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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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 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 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

Coombs Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Lt. John Coombs U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 he served in the New Jersey Volunteers 2nd Battalion

Coombs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Coombs, English convict from Hereford, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Sarah Coombs, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • William Coombs, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Robert Coombs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850
  • William Green Coombs, aged 23, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard"

Coombs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alfred E. Coombs, aged 20, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874
  • Charles Coombs, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875


  • Patricia Coombs (b. 1926), American author and illustrator of more than twenty children's books
  • Jack Coombs (1882-1957), American Major League Baseball pitcher from 1906-1920
  • Frank Coombs (1853-1934), American politician, United States Representative from California
  • Ernest Coombs (1927-2001), Canadian (American born), children's entertainer and TV performer
  • Mr. Augustus Charles Coombs (d. 1912), aged 38, English Cook from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Charles William Coombs (d. 1914), British Second Saloon Pantryman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Robin Coombs (1921-2006), British immunologist, eponym of the "Coombs test"
  • Ven. Peter Coombs, Archdeacon of Wandsworth, England. Calvin Cumbie, University Administrator, Athens, Texas
  • 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. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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 5 February 2016 at 10:33.

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