Nathaniel Holcombe1,2,3,4

b. 4 November 1648, d. 5 March 1740
     Nathaniel Holcombe was born on 4 November 1648 at Poquonock, Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.5,6 He was the son of Thomas Holcombe and Elizabeth (?) Nathaniel Holcombe married Mary Bliss, daughter of Nathaniel Bliss and Catharine Chapin, on 27 February 1670 at Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.7,8 Nathaniel Holcombe married Sarah Owen on 17 January 1722 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT. Nathaniel Holcombe died on 5 March 1740 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT, at age 91.9

Chosen Deputy to the General Court of Connecticut for Simsbury between 1703 and 1706; again between 1720 and 1722. Was a joint signer of an agreement with pastor of the church of Hop Meadow 27 Jun 1687. Signed an offer to citizens of Salmon Brook and Low Meadow for exchange of parts of land to better fortify against Indians, 04 Feb 1688.

from McCracken:
8th child and 3rd son, was born at Windsor, 4 Nov. 1648, died at Simsbury, 5 March 1740/1. His will is dated 7 Feb. 1740/1, probated 5 March 1740/1 (Manwaring 3:286). He devises various real estate in both Windsor and Simsbury to the four sons listed below, and to the five living daughters the moveable estate; the son, not named, of his deceased daughter Martha, 20 shillings, to be paid by sons Nathaniel, Jonathan and John, "to buy him a Bible." (This might suggest that this grandson, Daniel Hayes, was a minor but he was nearly 25 at this date.) To his wife, not named, testator leaves only 20 shillings "besides what I have already secured for her before marriage." Son Benjamin is names sole executor; witnesses: Elias Slater, Ephraim Bewell, Timothy Woodbridge. His first marriage took place on 27 Feb 1670/1 but is not recorded at either Windsor or Simsbury, and I suspect is was recorded at Springfield, the home of the bride, who was Mary Bliss, born 23 Sept, 1651, died by 1722, daughter of Nathaniel Bliss (Thomas of Hartford) by his wife Catharine Chapin (Samuel), as the birth of the first child is recorded at Springfield. He married, second, at Simsbury, 17 Jan. 1722/3, Sarah ----, widow of Josias Owen, as the marriage record identifies her. It seems probable that her first husband was Josias Owen (John) shown by Stiles (2:544) to have married, first, Mary, daughter of John Osburn, but Stiles knows nothing of a second marriage for either Josias Owen or Nathaniel Holcombe, nor does The Chapin Book (1924) 1:16f

from Stiles
Resided Simsbury which town he represented at gen. ct. 1703, 4, 5, 1720, and 22. Lists children as Nathaniel, Mary, Johnathan, John, Ester, Catherine, Sarah, and Benjamin.

from Tempest
Holcombe family tradition has it that Nathaniel and Mary first settled at what is now Salmon Brook in 1677. Nathaniel was born in the Poquonock section of Windsor. Although Mary's father's family was among the first group to come to Hartford, she was living in Springfield when she married Nathaniel in 1670. It is not clear if the couple lived in Springfield for long, but by 1675 they were back in Windsor with their two children, Nathaniel and Mary. Nathaniel Sr. is not listed among those who moved to Simsbury immediately following the war, but his older brother Joshua is, and his mother and stepfather James Eno, did move to "Scotland", the section of Simsbury east of the ridge, in 1679. It is possible they did live with the Enos briefly, while renting land at Salmon Brook from someone such as John Slate. Or it may have been that they even began building a homestead at Salmon Brook and that the record of Nathaniel's 1677, '78 or '79 grant was among those burned; no one bothered to record it again since he received new grants, possibly for the same land, as a result of the land divisions in 1680. He continued to pay taxes in Windsor through 1686, but only because he owned three acres of upland there, not because he was a resident. Certainly the couple was well established with their four children in Simsbury by 1681, for Nathaniel was elected town constable in December of that year.10


Nathaniel's lifetime was a long period of frantic geo-political activity in the townships of Windsor and Hartford.

Five of Windsor's Daughter Towns were formed from an area called the Waramaug Reserve or the Western Lands. The Reserve was set aside by the General Court in a special session on 26 January 1686/7. It comprised all the land "on the north of Woodbury and Mattatuck (Waterbury) and on the west of Farmington and Simsbury, to the Massachusetts line north, and to run west to the Housatunock, or Stratford, river." It was granted to the towns of Hartford and Windsor "to make a plantation or villages thereon." This grant, along with a number of smaller grants to other towns, was made with powers granted the Court by their 1662 Charter from King Charles II. 11

The need for the Court's action arose from British politics. IN 1674, Charles II issued his brother James, Duke of York, a patent for the Colony of New York. This included all the lands west of the Connecticut River. In May 1775, James's new governor, Edmund Andros, sent attested copies of his Letters Patent to the Connecticut government, pointing out that while the eastern boundary of his New York grant was the Connecticut River, a large part of his territory was under Connecticut control. He asked them to "give present and effective orders for my receiving, in his Royall Highness' behalfe, that part of his Territories as yet under your Jurisdiction." He assured them that ll land rights of inhabitants and all previous judicial and legislative actions would be confirmed. His demand was rejected, and he later attempted to exert control over Connecticut by an attack on the fort at Saybrook, but failed. On 28 November 1683, a subsequent governor of New York, Col. Dongan, agreed with Connecticut's Gov. Treat to a compromise, and in October and September of 1684, a new line was drawn between Connecticut and New York. Connecticut's territory then seemed safe. 11

However, with the death of Charles II in 1685, James became King James II. He knighted Andros and named him governor of all of New England, with authority to restructure the civil and political affairs of the entire region, including the taking back the earlier, rather liberal, colony charters. 11

On 22 December 1686, Gov. Andros wrote Connecticut requesting that it surrender its Charter. Also, three writs were issued demanding that Connecticut prove its rights to the territory it claimed. IN response, the General Court omade emergency grants while its Charter was still in effect. If it lost its Charter and became only a part of a large, new, colony, Connecticut's unassigned lands would revert to be "crown lands" belonging to James. 11

In October 1687, Gov. Andros came to Hartford to take away the Charter. At an evening meeting with the General Court, the candles suddenly went out, and the Charter disappeared. Andros had to leave without getting it. James's threats to the Charter, along with Andros, were removed in 1688 by the "Glorious Revolution" which replaced James II with William and Mary and put the Charter back in force. 11

Hartford and Windsor did nothing about their grant until 1707 when Hartford appointed Maj. William Whiting, Nathaniel Hooker, and Caleb Stanley to explor the Reserve area along with a committee from Windsor. In 1708, they negotiated with claimants from Stratford and other towns to settle boundaries. On 2 November 1713, Capt. John Sheldon, Lt. Cyprian Nicholls, and Mr. Sedgwick were told to determine the quantity and qualilty of the lands and find out about Indian claims. Then in 1715, Col. William Whiting, John Marsh, and Thomas Seymour of Hartford and John Eliot, Daniel Griswold, and Samuel Rockwell of Windsor were to lay out one or two townships. 11

On 2 March 1715, 12 Indians of Potatuck (Newtown) sold, for £15, to the Hartford and Windsor committees, for themselves and the ther inhabitants of Hartford and Windsor, a track of land called Bantam, lying north of Waterbury adn Woodbury and lying between the Naugatuck and Shepaug Rivers. Two months later, John Marsh spend four days exploring the proposed plantation, and in January 1716, Thomas Seymour spent six days in Wodbury negotiating with the Indians. Then, on 29 August 1716, the Hartford and Windsor purchasers deeded to their towns all their rights from the Indians. 11


A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records, Hartford District, 1729-1750. Vol. III. n.p., 1906.

I, Nathaniel Holcomb, Sen., of Simsbury, do make this my last will and testament: Imprimis. To my wife, besides what I have already secured for her before marriage, I give her the sum of 20 shillings. Item. I give to my sons, Nathaniel, Jonathan, John and Benjamin, that lott of land of 150 acres that lyeth near the northwest corner of the Town bounds, to be equally divided between them. Also, to my sons, Nathaniel, Jonathan and John, I give the 1-2 of my propriety in Windsor of undivided land. To my son Nathaniel I also give my right and interest in the Copper Hill, the whole of it, and also that addition of land that was made to my lott at Raven Swamp. To Jonathan I give further 10 acres of land lying on Salmon Brook Plaine. To John I give 12 acres of land lying at Barn Door Hills. I give to my son Benjamin the other half of my right in Windsor undivided lands, the house and homestead I now dwell on, being about 3 acres, with the orcharding standing on it; also 14 acres of land at the head of Owen's Brook, as it was layd out, be it more or less; also the remainder of my home division lott that I am now possessed of; also 10 acres of land at a place called Slater's Swamp, bounded south in part on Elias Slater's land. Also, I give to Benjamin the 1-2 of my copper's (cooper's?) tools and my best gunn, and the other half to my sons Nathaniel, Jonathan and John. To my five daughters, Mary, Katharine, Hester, Sarah and Margaret, I give, after debts and legacies are paid out of them, the remainder of my moveable estate, to be divided equally amongst them. And to the son of my daughter Martha deceased I give 20 shillings, to be paid him by my sons Nathaniel, Jonathan and John, to buy him a Bible. To my daughter Mary I give her a cow in particular, to be taken out of my moveables before the division is made. And ordain my son Benjamin to be my sole executor. Witness: Elias Slater, Ephraim Bewell, Timothy Woodbridge. Nathaniel Holcomb, ls. Court Record.

Children of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss


  1. [S23] Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy, page 41, item 201.
  2. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101/Item A-8.
  3. [S44] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  4. [S52] Henry R. Stiles History of Ancient Windsor II, Volume 2, Page 395.
  5. [S331] Edwin Stanley Welles, Hartford, Windsor, Fairfield, Page 35.
  6. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 10.1.
  7. [S22] Unknown author, "unknown short article title."
  8. [S331] Edwin Stanley Welles, Hartford, Windsor, Fairfield, Page 13.
  9. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.2.
  10. [S64] Mark Williams, A Tempest in a Small Town:The Myth and Reality of Country Life, Granby, Connecticut 1680-1940.
  11. [S700] Homer W. Scott, "Waramaug Reserve."

Mary Bliss1

b. 23 September 1651, d. before 1722
     Mary Bliss was born on 23 September 1651 at Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.2,3 She was the daughter of Nathaniel Bliss and Catharine Chapin. Mary Bliss married Nathaniel Holcombe, son of Thomas Holcombe and Elizabeth (?), on 27 February 1670 at Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.4,5 Mary Bliss died before 1722.

Children of Mary Bliss and Nathaniel Holcombe


  1. [S70] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe", Page 36.
  2. [S266] Duane E. Wilson, Edward Messenger.
  3. [S426] John Homer Bliss, Bliss Family, Page 36.
  4. [S22] Unknown author, "unknown short article title."
  5. [S331] Edwin Stanley Welles, Hartford, Windsor, Fairfield, Page 13.

Mary Holcombe1,2

b. 17 May 1675, d. between 22 December 1744 and 27 May 1745
     Mary Holcombe was born on 17 May 1675 at probably Springfield, MA.3 She was the daughter of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Mary Holcombe died between 22 December 1744 and 27 May 1745 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.3

Unmarried. Died between 22 Dec. 1744, date of will, and 27 May 1745, date of inventory, £138/03/11, taken by Joseph Hoskins and Daniel Adams (Manwaring 3:417). She leaves her Bible to brother Benjamin Holcombe "to be his for ever, and the Lord be with him"; to sister Esther Higley best quilt and a pair of silver clasps; to four sisters, viz: Esther aforesaid, Katharine Messenger, Margaret North and Sarah Barbour, rest and residue; sole executor: brother Benjamin; signed by mark; witnesses: Brewster Higley Jr., Joseph Higley, John Higley.


  1. [S44] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  2. [S65] Deanna Holcomb Bowman Thomas Holcomb, Vol. I:Pg. 10.
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.1.

Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe1,2

b. 15 February 1678/79, d. 7 October 1761
     Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe was born on 15 February 1678/79 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.3 He was the son of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe married Mary Buell, daughter of Sgt. Peter Buell and Martha Cogan, on 1 November 1695 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.4,5 Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe married Mary Saxton on 22 June 1721 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.6,4 Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe died on 7 October 1761 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT, at age 82.7

Seaver says little about Jonathan but gives only one wife as Mary Sillyar.

The various researchers, McCracken, McPherson and Seaver have different children for Sgt. Jonathan, with considerable confusion on son(s) Jonathan. Seaver seams to best reflect the Birth, Marriage and Death Records by Bates that indicate a son Jonathan born in 1701 and died in 1705 and a second son Jonathan born after 1705 and before the birth of Azariah, who then died in 1737.

Died of the falling of a small tree. His will was dated 29 May 1759, probated 2-3 Nov 1761, witnessed by three, John Own, Esther Owen and Roseeitte Owen. The handwriting of the two women is so similar that one suspects one signed for both. The will leaves a third to beloved wife Mary. Having already given by deeds of conveyance to beloved grand children Jonathan Holcomb and Michael Holcomb and Ame Holcomb, the children and heirs of beloved and eldest son Jonathan Holcomb now deceased, "the full of the portion I designed for them," he now bequeaths to beloved son Azariah Holcomb and his heirs and assignes forever, "he paying all my Just Debts, and Legacies hereafter mentioned, my Dwelling house and Barn and home Lot and Orcharding, together with all my lands thereto adjoining, Lying on Salmon Brook, on both sides the Brook, and also my Lot in the Estwoods in Salmon Brook Society near Thomas Bacons Land in partnership with Edward Matson, and also I give unto my Said Son Azariah all my Moveable Estate, to be for him and his heirs forever."

To beloved daughter Mary, wife of Amos Case,£10 to be paid within one year after decease, "together with what I have already given her."

To beloved daughter Demaris Ward wife of Gamaliel Ward, Twenty Shillings, "together with what I have already given her," to be paid her within one year.

To beloved grandson Abner Holcomb all "my Common or undevided Lands lying in Simsbury."

Son Azariah sole executor. The will was signed by an elderly but not senile signature.

McCracken lists, among others, a son Jonathan born 1701, and an unnamed child who died 1705. Seaver lists a Jonathan born 1701 and died 1705 and a second Jonathan born 1708, died 1737.

Children of Sgt. Jonathan Holcombe and Mary Buell


  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page194.1/Item A-8-3.
  2. [S23] Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy, page 42, item 203.
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.1.
  4. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 194.1.
  5. [S810] Edwin W. Strickland II, William Buell, 1-8, page 35.
  6. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 152.
  7. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 173.

Ensign John Holcombe1,2,3

b. 1680, d. 1744
     Ensign John Holcombe was born in 1680 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.4 He was the son of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Ensign John Holcombe married Ann Pettibone, daughter of John Pettibone Sr. and Sarah Eggleston, on 19 March 1706/7 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.5 Ensign John Holcombe left a will on 20 May 1743.6 He died between 20 May 1743 and 11 July 1744. He died in 1744; GS. His estate was probated on 11 July 1744 at East Granby, Hartford Co., CT.6 He was buried at East Granby, Hartford Co., CT.

McCracken notes that John's will is dated 20 May 1743 (Manwaring 3:416) and names wife Ann, says deceased daughter Ann had her portion, does not mention a daughter Damaris but names the living daughters as Dinah, Esther, Martha and Sarah, and as an unknown daughter must be inserted so as to make the four who preceded Martha recorded as 5th daughter. It also names sons John, Asahel and Moses. Seaver and Spear have Miriam born in 1719 in this family, but Bowman places Miriam as a daughter of Joshua and Hannah Carrington.
I, John Holcomb of Simsbury, in the County of Hartford, do make and ordain this my last will and testament: I give to my wife Ann the 1-3 part of all my real estate (the use thereof) during her life, and the 1-3 part of my personal estate that I leave undisposed of at the time of my decease to be her's forever. I hereby give to my son John the south side of my homelott, from Windsor bounds to the west end of the same (5 and 20 rods, called the old lot), of which piece I have already given him a deed. I also give him my lott at the place called Barn Door Hill which my honoured father Nathaniel Holcomb decd. gave me in his last will. I give to my son Asahell and his heirs forever my lott of land at Turkey Hill, bounded east and south on a highway, extending west to Griffen's upper marsh lot, and northward to the upper side of Sergant Gillett's lot; and also all my right to the lot my father gave me in his last will with my brethren, in common and undivided. I give and bequeath to my son Moses and his heirs forever all my homelot with the buildings thereon standing, orcharding, etc., excepting the 25 rods on the south side already given to my son John by deed, and my lot at the east end of my homelot, lying in Windsor bounds. I also give to my two sons Asahell and Moses all the rest of my lands, wheresoever lying and being, to be equally divided between them and their heirs; and also all the moveable estate, namely, oxen, cows and horses, sheep, swine, &c., with all the team tackling, &c., as also cooper's tools, with the gunns, axes, howes, etc., to be theirs. I give to my four dafters now living, viz., Dinah, Esther, Martha and Sarah, as is hereafter expressed, and I had in the lifetime of my daughter Ann decd. given her her portion: I give the aforesd. four daughters now surviving £60 to each of them, to be paid them or their heirs out of my estate at inventory price according to the old tenor bills of credit, accounting what they have as part of the £60. I give to my son Moses my Bible, and the Lord be with him. My will is and I hereby give to my son Moses full liberty to use the 1-2 of my part of the sawmill standing on the lot given to Asahell, with full liberty to pass to and from the same; and also I give him 1-2 of my part of the irons of sd. mill and saws, the other part to be to Asahell with the land as aforesd. I appoint my two sons, Asahell and Moses, executors.
Witness: Samuel Forward, Joseph Phelps 3rd, Peletiah Mills.
John Holcomb, ls.

Children of Ensign John Holcombe and Ann Pettibone


  1. [S23] Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy, Page 42.
  2. [S44] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 211.2/Item A-8-4.
  4. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.1.
  5. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 19.
  6. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 211.1.

Hester Holcombe1,2

b. February 1684, d. 24 December 1775
     Hester Holcombe was also known as Esther Holcombe. She was born in February 1684 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT;

McCracken gives birth as Feb 1684, Seaver as 1682, McPherson as Feb 1684.3,4,5 She was the daughter of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Hester Holcombe married Brewster Higley, son of Capt. John Higley and Hannah Drake, on 17 February 1708/9 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.6,7 Hester Holcombe died on 24 December 1775 at age 91.

The 8 children are shown in the The Heritage of Granby p 173 under Holcombe, not under Higley. Alternately called Hannah Hester and Ester.

The total age lived by her eight children was 646 years, averaging 80 years and 9 months per person. Their numerous descendants settled in VT, Central NY and Meigs and Windham counties, OH.8

Children of Hester Holcombe and Brewster Higley


  1. [S65] Deanna Holcomb Bowman Thomas Holcomb, Vol. I:Pg. 30.
  2. [S52] Henry R. Stiles History of Ancient Windsor II, Vol. II:Pg. 389, 395.
  3. [S23] Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy.
  4. [S44] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  5. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.1.
  6. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 33.
  7. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 220.2.
  8. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy.

Elizabeth Holcombe

b. 1685, d. 12 July 1700
     Elizabeth Holcombe was born in 1685. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Elizabeth Holcombe died on 12 July 1700 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.1 McCracken does not mention this child.


  1. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 21.

Sarah Holcombe1

b. 1691, d. 14 December 1787
     Sarah Holcombe was born in 1691 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Sarah Holcombe married Samuel Barber, son of Lt. Thomas Barber and Mary Phelps, on 17 December 1712 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.2,3 Sarah Holcombe died on 14 December 1787 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.

Phelps and Barber Genealogies gives her birth date as 15 Feb. 1678. McPherson typos "1791."

