The Cobbs of Lincoln County, North Carolina

(And the surrounding area)

 

Chapter Two  - 1850

 

 

 

Contents (In Chronological Order):

 

1850 Census – Lincoln County, North Carolina

1850 Census – Gaston County, North Carolina

1850 Census – Cleveland County, North Carolina

1850 Census – Catawba County, North Carolina

Sidenotes & Mysteries:

            Cass County, Georgia

            Lumpkin County, Georgia

            York District, South Carolina

 

 

 

Beginning with this enumeration, each person in a household was listed by name, rather than simply categorized by age and sex.  In a way, it seems that should make all this easier.  Yes and No.  Especially in the case where a common name is found ... like William, John, Mary, etc --- many researchers have claimed the same person. 

 

It will be noted also that by 1850, many of the descendants of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census have left the area or grown up and started families of their own, and we are now dealing with an almost entirely new Cobb population.

 

Finally, before we begin the reader is reminded there were three new counties created from Lincoln since the previous census in 1840 ... Catawba, Cleveland, and Gaston.  Many families did not move an inch, but overnight found they were then living in a different county.

 

 

 

LINCOLN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

 

17 July 1850 – Township not given                                      

                                     

John Cline

 

Age

54

Born

NC

Elizabeth

       

 

55

 

NC

George M.

 

 

22

 

NC

Harriet

 

 

18

 

NC

William

 

 

16

 

NC

M.A. Cobb (f)

 

 

27

 

NC

Wm W Cobb

 

 

03

 

NC

 

The female “M.A.” was Margaret Adline, daughter of John and Elizabeth Cline, and widow of William W. Cobb.  He was the son of William Halsey Cobb and Jane Connely, and the grandson of Clisby Cobb and wife Margaret Halsey Young.  William W. Cobb Sr was born 25 March 1820, and died 08 September 1845.  He is buried in the Methodist Church Cemetery in Lincolnton, North Carolina. 

 

Margaret married Jacob Frederick Heim within five years after this census.  She had two children by Jacob ... James B. and Jane, apparently twins born about 1855.  By 1870, Jacob was also deceased, and Margaret was listed as the head of her own household on the census taken that year.  She and her three children were living in the Ironton Township of Lincoln County.

 

William W. Cobb Jr was still single and living with his mother in 1870.  About 1875, he married Adelaide E. “Addie” Cansler (sic).  They had five children; Samuel H, Hampton, Mamie, Addie, and William.  By 1880, this family had moved to Oconee County, South Carolina. 

 

 

17 July 1850 – Township not given

 

Joseph C. Cobb

 

Age

24

Born

NC

Margaret E.

 

 

23

 

NC

B.C. (m)

 

 

02

 

NC

 

 

This was Joseph Cameron Cobb, another son of William Halsey Cobb, and grandson of Clisby Cobb.  He was born 08 May 1822, and died 16 September 1895.  He is buried in St Luke’s Episcopal Cemetery at Lincolnton.  His wife was Margaret Eliza Butts, who he married on 25 October 1847, in Lincoln County.  She was born 23 July 1827, and died 29 May 1897.  She is buried beside her husband.

 

In his book, “Annals of Lincoln County, William L. Sherrill commits an error with reference to Joseph Cameron Cobb.  The 1870 census of Lincolnton shows the household of this Joseph Cobb.  With him is an 85-year old widow named Elizabeth.  Sherrill claims this person was Elizabeth Miller, who married Robert Cobb in Lincoln County in 1818, and that she was the mother of Joseph Cobb.  This is incorrect for two reasons: First, a close examination of the census enumeration shows that the widow Elizabeth was named Butts, and thus she was the mother of Joseph’s wife.  Second, the Robert Cobb who married Elizabeth Miller had moved to what is now McMinn County, Tennessee by 1830.  As stated above, Joseph Cameron Cobb was the son of William Halsey Cobb, who incidentally was a younger brother of the Robert Cobb that Sherrill claimed was Joseph’s father.

