Alexander & Jeremiah Cobb of South Carolina and Their Descendants

(and Southern Points Further West)

Sons of Rebecca (MNU) Cobb Gentry and Mr. Unknown Cobb

To fellow researchers, the following contains information that has been made available through Internet access to census, marriage, and cemetery records that has allowed us to follow our Cobb family in a way that was not possible prior to this time; and through information shared by other researchers. It contains corrections to things that earlier researchers thought was fact because of stories passed down through the family. We have strived to be as thorough as possible but please remember to do your own verification. In the future there may be researchers that find even more truths about our family. We are sure that there are family Bibles and records that we have yet to access, and hopefully will someday come to light. We are very open to corrections if you can provide them, along with sources for your facts. Sharing information helps us all to learn more about our ancestors. At the end of some sections, you will find some unproven theories that I have followed but have not proved, or disproved. They are threads that have been followed but not to any conclusion, and that you may want to explore, with perhaps better luck than we had.

Alexander Cobb

All my early years I heard family stories regarding our "lineage" from a paternal grandmother to whom I was particularly close, and I have always loved family lore. My "Gran's" love of family and history were combined and passed along to most of her children, and some of her grandchildren. In my youth I believed the stories whole-heartedly, as I had not yet considered that these stories were handed down by people that may not have heard the whole story, or even remembered it correctly, or perhaps that the person that told it to them had embellished parts, or not heard, or remembered correctly either.

Most of us do not come by an appreciation of family stories until later in our lives when we are no longer busy with earning a living, or raising our own children. The major problem with that is that often there are no longer family elders to help us with learning the stories the exact way it was taught to them. Thereby enters the stage of trying to remember what we heard when we were younger so that we can then pass it along to younger folks who are usually too preoccupied to hear and remember it all. This is not always the case, of course, and the good part is that the stories usually contain some truths and give us a place to start our research.

After many tellings, down through many generations, it turns out that we may have laid claim to a Cobb line that was not ours. It has been believed, for many years, that there were five main Cobb lines. It has only been recently discovered that that is not the case.

Through the generosity of a warm and caring lady, Christine Belle Fleming Stricklin (Aug 22, 1909-Aug 29, 2004), a Cobb family DNA project was begun in 2003. Mrs. Stricklin funded the project that has provided all Cobb Family researchers with a gift of knowledge we would not have had without her. Because of her, many Cobbs were able to participate that could not have afforded the tests on their own. According to her son, Robert, director of the project, "she was born in the south (Mena, Polk Co AR) in another time.  She taught the deaf for 42 years - a long story for a little girl from Mena.  (She met Helen Keller twice, and Helen Keller remembered her the second time - fun tidbit.)"  It was an especially giving thing for her to back this project, as the Cobbs are her husband's line. Robert adds that his mother funded the project in memory of her husband Curtis Stricklin and his mother Frances Cordelia Cobb Stricklin (June 5, 1874 Chattahoochee Co GA - Nov 5, 1960 Durant, Bryan Co OK).There are not many who would be that unselfish.

There have been over 390 participants to date, the qualifications being that you are male with the surname of Cobb. This project has given us at least 16 Cobb lines. It has also given us the answer to a long debated question regarding Alexander Cobb.

There were two camps of researchers, one group believing that Sanders and Alexander Cobb were two different people, and one group sure that they were one and the same person. The main connection until the DNA project was that both Sanders, also spelled Saunders, and Alexander, neither who could sign their name, made their "mark" in the same unusual way. The mark was an X with a dot on each of the inside four angles.

The DNA project gave us an exact match with Jeremiah Cobb's line. That along with a South Carolina deed of mortgage written and signed in July 1792 by Simon Gentry to his step-sons Sanders and Jeremiah Cobb; and a South Carolina deed of sale/transfer for the same 147 acres in 1805 with Sanders Cobb selling, and Rebecca Gentry relinquishing dower rights, gave us written evidence of part of Alexander's family.

Family lore said that Alexander was the son of a William Cobb and an Indian maiden. Somehow, through the years, that became William Cobb of Rocky Mount, Tennessee and his second wife, Sally. In 2008 a descendant of the William Cobb from Rocky Mount finally participated in the DNA project so we now can say that we are not related to him. We know that Alexander's and Jeremiah's mother's name was Rebecca (MNU), but the Unknown Cobb she married remains a mystery. Perhaps someday the DNA project will prove which Cobb line is really ours.

DNA UPDATE  Another exciting but elusive DNA clue came when we matched  98.6%, a young man that traces his lineage back to the mid 1700s in Southampton, VA. Amazingly, some of the family names are very familiar, Malcolm and his sister, Anna, can prove back thru Jeremiah Cobb (1779 - 1849) that married Anne Briggs, and Jeremiah's parents, John Cobb (born ? - died 1792) and his wife, Mary Exum Cobb (b. 1748). With these dates, this John Cobb could have been a brother to the father of our Alexander and Jeremiah. That has taken us as far back as possible at this time..... but definitely a thread to be followed! Just beware, parents for this John Cobb have been posted, but are unproven. Those posts are connecting him to both Nicholas Cobb and Joseph Cobb. The DNA results for descendants of Nicholas and Joseph do not match each other, nor do they match the DNA markers from our line.

A 2012 DNA update: our line got an additional match to a William H. Cobb born 1792 in South Carolina who moved to Obion, Tennessee by 1820. His father was a Jesse Cobb, that was given a land grant in Tenn., but chose to stay in South Carolina. When searching the records at the South Carolina State Archives, I found a record of a Zelpha Cobb buying land for her son, Jesse, near where Alexander and Jeremiah lived in Edgefield, on Nov. 2, 1792 (Deed Book 9: pages 449-451, 453-456). There are researchers that say Zilphia was married to Lewis Cobb that was born near Sampson County, NC. There is no proof as to which Cobb line Lewis belonged… I have seen claims to Abiel Cobb and to John Cobb, at this point there are no Cobb Family DNA participants from Abiel's line and we do not match the John Cobb they have claimed as Lewis' father.

Should Lewis prove to be the father of Jesse, as it would seem, and be the Lewis Cobb they have tied to Sampson County, NC... it would support the idea that it is our Becky Cobb with sons, on the 1790 Sampson County, NC census and that the William and Alexander shown on land records there in 1772, maybe related to our line.

After those two Edgefield South Carolina land records, the next time we have a record of Sanders Cobb is on the Abbeville South Carolina 1810 census record. The household contains Alexander, his wife Ruth and four daughters under the age of ten. No record has been found of the marriage of Sanders and Ruth Banks, but their first daughter was born the end of 1804 so we think they married between 1801 and 1803. There is no sign of Sanders on the 1800 census as head of a household. His brother, Jeremiah Cobb and wife, Elizabeth Corley and their first son are on the 1800 Edgefield County, SC census living near a listing we believed to be for their mother Rebecca Cobb Gentry.

There are some War of 1812 service records for Saunders/Sanders Cobb in 1813 and 1814 showing that Alexander was a member of Youngblood's Regiment in South Carolina. There were also records for Isaac, Allen, Daniel and Lewis Gentry, Alexander's step and half brothers. I found no service records for Jeremiah Cobb.

About 1818 all these Gentry gentlemen, along with Sanders and Rebecca, migrated with their families to the Cahawba area of Alabama that was to become Bibb County, Alabama on Dec. 4, 1820. Jeremiah was the only known child of Rebecca Cobb Gentry to stay in South Carolina.

The 1820 Federal Census for most of Alabama is lost along with many other census records so we cannot prove Alexander was there by then. We are going with the appearance of his stepbrothers in the guardianship court records of 1818; and the fact that one of Alexander's sons, Charles Banks Cobb says he was born in SC in 1817 and the next child, Levi Banks Cobb says he was born in Alabama in 1819. And some church history records.

We do find Alexander on the 1830, 1840 and 1850 Bibb County, Alabama records. There are also court records for him in Bibb County for those years. He was recorded in South Carolina records as Sanders or Saunders, but with the move to Alabama he is recorded under the name Alex or Alexander. Sanders has been a nickname for Alexander since ancient Grecian times. (wish to note here that some researchers have added a middle name "Grancer" but I have not found the source of that name so I do not use it. I did find the following note concerning the name on another family line. The middle name Grancer is a shortened form of Grand Sir or Grand Sire. This was once an informal title of respect given to older gentlemen. Sometimes it was a pet name for Grandfather. He might have been called Grancer Billy by some. Sometimes the nickname "Grancer" came to be thought of as a man's actual name by decendants, who in turn might name a son Grancer. Thus it is not know whether he was a "Grancer," or named after an ancestor who was called Grancer.)

Alexander's appearance on the Bibb County 1830 census seems to include Miriam, his soon to be ex-wife and her son, although records state she did not live with Alexander after 1827. The census lists Alexander, a woman his age (which Miriam Campbell Cobb was), five young males and two young females.

The girls would have to be Priscilla and Elizabeth, since all the older girls had married. The girls are listed as one between 10 and 15 (probably Priscilla who married the next year in 1831, but should have been closer to 20) and one between 5 and 10 (probably Elizabeth A., who was thought to have been born about 1821.)

The five males would have probably included William, James, Charles and Levi, John having already married. The fifth male could have been the one son that Miriam had from her first marriage. There are two in the 15 to 19 age range; they should be William 17, and James 15. One in the 10 to 14 age group that should be Charles 13, but Levi should be in that group also. Instead there are two males in the 5 to 9 age group; one would have to be Levi. The problem with guessing about all that and including Miriam's son is that John C. Campbell was born about 1815 and was the same age as James. The only possible explanation is that Alexander confused the ages of his sons when answering the questions for the census taker. The number of males could be correct, but the ages are wrong.

When next time Alexander's family appears on record, it is even more of a puzzle. In 1840, in Bibb County, the census taker listed members of the household as follows. Alexander was in the 60 to 69 age range and he had three females in the household. Levi should have still been at home, not marrying until Oct. of 1841, but he is not enumerated, I have found an extra male, Levi's age, living with one of his brothers.

Instead there is a female in the 20 to 29 age range (most likely not a daughter as they are all married, and probably not living at Alex's home without their husband), and two females under 5. A possible explanation for the two girls COULD (only a theory) be Rebecca (b. about 1839, the daughter of VinaParminter, that he later adopted, especially if the older female is Vina, probably his housekeeper) and possibly his granddaughter,Frances E. Goss, daughter of Priscilla Cobb Goss (Frances is reported to having been born about 1834 or 1835, and there is no evidence of her mother on the 1840 census.)

The evidence to say that Vina was already in Alex's life by 1840 is circumstantial. His children took him to court in 1844 because he had already given Mrs. Parminter 3 slaves over a period of time not stated in the court records, but probably a period of several years. It would stand to reason that he had known her for a period of time before presenting her with such expensive assets. Perhaps they originally met if she was employed to care for his motherless granddaughter, Frances. But that is pure supposition, not a theory that can be backed up with any facts. The lore still reported around Jemison, AL is that Alexander had a relationship with his housekeeper that resulted in an illegitimate daughter. The lore reports that the housekeeper's name was Priscilla and the daughter was Frances, which we know to be incorrect since Priscilla was his daughter and Frances a granddaughter, as stated in his estate records. The kernel of truth in this story gives validity to the fact that Rebecca was Alexander's biological daughter, with Vina being his housekeeper.

On the 1850 census record dated in December he states that he was 78 and born in SC, making his birth year about 1772. His estate records were represented for probate on November 7, 1856 but we have no exact date for his death.

No marked grave has been found for either Ruth or Alexander, however there is a good possibility that they are both buried on land once owned by Alexander. In a book entitled "Baptist's of Bibb" on page 496, McCord lists a cemetery he calls the Reid/Cobb Cemetery, surveyed last in 1983. During McCord's earlier survey, he found four unmarked graves along with two marked graves, one "inaccessible, because of growth and the only one left marked at this time. It is for James Reid (1795/5/9 – 1853/10/6), who was Alexander's next door neighbor according to the 1830, 1840 and 1850 Alabama census. That means there are five graves besides Reid's and they could possibly be for Alex, Ruth, Rebecca, Priscilla and Elizabeth Cobb. They would not be for James Reid's family because after his death, his widow and children migrated west.

