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Thomas Holcombe

Also Known As: "Holcomb"
Birthplace: North Tawton, Devon, England
Death: September 07, 1657 (52)
Windsor, Connecticut Colony
Place of Burial: Granby, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Elizabeth Eno
Father of Elizabeth Ellsworth; Abigail Bissell; Joshua Holcomb, Sr.; Sarah Holcomb; Sgt. Benajah Holcombe and 7 others

Occupation: Freeman, May 1634, Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Holcombe

NEW EVIDENCE: by Keevin Biggs??? Hello, On a side-note, dealing with MESSENGER-related families, there is news. I know a bunch of us on this list descend from the Connecticut HOLCOMBE family, via Catherine HOLCOMBE, wife of Joseph MESSENGER and Experience HOLCOMBE, wife of Nathaniel ALFORD. Catherine and Experience were first cousins once removed.

The progenitor of said HOLCOMBE family was Thomas HOLCOMBE, who married Mrs. Elizabeth FERGUSON. For some time, it had been said that Thomas was *likely* the son of Gilbert and Anne (Courtenay) HOLCOMBE, both of incredible royal lineage. However, one problem with that claim was the plaque of HOLCOMBE ancestry above the tomb of Sir John de HOLCOMBE, Knight of the Third Crusade and ancestor of Gilbert HOLCOMBE. Thomas was not included on that plaque (although neither were some others who claimed descent).

Well, I have been informed by a HOLCOMBE researcher, to my complete surprise, that the missing part of that plaque has been found. A brother of Gilbert emigrated from England, (eventually his ancestors ended up in Australia), and had taken part with them. In 1995, that plaque was discovered and did, in fact, have Thomas Holcombe as the son of Gilbert and Anne (COURTENAY) HOLCOMBE.

I have a *monstrous* file on the ancestors of Gilbert and Anne, and am still in the process of putting it all together. As it goes through Charlemagne, among those in many other royal houses, some of the ancestry goes back to the first couple centuries A.D. King Alfred the Great's ancestry, from a book written in the 900's, goes back to B.C. time.

I have tons of ancestors of my MESSENGERS and related colonial families (including some not on your page, Debbie). I could see what I can do about posting lineages.

FROM: Lorin Snyder

Thomas lived in Connecticut from 1634 until his death.

Thomas Holcomb, the immigrant ancestor, was a freeman in Dorchester, Mass., 14 May 1634. Sold property there in 1665, although he removed to Windsor in 1639. He was a representative from Windsor to Hartford to assist in framing the constitution of Connecticut Colony. He died at Windsor 7 Sep. 1657. His widow, Elizabeth, married James Eno 5 Aug. 1658, and died 7 Oct. 1679. (NEB genealogy)

THOMAS HOLCOMBE was born about 1595 in Pembroke, Wales, England, the son of Gilbert and Anne (Courtenay) Holcombe. [disproven see Gilbert Holcombe, gent.]

He came to America in 1630 on the boat "Mary and John". This was the same boat on which William Buell came to America.

Thomas married Elizabeth Ferguson on May 14, 1634, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She was born in England in 1610, the daughter of Thomas Ferguson. They were the parents of ten children, four sons and six daughters.

After marrying, the Thomas Holcombes lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, then Roxbury and finally Poquonock, Connecticut.

After the death of Thomas Holcombe on September 7, 1657, Elizabeth married James Eno on August 5, 1658.

May have been born in Pembrokeshire, Wales or Hull/Hole Devonshire, England. Thomas was one of a company of one hundred forty Puritans who, in March of 1630, assembled at the hospital at Plymouth, Devon County, England, for the purpose of developing plans for their voyage to America. They chartered a 400-ton ship, the Mary and John, and soon set sail. After sailing for 70 days the group arrived 30 May, 1630 at Nantasket, Massachusetts. The party settledjust south of Boston.

