Mason C. Combs, I

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Mason C. Combs, I

Also Known As: "Mace Combs"
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Putman's End Creek, Caroline, Virginia, Colonial America
Death: November 16, 1785 (71)
Surry County, North Carolina, United States (Natural)
Place of Burial: Surry, North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Richmond Combs, I and Hannah Ann Mason
Husband of Sarah Wilmott; Sarah Harding Richardson and Sarah Ann Combs
Father of Sarah Mary Combs; John W. Combs, I; Josiah Combs; William Combs, I; (Nancy) Anne Combs and 3 others
Brother of Joseph Combs, Sr.; Elizabeth Kendall; Judith Combs; Sarah Combs; Aymee Combs and 3 others

Managed by: Walter Joseph Timoschuk, III
Last Updated:

About Mason C. Combs, I

info: pg.123 "Combses Genealogy". Josiah H Combs; "The Combses Genealogy" (Tallahassee, FL; Ross Printing Co.) Library of Congress Card #76-023567; FHL Book Area 929.273 C733c. pg 29 The will of John Combs made Dec 11 1716 and Probated Feb 7 1717 Richmond Co Will Book #3p300 listed as youngest child pg34 Birth pg 28 Migrated to the Shenandoah Valley 1751 Pg 38 found of list of table in Pennsylvania Co 1767, Conveyance of Land Surry Co NC 1780,son John sold Mason land in Surry Co NC Aug 8 1784,William and John were administrator to the estate of Mason Nov 16 1785 Birth Batch #8225007-59 Birth IGI # 8487206-13 Family Group Sheet (Submitted by Claudia Wagoner, 3124 Pawnee, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701.)vol 8 tree 2363

Article from the Lexington Herald-Leader March 1, 1992: COMBS FAMILY TREE BRANCHES OVER STATE Author: Lee Mueller HAZARD -- A whole year before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, a ship called Marigold docked at Jamestown, Va. Walking down the gangplank on May 20, 1619, was one John Combs, or Coombes, an indentured servant from England. History blurs often in genealogy, but Combs family researchers credit this John Combs -- there were many before and after him -- with beginning a colorful and influential clan that spread into Kentucky two centuries ago. Nearly 20 families in Kentucky are more numerous than the Combses, but none is more firmly ingrained in the state's history and traditions. It is difficult to trace the ancestral footprints of some Appalachian migrants. Courthouse fires and a general lack of written records are to blame, said Henry Scalf, a Floyd County genealogist and historian. The Combses, however, have generally traced their beginnings in Kentucky to one date and one man. Exactly why John Combs' great-grandson, also called John Combs, and his eight sons came to Perry County in 1795 is not clear. Josiah H. Combs drolly suggested in a family genealogy that they were either nervous or just land- hungry. Nevertheless, the now legendary "eight brothers" with their father and an uncle, Nicholas "Danger Nick" Combs, moved in and saturated southeastern Kentucky with Combses. By 1857, a jury was seated in Perry County containing 12 Combses. At one point, it is said, all county offices were filled with Combses. A hundred or so years later, descendants of the Combses have fanned out across the state, spawning at least one governor, a state Supreme Court justice, a Baseball Hall of Fame member, a five-time women's state golf champion, lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists and dozens of successful politicians. "We're all shirttail kinfolks," then-Gov. Bert T. Combs told 1,000 Combses from 16 states at the first Combs Family Reunion in 1963. Bert Combs described his clan and forebears as "honest, hardworking and stubborn-as-hell people," which he said jokingly included "some outlaws as well as in-laws." Oscar Combs, publisher of The Cats' Pause in Lexington, recalled that when he was delivering newspapers at Jeff between 1952 and 1957, he saw a story about a murderer named Oscar Combs being on a 10-most-wanted list. I literally ran to the house and hid in our basement," he said. "I didn't think there was more than one Oscar Combs." People have been writing about the eight Combs brothers, with varying degrees of accuracy, for nearly half of the state's history. In 1900, National Geographic writer Ellen Churchill Semple contended there were 11 brothers -- not eight -- who arrived in Perry County from North Carolina. Most stopped in the mountains; a few forged ahead, she said."One went further down the (Kentucky River) into the rough hill country of Breathitt County," she wrote. "and the eleventh continued on his way till he came into the smiling country of the Bluegrass." The way Semple told it, the Combs who made it to Lexington was quickly assimilated into Bluegrass society and established a distinguished family with all the aristocratic instincts of the Old South while their mountain cousins went barefoot, herded in cabins and were ignorant of many of the fundamental decencies of life." Actually, two of the eight brothers went to Breathitt County, one of whom later moved on to Fayette County, Josiah Combs wrote. Another went to Powell County. But he said the family of the late Leslie Combs II, who became famous as a horse farm owner, descended from the eight Combs brothers' second-cousin who arrived in Clark County from Virginia in 1775. Golfer Anne Combs of Lexington, whose great-grandfather Alfred Combs came to Lexington from Eastern Kentucky in 1870 and established a thriving lumber business, said she does not recall anyone making distinctions between mountain Combses and Bluegrass Combses. "I think they used to laugh about it and say we were related," she said. Everybody was from the mountains." The brother who actually went to the Bluegrass, William Combs, had wintered at Valley Forge, Pa., with George Washington during the Revolutionary War. By 1797, William Combs had a 500-acre farm in what is now Boyle County. By 1830, he was operating the old Combs Ferry at the mouth of Lower Howard's Creek, just below Boonesboro. One of William Combs' sons, John (called Jack), later went to Clay County and became the forebear of Bert Combs. Another brother, Elijah, became a general in the War of 1812 and became a magistrate and state senator after Perry County was formed in 1820. Later, in 1826, he deeded the county 10 acres of land that became the heart of downtown Hazard. Perry Circuit Judge Douglas Combs Jr. and state Railroad Commissioner J.E. Combs are direct descendants of Elijah. Other brothers -- Mason, George, Harrison, Biram and another Nicholas -- settled in areas that are now Perry, Letcher and Knott counties. The uncle, Danger Nick (he was hot-tempered, relatives say), lived to be about 103 before he died in 1838. He founded the community of Combs, north of Hazard, "always reaching out for more land," Josiah Combs wrote. "He patented and patented on the Kentucky River and finally patented most of Lott's Creek." Ann Combs Eversole of Hazard, a descendant of Danger Nick, said her ancestors once owned all the land "from Combs to Typo." Civilization seemed to annoy the early Combses, Josiah Combs observed in his genealogy.Whenever civilization showed signs of encroaching too closely, whenever it interfered with their love of freedom and independence, they girded their loins and moved on," he wrote. "Wherever the Combses went, back in those days, they were possessors of large boundaries of land." Danger Nick's oldest son was named Jeremiah and called "Chunky Jerry." One of Chunky Jerry's sons, "Tight Jerry," accompanied the Union army on its march to the sea in Georgia during the Civil War. "They nicknamed a lot of these guys becausee they had several with the same first name," said Judge Doug Combs. "There was a 'Red Jim' set and a 'White Jim' set." Some Combses with Indian blood are called "black Combses," he said.Sorting out one John Combs or Jeremiah Combs from another is one of the things that the Combs Family Association does at its reunion every August at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park. Among other things, the reunion honors a "Combs of the Year." Past recipients have included Earle Combs, who played baseball for the New York Yankees with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the 1920s and became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame; Leslie Combs II; Bert Combs; and Lois Combs Weinberg, Bert Combs' daughter and founder of a school for dyslexic children. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Dan Jack Combs of Betsy Layne was last year's Combs of the Year. The justice, a Pike County native, said he learned from Bert Combs during his first visit to the reunion that they shared the 26th most common surname in the nation. Dan Jack Combs said the late governor's success in politics had helped other Combses in campaigns. Doug Combs Jr., whose father was Hazard mayor and railroad commissioner, agreed. It tells the folks you're from Kentucky," Doug Combs said. "It's a Kentucky name. You have that tie."

