Family Tree

Henry ("the Elder") Cobb

of the Barnstable, Massachusetts line

Henry Cobb was a first Cobb ancestor to emigrate from England
into Massachussets (Plymouth Colony) & Barnstable (Cape Cod) Mass.

The various lines and trails of his many Cobb descendants begin here.

The following data is presented with cautions as to its accuracy. The data is based on family histories and genealogies written by others and added to or corrected based on currently available research tools such as census records and other available documents.

All genealogies can be considered in-process family databases. This one, for the Henry Cobb of Barnstable and descendant families, is based on printed histories and further research. This is only a historical, genealogical guide to the Barnstable line of Cobb families and should not be considered definitive in all aspects. The four volumes of Philip L. Cobb's History of the Cobb Family (see below) have been used a start for this Barnstable line database. Additionally, the Cobb Genealogy (see below) has been used here as well. Any updated info or documented corrections are welcome as well as comments or questions concerning the genealogy.
You are welcome to use this as a STARTING PLACE for your own connection to the family of Henry the Elder of Barnstable, MA.

Philip L. Cobb, (1870 - 1929) of Cleveland, OH, was a descendant of the Thomas Cobb of Boston line and author of A History of The Cobb Family (Barnstable Family) [Part I (1907), Part II (1914) and Part III (1915)]; and then the Boston Family line [Part IV (1923)]. He was the researcher and compiler of the history of those Cobb books. He did not write about other Cobb families of which he may have been aware, such as the line of Morgan Cobb that settled in Taunton, MA.

This database would be extremely difficult to produce without the contribution of Philip L. Cobb and those libraries or other organizations that have made his book available for genealogists.

Further genealogical information on this Cobb line (of Barnstable, MA) can be found in:
History and Genealogy of the Cobb Family in New England [aka the “Cobb Genealogy”] by Isaac Cobb of Maine (1825 - 1890). There is a version of his book with editing (transcription) done by Miriam Dorr Cobb in 1979. Ms. Cobb's particular work had been typed in two volumes with a separate index and errata added at the end. The original work exists in the Maine Historical Society of Portland, Maine and copies may be elsewhere.
The Cobb Genealogy was cited in the Maine Families before 1790 series because Isaac Cobb's book focuses much on families in Maine. The fact that Isaac Cobb's work was not cited or used by Philip L. Cobb may mean that he did not have access to Isaac Cobb's work or that he did not have permission since Isaac Cobb was deceased. Neither book was totally correct but were the best that they could have done based on research sources available in their time period. Both used town records with contemporary descendants' correspondence. There are always errors in the work of family history authors and some of those errors may still be found here and noted or may have been fixed. This is a large and continuous project, some sources used or found may not be as accurate as primary sources. Consider data by the sources available and verify any yourself if applicable to your line.

cmk Note * [For Philip L. Cobb's line, please refer to the Boston line: Descendants of Thomas Cobb at the Cobb and Cobbs link]

Introduction to Henry Cobb
The following comes from Philip L. Cobb's introduction to this Barnstable line (Part I):
"Among the early settlers at Plymouth was Henry Cobb, the ancestor of many of the family. Just when he came is not recorded, but his name appears in the Colony Records on a list of "Ratings by order of court, 2d Jan. 1632-3," with the amount of his tax, nine shillings. His name is also among "The names of the Freemen of the Incorporation of Plymoth in New England, An: 1633." In after years his name appears frequently on the records, giving us a clear idea of what his position and standing in the Colony was. "He doubtless had been a member of Rev. John Lothrop's church in England, as we gather from what Mr. Lothrop wrote in his Church Records. So that when Mr. Lothrop came to this country, Henry Cobb was among the very first who came to his support and joined him in the planting and establishing of a new town and church.... The records of Rev. John Lothrop, a Puritan preacher who emigrated from London in 1634, after having been imprisoned there, provides details on the history of the time and Henry Cobb's place in the church and the Colony."

"Decemb. 15, 1635, our Brother Cobb was invested into the Office of a Deacon."

When it was proposed that the church remove to Sippican, (now as Rochester), Dea. Cobb was one of the committee to whom the Colony Court in 1638 granted the lands for a township. When it was afterwards decided to remove to Mattakeese (later called Barnstable), he was a member of the committee having charge, or the selecting, of a suitable location for the settlement.

