From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
Josiah and Abigail (Higley) Holcomb
Josiah HOLCOMB - b. about 1717, Simsbury, CT; d. Jul.
25, 1805 (at age 88), Renasselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian Hill
Cem., Stephentown, NY. Son of Thomas
HOLCOMB and Mary HANNING. His will, dated May 15, 1805 and
recorded Sep. 1805, names his wife Abigail, sons Beriah and Michael,
and daughters Abigail and Deborah. Josiah apparently moved to
Stephentown in the 1780s with his children and their families.
The presence of three men with the name Josiah HOLCOMB before
1800 makes positive identification of each in various records
difficult, but this Josiah appears to be the elder one of that
name in the 1800 census of Renasselaer Co., NY. Married Nov. 8,
1742, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.
Abigail HIGLEY - b. Nov. 1, 1723, Simsbury, CT; d. Feb.
5, 1815, Simsbury, CT. Reportedly died 'AE 94'. Daughter of Nathaniel HIGLEY and Abigail FILER.
Children of Josiah and Abigail Holcomb
- Josiah - b. Sep. 19, 1743, Simsbury,
CT; d. Jun. 15, 1827, Nassau, NY.
- Jechaniah - b. Feb. 2, 1745, Simsbury, CT. His name also
appears as Jeremiah. Married Apr. 7, 1782, NY Ruth SEALEY.
- Beriah - b. Aug. 16, 1748, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT; d.
Mar. 24, 1824, Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian
Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY. Sgt. in the Revolution from NY in
Capt. George WHITE's Company. Married 1777 Lucretia PEASE (d.
1837; bur. Presbyterian Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY). George HOLCOMB
maintained a Diary from age 13 in 1805 until 3 months before
his death in 1865. The Diary, now in the possession of the Stephentown
Historical Society, provides a wealth of historical data. Children:
Beriah married Sally MONROE; Lucretia married Peter WYLIE; Sylvester
married Betsy HASTINGS; William Warner married Juliette BARNHART;
Miriam married John CAMPBELL; Eleanor married Samuel BEERS; and
George married Lucinda WYLIE.
- Abigail - b. Dec. 18, 1750, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT; d.
Oct. 30, 1843, Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian
Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY. Married Oct. 15, 1771, Stephentown,
Rensselaer Co., NY Elisha EGGLESTON (b. about 1749; d. Apr. 28,
1804; bur. Presbyterian Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY). Children:
Jesse married Abigail; Josiah married Abigail married Mr. BENNETT;
Elisha married; Sarah married Thadeus MORGAN; Deborah; Elizabeth
married Mr. MOFFITT; Nancy married Nathan HIGLEY; and Lovica
married Green WORDEN.
- Lemuel - b. Feb. 15, 1753, Simsbury, CT. His birth month
also appears as Sep.
- Jonah - b. Jul. 6, 1755, Simsbury, CT.
- Michael - b. Feb. 8, 1758, Simsbury, CT.
- Deborah - b. Jul. 23, 1760, Simsbury, CT.
Josiah and Dorcas (Smith) Holcomb
Josiah HOLCOMB - b. Sep. 19, 1743, Simsbury, CT; d.
Jun. 15, 1827, Nassau, Rensselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian Hill
Cem., Stephentown, NY. Son of Josiah HOLCOMB
and Abigail HIGLEY. Revolutionary soldier from Simsbury, CT,
and served in the 4th Regiment, Albany Co. Militia. Josiah arrived
at Stephentown in the 1780s, probably with his father, brothers
and sisters. He would appear to be the Josiah HOLCOMB who bought
59 1/2 acres on Dec. 5, 1786, and 260 acres on Dec. 23, 1791,
located northwest of Stephentown. Uncle Josiah is mentioned in
the diary of his nephew George HOLCOMB (son of Beriah) as living
at Nassau on Mar. 20, 1820. His is found in both the 1800
census and the 1820
census of Renasselaer Co., NY. Married Jul. 25, 1765, Simsbury,
Dorcas SMITH - b. Jul. 3, 1745, Suffield, CT; d. Jun.