 

The child listed on this enumeration was son Beverly Cameron Cobb, born August 1848, and died 1902-1910, probably in Lincolnton.  He lived in Lincolnton all his life and was enumerated on every census taken there from birth to death.  He was an Attorney by profession.  He was married twice: (1st) Jane McBee, daughter of Vardry Alexander and Mary (Sumner) McBee.  Jane was born 22 March 1850, and died 12 December 1881.  She is buried at St Luke’s Episcopal in Lincolnton.  (2nd) May “Last Name Unknown” before 1893.  This marriage produced four children ... Margaret 1891, Catherine 1895, Mary 1899, and Beverly Jr 1902.  May was last enumerated on the 1910 census of Lincoln County. 

 

Joseph Cameron Cobb and Margaret Butts had one more child after the 1850 census, son John L. Cobb.  He was born 16 April 1854, and died 14 June 1926.  He is buried at St Luke’s Episcopal in Lincolnton.  He lived in Lincolnton all his life and was listed on every census taken there from birth to death.  He married Lucy Schenck sometime after 1880.  They apparently had no children.  Lucy was born 20 November 1862, and died 29 August 1892.  She is buried beside her husband.

 

 

15 August 1850 – Township not given

 

Rufus Cobb

 

Age

21

Born

NC

 

Martha                  

 

 

20

 

NC

 

Charlotte V/N      

 

 

10M

 

NC

 

 

 

This was William Rufus Cobb, son of Robert Cobb and Eleanor Phillips, grandson of James Cobb and Sarah “Sally” Beach, and great grandson of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census.  He was one of the very few Ambrose Cobb descendants remaining in the area by 1850.  He was born 14 January 1828.  He moved to Catawba County before 1860, and died there 11 February 1902.  He is buried in the Wesley’s Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery in Catawba County.

 

Rufus was married twice: (1st) Martha “Patsy” Linebarger about 1848.  There were five children produced from this marriage ... Charlotte Virginia 1849, Luther 1851, Nancy 1853, James 1854, and Araminta 1858.  Martha was born 02 March 1829, and died 23 March 1862, and was buried at Concord Methodist Church in Catawba County.  (2nd) Sophia P. Abernathy on 20 July 1862 in Catawba County.  There were seven children produced from this marriage ... son Avery 1866, Susan 1867, Ella 1868, Henry 1871, Lucy 1873, Ina 1877, and Junius William 1879.  Sophia was born 05 August 1841, and died 09 October 1926.  She is buried beside her husband at Wesley’s Chapel.

 

 

GASTON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

 

15 October 1850 – Township not given

 

Robert Cobb

 

Age

22

Born

NC

Leanah                  

 

         

23

 

NC

Ellen                      

 

       

85

 

NC

Harriet                   

 

        

05

 

NC

Lawson                 

 

         

02

 

NC

Sarah                     

 

       

01M

 

NC

 

 

This was Robert Cobb, son of Robert Cobb and wife Eleanor “Ellen” Phillips, grandson of James Cobb and Sarah “Sally” Beach, and great grandson of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census.  The census taker erred recording the age of all three adults in this household.  Robert and his wife were actually about thirty by 1850, while Robert’s mother Ellen was actually about sixty.  Robert had married Leanah Hope in Lincoln County on 14 December 1841.  They had a total of six children ... the three shown here plus Wesley 1851, Georgiana 1858, and John 1865.  Sometime after this census, Robert moved his family back to Lincoln County where they are found in 1860 and 1870.  By 1880, they were back in Gaston County.  The elderly Ellen Cobb was still living in 1870 with daughter Martha and her husband Wesley H. Moore.  Robert’s final fate is not known, but some information about his wife provides a clue. 

 

Leanah Hope was born 17 March 1821, and died 30 March 1883 in Cherokee County, South Carolina.  She is buried in the Old Blacksburg City Cemetery beside her daughter Harriet who had died just nine days before. 

 

 

16 August 1850 – Township not given

 

Mary A. Cobb                        Age     12        Born    NC

She was living in the household of 65-year old widow Jane McCade.  This child is not identified.  There were no familiar sounding names living nearby.

 

 

07 August 1850 – Township not given

 

Margaret Cobb

 

Age

50

Born

NC

Margaret E.

 

 

16

 

NC

Sarah J.

 

 

13

 

NC

Mathew Hay                     

 

 

75

 

NC

 

 

This was Margaret Dickson McCarter, widow of Clisby Cobb Jr, son of Clisby Cobb Sr  and Margaret Halsey Young.  Margaret was born 30 November 1799, and died 17 January 1865.  She was buried beside her husband who had died 09 September 1848, in the Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery in York District, South Carolina.  He was born 25 May 1792.  Margaret and Clisby married about 1815, and apparently had only the two daughters listed on this census. 

 

Margaret E. Cobb was born 05 November 1834, and died 17 February 1856.  Sometime after the 1850 census she married one R.L. Simmons.  She is also buried at Bethel Presbyterian Church with her parents. 

 

Sarah Jane Cobb was born 06 January 1837, and died 17 April 1915.  She married Charles Q. Petty on 28 December 1852, in York District, South Carolina.  The Petty’s were a notable family, Charles serving as Major of the 49th North Carolina Infantry Regiment during the War Between the States.  They are also buried at Bethel Presbyterian Church.  Their marriage produced eight children.

 

 

CLEVELAND COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

 

25 September 1850 – Township not given

 

William Cobb

 

Age

46

Born

NC

Occ: Shoemaker

Martha

 

 

41

 

NC

 

James

 

 

22

 

NC

Occ: Carpenter

Anderson Linn

 

 

23

 

NC

Occ: Millwright

Elizabeth Linn

 

 

20

 

NC

 

Mary Cobb

 

 

17

 

NC

 

Julia A. Cobb

 

 

13

 

NC

 

Harmon Cobb

 

 

12

 

NC

 

Nancy Cobb

 

 

09

 

NC

 

Wilson Cobb                     

 

 

06

 

NC

 

George Cobb                     

 

 

04

 

NC

 

Jerry Cobb                         

 

 

02

 

NC

 

Martha J. Cobb                  

 

        

01

 

NC

 

 

 

This is William Cobb and his wife Martha Harmon, who he married in Lincoln County on 15 February 1827.  They were not enumerated in their own household in 1830, thus they were evidently living with her parents.  The first positive identification of this family is the 1840 census of Lincoln County.

 

DNA analysis of multiple proven descendants has now shown that this William Cobb had a common ancestry with Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census.  Thus far I have been completely unable to comfortably fit him to any of the sons of Ambrose Cobb.   

 

This enumeration shows William, his wife Martha, and all ten of their children.  Elizabeth Linn was their daughter who died in 1855.  Wife Martha died in 1868, and William married a second time before 1870, to a widow Catherine Collins who had three children by her first husband Thomas Howell.  Then William and Catherine had two children of their own ... Florence 1872, and Thomas L. 1875.  The exact date of death and place of burial for William and Catherine are not known, but they were still living in 1880 in Cleveland County.

 

 

19 October 1850 – Township not given

 

Nancy Cobb

 

Age

40

Born

SC

Elizabeth

 

 

19

 

NC

Samuel / Lemuel                  

 

 

17

 

NC

Jacob                                

 

15

15

 

NC

Caroline                           

 

NC

13

 

NC

Missouri ? (f)                   

 

NC

12

 

NC

Thomas                             

 

NC

08

 

NC

Nancy C.                          

 

NC

07

 

NC

Jesse (m)                          

 

NC

06

 

NC

Elizabeth                          

 

NC

65

 

NC

 

 

This woman and her children are unidentified, but she could have been the wife of several possible men.  The first possible candidate is the John Cobb that appeared on the 1840 census of Lincoln County.  He was born 1800-1810 and estimating from the ages of his children, he married before 1825.  There is no Lincoln County marriage record of a John Cobb to a woman named Nancy in that time frame, indicating they were from a different county.  And the 1840 census was the first and only appearance of John Cobb in Lincoln County ... so far, so good.  The wife of John Cobb was born 1810-1820.  Again it’s a match. 

 

In 1840, John Cobb had six children ... a son and a daughter born 1825-1830 ... a son and two daughters born 1830-1835 ... and a son born 1835-1840.  Nancy’s oldest child was born in 1831.  Nancy had four children born 1830-1835, two sons and two daughters.  Nancy did have a son born 1835-1840.  We do not have a perfect match, but it’s not difficult to rectify the discrepancies.  John’s two oldest children (1825-30) could have either died or married by 1850, and Nancy is old enough to have produced several children before the daughter Elizabeth listed above.  How do we account for the additional son born between 1830-1835?  That is simple ... census error or childhood death.  Nancy’s three youngest children were not yet born in 1840, and therefore are not part of the equation.  Nancy was still living in Cleveland County as late as 1870, but most of her children had by then disappeared without a trace.  If Nancy was the wife of the 1840 John Cobb in Lincoln County, we know his mother’s name was Elizabeth, and that she was born about 1785 in North Carolina. 

 

Another possibility is that Nancy was the widow of the Jesse Cobb found on the 1830 census of Rutherford County, North Carolina.  Five people were enumerated in that household ... two males 20-30 years of age, one female 40-50, one female 20-30, and one female 5-10.  It is not a perfect match age-wise, but does coincide with sex and birth order.  This family cannot be found in 1840.

 

DNA analysis of Nancy’s descendants shows a genetic link to the man known as Henry Cobb “the Elder” who arrived in Barnstable, Massachusetts about 1629.  It is known that Henry descendants were in Caswell County, North Carolina at least a decade before the American Revolution.  Therefore, there is a temptation to say that this family had ties to that area.  It has even been claimed by several researchers that Nancy was actually the Nancy Boswell that married Jesse Cobb in Caswell on 07 December 1817.  However, that seems to be erroneous as that couple and their children are accounted for.

 

 

CATAWBA COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

 

05 December 1850 – Newton TownshipNewton PO

 

Henry Cobb

 

Age

27

Born

Lincoln Co, NC

Nancy

 

 

28

 

NC

Missouri               

 

 

10

 

NC

Rufus                    

 

 

08

 

NC

John                      

 

 

06

 

NC

Emeline                

 

 

04

 

NC

 

 

This was Henry Cobb, son of Robert Cobb and Ellen Phillips, grandson of James Cobb and Sarah “Sally” Beach, and great grandson of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County.  He was born 09 October 1821, and died 01 January 1892.  He was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, near Hickory in Catawba County. 

 

Henry married Nancy Hilton / Helton in Lincoln County on 16 December 1840.  They had one more known child after this census, son James who was born about 1858.  Henry and Nancy lived in Catawba County all their married lives.  Nancy was born 10 July 1822, and died 04 September 1878.  She was buried at Wesley’s Chapel in Catawba County.  In 1880, Henry was living in the household of daughter Missouri who had married William A. Serantz (sometimes spelled as Scronce).

 

 

28 November 1850 – Newton TownshipNewton PO

 

James Cobb

 

Age

38

Born

Lincoln Co, NC

Fanny

 

 

32

 

TN

Robert                  

 

 

13

 

Lincoln Co, NC

Columbus             

 

 

12

 

Lincoln Co, NC

Sylvester              

 

 

10

 

Lincoln Co, NC

Leroy                    

 

 

08

 

Lincoln Co, NC

Adeline                 

 

 

04

 

Lincoln Co, NC

 

 

This man is not positively identified. Census-wise, he is found on this enumeration and again in Catawba County in 1870.  Due to the facts he lived in Catawba County, and that several of his children eventually lived in Burke County, there is an almost overwhelming temptation to say he was a descendant of Clisby Cobb Sr and Margaret Halsey Young.

 

Is this possible?  Yes, a search for a male born about 1812 reveals one candidate.  James’ father could have been John Cobb, son of Clisby Sr. According to the 1810 census of Lincoln County; John had a son less than ten years of age.  Allowing for census error, this could have been James.   

 

If James was not a relative of Clisby Cobb, at least three other men could have been his father.

  1.  The Joseph Cobb who appears only on the 1820 census of Lincoln County had three males in his  household born between 1810-1820.  Again, one can only speculate on Joseph’s ancestry. 

    

     2.     Shadrick Cobb who appears on census reports for Lincoln County from 1810-1840, had two sons         

             born 1815-1820.

 

  1.  Finally, Walter B. Cobb, son of William Cobb and Mary “Polly” Abernathy, and grandson of    

     Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County, had a son born 1816-1820 that    

      apparently did not move with his parents to Missouri in the late 1820’s.   

 

In any event, we have some information about James Cobb and his family.  We know he married twice: (1st) In Lincoln County on 05 February 1838, to Frances Hilton / Helton, by who he had eight children ... the five shown above plus Louisa in 1851, son H.P. in 1857, and James also born about 1857.  Frances was born 09 September 1817 in Tennessee, and died 04 November 1857.  She is buried at Wesley’s Chapel Methodist Church in Catawba County.  (2nd) He married in Cleveland County on 22 July 1857, to Barbara Ann Ford, born about 1837 in North Carolina.  This marriage produced three children ... Albertus F. in 1859, Andrew J. in 1862, and William Eugene in 1866.  James died sometime between 1870-1880, probably in Cleveland County.  Barbara was still living there in 1880.

 

 

17 November 1850 – Newton TownshipNewton PO

 

John Cobb

 

Age

50

Born

Catawba Co, NC

Benjamin              

 

 

28

 

Catawba Co, NC

Rhoda                    

 

 

21

 

Catawba Co, NC

Lavina                  

 

 

18

 

Catawba Co, NC

Malinda                

 

 

16

 

Catawba Co, NC

Caswell                

 

 

14

 

Catawba Co, NC

Calvin                  

 

 

09

 

Catawba Co, NC

Easton                  

 

 

04

 

Catawba Co, NC

Sarah                    

 

 

45

 

Catawba Co, NC

 

 

This was John Cobb, son of Benjamin M. Cobb and Violetta Morris, and grandson of Clisby Cobb Sr and Margaret Halsey Young.   He married Sarah “Sally’ Bumgarner in Lincoln County on 18 April 1821.  This is the first census John is positively identified on since 1810, when his parents were living in Burke County, North Carolina.  John and Sarah also lived in Catawba County all their lives.  He died there before 1880.  At that time she was living with their son Calvin.  John was the only member of his immediate family that is known to have remained in North Carolina, the rest all having moved to Tennessee, Missouri, and Texas. 

 

By 1828, John’s parents had moved to Tennessee, where the mother died.  The father Benjamin then moved to Fannin County, Texas about 1851, with John’s brother James Milton Cobb.  James died in Fannin County shortly after arriving, and his descendants in that area were many.  Benjamin died in Fannin County on 20 October 1858, and is buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery in Fannin County. 

 

 

Side Notes and Mysteries – 1850

 

Case #1

On 21 September 1839, John (Jackson) Cobb married Elizabeth Huchison (sic) in Lincoln County, North Carolina.  Less than two years later, on 05 February 1841, Eleanor Cobb married Ezekiel Stanford / Sanford, also in Lincoln County.  John and Eleanor Cobb were siblings.  And they had at least three other siblings ... Alexander born 1820-24, Rufus born 1826-28, and James born in 1834.

 

 

15 August 1850 – Cass County, Georgia – 12th Division

 

Ruth Cobb

 

Age

56

Born

NC

Rufus

 

 

24

 

NC

James                    

 

 

16

 

NC

 

Next door ...

 

Alexander Cobb

 

Age

30

Born

NC

Lydia                                

 

 

24

 

NC

Margaret                          

 

 

03

 

GA

 

 

 

26 November 1850 – Lumpkin County, Georgia – Kilough’s District

 

John J. Cobb

 

Age

35

Born

NC

Elizabeth

 

 

33

 

NC

Mary                                 

 

 

06

 

GA

Julia A.                             

 

 

04

 

GA

Nancy                                

 

 

03

 

GA

Ardella                              

 

 

01

 

GA

 

 

A diligent search has failed to locate the Stanford / Sanford family in 1850, but they have been located in 1860.  In fact, with the exception of the elder Ruth Cobb and son James (both of whom were apparently deceased), and with the addition of a few more children, all these people were living in Pontotoc County, Mississippi in 1860.   In 1870, they were divided between Itawamba and Tishomingo counties, but by 1880 they were all in the latter place.

 

So who was John Jackson Cobb, meaning who were his parents?  Going back to the census reports for Lincoln County, North Carolina; by putting John, his siblings, and mother Ruth in the appropriate age/sex categories, this family is almost a perfect match to that of Shadrick Cobb, who was enumerated in Lincoln County from 1810-1840 (see Chapter One).  No other family even comes close.  However, here is both the mystery and the problem.

 

DNA analysis has proven conclusively that the descendants of Rufus Cobb (John Jackson’s brother) were in no way descended from the same lineage as Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County.  Therefore, either this was not the family of Shadrick Cobb, or Shadrick was not the son of David Cobb, and grandson of Ambrose.

 

This family was obviously in the Lincoln County area in 1840, as John J. married there in 1839 and sister Eleanor also married there in 1841.  All the Cobb families in that area in 1840 were listed and examined in Chapter One.  And again, by age / sex category comparison, this family just almost has to be that of Shadrick Cobb.  But also again, if this is correct then Shadrick was not from Lincoln County or the surrounding area, and he was not a descendant of Ambrose Cobb.  So ... who was he?

 

Case #2

On 13 October 1836, Mary N. Cobb married Milton A. Smith in Lincoln County, North Carolina.  This family was enumerated on the 1840 census living in the Lower Regiment of Lincoln County, with three people in the household ... a male 30-40 years of age, a female 20-30 years of age, and a male under five years of age.

 

The next census sheds more light on the subject.

 

 

21 October 1850 – Gaston County, North Carolina

 

Milton A. Smith

 

Age

41

Born

NC

Mary N.

 

 

38

 

NC

George A.

 

 

06

 

NC

Sarah A.                           

 

 

03

 

NC

Charles F.                         

 

 

1M

 

NC

 

 

Milton Smith remained in Gaston County all his life, and is found on census reports there all the way up to 1880.  He consistently gives his age to indicate a birth year of about 1809.  By 1860, Mary is deceased and Milton has married a Nancy “Last Name Unknown”, born about 1824 in South Carolina.

 

By 1860, Milton has increased his family by three more children ... Mary born about 1853, William about 1857, and Catherine in 1859.  He produced two more children after that ... Peter P. in 1862 and John C. in 1864.  Obviously the last two were by his second wife.

 

It is impossible to state with confidence just how many of Milton’s children were the offspring of Mary N. Cobb.  Normally, a large gap between the birth of two children is a good indicator that a spouse has died, and that the surviving spouse has had time to remarry.  That formula cannot be applied here.  On the census reports subsequent to 1850, the ages and even the birth order of Milton’s children do not remain consistent.  Therefore, we are forced to go with what this 1850 enumeration gives us, as Mary was still living, and the three children in the household at that time were definitely hers.

 

Who was Mary N. Cobb?  She was born about 1812 in North Carolina.  By 1836, she was living in Lincoln County, probably in the household of her parents.  She was already married by 1840, therefore we have to begin with the 1830 enumeration to see if there’s a daughter in the appropriate age category to have been Mary.

 

Applying the widest possible parameters to our search, no less than four men become candidates to have been Mary’s father.  However we can narrow the field considerably.

 

  1. James Cobb, who made his only census appearance in the Lincoln County area in 1830 had two daughters born 1810-1815.
  2. John Cobb, son of Clisby Cobb and Margaret Halsey Young, had a daughter born

1810-1820.  However, John had moved from Lincoln to Burke County by 1820, and was still there as late as 1840.  Also, the daughter only appears on the 1820 census, which strongly indicates she had either married or died by 1830.  The Mary we’re looking for was definitely still living and was definitely still unmarried in 1830.

  1. Joseph Cobb, who made his only census appearance in the Lincoln County area in 

1820, had no less than four females in his 15-member household born 1810-1820.    But he was gone by 1830.

  1. Shadrick Cobb, who was enumerated in Lincoln County from 1810-1840, had two daughters born about 1810.  Although not a perfect match, age-wise, the discrepancy is minor.  I consider Shadrick to be the best candidate for one other particular reason.  In 1840, the families of Shadrick Cobb and Milton Smith were both living in the Lower Regiment of Lincoln County.  And the trend did seem to be that newly married couples did not stray far from their parents (particularly hers) for the first several years of their marriage.

 

 

Case #3 – York District, South Carolina

It seems to be the case that many researchers approach this county with the pre-conceived notion that there was ever only one Cobb family there.  And it is ever so common to find all the Cobbs of York grouped together into one single family pedigree chart.

 

But there had to be at least two un-related Cobb families in York, and DNA analysis has proven that one of them shared the same ancestry as Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County, North Carolina.

 

12 November 1850 – York District, South Carolina

 

John G. Cobb

 

Age

35

Born

York District

 

Occ: Shoemaker

Lucinda

 

 

30

 

York District

 

 

Mary

 

 

06

 

York District

 

 

Martha

 

 

05

 

York District

 

 

Elizabeth

 

 

01

 

York District

 

 

Martha

 

 

64

 

Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

12 November 1850 – York District, South Carolina

 

James Cobb

 

Age

43

Born

North Carolina

 

Occ: Blacksmith

Martha

 

 

17

 

York District

 

 

William G.

 

 

15

 

York District

 

 

Margaret C.

 

 

13

 

York District

 

 

Elizabeth J.

 

 

11

 

York District

 

 

Cynthia R.

 

 

07

 

York District

 

 

James M.

 

 

02

 

York District

 

 

 

not far away ---

 

12 November 1850 – York District, South Carolina

 

George W. G. Cobb

 

Age

32

Born

NC

 

Occ: Shoemaker

Margaret C.

 

 

28

 

York District

 

 

James A.

 

 

07

 

York District

 

 

Sarah J.

 

 

05

 

York District

 

 

Nancy A.

 

 

03

 

York District

 

 

Elizabeth P.

 

 

01

 

York District

 

 

Elizabeth

 

 

70

 

North Carolina

 

 

Elizabeth Fortune

 

 

25

 

North Carolina

 

 

 

 

It is common to find all three of the above heads of household grouped together as brothers, and the sons of a William Cobb who married Martha Elizabeth Goforth, daughter of Preston Goforth and Nancy Elizabeth Potts.  The problem is that the data given for William Cobb matches that of the son of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County.  And referring to Chapter One, that William Cobb had no children born after 1810, and was living in Missouri by 1830. 

 

It is not hard to understand why these three men are grouped as brothers.  They are approximately the same age and all three were skilled craftsmen by occupation, indicating that either their father taught them a trade or that they were indentured at a young age to learn a profession.  The main point is that they were not primarily farmers, as were the sons of Ambrose Cobb.

 

And, there are also a couple of glaring differences between the three of them that are reflected on this 1850 census enumeration.  Two of them (George and James) were born in North Carolina, while the third (John) was born in York District, South Carolina.  Allow me to state that in this instance I trust the census taker insofar as the recording of place of birth.  An examination of neighboring families shows different places of birth ... other districts in South Carolina, and other states.  The point is that the census taker did not merely “fill in the blanks” with whatever came to mind ... he did make an effort to inquire and record the information given him during the enumeration interview.

 

The remaining major difference is that two of these men were supporting elderly widowed mothers.  The mother of George Washington Goforth Cobb (Elizabeth, age 70) was in his household, while on the same day the mother of John Cobb (Martha, age 64) was living in his household.  More proof that these were definitely two different women is found ten years after this census.  In 1860, John’s mother was still living in his household, while the mother of George was apparently by then deceased.

 

Sub-conclusion: James and George Cobb may or may not have been brothers.  But John Cobb had a totally separate origin.  It is also John Cobb’s descendants whose DNA matches that of the descendants of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County.

 

John’s mother Martha consistently claimed to have been born in Virginia, although the age she gave the census taker in 1850 and 1860 varies widely.  In 1850, she claimed to be 64 years old, and in 1860 she stated 87.  The latter figure is probably more correct.

 

The 1840 census of York County shows one James Cobb and his un-named wife.  They were the only two people in the household.  James was 80-90 years of age, while his wife was 60-70 ... which translates to a birth range of 1770-1780.  This is a perfect match to the age John’s mother gave in 1860, and it also easily explains why the elder James is not found on the 1850 census ... he had died of “old age” by then.

 

It is my conclusion that the John Cobb living in York District, South Carolina in 1850, was the son of James and Martha Cobb, both of who were born in Virginia ... that James was born 1750-1760 and Martha was born 1770-1780.  James’ connection to Ambrose Cobb is as yet unknown; however, the DNA of his descendants so closely matches that of Ambrose’s descendants, the relation must eventually prove to be fairly close.  It would be very tempting to say he was a heretofore-unidentified son of Ambrose Cobb, but no James Cobb in the appropriate age category appears on any Lincoln County census.  I can only deduce that James moved directly from Virginia, to South Carolina. 

 

Now let’s return to the James and George Cobb found on the 1850 census of York District, South Carolina (above).  Who were their parents?

 

It is alleged their father was one William Cobb, deceased by 1850, and Elizabeth Goforth, daughter of Preston Goforth.  Going by this census, she was born about 1780 in North Carolina.  A very diligent search for information on William Cobb has proved fruitless, even when approaching from the Goforth side of the family.

 

It is universally agreed among researchers that Elizabeth Goforth Cobb had at least one son named George Washington Goforth Cobb.  He is the head of household in the census enumeration above.  He is identified on three census reports ... 1840 – 1850 – and 1860, all three times in York District, South Carolina.  His birth date is consistently calculated as being 1815-1818, and he consistently claimed to have been born in North Carolina.  Therefore, it is safe to accept that his parents were married no later than 1818, and that they would have been listed on a census in their own household at least once before 1850, and that the father would have been specifically named as the head of the household.  Further, in the event the father died young, it would be reasonable to see the widow Elizabeth listed as the head of her household on a pre-1850 census. 

 

There is no record of such a family anywhere in the entire Lincoln County region prior to 1850.  From 1790-1850, there are only two identified men named William Cobb old enough to have been the husband of Elizabeth Goforth.  First, the son of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) from the 1790 census of Lincoln County.  Once again, that individual and his entire family are fully accounted for, therefore he is eliminated as a possible candidate.  Secondly, there was William Halsey Cobb, son of Clisby Cobb and Margaret Halsey Young.  He died in 1839, and was survived by his wife Jane Connely, who herself died in 1841.  Therefore he is eliminated from consideration.

 

Pending the presentation of undiscovered documentation accompanied by a DNA analysis of descendants, all we can do is speculate for the identity of the Cobb husband of Elizabeth Goforth.  We must search for a male born no later than 1785-90, was never named as the head of his own household, and was deceased by 1850. 

 

There are only two possible candidates, and neither meets all three criteria stated in the preceding paragraph.      David Cobb, son of Ambrose Cobb (Sr) had two sons born 1785-1790.  Neither has ever been identified.  Both are found on only one census, in 1800.  David left North Carolina before 1810.  Whether these sons went with him is unknown.  It is possible one of them was named William, that he married Elizabeth Goforth, remained in North Carolina, and died before 1850, at an age exceeding sixty years.  But if he did so, how did he escape being listed on a census all his life?

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