Holcomb Family

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The Holcomb Family of Widen, West Virginia

The Holcomb Family of special interest in this paper is that of Henry Stewart Holcomb but more specifically that of his son Herbert Stanton Holcomb.

In 1921, Henry Holcomb was probably living, surprisingly enough, in a very small town in Webster County, West Virginia, called Holcomb, when his first wife Maude Keller Holcomb died, Tradition has it, that after her death, Henry and his family walked from Holcomb to Widen, West Virginia, where Henry was seeking employment. This distance could have been up to 50 miles if existing roads were followed. Henry apparently found the job he was seeking at Widen for he was employed there from 1921 until his retirement around 1945.

The late Herbert Stanton Holcomb was Henry's son and he was born in Holcomb in 1910. He married Gertrude Dell Hamric and they had three daughters, Merida Holcomb Friend of Williamsburg, Virginia, Doris Holcomb Patton of Flagstaff, Arizona, and Ruby L. Holcomb of Waverly, Virginia. It was specifically for the daughters of Herbert and Gertrude Holcomb that the research presented in this paper was undertaken.

It is a fair statement to make that, given the fact that both their father and grandfather were coal miners and that probably their great grandfather was a farmer, this research was entered into without much hope of success. The reader can judge for himself just how successful these efforts were.

The majority of the information used in preparing this research paper for the Holcomb Family of Widen, West Virginia, comes from Elizabeth Weir McPherson's 1345 page volume entitled "The Holcombes, Nation Builders". This massive volume covering the Holcomb Family in the United States was copyrighted in 1947.

The State of Massachusetts was first settled by the Pilgrims when they landed in 1620 in what is now Provincetown harbor. They were followed shortly by the Puritans who arrived in 1630.

Both of these groups left England in search of religious freedom. As will be seen below, Thomas Holcombe, the first Holcombe to arrive in this country, apparently was a Puritan. He settled originally in Dorchester, Massachusetts, but in 1635 moved to Windsor, Connecticut, which was the first English settlement in that state having been founded only two years earlier in 1633.

The next four generations of Holcombs resided in Connecticut until some 150 years later when Timothy the First moved in 1791 to Greenbrier County, Va., (now W.Va.). (Please note that the identification of a person as Timothy the First or Joshua the Third etc., has no special meaning except that it was McPherson's way of identifying one generation from another.)

Timothy's reasons for moving are not known, but he had served as a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and perhaps his travels had awakened a wanderlust in him or since he was a farmer, maybe the idea of free and abundant farming land appealed to him. Whether he considered himself to be a Puritan like his ancestor Thomas Holcombe is unknown.

In the following paragraphs I have presented a short dissertation on the head of each of the different generations of the Holcomb Family of Widen. Information taken from the McPherson book has been annotated by a page number. Anyone familiar with this book is well aware of the difficulty in using the volume as a research tool.

THOMAS HOLCOMBE - Thomas Holcombe was the first of the name Holcombe to arrive in the present USA (1630 AD), Tradition gives his birth place in County Devon, England, or Pembrokeshire, Wales. He sailed for America from Plymouth, England (page 8.2). Thomas has been reported as having been born in 1595, 1597 or 1601 (page 9).

Thomas Holcombe was of a company of 140 Puritans and Dissenters who assembled in the New Hospital at Plymouth, County Devon, England, with Bishops John Maverick and John Wareham in March, 1630. Upon a day of fasting and prayer these bishops were chosen as officers of the Mary and John, a 400 ton ship that was chartered by Capt. Squab for their voyage to the Charles River (now the Port of Boston, Mass.) in North America (page 9.2).

Thomas Holcombe was settled at Dorchester, Mass., in a house he owned in 1633. Town records of Dorchester, Mass., show Thomas Holcombe as 'a first settler' there 'prior to ]an. 1636'. He was a farmer, His removal was with '60 Puritans and Dissenters' who moved in 1635 - 1636 to the junction of the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers, where they founded Windsor. Thomas Holcombe had a grant of land there.

In the Spring of 1636 Rev. John Wareham left Dorchester, Mass., and came to Windsor (now in Hartford County, Conn.) bringing with him his flock of some 60 people among whom was Thomas Holcombe (pages 9.2 and 10).

Thomas Holcombe married, about 1632, Elizabeth Ferguson, widow, who was a passenger on the ship Mary and John from March 20 to May 30, 1630. They had 9 nine children (page 10).