My father and I spoke to an elderly lady that owned the land. She told us that the field was called Cobb's Corner by the older locals, because it had once been owned by Alexander Cobb. That story was repeated by another older lady who had been the historian for the MulberryBaptistChurch. She said she thought she remembered that Alexander had been buried there near James Reid and did not remember when his headstone disappeared. Neither of those ladies is alive today, which just shows how fast we are losing our historical resources. And the plows get a little closer to covering the whole area over each year.

In April of 2007, while speaking to a cousin and descendant of Alexander, who still lives in Jemison, my father and I learned that it is the common knowledge of the folks in the area that Alexander is buried next to James Reid and that Ruth lies on the other side of Alex. There was a headstone for Alex that disappeared in the late 1970s or early 1980s. They say that the two daughters that predeceased Alex (Priscilla and Elizabeth) are buried there, as is VinaParminter, mother of Alex's last daughter, Rebecca. A further story regarding the headstone/headstones reports that Cobb descendants from Texas visited the cemetery in the 1970s and took the headstones back to Texas to use in their patio area.

There is slight change of the name of that piece of land in the book "Chilton County and Her People" by T. E. Wyatt, Editor of the Union Banner, compiled in 1940. On page 146, in a story regarding Alexander and the family move to Alabama, it is stated that the family left SC in 1812, which could not be correct, since we have copies of Alexander's War of 1812 service records for 1813 and 1814, showing him still in South Carolina. But it goes on to state that "his entourage was quite large and cutting his way through the wilderness, he was faced with many obstacles, such as making his own roads, building makeshift bridges to cross streams, the toll of illnesses and death – both of persons and animals, the ordeal became too great to face further."

"By this time he had reached a point some 12 miles West of what is now Clanton, (on top of the high-hill, just west of Mulberry Baptist Church site) and here he said "Here We Rest.""

"Having made this decision, he proceeded to establish a Homestead. At this time, the locality was part of Bibb County, and some records retaining to the family are of record today in Centerville."

A portion of the original Homestead is now owned by Mrs. Wiley (Eula Lecroy) Tucker and her son, Jack Tucker, and until this day, one quite-level portion of the site of the original Cobb Residence, and is still referred to as "The Cobb Field."

Guy H. DeShazo is a third time Greatgrandchild of this Alexander Cobb – and can well remember having been carried to the site of the original Cobb Residence, and seeing, still standing, one of the "stick and dirt" chimneys.

This would have been a small portion of the original 698 acres owned and farmed by Alexander. The number of acres shown according to the settlement of his estate in 1857. One son, James bought about a third of the estate at settlement.

Alexander and Ruth were thought to have married in early 1800s and Ruth Banks was supposed to be a good bit younger than Alex. There is a family story regarding their marriage told by their granddaughter, Mary Cobb McNeill. This was dictated to her daughter, Elizabeth. As with most family stories, it contains some truths and some inaccuracies. The original copy of this document was owned by the late Nancy J. Cobb Sternlicht, the great granddaughter of James Cobb. More of the document is in the section on James Cobb.

The Meeting and Marriage of
Alexander Cobb and Elizabeth Ruth Banks

This information is from Elizabeth McNeill, daughter of Mary Ann Cobb McNeill (daughter of James A. and Elizabeth Malone Campbell Cobb). It is a written account of the meeting marriage of Alexander Cobb and Elizabeth Ruth Banks:

"Alexander Cobb came from Georgia and settled near Isabella Church, Alabama. He built a plantation on Autauga Creek. He was half Indian, but didn't acknowledge the fact. He was a bachelor who fell in love with Ruth Banks. She was only fourteen and he was about thirty. Her people objected to him on account of his age, so they locked her up and took her clothes away at night. Ruth told Alexander that if she could ever slip out, she would. So one night when there was a big snow on the ground, she crawled out of the window and walked about two miles to his home barefooted with a quilt wrapped around her. It was about nine o'clock when she came to the door.  Alexander was sitting up making baskets.  A man and his wife lived in the house with Alexander, so he put the man on a horse and told him to go for license and preacher.  The woman put Ruth to bed and worked with her as she was almost frozen.  Just at daybreak the preacher arrived and married them.  Shortly afterward the father, Mr. Banks, his wife and Ruth's brother rode up to the gate.  They had tracked her by the bloody tracks in the snow.  They were too late because Ruth and Alexander had been married about ten minutes before the family arrived.  Alexander and Ruth had nine children:  Ruth, Barthena, Telitha, Mary, John, William, James, Persilla and Charles Cobb." (Regarding this version, Alexander came through Georgia, not from Georgia, and his last two children with Ruth are left out.)

Ruth was once thought to be the daughter of Charles Banks and Mary Gibson Banks and that her name might have been Elizabeth Ruth Banks, and many researchers accepted that and assigned Elizabeth's birth date and name to our Ruth. There is a family Bible for the William Banks family in Coweta County, Georgia that shows they may have better claim to Charles' and Mary's daughter. So far there is no clear evidence as to which of the Banks men may have sired Ruth. Our Ruth would have been about the age and certainly the name Elizabeth was well used for Alexander's and Ruth's daughters and granddaughters. Another result of too many with the same name in the same era, and assumptions being made.

There is a small thread that needs more investigation and proof, that MIGHT give us a clue to Ruth's Banks line. The letter above mentions a brother, and there is a James Banks (b. SC about 1783) that moved to Marshall County, Alabama from SC, whose third wife (Frances), one son and two daughters (Rutha Jane and Lucinda) later move to Bibb/Shelby County. The son's name is Levi Banks (b. 1838), and the daughter, Rutha Jane married John Lawhon on August 21, 1852. The three children show up in the Mulberry Baptist church records about 1852, Frances as a church member in 1858. This was the church attended by many of Alexander's children. I don't wish to make an assumption here, but the names James and Levi are used by Ruth for her children, and it is odd that the family would move further south, so it may mean they moved to be near family.

According to the 1810 census they had four daughters and because of headstones we have birthdates for the first three, Rutha Banks Cobb, Elizabeth Bethany Cobb, and Telitha Cobb. Because of marriages dates I am fairly certain that the fourth daughter was Poscilla/Priscilla Cobb. Their first son, John S., was born in 1810 or 1811, followed by Mary B., than William Pinckney, James, Charles Banks, Levi Banks and the last child, Elizabeth A. Cobb, probably born about 1821. The last two children were born in Alabama.

Ruth died between the birth of Elizabeth A. and Alexander's second marriage on Dec. 21, 1826. We have no records to indicate the exact date of death or where she is buried, but the folks in the Jemison, Alabama area say that she is buried next to Alexander, in the Mulberry area.

Alexander married Miriam Campbell, a destitute widow with one son, John C. Campbell, in Dec. 1826. The court records for their divorce in October 1831 state that Alex married her to have someone to care for his children and that she abused them while he was away from home, traveling on business.

Alexander next appears on court records in August 1844 when his children try to have him declared mentally incompetent. They base this claim on the fact that Alex had given one of his slaves, as a gift, to a widow, LavinaParminter. In that period, slaves were worth a good deal of money, and the children felt that their father had no business giving gifts of such value. Alex won the case, being declared to have all his faculties.

In September of 1850, Alexander petitioned the court to adopt Rebecca Underwood Parminter, daughter of the deceased VinaParminter, and was granted the adoption. Some researchers have stated that Alexander had married Vina, but the court records listed her under the Parminter name so that would suggest that no marriage ever occurred between them. Again there are two camps of researchers, one that feels that Alexander was adopting an out of wedlock biological daughter, and one that feels he was just taking in a child he knew that had no relatives left. On later census records Rebecca stated her father was born in SC and her mother in AL. That is not real proof, as there was a John Parminta from SC, who died in Shelby County in August of 1849, who could have been a father or uncle. It is possible that Vina was what was known as a grass widow, at that time and up into the 1940s, a term meaning a woman who was still technically married but no longer lived with her husband.

During this period Alex also appeared in the Bibb County court records, off and on for about a year, suing his next door neighbor, James Reid for five dollars. Alex claimed it was money he had loaned James and never was repaid. James claimed he had repaid the money. Both men probably spent that much, or more, paying for the lawyers and court costs. Alexander's determination to win over such a small matter, perhaps, shows from where a certain Cobb stubborn streak may have come. But after all that, he allowed James to be buried in the Cobb Family Cemetery.

Alexander left a considerable estate and, luckily, the court records reinforce what we knew about the names of his children and the grandchildren that belonged to the two daughters who predeceased him.

