834. EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK212,258,260,299,300 was born in 1795 in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.8,263 He died on 20 December 1847 at the age of 52.8
I have been unable to find an explanation for the middle names of Ephraim. The first time the initials appear are on his marriage bond to Nancy Goodman when he writes his own initials as H. F. rather than the F. first. Huber is a German name meaning "farmer". "Flor" is bloom. Was he perhaps a fruit farmer, a truck gardener, a nurseryman? His grandmother Winifred (Holtzclaw) Hardin was German so it's likely he was familiar with at least some of the language.
One of the "traditions" of Ephraim Comstock is that he fought in the Battle of Tippecanoe. This is the Battle when William Henry Harrison defeated Tecumseh; campaign from 16 Oct - 24 Nov of 1811. Ephraim would have been approximately 16. I have found two units listed from Kentucky - the Battalion of KY, Light Dragoons under Capt Peter Funk (27 men) and a Company of Mounted Riflemen under Capt. Fred Geiger (62 men). He was not listed.
Court Minutes; Order Book 2, p.40 20 Dec 1813 Payment to Ephraim Comstock for guarding Danl Hillard in jail, 7 days - $5.25
Circuit Court Order Book 3, p.468. Sat. 25 Oct 1817. Ephraim Comstock to recover against the Plaintiff Charles Colter.
Court Minutes, Book 3, p. 2 21 Sep 1818 Ephraim and his mother granted administration on his father's estate. Security with William Hardin Sr & Amost Williams. By November, Amos Williams asked to be released and on 21 Dec 1818, Ephraim posted security bond with William Hardin Jr and William Davison.
There is said to be a deed in Sept of 1818 between William Hardin Sr and Ephraim Comstock, with William B. Clark acting as one of the witnesses.
Circuit Court Order Book 4, p.215. Wed. 21 Jul 1819. Ephraim Comstock sued William Hardin (Jr or Sr - impossible to tell, but most likely Jr given the next case) for Trespass Assault & Battery. The jury found in favor of Ephraim and assessed damages to Hardin for 1 Cent plus costs.
p.235. Fri 23 Jul 1819. William Hardin Jr against Ephraim Comstock. Jury said Ephraim was not guilty and ordered Hardin to pay his costs. Appeal was filed by Hardin the next day. Hardin appealed to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky and the case was heard 6 Oct 1820. He filed on the grounds that the writ charging trespass, assault and battery, written by William Allen, attorney for Ephraim Comstock, also falsely and maliciously charged him with robbing "Cumstock" of $500 in silver. Allen admitted that he was employed to bring action for assault and battery and had added the robbery without direction from Cumstock. Cases were cited showing that libel cannot be charged for averments in a writ during the course of justice, as
as the client cannot be held responsible for actions of his attorney. No evidence was introduced to show that Comstock himself ever uttered or published slanderous matter. Judge Owsley delivered the opinion that the judgement of the lower court would stand. Another Hardin, probably a kinsman, was the lawyer for William Hardin. [Reporter: 9 Ky. 480]
Court Order Book 3: On 16 Aug 1819, Ephraim and his wife were summoned to appear at the next Term of Court and give security to indemnify Edward Pate as security for Eleanor Comstock, late Elanor Clark, Administrator of William B. Clark, dec'd, or deliver up estate.. Ephraim posted $2000 Bond on 20 Sep 1819 at the next Term
Deed Book E, Breckinridge Co KY, p. 55, 18 Oct 1819. Edward Pate (father of second wife Ellen) to Ephraim Comstock and Ellen his wife for $1 and natural love and affection ...100 acres in Breckinridge County. [This 100 acres had already been given to William B. Clark and his heirs sued for it. The dispute continued for some years, long after Ephraim Comstock had run off.]
Circuit Court Orders, Book 4, p.269 Tues 19 Oct 1819. Amos Williams against Ephraim Comstock. Jury found in favor of Amos and he was awarded damages of $69.24 plus costs
p.283 Wed 20 Oct 1819. Jury awarded John Dejarnet, William Moorman & James ??? the sum of $105.35 1/2 in damages to be levied on the estate of William B. Clark. Eleanor Comstock and her husband Ephraim were defandants.
Court Order Book 3: Apparently Ellen's first husband had children. On 15 May 1820 John Dejarnet, guardian of the infant heirs of William B. Clark, dec'd, commissioners were appointed to settle with Ephraim Cumstock and Eleanor his wife.
John Dejarnet's wife, Judith Clark Moorman, was related to William B. Clark, via the Clark and Moorman families. His son Daniel would later marry Mildred Clark, youngest daughter of William B. Clark & Eleanor Pate.
Deed Book E, pp.220-221: 18 Jul 1820. Ephraim mortgaged his share (200 acres) of the 600 acres deeded to his parents by William Hardin, Sr.
Court Order Book 3; p.156 21 Aug 1820: Amos Williams ordered that Ephraim Comstock be summoned to appear at next term to show cause why Amos should not be guardian of Dorcas. p.188, 19 Feb 1821: Amos appointed guardian of Dorcas Comstock. Comstock did not appear. [Dorcas was raised by her grandparents; apparently never lived with Ephraim.]
Court Order Book 3, p.271 15 May 1820 Motion of John DeJarnet, guardian of the infant heirs of William B. Clark, dec'd. Commissioners sworn to settle with Ephraim Comstock & Eleanor his wife, the accounts of their administration of the estate of William B. Clark, dec'd.
Deed Book E, p.310 30 Dec 1820 George Lee and Mary his wife, to Ephraim Comstock and William Lasewell for $400. 194 1/2 acres on the little fork of Clover Creek, part of a tract patented to William May. [There was a problem with this deed. In 1821 the County Court mentioned a "pretended sale" from Lee to Comstock that was to be set aside and declared void.]
Circuit Court Order Book 5. p.69 Mon 16 Apr 1821. Commonwealth vs. Ephraim Comstock for Felony. Jailor brought Prisoner to Court. Bail set at $500 from Comstock plus $500 Security. William Hardin Sr. put up the Security that he would appear. Released on his own recognizance.
p.90 Wed. 18 Apr 1821. Ephraim Comstock came not.
p.180 Sat 21 Jul 1821. Ephraim Comstock against Edward Pate and others for Trespass Assault & Battery. Plaintiff hath departed from this Commonwealth and the suit dismissed.
[Has he gone to Tennessee?]
Court Order Book 3, p.239 17 Sep 1821: Ephraim summoned for failing to list taxable property. On p.254 20 Nov 1821: Ephraim on list of Delinquents for not paying taxes - marked insolvent.
Circuit Court Order Book 5. p.303-304. Mon. 15 Apr 1822. Ephraim Comstock indicted on two counts of Forgery. He came not. Convicted and sentenced to jail for not more than six years nor less than two years. Writ ordered for his arrest.
p.361-362. Sat. 20 Apr 1822. Several cases against Ephraim Comstock. Continued. He is not a citizen of this State and newspaper notices are required for two months in succession requesting his appearance at the next Court Term.
p.415 Mon 21 Oct 1822. William B. Clarks heirs against Ephraim Comstock. The Court delivered their opinion. We discover the 100 acres Edward Pate had given to the Comstocks in 1819, he had already deeded to William B. Clark, and Eleanor had full knowledge. Sale of the slaves mentioned in the bill was fraudulent and void. The heirs were awarded the 100 acres by 1st January next. Sale of Negroes is to be annulled. The heirs were awarded their costs of the suit.
Court Order Book 6, p.26 Friday, 25 Apr 1823. Deed from Ephraim Comstock and wife to the heirs of William B. Clark was recorded. [Someone must have known where to find Ephraim to get a deed signed! Or they forged his signature.]
Apparently Ephraim and Eleanor were divorced, or simply agreed to disagree, as she married Edward Hamilton in 1825. She must have taken her son Napoleon Bonaparte as he is found living with "Hambltons" in 1850, still in Breckinridge Co KY. At the time Ephraim & Eleanor were separated, divorce could only be accomplished by an act of the legislature and the party at fault could not remarry within the state of Kentucky.
Caroline, oldest child of Ephraim and Nancy appears to have been born before they married in Maury Co. TN. I can find no indication they lived there. Perhaps Ephraim did not yet have his divorce from Eleanor when he met Nancy.
I found a peculiar court case from the Supreme Court of Indiana, November Term 1830. Recorder: 2 Blackf. 349.
The case was one Elder v. Lasswell & Others. The complainant declared an error in the Perry Circuit Court. There had been a bill in chancery by Elder against Lasswell, Comstock, Chenault & Burke. Arnold Elder, since deceased, executed his note to Lasswell for 550 bushels of corn, but in 1826 before the note came due, they obtained from Chenault & Burke, by assignement, a sealed note executed by Lasswell & one Ephraim Comstock for $1,020.82 due on Mar 1 1820. Lasswell refused to permit this to be set off against the one he held for the corn and has obtained judgment against the complainant for $88. The bill states both Lasswell & Comstock are insolvent and that their joint note could not be set off by the complainant, against him on the note given to Lasswell alone. The prayer of the bill is to allow the set-off. A written objection filed by Lasswell asks that the cause be dismissed for want of equity and he be allowed his costs expended. The Circuit Court dissolved the injunction and dismissed the bill. The decree of the Circuit Court was judged correct and affirmed. Note: A re-hearing was granted but was dismissed by agreement of the parties. The set-off was inadmissible.
That this case discusses the same Ephraim Comstock I have no doubt. He was involved with William Lacewell in the Breckinridge County courts. Chenault & Co. had sued them in 1820, presumably for debt. In 1821, Lacewell was indicted for Felony [about the same time as Ephraim] but he pled not guilty, had a jury trial and was acquitted. Ebenezer Baird sued Ephraim Comstock & William Lacewell for debt and threatened to put Lacewell in jail if he did not pay [Comstock by then was missing from Kentucky] Daniel Martin sued them for debts. There were others. Most ended up stating that Comstock was not an inhabitant of the Commonwealth and orders for him to appear were to be published in newspapers. Lacewell was involved with Comstock in a deed from George Lee that was called a "pretended sale" by the courts and declared void. Joseph Allen, Commissioner was appointed to convey from Lacewell & Comstock to George Lee which was produced in court, April 1822. [Comstock was gone, perhaps Lacewell was as well.] This affair was part of the contention concerning Eleanor's children by William B. Clark.
1830 US Census; Carroll Co TN E. "Coomstock" on p.171, Line 24. 3 males under 5 [Leander & Hugh & ??? - did they perhaps lose a child? There's room for one between Caroline & Hugh] 1m 40-50 [Ephraim was 35]; 1f 5-10 [Caroline]; 1f 20-30 [Nancy]. Living next door may be Nancy's mother as there is a widow - Nancy Goodman.
1840 US Census; Perry Co TN Ephriam "Humpstock" p.165a on Line 8. Amos Randle whose son would marry Caroline is on Line 17 of the same page. The name is written so tiny it's easy to see why it's been overlooked. Could be Ephraim H.umstock with the "C" missing or cramped into the "H". 2 m -5 [Tom & James]; 2 m 5-10 [Warren & William]; 2 m 10-15 [Leander and Hugh]; 1 m 40-50 [Ephraim]. 1f 10-15 [Caroline] and 1f 30-40 [Nancy] This entry matches the family perfectly - can only be the correct Ephraim Comstock.
Ephraim's death was recorded as 1860 on a worksheet in the manuscript file of Samuel Willett Comstock at the NEHGS library which is incorrect as his wife is the head of household in the 1850 census in Perry Co Tennessee. Other information is very incomplete - almost nothing about his third wife and eight children with her. Some of the data on son Napoleon seems to have been confused with that of Ephraim. Then he gets the children more or less straightened out but is confused about the wives. Apparently much of the information was sent to Samuel W. from John Spickernagle [son of Ephraim's sister] and S. L. McAdams [a son of Ephraim's oldest daughter Dorcas]. There are many errors.
In John A. Comstock, manuscript collection, the file on Ephraim Comstock, I found further communication from Samuel W. to John A.
To Dr. J.A.C. Dear sir:
Your misplaced yellow sheets - Leander Brown Comstock
You say the name is unusual. I have him placed -
#1223 William7 Comstock [Daniel6] his son Ephraim8
Married 3 times His full name the record says is
Ephraim Flor Hubber Comstock - born in Ky
Children of Ephraims [wives, see Genealogy]
Born in Ky Napoleon Bonaparte, born about 1821
Born in Ky Dorcas Comstock, born about 1815 she married George W. McAdams of Ky
Born in Tenn Caroline, born about 1825 Living 1895 in Kas. Cherry[cut off]
Hugh Bonaparte, born about 1827
Leander Brown " " 1829
William Decatur " " 1832
Warren Harris " " 1834
James Irving " " 1836
Elijah Thomas " " 1838 Dec 22
Harry Alexander " " 1841
Ephraim was a school teacher & a Soldier in the Battle of Tippecanoe
Wf 1st in Ky unknown This record say 2 ch
Wf 2nd in Ky Nancy Goodman 8 ch
In Tenn they lived in Murray & Perry Counties
then moved to Mo & Ephraim back to Ky [alone] This statement seems unlikely - he wasn't living with his family in Tennessee in 1850 - none of them had yet moved to Missouri.
his son Elijah Thomas Represented Crawfrod Co Ark in state Leg.
his son Randolph, rep. Crawford Co in the Gen. Assembly
During Civil War Leander Brown & James Irving Comstock went North, the others living west South
Ephraim may have had other brothers & sisters - & he wanted to name every child Bonaparte
He listed the children of Ephraim & Nancy Goodman on one sheet, omitting Caroline, but giving additional data about the sons. I found other information that indicated John A. Comstock was not gathering data on daughters.
Hugh Bonaparte died Sep 13, 1856, Missouri, married Elizabeth Meeks of Perry Co Tenn.
Leander Brown died about 1878 at Stafford, Mo. He married Nancy Forgason of Perry Co Tnn [He died Green Co Mo 31, Aug 1877]
Wm Decatur died Feb 1864, Stafford Mo Married Hannah Mahurin in McDonald Co, Mo. Killed in War near Pea Ridge, Ark.
Warren Harris died Feb 1864 Missouri Married Minerva Shell of Mo.
James Irving died Oct 1893 Cedar Co, Mo Married Elizabeth Stamps in Mo. Supposed poisoned to death by stepson.
Harry Alexander died 1882, Chickasaw Nation, IT Married Eliza Grant, Crawford Co. Ark. about 1866
Napoleon Bonapart, Res. near Hawsville, KY Lived to be an old or he may live yet [Nov 1895]
Ephraim Flor Hubber Comstock had a brother Elijah & a sister Lovinia.
Signed S. W. Comstock, Concord, Mass. Mch 12, 1934.
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Martha R "Patsy". WILLIAMS were married on 2 January 1817 in Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.8,258,277 Martha R "Patsy". WILLIAMS, daughter of Amos W. WILLIAMS and Dorcas RILEY, was born about 1795.8 She died on 30 November 1817 at the age of 22.301,302
Patsy died in childbirth.
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Martha R "Patsy". WILLIAMS had the following children:
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Eleanor "Ellen" PATE were married on 27 January 1819 in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.8,277,302,303 Eleanor "Ellen" PATE92,258,304,305, daughter of Edward PATE and Mary CRAWFORD, was born on 14 April 1793 in Botetourt County, Virginia.92,306 She died between 1860 and 1870 at the age of 67.
Copy of Marriage record sent by Breckinridge Co Archives: William B. Clark to Eleanor Pate. License Apr 3 1811, Marriage and Return Apr 4, 1811. Jos. Huston. J.P.
Ephraim & Ellen's marriage was performed by Rev. Joshua Watts. Sent by Breckinridge Co KY Archives: County Court Book 3, p.69, Aug 16, 1819. Eleanor Clark, widow of William B. Clark, married Ephraim Comstock.
The Breckinridge Co KY Archives could not find the marriage record to Hamilton. There was a fire that destroyed some records. MacAdams quotes a date in his book but he could have found this record before 1935, when the book was written, but the record was then destroyed in the fire in the 1950's.
On 16 Aug 1819, Ephraim and his wife were summoned to appear at the next Term of Court and give security to indemnify Edward Pate as security for Eleanor Comstock, late Elanor Clark, Administrator of William B. Clark, dec'd, or deliver up estate.. Ephraim posted $2000 Bond on 20 Sep 1819 at the next Term.
Apparently Ellen's first husband had children. On 15 May 1820 John Dejarnet, guardian of the infant heirs of William B. Clark, dec'd, commissioners were appointed to settle with Ephraim Cumstock and Eleanor his wife. [There were in fact three young daughters of William Clark & Ellen Page]
Is it possible Ellen divorced Ephraim? McAdams found a marriage record of Mrs. Eleanor Comstock to Edward Hamilton 21 July 1825. [Courthouse burned in 1954; after McAdams did his research. Marriage record/divorce record not found in 1999.] I suspect there was never a divorce - just an agreement to disagree and they went their separate ways, both remarrying.
1850 Breckinridge Census: Page 98B-99A, Household #54. Edward Hambleton, age 58; Ellen his wife age 53; oldest child Sarah E. age 22 or 20. Bonaparte Comstock, age 27, is found in the household of Willie Hambleton (p.97A, Household #26) along with Willie's wife Jane and 5 children of theirs. There would be no reason for him to live with a family named Hamilton/Hambleton if his mother had not married for the third time.
Willie Hambleton has two deaf and dumb daughters in the 1850 Census. One, Nancy is 12. Marriage bond record of 6 May 1863 [Bond Book 5] in Breckinridge County is Nannie Hamleton, 21 to Theophilis Hougland, 37. Both lady and gentleman deaf and dumb. To be married at residence of Edward Hambleton, Cloverport KY.
Will Book 1
p.224 Willis Hambleton
Of the town of Cloverport.
Firsts wills that debts be paid.
Second, daughters Nancy E. and Mry E. continue at the Deaf & Dumb Asylum in Danville KY until their education is completed and that all expense be paid out of the estate.
Slave to daughter Mary.
Slave Chaney to be sold & proceeds to puchase Negro girl for Daughter Nancy.
The balance to be divided equally among children: Edwin Hambleton, Alexander Hambleton, Marion Hambleton, Nancy E. Hambleton & Mary E. Hambleton. Dudly Hambleton to be executor.
7 Sep 1855
Witness: William Head, T. N. Warfield
Monday, Sep Term 1855. Proven by Thos. N. Warfield.
1860 Breckinridge Census: p.640, Household 802.
Edward Hambleton, age 60; Ellen age 67; Charles D. age 22. John Sturgeon, 20, a farm hand.
1870 Census, Cloverport, Breckinridge Co KY Hh 308
Edward Hambleton, age 70, b. VA. Nelson, age 10
C. D. age 33. Mary A. age 28. Viola E. 5 and Marion E. age 1 [male]
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Eleanor "Ellen" PATE had the following children:
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and NANCY GOODMAN were married on 14 October 1823 in Maury County, Tennessee.307,308 NANCY GOODMAN309, daughter of Abraham GOODMAN and Nancy [GOODMAN], was born on 2 June 1805 in South Carolina.310 She died on 24 May 1855 at the age of 49.8,310
From the Randel family Bible which belonged to Caroline Comstock Randel.
Nancy Comstock - 1805-1855
According to family stories, Nancy Goodman was half Indian. The tribe usually named is Choctaw. The Comstock Book says she was reared in Graves County, Kentucky, and the court house "burned" in 1887, but this is not true, and Graves Co was not formed when she was a child - it was still Indian Lands at this time. This was Cherokee Land, not Choctaw. However, during the years of the Indian Removal in Mississippi where the Choctaws were located, many did drift northward into the Tennessee mountains to avoid removal.
[Recent DNA test for ethnicity shows that I carry no traces of Indian blood - 100% European descent, making the "Indian" story in the family even less likely than before.]
Research in a Kansas City library revealed the marriage took place in Maury Co, Tennessee.
Bondsman was Robert Bates. I have found a marriage of Robert Bates to Mahala Goodman, same location 25 Apr 1819. A good guess would be that Nancy and Mahala were sisters.
In the 1830 census, a widow, Nancy Goodman, was enumerated next to Ephraim Comstock in Carroll Co TN. She could be Nancy's mother.
Nancy Goodman of 1830, does not appear again in a Tennessee census - either she remarried or died.
Mahala Goodman Bates was probably living in Hickman Co, TN in 1830. There were three Robert Bates listed, none quite fit and one of the names indexed as “Bates” doesn't really look like Bates. Bates researchers do indicate Robert was some older and likely had an earlier marriage, so there could have been older children, etc. in the household. One Robert Bates, the one whose name is questionable, had no young woman in his home, only a lady who was 40-50. One Robert Bates was age 70-80 - it's doubtful that Mahala's Robert was that much older! The remaining Robert Bates had a large household: a boy under 5, 2 boys 5-10, and a man age 50-60, two girls under 5, 1 girl under 10 and a girl 10-15, one female age 20-30 [possibly Mahala] and a female age 40-50.
Mahaly Bates was living in Williamson Co TN in 1840, now widowed, apparently recently since she as three children under five. She had a son under 5, 2 sons age 15-20, 2 daughters under 5, a daughter 5-10, 2 daughters 10-15 and a daughter 15-20. Her age listed as 30-40. Interestingly there is also an older Robert Bates, age 80-90 - he would seem to be the old Robert from Hickman Co in 1830. Bates researchers state that Robert's father was a James Bates, but I wonder…. At any rate, the old Robert was still living in 1850 when he was in Williamson Co at age 105, born in England - he was living with Barnett Jones and family but there was also a Jane Bates, age 80, born in South Carolina in the household and previous censuses had indicated a younger wife.
In 1850, Mahala was also still in Williamson Co - living with John Hargrove who she would marry. She gave her age as 42, b. SC; John age 34, b. VA. Hargrove had five children ages 14 to 3. Bates researchers say they married in Maury Co TN, 10 Mar 1851, placing Mahala back in Maury Co. Mahala had only a two year old daughter, Amanda Bates, who could not have been the child of her deceased husband Robert. Hargrove had five children from his first marriage in the household. By 1860, John Hargrove and Mahaly were living by themselves in Maury Co TN - he was 44 and Mahaly 56 [or born 1804]. In 1850 Mahala said she was born in South Carolina; in 1860 she said North Carolina. One wonders what had happened to the younger children from 1850 - Amanda Bates who was two, and the youngest Hargrove child, Jerome, who was age three in 1850. There is no indication Mahala and Nancy had any further contact after Robert Bates served as bondsman for Nancy's marriage. They were both marked as being “unable to read and write” in the censuses.
Goodman resesarch in Maury, Carroll, Hickman & Perry Counties from 1810 through 1850 has not produced any conclusive evidence for Nancy's family. There were many Goodmans in these areas and undoubtedly she belongs, but no connection is evident.
1850 U S Census, Perry Co TN. p.145. Widow Nancy Comstock, age 44, is head of her household. Born in South Carolina. Cannot read or write. Leander age 20, William age 17, Warren age 15, James E age 13, Elijah age 11, and Harvey A. age 9. All children born in Tennessee.
EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and NANCY GOODMAN had the following children: