The Cobbs of Fayette County, Tennessee

Researcher: Mike Cobb


The April 23, 1847 edition of The Nashville Christian Advocate contains the obituary of one Captain John Cobbs who died on March 28, 1847, in Fayette County, Tennessee. This obituary was transcribed and published by JKT Smith in 2002, and states ---

"JOHN COBBS born Halifax Co., Va., April 16, 1795; married Elizabeth Haskins, Mecklenburg Co., Va., Feb. 25, 1816; moved to Henry Co., Tenn., 1833; the next year to Fayette Co., Tenn., where he died March 28, 1847; joined Methodist Church, 1837."
The identity of this man remains to be documented, but it is almost a certainty that he was a descendant of Robert Cobbs and Crosia Frith, and no more than 1-2 generations removed from them. Robert was born in Bruton Parish, York County, Virginia, in 1687. He was the great grandson of Ambrose Cobbs and Ann White, who arrived in Virginia about 1635.

Robert Cobbs and wife Crosia had eight known children from 1725 to 1739, with only three of them being sons to carry on the family name --- Ambrose in 1729 --- Otho in 1731, who apparently died unmarried and without issue --- and Samuel in 1732.

By 1748, Robert and Crosia were living in Lunenburg County, Virginia. On July 25, 1749, Robert purchased 395 acres of land on the Staunton River, in Lunenburg County, Virginia, from a Robert Williams. This land was bequeathed to Robert's son, Samuel. In 1756, Robert bought 400 more acres in Lunenburg County, on the branches of Hunting Creek and Hunt's Branch. This 400 acres Robert sold to his son, Ambrose, in July 1761. By then, due to political reorganizations, this land was located in Halifax County, Virginia, which was created from Lunenburg in 1752.

The family of Robert Cobbs and wife Crosia Frith was the only Cobb(s) family in Halifax County for more than the next 50 years! Therefore, considering that Robert Cobbs was already 65 years old when Halifax County was established, and the John Cobbs of this study was born in 1795, it is probably safe to assume that John was a grandson of Robert and Crosia.

Pending the discovery of definitive documentation to prove this assumption, it seems a matter of simple logic to establish the identity of John Cobbs' parents. As stated above, Robert Cobbs and Crosia Frith had only two sons to marry and produce children --- Ambrose and Samuel. It is well documented that Ambrose moved to Lincoln County, North Carolina, in 1777. It is also well documented that Samuel Cobbs remained in Halifax County, and died there in 1827. Thus by process of elimination, it appears that the subject of this study, John Cobbs, was the son of Samuel Cobbs of Halifax County, Virginia.

It is believed that Samuel Cobbs was married twice, to a Miss Carter and to a widow named Mary Morgan. Nothing is known about the marriage to Carter, and whether there were any children produced from that union. However, there is some evidence, albeit scant, providing information on Samuel's marriage to Mary Morgan. There were four known children produced from this union, all girls. Crosia, obviously named for Samuel's mother, married William Coleman in Halifax in 1804. Judith was born about 1788, married John Johnston in Halifax in 1813, and moved to Giles County, Tennessee, in 1833. Martha married Samuel Johnston in Halifax in 1817, and may have moved to Tennessee. And lastly, daughter Polly married a Richard Lipscomb, probably in Halifax. Judith is the only one for whom a date of birth is currently available, and considering that she was only about eight years old when John Cobbs was born, it is not difficult to accept that he was a younger brother, and son of Samuel Cobbs and Mary Morgan.

FINAL CONCLUSION: Definitive documentation is not yet at hand to positively establish that John Cobbs of Fayette County, Tennessee, was the son of Samuel Cobbs and Mary Morgan of Halifax County, Virginia. The facts presented here are no more than circumstantial as yet. However, the total compilation of evidence that is currently available does seem to point to the conclusion that John Cobbs was a child of Samuel Cobbs and Mary Morgan.

Additions and corrections are earnestly solicited.

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