Alexander was gone prior to the Civil War and had no knowledge of the devastation it dealt his children. Besides the grandsons lost to battle, the husbands of his two eldest daughters were hung by the home guard that seem to take exception to the fact that the two gentlemen, both about 65, were not out fighting the war. It is said that two of his sons were killed by some of the renegade gangs that abounded at the end of the war, possibly the one called the Blackwell gang, but that story may have conveniently covered happenings the family did not wish to share. All these murders were in a six month period, right at the end of the war. None of the widows of the four men killed ever remarried, nor did any of them file for pensions as widows of soldiers.

Here are a few small clues that were noted as I tried to form paper trails for Alex, his children, and grandchildren. Many of Alexander and Ruth's children had sets of twins, so that tendency seems to run in our Cobb line. Also, almost every one of the 11 children named a daughter Frances, Jane and/or Julia. Plus many in Jeremiah's line used those same names for daughters, so they may have just been popular names. There were other names used frequently, but I could find an aunt or uncle that they were honoring. I have not found the source for the name Frances, Jane or Julia, but they could have possibly have come from one of the unnamed Gentry daughters that showed up on the early SC census records in Simon's and Rebecca's household.

Jeremiah Cobb

Brother to Alexander, Jeremiah Cobb was the only known sibling to remain in the Edgefield District of South Carolina through both the move to Abbeville, South Carolina and then to the Alabama Territory. Family lore does say that not much is known regarding his death between 1835 and 1850, but he may have finally been on the move west when he died.

Jeremiah is thought to have been born about 1774, but he was not alive long enough to be on the census records that would have helped pinpoint his age, the age being approximated from the 1800 census. He married Elizabeth Corley, daughter of Catlett Corley and Susannah Jennings (researchers, please note there were two Catlett Corleys about the same age, both living in the same area). They married in Edgefield, South Carolina before 1800 when they appeared on the census record with one young son, living not far from Elizabeth's parents, and Jeremiah's mother. By 1810 they lived next door to the Corleys.

There are not many records available for this Jeremiah Cobb (please note that there were quite a few different Jeremiah Cobbs alive in this time period). He last appears on public record in Edgefield County, SC land deed book with a sale on Nov. 1, 1834, when he sold his house and land to Ellen Green Colvin. Two weeks later, on Nov. 15th, Elizabeth signed away her right of dower to the property. This record is in Book 47 (1834/1835), pages 326, 327 and 328. The record says these 68 acres were originally part of Catlett Corley's land, and that Catlett deeded the land to Jeremiah in Feb. 1818 (about the time Jeremiah's sibling, half-siblings and mother migrated to Alabama). Jeremiah must have been paying for it as he could, because when Catlett wrote his will in 1827, he specifically made mention of the debt still owed by Jeremiah Cobb, and that he wanted it collected, and the money added to his estate. Catlett's will was probated on Nov. 16, 1831 (Will Book C, pages 349 and 350). The only other record mentioning Jeremiah seems to be a sale regarding property that adjoined his.

He and Elizabeth were reported to have the following children, most of which migrated to Mississippi by 1850, along with their mother, Elizabeth. There were obviously a few years spent in Alabama on the way, as census records show some of Jeremiah's grandchildren were born there, and the daughter, Amanda shows up with her husband and family on the 1840 Jefferson County, AL census. The daughter, Martha, says her first three children were born in Alabama between 1835 and 1840. There is a record for the death of Elizabeth Corley Cobb, on the US Federal Mortality Census Index, stating that she died of old age in Nov. 1860.

William – b. abt. 1800 as he showed up on that census record
Martha Jane – abt. 1803
Rebecca – abt. 1805
Amanda – abt. 1807
Sara – abt. 1808 – died before 1810 (could be correct, only 3 dau. listed in 1810 census)
Elizabeth – abt. 1811*
Mary – abt. 1811*
Isaac Washington – 1812
Daniel Davenport – b. 1826

Below are children that have been listed as belonging to Jeremiah, with research showing it is doubtful or not possible.