Also information on Family Group Sheets from Diane Graham, 3912 5th Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106.

Children of Sarah Holcombe and Samuel Barber


  1. [S65] Deanna Holcomb Bowman Thomas Holcomb, Vol. I:Pg. 31.
  2. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 34.
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 221.2.

Catherine Holcombe1

b. 1689, d. 1769
     Catherine Holcombe was born in 1689 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.2,3 She was the daughter of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Catherine Holcombe married Joseph Messenger, son of Nathaniel Messenger and Rebecca Kelsey, on 22 January 1707/8 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.4,5 Catherine Holcombe died in 1769 at West Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.2

See Seaver's correction on his page 243 that correctly places Catherine here. Bowman says her children Elijah and Ezekiel are the same, but the Edward Messenger genealogy lists them separately.

The newlyweds purchased various parcels of land near Raven Swamp, just south of the "south branch" (now know as the West Branch) of Salmon Brook. In 1712 John Sager granted "a certain parcel of land being scituate within the Townshipe of Simsbury at a place commonly called Samon Brooke lying on the Northeasterly side the said brooke in the Lower meadow being part." Again in 1720 Joseph was granted, by the town of Simsbury, land south of the south branch of Salmon Brook and "east of Raven Swamp."

Children of Catherine Holcombe and Joseph Messenger


  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 221/Item A-8-7.
  2. [S266] Duane E. Wilson, Edward Messenger.
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 101.1.
  4. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 33.
  5. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 221.2.

Benjamin Holcombe

b. 15 February 1697/98, d. 27 January 1758
     Benjamin Holcombe was born on 15 February 1697/98 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.1 He was the son of Nathaniel Holcombe and Mary Bliss. Benjamin Holcombe was baptized on 20 February 1697/98 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.1,2 He married Hannah Case, daughter of Samuel Case and Mary Westover, on 12 October 1727 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.3 Benjamin Holcombe died on 27 January 1758 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT, at age 59.4

There is some confusion about Benjamin. Both Nathaniel Sr. and Nathaniel Jr. have Benjamin's born on 2-15-1697, so it is doubtful that there were two, probably just confusion about the father of Benjamin or perhaps there was a Benjamin that died young.

Called "son" in the will of his father (A-8-1) dated 7 Feb 1740, and "brother" in the will of shis sister Mary (A-8-1-2) signed 22 Dec 1744.5

Children of Benjamin Holcombe and Hannah Case


  1. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 30.
  2. [S256] Albert C. Bates, Rev. Dudley Woodbridge, Page 18.
  3. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 144.
  4. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 161.
  5. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, page 222.1.

Thomas Holcombe1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

b. by about 1609, d. 1 October 1657
Thomas Holcombe House
drawing made in early 1800's
CHS Collection
     Thomas Holcombe was born by about 1609 at Devon, England; based on estimated age of marriage.11 He was the son of Gilbert Holcombe and Ann Courtney. Thomas Holcombe married Elizabeth (?) on 14 May 1634.12 Thomas Holcombe died on 1 October 1657 at Poquonock, Windsor, Hartford Co., CT.13 He was buried at Old Poquonock Burying Ground, Windsor, Hartford Co., CT; Old Graveyard at Poquonock Ave. at Marshall Phelps Rd. Marker gone.14

Thomas' history is derived mostly from land and probate records

At the time of Thomas' birth, the Renaissance was ending as was the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Perhaps one of the major events of his childhood was the publishing of the King James Bible, which may have affected his life more than any other event of the early 17th century. The Mayflower landed in Plymouth in 1620 and Thomas certainly would have heard of it and perhaps been excited by the possibilities for a young man. The Colony of Massachusetts was founded in 1628 and the Colony of Connecticut was founded in 1633. The stage was set for the second wave of English colonists of which Thomas was a part.

Unknown Ancestry

The early published genealogies, Seaver on his page 8, and McPherson on her page 9, listed his parents as Gilbert Holcombe and Ann Courtenay. Neither of these writers cites specific references for this statement and there is evidence to prove the contrary. Both of these authors apparently used the Hiram Frank Holcomb Genealogical Research Collection at the Connecticut Historical Society, call number GEN029. This ancestry, unfortunately, has been perpetuated across the internet.

Shortly after the publication of McPherson’s work, George McCracken wrote (TAG 26:109): Our two genealogies of the Holcombe family, those of Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy (Philadelphia, 1925) and of Hannah Elizabeth Weir (Mrs. Lewin D.) McPherson, The Holcombes, Nation Builders (Washington, 1947) both leave us with the impression that it is all but proved that the parents of Thomas Holcombe of Dorchester, Mass., and Windsor, Conn., were Gilbert Holcombe of Hull, Devon, and of his wife, Ann Courtenay, daughter of Peter Courtenay of Vrotonin, Cornwall.15

Neither of these writers cites specific references for this statement and there is evidence to prove the contrary. J. L. Vivian’s edition of the Visitations of Devon (Exeter, 1887), p. 474, states categorically that Gilbert Holcombe died at Milor, Cornwall, leaving a nun-cupative will dated 14 Oct. 1623 in which he bequeathed his estate to his brother-in-law, Richard Bonithon. The statement contains the abbreviation “d.s.p.” which surely stands for “decessit sine prole” and means “died without issue.” Since the immigrant Thomas Holcombe must be presumed to have been then living in England, he cannot have been a son of Gilbert Holcombe. 15

McCracken then goes on to dispute other conclusions made by McPherson about Thomas’ heritage.

Several early authors state he was a member of Reverend Ephraim Huit's church, and Huit was from Kenilworth in Warwickshire. But, no Holcomb births or records were found from the Diocesan Court at Worchester. The Register of Wroxal, 300 @24, for the year 1634 did list the following; Sarah Huit daughter of Ephraim and Isabell his wife was baptized, and Nathaniel Griswold the son of Samuel Griswold and Anne his wife was baptized. Bowman has found clues recently that Thomas may have been from county Somerset, the city of Bridgewater. She has recently discovered that one of the early Holcomb births in Connecticut was recorded as James the eighth. This could be a clue to ancestry of Thomas Holcomb in that the birth occurred in the third generation of American Holcomb's, i.e. not time to have had eight generations.

Bowman lists the ancestry of Gilbert and Ann Courtney Holcomb in her Volume 2 without resolving the question of Thomas' parentage in order that future researchers not duplicate others' efforts in delineating this line.

Most recently (October 25, 1998), Bowman updated her Volume 2 with the comment that Christopher was the most likely ancestor of Thomas. The birth and death dates normally assigned to the son of Christopher are not correct nor the marriage to Joan Prideaux. The birth and death dates are those of Thomas, the actor, of London who married Francis Bartlett.


Thomas was born in England, in an unknown place, but most probably in one of the southwestern counties, Pembrokeshire, Wales, or Devonshire. We do not know the date of his birth even approximately, but his wife seems to have been born about 1617 and their first child born about 1634; McCracken believes this would place his birth somewhere about 1610; Seaver says 1601, but does not give any reasoning for that date. More recent scholarly work by Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration Begins uses the same information but concludes the birth was “by about 1609.”.

England at about the time of the Great Migration


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.

There have been four publications that compiled lists of passengers from multiple sources that were on the Mary and John.

Charles E. Banks in 1930 and Maude Pinney Kuhns in 1943. Neither of these authors used criteria that would pass today's standards of evidence and proof.

In 1986 Burton W. Spear gave a presentation to the Connecticut Society of Genealogists and the Descendants of the Founders of ancient Windsor in which he detailed his extensive research into creating a synthetic passenger list for the MARY AND JOHN. The speach was published in the June 1989 Nutmegger. Burton continued to update his information until his death. Many of the passengers were related or would have known each other well. William Rockwell and William Hill married Jurdain sisters, and they lived in Exeter, near Rev. Johuy Wartham. The Fords, Denslows, Gallops and Ways lived in Bridport, Dorset. The Warhams, Gaylords and Hulls came from Crewkerne, Somerset, as did William Phelps and Giles Gibbs. Also, the Fords, Upsalls, Rockwells, Dyers and John Holman lived in Dorchester, Dorset in 1630, the hometown of Rev. John White.16

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. Those that Mr. Anderson concluded had a solid basis for being considered passengers were: Roger Clap, George Ludlow, Roger Ludlow, John Maverick, Richard Southcott, Thomas Southcott, and John Warham. Additional passengers, based on other criteria were: Aaron Cooke, George Dyer, Thomas Ford, William Gaylord, John Holman, Thomas Lombard, Richard Louge, William Phelps, William Rockwell, Henry Smith, Thomas Stoughton, Stephen Terry, Nicholas Upsall, and Henry Wolcott. Another group of families, with less reliable connection to the Mary and John were John Benham, Bygod Eggleston, Christopher Gibson, Matthew Grant, John Greenway, John Hoskins, William Hulbird, Davy Johnson, George Phillips, John Phillips, John Pierce, and Roger Williams. Mr. Anderson assigns five other families that do not meet his criteria, but may, for other reasons, have been on the Mary and John: John Drake, John Gallop, Johathan Gillet, Nathan Gillet, and Henry Way. Mr. Anderson does not mention Thomas Holcombe anywhere in his discussion. However, he does leave room for three or four families that would be unaccounted for if the total number of passengers was 140. The information here, whether it describes Thomas' voyage specifically or not, does describe the similar circumstances which brought him to Dorchester.

Under what rules or contracts did these families sail to the new world? Perhaps there were governed by a pact similar to the Mayflower Pilgrims' compact of 1620:

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

In March, 1630, Thomas was in a company which assembled at Plymouth, Devonshire, where a large ship of 400 tons, the Mary and John, chartered by Captain Squeb, for the voyage to America, was fitted out. The Mary and John was the first ship of the Winthrop Fleet which brought 1500 Puritans to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

John Hunt (NGSQ 63:1) notes that the early settlers of Dorchester, Mass., like the founders of Plymouth, were in some fear that they might not obtain leave to depart from England. There seems to have been some worry on the part of their organizer, the Reverend Mr. John White, that the group might be considered schismatic by the London authorities headed by the powerful Bishop William Laud. Consider the fact that White's recruiters included two unlike clerics, John Warham, a nonconformist, and John Maverick, a conformist.

Robert Charles Anderson states that this group of Puritans was organized by Rev. John White of Dorchester, Dorsetshire, and that he solicited the Rev. John Maverick and Rev. John Warham to lead the group and he orchestrated the entire migration process. Warham had been minister at Crewkerne in Somersetshire and at Exeter in Devonshire; Maverick had been rector at Beaworthy in Devonshire. It is of note that the church was organized BEFORE they left England. Anderson characterizes this period of migration as "The Era of Gentlemen's Companies".

The Mary and John was destined for the Charles River. This "Godly Company," of 140 persons, assembled with their two ministers in the new hospital at Plymouth, kept a solemn day of fasting and prayer, and chose Bishop John Maverick and Bishop John Wareham to be their officers. There was a dispute with the captain, who refused to attempt the passage without pilot or chart.

The ship would have supplied each passenger with a simple ration of food which each family or group cooked at a common hearth as opportunity and weather permitted. Often the food was served cold and beer was the principal drink. The rigors of this journey together with the stresses of the New England climate combined to bring high rates of sickness and death among the early settlers.

"The Word of God was preached and expounded every day during the voyage," of 70 days and the ship arrived at Nantasket, May 30, 1630. There is no evidence that any large ship had ever penetrated further into the harbor previous to this time.

If Thomas did not arrive on the Mary and John, it is possible that he arrived on or about 24 July 1633 on the Thunder, possibly with Humphrey Pinney and Henry Wolcott. 17 This would still fit within the time frame of a marriage in May of 1634 and the children that followed. It should also be noted that 1633 was when William Laud was elevated from Bishop of London to Archbishop of Canterbury; this led to an increase in the persecution of the Puritans and thus a tenfold increase in the rate of migration to New England. 18

The mythology surrounding the voyage of the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving often inflates the historical importance of the Pilgrims. Unlike the Puritans guided by John Winthrop, who settled a few miles north of Plymouth in Boston in 1630, the Pilgrim colony never prospered and was eventually absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691, seventy-one years after its founding. The final years of William Bradford's diaries bemoan the declining fortunes of his colony.


Ten of the men from the Mary and John procured a boat, left the ship at Nantasket, and went in quest of the "promised land." Later they were ordered to return to the ship as other members of the company had found a convenient place at Mattapan, where pasture for famished cattle could be had. Tradition has always fixed upon the south side of Dorchester Neck (South Boston) in Old Harbor, as the place of landing. Here they founded the town of Dorchester (named for Dorchester, England), so called to the present day and now a part of the City of Boston.

There was a tribe of Indians, of whom Chickatobot was Chief that dwelt in the vicinity. Whatever may have been their former number and importance before their destruction by a pestilence in 1618, our forefathers found them few in numbers, depressed in spirits and, for the most part, very docile. Much interest was felt for them by the settlers and great efforts were made to civilize and convert them to Christianity, and a duty which they felt they owed, as their charter for ground upon which they located was based upon the "desire to propagate the Christian religion to such as live in darkness, and to bring savages to human civility." The Indians had but little use for land. They attached but a trifling value to it and parted with it without reluctance.

On whatever ship he crossed, Thomas Holcombe was in Massachusetts Bay by 4 May 1634 on which day he became a freeman, and he is recorded as a resident of Dorchester (Massachusetts Bay Colony Records, 1:369).
The freeman's oath he took that day was:

I, Thomas Holcombe, being by God's providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdiction of this common weale, do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do hereby swear by the great and dreadful name of the ever-living God that I will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound, and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the priviledges and liberties thereunto, submitting myself to the wholesome laws made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot nor practise any evil against it, nor consent to any that shall be so done, but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawful authority now here established for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself in the sight of God that when I shall be called to give my voice touching any such matter of this State, wherein Freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall in my own conscience judge best to produce and tend to the public weale of the body, without respect of persons or respect of any man.

Others taking the oath the same day were: Thomas Squire, Robert Houlton, Richard Fairbanks, Phillip Tabor, Gregory Taylor, John Chapman, William Learned, Mr. Thomas Hooker, Mr. Samuel Stone, Edward Howe, Bartholomewe Greene, Richard Wright, John Steele, Edmond Stebbins, Andrewe Warner, George Steele, Richard Butlar, Thomas Spencer, Edward Muste, Richard Goodman, John Pratt, John Haward, Andrewe Ward, Joseph Twitchell, Thomas Hatch, George Whitehand, Jerad Hadden, John Odlyn, Roger Clapp, Joseph Reddings, Anthony Colby, John Bosworth, Frauncis Palmer, Humfry Pynny, Bray Wilkins, James Rawlyns, Jacob Barny, Thomas Lowthrop, Steven Hart, Jeffery Massy, Richard Brakenbury, Thomas Faireweather, William Hedges, John Hoskins, Peter Woolfe, William Chase, William Talmidge, Mr. John Cotton, Nathaniel Gillett, Daniel Howe, Myles Reddin, John Eales, Mr. William Peirce, Mr. Thomas Mahewe, Josuah Carter, Thomas Talmadge, Robert Walker, and Phillip Randall.

Thomas owned land in Dorchester as detailed in the Great Migration. Granted an eight acre Great Lot at Dorchester, 1 December 1634 19; granted Lot #65, three acres, in the meadow beyond Naponset 19; 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 19.

His wife was named Elizabeth but the common statement that her maiden name was Ferguson is highly improbable and completely undocumented. It has lately been suggested that the name "Ferguson" results from a misreading of the correct name on a tombstone, but if so, no one has ever found her recorded on a tombstone. She is not mentioned on the tombstone of her first husband which is reported in McCracken's note in TAG 44:58-60. While married to Eno she was attended in 1669 by John Winthroop the Younger and was recorded in his medical journal (TAG 23:124) as then aged 52, which datum gives us a probable birth year of 1617. As this would have made her only 13 when the Mary and John arrived at Boston, it is probable that the marriage of Thomas and Elizabeth took place at Dorchester, and if she came on the same ship as Thomas, she was a child at the time. Winthrop's statement that she was aged 52 in 1669 may, however, be too low, in which case the wedding may have occurred in England. Founders and Patriots gives their marriage date as May 14, 1634. Daughter Elizabeth Holcomb's birth date is also given as 1634, but inasmuch as the year at that time began the first of March, instead of the first of January, this is possible.


IN 1614, Adriaen Block explored what Native Americans termed Quinni-tukqut, the "Long Tidal River," in the ship Onrust ("Restless"), sailing upstream at least as far as Hartford and perhaps as far as Enfield. However, although the Dutch continued to trade with Native Americans and began to consider the area part of New Netherland, no settlement was established. At about that time, Captain John Smith, best known for his efforts on behalf of the Jamestown settlement of 1607, explored the northern Atlantic coast and proposed English settlements in what he called "New England." Based on his recommendations the Pilgrims left England to settle a plantation along the Hudson River but were blown off course and instead settled at what became Plymouth.

Meanwhile, Pequots, driven out of their original territory along the Hudson River by Mohawks, had invaded and conquered tribes living along the shore of what is now Connecticut and began to venture further up the river. Encouraged by tribes that were threatened by the Pequots, members of the Bay Colony, led by Edward Winslow in early July 1632, explored the river to determine the potential for trade and colonization. In 1633, Winslow commissioned William Holmes to establish an outpost at the site Winslow has selected the previous year, the site that was to become Dorchester (changed to Windsor by decree of the colony's General Court in 1637). And so, on September 26, 1633, William Holmes landed at "Plymouth Meadow" in what was to become Windsor, and erected a trading post surrounded by a palisade, the first English settlement on the Connecticut River, about 200 yards from where the Loomis Chaffee School's dining hall now stands, called then "Matianuck". However, there soon were other claimants to the land there: The Stiles Party and the Dorchester Group.

Connecticut and Hew Haven Colonies

Migration to Windsor

On July 6th, 1635 some Dorchester people reached the river and sat down at the place where William Homes, and others of Plymouth, had erected a trading house and made preparations for bringing their families and settling permanently; and in November, 60 persons with a large number of cattle, traveled from Dorchester and arrived in safety at the river, after much tribulation. During the first winter the sufferings of these persons were intense and they lost nearly all their cattle. Some individuals wandered back to Dorchester, Mass., and others avoided starvation by dropping down the river and taking refuge in a vessel at anchor at the mouth.

In the spring of 1636, Reverend John Wareham left Dorchester and came to Dorchester, Connecticut, bringing the rest of his flock, including Thomas Holcomb, with him. Maverick resisted the move and died late in 1635.

Before leaving Dorchester Thomas Holcomb sold his estate to Richard Jones (8-12-1635). Later, 1639, he moved to Poquonock, Hartford County, four miles west of Windsor, where he engaged in farming. He was a Representative from Windsor and Hartford in the Convention that framed the now famous Constitution of the Connecticut Colony.

On 3 March 1636, a commission by the Massachusetts General Court, granted the Dorchester group from Massachusetts legal consent to settle in what was then called Dorchester. At the 21 February 1636/7 session of Connecticut's General Court, Dorchester and its sister settlements of Newtown and Watertown shed their Massachusetts Bay Colony names and became Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford.

"Although Windsor was located in Connecticut, it and the other new settlements on the river were under the political and legal jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They were governed by a court of five magistrates who held their authority from Massachusetts. These five persons represented the three different communities in Connecticut and consisted of two members from Windsor, two from Hartford, and one from Wethersfield. The citizens of these three towns elected a committee in May of 1635 for the purpose of assisting the Court in enacting local ordinances. On January 14, 1639, a general meeting was held at Hartford; at which time, a separate constitution was written and adopted, the first constitution in America." 21 (Note: it seems that Saybrook, at the mouth of the river, was not under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony).

The full text of the document can be found at: The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The settlers from Dorchester had to confront two challenges beyond the usual difficulties of clearing the wilderness, providing shelter, and dealing with the indigenous population. The first of these was the presence on the site they had chosen for settlement of a trading post established two years earlier by Plymouth Colony. The Plymouth party resisted, briefly and civilly, the competing claims of the Dorchester immigrants, but by 1637 Plymouth sold fifteen-sixteenths of their land to the settlers from Dorchester.22 On May 15th of that year, Thomas Prince, in behalf of the Colony of New Plymouth formally transferred and sold to the inhabitants of Windsor, Conn., the lands owned by said Company, by a deed. 23

In mid-1635, at the same time that the vanguard of the Dorchester group was arriving at the site of Windsor, there appeared also the passengers of the Christian, mostly single, young men who were skilled at carpentry, or were to be trained in that trade, sent out by Sir Richard Saltonstall and others of the Puritan Lords. This group of wealthy Englishmen with strong Puritan inclinations had been trying for years, and would continue to try for some years more, to create a plantation which would meet their own peculiar requirements, along manorial lines. Despite the wealth and standing of these gentlemen, they were destined to be disappointed every time, and that was again the case with their attempts at Windsor. Many of the passengers on the Christian remained at Windsor, but not according to the plan set out by Saltonstall and his partners. 22 A detailed narrative of the conflicting claims on Windsor was written by Richard C. Roberts in the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor Newsletter in an article titled "1635" A Year of Contention in Windsor."

The migrants from Massachusetts built their First Church in 1640, a log cabin with a thatched roof. Growth of the community and the congregation would require a second and third meetinghouse within the next century. The original community and first two meetinghouses lay on the north side of the Farmington River. The third meetinghouse was on the sourth side, where the greatest population growth was taking place. However, there was no bridge across the Farmington, only a ferryboat, and communication between north and south was difficult at best. The church split into the North and South Societies. As America became a free and independent nation, a bridge finally spanned the Farmington river; the two societies resolved their differences and, in 1794, a fourth meetinghouse was raised on the high ground above the Farmington, near its confluence with the Connecticut river. Several times updated and remodeled, that structure is still the church's home today - the third oldest Congregational church in continuous service worldwide, and the oldest surviving Congregatinal Church Community in America.

"Thomas acquired a home lot in the first tier of allotments in Windsor paralleling the Connecticut River. His lot lay between that of Thomas Gunn and Philip Randall and extended westward to the foot of Meadow Hill. His meadow lot lay eastward to the river. The fact that he had lots assigned in the first tier is a strong indication that he arrived when the allotments were originally made in 1636. By 1639, however, Thomas had moved to a section of land on the Farmington river several miles northwest of Windsor known as Poquonock where his neighbors were the Griswold brothers -- Edward, Frances and George -- and John Bartlett. His property lay near Indian Neck and Stony Brook.

On 14 April 1654, Thomas along with Edward Griswold, and Samuel Phelps, purchased from John Tinker a 226-acre tract of land in Poqonnoc, including an area called as late as 1863, "Tinker's Swamp."

The Great Migration details his lands: 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 homelot 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 "twenty-five acres more or less," also by purchase from Henry Clarke "twenty-five acres with upland adjoining sixty-eight acres more or less" [WiLR 1:)0]. On 7 February 1655/6 Thomas Holcombe had twelve acres of woodland bounded out to him [WiLR 1:30]. On 4 March 1655/6 he had ten acres of woodland bounded out [WiLR 1:30]. (WiLR cited by the Great Migration is Windsor, Connecticut, Deeds (microfilm of original at Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut)).

Thomas Holcomb died at Windsor, Connecticut, September 7, 1657. His grave was located in an old cemetery near the old homestead at Poquonock, Connecticut. His grave was marked by a brown stone about two by four feet in size. The stone, having crumbled with age, was removed. It was replaced with a new marker that was inscribed with family information, much of which is wrong.

His widow married, second, August 5, 1658, James Eno (Enno) (his second wife). She died October 7, 1679.

Some of those who have asserted that Thomas and Elizabeth were married before leaving England believe that the first two of the children were born there, but, the birth dates given below seem to discredit this supposition. It is quite certain that all who bear the name of Holcomb(e) in New England are descended from Thomas Holcomb, through his sons Joshua, Benajah and Nathaniel.

Although Thomas Holcomb and most of his descendants usually spell the name `Holcomb', it bears an `e' on Dorchester and Boston records.
Map of the Meadows


At the time of his arrival in Windsor, Thomas would certainly have been aware of the ongoing battles of the settlers with the Pequot Indians. As early as 1625 the Pequots had begun a territorial expansion and by 1628 they controlled most of coastal Connecticut and by 1633 they had subjected most of the River Tribes. The attempts by Tatobem, the Pequot Grand Sachem, and Sassacus, his successor to control trade in their territory brought them into direct conflict with the new Connecticut settlers. Killings on both sides escalated until May 1637 when the Connecticut General Court assembled a corps of soldiers led by Capt. John Mason. They sailed to Narragansett Bay where they attacked the Pequots and burned Mystic fort; killing about 650 Indians. In the succeeding weeks those Pequots not killed that day were captured and divided among the colonists' Native American allies. The "Articles of Agreement between the English in Connecticut and the Indian Scahems" dated 21 September 1638 set aside the Pequot territory to the English. No Pequot was to inhabit the area and none of the Indian allies were to possess any part of it without English consent. The name "Pequot" was banned with the captives taking on the name of the tribge to which they were assigned. 24

The Estate

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: "eleven acres in home lot with housing and orchard," £50; "four acres and a half adjoining to the home lot," £6; "ten acres and a half of meadow," £10 10s; "in the fourth meadow twelve acres," £15; "twenty-five acres of woodland over the brook against the house," £3; "forty-eight acres of woodland," £7 10s; "ten acres of woodland," 10s; and "his part in that called Tinker's Farm, eighty acres and a barn," £3 [Hartford PD Case #2774]. He also owned two swords. Great Migration

The surviving children are listed with ages as Joshua (17), Benajah (13), Nathaniel (9), Abigail (19), Deborah (5-7), but this overlooks the two eldest daughters Elizabeth and Mary who were already married, and had probably received their portions at marriage. The widow Elizabeth was granted administration, date not stated. The distribution was as follows:

Widow £42/18/00 Nathaniel £28/12/00
Joshua 42/18/00 Abigail 28/12/00
Benajah 38/07/00 Deborah 28/12/00

Just how these sums were computed is not clear, certainly not by the usual third to the widow, a double share to the eldest son and a single share to the other children. In any case, George and Edward Griswold (husband of the daughter Mary and his father) entered a claim for a part of the estate but withdrew it. On 15 Dec. 1660 Samuel Bissell (husband of Abigail) receipted to James Enno, who was by then husband of the widow, for Bissell's wife's portion, and on 17 Dec. 1660 Joshua Holcombe receipted for his.

Following is a record taken from Probate Records, Hartford District:

`This 17th day of December 1660 I do acknowledge to having received of my Father Enno ye full sum of my portion. Witness my hand, Joshua Holcomb.' 25

James Eno, with his three children, came to live at the Holcomb house, after the death of his first wife, and his marriage to Elizabeth.

Generally, Thomas Holcombe is credited with ten children of whom three died in childhood, but there is a curious record which suggests there may have been an older son named John. The son Nathaniel had a son Nathaniel recorded at Springfield on 11 June 1673, this because the child's mother, Mary Bliss, came from Springfield, but the same Vital Records attribute the birth of a daughter Sarah on 6 Oct, 1673 to a John Holcum. Nothing more is known of this John, either at Springfield or Windsor, and I am inclined to think that an error was committed by the original town clerk at Springfield and that the surname Holcum is what is wrong. The learned Savage and also Drs. Holcombe and Stiles knew of the same entry, and they thought that John may have gone to Virginia.

Genealogical Vandalism

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 cenotaph, and the original slab was then thrown into a dump.

On the day when I heard this story I visited the Granby Street Cemetery and verified the presence of the new stone, and on 30 June 1967 I again examined the stone and copied the new inscription, as follows:


On the reverse side under Masonic emblem:

ALFRED E. HOLCOMB, AUG. 5, 1867 - SEPT. 13, 1956
MABLE METCALF, HIS WIFE, NOV. 26, 1881 - MAY 7, 1956

No research has been done into the last seven names but presumably Edmund was a younger brother of Gaylord G. Holcomb on the other side, and had, by his first wife Eliza, the son Daniel E; by his second wife Emily, Caroline who married a Case and Alfred who married Mabel Metcalf. Headstones for all these later graves are in rows on either side of the main stone, except that the grave of Alfred, the last to die, has no headstone. The plot lies on what I take to be the west side of the drive to the south, leading from opposite Granby Town Hall.

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 Mary Gillett, 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 Juen 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 (?)


  1. [S23] Jesse Seaver, The Holcomb(e) Genealogy.
  2. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 9.
  3. [S44] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  4. [S55] Maude Pinney Kuhns, The MARY AND JOHN, Pages 42-46.
  5. [S65] Deanna Holcomb Bowman Thomas Holcomb.
  6. [S93] Robert Charles Anderson, "TAG 72:3&4 Congregations."
  7. [S117] Frank Thistlethwaite, Dorset Pilgrims.
  8. [S122] Robert Charles Anderson Great Migration, Vol. II:Pg. 964.
  9. [S158] The American Historical Company Inc. Colonial Lineages, Vol. 22:Pg. 148.
  10. [S190] John G. Hunt, "Mary and John."
  11. [S122] Robert Charles Anderson Great Migration, page 966.
  12. [S56] Unknown author Founders and Patriots, Vol VII:Pg 13.
  13. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, page 10.1.
  14. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 07 March 2018), memorial page for Thomas Holcomb (unknown–7 Sep 1657), Find A Grave Memorial no. 187825576, citing Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Don Blauvelt (contributor 46932939) .
  15. [S708] George E. McCracken, "Thomas Holcombe."
  16. [S671] Burton W. Spear, "Search for Mary and John Passengers."
  17. [S252] Judith L. Osborn, "Humphrey Pinney."
  18. [S646] Robert Charles Anderson, "Great Migration: End."
  19. [S672] City of Boston, Dorchester Town Records.
  20. [S658] Richard C. Roberts, "Connecticut River Valley."
  21. [S186] Charles C. Case, The Yankee Generations: A History of the Case Family in America.
  22. [S415] Robert Charles Anderson, "Migration Newsletter: Windsor."
  23. [S582] Henry R. Stiles History of Ancient Windsor I.
  24. [S717] Kevin McBride, "DFAW: Pequot War."
  25. [S335] Charles William Manwaring, Manwaring, 1:130.

