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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Coombs family come from? What is the English Coombs family crest and coat of arms? When did the Coombs family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Coombs family history?

The lineage of the name Coombs begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in a small valley; the surname Coombs is often derived from the Old English word cumb, which means valley. In this case, it belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. Alternately, the surname Coombs may be derived from residence in one of the many places called Comb, Combe, or Coombe. In this case, it belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Coombs has undergone many spelling variations, including Coombe, Combs, Coombs, Comes, Combes, Combe, Coombes, Cumbe, Coumbes, Coames, Coambes, Cumbes, Cumes, Cummes, Cume, Coomes, Coames, Cooms, Coumes, Coume, Cooms, Coom, Coomb, Comb and many more.

First found in Devon where Richard de la Coombe held estates in that county in the year 1194. The name also found in the Feet of Fines of Somerset in 1269 where the entry Alan in la Cumbe was found. Robert atte Cumbe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296, and Thomas de Combe was listed in the Assize Rolls of Kent in the year 1317. [1] Today Combs is a small village in Derbyshire and a hamlet in Suffolk.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coombs research. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1651, 1586, 1667, 1616 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Coombs History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coombs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Coombs were among those contributors:

Coombs Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Coombs of Plymouth, settled in America in 1630
  • John Coombs settled in Boston in 1662
  • Alistair Coombs settled in Maine in 1665
  • Henry Coombs bought land on Georgetown Island in 1676 and was a constable in North Yarmouth, Maine, in the year 1688
  • Richard Coombs, who arrived in Hempstead, NY in 1690

Coombs Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Coombs from Kent, England, settled at Upper Island Cove in 1840
  • J Coombs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • B F Coombs, who arrived in San Francisca, California in 1851
  • F Coombs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Henry Coombs, aged 23, arrived in New York, NY in 1851


  • Jack Coombs (1882-1957), American Major League Baseball pitcher from 1906-1920
  • Patricia Coombs (b. 1926), American author and illustrator of more than twenty children's books
  • Ernest Coombs (1927-2001), Canadian (American born), children's entertainer and TV performer
  • Frank Coombs (1853-1934), American politician, United States Representative from California
  • Mr. Augustus Charles Coombs (d. 1912), aged 38, English Cook from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Ven. Peter Coombs, Archdeacon of Wandsworth, England. Calvin Cumbie, University Administrator, Athens, Texas
  • Robin Coombs (1921-2006), British immunologist, eponym of the "Coombs test"
  • Herbert Cole "Nugget" Coombs (1906-1997), Australian economist and banker


  • The Antecedents and Descendants of James Witherell Coombs and His Wife Lucretia Getchell Coombs of Maine by William Carey Coombs.
  • Coombs-Beal-Higgins Family History by Virginia L. Higgins Rose.

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  1. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Coombs Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coombs Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 September 2014 at 08:07.

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