8, 1833, Nassau, Rensselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian Hill Cem.,
Stephentown, NY. Daughter of Ebenezer
SMITH and Christiana OWEN.
Children of Josiah and Dorcas Holcomb
- Dorcas - b. May 25, 1766, Simsbury, CT; d. 1848. Married
first Joseph LOBDELL, second, Mr. CLARK, and third Jesse STUART.
- Josiah - b. Sep. 10, 1767, Simsbury, CT. Deaf mute. Died
- Christian - b. Apr. 23, 1769, Simsbury, CT. Deaf mute. Died
- Cynthia - b. May 7, 1770, Simsbury, CT; d. 1830. Married
Waitstill CRUMB (1771-1844) of Unadilla Forks, Plainfield, and
Cherry Creek, NY. Waitstill was a Baptist minister and son of
Waitstill and Patience (WELLS) CRUMB of Stephentown, NY. Waitstill
married second in 1832 at Florida, MA Lydia ATWATER (b. Aug.
27, 1792, Leyden, MA; d. May 24, 1881, Cherry Creek, NY), daughter
of Caleb and widow of Sylvester KIMBALL. Children of Cynthia
and Waitstill: Cynthia married first David PALMER, and second
Willard HUNT; Waitstill married Amy CRUMB; Wells married Lucy
Ann BURT; Dorcas married Stephen CHAPMAN; Josiah married Alvirah
BROWN; and two children died as infants. Children of Waitstill
and Lydia: William married Elizabeth; and Henry married Joanna
- Sybil - b. Mar. 8, 1772, Simsbury, CT. Died young.
- Samuel - b. Jul. 11, 1773, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT; d.
Dec. 28, 1814, Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian
Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY. Married first Feb. 5, 1795, Clarissa
Sabrina ADAMS (b. 1780; d. Jun. 11, 1813, Stephentown, Rensselaer
Co., NY; bur. Presbyterian Hill Cem., Stephentown, NY), she being
age 14 at marriage. Her father consented on condition that the
couple would not live together for three years. Married second
Mrs. Sarah (SQUIRE) HICKS, a widow with 5 HICKS children. Samuel's
children apparently remained in the Stephentown, Rensselaer Co.,
NY area. Children of Samuel and Clarissa: Samuel married Verona
HOWARD; Oresmus married Julia MOSS; Clarissa Sabrina married
Joseph HAMBLET; and Eli did not marry. Children of Samuel and
Sarah: Mary; Ann; and Betsey married Henry HAM.
- Josiah - b. Nov. 20, 1774, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT; d.
1817, NY. Josiah does not appear in the 1820 Census. Married
Penelope GRIFFIN (b. 1777, RI; d. 1837), daughter of Capt. Stephen
GRIFFIN and Hannah FORWARD. Penelope HOLCOMB is listed as head
of a household at Nassau, Rensselaer Co., NY near her father-in-law
in 1820. Children: Laura; Stephen Lester married Margaret; Josiah
married Hamil TEMPLE; and Sarah Ann.
- Jonah - b. Nov. 20, 1774, Simsbury,
CT; d. winter of 1830-31, probably in Wyoming Co., NY.
- Justus - b. Aug. 7, 1776, Simsbury, CT. Married. Lived in
Maryland and Georgia. He had one son, who died at about age 6.
- Eliah - b. May 11, 1778, Simsbury, CT. Eliah studied
in Boston under David HINCKLEY, and became Master of the 'Ann.'