They named the area Dorchester. It was later incorporated into greater Boston. Thomas was granted an eight acre Great Lot at Dorchester, 1 December 1634; granted Lot #65, three acres, in the meadow beyond Naponset; on 12 August 1635 Thomas Holcombe of Dorchester sold to Richard Joanes of Dorchester four parcels of land: four acres "with my houses and all things thereto pertaining"; eight acres in Great Lots; six acres meadow on this side Naponset; and three acres meadow on the other side Naponset.

Thomas married Elizabeth (a widow). Elizabeth survived him and married as her 3rd husband and his 2nd wife James Eno. Thomas was made a freeman 14 March, 1634. Within a few years--1635-1636--Thomas, along with sixty other people, settled Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. He sold his Dorchester property 12 August, 1635 and moved to a farm at Poquonock, Hartford County near Windsor. Thomas represented Hartford County in framing the constitution of the Colony of Connecticut, served on a Connecticut jury, September 1654. He was also a Deputy and a member of the Connecticut Militia.

The Windsor land inventory on 25 December 1640 states that "Thomas Holcom his former grants sold to Josyas Hull, William [illegible] and George Phelps." He had then granted "by virtue of purchase at Paquannick for an home lot with meadow adjoining twenty acres,"also adjoining "four acres and half more or less," also on the west side of the brook before his house "25 acres more or less," also by purchase from Henry Clarke "twenty-five acres with upland adjoining 68 acres more or less." On 7 February 1655[/6] Thomas Holcombe had twelve acres of woodland bounded out to him. On 4 March 1655[/6] he had ten acres of woodland bounded out.

Thomas died September 7, 1657 and is buried in an old cemetery near his home in Poquonock, Conn. The old stone has crumbled and been removed. The inventory of the estate of "Thomas Holcom of Windsor" was taken 1 October 1657 and totalled £294 10s., of which

  • £95 10s. was real estate: "11 acres in home lot with housing and orchard,"
  • £50; "four acres and a half adjoining to the home lot,"
  • £6; "10 acres and a half of meadow,"
  • £10 10s.; "in the fourth meadow 12 acres,"
  • £15; "25 acres of woodland over the brook against the house,"
  • £3; "48 acres of woodland,"
  • £7 10s.; "10 acres of woodland,"
  • 10s.; and "his part in that called Tinker's Farm, 80 acres and a barn," £3.
  • He also owned two swords.

To the inventory was appended the following list:

The related that survive the above said deceased are

  • The relict Elissabeth his widow
  • Sons
    • 1 Josuay the eldest of age 17 years
    • 2 Benaiah the second of age 13 years 3 months
    • 3 Nathanell the third of age 9 years
  • Daughters
    • 4 Abigayle the eldest unmarried of age 18 years 3 quarters
    • 5 Debora the youngest of age 6 years 7 months

Elizabeth, the relict and administratrix, was appointed 3 December 1657 and dealt with the cautions issued by George Griswold and his father Edward Griswold regarding division of the estate.


  • 1. i ELIZABETH, b. say 1634; m. Windsor 16 November 1654 Josiah Ellsworth.
  • 2. ii MARY, b. say 1636; m. Windsor 3 October 1655 George Griswold.
  • 3. iii ABIGAIL, b. (or bp.) Windsor 6 January 1638/9; m. Windsor 11 June 1658 Samuel Bissell.
  • 4. iv JOSHUA, bp. Windsor 27 September 1640; m. Windsor 4 June 1663 Ruth Sherwood.
  • 5. v SARAH, b. (or bp.) Windsor 14 August 1642; d. 1654.
  • 6. vi BENAJAH, b. Windsor 23 June 1644; m. Windsor 1

(f/g) Thomas Holcomb

  • Birth: 1609, England
  • Death: Sep. 7, 1657 - Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

Born by about 1609, based on estimated age of marriage. Came to Massachusetts Bay in 1633. First settled in Dorchester; moved to Windsor CT in 1635. Died in Windsor CT 7 September 1657. Thomas married by about 1634, an Elizabeth (assuming she was the mother of all his children), born about 1617. John Winthrop, Jr. attended her at Windsor in 1669, as the wife of second husband James Eno, and called her 52 years old. Previous authors have claimed that Thomas Holcomb married an Elizabeth Ferguson at Dorchester, Mass. on May 14, 1634. Such marriage is not on record and the date is synonymous with the date Thomas Holcomb was admitted a freeman of the Mass. Bay Colony. In 1964 Donald Lines Jacobus noted that "[h]er maiden name has been stated as Ferguson, without proof or probability."

In 1981 George E. McCracken published "Thomas Holcombe's Earlier Posterity," a definitive account of the immigrant and the first few generations of descent from him. In his usual style, he opened the article with an exhaustive discussion of previous writings on this family. The same author has also written two brief articles on the fraudulent claim of royal ancestry for Thomas Holcombe and on the inaccurate tombstone erected in his memory.

Thomas Holcomb(e), of unknown parentage, was b. likely in England about 1609. He arrived at the Massachusetts Bay in 1633 and first settled at Dorchester, Mass. He later moved to Windsor, Conn. in 1635 where he died on Sept. 7, 1657.

Thomas Holcomb died intestate, his estate abstracted by Manwaring from the Hartford Probate District records, Vol. I, Page 130-131, citing probate vol. II, pages 105-6:

…Thomas Holcomb of Windsor. Invt. £294-09-08 taken Oct. 1, 1657 by Benjamin Newbery and Daniel Clark. Children: Joshua age 17 years, Benajah 13, Nathaniel 9, Abigail 19, and Deborah 6-7/12 years of age. Signed, Matthew Grant. Adms. granted to the Widow Elizabeth Holcomb with order of distribution to:

  • To the Widow,………….£42-18-00
  • To Joshua,………………..42-18-00
  • To Benajah,………………33-07-00
  • To Nathaniel,……………..28-12-00
  • To Abigail,………………..28-12-00
  • To Deborah,………………28-12-00
  • …George and Edward Griswold entered a claim to part of the estate, but remitted the Claim.
  • …James Enno and Elizabeth Holcomb, widow, were married Aug. 5, 1658. (Windsor Rec.)
  • …On this 15th day of December, 1660, I doe acknowledge to have received of my Father Enno of my wive's portion the whole sum. Samuel Bissell.
  • …On this 17th day of December, 1660, I doe acknowledge to have received of my Father Enno ye full sum of my portion. Witness my Hand: Joshua Holcomb.
  • …Court Record, Page 109--Dec. 3, 1657: Invt. exhibited.

Family links:


  • Elizabeth Holcomb Eno (1617 - 1679)


  • Elizabeth Holcombe Ellsworth (1634 - ____)
  • Mary Holcombe Griswold (1636 - 1708)*
  • Abigail Holcomb Bissell (1639 - 1688)*
  • Joshua Holcombe (1640 - 1690)*
  • Sarah Holcombe (1642 - 1654)*
  • Benajah Holcombe (1644 - 1735)*
  • Deborah Holcombe (1646 - 1648)*
  • Nathaniel Holcombe (1648 - 1740)*
  • Deborah Holcomb Birge (1649 - 1686)*
  • Jonathan Holcombe (1652 - 1656)*

Burial: Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

  • Plot: Founders Monument
  • Created by: Linda Mac
  • Record added: Feb 25, 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 34188711 -tcd


Likely more correct:


  • Birth: Apr. 7, 1605, England
  • Death: 1657
  • b. 7 Apr 1605 – Devon, England
  • d. 7 Sep 1657 Windsor, Hartford, CT,USA
  • Father Gilbert Holcombe
  • Mother Anne Courtenay
  • Spouse Elizabeth Ferguson – nar. 14 May 1634 - Dorchester, Suffolk, MA, USA


  • 1. Elizabeth Holcomb m. Josias Ellsworth
  • 2. Mary Holcomb m. George Griswold
  • 3. Abigail Holcomb, (1638- ) -m. Samuel Bissell
  • 4. Joshua Holcomb (1640-1690)
  • 5. Sarah Holcomb (1642-1654)
  • 6. Benajah Holcomb (1644-1736) m. Sarah Eno
  • 7. Deborah Holcomb (1646-1649)
  • 8. Nathaniel Holcomb (1648- ) m1. Mary Bliss m2. Sarah Owen
  • 9. Deborah Holcomb (1650- ) – m. Daniel Birge
  • 10. Joanthan Holcomb – (1654-1656)

it has been represented that Thomas moved from England to Boston,MA. He was a Puritan. He came to America on the "Mary and John" arriving at Boston May 30, 1630. He was one of 60 "Puritans and dissenters" who moved in 1635-36 to the junction of the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers and founded the town of Windsor.

The Holcomb Genealogy compiled by James Hallowell Holcombe Jr. 2006

MARY AND JOHN Thomas has been said to have come on the 1630 voyage of the Mary and John, but there is no proof of it, all passenger lists for that voyage being hypothetical.

Robert Charles Anderson in NEHGR, April 1993, addressed the many different lists of passengers on the Mary and John. He went about objectively establishing specific criteria for determining the likelihood that a specific individual was on the ship. By the criteria he established, which seem reasonable, Mr. Anderson concluded that Thomas Holcombe is not likely to have come on the Mary and John in 1630.

In 1649 he moved 4 miles NW to Poquonock. He represented Windsor and Hartford on the General Court, and served for both in framing the Constitution of the Colony of Connecticut.

Many of his descendants lived in and around the town of Simsbury in Hartford Co., later known as Granby..

The genealogical data on the north side of the stone contain a number of errors. Thomas Holcomb had no son named Thomas, and, though C.G. Flanders must have seen a stone for the son, with the date of death, given as 1736, he shows no first name. Thomas Holcomb did have a son who died in 1736, Benajah, who died 25 Jan. 1736/7, and it was probably he who was buried at Poquonock in 1736 Old Style, as he is known not to have accompanied his relatives from Windsor to Simsbury, out of which Granby was later taken. Benajah, however, married Sarah Eno, not Elizabeth Pettebone, and though there were Holcomb-Pettebone marriages, no Elizabeth Pettebone married any Holcomb in the period.

What has happened is that Benajah's death year has been appropriated for a son who was rather Joshua, Born Windsor, 7 April 1649, died Simsbury, 1 Dec. 1690 who married 4 June 1663 Ruth Sherwood, died 10 Sept. 1699, daughter of Thomas Sherwood of Fairfield. Joshua and his wife belong on that stone in the place of a non-existing Thomas. Joshua, however, had a son Capt. Thomas who was born in Windsor, 30 March 1666, died at Simsbury 5 March 1730/1, and his first wife was Elizabeth Terry; second wife, Rebecca Pettebone. The two views of Capt. Thomas have been condensed into one, Elizabeth from the first wife and Pettebone from the second, but the line to these later Holcombs really runs through Elizabeth Terry and the name Pettebone does not belong on the stone. In the next generation Daniel was the 2nd son of Capt. Thomas and Elizabeth (Terry) Holcomb, and was born 30 Sept. 1692, date of death not hitherto known to me. The stone is right in naming his wife Esther Buel, for she was Hester Buel, born Simsbury, 24 Nov. 1705, baptized there by Dudley Woodbridge, 10 March 1705/6, youngest daughter of Peter Buel (William) by his third wife MaryGillett, and the marriage took place on 1 Jan. 1735/6. Daniel was, indeed, the only son, but as he was born 31 March 1744, his age at death, if he died, 12 Oct. 1836, was 92 and not 85. Likewise, Daniel was aged 65, not 54, if he died as the stone says on 5 June 1836, for he was born 18 Jan. 1771, baptized 14 Aug. 1774.

This article has been written, not only to call attention to these errors, but to serve as an excellent example of the wisdom of not accepting sepulchral information at its face value.

Children of Thomas Holcombe and Elizabeth (--?--) were as follows:

  • 1. ELIZABETH was born in 1634 at probably Dorchester, MA. She married Sgt. Josiah Ellsworth, son of John Ellsworth and Lucia Bower, on 16 Nov 1654 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 2. MARY was born in 1635 at Dorchester (now Windsor), Hartford Co., CT. She married George Griswold, son of Edward Griswold and Margaret (--?--), on 3 Oct 1655 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 3. ABIGAIL was baptized on 6 Jan 1638 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. She married Samuel Bissell, son of Capt. John Bissell and Mary Drake, on 11 Jun 1658 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 4. JOSHUA was born on 7 Apr 1640 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. He married Ruth Sherwood, daughter of Thomas Sherwood of Fairfield and Mary (--?--), on 4 Jun 1663 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 5. SARAH was baptized on 14 Aug 1642 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.She died in 1654
  • 6. BENAJAH was born on 23 Jun 1644 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. He married Sarah Eno, daughter of James Eno and Anna Bidwell, on 11 Apr 1667 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 7. DEBORAH was born on 15 Oct 1646 She died in 1649
  • 8. NATHANIEL was born on 4 Nov 1648 at Poquonock, Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. He married Mary Bliss, daughter of Nathaniel Bliss and Catharine Chapin, on 27 Feb 1670 at Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. He married Sarah Owen on 17 Jan 1722 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 9. DEBORAH was born on 15 Feb 1649/50 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. She married Daniel Birge, son of Richard Birge and Elizabeth Gaylord, on 5 Nov 1668 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.
  • 10. JONATHAN was born on 23 Mar 1651/52 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. He died on 13 Sep 1656 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT, at age 4

Genealogical Vandalism As documented in the Holcomb Genealogy

Thomas Holcombe's Tombstone

  • by George McCracken
  • from The American Genealogist Vol. 44, p. 58, January 1968

The story of the vandalism was reported to me some years ago by the late Mrs. Carrie Marshall Kendrick who lived in a fine mid-victorian house near the intersection of Marshall Phelps Road with Poquonock Avenue in Windsor, Conn. The house had been formerly known as 1297 Poquonock Avenue but more recently has been given a number of Marshall Phelps Road. On the other side of the road but the same side of the avenue, so Mrs. Kendrick informed me, was formerly a small cemetery in which was originally buried Thomas Holcombe in October 1657.

Members of the Holcomb family "later" removed to what is now Granby and took with them Thomas Holcomb's tombstone, if not what was left of his remains also, and inserted the 1657 stone into an obelisk-type monument in the Granby Street Cemetery in Granby where it was read by C. G. Flanders in 1934 when he reported all the stones of that graveyard: "Thomas Holcomb, born in England, died Oct. 1657." Mrs Kendrick further stated, with considerable distress, that some years before she spoke members of the family had demolished the obelisk-type monument and replaced it with a modern granite monument, and the original slab was then thrown into a dump.

Family links:


  • Elizabeth Ferguson Holcomb (1617 - 1679)


  • Thomas Holcomb (____ - 1796)

Burial: Granby Cemetery, Granby, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

  • Created by: M Cooley
  • Record added: Feb 04, 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 65163079

Likely came to America on the "Mary and John." One of the founders of Windsor, CT


 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut

Christening: 1657

 Pembrokshire, Wales

Arrival: 1630

 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

Arrival: 1630

 Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA

Immigration: May 30 1630

 the Mary and John to Nantasket Bay, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ancestral File Number: 3GLM-8W Residence: Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA _UPD: 02 JAN 2016 23:16:42 GMT+-0 Occupation: Freeman, May 1634, Farmer Marriage: Marriage to: elizabeth jacques Holcomb (born FERGUSON) May 14 1634

 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

Residence: Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Between 1700 and 1859 Death: Sep 7 1657

 Poquonock, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Burial: Sep 7 1657

 Granby Cemetery, Granby, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
view all 26

Thomas Holcombe's Timeline

April 7, 1605
North Tawton, Devon, England
May 30, 1630
Age 25
March 1, 1634
Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Dorchester, Windsor, Connecticut Colony
January 6, 1638
Windsor, Connecticut Colony
April 7, 1640
Windsor, Connecticut Colony
August 14, 1642
Windsor, Connecticut Colony
June 23, 1644
Windsor, Connecticut Colony