Mason COMBS, Sr. is first recorded when named in the will of his father who bequeathed to "my youngest son Mason COMBES two hundred acres of Land Lying upon the Branches of Pumans End in the County of Essex--being part of a Devident of Land formerly belonging to Warwick CAMMACK to him and his Heirs for Evermore Which aforesaid Land is allready Laid of…" John COMBS also specified that "my said Wife doe take into her Care and Costodie my daughter Aymee and my Son Mason as also their parts of my personall Estate as aforesaid after the same is devided and the sd. Children and their Estate to remaine with her untill they shall Arive to the Age of Eighteen years or the Day of Marriage and that then they the sd. Ayme and Mason bee possessed of the same to them and their Heirs for Evermore…" He also appointed his wife Hannah COMBES and John ANDERSON joint executors. (Richmond DB3:300)

Mason COMBS was still a child when his father died, and thus far, we do not know either where he spent his childhood, or with whom. Unfortunately, nothing more is known of Hannah either. What is known is that John ANDERSON, the co-executor of John COMBS' estate, died in 1721 in King George Co VA (a descendant county of Richmond), leaving a will in which he named his "brother in law" William BROWN his executor, and stated, "My Will and Desire is that whatsoever I am justly indebted to Mason COMBS be paid unto him."

For reasons unknown, William BROWN failed to comply with John ANDERSON'S directive, and as a result, Mason filed suit against BROWN to recover his share of his father's estate in Westmoreland Co VA:

31 May 1733 (Westmoreland Order Book, 1731-1739:89) Combs vs BROWN, ANDERSON… In the suit in Chancery between Macon COMBS an Infant by Edward BARRADALL his Next Friend Compt and John [sic] BROWN Exr of John ANDERSON decd Respondt & the sd Respondt is ordered to give in their answer to the sd Complts bill at next Court or be … five Shillngs. (ibid.)