Peter Joseph Hallowell

b. 16 October 1855, d. 16 September 1928
Peter Joseph and Matilda G. (Scott) Hallowell
     Peter Joseph Hallowell was born on 16 October 1855 at Strawberry Point, Clayton Co., IA. He was the son of Joseph Halliwell and Marcia Manley Adams. Peter Joseph Hallowell married Matilda Garland Scott, daughter of William Scott and Mary Ann Garland, on 17 May 1882 at Denison, Crawford Co., IA. Peter Joseph Hallowell died on 16 September 1928 at Fort Dodge, Webster Co., Iowa, at age 72. He was buried at Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford Co., IA.1

Unknown newspaper the "Review": "Peter J. Hallowell, son of Joseph and Marcia Adams Hallowell, was born Oct. 16, 1855, near Strawberry Point, Iowa, and died Sept. 16, 1928 at Fort Dodge, at the age of 72 years and 11 months.

In 1867 the family came to Crawford County, settling about three miles northwest of Dow City. Here he grew to manhood, receiving his education in the public schools. It was here that he engaged in farming, the occupation he followed through life. "On May 17, 1882, he was united in marriage to Tillie G. Scott, and to this union four children were born: Mrs. Ada Rule, of Fort Dodge; Mrs. Inez Holcombe, Fayetteville, N.C; Joseph E., of Dow City, and Jane, of Fort Dodge, all of whom survive him.

"Mr. Hallowell was one of the early settlers of Crawford County, having been a resident for 61 years. He entered into the life of the community, and saw the country transformed from a prairie land to its present state of development. He was public spirited and interested in the up building of community and schools. For a short term he served as township trustee and for many years was director of the Belltown School. He was quiet in many liberal in views, (??) having been raised in the faith of the Universalist church. He was affiliated with the Mineral Springs camp of the Modern Woodman of America. "His greatest interest centered about his home life and he was always happiest when surrounded by his family and friends. Besides his wife, son and daughters, he leaves to mourn his death nine grandchildren, a number of nieces and nephews and many neighbors and friends.

"The funeral services were held at the M.E. church in Dow City Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., a number of friends being present to pay their last tribute of respect. Rev. Adams of Dunlap (later corrected to show that Rev. Welsh of the Baptist church in Denison) spoke words of comfort, after which the remains were placed to rest in the Dow City cemetery."

Peter J. and Tillie were enumerated in the 1885 Paradise, Crawford Co., IA, state census. He was 29, she was 26. The only child in the household was Ada E. 1.

Perter and Matilda was enumerated in the 1895 Paradise, Crawford Co., IA, state census. He was 39, she was 30. Children in the household were Ada 11, Amy 9, Joseph 7, and Jennie 3.

Peter and Matilda were enumerated in the 1900 Paradise, Crawford Co., IA, federal census. He was a farmer, age 44, she was 36. Children in the household were Ada E. 17, Amy Inace 14, Joseph E. 12, and Jennie E. 9.

Children of Peter Joseph Hallowell and Matilda Garland Scott


  1. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 21 February 2018), memorial page for Peter J. Hallowell (16 Oct 1855–16 Sep 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 49632667, citing Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Conley Wolterman (contributor 46883894) .

Matilda Garland Scott

b. 10 April 1864, d. 20 December 1928
Mtilda G. Scott
     Matilda Garland Scott was born on 10 April 1864 at North Gower, Ontario, Canada. She was the daughter of William Scott and Mary Ann Garland. Matilda Garland Scott also went by the name of Tillie Scott. She married Peter Joseph Hallowell, son of Joseph Halliwell and Marcia Manley Adams, on 17 May 1882 at Denison, Crawford Co., IA. Matilda Garland Scott was buried at Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford Co., IA.1 She died on 20 December 1928 at Fort Dodge, Webster Co., Iowa, at age 64.

from Unknown "Review": "DOW CITY, Dec. 24-(Special to the Review)--Sadness was spread about the community last Thursday when news came from Ft. Dodge of the death of one well known and respected by the entire vicinity, having spent practically all of her live here. "Matilda G. Scott, second daughter of William and Mary Ann Garland Scott, was born April 10, 1864, at North Gower, Ontario, Canada, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J.G. Rule, in Ft. dodge, Iowa, Dec 20, 1928, at the age of 64 years, 8 months and 10 days. When she was five years of age the family came to Iowa, settling on a farm near Dow City. It was here that she spent her girlhood days attending the Dow City public schools. "On May 17, 1882, she was united in mariage to Peter J. Hallowell. They settled on a farm three and a half miles northwest of Dow City where they reared their family and spent their entire married life. Her husband preceded here in death just recently, having passed away September 16. "While she was known in the ocmmunity for her cheefrul and sympathetic nature, it was in her home that her influence was felt most deeply. Her close companionship and earnest appeal for the best things of life have always been an inspiration to her family. "She was reared in the faith of the Episcopal church, having been baptized before coming from Canada. She was a charter member of Mineral Park camp, Royal Neighbors of America and served as oracle for a number of years. "Funeral services for the departed were held at the M.E. church in Dow City Sunday, December 23, at 2:30 p.m., Rev. Wm. Welsh of the Baptist chruch of Denison speaking comforting words."

Children of Matilda Garland Scott and Peter Joseph Hallowell


  1. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 21 February 2018), memorial page for Tillie G. Scott Hallowell (1864–1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 57506569, citing Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by ADD (contributor 46942490) .

Ada Eunice Hallowell

b. 18 May 1883, d. 6 June 1959
     Ada Eunice Hallowell was born on 18 May 1883 at Crawford Co., IA. She was the daughter of Peter Joseph Hallowell and Matilda Garland Scott. Ada Eunice Hallowell married James Garfield Rule circa 1910. Ada Eunice Hallowell died on 6 June 1959 at age 76. She was buried.

James and Ada were enumerated in the 1930 Ft. Dodge, Webster Co., IA, federal census. He was 49, she was 46. The only child in the household was Wayne B., 17. Also enumerated in the household was sister-in-law Jane E. Hallowell, 38.

Child of Ada Eunice Hallowell and James Garfield Rule

Joseph Elmer Hallowell

b. 14 September 1887, d. 14 May 1949
     Joseph Elmer Hallowell was born on 14 September 1887. He was the son of Peter Joseph Hallowell and Matilda Garland Scott. Joseph Elmer Hallowell married Daisy Helen Glassburner, daughter of John B. Glassburner and Amanda Ellen Boyer, on 24 November 1910 at Charter Oak, Crawford, Iowa. Joseph Elmer Hallowell died on 14 May 1949 at Jefferson, Greene, Iowa, at age 61. He was buried at Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford Co., IA.

Joe was born on the farm originally owned by his grandfather, Joseph Hallowell, who settled there in 1806. He made his home there until March of 1945 when he moved with his family to Jefferson. He received his education in the public schools of Crawford county and was a graduate of the Dow City High school in 1905. Joe united with the Methodist church in Dow City when a young man and continued his membership there until the time of his death. After a short illnes he passed away at the Greene county hospital. Funeral services were held at 10:00 am at the Slininger funeral chapel on Monday May 16. Words of comfort were spoken by the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, pastor of the Baptist church. Services were also held at the Methodist church at Dow City at 2:30 pm Monday, with the Rev. Mr. Reese officiating.

Children of Joseph Elmer Hallowell and Daisy Helen Glassburner

Jane Elizabeth Hallowell

b. 15 May 1891, d. 19 August 1976
Amy Inez (Hallowell) Holcombe and Jane Elizabeth (Hallowell) Loomis
     Jane Elizabeth Hallowell was born on 15 May 1891 at Dow City, Crawford Co., IA. She was the daughter of Peter Joseph Hallowell and Matilda Garland Scott. Jane Elizabeth Hallowell married Fred Leon Loomis, son of Allen Reuben Loomis and Eva C. Davidson, on 24 August 1953. Jane Elizabeth Hallowell died on 19 August 1976 at Sanford, Lee Co., NC, at age 85. She was buried on 23 August 1976 at Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford Co., IA.

Obituaries in Sanford Herald, Thursday, Aug 19, 1976 and Aug 23, 1976.

George Burke Smith

b. 21 February 1940, d. 11 February 2013
     George Burke Smith was born on 21 February 1940 at Chicago, Cook Co., IL. He was the son of John Francis Smith Junior and Mary Veronica Cradick. George Burke Smith was christened at St. Henry, Chicago, Cook Co., IL. He died on 11 February 2013 at Vonore, TN, at age 72. He was buried on 16 February 2013 at Lakeview Cemetery, Lenoir City, Loudon Co., TN.

George was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Lenoir City and a member of the Social Action, Social Justice Committee. He was also a member of the East Tennessee Kairos Prison Ministry Community and an active participant in the Rarity Bay Christian Men's Fellowship and Spiritual Study Group. George was a veteran of the U. S. Army. He was preceded in death by his father, John F. Smith II; mother, Mary V. Smith and sister, Patricia A. Lehr. He is survived by his wife, Deborah C. Smith; brothers, John F. Smith III and William J. Smith of Chicago, Illinois; along with many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews throughout the United States. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Father Christian Mathis officiating. Burial will follow in the Lakeview Cemetery in Lenoir City. A luncheon will be held in the St. Thomas Parish Family Life Center following the graveside service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church or East Tennessee Kairos Prison Ministry. Click Funeral Home, Lenoir City is in charge of arrangements.

Stanley Benson Corey

b. 28 March 1920, d. 17 October 1996
     Stanley Benson Corey was born on 28 March 1920 at Washington, DC.1 He was the son of George Herbert Corey and Alice Elizabeth Benson.2 Stanley Benson Corey married Willie May Skinner, daughter of Joseph Edward Skinner and Margaret Rose McCafferty, on 24 July 1943 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.1 Stanley Benson Corey died on 17 October 1996 at Greenwood, SC, at age 76; suffering a heart attack at home while asleep in the early hours of the morning. He was cremated on 19 October 1996 at Greenwood, SC; following a mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, officiated by Fr. Hayden Vaverek.

Child of Stanley Benson Corey and Willie May Skinner


  1. [S877] James Edson Corey, Corey, page 62.
  2. [S877] James Edson Corey, Corey, page 61.

Elizabeth Holton Corey

b. 18 May 1945, d. 23 January 2016
     Elizabeth Holton Corey was born on 18 May 1945 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL. She was the daughter of Stanley Benson Corey and Willie May Skinner. Elizabeth Holton Corey was christened on 21 May 1945 at St. Mary's, Mobile, AL. She died on 23 January 2016 at Ft. Worth, Tarrant Co., TX, at age 70.

Beth graduated E.L Vandermuelen High School in Port Jefferson, New York in 1963. Attended St. Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut through 1965 (no degree). Worked as a secretary for IBM in New York City for about two years. Returned home to Setauket and went to work as a secretary in the local school district. Met and married Gar Weber of Smithtown, New York in 1968 (no issue).

After her divorce Beth went back to college and graduated Hofstra University in 1977. Attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, graduating in 1980. Moved to Washington, D.C. and began work as an attorney for a federal government agency. Married Ross Clifton Stephenson of Fort Worth, Texas (a law school classmate) on November 29, 1980 (no issue). Moved back to Texas, settling in Fort Worth, at the end of 1985. Since then she has worked as an attorney at the Dallas, Texas offices of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency which regulates national banks. Hobbies include travel (England, Hong Kong, Hawaii, France, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, and Spain), and studying history and physics.

From the Greenwood Funeral Home:

Elizabeth H. "Liz" Corey, 70, passed away Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, after a battle with bone cancer. Ms. Corey resided with her husband, Ross C. Stephenson. Memorial service: Thursday 1 p.m. rosary with Funeral Mass at 2 p.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Afterward a reception will be held at Colonial Country Club. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Greenwood. Ms. Corey was born in Mobile, Ala., to Billie Skinner Corey, a civilian secretary, and Stanley Benson Corey, a U.S. Navy pilot. She attended Hofstra University majoring in business administration and economics, graduating magna cum laude in 1977. Subsequently, she attended the University of Houston Law School, graduating in 1980. After graduation, she married fellow law student Ross Stephenson. She and Ross then moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management while Ross attended Georgetown University Law School where he obtained an advanced degree in tax law. By 1985, Liz and Ross decided to return to Texas, settling in Fort Worth where Ross had grown up. After moving to Fort Worth, Ms. Corey worked for over 20 years with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the federal agency that regulates national banks. Her practice included banking and securities law. Ms. Corey retired from the OCC in 2007. After retirement, she joined the Woman's Club of Fort Worth, the Berkeley neighborhood book club, and Berkeley Place Association where she served as social chairman for about five years. Ms. Corey and her husband are members of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Survivors: Husband, Ross C. Stephenson; brother, Stanley Benson Corey Jr; sisters, Ann Corey Trigg and Deborah Corey Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Eugenia Hill

b. 4 July 1842, d. 25 April 1885
     Mary Eugenia Hill was born on 4 July 1842. She was the daughter of John William Henry Hill and Mary Bates. Mary Eugenia Hill married Judge George Gaines Skinner, son of Henry Augustus Skinner and Mary Creecy, on 3 March 1863 at Washington Co., AL. Mary Eugenia Hill died on 25 April 1885 at Mcintosh Bluff, Washington Co., AL, at age 42.

Children of Mary Eugenia Hill and Judge George Gaines Skinner

Judge George Gaines Skinner

b. 14 February 1840, d. 7 February 1920
George Gaines Skinner
     Judge George Gaines Skinner was born on 14 February 1840 at Clarke Co., AL. He was the son of Henry Augustus Skinner and Mary Creecy. Judge George Gaines Skinner married Mary Eugenia Hill, daughter of John William Henry Hill and Mary Bates, on 3 March 1863 at Washington Co., AL. Judge George Gaines Skinner married Francis Janet Hill, daughter of John William Henry Hill and Mary Bates. Judge George Gaines Skinner died on 7 February 1920 at Mobile Co., AL, at age 79. He was buried at Calvert Cemetery, Malcolm, Washington Co., AL.1

From: Washington County News, Volume XII, No. 1 "

Esquire G. G. Skinner “A gentleman who admirably administers the law in the law in the lower courts of the county, is Esquire Geo. G. Skinner, a native Alabamian who was born in Clarke county, February 14, 1840. He attended Spring Hill College and after completing his education removed to Mobile, where he engaged in clerical work in a cotton brokerage office until the civil war, when he enlisted in the 24th Alabama Regiment. Later he was placed in the engineering department and was inspector of military roads and bridges under Maj. S. T. Douglas, chief engineer of the Trans-Mississippi. As bearer of dispatches to Richmond he had thrilling experiences crossing the Mississippi river.

"On the 3d of March, 1863, he married Miss Mary Eugenia Hill, a niece of Lieut.-Gen'l A. P. Hill. After serving through the war, he accepted a position with Geo. R. Tuttle & Co. Mobile, as cashier and bookkeeper, and there remained until his removal to Washington County in 1867. He has raised a family of ten children. He comes of the old lineage stock of Southern ancestry, and preserves his age to a remarkable degree. "Esquire Skinner has continuously held the office of justice of the peace since 1867 and has been quite successful as a real estate dealer. As a judge his rulings have been respectfully fair and impartial, and personally he is a man of a strong following of friends. He is what is known as a conscientious and conservative Democrat. His daughter, Mrs. Mason, is postmistress at Hawthorn, where he holds his court and has a comfortable home."

Archives at Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama, indicate that he entered there on December 6, 1853 at age 13. His parents were Henry A. Skinner and Mary Creecy. His religion wasCatholic and his First Communion had not been made. He studied English, Latin, Greek, French, and others. He was from Summerville, Ala. The above information disagrees with "THE SKINNER KINSMEN, Volume I, The Descendants of Richard Skinner of North Carolina" Compiled by Doris Seymour Wahl and Cynthia Walker Rummel on file at the North Carolina State Library, Raleigh, NC. In 1912-14 he applied for a pension from the government for veterans

Courthouse records available on line at "Alabama Marriages, 1807-1902" give the marriage date as 23 February 1863 in Washington Co.

Children of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill


  1. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 27 March 2018), memorial page for George Gaines Skinner (14 Feb 1840–7 Feb 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 182317063, citing Calvert Cemetery, Malcolm, Washington County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Ray Isbell (contributor 47188697) .

Henry Augustus Skinner

b. 6 September 1864, d. 21 May 1907
Henry Augustus Skinner
     Henry Augustus Skinner was born on 6 September 1864 at Washington Co., AL. He was the son of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Henry Augustus Skinner died on 21 May 1907 at age 42.

John William Skinner

b. 14 March 1866, d. January 1901
     John William Skinner was born on 14 March 1866 at Washington Co., AL. He was the son of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. John William Skinner died in January 1901 at age 34.

Mary Eliza Skinner

b. 6 July 1867
     Mary Eliza Skinner was born on 6 July 1867 at Washington Co., AL. She was the daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Mary Eliza Skinner married Lewis Harris Williams on 2 June 1892.

Lewis and Eliza were enumerated in the 1930 Sunflower, Washington Co. AL federal census. He was a farmer age 73, she was 62. The only child in the household was Lewis 32, his wife Carrie L. 28, and their son Lewis H. 6. Also in the household was Lewis' brother Carlisle 36.

Children of Mary Eliza Skinner and Lewis Harris Williams

Elizabeth Rice Skinner

b. 15 April 1869
     Elizabeth Rice Skinner was born on 15 April 1869 at Washington Co., AL. She was the daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill.

Fannie Alice Skinner

b. 26 March 1871
     Fannie Alice Skinner was born on 26 March 1871. She was the daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Fannie Alice Skinner married James Mason.

Child of Fannie Alice Skinner and James Mason

George Gaines Skinner Junior

b. 4 April 1873, d. 28 May 1896
     George Gaines Skinner Junior was born on 4 April 1873. He was the son of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. George Gaines Skinner Junior died on 28 May 1896 at age 23.

Anna Harvey Skinner

b. 20 September 1875, d. 14 July 1911
     Anna Harvey Skinner was born on 20 September 1875. She was the daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Anna Harvey Skinner married John E. Buck circa 1901. Anna Harvey Skinner died on 14 July 1911 at Toulminville, Mobile Co., AL, at age 35.

Children of Anna Harvey Skinner and John E. Buck

Laura Bruce Skinner

b. 17 October 1877, d. 29 July 1929
     Laura Bruce Skinner was born on 17 October 1877. She was the daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Laura Bruce Skinner married Robert Hales Marshall, son of Edward Lindsey Marshall and Jennie Sophia Williams. Laura Bruce Skinner died on 29 July 1929 at New Orleans, LA, at age 51.

Children of Laura Bruce Skinner and Robert Hales Marshall

Eugene Randal Skinner

b. 29 August 1883
     Eugene Randal Skinner was born on 29 August 1883. He was the son of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill. Eugene Randal Skinner married Ruth Dudley Ludington, daughter of Louisa (?).