JOSHUA HOLCOMB THE FIRST - Joshua Holcomb the First was the first son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ferguson Holcombe (page 10). His exact birth date is not known, but he was baptized September 27, 1640, and it is felt that he was born earlier in that year. He apparently spent his entire life in what is now the State of Connecticut. Joshua took the family and personal property of Thomas when the latter died in 1657 (page 30). In 1670 he moved from Windsor about 10 miles east to Simsbury. In 1670 Joshua was active in a company settling at Simsbury and on May 12, 1670, he was elected as Deputy of the General Court to represent Simsbury at Hartford, Connecticut. Joshua married Ruth Sherwood and they had 10 children. Joshua died on December 1. 1690, in Simsbury, Conn., and both he and his wife are buried there (page 30).

JOSHUA HOLCOMB THE SECOND - Joshua Holcomb the Second was the son of Joshua the First and Ruth Sherwood Holcomb. He was born on September 18, 1672. He, like his father, appears to have spent all of his life in Connecticut, in particular Simsbury. Joshua served as Representative for Simsbury in the Conn. General Assembly. He married Hanna Carrington in 1694 and had 5 children by her. After Hanna died in 1708, Joshua married Mary Hoskins and had 10 more children by her. Joshua the Second died February 10, 1726, in Simsbury, Connecticut (page 44). Since Joshua and both his wives were from Simsbury, it is likely that they are buried there.

JOSHUA HOLCOMB THE THIRD - Joshua the Third was the son of Joshua the Second and Hanna Carrington Holcomb. He was born on September 18, 1697, and lived his life in the State of Connecticut mainly in the Simsbury area. Joshua the Third married Mary Griffin and they had 9 children. Joshua represented the town of Simsbury in the Connecticut Assembly in 1756. He died in November of 1772. McPherson states that 'If seeing's believing, America's oldest man was Deacon Joshua Holcomb who was 161 years of age when he died, April 16, 1784, according to the record on his tombstone'. Joshua is buried in the town of East Granby near Simsbury (page 44.2).

HEZEKIAH HOLCOMB THE FIRST - Hezekiah the First was the son of Joshua the Third and Mary Griffin Holcomb. He was born January 3, 1726, (page 44) and lived his entire life in the State of Connecticut.

Hezekiah the First lived near the Crossing of Salmonbrook, Simsbury, Hartford County, Conn. He was a Captain in the 18th Conn. Reg., organized there as Capt. Lemuel Bate's Company. He commanded the Ilth Conn. Reg. for duty in NY, arriving there August 26, 1776, where he was discharged Sept. 29, 1776 (page 49).

Hezekiah was married in Simsbury, Connecticut, Sept., 29, 1748, to Susanna Alderman. They had 8 children.

Hezekiah died on either January or September 17, 1794. He and his wife are both buried in St. Andrews Cemetery, Scotland, Bloomfield, Connecticut (page 49.2), which is near Simsbury.

TIMOTHY HOLCOMB THE FIRST - Timothy Holcomb the First was the son of Hezekiah and Susanna Alderman Holcomb. He was born February 25, 1756, in Simsbury, Connecticut (page 49.2). He was the first in this Holcomb line to leave the New England area and move South to the Virginia/West Virginia area. His reasons for moving are unknown except for the possibilities raised in the introduction of this paper.

Timothy Holcomb, of English descent, moved to Salisbury, Litchfield County, Conn. He served in 1775 as a Lt. in Col. Hinman's 4th Conn. Reg.. in the American Revolution being I of 33 officers from Salisbury. As will be seen below, my wife, Merida Holcomb Friend, used Timothy Holcomb The First as her Revolutionary War ancestor in being accepted for membership in the DAR in April of 2000. She could have used Timothy's father Hezekiah as well.

He moved before July 17, 1791, to Greenbrier County, Va., where he received grants of land from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Timothy made trips from Virginia to Conn. on horseback. He is recorded in the 1840 Census of Highland County, Va. as a Revolutionary soldier and pensioner as of June 1, 1840, 85 years old, living in the home of Roger and Matilda Holcomb Gum, Matilda being his daughter. Timothy married Elizabeth Griffin and they had 8 children (page 55).

TIMOTHY HOLCOMB THE SECOND - Timothy Holcomb the Second was the son of Timothy the First and Elizabeth Griffin Holcomb (page 55). Although he was born in Connecticut, he probably came South with his father in 1791 when he would have been about 10 years old. He is recorded on several property transactions in Virginia and what is now West Virginia.