27 Nov 1733 (Westmoreland Order Book, 1731-1739:110-110a) Combs agt BROWN Exr of ANDERSON…. Mason COMBS an infant under twenty one years of age by Edward BARRADALL his next ffriend at December Court 1732 Exhibitted a bill to this Court Setting in Chancery against William BROWN Exr of the Last will and Testament of John ANDERSON Decd… setting forth that… father John COMBS Late of the County of Richmond decd by his last will and Testament in writing … give all his personal Estate to be Equally Divided between his wife and six children and the Complainants part thereof payed him at the age of eighteen years or Day of marryage and of his said will appointed his wife Hannah Combs and one John ANDERSON Exrs who after the Death of the Said John COMBS proved the Said will and returned an inventory of the Testators Estate, that the Complainants part thereof amounting to about Sixteen pounds was by the Consent of Ye Sd. Orators mother putt into the hands of His Said John ANDERSON who is since Dead having first made his last will in writeing and thereon Expressly Desired that whatsoever …. Unto the Complt should be paid unto him and of his said will appointed the Respondt his Sole Executr. Who after the Death of the sd Testator proved the Said will and took upon him The Execution thereof the Complaint being Lately arived to the age of Eighteen years hath Severall times Requested the Rspondt to pay him out of the Estate of the Said ANDERSON his part of Sd ffathers Estate putt into the Said ANDERSON hands but he absolutely Refused So to Do under Severall … tht the Complt is Remedied… sd. Respondt. Might … Answer … may be compelled to pay the complaint out of the said ANDERSONS Estate So much as Shall appear to be justly Due unto him and that the Court would make Such further Order and …. Now at this Court William BROWN the Respondt putt in his answer in writeing to the said bill thereon confessing it to be true that the Complts part of his fathers Estate was putt into the hands of the said John ANDERSON but what it amounted unto he Know not only that he finds by Sum papers or memorandums Left by the Said Anderson that the part or proportion of Each of the Children of the Complaints father Due upon account of their Fathers Estate amounts to fourteen pounds Eighteen Shillings & three pence half penny for which Sum the Respondt was ready and willing that the Complaint should have … Considered by the Court they do order and Decree that the Respondt Wm. BROWN Exr of the Last will and testament of the sd. John ANDERSON Decd do pay unto the Complt. The affosd. Sum of fourteen pounds Eighteen Shillings & three pence half penny current money out of the Said ANDERSONS Estate in his hands with Costs als Exo…. (Abstracted by C. Hammett)

William BROWN was not only the brother-in-law of John ANDERSON, he was brother to Judith BROWN, wife of William WROE (a.k.a. ROWE), and to Jane BROWN, wife of Nathaniel POPE. It is remotely possible that Hannah, widow of John COMBS, married next William WROE (See Brown-Pope-Wroe Families)

In regard to John COMBS' bequest to Mason of the 200 acres on Peumans' End Run, we are faced with the problem of the missing records of Caroline Co VA (a descendant county of Essex); however, Caroline's early Order Books are extant and provide skeletal information:

(Caroline OB 1732-1740:154) At a court held for Caroline County on Thursday the 8th day of Aug 1734… Of 12 orders on p. 154:

No. 6. Mason COMBS acknowledged for his deeds of lease and release of land indented to Grace BUTTLOR which on his Motion is admd. to record. (Caroline Co, Virginia Order Book, 1732-1740, C. Hammett Transcription, 1997)

Presumably the above record indicates that Mason, now 21 years of age, COMBS had sold the 200 acres on Peuman's End Run bequeathed him by his father. The only further mention of Mason COMBS in Caroline County occurs three years later:

(Caroline OB 1732-1740:423) At a court continued and held for Caroline County on Saturday the 14th day of May 1737…Of 8 orders on p. 423:

8. In ye Suit on the Att. obtd by Wm JEETOR agt ye Estates of Mason COMBS It is Ordred Grace BUTTLER be Sumond to next Court. (Caroline Co, Virginia Order Book Abstracts, 1732-1740, C. Hammett, Transcription, 1997)

The cause of Wm. JEETORS' suit against Mason COMBS is unknown, but it appears probable that it was related to the 200 acres on Peumens End Run, given the order for Grace BUTLER to appear. The suit, however, was dismissed on 12 Aug 1737:

(Caroline OB 1732-1740:442) At a Court held for Caroline County on the 12th day of Aug 1737… Of 15 Orders on p. 442: No. 7. The Attachmt obtained by Wm JEETER agt the Estates of Mason COMBS is Dismd. (Caroline Co, Virginia Order Book Abstracts, 1732-1740, C. Hammett, Transcription, 1997)

Note: In reference to the phrase: "Mason COMBS' Estate," it should be noted that use of this phrase does not infer that he was deceased. A review of the Caroline County Clerk's orders shows that the word, "estates," was used in the same way that the word, "property," might be used today. The Clerk appears to have been punctilious in specifying 'deceased' when such was the case. In all instances of attachments against "live" individuals, he used the phrase "Estates of -----" to indicate that the attachment was against the 'estate' or property of the individual. When an attachment was against the estate of a deceased individual, he appears to have always named the administrator of the estate, and specified that the individual was deceased. Ex: "Attcht. agt. John Doe, adm. of the estate of Jane Doe, deced."

We are seeking to identify and learn more about both William JETER and the above Grace BUTLER (there was more than one in the area at that time) due to: (1) the Jeter Family is found later with the Combs of Amelia & Lunenburg; and (2) the Butler Family intermarried with the Underwood Families (Mason Combs' step-uncle, William UNDERWOOD, Sr., had married Mary BUTLER, sister to the Rev. Amory BUTLER, h/o Elizabeth UNDERWOOD who was sister of Col. Wm. UNDERWOOD, an earlier husband of Mason's grandmother, Elizabeth, wife of Archdale Combs of Old Rappa. Co VA. Whether this is significant is still unknown. Also note that the 1734 order of lease and release does not include a relinquishment of dower. This lack does not document that Mason COMBS was still single at the time, but is an indicator that he may have been.

At some time bef 1739, Mason m Sarah (surname unknown) and their eldest known child, John, was b 1735-1738, possibly in Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, Virginia (where the Parish Register was not kept fully until beginning in 1738 - See his research report for additional).

The earliest records of Mason COMBS in Stafford Co, VA are the births of six of his children:

Born: COMBS, William, son of Mason and Sarah Combs, Nov 28 1740

Born: COMBS, Ann, daughter of Mason and Sarah Combs, 18 Mar 1743

Born: COMBS, Sarah, daughter of Mason and Sarah Combs, 25 Feb 1745

Born: COMBS, Mason, son of Mason and Sarah Combs, 21 Feb 1747

Born: COMBS, Winny, daughter of Mason and Sarah Combs 14 May 1749

Born: COMBS, Wilmot, daughter of Mason Combs, 5 Oct 1751

(The Register of Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA, 1723-1758 and Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes, Compiled and Published by George Harrison Sanford King Fellow, American Society of Genealogist, Fredericksburg, VA, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1961; hereinafter OPR)

Note: As was the case with the birth of John COMBS, Sr. in 1735-1738, it is possible that one or two more children older than William may have been born to Mason and Sarah. Likewise, although Wilmoth's birth is the last recorded in Overwharton Parish, given that her birth was almost simultaneous with the departure of Mason, Sr. from Stafford, there may well be other children born later - whether by Sarah, or by a later wife or wives, possibly right up until Mason's death (Surry Co, NC Guardianship records still need to be read). See, for example, Henry COMBS who d in Frederick Co, VA ca 1767, and Jeremiah COMBS who may have d 1780, Surry Co, NC. Another possibility is one of the George Combs of Wilkes Co, NC - any and all of whom may have also left issue.

Only a few other records for Mason COMBS, Sr. have been located in Stafford County:

"Mason COMBS paid yearly rent to the Estate of Capt. William BRENT in 1746, 1747, 1748, 1749, 1750." (Stafford Co, VA Will Abstracts of 1748-1767, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA.)

According to OPR, Capt. William BRENT (s/o William & Sarah GIBBONS Brent) died 17 Aug 1742 at Acquia Creek in Overwharton Parish. It is not known if either earlier or later rent lists are extant for his estate. However, we have gathered some additional data, as follows:

"In one volume of the Stafford records is included accounts with the estate of Captain William BRENT, deceased, beginning Sept. 16, 1746. Included in these is a list of rents belonging to the estate of Captain William BRENT, deceased. [It is uncertain whether the figures refer to acres of land or to rent in pounds of tobacco.] James BOLLON 630, George BRENT 680, Mr. Charles BRENT, 2100, John PURNELL 548, Mason COMBS, 315, Benjamin DERRICK 830, Charles CARTER 950, Griffin JONES 830, William KNIGHT 630, Edmund KELLY 630, William KIRK 536, Benjamin BERT 630, Jonathan MOORE 265, John MERCER, Gent., 3000, Daniel MEATZ 630, Alexander NELSON 630, John WATERS 630, John RHODES 630, Mary CARBERRY 630, Andrew ATCHISON 315, Rev. Mr. STUART 2000, Duncan SIMPSON 630, John MONTGOMERY 630, Mr. George BRENT, 1800, John MONTGOMERY 830, Peter CASH 830, Wm. CHAMPE 630, Peter HEDGMAN 1000, Mr. MASSEY 400, Silvester MOSS 630." (Genealogies of Virginia Families, From the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, submission of W. B. Chilton, Washington, D. C., Vol.2, GPC, Baltimore, 1981, pp. 326-7).

The transcription of the above list in Stafford Co, VA Will Book (Liber O), 12 Jul 1748 - July Court 1767, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1987, is slightly different, showing:

(Stafford WB, Liber O:163-4) James BALOO rather than BOLLON; George BUSH, rather than BRENT; Thomas EAVES, not listed above; Benjamin BRENT, not BERT; Daniel MEALY, not MEATZ; John MONTGOMERY is listed only once and in his stead, a John MURPHY the second instance. Note: These accounts were recorded in with rents listed for Mason COMBS and most of the above as having been paid for the years 1746 through 1749, and due for 1750.

(Stafford WB, Liber O:210) "… Rents received for William BRENT for the year 1750, Charles BRENT, Charles CARTER, Revd. William STUART, John MERCER, James BATTOE [sic], Transfer, George BUSH, John PURNEL, Mason COMBS, Benjamin DERRICK, Thomas EAVES, Griffin JONES, Mary KNIGHT, Wiliam KIRK, Mrs. Mary BRENT, Jonathan MOORE, Alexander NELSON, John WATERS, Mrs. RHODES, Adam DICKSON, Duncan SIMPSON, John MURPHY, Peter CASH, Mrs. MASSEY, James BURN, George JOHNSON, Silvester MOSS, William LORD, Peter HEDGMAN, Robt. EDWARDS not paid. Memorandum for the Satisfactin of the Court of the Several sums of Tobo paid out of the rents yr Vizt - Mr. ROSSE, JACKSON, CUNNINGHAM, the miller, John HARYWOOD, Thomas EAVES for Taylors work, Mr. BURGESS, Capt. STROTHER, Clks fee 10802 540/00

"At Court held for Stafford County Novr 12th 1751 Peter HEDGMAN Gent Guardian to William BRENT Orphan of William BRENT deced made oath to a List of Tenants belonging to the said BRENT as also to an acco agst BRENT which is allowed admitted to record HEDGMAN allowed 5 pcent. (Stafford Co, VA Will Book (Liber O), 12 Jul 1748 - July Court 1767, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1987)

In 1748/9 Mason COMBS, Thomas GREEN and Robert GARRETT were appointed appraisers of the Estate of Ann PARSONS:

(Stafford WB, Liber O:48) An Inventory of Estate of Ann PARSONS deced .. Cattle, piggs, Box of Books, old pewter, a Box with a few Doctrs. Instruments, one Trunk, gold ring, beds & furniture, spining wheel .. £29..7..0

Thomas GREEN


At Court held for Stafford County March 14, 1748 [1749 NS?] This Inventory & Appraisement of Ann PARSONS deced .. admitted to record

(Stafford Co, VA Will Book (Liber O), 12 Jul 1748 - July Court 1767, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1987)

Mason COMBS' appointment probably indicated that he resided near to not only Ann PARSONS, but also to Thomas GREEN and Robert GARRETT since appraisers were usually near neighbors. However, Mason COMBS' relationship to Ann PARSONS may have been more than just neighborly as he apparently paid at least part of her funeral expenses:

(Stafford WB, Liber O:133) The Estate of Ann PARSON, Funeral Expenses; Tobo [tobacco?] paid Mason COMBS; paid John PEYTON, Ben STROTHER, Charles HARDING; paid George ASHBURY, EE p John WILSER

At Court held for Stafford County 14th Augt 1750, John WILSER [WILSON?] Exr made oath to within Account & the Tobo valued at 14/ ct. (Stafford Co, VA Will Book (Liber O), 12 Jul 1748 - July Court 1767, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1987)

The relationship of Mason COMBS, if any, to any of the above individuals, remains unknown, although currently being researched. Learning where Ann PARSONS and the other two appraisers resided could be of assistance in pin-pointing his own residence. Sometime in 1751, Mason COMBS left Overwharton Parish, removing to what was at that time, Augusta Co., Virginia, but which became in 1753 part of Frederick County:

1751-1752 (Augusta Co Original Petitions and Papers Filed in the County Court. 1751-1752) Undated. Petition of inhabitants of the North side of the South River of Shenandore [sic] for a road. About 3 years ago it was ordered to open a road from Caleb JOB'S plantation, which road is not suitable, and prepare a location on North side crossing the river at a place called the Brush Bottom Ford and so along the river to Henry SPEER'S plantation. Prayer for survey: Mason COMBS, William HURST, Zachariah MACKAY [McKay? McKee? Mackey?] Stephen PHILLIPS, John HANKINS, Charles THOMPSON, Thomas PARENT, Adam CUNNINGHAM, John SOLLERS, Wm. OVERALL, Terence CORCAL, Alexander GUNNEL, Benjamin GUDEN, Josiah PARENT, Edmon BOLLIN, Thomas GRUBS, Richard SHIRLEY, Thomas HUES [Hughes?] Wm. DICKERSON, Thomas McNEAL, Ephraim LEETH, William PARENT. (Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, extracted from the original court records of Augusta County, 1745-1800, by Lyman Chalkley, Vol. I, GPC, Baltimore, 1974, p. 438)

28 May 1751 (Augusta County Court Records, Order Book No. II: 571) Road ordered from Caleb JOB'S to James McKAY'S, crossing the river at a place called the Brush Bottom Ford, and so along the river by Henry SPEARS' plantation, and that said SPEARS, with Mason COMBS, John SALLERS [Sellers?], Richard SHEITZ, William HURST, William OVERALL, Thomas HUES [Hughes?], Zachariah McCOY, Torrance CARROLL, Wm. DICKENSON, Steven PHILIPS, Alexr. GUNNOD (?), James McNEAL, John HAWKINS, Benj. GRIDER, Ephraim LEATH, Charles WILLIAMSON, Josiah PARENT, Wm. P?RENT, Thomas PARENT, Edmond BOLLEN, Adam CONINGHAM [CUNNINGHAM], Francis GRUBBS, keep it in repair. (Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, extracted from the original court records of Augusta County, 1745-1800, by Lyman Chalkley, Vol. I, GPC, Baltimore, 1974, p. 48)

Note that the above record is dated 21 May 1751, and that Mason COMBS is named in the Register of Overwharton Parish in Stafford Co., Virginia, as the father of Wilmot COMBS on 5 Oct 1751. Despite that apparent conflict in the facts, it appears that these two records were both for the same Mason COMBS. In his book, The Combes Genealogy…, Josiah H. Combs theorized that Mason went ahead "to look the country over," returning for his family later (p. 37), certainly not uncommon at that time. and it does appear that Mason COMBS, Sr. did precede his family in settling in the new area.

Note: On p. 37 of The Combes Genealogy…, its author stated:

"…Mason Combs shoved off from Stafford, in 1750…After the birth of Wilmot, his last child in Stafford, there is no further reference to him in the Tidewater country, or Stafford. First mention of Mason in the records of the Valley is on May 28, 1751, when he and others are ordered by the County Court of Frederick to keep in repair a road crossing the Shenandoah at a place called the Brush Bottom Ford. (This date is a little before the birth of his last child, in Stafford; but he had come to the Valley the year before, to look the country over, take up land, and later move his family over).

"Next mention of Mason is three years later, regarding the same road. He lived in the vicinity of Brush Bottom Ford, on the north side of the South Fork of the Shenandoah, four miles from Front Royal. It is ten miles (as the crow flies from Strassburg, and twenty-four from Winchester. State Highway No. 12 runs close to the vicinity, which is the first eastward turn of the river below McCoy's Ford. As nearly as can be determined, the locality is less than a mile upstream from the Asbury school, but on the other, or north side of the River. The Norfolk and Western R. R. runs just opposite, on the south side. It was in this section that Mason's son John and his family lived until around 1780."

The above paragraphs include several errors and/or misstatements. Two are the references to the Frederick Co VA court orders of 1751 and 1754. Those court orders were not in Frederick County, but in Augusta County. By 1753, the land was part of Frederick, and in that county, Mason COMBS and his family are found in the company of Simon and Judith TOLSON Stacey and their family, also from Overwharton Parish of Stafford County:

08 Nov 1758 (Frederick Co., Court record book B, page 141) Lewis STEPHENS assignee of John ROTHER vs John STACEY, Maxamilion BUSH, Simon STACEY. Bail provided by Moses McKAY and Mason COMBS. (Abstracted by Combs-Stacy Researcher Barbara Stacy Matthews, author of The Stacy Journal)

6 Dec 1758 (Frederick Co., Court record book B page 180): Lewis STEPHENS assignee of John ROTHER who was assignee of John BARNS vs John STACEY, Maxamilion BUSH, and Simon STACEY. Bail by Moses McKAY and Mason COMBS. (ibid.)

The above records and Frederick County record book 10 pages 2-3, 61, 155, 167 reference Suits John COUNTS vs John STACEY/STACY. Descendants of John COUNTS are later found in Russell Co, Virginia. John and Simon STACEY were also from Stafford Co, Virginia, and at least two children of Simon married children of Mason (Ann m Benjamin STACY and William m Seth STACY). Researcher Barbara Stacy Matthews also provides the following from Frederick County, Virginia Loose Papers:

I promise to pay or cause to be payed unto John COUNTS his eres or a

sines the full and just sum of six pounds current money of vergenea on

or before the 25 day of December as witness by my hand this 5 day of

March 1759


test Mason COMBS

John X STACY (his mark)

(Copy in possession of Researcher Barbara Stacy Matthews who writes: "This is a hand written document, in Simon's own hand. It was found in the loose papers of Frederick Courthouse"

Note: A copy of the original document can be viewed under Documents at Barbara's Stacy Family Web Site.)

The Combes Genealogy… also includes the statements:

"…The court records at Winchester mention Mason twice in 1762. Brush Bottom Ford is in the present Warren County, which was in turn part of the following counties: Orange, Frederick, Dunmore, Shenandoah, and finally Warren. When Mason's grandson, John, enlisted in the Revolution, in 1777, it was in Dunmore; when he mustered out, in 1779, it was in Shenandoah. All this explains John's confusion when he applied for pension, at Hazard [Perry Co, KY], in 1825. He says that he enlisted in "Frederick or Shenandoah." When his grandfather came to the Valley it was Frederick." (p. 37)

The above-referenced John COMBS was Mason's grandson (s/o of John Combs, Sr., "father of the eight"). The above-referenced 1762 record for Mason COMBS has not yet been located; however, a 1763 Frederick Co VA record has been located for Mason's son, William COMBS, probably indicating that the entire family was still in Frederick at this time, although by 1768, Mason, Sr., and at least four of his children (William, Ann, Mason, Jr. and Winnifred), along with the STACY Family, had removed to Rowan County, North Carolina (His son, John, apparently remained in Frederick Co, VA, that part which later became Dunmore, then Shenandoah, until ca 1780).

Just prior to their first recorded appearance in Rowan County, North Carolina, either Mason COMBS, Sr., or his son, Mason Combs, Jr. (1747-180?) may also have resided for a short period of time in Pittsylvania Co VA:

A List of Tithables for Pittsylvania County Taken by John WILSON, Gent., in year 1767: (includes):

"Henry STONE and Son William, Mason COMBS, negro Sarah."

(History of Pittsylvania County, Maude Carter Clement, Baltimore Regional Publishing Co, 1981, p. 277-8)

Note: The 1767 Pittsylvania County record may have been Mason COMBS, Jr., born 1747 in Stafford County. Also note: After 1767, the next Mason COMBS record in Virginia is not until 1781, a militia list in Montgomery County, Virginia, which is (also?) for Mason COMBS, Jr.

In 1768, Mason COMBS is listed on Gideon WRIGHT'S 1768 Rowan Co, North Carolina, Tax List, a list covering the area that became Surry Co NC in 1771, and today is in primarily now-Wilkes and Yadkin Counties - a list which also includes Mason's son, William, and the CODY, RIDGE and STACEY families:

1768 Rowan Co NC. Tax List of Gideon Wright [includes]:

Mason COMBS 2 tithables [probably Mason Combs, Sr. and son, Mason Combs, Jr.]

Benjamin STACY 1 tithable [m Ann Combs, d/o Mason & Sarah Combs, Sr.]

Wm COOMBS 1 tithable [s/o Mason & Sarah Combs, Sr., h/o Seth STACY]

Wm RIDGE 4 tithables [m Winnifred Combs, d/o Mason & Sarah Combs, Sr.]

