About Archdale Combs, I
Archdale COMBS is first found in the records of Stafford County, Virginia in early 1665, but thereafter recorded only in Old Rappahannock. From where or whom he came is still undetermined although he is likely to have descended from the above John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, and may have been their grandson, Archdale COMBE of Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, England, s/o John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe (See Also the ARCHDALE-COMBS Families). He was probably married at least once prior to his marriage ca1662 to Elizabeth, widow of (1) Unknown UNDERWOOD; and (2) Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, but nothing is known of his earlier wife (if any), nor of any possible earlier issue. He probably died ca1684, but even that is not certain. The only known issue of Archdale and Elizabeth are John COMBS (-1716/17) and William COMBS (-1717), both later of Richmond, although other possible issue might include a Charles COMBS who was later of Essex Co, VA (See Also Abraham COMBS and Phillip COMBS of Westmoreland).
Thus far, the earliest records for any Archdale COMBS in the Colonies are found in Stafford County, Virginia in 1665, and believed to be (although not yet documented) those of Archdale COMBS of Old Rappahannock. In one instance, his suit against a Mr. William BROWN is dismissed; and in the other he sits on a jury (Stafford Co VA OB, 1664-1668). The latter would indicate that Archdale was a landowner, but the only 17th century Combs Land Record found in Stafford is for a 1688 mention of an Archibald COMBS whom (again not yet documented), we believe to have probably been Archdale, in part because no other record for an Archibald has been found, but also because the abbreviation for both given names was "Archd." and thus easily confused by court clerks. (Stafford DBP:98-101)
The 1665 Stafford Co, VA Court Records for Archdale were in Apr - Aug 1665, and later that same year, on 19 Oct 1665 in Old Rappahannock Co, VA, Archdale COMBS and Joseph OKANE witnessed the deed of James COGHILL to John SPEED (Old Rappa D&W 5:208)
Archdale COMBS continued to appear in the records of Old Rappahannock sporadically over the next almost twenty years, usually as a witness, and at some point between the years 1662 and 1666, Archdale COMBS of Old Rappa married Elizabeth, widow of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, and apparently previous to that(?) also the widow of a second, earlier unidentified UNDERWOOD by whom she appears to have had a son, William UNDERWOOD, Jr. (See Also Combs/UNDERWOOD &c Families & (Combs) Elizabeth & Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD).
On 7 Jun 1666, Archdall COMBE gifted his "sone in Law" William UNDERWOOD, Jr. 2 cows, a heifer and 1500 pds. of "good sound Tobacco" to be in the care of Archdall COMBE himself until "the donee come of age to chuse him a guardian." (Old Rappa. DB 3:93-94)
Note that in Colonial times, the phrase son-in-law was commonly used to denote step-son, the son of one's wife by an earlier marriage. Likewise, at that time, Junior was not necessarily the son of a Senior, but often meant only that there were two individuals of the same name in the same area and/or family, with Junior and Senior synonyms for Younger and Elder. In the above instance, the Junior identifies this William UNDERWOOD as the son of Elizabeth, the relict of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD who was afterward the wife of Archdale COMBS. We know that William UNDERWOOD, Jr. above was under fourteen years of age since he was not yet of an age to "chuse him a Guardian." William UNDERWOOD, Jr., born 1652-1666, is often confused in the records of Old Rappahannock and its descendant county, Richmond, with his step-brother, William UNDERWOOD, Sr., born 1648/9, son of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD and his earlier wife, Mary (MOSELEY? BURTON?).
William UNDERWOOD, Jr., however, was probably not the son of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD - not unless we accept that the Colonel had two sons named William UNDERWOOD - the elder a Senior, born 1648/9, the son of the Colonel by his earlier wife, Mary (MOSELEY? BURTON?), and the younger a Junior, born 1652-1666, son of his last wife, Elizabeth, who was apparently the widow of two UNDERWOODS, and possibly even two William UNDERWOODS.
The next mention found of Archdale COMBS in the records of Old Rappa. is ca 1667 (record refers to an unamed servant purchased of Archdall) and in 1668, we find him for the first time as a property owner, as is shown by a series of records that also link Archdale COMBS to a probable near relative, Abraham COMBS (See Abraham Combs of Old Rappa VA & St. Mary's MD).