Alexander Cobb – there is a record of an Alexander Cobb marrying an Elizabeth Phillips in Pontotoc, Mississippi, on March 22, 1859. But that Alexander states on the 1860 census that he was born about 1821 in what could be NC or SC, more probably NC. Wife, Elizabeth is 21 b. GA, daus.,Ruthy E. 5, and Sarah J. 9 months. There are other Cobb families in the area so this may not be a direct descendant of Jeremiah Cobb, but his age would fit with the census records for Jeremiah. This family shows up on August 20, 1870 in TishomingoCounty, Miss. With the Alex saying he was born in NC in 1820, Elizabeth b. GA in 1839, the children are Elizabeth 14, Ellen 12, Alonzo 8, Mary 6, Julia A. 3, Cicero 4 months. By 1880 they have added Edward 6, and Fletcher 2, to their family plus a nephew Charles 17, is living with them and Alonzo is under the name William. By process of elimination, the nephew Charles is probably the son of Rufus and Tressy Cobb, Rufus saying he was born in NC in 1826, so this probably means that Alexander is not a son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth. Especially since Rufus and Alexander are found living next door to each other on the 1850 Georgia Census, Rufus living with his mother, Ruth Cobb, and a brother, James.

James A. Cobb – only record I found was of Daniel's son.

N. A. Cobb – the record here was of a female marrying in 1861, if this was a child of Jeremiah, she would have been marrying in her forties, so I think this one is not Jeremiah's. She married F. G. Alexander and later married GodfreyRidge in 1867 with D. D. Cobb signing for the marriage. She may be the child of Isaac Washington Cobb. The N. A. stood for Nealy Ann, although her second marriage record gave her initials as C. A. Elfin or Elfir Alexander.

One researcher added a John S. to the list, but he may be the son of a George Cobb; and another said they were not sure about the James A., he might have been confused with James Andrew, the son of Daniel D. According to the census records for 1800 through 1830, there should be 4 sons and 5 daughters, at least, born to Jeremiah and Elizabeth, which means there should be one more son than I have listed, but he may have died young.

Rebecca Cobb Gentry

Rebecca MNU Cobb Gentry married first an Unknown Cobb and second, Simon Gentry. Gentry researchers feel that the second marriage occurred in late 1791. That may be due to the fact that the 1792 deed of mortgage says he was already living on the property. There is again, a split faction, this one on whether Rebecca was the mother of all of Simon's children, or only of the last two sons, Daniel and Lewis Gentry. If she was the mother of all the children the marriage would have occurred by 1784 before the eldest Gentry son, Isaac was born in 1785. Isaac's birth was followed by Allen and Elizabeth Gentry, and several other daughters. According to the 1790 census records there were several daughters but at this date their names are unknown. And Isaac always stated that he was born in Georgia, which I feel reinforces that Rebecca was not his mother.

Simon was dead, or gone, by 1805 when the land he wrote a deed of mortgage to buy from Sanders and Jeremiah was sold by Alexander, and Rebecca signed to relinquish her dower rights. He may have been gone by 1800, since he does not appear on the SC census records. On the Edgefield census there is a DukeyJentry which is quite likely a misinterpretation of Becky Gentry. That name never appears anywhere else, and the household fits the number that should be the Gentry household minus Simon. By 1810, Rebecca, Sanders, and Allen Gentry show up on the Abbeville SC census. Again, none of those show up on an 1820 census.

Family lore says Rebecca migrated to Alabama with the majority of her children and probably died there. She was supposed to have been born about 1755 if you use the numbers in the age columns for the two census records that we think are hers.

On the subject of Rebecca, Alexander was said to be half Indian, or Native American, and that would probably have had to come from Rebecca. On the 1790 Sampson County, North Carolina census record there appears a Becky Cobb with two others in the household. They are all three in the" free other than white" column, which usually denoted Indians or half-breeds, sometimes called mulattoes back then. I know that is not an area normally associated with Alexander, but please remember that there was a great deal of moving around back then. And a possible link may have been established through DNA to a Cobb Family from that area.

No Cobb appeared on the tax lists from that area that were done the few years prior to 1790. But there is an interesting land record from the area. In the Duplin/Sampson County land records, there is a 1772 land purchase of 150 acres by a William Cobb from South Carolina, witnessed by an Alexander Cobb. That being the year that our Alexander was born, it could not have been him. But the William and the Alexander mentioned are not known to be from any other line, and witnesses on land documents were normally relatives of some sort. William later sold 100 of those 150 acres, but I have not pinned down what happened to the last 50 acres. Also there was a William Cobb that served in the Revolution in North Carolina for a short period. He enlisted in 1777 and died Jan. 26, 1778, that would have been the right year to explain no more children with Rebecca (Jeremiah was supposedly born about 1774 or 1775).

The Gentry Family Connection

After being widowed, Rebecca (MNU) Cobb married a second time to Simon Gentry, already a father of at least three children, Isaac, Allen, and Elizabeth. The marriage was thought to have occurred in 1791 when Alexander would have been about 19 years old, and Jeremiah about 17. In 1792 Simon signed a deed of mortgage to his stepsons for the land, the house where he was already living and all stock, and household goods. He was to pay the boys 50 pounds sterling over a period of 4 years. It may be that he was unable to pay the full amount before his death because Alexander was able to sell the 147 acres in 1805. There several court records in Virginia stating that Simon was being sued for debts. Before he died, Simon and Rebecca had at least two sons, and possibly a daughter or two. The sons that Rebecca shared with Simon were Daniel and Lewis. The possible daughters have never been identified, we know of them only because of early census records.

Isaac Gentry – b. about 1785 in Georgia and died about 1854 in Shelby County, Alabama. He and his brother, Daniel, were the first to appear in Alabama records. Isaac became legal guardians for the children of Sarah Giles Hubbard who he married on Sept. 28, 1819.

Allen Cain Gentry – b. about 1787 and died about 1849 in Tishomingo, Mississippi. He married Rebecca Motes and they had children.

Elizabeth Gentry - born about 1789 in South Carolina and died in Bibb County, Alabama. She married James Davenport.
Daniel Gentry – born about 1795 in Edgefield, South Carolina, died in Shelby County, Alabama. He married Mary "Polly" Whatley, in Bibb County, Alabama on Dec. 20, 1818. His children, were Moulton (about 1832), William (abt. 1835), Jackson (abt. 1843), Rebecca (July 24, 1828 – Feb. 5, 1893 buried in Gentry Cem.), Sarah Jane (about 1834), Amanda (about 1838) and possibly Huldah and Paschal (Aug. 31, 1826 – May 22, 1865). Daniel appeared on the 1850 Shelby County Census as Samuel …it is unknown as to whether that was his middle name, or a mistake made by the enumerator.

Lewis Gentry – born about 1797 in Edgefield, South Carolina married Mary Ann Swinney on May 3, 1848 in ShelbyCounty (a second marriage for him). He bought 40 acres of land in 1837, and 40 more in 1838, in the area that is now Chilton county. According to the 1830 census Lewis and his first wife had 6 sons and 2 daughters, in 1840 that changed to 4 sons and 2 daughters. One daughter is under 10, two sons and one daughter are in the 10 to 15 age column, and two sons are 15 to 20. That means his children were born between 1820 and 1835. His wife on both censuses was in the same age column as Lewis.

Sources and Resources

In my attempt to form paper trails for our Cobb family I have done some traveling to visit cemeteries, libraries and courthouses in Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina, and hope, some day, to add Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas to that list. It was a wonderful feeling to visit the areas that was Cobb land in Edgefield and Alabama.

I have made use of the Internet to access census, land, marriage and court records in those states, where they were available. Many good sites are available on the Internet, both professional (for a fee) and those kept by volunteers (other family researchers).

If a sentence begins with "other, or a researcher has reported or posted," that means I found no records to verify that report. It is my belief that, normally, direct descendants will have the best information, so unless paper records have proven otherwise, I will use what they say, but am letting you know I found no records regarding that person, or event.

Thanks to all the family researchers that have answered my questions and added to my files, the help has been truly appreciated.

To anyone reading this, please remember to verify what is here. I have attempted to keep it as factual as possible, but typos probably abound and after proofing many times, it is harder and harder to find them as I tend to read what I thought I wrote rather than what is before my eyes. Others may proof my grammar, but census record spellings and dates are not something they can check without spending thousands of hours looking for and at the same records I did.

Barbara Cobb Rowe
967 Woody Farm Road
Hot Springs, NC 28743
December 2004

Edited, Updated and Revised
March 2013

Uploaded to Cobb and Cobbs website
June 2014

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