Wm CODEY 1 [m Sinai STACY, d/o Simon & Judith TOLSON Stacy (Pettitt)]

(Rowan County, North Carolina Tax Lists 1757-1800, Annotated Transcriptions, Jo White Linn, self-published, Salisbury, NC, 1995, pp. 104-5 (CRX 222, Rowan County, North Carolina State Archives)

In 1771, when Surry Co NC was established from Rowan Co, the tax list indicates:

1771 Surry Co NC Tax Lists

COMES, Mason Senr 3 [himself, son Mason, Jr., and who? A younger son? A negro?]

CODE [CODY] William 1 [h/o Sinai STACY]

COMES William 1 [h/o Seth STACY, son of Mason, Sr.]

RIDGE William 5 [h/o Winnifred Combs, d/o Mason, Sr.]

STASE Benjamin 1 [h/o Ann Combs, d/o Mason, Sr.]

Thomas PETTIT [2nd husband of Judith TOLSON, widow of Simon STACY]

(Surry and Wilkes Co, NC Taxables, 1771-1800, Vol. 1, 1771-1777, William Perry Johnson)

In 1772, Mason Combs, Jr. is tithed in his own household:

1772 Surry Co NC Tax Lists

1772 "List of Taxables for Surry County - 1772" [Clerk's Copy - Selected Names

CADE [CODY] William 1

COMES Mason Senr 2 [Mason Combs, Sr. & whom?]

COMES Mason Junr 1 [tithing in his own name for the first time at age 25?]

COMES William 2 [tithing self and whom?]

HORN, Richard 1 [his dau? grdau? Sarah HORN m in 1797 William RIDGE, Jr.]

STACE Benjamin 1 [h/o Ann Combs]


(Surry and Wilkes Co, NC Taxables, 1771-1800, Vol. 1, 1771-1777, William Perry Johnson)

In 1773, no Surry Co NC tax lists are extant; however, we do find a record of an early NC Land Entry for Mason Combs, Sr.:

23 Jul 1773 (Surry Co. NC Land Entry #307) Mason COMBS, Senr., enters 250 A in Surry on South [sic] side of the Yadkin River against Tumlin [Tumbling] Falls, including his improvement. (Surry County, NC, Wills, 1771-1827, Annotated Genealogical Abstracts, Jo White Linn, GPC, Baltimore, 1992)

Note: This land is in now-Yadkin Co NC, and researching it and other Combs Land in Surry and Wilkes Cos NC will be part of our Combs Deed Mapping Project. No record of the sale of this land has been located as yet, nor for land on the North side of the Yadkin, referred to in a 17 Sep 1778 record: "William T. LEWIS enters 250 acres of land lying on the north side of the Yadkin River and bounded by Mace COMBS & Henry HAND including William RIG'S [RIDGE'S] Plantation for compliment (Researcher George Baumbach) although see also Oct 1780 below.

In 1774, apparently no list is extant for the area in which Mason COMBS resided; however, his son, William, and other Combs-associated individuals appears as follows on a list in what later became Wilkes Co NC:

Benjamin CLEAVLAND'S List (1774 - Selected Entries)

William COMES 1

William CODA [CODY] 1

(ibid. 1772 record)

In 1775, Mason COMBS, Sr. is listed on Surry tax lists with three tithes (yet another son?).

Most of Mason's children in Surry Co, NC, and probably "old Mason himself (as he is referred to in later records), were staunch Tories during the early years of the Revolutionary War, and in Aug of 1780, Mason's son-in-law, William RIDGE (m Winnifred Combs) was killed at the Battle of Hanging Rock in South Carolina.

William RIDGE'S death resulted in extensive court actions, including guardianships, law suits and depositions that have served to document numerous relationships among Mason's children as well as the Cody, Ridge and Stacy families (See George Baumbach's William Ridge Estate File).

During the War Years, Mason's own family and those of his in-laws and Tory neighbors suffered thefts, house-burnings, criminal and civil suits and land confiscations. And, in fact, it may have been the Tory loss at the Battle of Shallowford in the Fall of 1780 which ultimately resulted in at least three of his children (William, Ann and Mason) removing, along with the Codys and Stacys, to Montgomery Co, VA. An Oct 1780 record may have been for Mason COMBS, Sr.:

17 Oct 1780 (Surry NV WB 2:34a) Mason COMBS for 100 pds. gold & silver to John PIPES all my lands, livestock,

personalty. Wit: John ENGLISH, Betse MOSBE [MOSEBY MOSBY MOSELEY] John PIPES signs the bill of sale to

William. F. [sic] LEWIS 21 Jan 1783. Rec. Aug. Ct. 1784

In the meantime, Mason's eldest son, John, had also apparently come down to Surry from Shenandoah (possibly in the same year), and is listed, as is Mason on 1784 Surry Tax Lists. In 1784, Mason COMBS is recorded in another land entry, on West Double Creek, and on 9 Aug of that same year purchases land from John COMBS (probably his son): (Surry WB 2:33a) John COMBS, for 150 pds., to Mason COMBS, Sr., the land on which I live, mill, livestock, personalty. Wit: William COOK, George HUSTON Rec. Aug. Ct. 1784.

In the fall of 1784, John COMBS is recorded as the administrator of Mason's estate:

Nov 1784. (Surry Co NC P&QS) Administration of estate of Mason COMBS to John COMBS. John HURT & Joseph

PORTER, Securities. (SCMB, Surry County, NC, Wills, 1771-1827, Annotated Genealogical Abstracts, Jo White Linn,

GPC, Baltimore, 1992)

16 Nov 1784 - Nov 1785 (NC State Archives C.R. 092.508.14):

Mason COMBS Inventory Nov 1785


Wm T. L.

Due from Wm COMBS L24.00

Jno COMBS Administrator

Nov 16 1784

T and Invitary of Mason COMBS Estate Deseased four hundred acres of Land one still three feather beads and furniture

Eight head of Cattel one maare and a Chist one Table A Loome and three slaws one tin funnal too hoghs one trunk one pot one

skillot one Duchovin [dutch oven] five pounds eighteen shillings against Nathan ALLIN a note of hand of Nine pounds against

Nathan ALLAN a note of hand against John PIPS [PIPES] Sr for four pounds & 10 shillings A Note of hand against Jesse

FRANKLIN of L 4 pounds 2 shillings & one Cask A crop of corn and some tobaco one Bason 2 piggons & a quart mughs

one sotgun 2 aces 2 hoos 1 Maitock 2 ploughs one pair of stillords 1 saddle one little whele 2 pair of cards one Clevis one

Chern 2 Chears and soforth [the remainder is missing] (Transcribed by Combs-Cody Researcher George Baumbach) Rec.

Nov. Ct. 1785, Surry Co WB2:102.

John COMBS of McLain's Ford resided adjacent to a John HURT (See Combs Land of Old Surry). The above Nathan ALLIN already owed Mason money even though he didn't marry his daughter, Winnifred COMBS Ridge, until the month after administration was granted (Is it possible that PIPES and FRANKLIN had also married daughters or granddaughters of Mason?). Question: Who got the 400 acres? Did it include the 200(?) acres sold to Mason by John in Aug 1784?

Nothing more is known of Mason's wife, Sarah, not even whether she made it as far along the trail as North Carolina. His children and grandchildren, however, are known to have remained close to each other for another two hundred years or more - right up until the present day, with several score of Mason's descendants active members of the Combs Research Project.

Known Children of Sarah and Mason Combs, Sr.

  1. John COMBS, Sr., b 1735-138, (possibly Stafford Co) Virginia, d ca 1820, Floyd Co, KY(?); m bef 1755, probably in Frederick Co, VA, Nancy HARDING. Also recorded in Surry Co, NC; Montgomery and Russell Cos, VA; Sullivan Co, TN. Also known as "father of the eight."
  2. William COMBS, Sr., b Nov 28 1740, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d ???; married, probably in Frederick Co VA, Sitha STACY (d/o Simon & Judith TOLSON Stacy (Pettit), Sr.); b 30 Jun 1746, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d ???. Also recorded in Frederick Co, VA; Rowan, Surry and Wilkes Cos, NC; Montgomery & Russell Cos VA; and Sullivan Co, TN.
  3. Ann COMBS, b 18 Mar 1742/3, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d ???, possibly in Pulaski Co, KY; married, probably in Frederick Co VA, Benjamin STACY, Sr. (s/o Simon & Judith TOLSON Stacy (Pettit), Sr.); b 07 Apr 1744, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d aft 1810, ???. Also Recorded in Rowan & Surry Cos NC; Montgomery & Russell Cos VA; Lincoln, Green and Pulaski Cos, KY; and Jackson Co, TN
  4. Sarah Combs, b 25 Feb 1744/5, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA. No more information.
  5. Mason COMBS, Jr., b 21 Feb 1746/47, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d 1801-1808, probably in Hawkins Co, TN; m bef 1786, possibly in Surry Co, NC, Dorothy "Dolly" UNKNOWN, d aft 1828, probably in Warren Co, TN. Also recorded in Montgomery and Russell Cos, VA.
  6. Winnifred "Winny" COMBS, b 14 May 1749, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA; d aft 1791 (possibly in White or Jackson Co, TN); m (1) bef 1770, probably in Rowan Co, NC, William RIDGE, Sr., b ca1735, d Aug 1780 at the Battle of Hanging Rock in SC; m (2) Dec 1784, Surry Co, NC, Nathan ALLIN, b ???; d ???. Her family is also recorded in Jackson, White & Bledsoe Cos, TN (See Also the William RIDGE Estate File which documents additional members of Mason Combs, Sr.'s family.)
  7. Wilmot Combs, b 5 Oct 1751, Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co, VA. No more information.

Note: Nicholas "Danger" COMBS is no longer listed as a child of Mason Combs, Sr. as he is now documented as the s/o John & Nancy HARDING Combs, Sr., parents of "the eight."

Additional Source:

"Pedigree Resource File," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 September 2012), entry for Mason Combs.


view all 14

Mason C. Combs, I's Timeline

February 22, 1714
Caroline, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 17
Virginia, United States
Age 18
Stafford County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 20
King George County, Virginia, Colonial America
November 28, 1740
Age 26
Stafford, Virginia, Colonial America
March 28, 1743
Age 29
Stafford, Virginia, United States
February 21, 1747
Age 32
Stafford, Virginia, Colonial America
May 14, 1749
Age 35
Stafford County, Virginia, Colonial America
October 5, 1751
Age 37
Stafford County, Virginia, Colonial America