Coombs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Coombs family

The surname Coombs was 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. John atte Combe was also listed in the same source. [1] Today Combs is a small village in Derbyshire and a parish, in the union and hundred of Stow, Suffolk. [2]

An early record of the family was found in Somerset: John in le Coumbe, l Edward III (in the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Gilbert ate Cumbe, Oxfordshire; John ate Cumbe, Oxfordshire; Roger de la Cumbe, Oxfordshire; and Henry de la Cumbe, Somerset. [4]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Robertas Combe; and Radulphus de Combe; while in Norfolk, Edmund de la Comb was listed there 16 Edward I. [5]

Early History of the Coombs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coombs research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1522, 1573, 1651, 1586, 1667, 1616 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Coombs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coombs Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Coombs family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coombs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coombs Ranking

In the United States, the name Coombs is the 3,711st most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [6]


United States Coombs migration to the United States +

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, who settled in Boston in 1662
  • Alistair Coombs, who 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 [7]
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 [7]
  • B F Coombs, who arrived in San Francisca, California in 1851 [7]
  • F Coombs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]
  • Henry Coombs, aged 23, who arrived in New York, NY in 1851 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Coombs Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Alfred E. Coombs, (b. 1880), aged 23, English miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 18th April 1903 en route to Michigan, USA [8]
  • Mr. Ernest Coombs, (b. 1879), aged 24, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Majestic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 9th September 1903 en route to Rossland, British Columbia, USA [8]
  • Miss Evelyn Coombs, (b. 1883), aged 21, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 31st January 1904 en route to California, USA [8]

Canada Coombs migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [9]

Australia Coombs migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Coombs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Coombs, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Frederick Coombs, English convict from Hereford, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Sarah Coombs, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [12]
  • William Coombs, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [13]
  • Robert Coombs, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Coombs migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Coombs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. Coombs, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 1st December 1852 [15]
  • Alfred E. Coombs, aged 20, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874
  • Charles Coombs, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
  • Mr. Thomas Coombs, (b. 1855), aged 23, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [15]
  • Mrs. Mary Coombs, (b. 1854), aged 24, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Coombs (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • 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
  • Albert Coombs Barnes (1872-1951), American inventor and art collector

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Charles William Coombs, British Second Saloon Pantryman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [16]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. George Coombs (b. 1852), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [17]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Augustus Charles Coombs (d. 1912), aged 38, English Cook from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [18]
SS Caribou
  • Mr. Albert Coombs, Newfoundland passenger from Long Island, Hermitage Bay (Piccaire), Newfoundland and Labrador was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. William Coombs (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Harbour Grace who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. John Coombs (1862-1914), Newfoundlander from Upper Island Cove who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Alfred Coombs (1890-1914), Newfoundlander from Upper Island Cove who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


Suggested Readings for the name Coombs +

  • 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.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  13. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  17. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  18. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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