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Fifth Generation

269. EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK34,107,110,160,161 was born in 1795 in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.49,104 He died on 20 December 1847 at the age of 52.49
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.49,107,162 Martha R "Patsy". WILLIAMS, daughter of Amos W. WILLIAMS and Dorcas RILEY, was born about 1795.49 She died on 30 November 1817 at the age of 22.163,164

Patsy died in childbirth.

EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Martha R "Patsy". WILLIAMS had the following children:



Dorcas COMSTOCK164 was born on 30 November 1817 in Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.49,165 She died on 24 January 1860 at the age of 42 in Hawesville, Hancock County, Kentucky.49

Dorcas was raised by her grandparents, Amos & Dorcas Williams. She lived with them until a few years before her marriage, then lived with her uncle, Henry Williams.

1820 Census. Stephens Port, Breckinridge Co KY.
Amos Williams. 1m 16-26, 1m +45. 1f -10 [Dorcas], 1f 16-26, 1f +45

Dorcas is buried in the Hawesville Cemetery.

EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and Eleanor "Ellen" PATE were married on 27 January 1819 in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.49,162,164,166 Eleanor "Ellen" PATE107,118,167,168, daughter of Edward PATE and Mary CRAWFORD, was born on 14 April 1793 in Botetourt County, Virginia.118,169 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:



Napoleon Bonaparte COMSTOCK118,170,171,172 was born on 22 August 1820 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.49,162,173 He died on 8 September 1899 at the age of 79 in Vanduser, Scott County, Missouri.173

John Comstock book says Napoleon was born at Cloverport, KY, which seems most likely.
The IGI of LDS has: Napoleon B. Comstock born 1821 Hardin, Marshall County. Parents: Ephraim Comstock/Mattie Williams [this is certainly an error since Martha "Patsy" Williams, 1st wife of Ephriam was dead before Napoleon was born to the 2nd wife.] AND born 22 Aug 1820, Cloverport, Breckinridge County. Parents: Ephraim Comstock/Mrs. Ellen Clark

Listed as age 27 in 1850 Breckinridge Co KY Census. Living with Willie Hambleton and family - Willie is likely Bonaparte's stepfather's brother.

Breckinridge Co KY records. Sale Bill of the Estate of Joseph B. Ball, 26 Jan 1853. Napoleon B. Comstock bought an "ahl", probably awl, for 10 cents.

Found in the book History of Freemasonry in Kentucky by Robert Morris:
Napoleon B. Comstock was a member of Lodge 133 of the Kentucky Masons. Author Morris lived from 1818-1888 and the book is not dated, nor is the Catalogue of Membership. The Comstocks in Missouri and Arkansas were also members of the Masons.

1860 Census, Cloverport, Breckinridge Co KY, p.541, Household 60
N. B. Comstock, age 37, Carpenter, b. KY. Value of real estate $800; personal estate $1000
Eliza age 24. Sarah E. 8, John Geo age 3 and Martha M. age 1. There were also 4 boarders in the household, a Tanner, a Tobacco merchant and two students.

Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865
Consolidated List of all person of Class II, subject to do military duty in the Second Congressional District, consisting of Breckinridge Co, KY, enumerated during the month of Sept, 1863 under direction of John R. Grissom, Provost Marshal.
2nd SubDistrict
Comstock, Napoleon, age 42, Farmer, b. KY, no former military service

In 1870, Napoleon and family were in the Hawesville District of Hancock Co KY, p.154b, Household 27:
Comstock, N. B. age 50, Farmer, Real estate $600, Personal estate $350, b. KY
Eliza age 37 Keeping house. John 14, Martha 10, Morgan 8, Obe 4, and Eliza age 2 marked as a Female [this is actually Elijah]. Martha Lynch age 17 was living with the family.

1880, Hancock Co KY, Lewisport:
Napoleon Comstock age 59, b. KY, Farmer, parents born in VA [Ephraim was b. KY]
Eliza W. Comstock, wife, age 46, b. KY, her parents b. VA
John W. age 23, b. Arkansas. Martha E. age 19, Morgan B., Washington O., Elija B. age 11, Joseph B. age 9, all marked as born in KY. [The last was actually Josie B., a female.]

EPHRAIM FLOR HUBER COMSTOCK and NANCY GOODMAN were married on 14 October 1823 in Maury County, Tennessee.174,175 NANCY GOODMAN176, daughter of Abraham GOODMAN and Nancy [GOODMAN], was born on 2 June 1805 in South Carolina.177 She died on 24 May 1855 at the age of 49.49,177

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:



Caroline Zelphia Ann COMSTOCK178,179 was born on 14 April 1823 in Tennessee.49,177 She died on 17 February 1909 at the age of 85 in Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County, Kansas.177,180

G. M. Comstock says after the Civil War they moved to Cherryvale, Kansas, where Caroline died. Found on p. 266 of Deed Book B in McDonald County MO: William R. Randall & his wife Caroline of Franklin County, Kansas sell to James F. Holms of McDonald County 181.56 acres in Sect 7, Twp 23 and Sect 18, Twp 23 of Range 29; dated 21 Mar 1867.

Many sources say that William and Caroline settled and died in Cherryvale KS. This is in error; it was Cedar Vale, approximately 80 miles West of Cherryvale. Buried in Round Mound Cemetery in unmarked graves with some of their children.

1900 Census. Jefferson Twp, Chautauqua, Kansas, Hh 72
William R. Randel, b. Oct 1825, 74, married 58 years, b. Tenn, parents b. SC
Caroline, wife, b. Apr 1823, 77, 10 children - 6 are living, b. Tenn, father b. KY, mother b. TN
George Collette, laborer, b. Jun 1881, age 18, b. MA

1905 Kansas State Census, Jefferson Twp, Chautauqua Co, Hh 125
Carolin Randel, age 82
L. B., age 52, male
Robert, age 23
Ruby, 18
Hh 124 was T. F. Randel and family; Hh 126 was W. C. Randel and family

Middle names from Tina Kelly.



Hugh Bonaparte COMSTOCK178 was born about 1827 in Tennessee.181,182

He died on 13 September 1856 at the age of 29 in McDonald County, Missouri.

1850 Perry Co TN Census: p.145a Household 277. Hugh B. Comstock age 24 and Elizabeth age 19. W. R. age 2, James E. age 1. All born in Tennessee.
When Hugh's first wife died after moving to McDonald Co, MO, he married again. He died the following year and the new wife sold everything and moved to Colorado, leaving the two boys who lived with their aunt Caroline and then with Tom Comstock.



Leander Brown COMSTOCK183,184,185,186,187 was born about 1828 in Tennessee.49,188,189 He died on 31 August 1877 at the age of 49 in Greene County, Missouri.

Land Patent from Land Office in Springfield, MO dated 30 Oct 1857. NE Qtr of the NE Qtr of Section 14, Twp 23, Range 30. 40 acres in McDonald County. This land sold for $50 to Calvin Adkins on 19 Dec 1868. Leander B. and Nancy H. stated to be of Greene County MO. Taxes paid on the 1861 Tax List: Comstock, L. B. T23 R30.
The family is found in the 1860 McDonald Co Census. Child Mary, age 10 was born in TN but child George, age 8 was born in Missouri. Looks like they moved about 1851.

1870 Census in Greene Co MO. Leander Comstock age 45, b. TN, Farmer. Nancy age 36, b. Tenn. William age 19 and Mary age 16, both born in TN. The rest of the children born in Missouri: George 14, John 12, Sophronia 10, Amanda 8, and Thomas 6. A 25 year old hired hand b. in New Hampshire lived with the family - his name unreadable.

When John A. Comstock was compiling Comstock Family in America, he had some difficulty placing Leander. He at first had him as marrying a Caroline. He did have a son Kendrick [William Kendrick] who had a son Luke living in Springfield. Not much else. After receiving information from some of the children - John P. & Amanda, John A. Comstock eventually got the family put together.



William Decatur COMSTOCK49,185,190,191,192,193,194 was born about 1832 in Carroll County, Tennessee.49,188,195 He served in the military in 1862–1864 at Company I, 3rd Missouri Cavalry Regt., Marmaduke's Brigade in Civil War.49 He died in January 1864 at the age of 32 in McDonald County, Missouri.49,163

Family is is found in the 1860 McDonald Co Census in Mountain Township.
The Comstock book says that William Decatur Comstock died at Pea Ridge, but family members say it was at Sugar Creek, Missouri. According to his descendants, he was home to check on his pregnant wife and children and was killed by a bushwacker on the way to have corn ground for the family - this makes much better sense.

Found in Hewett's "Roster of Confederate Soldiers" William Comstock, Private, Company I, 3rd Missouri Cavalry Regiment, a unit of Marmaduke's Brigade. Warren "A." and James "E." were also in this same Company.
National Archives records reveal William Comstock was enlisted in the Confederate Army by Capt. Clanton 27 Aug 1862 in McDonald Co MO for 3 years or the War. His Muster-In Roll as Wm. D. Comstock reveals him to be in Capt. W. C. Clanton's Co, Greene's Regt. of the Missouri Volunteers; age 31; he was assigned a horse valued at $90 and horse equipment at $2. There is a footnote that Clanton's Co. became Company I, 3rd Regt Missouri Cavalry. No other record of his military service.
Goodspeed shows William Comstock in a list of persons killed by Union forces in McDonald County throughout the war.

Deed dated 8 Apr 1861; filed for record May 14, 1870. William D. Comstock and Hannah his wife sold 20 acres of Section 13, twp 21, range 30 for $20 to C. C. Squires. On 1861 Tax List Transcript is: Comstock, Hannah: T21 R30 - the same parcel of land.

Another descendant gave a date of death as 13 Feb 1863.

Copies from Estate File of William Comstock.
Hannah Comstock was appointed Administrator of the estate of Wm Comstock on 28 Feb 1866. Heirs were listed as Ephriam Hubbard & Sarah Caroline Comstock, Belldora Comstock, Josephine Comstock, all of McDonald Co MO. Bond was set at $800 and securities were Samuel Rose and Ellis Clanton.
Appraisors were Eliis Clanton, thos. Johnston, and W. R. Speak. Estate consisted of:
Five head of sheep at $2 per head
One Sow worth $1
One hundred five acres at $4 per acre. NE 1/4 of SW 1/4 and the N part of the W 1/2 of SE 1/4, Sect 13, Twp 21 Range 30.
$10 on hand
Signed by Clanton & Johnston on 1 Mar 1866. Sworn to before Henry Fox, JP, on 15 Mar 1866.
The Administratrix Notice was in the "Missouri Weekly Patriot" for three weeks and said "Letters of administration on the estate of Wm. D. Comstock, dec'd, were granted to the undersigned by the County Court of McDonald County, MO dated February 28th, 1866. All persons having claims against said estate are required to exhibit them to me for allowance, within one year from the date of said letters or they may be precluded from any benefit of said estate, and if said claims be not exhibited within three years from the date of said letters they will be forever barred. Signed: Hannah Comstock, Admx."
An ad was also run in the "Newton County Tribune" in the summer of 1869, that gave notice of final settlement of the estate at the next term of Probate court to be held at Pineville on 12 Jul 1869.
Final Settlement was filed 12 Jul 1869 and gave the following:
Balance due from previous settlement: $40
Pd for publishing notice $2
Tax paid $1.85 and $3.85
Amount retained by widow was $36.20.
Recorded 18 May 1870 in Book A, p. 4.

Probate Court McDonald Co MO
Court Orders:
p.99 Thus Feb 7, 1867: Estate of W. K. Comstock, Dec'd, Order to lease Real Estate
It was ordered that Hannah Comstock Administratrix of the Estate of W. K. Comstock Dec'd be and she is hereby authorized to lease the land belonging to said Estate for one year from the 1st day of March 1867 - on such terms as will be advantageous to said Estate and that she make return of her proceedings under this order at the next term of this Court.
Probate Court Record:
p.154 April 16, 1867: Estate of William Comstock dec'd. Now at this day comes Hannah Comstock Admx. of said estate and asks the court for a continuance until the next Regular term of this Court to make final settlements of her accounts and such -- of which is granted by the Court.
p.24 Wed. May 8, 1867: Estate of W. K. Comstock, Dec'd. Now at this day comes Hannah Comstock Administratrix, presents to the court her first annual settlement upon the Estate Showing a balance due her as widow of Forty and 50/100 Dollars, dower in Personal Estate yet due and unpaid which settlement was by the Court approved Signed and ordered on file amt of record.
Also at this day comes Hannah Comstock Admx. as aforesaid and files with the Court her appointment duly executed empowering Sam'l Rose to act in her stead as the representative of Said Estate, during her proposed temporary absence from the state, which was by the Court approved and the appointment ordered on file with the papers of said Deceased.
p.174, July 12, 1869 Final Settlement. Estate of Wm. K. Comstock, Dec'd. Now at the day comes Hannah Comstock administratrix and submits her report for final settlement. The same was by the Court examined and approved signed and ordered to be entered. [This is the same day Hannah remarried.]



Warren Harris COMSTOCK195 was born in 1834 in Tennessee.49,188 He served in the military in 1862 at Company I, 3rd Missouri Cavalry Regt., Marmaduke's Brigade in Civil War. He died in February 1864 at the age of 30 in Missouri.

This is the only child of Ephraim & Nancy I could not account for in McDonald Co MO in 1860. He married Minerva Shell. I did possibly find her living under her maiden name in a household with who appears to be a brother and sister.
In Hewett's ROSTER OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, vol. IV, is Warren "A." Comstock, enlisted in MO 3rd Cavalry, Co I, along with James & William D.
National Archives records reveal that Warren H. Comstock enlisted as a Pvt in Capt W. C. Clanton's Co, Greene's Regt, Missouri Volunteers - a company which became Co I, 3rd Regt MO Cavalry. Warren was age 28. He enlisted 27 Aug 1862 in McDonald Co MO with Capt Clanton for 3 years or the war. He received a horse valued at $80 and horse equipment of $12. The Muster Roll was dated 30 Oct 1862 in Fulton Co AR. The Muster Roll for Oct 30 -Dec 31, 1862 stated that Warren "A." Comstock deserted Nov 15, 1862. This was the same unit in which his brothers William and James enlisted, all on the same day.

A very long article about his father-in-law, Henry Schell, posted on FindAGrave Memorial# 33163060, describes Henry's murder by bushwhackers on 11 July 1863, and goes on to say: A few months later in 1864, Henry's son-in-law, Warren Comstock, husband of Manervia Schell Comstock, was also killed by bushwhackers.



James Irving/Ervin COMSTOCK187,195,196,197 was born in 1837 in Tennessee.49,188,195 He served in the military in 1862 at Company I, 3rd Missouri Cavalry Regt., Marmaduke's Brigade in Civil War. He died on 11 October 1893 at the age of 56 in Cedar County, Missouri.

Found as "Irvin Comstock" in 1860 McDonald Co MO Census.
Irvin was age 23, b. TN Elizabeth, 21, b. TN
Harvey, age 3 and James F. age 1, b. MO

In Hewett's ROSTER OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, vol. IV, there is James "E." Comstock enlisted in MO 3rd Cavalry, Company I, along with Warren and William D.
National Archives Records show Jas E. Comstock enlisted by Capt. Clanton on 27 Aug 1862 - the same day as his brothers William and Warren - at McDonald Co MO for 3 years or the War. He was age 26. He was issued a horse valued at $100 and $10 worth of horse equipment. All three brothers enlisted in Capt. W. C. Clanton's Co, Greene's Regt, MO Volunteers which became Co I, 3rd Regt MO Cavalry. The Muster Roll of 30 Oct 1862 gave a location of Fulton Co AR. The Muster Roll of Oct 30-Dec 31, 1862 - James E. Comstock - stated that he deserted 15 Nov 1862. That was the same day his brother Warren left the unit. Their oldest brother William was still present at the end of that same accounting period. There is no further information on this unit.

Apparently James took his family to Franklin Co Kansas late 1862/1863. Mary Elizabeth's father died at Ft. Scott, Kansas in 1863, leaving his widow with several young children in Franklin Co. His sister Caroline Randal also lived there following the Civil War.

1865 Kansas State Census: Geneva, Allen Co, Kansas. Line 22, Hh 127
J. E. Comstock, 28, Farmer, b. TN. E. Comstock, female, 25, b. TN
H. A., 9, male, b. MO. J. T., 6, male, b. MO, Bill, 2, b. Kansas
Anna Stamps, 14, b. AR [twins, but I thought they were both females...]
J. J. Stamps, 22, male b. TN [James Jefferson]
B. Stamps, 14, male, b. MO
D. B. Stamps, 11, male, b. MO [Daniel Boone]
S. J. Stamps, 16, female, b. MO [Sarah]
S. C. Stamps, 10, female, b. MO [Saline Candace}
Martha Stamps, 7, b. AR

The 1870 Census: Franklin Co, KS, Harrison Twp, p.98, Household 182.
James Comstock, age 34, Farmer, b. TN; Elisabeth age 31, b. TN. Harvey 13, b. MO, Franklin 11, b. MO. Bell age 7 b. KA, Alonzo 4, b. KA and Theodosia 2, b. KA. The following also lived with James, no doubt relations of his wife: Candace Stamps 14, Martha 11, Dodson 19, and Boon age 17, all born in Missouri. [I believe the Stamps folks were indeed Mary Elizabeth's younger siblings and it's likely both Candace & Martha were 10 years older than shown, i.e. ages 24 and 21.]

There is a note in Comstock Family in America, "James Irving Comstock went north during the Civil War." This is a strange comment, since he fought for the Confederates and then went to Kansas.

1875 Kansas State Census. Ottawa, Franklin Co. Hh 295
J. E. Comstock, age 46, Farmer, b. TN, came from Missouri to Kansas
Elizabeth, 35, keeping house
Harvey, 18, b. MO. Frank 16, b. MO. Belle, 11, b. Kansas. Elonzo, 9, b. KA. Elizabeth, 4, b. KA.

Here is the 1880 Census:
Hayes, Franklin Co KA, p.66A
James E. Comstock, age 52, b. TN, Farmer. Father b. KY; mother b. TN
Mary E. Comstock, wife, age 41, born TN as were both her parents
James F., son age 21, born MO
Bell, daughter age 17, b. KS
Alonzo O. son age 14, b. KS
Elizabeth, daughter, age 9, b. KS

I found a most bizarre statement in the manuscript papers of John A. Comstock which included correspondence from Samuel Willett Comstock who also had a number of Comstock letters gathered in the late 1800's by Noah D. Comstock for use in the Comstock books by Noah's brother-in-law Cyrus B. Comstock. In listing the children of Ephraim Comstock, Samuel W. noted that "supposed poisoned to death by stepson". This makes little sense. There were those extra Stamps children in the household in 1870, but they had not been there in 1860 and Elizabeth was not old enough to have had some of them. The ages of the Stamps children and the Comstock children overlap, too. I wonder if instead of stepchildren, these were perhaps nieces & nephews being raised as foster children. Or is it possible that James married a second time when he went back to Missouri and married someone with children:

The above manuscript collection was also the origin of the death date and place for James. Since he was living in Kansas in 1880, he would have had to move back to Missouri to die in Cedar Co.

James is said to have died 1893 Cedar Co. MO and youngest son William Decatur had married there prior to 1910 when he appears with a wife in the Census. I looked for the Comstock widow, Mary or Mary Elizabeth, in Cedar Co, 1900. Instead I found a Margaret E. Comstock, b. Nov 1841 in KY; she was a weaver of carpets. After the death of James, it was found she was a second wife.

Found in Death Notices from Cedar County, Missouri Newspapers, 1888-1900 with Cemetery Inscriptions. Abstracts from the Stockton Journal, Cedar County Republican, and Eldorado Sun. Compiled by Marsha Hoffman Rising, C.G., 1988
From The Cedar County Republican 1893
Mrs. Wallace, of Jerico, died of drinking from a poisoned well and members of the Comstock family are low. Mrs. Wallace was a sister to Mrs. Comstock and Thomas Petty, Jr. The Comstocks reside 1 1/2 miles NW of Jerico on the Thos. Brasher farm. Sterling Brasher, a son to Mrs. Comstock, is accused of the crime. [Oct 13] Wife of J. B. Wallace 1856-1893, Silas Clark Cemetery, Cedar Co.

With the above death notice, I have been able to discover a bit more. It appears the deaths of both Comstock and Mrs. Comstock's sister occurred in 1893. The plot thickens.

Larkin T. Brasher, b. about 1841 in Missouri, died 1882 and buried Brasher Cemetery near Jerico, married Margaret E. Petty, born ca 1842 in Kentucky. They had three children shown in the 1880 Census, Benton Twp, Cedar Co MO - Drewry S. [Sterling as found in online databases] age 11, Mary 3. age 9, and Nelly A. age 4.

Sterling married Minnie Ethylene Brewster on 2 Oct 1890 in Stockton, Cedar Co. The censuses and an online database show they had two children - Charles Francis "Frank", b. Jerico Springs, Cedar Co, 20 Mar 1892, and Emma, b. Aug 1898. By 1930, Sterling & Minnie apparently divorced - he had married Lula M. Clark. Minnie was still in Jerico Springs living with the daughter Emma. Only in 1900 was Sterling not found in Benton Twp of Cedar Co - that year he was in Galena Twp, Jasper Co MO. If he was responsible for the poisonings, he apparently suffered no consequences. Missouri death certificates show Drewry S. Brasher of Jerico Springs, MO, was born 4 Mar 1869 and died almost 82 years old 28, Feb 1951. Wife Minnie had predeceased him. He is buried at the Brasher Cemetery.

I found the following marriage which took place at Jerico, Cedar Co. J. H. Erving married M. E. Brasher, 8 Jun 1888. This second husband was actually C. H. Ewing as found in the trial transcript after the death of James Irving Comstock. The trial notes also gave the marriage date of Comstock to Margaret E. Petty Brasher Ewing. The trial notes always give Comstock's name as "J. E. Comstock".

Then, interestingly enough, there is another marriage at Jerico. On 6 Nov 1893, Lizzie Comstock married J. B. Wallace, possibly her sister's widower.. Presumably, Lizzie is Margaret E. Petty Brasher Comstock and the middle initial was for Elizabeth. This does not explain the presence of Margaret E. Comstock in the 1900 census, however, unless J. B. Wallace also passed away or she left him. There was no J. B. Wallace counted in the 1900 census in Cedar County, nor did I find him in any of the cemetery records online. However, I never found him in 1880, either.

Is it possible that both Margaret E.'s husband [Comstock] and sister [Mrs. Wallace] were poisoned so she could marry Mr. Wallace?

Most needed to solve the mystery would be a newspaper story giving more details about the supposed poisonings, a death record of J. B. Wallace, information regarding the death of Mary Elizabeth Stamps Comstock, a marriage record for a Petty lady to J. B. Wallace to confirm her given name, etc.

I studied their families for clues, looking at the census records and online databases. More information was available concerning the Brasher family - sometimes the name was spelled Brasier in the censuses. A Thomas Brasher, was born ca 1773 in Chatham Co NC and died after the 1850 census in Christian Co KY - his wife was Catherine "Katie" Croft and they had at least 12 children, all of whom apparently lived in Christian Co and most of whom remained there in Kentucky the rest of their lives. The family also lived for a time in Greenville Co, SC and the first four children were born there, the rest born in Kentucky. One son, Greenville "Green" Brasher is in the 1880 Cooke Co TX census. A son Abraham is in the 1860 Miller Co MO census, and a son Isham S. Brasher, born ca 1815 in Christian Co KY, moved to Cedar Co MO where he died ca 1890. It is notable that Isham married Rose E. Petty, b. Tennessee about 1820 - they were married 14 Oct 1841 in Christian Co KY. Now Thomas Brasher who married Katie Croft was a son of Aquilla Brasher who was married twice and Thomas had a half-brother - also named Aquilla [b. 1786 in NC, died prob in Cedar Co MO] for his father, and the younger Aquilla also moved his family to Cedar Co, Missouri - the younger Aquilla had sons Thomas and John. This makes for a lot of Brashers in Cedar Co MO.

Among the children of Aquilla's son Thomas [b. 1816 Christian Co KY and died 1896, buried Brasher Cemetery in Cedar Co] is Larkin T. who married Margaret E. Petty. [Larkin's parents and some of his siblings are also buried in this cemetery.] Larkin was with his father and family in the 1860 Benton Twp, Cedar Co MO census - he was age 19 and was the first of his father's children to be born in Missouri. So the family moved to Missouri about 1840 - I found them in Dade Co MO in 1850, when Larkin was listed as age 10.

The Petty family was a little more difficult to trace but there were not so many of them in Cedar Co. One clue was that in 1870 in Benton Twp of Cedar Co I found living with Isham S. Brasher and his wife Rosey, now age 50, Drury Petty, age 82, born in SC. Three households away was James T. Petty, age 49, born in TN as was Rosey, Isham's wife, James's wife Elizabeth age 48, born in Kentucky, and the following three children: born in Kentucky were Drury E. age 20 and Margaret age 17 [10 years too young to be Margaret E. Petty who married Larkin T. Brasher], and Mary J. age 12, born in Missouri.

I did find confirmation online in an inquiry letter that there was a Drury Petty, born abt 1780 in SC, whose wife was Jane and children included Rosey E., born about 1820 in Tennessee, and a James T., born abt 1823 in Tennessee. James T. married Elizabeth Parker 23 Feb 1846 in Christian Co KY. There were some of Rosey & James T.'s siblings born later in Illinois, and then several born in Christian Co.,Kentucky. A sister Minera A., born 1836 in KY married John W. Wallace on 10 Jan 1856 in Christian Co. The youngest child of Drury and Jane was Margaret E. R. born abour 1841 in Kentucky. [So here is a Margaret Petty of the right age and she has a sister who was married to a Wallace, although his middle initial is different.] I also found the following notice from Christian Co KY Newspaper Abstracts, Vol. 20, availabe at World Vital Records online, which appeared July 31, 1874: "We are glad to learn that Mr. Drury Petty, our former county man, though now living in Cedar County, Missouri, is in good health and that his voice can still be heard a mile off, though he is now eighty-four years old."
This definitely supports that fact that the Brasher and Petty families were associated in both Christian Co, Kentucky and Cedar Co, Missouri.

The 1860 census showed that James T. Petty & wife Elizabeth were already living in Benton Twp in Cedar Co. Drewry Petty, age 67, was still living back in Christian Co KY in 1860, with wife Jane, age 60 and a daughter "M." [Margaret] Petty, age 18, born in KY, next door to Samuel Petty, age 29, b. Tennessee - so here is the youngest daughter Margaret - right age and born in Kentucky - likely the same as the Margaret Petty who married Larkin Brasher about 1867/68

In 1880, James T. Petty is listed as Thomas J. rather than the other way around. He was 58, born in TN, father b. SC, mother b. NC. Elizabeth his wife was now 59. In 1900, they were both still living and still in Benton, Cedar Co. - Now James T. Petty, b. Nov 1822, age 77, married for 55 years, and Elizabeth was born Nov 1821, age 78. They had five children, only two are still living. Jossie, marked as a daughter, but with no different surname, and her three children were living there as well.

In the news clip, Mrs. Comstock had lost her sister named Wallace and mentions a brother Thomas Petty Jr. It would seem likely that the brother was the above James Thomas, or Thomas James Petty. Based on the census records and other data, he doesn't appear to have been either a Junior or a Senior Thomas. There do not seem to be two Thomas Pettys of any age living in Cedar Co MO. Also the sister married to J. B. Wallace in the news article was shown as born 1836 online, not 1856. That does leave several questions.

Was the Mrs. Comstock in Cedar Co, a wife of James Irving Comstock? Had she been the widow of Larkin Brasher? Were there errors in the newspaper account - the birth year for the wife of J. B. Wallace, if she was the same as Minerva Petty, was off by 20 years. Minerva married John W. Wallace, not a John B. There seems to be no one to be called Thomas Petty "Jr". Was Mrs. Comstock's brother Thomas, the same as the man listed as James T. or Thomas J. Petty?

I did find census records for Minera Petty Wallace. In 1860, Christian Co KY - J. W. Wallace was 22, Manerva 23, daughter L. Fan. R. age 3 and two children with the surname Kinshaw. [Kinshaw is not a name associated with any of Minerva's siblings that I could find.] I could not find the family in 1870, but in 1880 they were definitely in Benton, Cedar Co, MO. John W. "Wallis", age 44, b. KY. Manerva A., wife, age 44 ,b. KY, parents born in SC. Jane E., daughter, 21, b. KY. James R., son, 13 and John R., son, age 10 - both born in Missouri.



ELIJAH THOMAS "Tom" COMSTOCK49,195,198,199,200,201,202,203,204,205,206,207,208,209,210,211,212 was born on 22 December 1838 in Perry County, Tennessee.188,213,214,215,216 He appeared in the census in 1850 in Perry County, Tennessee. He appeared in the census in 1860 in McDonald County, Missouri. Tom served in the military in 1862 at Co D, 6th Missouri Cavalry, CSA in Civil War.49 He appeared in the census in 1870 at Jasper Township in Crawford County, Arkansas. He died on 29 April 1917 at the age of 78 in Crawford County, Arkansas.49,217 Tom was buried in Comstock Cemetery on Lee Creek, Barcelona, Arkansas..

1900 Census Tom states born in Tennessee.
Gratis Comstock says that Tom was born in Perry County TN which seems the most likely.

Moved to McDonald County MO in 1853. In 1860 Census - Mountain Twp, McDonald Co. with James Monroe as infant, age 4 months. P.O. was Shells Mills. Thomas was 21, "Marindia" was 18.

McDonald Co Deed Book B; p.65 18 Oct 1865. Tom sold 40 acres to his mother-in-law Rebecca P. Brown for $100.

Tom's Civil War service record had not been found at writing of Comstock book. Gratis Comstock (a cousin) said in a newspaper article that Tom was a private in Shelby's Brigade of Missouri until the last year of the year and then served in an Indian special services regiment in Indian Territory. He was disbanded in the Chickasaw Nation, near Oichita.
Found in Hewett's "Roster of Confederate Soldiers" Thomas Comstock, Private, Company D, 6th Missouri Cavalry Regiment (Southwest Regiment), redesignated 11th MO Cavalry Regiment in 1863. This regiment was always assigned to the Iron Brigade of Gen. Jo Shelby [so he did "ride" with Shelby...]. However, records from the National Archives show this Thomas Comstock enlisted Sept 12, 1862 in Newton Co MO for 3 years or the War, but deserted Nov. 28 near Cane Hill, AR. It is noted he was never paid. "Deserted" meant many things in the chaotic Civil War - the men were often lost from their units or indeed sometimes left and went home for a time only to rejoin another group, even perhaps fight for the other side. Records were poorly kept by the Confederacy.
A request to the Harold B. Simpson Hill College Research Center revealed no additional information except they sent a copy of the page from the Hewett "Roster" which revealed Harvey Comstock also enlisted in the MO 6th Cav, Company D. [This is likely Tom's brother whose name is usually listed as Henry but I read as Harvey.] James E. [James Irving?], Warren A. [H.?] & William D. were all enlisted in Co I of the 3rd Cavalry.

After the War, the family went to Pine Creek, Texas (near Paris, Lamar Co). Found in McDonald Co MO Deed Book B, dated 18 Oct 1865: Thomas Comstock to Rebecca P. Brown for $100 a certain tract of land - this tract being half of the same 1/4 section as the land of Tom's sister Caroline and her husband William Randall. About 1869 Tom sold their land in Texas and went back to Missouri, and then on to Crawford County, Arkansas.

Tax rolls for Lamar Co TX for 1866 and 1867 list Thomas Comstock. He had 260 acres. The original grantee was John Wilson, abstract either 548 or 588. In 1866, he had a single horse. In 1867 he reported 2 horses and 5 head of cattle. I did not find him in 1868, but the tax film quality was extremely poor and he may very well have been listed.

In the 1870 Census, Tom and Miranda are living in Jasper Township, Crawford County with sons, J. M. age 10 and Randolf age 4, both boys said born in MO.

Obits Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1874; Fran Alverson Warren, 2001
p.41  Judges of Election.  Jasper Twp. John S. Marlock, J. W. Branson, Thomas Comstock, 29 Sep 1874

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1875 Fran Alverson Warren
p.18 Natural Dam Lodge meeting, 30 Mar 1875.
Committee: J. P. Babb, T. Comstock, J. S. Rainwater
p.19, 6 Apr 1875 Criminal Docket:
State vs. Thomas Comstock, gaming; pled guilty and fined $10

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1876 Fran Alverson Warren
p.43 list of judges at election to be held on 4 September
Jasper Twp: John S. Matlock, James H. Pesterfield, Thomas Comstock

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1877 Fran Alverson Warren
p.48 Jurors for fall term of the Circuit Court which meets Sep 24
William Carney, John Carney, Thomas Comstock, Joseph Woods - among others

McDonald Co MO Deed Book 31, p.162-163
1879. Rebecca P. Brown, John R. Brown & Maggie his wife, L. G. Brown & Isabell his wife, Laura Brown, and Bevy Barnett and Isabell his wife, all of the County of McDonald, State of Missouri for the sum of $1. Convey and Quit claim unto Thomas Comstock all that tract of land: SW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of S8, T23, R29, containing forty acres. Signed: Rebekah P. Brown, John R. Brown, Margaret E. Brown, Lemuel G. Brown, Isabell Brown, Bevely C. Barnett, Eliza I. Barnett, Laura I. Brown. Wit: John H. Ware, H. P. Lamberson
All signees appeared before John H. Ware, JP to certify the deed. Maggie Brown and Isabell Brown, and Isabell Barnett, were privately examined.
Filed for record 27 Aug 1900, by Jno R. Patterson, Recorder.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1880 Fran Alverson Warren
p.27 Thos. Comstock on a committee for arrangements of the “Grand Basket Picnic” at the Fair grounds at Van Buren on July 5th.

1880 Census, Jasper Twp. with all six of the living children.
Thos Comstock, 40, Farmer, b. TN, parents b. TN
Mirandia, age 37, wife, b. AR, parents b. TN
James M., 20, son, b. MO. Randolph, 14, son, b. TX. Minnie, 8; Clinden, 6; Cornilia, 4; Tack, age 2 - all born in Arkansas.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1881 Fran Alverson Warren
May 7, 1881
Meeting of the citizens of Jasper twp at Sulphur Springs to take steps toward a public reception of Maj. Joseph Hansen & other projectors of the Northern Narrow Gauge RR who are expected to arrive in a week or two:
A cordial reception be tendered - Thomas Comstock on the committee

In 1882 Tom was elected to the Arkansas State Senate.

On November 28, 1882, the Uniontown Lodge was chartered and Thomas Comstock was one of the original members as well as an officer. Uniontown Masonic Lodge No. 395. The Lodge hosted a Centennial celebration on Sep 25, 1982. The newspaper article about the Centennial states that "The charter principal officers to assume their duties 100 years ago were: Thomas Comstock, Master; James A. Burress, Senior Warden; and T. H. Oliver, Junior Warden. Other Charter members were: Tothechild Harrison, Adman Howell, Henry Howell, William H. Rimy [probably Remy], William A. Williams. The article included a picture of Tom Comstock.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1883 Fran Alverson Warren
Mar 31 p.15 Hon. Thomas M. Comstock of Crawford, representative in the legislature, returned to Van Buren Wednesday night and went to his home in Uniontown, next day.

On 4 Jul 1884, Thomas Comstock was indicted by the Grand Jury in Fort Smith for
"Unlawfully engaging in and carrying on the business of a retail liquor Dealer without first having paid the special tax as law" Four witnesses were subpeoned in UnionTown on 6 Aug: C. M. Rutherford, Ed Miller, One Tackitt, Wash Mackatee. They were ordered to attend a trial on 3 Nov 1884. An Arrest order for Thomas Comstock was served on 16 Aug 1884 and Thos. Boles, US Marshall, states he was taken into custody. On the same day William Williams cosigned a bond ($300) for Comstock's appearance in court. He failed to appear and on 13 Sep Judge Isaac C. Parker signed a judgement that they pay the $300.

Serial Set Volume 2387, Session Vol. #20, 49th Congress-1st Session
House Document: Report of Attorney General
p.340 Dept of Justice, Washington, 11 Nov 1884
List of persons convicted in District courts who were pardoned during the year ending 30 Jun 1885
p.343 Thomas Comstock, Ark. Western Dist. Dec Term 1884
Violating internal revenue law - sentence suspended
Pardoned 11 Feb upon recommendation of US District Attorney and paying $100 fine plus costs

The firm of Comstock and Brothers was established in Uniontown in 1885. The store was located on the corner of the Uniontown Road and the Wagon Road in the center of town.

In October 1888, he was appointed the first postmaster of Barcelona, AR

The 1890 Census reconstructed from tax records shows Thomas Comstock at Section 24, Township 11, Range 33 in the Pleasant Grove School District. This land discription agrees with a Land Patent registered Jan 20 1885. He paid $1.25 per acre for this 40 acres. This may not be the only land he owned, as they were there for the 1870 Census. In 1892, he's on record as paying his Poll Tax in Crawford County, AR.

Tom's homestead was for a time in a settlement called Barcelona - it never quite made it as a town, but it did have a Post Office for a time and Tom Comstock was the Postmaster. 1 Jul 1889, he is listed in the U.S. Register of Civil Service employees as having made $17.50 as Postmaster of Barcelona. 1 Jul 1891 - his pay was $32.19. I Jul 1895 - he had received $28.68.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1891 Fran Alverson Warren
p.2, Jan 3 1891
Hon. Tom Comstock of Barcelona, was in the city Wednesday

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1895 Fran Alverson Warren, p.60
30 Nov 1895. From T. F. Wood, of Uniontown, we learn of a daring robbery committed at Barcelona Tuesday night last week. On the night in question three men entered the house of Hon. Tom Comstock and at the point of revolvers demanded his money. Being somewhat slow aabout giving up the coin, they took him by the beard and drew a knife across his throat, which proved to be inducement enough, and caused Mr. Comstock to turn over to them something like $300. They then made him go to the kitchen and give them all the cooked meats, etc. They also appropriated to their own use two Wincesters, several pistols, and an overcoat before leaving. They stopped within a short distance of the house after the robberty and had supper. The family a short time after the robbery made their way to the neighbors, but on returning with assistance the robbers were found to have left. The trail, which showed the robbers to have been four in number and on foot, was following the next morning for some distance west into Indian Territory, where it was lost. This makes the second time within a few years that "Uncle Tom" has been the victim of the festive highwaymen.
14 Dec 1895 Hon. Tom Comstock was in town this week getting up a reward for the apprehension of the parties who robbed him some three or four weeks since. We understand that he has a slight clew [sic] as to the whereabouts of the robbers.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1896 Fran Alverson Warren, p.19
8 Jan 1896 A reward of $400 has been subscribed for the arrest and conviction of the parties who robbed Tom Comstock, near Uniontown, last fall. It is to be hope the outlaws may be captured and punished.

The following was extracted from the Van Buren Press and the dates included are from January 11, 1896 to May 30, 1896. rtial).htm
February 8, 1896
From Hon. Randolph Comstock we learn of another robbery and double murder near that place- the killing having taken place about ten miles west of Uniontown in the Indian Territory, and the robbers are supposed to have been the same parties who robbed Hon. Tom Comstock some time since. The facts in the case as learned from Mr. Comstock are as follows: The robbers, it seems, had learned that one Mack Glass had considerable money- about $200- which he carried in a belt under his clothing. The robbers, two in number, met him in the road last Friday and covering him with their pistols told him to give up his money. He said he did not have it with him, but that is was at the house of Lacy Lasley. They, thereupon, made Glass go with them to the latter’s house and again demanded the money. Lasley seeing the scheme told them he did not have the money and that it was in Uniontown. The robbers, however, would not believe this, so one stayed with Glass on the porch, while the other entered the house with Lasley and proceeded to rummage through the trunks, etc. Unknown to the robbers there were two other men in another room. Lasley knowing this thought if he could hold the robber in the house and Glass the one on the porch, they could with the assistance of the others capture both. So he caught hold of the one in the room, but Glass instead of doing the same with his man rushed in to the assistance of Lasley when the robber on the porch drew his pistol and shot him in the back, killing him instantly; he then walking in to where Lasley was still struggling with the other robber, placed the pistol to his head and killed him. Then one of the men in the other room a brother of Lasley, Jim Lasley, opened the door and fired on the robbers without injuring either one, closed the door, repeating this three times, when one of the robbers shot him, the ball striking him in the chin and ranging around to the back of the neck. Then the robbers left, without getting the money. The doctors state that Jim Lasley has a chance for recovery. Mr. Comstock states that the people are much aroused over the late robberies and outlawry committed in that neighborhood and every home is prepared for an attack. The country for twenty miles around affords excellent hiding places for outlaws. Lasley was a preacher.
February 22, 1896
City Marshal Houck returned Sunday from the northwestern part of the county and the Territory along its border, where he had been on the search of the parties who committed the triple murder in the Indian Territory, west of Uniontown. While up there Marshal Houck fell in with the Sheriff of Sequoyah District, who had fifty men with him and for two days they made a thorough search of the country without success. The parties arrested two weeks ago helped to plan the hold-up but they are not the principals in the case. The names of the latter are, however, known and they are said to be the same parties that robbed Tom Comstock some time ago. The country where they are hiding is very mountainous and the people living there who are not friendly with the outlaws are afraid to give the officers any information for fear of being waylaid by the friends of the outlaws. This makes it very hard for the officers to get on their trail.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1896 Fran Alverson Warren Vol. 4, 2001,
p.19 8 Jan 1896 A reward of $400 has been subscribed for the arrest and conviction of the parties who robbed Tom Comstock, near Uniontown, last fall. It is to be hoped the outlaws may be captured and punished.
p.24 5 Feb 1896 MURDER and ROBBERY
Two murders were committed in the Territory 10 miles from Uniontown last week, growing out of an attempt at robbery. Two men help up Mack Glass, known to have been the possessor of some $200. Upon the plea that he did not have the money about his person, but that it was at the house of Lacy Lasley, the robbers compelled him to accompany them to Lasley's home. Here the robbers met with resistance, as a result of which Mack Glass & Lacy Lasley are now dead, while Jim Lasley is very low with a bullet in his throat. The robbers escaped, but only secured 75 cents, Glass' money hid about his person not being discovered. From the given [account] of the robbers, it is believed they are the same parties who robbed Tom Comstock some time ago at Barcelona.
p.47 24 Jun 1896 Lloyd Johns, who was arrested in the Territory last week by Deputy Sheriff R. B. Winfrey and City Marshal F. D. Houck, charged with the robbing of Tom Comstock at Barcelona, was on Sunday last, turned over to the U.S. Marshal of the Paris, Texas, District, for trial in that court for two murders committed in the Indian Territory. The evidence against Johns in these cases is said to be very strong. The officer left Sunday with his prisoner for Paris, Texas.
We learn the George Johns, Lloyd's brother, who had been convicted and sentenced by the Paris Court to five years in the penitentiary for robbery, has been indicted as an accomplice in one of these murders, and will also be tried at the same time.

1900 Census. Clinden is living at home with his parent and 3 men listed as "servants". Trentham Jakes, Eli McFarland, and Charles Kitchen.
Union Twp, Crawford, AR, ED 57, Hh 121
Tom Comstock, b. Dec 1838, age 61, married 41 years, b. TN, parents b. KY, farmer
Maranda J., wife, b. Jun 1844, age 55, 7 children - 5 are living, b. AR, father b. KY, mother b. MO
Clinden, son, b. Feb 1873, age 27, b. AR, Farm labor

VAN BUREN ARGUS; May 11, 1904
CAUGHT A BAD INJUN From Thursday’s Daily Yesterday afternoon Constable Will Smith captured Sandford McKinney, a Cherokee Indian, on the Comstock Farm near Uniontown and turned him over to Deputy United States Marshal T B Johnson, who took him to Vinita, Indian Territory, to answer to the charge of murder.
Besides being wanted for murder, McKinney is wanted at South McAlester, Muskogee, Poteau, Fort Smith and Van Buren for forgery- obtaining goods under false pretense. He is also wanted at Muskogee for bigamy, as he is known to have three wives, one of whom is said to be living in Van Buren. Mckinney, what at least a half blood Cherokee, is one of the cleverest that ever operated in the Indian Territory or this part of Arkansas. He had a number of check books from different banks but never drew a check on a bank in the town in which he operated. His plan was to buy something and give a check for more than the amount of his purchase, this getting the goods and a few additional dollars. The fact that the Indian is looked upon as being proverbially honest and too unsophisticated in ways that are dark made his work easy.
Constable Smith found the half-breed at work in a cornfield for Mr. Comstock. With his pistol concealed and carrying a fishing pole in his hand, Mr. Smith approached McKinney, who looked upon him unsuspiciously. The officer engaged one of the Comstock boys in conversation until McKinney resumed his work when Will dropped his pole, drew his gun and made the Indian throw up his hands, and then called officer Johnson from his hiding place who quickly handcuffed McKinney without further trouble.

1 Jun 1904 From Tuesday's Daily: Uncle Tom Comstock, of Uniontown, was in the city yesterday evening and made the Argus office a very pleasant call. Mr. Comstock had walked the entire distance from Uniontown, 17 miles, driving 17 head of hogs to Van Buren markets, having started on his long tiresome trip a daybreak, reaching here before 6 PM.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1905 Fran Alverson Warren, p.1-2.
6 May 1905 Asks For Pardon" ....ask for a pardon for Lloyd Johns ...sent up from the Federal Courts in Paris, Texas, in 1895 for life, for the killing of a man. ...Johns was mixed up with the robbing of Uncle Tom Comstock at his home west of Uniontown and is reported to have been wounded in an attempted robbery at the home of Judge Lasley west of Uniontown, when the gang killed three men.

1910 Census. Thomas Comstock, age 71, married 50 years. Born in TN. Maranda, age 67, 9 children, 5 living. [There were actually 6 living children in 1910.]

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1911 Compiled by Fran Alverson Warren, p.23
5 Aug 1911. Hon. Tom Comstock, of Uniontown, passed through Van Buren on his way to Fort Smith Wednesday. Mrs. Comstock is in the hospital there and he goes to look after her situation.

Letter from granddaughter Lula Bertha (Jones) Pauley to Marlene Jones, [about 1971] stated the following.
"Your great-great grandfather was Richard Jones and his wifes name was Poindexter. ... They lived in Newburg, Missouri. He had a general store and a mill in Newburg and a farm. ... He was a Baptist minister and had three sons and town daughters that I heard my father speak of..... Grandfather and Grandmother both passed on when my father was a little boy and his oldest sister, took him and his youngest sister to raise. She married Uncle Murphy Brown.... Her husband had been dead a long time when I seen her ....She was a widow and lived at Rocky Comfort, McDonald Co MO. I never remember her speaking of but one girl of hers. She married Tom Comstock, part Indian, and a wealthy man."

The story has long existed that Tom Comstock had Indian blood. When I began researching, I soon discovered this seemed unlikely. DNA tests for racial characteristics indicate that I am 100% European and there is no basis for this family tradition. I suspect Tom himself was responsible for the "Indian tradition"

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1917 Fran Alverson Warren, p.39-40
11 May 1917
Hon. Thomas Comstock died at his home near Uniontown on Sunday afternoon [April 29th] and on Monday was buried in the old home cemetery. The deceased was 79 years of age and had resided in Crawford County for nearly 50 years.
He served in the Confederate Army under Gen. Joe Shelby and before the close of the war was assigned to Indian Special Services and mustered out of service at a point in then Indian Territory. In 1882 he was elected a member of the Arkansas Legislature and it is said done more for Crawford County than any member every elected.

Tom is buried in the Comstock Cemetery is on the original homestead near Barcelona in Crawford County AR. Marker reads "His many Virtues form the noblest monument to his memory"

The papers accompanying his file in the manuscript collection of John A. Comstock, have a note: March, 1934, S.W.C. The facts on the family had obviously come from Samuel Willett Comstock who spent many years gathering Comstock data.



Harvey Alexander COMSTOCK218,219,220 was born in 1841 in Tennessee.49,219,221 He served in the military in 1862 at Company D, 3rd Regt Missouri Cavalry in Civil War. He died in 1882 at the age of 41 in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.

1860 McDonald Co MO census gives place of birth as Tennessee; 1870 Crawford Co AR says Missouri. I believe Tennessee is correct.

1860 McDonald Co MO Census - he is living with his oldest sister Caroline and her husband William R. Randell. In both the 1860 and 1850 Censuses his name appears to be Harvey. I suspect the tradition that is name was Harry is wrong and he was actually Harvey.
A Harvey Comstock also enlisted in the MO 6th Cavalry, Company D, along with Thomas Comstock.

National Archives Records show that Harvey Comstock, Pvt, Company D of the 3rd Regt Missouri Cavalry was on the Company Muster Roll Sept 18 - Dec 31, 1862. He had enlisted 12 Sept 1862 at Newton Co MO by Capt. McMahan for 3 years or the war. He was present; he was not paid. He was also listed on the Muster Roll for Jany & Feby 1863. But was Absent - Missing on picket Jan 11, 1863. Note on final Card states that H. Comstock of Co. D, Thompson's Regt, Cavalry [one of the alternate names for the same Regt] was "absent without leave - left command Jan 11, near Hartsville, MO. This was the same unit in which his brother Tom had enlisted on the same time - Tom left in November of 1862.

In 1870 the family lived in Crawford Co AR. Name appears to be "Henry" in this Census, although this enumerator had difficulty with names.

1880. Harvey was in Cooke Co, Texas, p.325B of the census. Age 39, b. Tennessee, both parents born in Kentucky. Eliza his wife, age 35, b. KY as were both parents. Cordelia age 10 born in Missouri, Lee 8 and Alonzo 6, both born in Texas.

If you wish to follow the children of Ephraim F. H. Comstock in the Comstock file, go here . You will be leaving this file.