Saturday, 10 September 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors -- the Newcombs of Nova Scotia

Newcomb is an old English family, possibly with Saxon origin, and with many early spelling variations.

The earliest recorded mention in North America of the Newcomb name is in 1630, when a John Newcomen was murdered by Mayflower passenger John Billington, who was tried, convicted and hung for his deed. I haven't found any information about John Newcomen's parents to connect him to my lines, but the murder apparently arose from an old, ongoing dispute. Billington was from Lincolnshire, England, which is also where my main Newcomb line originates. Perhaps that dispute began many years earlier in Lincolnshire.

I have two early Newcomb ancestors in North America. The first is Mabell Newcomen Twyning (or Twining -- the tea people?!), my 11th great grandmother, who probably arrived in Massachusetts Colony with her husband and grown family in the mid 1620s from Gloucestershire. The second is my 10th great grandfather, Capt Andrew Newcomb (abt 1618-abt 1686), a schooner captain, who arrived in Massachusetts from Devon. The earliest mention of him in Massachusetts is in 1663. His son, Lieut. Andrew Newcomb (abt 1640-1708) made his home in Maine, where some of his children were born, but died on Cape Cod in Edgarstown. His son, Simon Newcomb (1666-1745), my 8th great grandfather, settled in Connecticut.

I have three direct Newcomb lines, but only one of these migrated to Nova Scotia. My 7th great grandparents, Simon's son, Deacon John Newcomb (1688-1765) and Alice Lombard (1686-1767) arrived there from Connecticut in 1760, with some of their immediate and two of John's brothers (Simon and Benjamin) and their families, as part of the New England Planters group, settling in Cornwallis. (Yes, several of my early New England and Nova Scotia ancestors were church elders or deacons.) A bit about Deacon John's life can be read here.

I'm descended twice John and Alice: from their son Capt Eddy Newcomb (1713-1781), who married Abigail English (1724-1790) and came with his parents to Cornwallis; and from their daughter Katherine Newcomb (1710-1762), who remained in Connecticut and married Noah Bliss Webster (1706-1762). Eddy and Katherine, and their spouses, are my 6th great grandparents. When Eddy and Abigail arrived, their older children were already young adults.

As Douglas Goff notes in his paper, The Ancestry of Abigail and Elizabeth Newcomb, Capt Eddy "is said to have served as captain under Gov. Cornwallis in the War of the Revolution, and to have been taken prisoner with him and his army, Oct. 19, 1781 (Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. 1910. The History of Kings County)."

It's from Capt Andrew that my Nova Scotia Newcombs descend. Let's go back to them. Eddy Newcomb was John and Abigail's eldest son. He was named after his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Eddy (abt 1663-1710). It's not a nickname for Edward in this case. He, his father Deacon John, his uncles and his brother John Jr were among the original grantees in Cornwallis (those Acadian lands again!) and were farmers.

Eddy and Abigail had nine children, the first six of whom were born in Connecticut. Their eldest child, Elizabeth (1743-1824), is my 5th great grandmother.  In 1762, in Cornwallis, she married Eliakim Tupper (1742-1810) who was also part of a New England Planter family originally from Cape Cod. Eliakim and Elizabeth were among the early settlers of Stewiake, in what became Colchester County, before moving to nearby Truro in about 1773. Eliakim kept the only inn there, and became Justice of the Peace for what are today the counties of Colchester and Pictou.  Between 1763 and 1780, they had nine children, including six sons and three daughters, including my 4th great grandmother, Mary Tupper Fisher, whom I mention in this post.

Elizabeth and Eliakim returned to Stewiake from Truro in about 1792 their later years, and died there.

In Nova Scotia, and all of Canada today, there are countless Newcomb descendants.

The never ending story continues...


  1. My LYONS family lived in Cornwallis, and a Daniel Webster Newcomb married Nancy Lyons in 1819. She was my 4th great aunt. But also, Daniel Webster Newcomb's grandparents were my 5th great grandparents, Caleb Rand and Mary Mayhew. Daniel was my 1st cousin five generations removed. A double cousin connection! Is Daniel Webster Newcomb in your family tree?

    1. Heather, I don't have those exact names, but Mayhew, Webster and Newcomb are names in my tree, so I'm sure that we're also related.

    2. Heather, Our common ancestors are most definitely John Newcomb & Alice Lombard. So yes, we're distant cousins. :-) Hello cousin!