The following part is given reference by Barnstable Family, Otis:
"Deacon Cobb's house lot in Barnstable containing seven acres, was situate at a little distance north from the present Unitarian Meeting House, between the lots of Thomas Huckins on the north and Roger Goodspeed on the south, extending from George Lewis' meadow on the "Old Mill Way" on the east." Thomas Huckins was later chosen by Jonathan Cobb as his guardian after the death of his father and this was approved by Mr. Huckins and the Court. "This tract of land is uneven and a large portion was originally a swamp. It was not one of the most desirable lots the settlement."
"His other lands were the neck of land and the meadows adjoining, where Cobb & Smith's wharf and stores are now situate, bounded southerly by Lewis Hill and John Davis' marsh and on the other sides by the surrounding creeks. His Great Lot, containing three score acres, was situate on the south side of the County road, between the present dwelling houses of Joseph Cobb and James Otis. It was bounded in 1654 easterly by the lands of Henry Taylor and Joshua Lumbard, southerly by the commons, westerly partly by the commons and partly by Goodman Foxwell's land, and northerly by the highway and Henry Taylor's land. Two lots of six acres each in the Common Field."
"Deacon Cobb's house lot was rough and uneven, and not desirable land for cultivation. His Great Lot had some good soil. It was a good grazing farm, and as the raising of cattle was the principle business of the first settlers, his lands were probably selected with reference to that object. His two lots in the new Common Field had a rich soil, and were occupied as planting lands. He appears to have built two houses on his home lot.

"In Barnstable Henry Cobb was active and useful in promoting the temporal, and in ministering to the spiritual wants of the first settlers. He was a town officer, a member of the most important town committees, and a deputy to the Colony Court in 1645, 1647, 1659, 1660 and 1661. On the 14th of April, 1670, he was chosen and ordained a ruling elder of the church in Barnstable, an office which he held until his death in 1679.

"In the government of his town and Colony Henry Cobb took a modest, yet not unimportant, part. For many years he represented Barnstable at the General Court at Plymouth. There were two deputies from the town. ... There can be no question but he was a man of standing and importance, valued and respected by his associates."

"Elder Henry Cobb married in 1631, Patience, daughter of Dea. James Hurst, of Plymouth (Plymouth Colony). She was "buryed May 4, 1648, the first that was buryed in our new burying place by our meeting house." (Lothrop's Church Rec.) He was married to his second wife, Sarah, sister of Governor Thomas Hinckley and a daughter of Samuel and Sarah Hinckley by Mr. Prince, December 12, 1649. He died in 1679, and his wife Sarah survived him. The precise date of his death is not known, "but he had lived in the Colony forty-seven years or more."

"In his will dated 4 April 1673, proved before the court at Plymouth on 3 June 1679, and in the Codicil thereto dated 22 February 1678, he gave his "Great Lott of Land in Barnstable" to his son James; the latter paying Elder Cobb's son John 5 pounds for his interest therein. Names his sons John, James, Gershom and Eliezer, to whom he had theretofore given "half my Lands at Suconeesset," gave his "new dwelling house" and all the rest of his "Lands both upland and meadow" to his wife Sarah. In his will he gave his dwelling house after the decease of his wife to his son Samuel; but in the codicil to his son Henry. He also named his son Jonathan and daughters Mary, Hannah, Patience and Sarah."

More can be found in Philip Cobb's History of The Cobb Family and can be found online now as well as in print.

A plain simple granite shaft about six feet in height from the base, on the front of which has been engraved the following inscription to his memory:
ERECTED BY ENOCH T. COBB, A DESCENDANT IN 1871. (Barnstable, Old Cemetery aka Lothrop Hill Cemetery)

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3
Pictures taken in 2005 in Lothrop Hill Cemetery, Barnstable, Massachusetts

Some Notes on Cobb Lines into Massachusetts and DNA:
Henry Cobb's arrival here was the first of three (apparently) unrelated Cobb lines that removed from England to Massachusetts before 1686. See more about these three lines below.
These three Cobb emigration lines may have had a common ancestor in England well in the past though DNA tests show differences for those lines.

(1) The Barnstable-based line from Henry Cobb was first, coming to New England before 1633; being shortly in Plymouth (1632) and Scituate, Mass. (1633) and then settling in Barnstable (on Cape Cod), Mass. (1639). This line had some movement to the other New England states (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), also to New York and westward and to the South (starting in the Carolina's) and other parts of the South and then westward.

(2) Following that immigration were those of John Cobb and his nephews, Augustine Cobb and Edward Cobb, to the Taunton, Mass. area about 1651 and later. That Taunton-based line had movement north to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, to New York and New Jersey; also further south with the line including Clisby Cobb and westward as the country opened up. Historically this family has been called “the blacksmiths” as they were iron workers. Some of them moved south during the wars to help with the war effort. This Taunton line is found elsewhere on the "Cobb and Cobbs" website.

(3) Later Thomas Cobb, with his wife and their son, came to Boston, MA at the end of July 1685. Thomas Cobb is the progenitor of the Boston-based line as named though some also settled on Cape Cod. This family's descendants moved elsewhere, first within MA, such as Abington, Hingham, Truro on Cape Cod and Cummington in western MA and then westward to New York and including those into OH and other areas.
This Thomas Cobb of Boston based line is also found separately on this "Cobb and Cobbs" website.

(4) When Philip L. Cobb wrote his first book, published in 1907, he understood four lines of immigration: three into MA and one into VA. We now know there are more lines of descent from various Cobb ancestors into America from England, but are separate before emigration from the British Isles' ancestry based on DNA results (see home page).

Please add to and/or support the Cobb Y-DNA testing DNA of Ancestors by contacting Betty Atkinson before ordering a test. It is vitally important for monetary reasons to order the correct test that allows one's DNA to be compared to those already in the DNA project.

More research data needs to be done through DNA testing here and in the British Isles, where ancestral lines started.

(A) (Elder) Henry Cobb's son John Cobb (b. 1632) has been, and still is, confused in some early books and online elsewhere with John Cobb of Taunton, Mass. This connection has been and is a Major Error!
John, son of Henry, was mistakenly connected as having for his second wife, Jane (Godfrey) Woodward. She was actually the second spouse of John Cobb who was then in Taunton his family having come from a different part of England from the those of the Barnstable line. John Cobb (son of Henry) had only one spouse and one family, not two!

(B) Further, Edward Cobb of Taunton (the nephew of John of Taunton) has been found elsewhere as one of "Elder" Henry Cobb's sons; this is also incorrect. As Taunton was then in the Plymouth Colony and records for Taunton were in the Plymouth Colony Records, there are some early birth records for those Cobbs of Taunton, such as, Augustine [as Austin] Cobb's family and for Edward Cobb, his brother. Edward Cobb (1636-1675) was not related to Elder Henry Cobb, but was related by family to his uncle John Cobb (aka Cob) of England and then of Taunton. John Cobb with his nephews Edward and Augustine Cobb settled in Taunton.

(C) Since no history of Taunton's Cobb line before 1925 has been written [and still is not documented in print, but currently there is much available online, partially at Cobb & Cobbs and elsewhere] and because only the Barnstable and Boston lines had been printed long ago (to an extent), those errors and mistakes still continue. However, the lines of the Cobb families on this website should help correct the records for each line.

(D) There are many Cobb individuals and families not linked (yet) to any of the known Cobb lines and work continues when time allows in finding any family connection to an existing ancestral line. While DNA testing helps show where a person may be genetically related, it does not show how their lineage connects to a specific line.

(E) Researchers are further cautioned when using the any genealogy found online or in print to document everything possible. Mistakes, typographical or transcription errors happen even in very good genealogies. Researchers are welcome to provide corrections and additions to be added/included and are encouraged to contact us.

In all cases, the original record(s) as seen or verified, should be used if possible.
Much has been sourced or can be verified in print but should not be considered totally accurate.

PLEASE USE THIS AS A GUIDE! This is a large working genealogical project that has been ongoing for years
(and limited time yet to further more data) but will never be complete to current times for privacy concerns.
Best effort is made to NOT include living persons, if provided by any updated family line(s).


Philip L. Cobb's History of the Cobb Family used primary and secondary records and personal family info from correspondents and was assisted by those living then. Also, the same can be said for Isaac Cobb's Cobb Genealogy. However, both have errors or were incomplete. Philip L. Cobb's book may be more complete on the early MA and Cape Cod families because of the use of town records. The Cobb Genealogy is more complete on the Maine families. However, a known edited transcript of the "Cobb Genealogy" particularly has typos, differences in dates and some errors, fixed in this database when possible, so if there is any data issue, let me know. Some personal data has both book sources but other records, genealogies, gravestones, etc. help complement that data.

This website is dedicated to the ancestors and to those who keep the memories alive and keep research going. Please be aware in the future, someone will need to keep this data ongoing. Your assistance is always needed to make this work as a whole Cobb family work.

Further research and correspondence on new sources and records is open to all to assist in making this more complete.

open hands

The various lines and trails of "Elder" Henry Cobb's many Cobb descendants begins here.

File Manager: Paul Cobb