Timothy is recorded with his family in the 1850 Census of Nicholas County, Va. (now W.Va.). He is listed as a farmer and was 69 years old at the time. He was born in Conn. 1780 - 1781 (page 56). He was married in Bath County, Va. on October 22, 1801, to Mary Henderson. They had 9 children. Timothy was married a second time in Bath County to Hanna Ruckman on June 19, 1828 (page 56.2).

HEZEKIAH HOLCOMB - Hezekiah Holcomb was the son of Timothy the Second and Mary Henderson Holcomb. He was born in 1809/1810, perhaps in Bath County, Va., (page.56.2). He is recorded in the 1860 Webster County, W.Va., Census of 1860, as a farmer with his wife Susanna Carpenter Holcomb and their 8 apparent children. These children were Phebe A., 25; Mary E., 21; William H., 19; Margaret S., 17; Sophia 14; Timothy 9; Hezekiah S., 4; and George N., 4 months.

Hezekiah's household was next door to the Isaac Weese household and Isaac's father, Abraham, 66, along with Rachel Weese, 56, were reported living in Hezekiah's home.

The member of Hezekiah Holcomb's household of particular interest in this paper is Hezekiah S. Holcomb. As noted above, at the time of the Webster County 1860 Census, he was 4 years old and is reported as being born in Nicholas County, Va. (now W.Va.). It is important to note here that Webster County was formed from part of Nicholas County in 1860. And a check of the Nicholas County Census of 1850 does reveal that Hezekiah Holcomb and his family were indeed residing in Nicholas County in 1850.

Also of importance to this research effort is that, as noted above, living next door to the Hezekiah Holcomb family was the Isaac Weese family. And reported in the Webster County 1860 Census as being a daughter of Isaac and Malinda Weese is Elizabeth S. Weese, 1 year of age. She would eventually marry Hezekiah S. Holcomb.

HEZEKIAH S. HOLCOMB - Hezekiah S. Holcomb was the son of Hezekiah and Susanna Carpenter Holcomb. He was born in 1856 in what was part of Nicholas County, Va. (now W.Va.) but became part of Webster County, W.Va., in 1860. In the 1870 Census for Webster County, he is still shown in his father's household at the age of 14 but the census taker mispelled his name as Hesekiah T.

Hezekiah S. Holcomb married Elizabeth S. Weese, daughter of the above mentioned Isaac Weese and shown in the Webster County 1860 Census as being one year old. This writer is told that Isaac Weese was a Confederate soldier and died during the Civil War. His children apparently were split up and sent to different homes to live after the father's death. Elizabeth S. Weese is shown in the 1870 Census for Glade District of Webster County as living in the household of Moses Hickman and being 11 years old. She is listed as Susan Weese. Her kinship to Hickman is not known.

Apparently Hezekiah S. Holcomb preferred to use his middle name, Samuel, to distinguish himself from his father Hezekiah. In the Webster County Census of 1880 Samuel Holcomb, age 24, is listed with his wife Elizabeth, age 21, and their son Henry S., age 1.

There was an article published in the Webster Republican in 1966 entitled "Pioneer Settlers of Webster: The Weese Family". It mentions Susan Weese as a daughter of Isaac Weese and states that she married Samuel Holcomb.

A correspondent of mine, Roger B. Stanley, grew up in Lost Run located in Webster County, W.Va. He states that Elizabeth is buried in the Green-Holcomb Cemetery at Lost Run, and he has recently visited her grave site. He says that while her grave marker does not mention her middle name it reads "Elizabeth Holcomb wife of H. S. Holcomb". She was born December 24, 1859, and died October 30, 1882. A photo of Elizabeth's grave marker is shown here:

Following is a condensed version of a recent e-mail written by Roger Stanley: "Lost run is in Webster County. If you go to Cowen in Webster County, you can take the Laurel Creek Road (also called the Erbacon Road) from Cowen to the mouth of Lost Run. I am uncertain of the exact distance, but think it is something like five miles from Cowen to Lost Run. Lost Run is roughly located between the communities of Arcola and Wainville. There is a sign that says "Lost Run" posted at the turnoff to Lost Run. Lost Run is a hollow and the road up Lost Run is an unpaved dirt road.

