From the files of Stephen M. Lawson

Thomas Holcomb and Elizabeth
Joshua Holcomb and Ruth Sherwood
Thomas Holcomb and Elizabeth Terry
Thomas Holcomb and Mary Hanning
Josiah Holcomb and Abigail Higley
Josiah Holcomb and Dorcas Smith
Jonah Holcomb and Sabra      Some Notes on the Holcombs
                                     of Wyoming Co., NY
Harriet Holcomb and Henry L. Andrews
Melvina E. Andrews and William Clemeth Morey
Minnie Elsie Morey and Aretus Erastus Freeman
Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson
Stephen Martin Lawson

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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

  1. Josiah - b. Sep. 19, 1743, Simsbury, CT; d. Jun. 15, 1827, Nassau, NY.
  2. Jechaniah - b. Feb. 2, 1745, Simsbury, CT. His name also appears as Jeremiah. Married Apr. 7, 1782, NY Ruth SEALEY.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lemuel - b. Feb. 15, 1753, Simsbury, CT. His birth month also appears as Sep.
  6. Jonah - b. Jul. 6, 1755, Simsbury, CT.
  7. Michael - b. Feb. 8, 1758, Simsbury, CT.
  8. Deborah - b. Jul. 23, 1760, Simsbury, CT.

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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, CT.

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

  1. Dorcas - b. May 25, 1766, Simsbury, CT; d. 1848. Married first Joseph LOBDELL, second, Mr. CLARK, and third Jesse STUART.
  2. Josiah - b. Sep. 10, 1767, Simsbury, CT. Deaf mute. Died young.
  3. Christian - b. Apr. 23, 1769, Simsbury, CT. Deaf mute. Died young.
  4. 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 RACY.
  5. Sybil - b. Mar. 8, 1772, Simsbury, CT. Died young.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jonah - b. Nov. 20, 1774, Simsbury, CT; d. winter of 1830-31, probably in Wyoming Co., NY.
  9. Justus - b. Aug. 7, 1776, Simsbury, CT. Married. Lived in Maryland and Georgia. He had one son, who died at about age 6.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Paulina - b. 1781, Simsbury, CT. Perhaps the Paulina HOLCOMB who married Lucius REED of Granby, CT at Simsbury, CT on Apr. 26, 1848.
  13. 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.

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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: 1810 Onondaga Co., 1820 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

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Harriet - b. Dec. 31, 1810, Varysburg, Genesee (now Wyoming) Co., NY; d. Sep. 15, 1892, Johnsonburg, Wyoming Co., NY. Married Henry L. ANDREW.

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Some Notes on the Holcombs of Wyoming Co., NY

Unidentified children of Jonah and Sabra HOLCOMB

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 (actually, step-daughter).

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) County, NY

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).

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