Saturday, May 25, 2013

Surname Saturday: Amelia Combs and Friends and Neighbors

Well, it's Surname Saturday once again! Surname Saturday is the blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers that I love most because every week I get to revisit another of the ancestors and their line back as far as I can go. Mom built out this tree which you can find on Ancestry as Virginia Williams Kelly's Big Tree. So my job as a second generation genealogist is to get the word out and make connections with others working on this row in the garden. Cousin bait: that's the name of the game!

My bonus is that every week when I go over a particular family line I get to a deeper understanding of who they were and what's known and not known about each family group. I like that! This week we'll look at the life and times of Amelia Combs whose family and husband's family were amongst the pioneers who settled the Western Maryland area in and around the little Western Maryland mountain town of Frostburg. I tell ya', looking at this section of the tree is a nasty ball of yarn gotten into by the house cat! The Trimbles, Arnolds, Workman, and Combs (not to mention the Porters) were all families started by Revolutionary War vets who took possession of their bounty land on one particular slope of Big Savage Mountain. They lived near each other, farmed together, married into each others families, left and sold land to each other. It's confusing!

But never mind, because here we go. And as usual it's a work in progress. When I was back east on my recent visit to Mom (who is 94, in case you don't know) we agreed that we'd have this all nailed down if we just had another 100 years to work on it!

By the way, we're up to the 3rd great grandmothers now because the great grandfathers and previous great grandmother have already been done and the box checked.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)

22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
23. Nancy Ann Troutman 1826 - 1882

44. John Workman 1779 - 1859
45. Amelia or (Abigail) Combs about 1789 - ????
John was also born in Zihlman but died just up the hill in Frostburg. Presumable, Amelia Combs was born close by Zihlman and also died in Frostburg, but proof remains elusive.
John was a farmer and in the 1840 US Census owned one slave. This was the first record of him owning slaves.
They had these children:
Rebecca Workman 1809 - before 1908. She married Solomon Hansel. They both died in Frostburg.
Kate Workman 1810 - ????. She married Noah Trimble from Wellersburg PA.
Joseph Workman 1812 - 1879. He married Louisa Knabenshue from Keyser, Mineral County, WVa.
Isaac Workman 1814 - 1897
22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
Margaret Workman 1819 - 1908. She married James P. Hannah and then Harry Stevens.
John L. Workman 1821 - 11873. He married Druzilla Workman.
Stephen Workman 1823 - ????.
Cuthbert Workman 1825 - 1882. He married Nancy Conkle. He died in Danville, Knox, County, OH.
Nimrod Workman 1828 - 1870.
William Combs Workman 1831 - 1894. He married Clara Sophia Winebrenner and then Rebecca Sheffiff.

90. John Combs (1765 - 1854)
91. Margaret Trimble (1780 - 1859)
Combs family history has it that John Combs was born in Virginia and married Margaret Tremble in 1794, presumably in Allegany County, Maryland, where they had their family. Mom thinks he was from the part of Virginia that became West Virginia, and perhaps as far west as Hampshire or Morgan counties, or maybe even old Virginia Frederick County. If he was, then it wasn't so far to go to get to Western Maryland where he ended up.
It's been thought that this John Combs served in the Revolutionary War but he would only have been 11 years old when it began. His birth year could easily be incorrect, as records from this time and place are sketchy at best. But if you look you'll find an approved SAR application from about 1940 on but I have my doubts. It is true that Military Lot #3352 was assigned to a Jacob Corns, and that could be a transcription error of some sort, but I haven't seen the original and can't really comment.
The connection that's real solid is to his brother, Cuthbert Combs/Coombs who married Margaret Trimble's sister Abigale. Cuthbert took Military Lots numbered 3408 and 3407.
This John Combs remains a mystery to me and is on the list for a full investigation because we need details, don't we? First place I'll look is Fold3.
They had these known children:
45. Amelia Combs about 1789 - ????
William Combs 1799 - 1878. He married first Marie Arnold and then Sarah Wheeler.
Mary Margaret Combs 1803 - before 1839. She married Josiah Porter and you'll find this couple on the Porter Surname Saturday post.
We know much less about these children:
Martha Combs
John Combs, who married Bathsheba Drake.
Althea Combs

The parents of John Combs might be this couple but it's not been fully checked out, so let me pencil them in for you now. As per our working method, Mom and I don't give these guys numbers in the line-up until they have been vetted by us. We hate to have to take people out later, don't you?

Jonathon Combs 1740 - ????
Nancy Harding
Jonathon was born in Virginia and he might be easier to track down, but we'll see about that later.

We're fascinated by the families that inhabited the area around Mt. Savage and Zihlman in Allegany County, also known as Federal Hill, Workman's Desire, and other lovely and romantic old names. The Military Lot assignments by Francis Deakins in 1787 and the combined map done recently in conjunction with Frostburg State University, is a treasure!

You know that FAN principle? Friends, Associates, and Neighbors? These families of the Federal Hill area (now the area surrounding Evergreen Heritage Center) are the embodiment of it. I truly feel that I could spend the rest of my life working on this ball of tangled yarn!

The Frostburg State University Map (section) showing Military Lot assignments in Allegany County, as per Deakins in 1787, with present landmarks and roads.
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