There are six cemeteries located on Lost Run that I am aware of. All are fairly small. The cemetery that Elizabeth Susan Weese, wife of Hezekiah Samuel Holcomb, is buried in was originally named the Green Cemetery, later the Green-Holcomb Cemetery and more recently the Holcomb Cemetery. This cemetery is located on land where David Holcomb now lives and was formerly owned by David's father, Woodrow Holcomb.

One needs to take the right hand fork of Lost Run to get to this cemetery. There is an old rail fence on the left hand side of the road, a field on the other side of the road and the cemetery is enclosed inside a fence in this field. When I was back there for a short visit in June of 1998, I was shocked at how the area was largely overgrown in weeds and brush."

Hezekiah Samuel Holcomb, as noted above was born in 1856. He died on July 24, 1895, in Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia. Family tradition says that his death was caused by a fall from a second story window. His place of burial is not known at this time but his death record is located in the Webster County, W.Va. Death Book 2, page 23, line 21. And the death was reported by his second wife Vilettie S. Holcomb (see below). He was reported to be 39 years, 6 months and 4 days old at the time of his death and is reported to be the son of Hezekiah & Suanna Holcomb. His death was accidental and his occupation was farmer.In fact, Hezekiah Samuel Holcomb was apparently a very prominent man in his community. Roger Stanley sent a copy of Hezekiah's obituary form the August 2, 1895 issue of "The Webster Echo".

"Squire H. S. Holcomb, president of our County Court, met his death last Tuesday night by falling from a third-story window in the Bailey House, at Weston to the street below, a distance of some twenty-two feet. Mr. Holcomb, in company with George McElwain, had gone to Weston on business and stopped for the night at the Bailey House. They were given a room on the third floor, and about ten o'clock went to it for the purpose of retiring. Shortly afterward the night clerk heard a noise on the outside and going out found Mr. Holcomb lying on the walk with his head crushed and otherwise severely injured. Medical aid was at once summoned, but all efforts to restore him to consciousness were unavailing and he expired within an hour. Mr Holcomb was about 38 years of age, and leaves a wife and four or five small children to mourn his loss. The remains were taken to his late home on Laurel Creek, near Weese Station, on Wednesday, and interment took place Thursday evening."

According to Roger Stanley, there is no marked grave for Hezekiah Samuel in the Holcomb Cemetery where his wife Elizabeth Susan Weese is buried. While there are four or five markers with no names on them in the cemetery, it is highly likely that if Hezekiah were buried there his grave would have been clearly marked along side his wife.

Michael Henline of Webster County, W.Va., has undertaken the task of inventorying and photographing the cemeteries of Webster. He reports that Hezekiah Samuel Holcomb (1856-1895) is buried in the Hardwood Cemetery located about six miles from Cowen going towards Erbacon, and about a mile from the mouth of Lost Run. Michael states that perhaps Samuel's 2nd wife objected to Hezekiah being buried in the same cemetery as his first wife (Elizabeth Susan Weese). The Hardwood Cemetery is not maintained and trees have fallen across many of the graves. Samuel's tombstone is one of only two stones in this cemetery even though it contains in excess of twenty graves. Following is a photo take by Michael of Samuel's gravestone.

Michael goes on to say that he has learned that two of Samuel's children, Grover and Monroe, are also buried in the Hardwood Cemetery. He further states that on a happier note, the Lost Run cemetery where Elizabeth is buried has been cleared and is currently being maintained.

Roger Stanley also provides the information that, after the death of his wife Elizabeth at the age of 23, Hezekiah Samuel Holcomb remarried. His second marriage was to Vilettie S. Ruckman (date unknown at this time). Vilettie was born in July of 1868 in Webster County, West Virginia. She died between 1901 and 1910. She was sometimes referred to as "Lettie", which is probably short for Vilettie. Hezekiah Samuel and Vilettie Ruckman Holcomb had the following children: William Harrison, Morgan M., born in April, 1889, John L., born in March, 1891, Grover C., born in September, 1892, and Catherine born about 1894. Catherine died on November 8, 1897 in Webster County, W.Va. After Hezekiah Samuel's death Vilettie apparently had a son out of wedlock (George D.) in March of 1898. Vilettie married Jacob H. Holcomb on May 2, 1901, and the 1910 Census for Glade District, Webster County show her sons born to Hezekiah Samuel and her other son George D. all living in the Jacob Holcomb household.

Mormon Church data lists the father of Henry S. Holcomb as H. Samuel Holcomb. And the obituary for Henry S. Holcomb lists Samuel Holcomb as his father and Susan Weese Holcomb as his mother.

