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John Cobb of Kent (c1324)

 

His Father

 

October 2007

 

The first Cobb from County Kent, England, to be recorded in the College of Heralds was the man known to genealogists as John Cobb of Kent (c1324).  His American descendants are all from the line of Ambrose Cobb, who arrived in Virginia, in 1635.  Researchers have been trying for generations to identify John’s father.  Although the most likely answer has been known for almost a decade, a challenge has been presented within the last two years. 

 

On the one hand is the claim that John’s father was one Walter Cobbe.  On the other hand we have a claim that John’s father was a man named Henry Cobb.  For the sake of argument and to begin with an open mind, let us say that neither claim has been positively confirmed.  Two things go without saying: (1) Rejecting one does not automatically mean we endorse the other.  And, (2) it is possible and permissible to reject both. 

 

These situations are not uncommon; and in such cases my approach to resolution is two-fold.  Analyze the credibility of each claim; and analyze the credibility of the researchers who originated those claims.  I have learned over many years of active research that the credentials of a researcher will greatly influence the reliability of his data; particularly when he has failed to cite his sources; which in essence makes him the source.  Certainly, even the most accomplished researcher can still make mistakes; but I have found that the skill acquired with experience greatly reduces that risk.

 

*****

 

Background

 

Let us begin by acknowledging a couple of known proven hoaxes with very old origins.

 

I do not know who started this claim or when.  But it was already ancient when I got started in Genealogy in 1962, more than 40 years ago.  It had already been published and re-published so many times it was considered a “given.”  It was the virtual standard for all Cobb surname research in America.  And then being a rookie, I followed right along with everyone else. 

 

It was the claim that the Elder Henry Cobb of Barnstable, Massachusetts, was the son of a Henry Cobb who married Pleasance Redwood in County Kent, England.  Henry Sr. was a documented descendant of John of Kent; thus it went that son Elder Henry was also a direct descendant of John; and a cousin of the Ambrose Cobb who arrived in Virginia in 1635.

 

The pedigree was charted as follows:

 

John Cobb of Kent (c1324)

/

Richard (1326)

           /

Edward (Edmund)(1387)

     /

      Edward (Edmund)

     /

Thomas (d.1441)

     /

John (d.1482) Alice

     /

Thomas Cobb

                                               /                       

                        -------------------------------------------                     

                  /                                         /

Alexander Cobb(1480-1541)                             John Cobb (1482)

md Thomasyn Death                                     md Rose Hawlett

            /                                               /

Richard Cobb (1520-1582)                              Thomas Cobb (1510-1599)

            /                                               /

Henry Cobb (1561-1618)                                Ambrose Cobb (1563-1606)

md Pleasance Redwood                                  md Angelica Hunt

Lived & died in England                                     /

            /                                         Ambrose Cobb (1603-1656)

Elder Henry Cobb (1605-1679)                          md Ann White

md (1) Patience Hurst, (2) Sarah Hinckley             To Virginia, 1635

Immigrated to Massachusetts bef 1633

 

 

*People began questioning this pedigree in the 1960’s; but it was not until DNA analysis became available for genealogists that this claim was finally conclusively proven wrong.  The Massachusetts Cobbs are NOT descended from Henry and Pleasance Redwood.  The Elder Henry Cobb of Barnstable is the earliest known ancestor of his entire descendant line.

 

*Although this claim has now been proven false by indisputable scientific proof, it is so deeply rooted in American genealogy I would not look for it to be abandoned ever. 

 

At the same time it was also an old established claim that the Ambrose Cobb above, was either a son or younger brother of the Joseph Cobb who arrived in Virginia in 1613.  This claim was based on nothing but the coincidental facts Joseph and Ambrose settled within a few miles of each other in Virginia, and that Joseph was about 20 years older than Ambrose.  This claim had no real merit to begin with; but it had also become deeply rooted with the passage of time.  It can still be found in numerous places on the Internet.

