Hartford County Biographies


(The name Holcomb in the early generations was spelled with an "e". Some where along the line, some kept the "e" and some dropped it.)

Thomas Holcombe was born in 1601 in Hull, County Devon, England, the son of Gilbert Holcombe, who was born about 1565 and Ann Courtney, daughter of Peter Courtney of Vrottonin, County Cornwall, England.

Thomas Holcombe was the first Holcombe to come to America. He had attended Haynes University and had been a soldier for England. He sailed from Plymouth, County Devon, England, one of a company of Puritans and Dissenters who assembled in the new hospital there, with Bishops John Maverick and John Warcham. In March 1630, after a day of prayer and fasting, these Bishops were chosen as officers and the "MARY AND JOHN," a four hundred ton ship, was chartered by Captain Squeb for their voyage to America. After a seventy day voyage they arrived May 30, 1630 at Nantasker, Massachusetts. Ten of the men procured a boat and scouted for the best place to make their home in the New World, but other members of their company discovered a location at Mattapan on the Charles River, now in suffolk County, Massachusetts. Here was pasture for their famished cattle. They came ashore on the south side of Dorchester Neck in the "Old Harbour," now South Boston. They named their settlement "Dorchester" for the town they had left in Old England, and it is still called by this name, as part of Boston.

The church records of Colonial New England are quite complete and indicate the intense religious devotion of our Puritan ancestors. The church at Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut, had the same Pastor from 1697 to 1710 and a membership of twenty six men and seventeen women. Among it's members were Thomas Barber, Peter Buell, Samuel Case, Thomas Holcombe, Thomas Griffen, John Case, Nathaniel Holcombe, Mascalin an Indian, Ruth Holcombe, Mary Bissell, Elizabeth Fuller, and Hanna Holcombe.

Thomas Holcombe settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in a house which he owned in 1633, and sold by deed August 12, 1635 to Richard Jones, signing Thomas Holcombe, and including four tracts amounting to twenty one acres. In a lottery there on December 1, 1634, Thomas drew land and was made a Freeman March 14, 1634. The form of his oath as Freeman is preserved.

He with sixty "Puritans and Dissenters" joined Reverend Wareham in the immigration in 1635-1636 to the junction of the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers, where they founded Windsor. Among the prominent immigrant families associated with Thomas Holcombe were John Webster, Governor of Connecticut, Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of Springfield, Massachusetts, Honorable William Phelps, one of the Commissioners appointed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 to govern Connecticut, member of the Council in the Pequot War of 1637, and in framing the Constitution of 1639, Captain Joseph Wadsworth, who concealed the Charter of Connecticut in the "Charter Oak," General Nathan JOhnson, Officer in the War of 1812, State Senator, State Senator, Quartermaster General for years, and prominent lawyer.

Thomas Holcombe, farmer, represented Windsor and Hartford County, Connecticut on the General Court; served for both at Hartford in framing the Constitution of the Colony of Connecticut and as Deputy in 1649. He was born in 1601 and died 7 September 1657 in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. He married about 1632, Elizabeth Ferguson, born in Wales, who also came to America on the Ship "Mary and John" March 20 to May 30, 1630. She married 3 August 1658, James Eno. She died 7 October 1679, at Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut.

Children born to Thomas and Elizabeth Ferguson Holcombe in Dorcester, Massachusetts:

1. Elizabeth, born in 1634.

2. Mary, born in 1635 0r 1636.

In Windsor, Connecticut:

3. Abigail, baptized 6 January 1638, died there 1648.

4. Joshua, baptized 27 September 1640.

5. Sarah, born 4 August 1642, died 1654.

6. Benajah, born 23 June 1644

7. Deborah, born 15 October 1646, died 1649.

8. Nathaniel, born 4 November 1648, died March 5, 1740.

9. Deborah, born 15 February 1650.

10. Jonathan, born 23 March 1652, died 13 September 1656.

The Holcombe family of Connecticut gave forty nine of her sons as soldiers in the American Revolution. Most of them were from Hartford County, and all of them were related.