As a sea Captain, he was at Smyrna, Turkey at the beginning of
the War of 1812, and had to spend four years there. On his return
trip to Boston, his ship was attacked by pirates on the Barbary
Coast, and his crew mutinied. Following his retirement, Eliah
wrote a book about his life at sea, A Wonderful Providence in
many incidents at sea: An engagement with a Pirate..., first published
1849 at Buffalo, NY. This book was subsequently expanded, with the Eighth Edition published in 1853. In 1819 Eliah was Captain of the 'Triton'
when she made the crossing from Liverpool to Boston in 18 days,
and the round trip in 37 days. Eliah, with his brothers, reportedly
owned seven steamships. Lived on Lake Keoka at Penn Yan, Yates
Co., NY after retirement from the sea, and built the Holcombe
Hotel. In a letter of his brother-in-law Chauncey ROWE on Jan.
10, 1831, Eliah is said to have been "on his way to Boston"
in the fall of 1830. Before his death at Boston, Eliah had lost
his wealth, and his widow returned to Pen Yan, NY. Married at
Boston, MA, Mary LEWIS. One son, Eli, died at age 5.
- Dorothy - b. Apr. 26, 1780, Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT; d.
after 1854, Sterling, Wayne Co., PA. Married first Jun. 25, 1795
Zophar ADAMS, son of Peletiah ADAMS. Married second at Castleton,
VT on Jan. 25, 1809 Enoch NOBLE (b. Jun. 14, 1763, Hebron, Tolland
Co., CT; d. Nov. 1, 1851, Springville, PA), son of Capt. David
and Ruth NOBLE. Dorothy was the second of Enoch's three wives.
Enoch and Dorothy moved to Sterling (originally Nobletown), PA
in 1830 from Sandy Hill (Hudson Falls), NY. Enoch was the addressee
of the letter written Jan. 10, 1831 by his brother-in-law Chauncey
ROWE. Son of Dorothy and Zophar: Lester Phelps married Margaret
Thisby COOPER. Children of Dorothy and Enoch: Adaline did not
marry; Daniel married first F. M. WHEELER, and second M. FOBES;
Erastus married first E. SHARP, and second M. FOWLER; and Justus
Holcomb married his first cousin Eliza Ann WHEELER.
- Paulina - b. 1781, Simsbury, CT. Perhaps the Paulina HOLCOMB
who married Lucius REED of Granby, CT at Simsbury, CT on Apr.
- Olive - b. Jul. 9, 1783, Granby, CT; d. Jan. 11, 1876, Rockford,
IL. Olive was married on Jul. 3, 1806 to Chauncey ROWE (b. Mar.
17, 1783, Alps, Rensselaer Co., NY; d. Dec. 3, 1848, Nassau,
Rensselaer Co., NY), son of Daniel ROWE and Charlotte GRIFFIN.
They lived at Nassau, Rensselaer Co., NY in 1831. On behalf of
his wife, Chauncey wrote a letter to Olive's sister Dorothy and
her husband Enoch NOBLE on Jan. 10, 1831. In the letter, Chauncey
mentioned a number of relatives, including his wife Olive, her
mother, and her brothers Capt. HOLCOMB and Jonah HOLCOMB. Correspondence
indicates that several photos of Olive were in the possesion
of family members about 1960, but their location is not now known.