A fire in 1888 destroyed Webster County birth records so that Henry S. Holcomb's parents cannot be checked further from that standpoint, but it is felt that the above existing data clearly establishes his parents to be Samuel and Elizabeth Holcomb, or in other words, Hezekiah S. Holcomb and Elizabeth Susan Weese.

HENRY STEWART HOLCOMB - Henry Stewart Holcomb was born on June 1, 1879 at Arcola, Webster County, West Virginia. He was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Holcomb. He died in Charleston, W.Va., on June 4, 1955, at the age of 76. Henry married Maude Lucinda Keller who died in August in either 1917 or 1921 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, while being operated on for a brain tumor. This writer has succeeded in obtaining a copy of Maude's death certificate from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and this indicates that she did indeed die from a brain tumor in 1921. She is buried in Rice Cemetery between Bolair & Webster Springs. Henry Holcomb and Maude Keller were married on June 22, 1898. Maude Keller was born on June 6, 1880, in Tyler County, W.Va., and was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Louise Morris Keller. Joseph was born in 1851 in Tyler County and he and Mary Morris were married on December 31, 1871, in Tyler County. Henry Stewart and Maude Keller Holcomb had 6 children.

Henry Holcomb was married a second time to Mammie Ethel Hamric on August 8, 1922. Four children were born to this marriage. Henry was employed by the Elk River Coal and Lumber Co. from 1921 until about 1945. He is buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery near Widen, W.Va.

HERBERT STANTON HOLCOMB - Herbert Stanton Holcomb was the son of Henry Stewart and Maude Keller Holcomb. He was born April 28, 1910, and died December 25, 1985. He married Gertrude Dell Hamric on July 30, 1930, and they had 3 daughters.

Herbert served in the Army in World War 11 and spent most of his working life at the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company. After his first wife died on November 16, 1960, he married Ella Marie Lloyd on September 29, 1961. He eventually moved to Sutton, W.Va. where he died.

CONCLUSION - The purpose of this research has been to establish the direct ancestry of the Holcomb Family of Widen, West Virginia. By its very nature the scope has been very narrow in focus and very little about the personal lives of the direct ancestors has been presented. Still, the fact that the progenitor of the Holcomb line in America, Thomas Holcombe, was a Puritan and the fact that Timothy the First and his father Hezekiah both served their country during the Revolutionary War, raises the possibility of interesting areas for further research.

A family tree has been prepared that presents nearly 100 ancestors, most with the potential of like interesting backgrounds. For instance, McPherson states in her history that Timothy Holcomb the Second had a brother named Ethan Allen Holcomb. Ethan had a son, Ezekiel, who in turn had a son Ethan Allen Holcomb the Second. Ezekiel served as a Union soldier at about the age of 55 years. When returning home on a furlough in 1863, accompanied by his son, Ethan Allen Holcomb the Second, and his nephew Tyrance Rodgers, and Guy Keith, they were attacked by six Confederates near Gauley Bridge, Fayette County, W.Va. or Bell's Creek, Nicholas County, W.Va. Ethan was shot and left for dead and the others taken prisoner. Ezekiel died in a Confederate prison, which according to one report was Libby Prison in Richmond, Va. Ethan recovered from his wounds and later served in the Home Guard ( pages 56 and 56.2). Ethan the First, Ezekiel, and Ethan the Second are all listed in the 1860 Census for Clay County, Va. (now W.Va.).

And in a classic case of family fighting against family during the Civil War one only has to look at the case of William Harrison Holcomb. William was the son of Hezekiah Holcomb, Samuel Holcomb's brother and therefore was a close relative of the aforementioned Ezekiel and Ethan Allen Holcomb. During the Civil War William initially was a member of the infamous Moccasin Rangers of the Virginia State Line that was formed as a Home Guard but was branded by the Union as nothing but a group of thugs and outlaws to the point that they were not even recognized as Confederate Army. William served in Company B of the 3rd Virginia State Line. During this time of service, according to Randall Osborne and Jeffrey C. Weaver in their book called 'The Virginia State Rangers and State Line' (page 10), William participated in the fight at Stroud's Glade in early 1862. When the 3rd Virginia State Line was incorporated into the 19th Virginia Cavalry, he became part of that organization. He was taken prisoner sometime during the War and is on the roll of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Camp Lee, near Richmond, on March 28, 1865. An error in the records showed that he died in prison, but he is shown in the 1880 Census for Webster County, W.Va. William is buried in the Holcomb Cemetery, near Erbacon, Webster County, the cemetery itself being a bit of information that needs investigation.

