Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Colonial Families - An Overview

Since first discovering that my grandmother, Grace Holcomb could be traced back to Thomas Holcombe, an early settler to New England, I have spent considerable energy researching the Holcomb(e) name with, perhaps, some neglect of the many other colonial families that I am also connected to. It took some time to make the Holcombe connection complete and it was only after the fact that I started to look at the spouses and their ancestry. I also found myself getting more interested in the stories of the more recent "immigrants" from the 19th Century and so, once again as the focus shifted, the allied colonial families remained on the back burner. Still, I do have a some good information on those colonial families, some of which is already on this website. My goal with this post, is to try and regroup and put forward even more information about those other families.

Map of New England by John Sellers from about 1670.

As my ancestry marches backward in time, there is a linear connection from one Holcombe to the next; son to father, generation to generation and so on moving backward. Each of these generations is like a node that connects one family to another. Branching off these nodes are the stories of the spouses and their ancestors, the other colonial families.

This report, which is a work in progress, will provide a link to short articles about some of the my colonial families.

Colonial Families

Bliss Family
Mary Bliss would marry the first Nathaniel Holcombe in 1670. He was the third son of the Puritan settler Thomas Holcombe and is my eight great-grandfather. He and Mary would settle in the wilderness west of the Connecticut River and be responsible for a huge line of descendants. The Bliss family would first settle in Boston, then Hartford, Connecticut and finally, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Read about the Bliss Family Here . . .

Chapin Family
Catherine Chapin was the mother of Mary Bliss and came from a well-documented colonial family. They settled in Springfield, Massachusetts in about 1642. Catherine's father, Samuel was one of the founding fathers of Springfield and the family boasts many notable descendants.

Read about the Chapin Family Here . . .

Buell Family
Martha Buell would marry the second Nathaniel Holcombe in 1695. He was the oldest son of Nathaniel I and is my seventh great-grandfather. Martha's family were early settlers to Simsbury, Connecticut and thus also from the larger group of people who pioneered the wilderness west of the Connecticut River.

Read about the Buell Family Here . . . coming soon

Cogan Family
Martha Cogan was the mother of Martha Buell and comes from a family that some trace back to the middle ages. Martha's father, Thomas came from Chard, Somersetshire, England and settled in Tauton, Plymouth Colony before 1638.

Read about the Cogan Family Here . . . coming soon

Hayes Family
Thankful Hayes would marry the third Nathaniel Holcombe in 1717. He was the eldest son of Nathaniel II and is my sixth great-grandfather. The Hayes family were prominent settlers of wilderness at Salmon Brook, which later became Granby, Connecticut. The Holcombe and Hayes family are forever entwined by multiple marriages during the early generations of the families.

Read about the Hayes Family Here . . . coming soon

Wilcockson Family
Elizabeth Wilcockson would marry Joseph Holcombe sometime before 1750. He was a middle child of Nathaniel III and is my fifth great-grandfather. Elizabeth's family where early settlers to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Read about the Wilcockson Family Here . . . coming soon

Additional Reading:
The Holcombe Family - Colonial Generations
The Wilderman Family - Colonists and Pioneers
David Hollister and the Hollister Family

Research Notes: Available information on most of these families is plentiful and can be found across the web as well as in older, more traditional, genealogy texts. Some of the more prominent and useful sources will be mentioned at the end of each of the individual articles.


  1. Glad to see you back in action and wanted to let you know that you have at least one VERY interested reader. I am researching my ancestor Azariah Holcomb who was born in Missouri in 1800. Azariah can be linked to his siblings, but I have not linked any of them to their parents. It is likely that they were the children of a Nathaniel Holcomb who can be documented in Missouri in 1806 but who was deceased by 1818. Nathaniel had one or two wives, maybe more. His widow probably married Benajah Brown and had a son James Brown with him. One of my cousins did a DNA test that indicates a connection to Nathaniel Holcomb/Mary Buell line. My theory is that the Nathaniel Holcomb who lived in Missouri was Nathaniel Holcomb VI. I am looking at every scrap of Holcomb information that come my way. You can read about my Holcomb problem on my blog.I look forward to your blog updates.

    1. Kathy,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad to see you are working hard to make the connection back to the Puritans. I too, did not originally have a connection, but I knew my GG Grandfather Reuben Holcomb was born in 1816 in New York. At the time, I really did not know much about the Holcombe family of Connecticut but I had a hunch that Rueben’s line went back into Colonial America and it did. Happy Hunting!