Children of Olive and Chauncey: Dryden Smith married Charlotte
W. KINEY; Charlotte W. married Ira C. PELTON; Olivea C. married
Franklin M. BARNEY; Maria H. married Asa C. UPHAM; and Daniel
I. married Phoebe JOHNSON.
Jonah and Sabra Holcomb
Jonah HOLCOMB - b. Nov. 20, 1774, Simsbury, CT; d. winter
of 1830-31, probably in Wyoming Co., NY. Son of Josiah
HOLCOMB and Dorcas SMITH. The family of Jonah is primarily
constructed from census records. The preponderance
of evidence that he was the father of Harriet, wife of Henry
L. ANDREWS, is based in part on consistency of dates and places,
and the death certificate for Harriet naming her parents as Jonah
and Sabra. Jonah is given in the following Census records of NY:
Genesee Co., and 1830
Genesee Co. From these records, Jonah was born 1770-1775,
the other males were born 1794-1802, 1794-1802, 1802-1804, and
1804-1810, Jonah's wife was born 1775-1780, and the other females
were born 1800-1810, 1804-1810, 1810-1820 and 1820-1825. Jonah
lived at Orangeville, Genesee (later Wyoming) Co., NY in 1820
and 1830. The family of Harriet (HOLCOMB) ANDREWS lived at Johnsonburg,
in the Town of Orangeville. Married about 1798. A letter dated
Jan. 10, 1831, written by his brother-in-law Chauncey ROWE (married
to Olive HOLCOMB) reports that "Jonah HOLCOMB, last fall,
was dying from consumption and there is no probability of his
being now alive."
Sabra - b. 1775-1780. Jonah's widow was probably living
with his son Chauncey at the time of the 1840
Census, and age 60-70. On the death certificate of Harriet
(HOLCOMB) ANDREWS, her parents are identified as "Johna Hocumb"
and "Sebra. Hocumb." [Her name is difficult to read,
being overwritten, and possible alternate readings are "Sebra",
"Babra." for Barbara, or "Sahra" for Sarah.]
It is noted that she had a daughter named Sebra and a grand-niece,
the daughter of Dryden Smith ROWE, named Sabra.
Children of Jonah and Sabra Holcomb
- Jonah A. - b. Jan. 3, 1799, probably in NY, but recorded
at Granby, CT; d. Jan. 22, 1854. His middle initial is reported
as 'A' in the 1830 census and various land records, but his great
grandson gives his middle name as Truman. Living next to Jonah
and Chauncey HOLCOMB in 1830, he resided at Orangeville and at
Sheldon (1850), Wyoming Co., NY. Married Hannah (b. 1801; d.
Feb. 24, 1850). Son Wesley was born at Varysburg in 1824 and
moved with his family to Kent Co., MI by 1858, and to Lake Co.,
MI about 1868. Daughter Diana HOWES named her first daughter
Harriet. Children included (1830): Wesley J. married Rhoda M.
GRAVES; Diana married Mr. HOWES; Lyman; Mary Ann; David; and
Truman (listed as Freeman in 1850 census).
- Sebra - b. Dec. 13, 1800, NY; d. June 27, 1842, Jackson,
Jackson Co., MI. Census records support a daughter born 1800-1810,
and not living with parents in 1820. Sebra is said to be the
daughter of Jonah HOLCOMB and Betsy ALDERMAN (d. Sep. 28, 1868,
Attica, NY, at age 93), but no evidence to support this has been
found. Sebra was married on Oct. 20, 1819 in Sheldon Township,
Genesee Co., NY by James MEACHAM to Alden S. LUCE (b. Apr. 3,
1797, Hartland, VT; d. Jul. 5, 1865, Jackson, MI), son of Ivory
LUCE and Mary LOOK. They moved to Jackson, MI about 1823. Both
Sebra and Alden are buried in Leoni Cemetery, Jackson Co., MI.
After Sebra's death, Alden married second on Dec. 8, 1842 at
Leoni, MI Miriah TOMPKINS, and third on Sep. 16, 1855 in Jackson
Co., MI Sarah M. PARKER. Children of Sebra and Alden: Washington
Jonah married Anne; Polly E. married George SMITH; Betsey married
Daniel SHERMAN; Russell Homer married Annie ALLINGTON; John P.
did not marry; Clarissa H. married Amos COE; Harriet A. married
Lewis FERRIS; and Nancy H. married Caleb FERRIS.
- Chauncey L. - b. 1806, NY. Chauncey is listed as age 44 in
the 1850 census. He lived at Orangeville, Wyoming Co., NY, and
was living between his father and brother (both Jonah) at the
time of the 1830 Census. Found as Cheney HOLCOMB in the 1840
Census of Sheldon, Genesee Co., NY, his household included
a female age 60-70, probably his mother. Married about May 1827
Alvira RICHARDS (b. 1810, VT; d. 1881, Wyoming Co., NY), daughter
of James RICHARDS and Anna MATTISON. Their son Charles died Feb.
3, 1839 at age 9 months 7 days, and was buried in Richards Cemetery,
just east of Varysburg, Wyoming Co., NY. Children: Jenette married
Edwin W. MERRY; James R.; Julia Ann; Helen A. married Simon LEROY;
Horace S.; Cordelia E. married Charles CROSS; and Charles died
as an infant.
- Anna V. - b. 1809, NY; d. 1874. Married about 1838 Malbone
GODFREY (b. 1804-7, Rensselaer Co., NY; d. Nov. 8, 1872, Attica,
NY), the son of Malbone and Eunice (MAXON) GODFREY. Both Anna
and Malbone were buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Attica, NY.
Their names also appear as Ann B. HOLCOMB and Malbone GODFREY.
Malbone sold land in the Town of Sheldon in 1838, then lived
in the Town of Bennington, and later moved to Attica, NY. The
History of Wyoming County, New York has the following
information about the First Free Will Baptist Church of Sheldon:
"A Free Will Baptist society was formed as early as 1816.
Molbon <sic> Godfrey, Eunice Godfrey, George Grinold and
Jotham Godfrey may be regarded as the nucleus of the society."
Children of Anna and Malbone (order of birth and names uncertain):
Luman M.; Francesto (or Francelo) E.; Betsey; Joshua A.; Melissa;
Lucius W. (or Lucas M.); Arthur; Arinda; Wyman H. A.; May; Mary
C.; Antoinette (or Annette); and Orrice M. (or Ora).
- Harriet - b. Dec. 31, 1810,
Varysburg, Genesee (now Wyoming) Co., NY; d. Sep. 15, 1892, Johnsonburg,
Wyoming Co., NY. Married Henry
Some Notes on the Holcombs of Wyoming Co.,
Unidentified children of Jonah and Sabra
From the 1810-1830 census records, two male and one female
children of Jonah and Sabra HOLCOMB have not been identified.
One male born 1802-1804 appears in 1810 and 1820 and is likely
a son of Jonah and Sabra. The other unidentified children are
a male born 1794-1802 appearing in 1820 but not in 1810, and a
female born 1820-1825 appearing in 1830.
One possible explanation is that Sabra died after the birth
of Harriet in 1811, that Jonah then married a woman with a son
born 1794-1802, and that Jonah and his second wife had a daughter
born 1820-1825. This would also explain a family source claim
that Sebra (HOLCOMB) LUCE was the daughter of Betsey ALDERMAN
Another possible explanation is that either the 1810 or 1820
census is wrong, and the female born 1820-1825 was a granddaughter
of Jonah and Sabra - or even unrelated. Additional research
material is available.
Another HOLCOMB family in Genesee (Wyoming)
The 1840 census index lists six HOLCOMBs living in the Town
of Sheldon, Genesee (now now Wyoming) Co., NY. It is currently
believed that two of them, Cheney (or Chauncey) and Jonah A.,
were brothers of Harriet. The other four, Birdsey, John M., Lewis
I. and Riley, were all distant HOLCOMB cousins of Harriet. The
following brief notes on the Riley HOLCOMB family identifies these
four and other cousins.
Riley HOLCOMB - b. about 1784, CT. Ancestry: Amasa, David H.,
Joshua, Joshua, Thomas. Married first Ester STONE (b. 1785; d.
Jan. 11, 1841). Married second Polly BUTTERICK, widow (d. Jul.
7, 1855). Riley, Ester and Polly were all buried in McLean Co.,
IL. Children of Riley and Ester: Lewis I.; Roswell; Emeline; Randolph;
John Mortimer married Sarah HOARD (11 children); Caroline; and
Birdsey married Tirzah HUMPHREY (widow of Alvah JOY).