A deed for the property dated 1 Dec 1666, and proved 28 Sep 1668, from Rorah MACRAH to James COGHILL (land bought of Wm. GIBSON), was witnessed by Abraham COOMBE and Ro: PAYNE. The following year, in a deed dated 18 Dec 1667, and proved 14 Feb 1667/8, James COGHILL sold the property to Archdall COMBE (Old Rap Co., Va DB Part I of 1668-1670:29-30), but on the same date it was proved, 14 Feb 1667/8, Archdall COMBE sold the property to Francis TRIPLETT who in turn sold the land to Francis STERNE, husband of Mary CAMMOCK, d/o Warwick and Margaret (WILLIAMS?) (Thatcher) Cammock. In a 1718 Essex Co VA deed dated 17 Aug 1718, Isaac and Mary [CAMMOCK Stern] TRICK of Sitting Bourne Parish, Co of Essex, deeded this land to David STERN (Mary's son by Francis, the property described as "150 acres in St. Mary's Parish, on the south side of Pumens End Swamp bounded by land of John Combs deceased to corner of William CAMMOCK" (s/o Mary and gs/o of Warwick and Margaret (WILLIAMS?) (Thatcher) Cammock).
The only other record found thus far in reference to Archdale COMB owning property in Old Rappahannock was recorded 7 Feb 1667/68, and dated 5 Mar 1667/8: "Archidall COMBE of Rappa. Co., Gent." secured a debt to John BRADFORTH of Old Rappa., a miller, with "200 acres knowne by the name of The Forrest with all Houses belonging…as also "the dowry of my now Wife Elizabeth…" (Old Rap. Co., Va. DB 3:362-363) Note: Another record indicates BRADFORTH was actually BRADFORD (See Below).
The above record provides another possible "clue" with it's reference to Elizabeth as "my now wife." This was a phrase often used to indicate that there had been a prior marriage, and it is believed quite possible, based on both Elizabeth's prior marriages and the above record, that theirs was not Archdale COMBS' first marriage either - raising the large, still-unanswered question as to whether Archdale COMBS may have left issue by earlier marriage(s). Hopefully, an intensive study of land records, currently underway, will provide the answer.
Based on the dates, it appears that the above land records refer to two distinct and separate tracts of land - the earlier records for a two-thirds moiety (common share) of 238 acres on the south side of the Rappa in what would become Essex County, and the latter 200 acres "in the Forest," and possibly on the north side of the Rappahannock River in what would become Richmond County. No further records have been located yet for this land, and it is not known yet if the above record was an indication that Archdale COMBS was suffering from financial difficulties, although it may be telling that Archdale had sold the Essex land that same year.
That his life was not without some problems was made clear by a power of attorney, dated 22 Jun 1668, and recorded 10 Jul 1668, from Archdall COMBE of Rappa. Co. to "my friend Warwick CAMMOCK of the same county my lawfull attorney to answer the suite of Majr. John WEIR... (Old Rappa. Co., Va. DB 3:479-480) Later that same year, a power of attorney dated & recorded 2 Nov 1668, from Archdalle COMBE to "loveing Friende Mr. Warricke CAMMOCKE his attorney to acknowledge judgemt. to Capt. Alexr. FLEMING and Raleigh TRAVERS for what Tobacco shall appeare due to them as Admrs. of John BRADFORD Miller dec'd. (Old Rap Co., Va DB Part I of 1668-1670:72)
The details of the suit brought by John WEIR are not known, but the second record above indicates that Archdale COMBS had not yet paid John BRADFORD his debt due 10 Oct 1668. Also note that John WEIRE was the (step?) father of Margaret, wife of (1) John WATTS and (2) Abraham BLAGG, who was, years later, security for Archdale's son, John. Also see the 1695 Westmoreland Co VA will of Robert BECKINGHAM who m Elizabeth, widow of Raleigh TRAVERS, in which BECKINGHAM names as his sister and brother in law, a John and Elizabeth Combs. (See also Burroughs-Vassall-Ware Families)
Likewise no further details have been garnered in reference to yet another power of attorney dated 22 Dec 1668, in which Archdall COMBE appointed "Mr. Jno. FOXHALL his attorney in a business depending between Mr. LANE and myselfe as also between Mr. GLOVER and myselfe…," which was witnessed by Marmaduke HUDSON and Marmaduke DENNIS (Old Rap Co., Va DB Part I of 1668-1670:60) Neither Mr. LANE, nor Mr. GLOVER have been identified yet; however, given that the Archdale COMBE of Soulbury may have been in Ireland during the period 1656-1664, it may be significant that John FOXHALL'S brother, Abraham, wrote his will in Dublin in 1679.
It is not until 1670 that we locate the next mention of Archdale COMBS in the records of Old Rappa again - this time obliquely, but significantly, in a deed dated 4 Jul 1670, but not proved until 7 May 1684, from "William UNDERWOOD Senyr. of the Parrish of Sittingborne in the County of Rappahannock" to Mr. John FOXHALL "of Pope's Creek in the County of Westmoreland, Merchant," a lease of Underwood's Mill (later Foxhall's Mill), in which UNDERWOOD declares leases "all his right which he hath or hereafter by the death of his Mother in Law should have to that Grist or Water Mill with the appences: scituate lying and being in the County and Parish aforesaid and some time in the occupation of Archidall COMBE and late in the possession of John PAYNE…" (Old Rappa. DB7:108-111)
As noted earlier, and documented by the above record, William UNDERWOOD, Sr., was the eldest son and lawful heir of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, and the step-son of Elizabeth, relict of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD and "now wife" of Archdale COMBS. Wm. UNDERWOOD Sr.'s reference above to his Mother in Law (step-mother) was to Elizabeth (Underwood) (Underwood) Combs, and it is probable that the fourteen-year delay between signing and proving this deed in 1670, and recording it in 1684, was occasioned by the death of Elizabeth, and probably by Archdall as well, although we don't know when or where as yet. (See Also 1684 Guardianship/Apprenticeship records for William and Charles Combs of Old Rappa.)
Although we know from this record that by 1670, Archdale was no longer occupying UNDERWOOD'S Mill, from the following records, we also know that his departure from the mill did not signal Archdale's departure from Old Rappa County since on 17 May 1673, Archdale COMBE [sic] witnessed a transaction between James COGHILL & Peter OLDE, which was proved on 3 Sep 1673. (Old Rappa Deeds, 1668-1672, Part I:132), and again on 29 Sep 1674, when Peter OLD transferred the Bill of Sale back to James COGHILL. (Old Rappa DB5:238)
In 1674, Archdale and Elizabeth COMBS signed two Old Rappa. deeds further clarifying their relationship to the UNDERWOODS:
The first, dated 14 Nov 1674, reads: "We, Archdall COMBES and Elizabeth COMBES the Lawfull Wife of the sd. Archdale living and being in the Parish of Sitting Bourne of the County of Rappa in Virginia...for divers valuable causes...especially for and in consideration of 600 acs. of land made over to the sd. Elizabeth COMBES and her two Sones as by a Writing will appear, have by these presents devised, granted, sold and confirmed...unto William UNDERWOOD Senr. living and being in the Parish and County afsd. the Lawfull Sone and Heir Apparent of Collo. William UNDERWOOD deceased and formerly husband of the afsd. Elizabeth, to him, his heirs and assigns forever all and every part and parcell of the right, claim and remainders in the thirds and Dowry of the same formerly called The Mount scituate lying in and being in the Parish and County afsd wch did of Right and by Law belong and descend to the said Elizabeth as being the Relict of Collo. William UNDERWOOD deced aforesaid and now in Rights & in the possesion & occupation of the said Archdale COMBES as Intermarrying with her the aforesaid Elizabeth To have hold use and possess the aforesaid Dowry and thirds of the said land withall and singular the tenements and appurtenances excepting only the profitts of the thirds of the Mill thereto belonging to the said William UNDERWOOD his heirs and assigns forever … " s/Archdale COMBS and Elizabeth COMBS. (Old Rappa Co., Va, DB Part II of 1672-1676:278-279) …
The above not only identifies Elizabeth as former wife of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, and now the wife of Archdale COMBS, but also mentions "her two sons." (although "which two sons" is still not yet clear).
The second deed of genealogical interest, was dated 2 Nov 1675, from "Archdale COMBS and Elizabeth COMBS Wife of the sd. Archdale COMBES" to "Capt. Wm. BALL of Lancaster County in Virginia, all that right & interest of a parcell of land lying in the freshes of Rappa River on the North side the said River wch was given by Major WilliamUNDERWOOD of the County of Rappa deced unto the two daughters of Mr. Jas. WILLIAMSON deced Margaret & MaryWILLIAMSON the thirds of which land did properly belong to the sd. Elizabeth COMBES as being the Relict of Major Wm. UNDERWOOD deced Wee the said ArchdaleCOMBES & Elizabeth COMBES…" (Old Rappa Co., Va DB Part II of 1672-1676:327-328)
Both of the above records have proved to refer to a single William UNDERWOOD, the same who died ca 1662, the Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD whose last marriage was to the widow, Elizabeth (-----) Underwood, later wife of Archdale COMBS. Studies of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD'S land confirm that he was known variously as Mr., Capt., Major and Colonel Wm. UNDERWOOD over a period of years; thus, the use of two different titles in the above records is not significant. Although the first of the above two records refers to Elizabeth COMBS and her two sones, later records seem to indicate that the number was at least three (See Below). This may have been an error, or it may indicate that Elizabeth's youngest COMBS' son (William? Charles?) was not yet born.
Dr. Josiah H. Combs, author of The Combes Genealogy…, also mentions the 2 Nov 1675 deed, when he states, "...on November 2, 1675: Archdale COMBS and his wife, Elizabeth, conveyed a tract of land (in the present Westmoreland County) to Capt. William BALL... Along with their signatures, Archdale and his wife affix a wax seal bearing the crest of a vulning pelican; encircling the crest is the Latin motto: sic bis quos diligo..." The author includes a facsmile of the signature as follows:
Dr. Combs adds that "the seal used by Archdale COMBS was not necessarily his own, and not prima facie evidence that Archdale even had a crest. Away from home (probably down at Tappahannock, the old county seat), he used somebody else's seal, to flatten out or spread the wax. The records of the College of Arms do not indicate that any Combs family in the British Isles ever used the vulning pelican as a crest."
While it seems highly unlikely that Archdale COMBS would use a seal not his own (perhaps even unheard of?), one question was what copy of the document that Dr. Combs had viewed (the Clerk's copy not including the seal). The solution to this mystery was discovered by Combs Researcher Joe Kendalll in "Virginia Genealogies", Horace Edwin Hayden, GPC, 1979, Baltimore Md, p.54:
"..... original deeds in the possesion of the DOWNMAN family dated Nov. 2, 1675 from Major William UNDERWOOD of Rapahanock county Va. deced to Margaret and Mary WILLIAMSON daughters of Mr. James WILLIAMSON of Sme county a tract of land in the freshes of the Rapahanock on the North side. The widow of Major UNDERWOOD being Elizabeth COMBES wife of Archdale COMBES, claimed her dower in thirds of sd tract, This third sold by Archdale and Elizabeth to Capt. William BALL of Lancaster. Witnesses; Ed CRUSK and Philip PENDLETON. Both Archdale and Elizabeth signed the deed and each affixed a seal: a Pelican feeding her young with the Motto, around the border, sic bisqous diligo."
Ed. Note: We are urgently seeking a copy of this copy of this deed since it has what is probably the only signature of Archdale COMBS still extant.
Only three more records signed by Archdale COMBS have been found in Old Rappahannock, both as witnesses, the first dated 17 Apr 1677, and proved 27 Mar 1678 (Old Rappa. Records, 1677-1682, Part 1:167) ; the second dated 3 Mar 1677/8, and proved the same date as the first; and the third dated 1 Jan 1677/8 and proved the same date.
Whether Archdale COMBS I died in Old Rappa, Stafford, or even Maryland or England, or when, is unknown - only that he died after 3 Mar 1677/8 and probably before 7 May 1684.
The year 1684 seems probable given that on 7 May of that year, the same date that Wm. UNDERWOOD, Sr. proved the FOXHALL deed, the Old Rappahannock Court ordered "upon request of John BUTLER that Charles Combs serve the said BUTLER until he attaines the age of one and twenty years, he the said BUTLER finding him sufficient Diett washing lodging and apparrell during the sd term and at the expiration therof to allow him as the Act directs for custome or Indented Servants. (Old Rappahannock OB, 1683-1686, p. 20 (27)) , and on 4 Sep 1684, that "William COMBS was to be bound to Mr. William UNDERWOOD until he reached the age of twenty one years according to an order of the Vestry of Sittingbourne Parish, and assigned to him from Abraham STEPP; the said UNDERWOOD to provide for him such necessarys which belongeth to an apprentice. (Old Rappahannock OB, 1683-1686, p. 55) The early vestry record ordering Abraham STEPP (STAPP?) as guardian is probably not extant, and their son, John COMBS was probably already of age.
Unfortunately, neither of the above records disclose either age nor length of servitude (indenture/apprenticeship). No record for John COMBS is found for this time period, and it is believed that he had probably already attained his majority, thus was probably born ca 1662/3. The relinquishment of her dower by Archdale and Elizabeth COMBS on 14 Nov 1674, apparently in return for 600 acres of land for her sons, John and William, may indicate, if Charles was their son, that he was born after that date (See also Essex Co VA). The 1674 relinquishment has also created confusion in the past due to the following record which appears to have been misinterpreted previously. The deed, dated 11 Dec 1691, Richmond Co (organized from Old Rappa.), is from William UNDERWOOD, Jr. to William THOMAS and includes the statement:
"…Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD, Sr. "as Marrying the Sister of the said Mr. Ammaree BUTLER. And from the said BUTLER confer'd unto Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD Senr. as marrying the Sister of the said BUTLER and from the said UNDERWOOD convey'd over by Exchange of the Thirds of land belonging unto Mrs. Eliza: COUMBS with consent of the said Mrs. Elizabeth COUMBS unto William UNDERWOOD, Junr., John COUMBES, and William COUMBES to them their heires or assignes forever…" (Richmond Deeds, 1692-1694, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, McLean, VA, 1991)
The confusion has arisen not only due to poor syntax, but also from the mistaken belief that "Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD, Sr." was the Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, earlier husband of Elizabeth; and that "Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD, Jr." was the son of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD.
Instead, Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD, Sr., was the son of the Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, and husband of Mary BUTLER, sister of Amory; and Mr. Wm. UNDERWOOD, Jr. was son of Unknown and Elizabeth (-----) Underwood (Underwood) Combs. This mistaken identification has resulted in many researchers having listed Elizabeth as neè BUTLER - which she may have well been, but not by virtue of the above record (We continue to seek her ancestry). Further confusing the relationships, of course, was the fact that the Rev. Amory BUTLER had married ca 1671 Elizabeth UNDERWOOD, sister of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, widow of (respectively) James TAYLOR, Francis SLAUGHTER and John CATLETT (See UNDERWOODS.
When and where either Archdale or his wife, Elizabeth, may have died is unknown. Presumably, Archdale at least, was deceased by 1684.
Of the three known sons of Elizabeth:
William UNDERWOOD, Jr., son of Elizabeth BUTLER and Unknown UNDERWOOD, born 1652-1662, and distinguishable in the 1690s by his mark of "OU," either disappears from the records bef 1710, or becomes lost within the meleè of Wm. UNDERWOODS in Old Rappa. We have been unable to determine what happened to him following his last known appearance in the records of Richmond Co VA.
John Combs, son of Elizabeth (-----) (Underwood) (Underwood) and Archdale COMBS, born after 1663, died ca 1717, may have been married twice, 1st to Ann (-----); and secondly to Hannah (-----). It is also possible that Ann and Hannah were one and the same. He was married by 1694, and Known Issue were: Elizabeth (KENDALL), Archdale II, Judith, Mary, Sarah, Amy, Mason.
William Combs, son of Elizabeth (-----) (Underwood) (Underwood) and Archdale COMBS, born after 1663, died ca 1718, married Mary (-----) No Known Issue (futher land record studies still need to be done).
Archdale Combs, I's Timeline
December 25, 1637
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Rappahannock, VA, USA
Westmoreland, Stanford, Virginia
Rappahannock, Virginia, Colonial America
Richmond, Virginia, Colonial America