 

This claim also came into question; and was outright disputed in 1968, when Cully Alton Cobb published “The Cobbs of Tennessee.”  His challenge was supported in 1972, with the publication of Bruce M. Edwards’ book “Cobbs of the Tidewater.”  But again, it was not until DNA testing was performed that the final confirmation was made known.

 

Whereas previously the mindset was that every Cobb in early America was descended from the same family in England, DNA analysis has now proven conclusively this is not true.  As of this date (October 2007), the Cobb DNA Project now has shown there are AT LEAST nine (9) Cobb families in the US with ancestral ties to Great Britain who are not genetically related; meaning they do not share a common ancestor.  The three men named here ... Elder Henry, Ambrose, and Joseph ... had no common ancestor; and represent totally unrelated families.

 

Two final notes:

 

First, a by-product of the Cobb DNA Project is that (with rare exception) just about everything ever published in the US that attempts to specifically define and establish a British pedigree is both obsolete and wrong!  And the older a source-reference is, the more likely it is to be unreliable.  I charge this primarily to a single factor: An amateur American presuming to be qualified to research and apply the records of a foreign country (in this case England); and this combined with the fact that in the past access to British archives has been very limited in this country.  It has only been within the last few years that British records have begun showing up on the Internet ... which by far and away is now the preferred medium of research for American genealogists.      

 

Second, however, it is still quite common to find researchers who perpetuate these false pedigrees.  No major work has been published yet that emphasizes the results shown by the DNA project; and people are still falling victim to old incorrect sources of information.  I fully expect this to continue indefinitely.

 

*****

 

Walter Cobbe

(The Challenger)

 

In 1992, a Mrs. Dorothy Jacob (now deceased) submitted an ancestral file to the LDS, who assigned it number AF92-104843.  In it she claimed that a man named Walter Cobbe was the father of John Cobb of Kent (c1324).  It has been alleged she was not the originator of this claim; but as yet nothing pre-dating her work has been discovered.  Her file can be found at the LDS website (familysearch.org).  It lay dormant until being discovered within the last several years.  Since then it has been duplicated a number of times by at least a half-dozen people who did not bother to thoroughly analyze the file for accuracy and credibility. 

 

Mrs. Jacob’s file shows she was a resident of Salt Lake City; and from just this much I can deduce the following.  (1) There is no reason to believe Mrs. Jacob was anything more than the stereotypical amateur American researcher who submitted her file in order to have church ordinance work done.  (2) We know nothing about her formal education; or her research training, experience, and expertise.  (3) Since she lived in SLC we can assume she had access to the LDS archived collection; and (4) that her access to pertinent records was limited to what is in LDS possession.  (5) She had no personal familiarity with the people, dates, and places she submitted.  (6) Therefore, at best, we can only say that her qualifications to do genealogical research are “UNKNOWN.”

 

Her LDS file:

 

We should begin by refreshing ourselves of two warnings issued by America’s First Families:

“Beware of the Source Hoax”  http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/hoax.htm

“Family Group Record Fraud”  http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraufgr.htm

 

The LDS International Genealogical Index for England was compiled from parish registers.  There are 21 men listed with the name Walter Cobb.  The earliest date listed is for one Walter Cobb who was born 1612 in Leicester, more than 300 years too late to be the individual considered in this issue.  This shows that either Mrs. Jacob used a non-LDS source from somewhere (?) to assign a date of birth to Walter Cobbe ... or that she literally picked a date out of the blue. 

 

The Ancestral File and the Pedigree Resource File collections are composed of researcher submissions; and are thus inherently of dubious reliability to begin with; and the LDS goes to great length to disclaim responsibility for their accuracy.  The Ancestral File index lists eight men named Walter Cobb.  Mrs. Jacob is the only person to have named a Walter Cobb with a date of birth before 1855. 

 

And this last fact alone causes red flags to go up!  Too many people, professional and amateur, on both sides of the Atlantic, have been searching far too long to identify the father of John Cobb of Kent.  Are we to believe that Mrs. Jacob is thus far the first and only person to have discovered credible evidence?  I think not. 

 

Evidence has been found to confirm that a man named Walter Cobbe did exist.  His name has been found on four (4) Coroner’s Rolls in the City of London in the early 1300’s.  He was listed as a witness on these rolls.  It must be emphasized that ONLY his name was given.  There is nothing that indicates his age; or anything that names his wife, children, siblings, or parents.  There is nothing that connects him to any particular Cobb family.  There is nothing but a name on a piece of paper.  This may be the reason no other researcher has ever attempted to connect him to their family line.  Since she had to have seen the name Walter Cobbe somewhere; and since this individual lived in the correct time frame, I will speculate this is probably the man Mrs. Jacob discovered in the LDS collection. 

 

However, Mrs. Jacob listed no less than three (3) men named Walter Cobbe!  She assigned one of them a date of birth of 1247, and claimed he was born in the parish of St. Mary, Cray, Kent.  She credits him with three sons; Peter, Walter (the second man so named, born c1280), and John, all born in St. Mary, Cray. 

 

Her third Walter Cobbe was born about 1266 at New Romney, Kent.  Jacob failed to assign him any parents or siblings.  He is simply an unattached ‘extra’ Walter Cobbe in her database.  Jacob did not claim him to be the man who lived in London; but she did credit him as being the father of John Cobb of Kent, who she claimed was born about 1296 in New Romney.  Her rationale for doing this defies the scope of imagination.  Taking the time to follow this line on down, it is revealed that Jacob credits Walter and John of Kent as having been the ancestors of the Elder Henry Cobb of Barnstable, Massachusetts.  This complies with the (obsolete) pedigree chart shown above that has since been proven wrong. 

 

Two points:

1.  Mrs. Jacob is the first and only person to ever attempt assigning a date of birth for John Cobb of Kent, by claiming he was born about 1296.      

 

2.  Mrs. Jacob claimed that Walter Cobbe was a common ancestor shared by both the Barnstable Cobbs and the descendants of the Ambrose Cobb who arrived in Virginia in 1635. This outdated claim has been proven wrong by DNA analysis.

 

Two additional points bear repeating:

 

1.  DNA analysis has now proven beyond all doubt that the Elder Henry of Barnstable was not the son of Henry and Pleasance Redwood; and therefore was not descended from John of Kent.  Thus Mrs. Jacob perpetuated a false pedigree ... a hoax that had already been in dispute for more than 20 years at the time she submitted her file in 1992.  The Elder Henry of Barnstable is the earliest known ancestor of his entire descendant line.  

 

2.  The Cobb DNA Project has already revealed that as of this date there are at least nine (9) Cobb families in the US with ancestral ties to the United Kingdom, who are not genetically related.

 

Going on, it is obvious Mrs. Jacob could not decide just how many Walters there really were.  It is apparent she literally “invented” at least two additional men with that name; and gave them whatever dates and places of birth were necessary in order to make fragmentary bits of evidence fit together.  In sum, she created a new (second) hoax that serves only to compound the older first one.

 

(The Challenger’s Advocate)

 

While one researcher at least does concede Mrs. Jacob’s work is “questionable”, he nonetheless duplicates it almost verbatim at his Cheesboro family website, and at the Rootsweb World Connect Project website.  At least one Cobb family website has also been contaminated with it.  The Cheesboro connection is to the Elder Henry of Barnstable. 

 

The same person makes a determined and lengthy attempt to support the Walter Cobbe claim, which can only be described as ‘feeble’ at best.  This attempt is dependent on first disputing the Henry Cobb claim, which will be addressed in a moment. 

 

Then following that, an examination of his database reveals several things.  First is a heavy reliance on outdated and obsolete published works.  Second is a dependence on LDS files submitted by other researchers.  Third is the propensity for taking unconnected facts, then filling in the gaps with pure speculations.  Fourth, it is noted that three of the nine (proven unrelated) Cobb families in the US can be found in his database.  Fifth, it is also noted that the same individual frequently uses the “preponderance of evidence” method to support a number of claims, in direct and deliberate contradiction with the results of DNA analysis. 

 

The “preponderance of evidence” method of supporting a claim was officially terminated in 1997, by the American Board for the Certification of Genealogists, on the basis it was being abused and misused by unskilled researchers.  Here is a link to the BCG article on the subject: http://www.bcgcertification.org/resources/prepond.html .  I cannot think of a more appropriate time to endorse this action than by offering the Walter Cobbe claim as an example of poor research technique.

 

Finally --- In an effort to “cover all the bases”, the Cheesboro researcher offers something of a disclaimer.  He states that even if Walter Cobbe was not the father of John of Kent, he was still at least related somehow.  Two points require emphasis:

 

1.                  Even if Walter was related to John, this would still not make him the ancestor of the Cobbs of Massachusetts.  In fact it would prove just the opposite, per the results of the Cobb DNA Project.  To repeat one last time; the Elder Henry Cobb of Barnstable is the earliest known ancestor of his entire descendant line. 

           

2.                  Walter was not John’s father which is all that matters to the descendants of John Cobb of Kent.

 

Proverbially speaking, the Cheesboro researcher is not only defending a guilty client (Dorothy Jacob); but he is actually participating in the crime by perpetuating her hoax!

 

*****

 

Henry Cobb

(The Incumbent)

 

The claim that the father of John of Kent was a man named Henry Cobb was started by an Englishman; Robert Stanley Cobb; M.C., F.R.I.B.A.; in the late 1950’s when he privately printed “The Cobbs of Kent, 1260-1910”.  He was motivated simply to leave a legacy for his children and grandchildren; his immediate family.  His book was apparently not copyrighted or published; therefore it is safe to assume (1) it was not professionally transcribed, typeset, and proof read for printing, and (2) the number of copies he had printed was quite small.  The LDS does not have it, nor is it registered with the Library of Congress.  During his research Cobb primarily focused only on his immediate line of descent and made no attempt to include any American connection. 

 

The existence of this work did not come to light until 2000, when Cobb’s grandson transcribed it and placed it on the Internet; and then afterwards had the initiative to contact American researchers thinking they might find it interesting. 

 

Interesting indeed!  It was a virtual revelation!  After an exchange of correspondence and some new research, much has been revealed. 

 

The following compiled biographical information was mostly furnished by the Royal Institute of British Architects; London, which is in my personal possession.

 

Robert (aka Robin) Stanley Cobb was born March 11, 1890; the son of Arthur S. Cobb and Margaret Ritchie Cassels.  Arthur was a banker and published author of two books on British economics. 

 

Robert began studying Architecture as early as 1907 as an apprentice in London.  Following graduation from Dulwich College, he immigrated to Argentina.  There he worked as an architectural assistant in Buenos Aires from 1911-1914, when he returned to England for military service.

 

During the First World War he served as a Captain in the Royal West Kent Regiment, and participated in the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns before being sent to France.  During service he was severely wounded, and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the Somme in 1917.

 

Following the war he obtained a position in the Colonial Office and posted to Kiambu in the Central Province of Kenya.  In 1924, he was made an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects.  In 1930, he was made a full member.

 

During the Second World War he attained the rank of Major while serving with the Occupied Territories Administration in Asmara.  The end of the war found him in England; but he returned to Kenya with his family in 1945 to continue his professional career in architecture.  He designed a number of the larger post-war buildings in East Africa.

 

Partly for health reasons and to continue the education of his children, he returned to England in 1951; and retired the following year.  The last seven years of his life were spent in or near Oxford.  He became a member of the Parish Council of Kidlington and was elected to the Urban District Council.  He died April 3, 1959.

 

            Obituary; The Builder; April 10, 1959

“The death has occurred of Mr. Robert Stanley Cobb, MC, FRIBA, founder of the firm of Cobb, Archer, and Scammell, architects, of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kampala, Aden, and Dar-es-Salaam.  Among the buildings he designed in East Africa are Government House, Mombasa, and the Town Hall and Barclays Bank in Nairobi.  Mr. Cobb served with the British Administration in Eritrea as Director of Transport and Assistant Director of Public Works.  He returned to this country in 1951 and made his home in Oxford, moving later to Kidlington.  He is survived by a widow and two children.”

 

Robert Stanley Cobb was a 9th generation direct descendant of the same Henry Cobb and Pleasance Redwood erroneously claimed by the descendants of the Elder Henry Cobb of Barnstable, MA.  His line of ascent is shown below; and lends further strength to the argument that Henry Cobb and Pleasance Redwood had no children that immigrated to America. 

 

9. Robert S. Cobb (1890-1959). Son of Arthur S. Cobb and Margaret R. Cassels.

8. Arthur S. Cobb (1857-1902). Son of Thomas Cobb and Sarah Hutchinson.

7. Thomas Cobb (1827-1912). Son of Capt. Thomas Cobb and Elizabeth Newbold.

6. Capt. Thomas Cobb (1796-1892). Son of Benjamin Cobb Jr. and Jane Smith.

5. Benjamin Cobb Jr. (1753-1835). Son of Benjamin Cobb Sr. and Catherine Grebell.

4. Benjamin Cobb Sr. (1709-1757). Son of Robert Cobb Jr. and Katherine Curteis.

3. Robert Cobb Jr. (1672-1727). Son of Robert Cobb Sr. and Mary Hunt.

2. Robert Cobb Sr. (1634-1676). Son of Benjamin Cobb and Alice Knowler.

1. Benjamin Cobb (1584-1642). Son of Henry Cobb and Pleasance Redwood.

 

Although Robert Cobb was also an amateur genealogist, he was still an educated Englishman from an educated family; and professionally trained to be thorough and meticulous.  He was researching the records of his home country ... in his home country ... thus he was familiar with the British archival system, and his access to pertinent documents was unlimited.  And he had a personal familiarity with his subject which certainly proved invaluable to him during his research. 

 

It must further be emphasized that Robert did his work before the advent of computers and the internet, indicating that he personally discovered and studied original records.  He was not totally dependent on the work of other people to compile his data, as was Mrs. Jacob and more recent researchers. 

 

Robert claimed that the father of John Cobb of Kent was a Henry Cobb who acquired land in the parish of “Hope St. Mary, New Romney and Newchurch” in 1258.

 

In his book, Robert included footnote citations of sources; and included an appendix composed of Wills and other prime source documents.  He discovered original documents that named Henry Cobb; and that either proved, or caused him to become convinced that he was correct in making his claim.  Lastly, in reading his book, it is noted that he made a number of references to his personal recollections of certain events, dates, and places; indicating that he did have a personal familiarity with his subject.

 

Observation: With rare exception involving minor unrelated details, the work of Robert Cobb matches perfectly the work of two other research teams done at different times, before and after his project:

 

(1)   The pedigree found at 2cobbs.org, the website of Stephen Cobb who was born 1952 in Coventry; and a US citizen since 1981.  This pedigree is an updated copy of the one found in the College of Arms, London.

(2)   The pedigree established by the researchers retained by Cully Alton Cobb in the 1960’s, which he published in “The Cobbs of Tennessee (Ruralist Press, Atlanta, 1968).

 

Pros and Cons:

 

The following is a direct quote from Page One of Robert’s book:

 

The story, if it is worth telling, begins at the time of the Battle of Lewes in 1264 when Henry Cobbe was living near New Romney, just outside the liberties of the Cinque Port.

 

“Six years before the Battle of Lewes, Henry Cobbe had acquired land in the parish of Hope St. Mary, New Romney and Newchurch. (1)”

 

(1)Kent Feet of Fines 42 Henry III

 

You will note Robert cited his source for these statements: “Kent Feet of Fines 42 Henry III”.  For the record, a “Feet of Fines” was an early method of recording a land transaction.  A Feet of Fines qualifies to be called a prime source document.  This particular FOF was recorded in the 42nd year of the reign of King Henry III, or 1258.     

 

There are two arguments made to dispute Robert’s findings.  First is the inability to locate the parish of “Hope St. Mary, New Romney and Newchurch” (the location of Henry’s land).  The difficulty in doing so is a mystery.

 

I had no problem at all.  Click HERE to go to a new page that shows three maps.  Map #1 will be the most revealing.  It is a large map that requires repositioning on the page.  Scroll down to the bottom-most right corner to find the district of Lydd.  Hope Chapel – St. Mary’s – New Romney – and Newchurch can all four be found just above the word Lydd.

 

It must be understood that Robert Cobb never dreamed that genealogical researchers would someday be discussing all this; and that his work would be subjected to such “pick apart” scrutiny.  It was his intention and presumption that only his immediate family would ever read his book.  It is not known if he personally prepared his manuscript for printing, or if he had a typist do the transcription.  But in the process of putting his work on paper, and eventually the Internet, occasional grammatical and spelling errors did occur.

 

In this case, someone forgot to place a comma between the words Hope and St. Mary. 

 

This is the flimsy explanation for the failure to locate “Hope, St. Mary, New Romney and Newchurch.” 

 

In actuality, all four ... Hope - St. Mary - New Romney – and Newchurch are now individual parishes in Kent.  Over a period of more than 700 years, church parishes have been established, then merged, renamed, and some disbanded.  In this case, all four are within close proximity and very much alive and well in October 2007.  The St. Mary referred to was St. Mary in the Marsh ... not St. Mary, Cray, as was claimed by Mrs. Jacob, and repeated by more recent researchers.

 

The second argument made against Robert’s work is the time span between 1258, when Henry acquired his land; and 1324, the earliest recorded date of John Cobb of Kent ... a period of some 66 years.  The argument is that Henry was too old to have been John’s father.  Hogwash! 

 

We know that Henry was living in 1258.  We know that John was living in 1324.  We do not have even speculated dates of birth or death for either man, other than the birth date Mrs. Jacob exercised the license to give John. 

 

Let us hypothesize. 

 

It is common knowledge among researchers that until the latter half of the last century, particularly in agrarian societies, large families were the norm; and it is quite common to discover a man producing children well up into his older years.  My own mother was the youngest of twenty children; and her father (who was married three times) was 60 years old at the time she was born.  Let us establish that in this case we have no clue how many children were born to Henry Cobb, or their birth order.

 

We will assume Henry was 21 years of age when he acquired the land in 1258.  This would give him a date of birth no later than 1237.  Let us assume he died at age sixty in 1297.  This would make John 27-plus in 1324; and who could have a problem with that?

 

Another example: Assume Henry was 40 years old in 1258.  This translates to a date of birth no later than 1218.  Let us assume he died at age sixty in 1278, meaning that John was born sometime before then.  This would have made John 46-plus in 1324; and I still have no problem with it.

 

This could go on and on.  The point is that it is a simple matter of manipulating numbers; and when the basic information is so limited to begin with; having to account for no more than 66 years is “small potatoes” indeed.  The argument against Henry being John’s father on the basis of age simply does not hold sand.

 

Additional rebuttal:

 

The following are direct quotes from Page Two of Robert’s book:

 

“Six years before the Battle of Lewes, Henry Cobbe had acquired land in the parish of Hope St. Mary, New Romney and Newchurch. (1)

 

“Four years before this, Sir Richard Organistre or “Richard the Organist” built the Manor, afterwards known as Orgeners in the same neighbourhood, the land having been granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. (2)”

 

“After the Battle of Lewes, Prince Edward was imprisoned in Dover Castle, but retribution followed his success at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, when landowners in the Romney Marshes, who had supported Simon de Montfort, were dispossessed of their land and property. It was at this time that Sir Richard Organistre’s estate fell to Henry Cobbe, which he joined to his own property. (3)”

 

“Cobbe’s Place, the home of the family, was situated at Newchurch, about a quarter of a mile to the north of the Church, may have been built ..... during the lifetime of Henry’s son, John who was the first of the Cobbe to be recorded by the College of Heralds.”  

 

(1)Kent Feet of Fines 42 Henry III

(2)Kent Feet of Fines 38 Henry III

(3)Hasted. History of Kent.

 

Essential points:

First: The man identified as Sir Richard Organistre in paragraph two, is the same “Richard de “Organer” named in “The Cobbs of Tennessee” published by Cully Alton Cobb.  His property eventually became the home of John Cobb of Kent (c1324).

 

Second: The last sentence in paragraph three is critical: It was at this time that Sir Richard Organistre’s estate fell to Henry Cobbe, which he joined to his own property.” 

 

Third: And the man John referred to in the final paragraph is none other than John Cobb of Kent (c1324).

 

There ... in the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee, we have a reference-cited statement that Henry Cobb came into possession of additional land ... the property of Richard Organistre ... in 1265; seven years after he acquired his first property ... and it was the very same land John of Kent was living on in 1324.  And the statement further shows that Cobb and Organistre were neighbors, making it possible for Cobb to join the property to his own. 

 

And finally, he goes on to say, “The land on which Cobbes Place stood is known, to this day, by the name of "Cobbe's Place", and was originally acquired from the Fitzbriand family in about 1305. The Manor remained in the Cobbe family until the death of Alice Cobbe, then Lady Cobham, in the reign of Elizabeth I, when it passed to the Cobhams and was sold and later demolished. (1)

 

(1) Hasted. History of Kent.

 

The above was quoted from Edward Hasted’s “History of Kent” which was first published in 1788, with a revised edition in 1797.  *More than 200 years after the property passed out of Cobb family possession it was still known as “Cobbe’s Place”. 

 

*The descendants of Ambrose Cobb of Virginia have seen this phenomenon before.  Ambrose patented 350 acres in what is now Chesterfield County in 1639.  He died less than twenty years later (in late 1655), and the property was immediately sold out of Cobb family possession.  That same property was still called “Cobbs Hall” as late as 1865, more than 200 years later.

 

Chronology:

1.      In 1254, Richard Organer acquired land.

2.      In 1258, Henry Cobb acquired land that bordered the Organer property.

3.      In 1265, Organer fell out of favor with the Crown and was dispossessed of his land.  Henry Cobb acquired it and joined it to his own property.

4.      In 1324, John Cobb of Kent was living on the old Organer land.

 

Conclusions

 

First:  Even if the work of Robert Stanley Cobb was not available, the LDS file of Dorothy Jacob is to be rejected completely out of hand.  At best, her personal qualifications are unknown, and her work is seriously flawed.  She was an amateur American who presumed herself qualified to interpret and apply the records of a foreign country.  As a result she perpetuated an already existing hoax; and created a new one to compound it.

 

Second:  Knowing the truth about the Jacob file, it is inexcusable to duplicate any part of it on the Internet where it can influence an untold number of new innocent and unskilled researchers who have not yet learned how to identify “garbage genealogy” when they see it.

 

Third:  It is completely irresponsible to assign Walter Cobbe to ANY particular family until more is known about him.

 

Fourth:  The work of Robert Stanley Cobb is far and away the most credible and quite believable.  Being an educated Englishman researching British records, he was a qualified researcher with unlimited access to the pertinent documents.  He personally examined those documents.  He cited his sources in footnotes and an Appendix.  And he had a personal familiarity with the subject.  Lastly, the arguments disputing his work are totally lacking in merit. 

 

Fifth:  Repeating, it is possible and permissable to reject both Walter and Henry as being the father of John Cobb of Kent.  In that event, if the individual researcher chooses to do this:

 

A.                 For descendants of the Barnstable Cobbs, the Elder Henry (1605-1679) is the earliest known ancestor of that entire line.

 

B.                 For descendants of Ambrose Cobb, the earliest known ancestor is John Cobb of Kent (c1324).

 

**********

 

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