of Commissioner Marr at Warrenton.

-- Deponent states he has been released by the plaintiff from liability to contribute to any money which the pltf may obtain in the final disposition of this case.

Question: John J Glascock asks Henry what he knows about a receipt from Sylvester Welch Sr to Robert Combs for $260 paid through Mr. Henry Glascock [Henry is shown receipt]

Answer: Henry states he is the same…”Mrs Combs the wife of Robert Combs came to my home in the fall of 1823, and stated that Sylvester Welch senr and Robert Combs had agreed to pay for Burr Combs land provided Mr Robert Combs could raise $250 more besides what he had paid to Mr Welch. She also said if I would let Robert Combs have $250 he would pledge a negro under a deed of trust for the said $250. I carried the $250 to Sylvester Welch Senr myself and gave it to him. He said that Robert Combs must pay $262 that $250 was not enough. I asked him if he had not agreed to take $250 and pay the balance on the land. He said that he did say so, but there was more due upon the land than he supposed when he said so, and that Robert Combs must pay $262. I told him that $250 was all that I had agreed to give for the negro, and after considering of it awhile, I agreed to give $10 dollars more, and did give to Mr. Welch $260, and told him he must look to Robert Combs for the two dollars to make up the $262 and he gave me the receipt marked B for the $260.”

-- Deponent stated the conversion took place in 1823 and that was the last time he had a conversation with MR. Welch on the same subject.

Question: “How many legatees are there in the estate of Robert Combs decd?

Answer: Jane L Combs now Jane L Glascock,

Fanny Brashear, Sarah Shacklett, Ann L Glascock, John Combs, “Burr Combs I believe has no more interest in the estate and I have bought John Combs’ interest the estate.”

John Marr swore the deposition was taken.

p. 82 Notice to Sylvester Welch that Pltf to take the deposition of Henry Glascock at the office of Commr Marr
p. 83 Back side of notice showing copy left in hands of Welch
p. 84 Back side of the deposition of Henry Glascock “received from Commr Marr 7 Sept 1847’
End of documents

(Source: Admr of Robert Combs, Plaintiff vs Extr of Sylvester Welch etc, 1847-023, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: County Name, original images from case file, abstracted , transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)