E. R. and Ruth D. were enumerated in the 1920 Mobile, Mobile Co., AL federal census in the household of Louisa Ludington. He was a drugstore salesman age 36, she was 26.

Randall and Ruth were enumerated in the 1930 Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, federal census, district 47. He was a drug store manager, age 46, she was 33. Ruth's mother, Lottie Luddington age 61, was also in the household.

Randall and Ruth never had any children.

John Thomas McCafferty

b. 25 October 1851, d. 12 March 1919
John Thomas McCafferty
     John Thomas McCafferty was born on 25 October 1851 at LA.1 He was the son of Patrick McCafferty and Fanny McDonald. John Thomas McCafferty married Sarah Ann McDonald, daughter of John McDonald and Ann McDonnell, on 19 October 1882 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.2 John Thomas McCafferty died on 12 March 1919 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, at age 67. He was buried at Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.3

from the Mobile Register: "Rev. Father R. O. Gerow conducted the services at the funeral of John t. McCafferty that took place on Friday morning. The funeral occured from the family home, 103 North Conception street, at 8:30 o'clock and at 9 o'clock from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with requiem mass. The burial took place in the Catholic cemetery and the tomb of the well known man was covered with floral designs. The following were the pallbearers: Messrs. Fred Norman, J.E. Skinner, T.A. Yeend, E.A. Doody, T.J. Bender, T.J. Burns and Gordon Smith."

John was born in Louisiana but lived almost his entire life in Mobile above his father's dry good shop at 103 Conception Street. As a young man he clerked at his father's store and then went to work clerking for Fitzgerald & Stevens and later for L. Hammel & Co. By 1900 he had his own auctioneer and general merchandise business at 106 North Water Street.

John and Sallie A. were enumerated in the 1900 Mobile city, Mobile Co., AL, federal census, ED 97, stamped page 274. He was 58, she was 51. Children in the household were Mary 16, Annie 14, Maggie 11, John 9, and Sallie 6.

John T. and Sarah were enumerated in the 1910, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, federal census, ED 82, sheet 2A. He was a dry goods salesman. Children in the household were Mamie 22, Margaret 20, John 18, and Sallie 15.

Widow Sarah was enumerated as the head of the household in the 1930 Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, federal census, district 76, living at 22 South Monterey St. She was 70 (all the women in this family have been known to fudge a little bit with their age.) Her daughter Sarah was also in the household, age 26 (just like her mother). Widowed son-in-law Joseph Skinner, age 49 was in the household with his family.

Children of John Thomas McCafferty and Sarah Ann McDonald


  1. [S35] 1900 Federal Census, unknown repository address.
  2. [S482] Certificate, John Thomas McCafferty and Sallie A. McDonald marriage of 19 October 1982.
  3. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 9 February 2018), memorial page for John Thomas McCafferty (25 Oct 1851–12 Mar 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105824141, citing Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Monika Cantrell (contributor 47114703) .

Sarah Ann McDonald1

b. July 1853, d. 2 January 1939
Sarah Ann (McDonald) McCafferty
     Sarah Ann McDonald was born in July 1853 at AL.2 She was the daughter of John McDonald and Ann McDonnell. Sarah Ann McDonald married John Thomas McCafferty, son of Patrick McCafferty and Fanny McDonald, on 19 October 1882 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.3 Sarah Ann McDonald died on 2 January 1939 at age 85. She was buried at Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.4

Children of Sarah Ann McDonald and John Thomas McCafferty


  1. [S39] 1920 Federal Census, unknown repository address, 1920 Census shows Sarah living with son John and daughter Sarah on Conception Street (Reel 35, Enumeration District 98, Page 15B).
  2. [S38] 1860 Federal Census, unknown repository address, 1860 Census shows S. McDonald as 7.
  3. [S482] Certificate, John Thomas McCafferty and Sallie A. McDonald marriage of 19 October 1982.
  4. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 27 March 2018), memorial page for Sarah Ann McDonald McCafferty (Jul 1853–2 Jan 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105824338, citing Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Monika Cantrell (contributor 47114703) .

Mary Frances McCafferty

b. 15 August 1884, d. 31 January 1932
     Mary Frances McCafferty was born on 15 August 1884 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.1 She was the daughter of John Thomas McCafferty and Sarah Ann McDonald. Mary Frances McCafferty married Theodore Jackson Bender, son of Thomas Benton Bender and Mittie Cotton, on 19 December 1910 at Mobile Co., AL. Mary Frances McCafferty died on 31 January 1932 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, at age 47.1 She was buried at Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.1

Children of Mary Frances McCafferty and Theodore Jackson Bender


  1. [S807] Find A Grave, online, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 01 May 2018), memorial page for Mary Frances McCafferty Bender (15 Aug 1884–31 Jan 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 111587815, citing Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Tim Childree (contributor 47125268) .

Annie Josephine McCafferty

b. 30 July 1885, d. 13 September 1954
     Annie Josephine McCafferty was also known as Anna Josephine McCafferty. She was born on 30 July 1885 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL. She was the daughter of John Thomas McCafferty and Sarah Ann McDonald. Annie Josephine McCafferty married Edgar Alphonse Doody circa 1904.1 Annie Josephine McCafferty died on 13 September 1954 at age 69.2

Her godchild was Ann Josephine Skinner. On Ann's baptismal certificate, the godmother is written as "Anna J. Doody" and Ann's name is "Anna Josephine Skinner".

Edgar and Annie J. were enumerated in the 1930 Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, federal census, district 59, at 551 Dearborn St. He was in the household of his brother Michael J. Doody. Edgar was a truck driver for a laundry, age 50, Annie was 48. The only child in the household was Edgar Jr. 17. Brother Michael age 69, widowed, has an adopted daughter, Mary, age 1 year 7 months.

Child of Annie Josephine McCafferty and Edgar Alphonse Doody


  1. [S388] 1930 Federal Census.
  2. [S807] Find A Grave, online, memorial # 144523326.

John James McCafferty

b. 12 January 1891, d. 5 March 1965
     John James McCafferty was born on 12 January 1891 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.1 He was the son of John Thomas McCafferty and Sarah Ann McDonald. John James McCafferty married Doris Gertrude Fowler. John James McCafferty died on 5 March 1965 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, at age 74.1

Gravestone says birth 1892, Sarah Ferchaud says 1891.

John J. and Doris G. were enumerated in the 1940 Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, federal census. He was secretary-treasurer of a welding-machine shop, age 47, she was 36. Children in the household were Robert E. 12, Theodore E. 8, William E. 5, and James E. 2. Also in the household was mother-in-law Ellen C. Fowler 58.

Children of John James McCafferty and Doris Gertrude Fowler


  1. [S182] Social Security Death Index (on-line),, SSDI,, SSAN 419-01-8353.

Sarah Gertrude McCafferty

b. 17 October 1893, d. 22 July 1989
Sarah Gertrude McCafferty
     Sarah Gertrude McCafferty was born on 17 October 1893 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.1 She was the daughter of John Thomas McCafferty and Sarah Ann McDonald. Sarah Gertrude McCafferty died on 22 July 1989 at Mobile, Mobile Co., AL, at age 95.1 She was buried on 25 July 1989 at Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile Co., AL.

Information from family bible in possession of Margaret Rose Skinner Ingate.

Aunt Sally assumed the responsibility of raising her sister, Margaret Rose McCafferty Skinner's, children after the death of both Margaret Rose and her husband Joseph Edward Skinner.

She was the first woman to work at Thames and Batre Insurance in approximately 1920. She worked there approximately 40 years when she became the first Dean of Women at Spring Hill College when it first opened its doors to women in approximately 1960.

It was often said that she raised these six children without ever cooking a single meal. It was probably true because she worked hard to send them all to local boarding schools for their education. She herself had attended Old St. Mary's in downtown Mobile for her primary and secondary education.

After she retired, she built a home on the campus of Spring Hill where she lived until she became incapacitated approximately three years before her death. She was loved by the Jesuits of Spring Hill and ate all of here meals for many years with the Jesuits. She was chauffeured from her home to the Jesuit residence for each meal.

Her burial service was performed in the St. Joseph's Chapel on campus by the Rev. Father Paul Tipton, SJ, president of Spring Hill College. Among other stories Fr. Tipton told on Aunt Sally during the eulogy was one that illustrated that she was always a Lady. While walking across campus one day, Father had come upon Sally laying on the ground in her Sunday best with a hose in her hand watering the foliage. She had slipped and fallen and could not get up. So she lay there, very proper and continued to water until such time as someone would come along to assist her. Of course, she insisted that she needed no help.

She is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery, Section B, 8, 1; next to her parents.


  1. [S182] Social Security Death Index (on-line),, SSDI,, SSAN 422-01-4210.

Ingrid Jill Kelly

b. 22 July
     Ingrid Jill Kelly was born on 22 July.

Lewis Harris Williams

b. 29 October 1855, d. 2 March 1937
     Lewis Harris Williams was born on 29 October 1855. He married Mary Eliza Skinner, daughter of Judge George Gaines Skinner and Mary Eugenia Hill, on 2 June 1892. Lewis Harris Williams died on 2 March 1937 at age 81.

Children of Lewis Harris Williams and Mary Eliza Skinner

Lewis Harris Williams Jr

b. 8 July 1893, d. 8 August 1965
     Lewis Harris Williams Jr was born on 8 July 1893 at Washington Co., AL.1 He was the son of Lewis Harris Williams and Mary Eliza Skinner. Lewis Harris Williams Jr died on 8 August 1965 at Grove Hill, Clarke Co., AL, at age 72.1

L.H. and Carrie Lee were enumerated in the 1940 Sunflower, Washington Co., AL federal census. He was the proprietorof a retail grocery age 46, she was a postmaster, age 39. Children in the household were Harris 16, and Wallace H. 6. Also in the household were mother Mary E. 71, and brother Carlisle 45.


  1. [S182] Social Security Death Index (on-line),, SSDI,, SSAN 416-30-5011.