Notes for Mason Combs: Mason Combs first appears in the records in the will of his father, John. He is styled "of Stafford County (VA)", since first mention of him with a family is in that county, in Overwharton Parrish in 1740. Since his father had moved over into Caroline (then Essex Co., Va) in 1712, and was on the quit rent roll there in 1715, Mason apparently was born in that county, or Peuman's End Creek. The date of his birth can be determined by a suit brought in Westmoreland Co., VA. At the December court sitting in chancery, 1732 (the year of Washington's birth), Edward Barradall, acting as young Mason's "next friend," brings suit against William Brown for the amount due Mason from the personal estate. The suit states that Mason is under twenty, that he has "lately" arrived at the age of eighteen. This would place the date of his birth as 1714.
The whereabouts of Mason between 1732-1740 is a matter or conjecture. He grew up in King George Co, VA, but his land was in Caroline (then Essex Co, VA). If Jospeh lived on the old Brenttwon Road, very near where Highway No 1 crosses Aquia Creek, and in the neighborhood of Aquia Church (Stafford Co., VA), the supposition is that Mason lived thereabouts. If he was a tobacco grower (as Capt. Brent's rental rolls might well indicate), like his father and grandfather, he must have lived on lower Aquia Creek, and not too far from the Potomacriver.
The only documented evidence of Mason's wife and children is found in the vestry records of the Overwharton Parish, Aquia Church, Stafford Co., between 1740-1751. The Register names Sarah as his wife, with the following children:
William, b. Nov 28, 1740 Anne, b. March 28, 1743 Sarah, b. Feb 24, 174(5?) Mason, b. Feb 21, 1747 Winny, b. May 14, 174(9?) Wilmot (girl) b. Oct 5, 1751
Mason most likely did not marry in Stafford, or else any earlier children than those mentioned above would be recorded in the Overwharton Register. If he was married in 1732, or a year or two later, even, he certainly had time to have children before moving to Stafford, in 1740. And he did have at least two older sons (maybe more), who were John (father of the eight brothers) and Nicholas (Danger Nick), Josiah, mentioned in Frederick (City, VA) in 1758 is usually considered one of Mason's sons. It is not known whether these three older children were by Sarah, or by a previous wife, in Caroline or elsewhere. As to the father of Danger Nick, and his brother John, there is not much doubt. Mason and his family, including John and Nicholas and Josiah, lived in the same community on the Shenandoah River, VA. It hardly seems necessary to question the parentage of John and Nicholas. When Henry Harrison, John's son, and one of the eight brothers, got married in Montgomery Co., VA in 1788, Mason Combs, Jr., his uncle, was his bondsman, and one of the witnesses. When Mason died, John and his younger brother, William, were the administrators of his estate.
It is now time to worry about other men's wives. In view of the Combs'Mason connection already mention, names, localities, dates, etc., and some more data which I am going to consider, it may not be amiss to say that Mason Combs, like his father, may have married a Mason. He grew up in King George, in a neighborhood where Masons were numerous; he gave two of his olders ons names common among the Masons...Josiah and Nicholas. The data to follow may seem amateurish, but here they are, for what they are worth: Capt. George Mason (died 1716), grandfather of the famous George, took up land, 1,000 acres in the Aquia Creek country, Stafford. His third wife was named Sarah; his youngest daughter was named Sarah, and born about the time Mason Combs was born; Mason Combs' wife was named Sarah; his second daughter was named Sarah. Incidentally, Josiah Mason had an Anne; the George Mason of 1716 also had a daughter named Anne; Mason Combs' oldest daughter was named Anne. One investigator says that George Mason's daughter, Sarah, married a Fitzhugh.
Mason Combs was plagued with an exceedingly itchy foot. This fast stepping, wide wandering, migrating, Colonial, Tidewater Virginian had stepped from Caroline or King George to Stafford, and, after about eleven years in Aquia Creed country, he stepped over into the Valley. He is going to do even more stepping. Whole families were being wiped out by the Indians right in Mason's neightborhood, and the Red Men were stepping on Mason's toes. The French and Indian War was on and one of Mason's older sons, Josiah, was in it. Those were hell-raising times on the new frontier, and Mason's nephew, Joseph, along with his sister, Jane Combs Ashby, were among the early hell-raisers in the region; at the time (1755) Washington threatened to come down to Fr. Loudon (Winchester) and throw Jane out of camp. That was before Jospeh ran the ferry furthe up the River, near the forks. Washington later came down to see Joseph and Jane.
Well, Mason had to be stepping. Bu this time (the early 1760's) his sons John and Josiah were married. The raw, unhousebroken society of the lower Shenandoah Valley did not appeal to a Tidewater gentleman, and doubtless the depredations of the Indians, egged on by the French, annoyed Mason. Pioneers had already pushed their way up the Shenandoah and through the headwaters of the James and Roanoke Rivers, and on into the upper Yadkin's valley, in North Carolina. Daniel Boone went down there in 1751. The old Wilderness Road (or trail, at that ime) ran down through Roanoke City, Wytheville and Abingdon to Kingsport, TN. It branched off eastward from Roanoke, then southward through old Surry County, NC, to Salisbury, NC. This latter road ran near, or through a part of old Pittsylvania Co., VA.
Mason got caught in the exodus southward and stepped into Pittsylvania Co. In 1767 he is on the list of tithables in that county. By 1780 Mason had stepped down in Surry Co., NC, where he is mentioned in a conveyance of land. He was probably there earlier, since Mason Jr. served in the Revolution in that State. Here is an important date, and an important land transaction: Surry Co., NC, August 8, 1784: John Combs sells to Mason Combs, Sr., land and mill on which he lives. In the following year Mason Combs took his last step. November 16, 1785, William Combs and John Combs are administrators of the estate of Mason Combs.
Children of Mason Combs and Sarah Mason are:
+John Combs, b. 1733, Caroline Co., VA, d. Bet. 1819 - 1820, Perry Co., KY.