Another cemetery that bears further investigation came to the author by way of a correspondent from Florida who has many Holcombs in his family line. He reports the existence of a Holcomb Cemetery in Clay County located at the top of Middle Creek about 1.2 miles from Indore, West Virginia. He states that it is about 200 yards on a dirt road with an iron gate across the road. He said that he did not know how old this cemetery is but he believes it is quite old. It is very possible that members of the Widen Holcomb's line are buried there also.

Since such potential for like historical experiences does exist, it Is hoped that someone upon reading this short paper and reviewing the attached family tree will undertake more in-depth research than has been attempted in this effort.

Further, it should be pointed out that considerable research still needs to be done before the complete genealogy of the Widen branch of the Holcomb Family is established. Only the direct Holcomb lineage has been addressed in this paper and countless other associated family lines such as Hamric, Craft and Keller, to name a few, need to be investigated. Plus, when one considers the many generations in the Holcomb lineage and ponders research on each of the Holcomb spouses alone, the magnitude of the task could be enormous. In any event, my wife, Merida Holcomb Friend, applied for membership in the DAR based on the Revolutionary War service of Timothy Holcomb, Sr. As stated above, she could have applied for membership based on the service of Timothy's father, Hezekiah, as well. Merida was accepted for membership in the DAR in April of 2000. This fact opens the way for many other members of her Holcomb line to seek membership based on the data that Merida supplied with her membership application.

ADDENDUM: BEYOND THOMAS HOLCOMBE - The majority of the information in this addendum, like the preceding paper, has been taken from Elizabeth Weir McPherson's volume entitled "The Holcombes, Nation Builder's".

According to McPherson, the name Holcombe means wooded valley, from "Holt", a wood and "combe", a valley, HOOKER, a fisherman (page iv). She goes on to say that the earliest Holcombes in Europe probably lived on a narrow wooded hill and took their name from 'holt' meaning a woods, and 'combe' meaning a narrow ridge (page 5).

Again, according to McPherson, the Holcombe Coat of Arms originated with Sir John de Holcombe who served in the War of the Crusades to Palestine, where in the Third Crusade, (1187 - 1191 AD) in battle he beheaded three Turks with one stroke of his sword, for which he was knighted by King Richard in the latter part of that century - which explains the four heads on the Holcombe Coat of Arms. The motto "Veritas et Fortitudo" in English is "Truth and Courage"(page ii). As of this time I have been unable to obtain a good copy of this coat of arms.

Ninety percent of the Holcombes in North America are considered direct descendants of the above Sir John Holcombe (page ii). And certainly McPherson presents Thomas Holcombe as being a direct descendant of Sir John.

As presented in the preceding paper, Thomas Holcombe the first of the name to arrive in the present USA (1630 AD) is given by tradition a birth place in County Devon, England or Pembrokeshire, Wales. He sailed for America from Plymouth, England (page 8.2).

Thomas Holcombe has been reported as born in Hole (Hull?), County Devon, England in 1595, 1597 or 1601. Another report shows him as being born in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Reports also show that he was the son of Gilbert Holcombe of Hull who was born about 1565, and wife Ann Courtenary, daughter of Peter of Vrottonin County Cornwall, England (page 9). McPherson goes on to trace the ancestry of Thomas Holcombe back to Walter de Holcomb who she claims was the great great grandson of John de Holcombe. In actuality, he may have been the great grandson. In addition, further ancestors in this line that McPherson does not list can be found at the following Internet Web address: http://www.goldrush.com/-humbert/test.html.

For the sake of brevity, these names beyond Thomas Holcombe are not listed here. Those interested in a more in-depth look should visit the above Internet address or page nine of McPherson's history.

It is sufficient to say that the Holcomb Family of Widen, West Virginia, according to McPherson's book, are direct descendants of Thomas Holcombe and Sir John de Holcombe and therefore may rightfully display John's Coat of Arms as their own. It also appears that, based on the Revolutionary War record of Timothy the First, members of the family are eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and possibly other historical societies if further research is done. Membership in most such societies requires documentation and proof and how much credence would be given to McPherson's research remains to be seen. Possibly more evidence from the public record would be required.

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The above story is an extract from a paper written by Art Friend in June of 1997 and revised in September of 1998. Friend is the husband of Merida Holcomb Friend and may be contacted by e-mail at: