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Henry Cobb

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Elder Henry "the elder" Cobb
Born about in Kent, England [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about in Barnstable, Massachusetts [uncertain]
Husband of — married in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Died in Barnstable, Barnstable County, MA, USA
This page has been accessed 2,111 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
This person migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the Puritan Great Migration Project!


Disputed Origins

Following wikitree standards when origins are not yet proven (or in this case, disproven), the parent fields should be left blank. Therefore, Henry Cobb and Pleasance Reddwood have been detached as father. Nally-4 20:27, 2 July 2014 (EDT). Similarly the specific birth date of January 8, 1596 has also been removed.

The Rev. Royston W Cole, Vicar of Reculver and Herne Bay, Kent, Jul 1936 wrote to Oliver Ellsworth Cobb:

"The following appears in the old register of St Mary's Church, Reculver:
Anderson, son of Henry Cobb, Baptized 24th of May, 1612.
Henry, son of Henry Cobb, was Baptized 2nd day of May, 1615, etc."
NOTE: A 1615 birth would be too young for the Henry Cobb of Barnstable.

Oliver noted in his book[citation needed] that this Henry, baptized in 1615, may be the one who came to America. [Placing him as age 14 if he came over in 1629.]

In 1985, John E. Cobb proposed:

"It is very probable that immigrants Henry Cobb of Plymouth and Ambrose Cobb of the Virginia Colony were of the same Kent Family, i.e., they shared a common progenitor in John Cobb, Esquire (b. ca 1300) of Cobb’s Court, Romney, Kent."[1]

The DNA analysis disproving the relatedness between Henry Cobb of Barnstable and Ambrose Cobb of Virginia is described in more detail by Hubert F. Cobb in 2005.[2]

In addition, "in 1999, I [Hubert F. Cobb? see below] proved with wills that Elder Henry Cobb was not the son of Henry Cobb of Reculver, Co. Kent. With the data from the Cobb DNA project we now know that Henry Cobb and Ambrose Cobb are not related. Ambrose is a descendant of the Reculver Cobb’s. The DNA project also shows there are two distinct Cobb lines in Kent (maybe more)."

The following is excerpted from a "write-up" done by Cobb research Hubert F. Cobb, published [sic; this work, unfortunately, does not appear to have been published] in an attempt to help eliminate mis-information about Henry Cobb "The Elder" highlights of which include:[3] Hubert F Cobb, Cobb (Hubert) Family Records, (Apr 2007)., 66 Campbell Shore, Road, Gray, ME 04039; private collection of Larry Chesebro'

"Savage the historian says Henry 'had been of Plymouth about 1629'. This is supported by the church records that say several persons arrived in 1629, some of whom had been in Mr Laythrops (Lothrop) Church in England. Most of us know of the close association Henry [Cobb] had with Rev. Lothrop, both here and in England."
"In Nathaniel Morton’s "History of the Plymouth Church 1620-1680" is the following paragraph discussing streghtening (sic) the colony with a new group of immigrants:
"In Anno 1629 a Considerable Number of the bretheren of the Church which were le[ft] in Holland were Transported ouer to vs that were of the Church in New England which although it was att About 500lb charge yet it was bourne Chearfully by the poor bretheren heer Concerned in It; alsoe about that time seuerall Godly prsons; some wherof had bin of mr Laythrops Church in England and others alsoe Came to vs out of England; so wee becaime through the Goodnes of God pretty Numerous and were in the best estate Respecting the Church that wee had as yet bine in New England." (Also see NEHGS New England Ancestors, Fall 2003, Vol 4, No. 4, pg. 28).
"The fact that Dean[e] in his history of Scituate says he was one of the "men of Kent" and that Rev. John Lothrop preached in Kent plus his association with other men of Kent seems to indicate that he probably was from Kent."
In a book Early English Dissenters by Champlin Burrage is the following which is also interesting:
"After Jacobs departure the congregation managed as best it could without a pastor until about 1624, when John Lathrop, who had formerly been a Puritan preacher at Cheriton in Kent [just outside Folkestone and about 8 or 9 miles from Romney Marsh or Cobb’s Court], and who evidently was still an Independent Puritan, joined the church. He was chosen pastor in 1625."
"Did Elder Henry meet the Rev. in Cheriton and live somewhere around that area? We now have three areas where they could have met, Egerton, Cheriton or Southwark."

Two pedigrees of the Cobb line in Kent have been very helpful in sorting out the families as has Hasted's History of Kent. The two pedigrees are:

  • "The Pedigrees of the families in the County of Kent" by William Berry, London, 1830,
  • The Cobb Pedigree at the College of Arms by Ralphe Brooke, York Herald, 1607 [sic]. Chris Cobb of the Cobb DNA project points out Ralphe Brooke was quite a scoundrel and may have made up part of the pedigree.
  • Canterbury Cathedral has another Cobb pedigree.


Henry apparently was brought up in the Church of England, and in his young manhood, because of the wrongs tolerated in that Church, broke away from the Establishment and joined the Pilgrims. He is said to have united with a Congregational Church in London, of which the Rev. John LOTHROPP, Sr, The Pioneer, was then pastor. [citation needed]

Henry probably came to America in "The Anne" in 1629.[4]

He married first by 1632, Patience Hurst (birth of first child 7 Jun 1632).[5]

He moved to Scituate, MA, in 1633, and from there to Barnstable, MA, in 1639.

He was Deacon or Ruling Elder in Scituate and Barnstable for 34 years. He also held various civil offices, among them the Deputy to the General Court of the Colony for several years. Henry and his 2 wives had 16 children, 3 born in Plymouth, 2 in Scituate and 11 in Barnstable.

On 8 January 1634/5, he was listed as member #7 at the founding of Scituate Church.

On 5 Jun 1644, he was licensed to draw wine-- i.e., he was a tavern keeper.

He married second Sarah Hinckley 12 DEC 1649 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts.[6]

He is buried at the Old Barnstable Cemetery/ Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

Enoch Taylor Cobb, Henry's 3rd great-grandson, erected a stone to the memory of Henry in the old Barnstable Cemetery in 1871 with the following inscription:

DIED IN 1679
IN 1871.

Last Will & Testament

His will was written 04 Apr 1673, codicil 22 Feb 1678, proved June 3, 1679, Plymouth Colony.

Henry's will names sons John, James, Gershom and Eleazer to whom he had previously given "half my Lands at Suconeesset. Also named were son Jonathon and daughters Mary, Hannah, Patience and Sarah. The will includes "Great Lott of Land in Barnstable" to his son James who paid his older brother 5£ for his interest, to his wife Sarah "new dwelling house" and the remainder of his "Lands both upland and meadow." The original will gave the "dwelling house" to his son Samuel upon the death of Sarah but the codicil changed the recipient to be his son Henry.


  1. Col. John E. Cobb, "Cobb Chronicles: an overview of the clan (may have to view only from LDS centers)," Alexandria, VA: Durant Publishers 1985, p 26
  2. Hubert F Cobb, "Cobb Family Genetics: A Case Study in Using DNA," in New England Ancestors, Boston, MA: NEHGS, Winter 2005, Vol 6, Number 1, pp 43-44. This article confirms that Henry Cobb of Barnstable is not related to Ambrose Cobb of Virginia, previously thought to be brothers.
  3. Hubert F. Cobb, "Elder Henry Cobb of Plymouth, Scituate and Barnstable, MA," 66 Campbell Shore Rd., Gray, ME 04039 (2004); private collection of Larry Chesebro'
  4. New England Ancestors, Boston, MA: NEHGS; Fall 2003, Vol 4, No. 4, pg. 28.
  5. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins, The, NEHGS, Boston, (1995), Vol 1, pages 392-395; specifically p. 394, citing will of James Hurst and NEHGR 9:281 and PCR 8:42
  6. Anderson (1995), citing NEHGR 9:281 and PCR 8:42.

See also:

  • Cully A. Cobb, The Cobbs of Tennessee, Atlanta, GA: Ruralist Press, Inc. (1968). Mrs. Ethel M. A. Curtis of La Verne, CA is the one that made the connection of Ambrose Cobb to Kent and Cully hired Mr. Arthur J. Willis to prove the connection into the Cobb family in Kent. This Ambrose Cobb that was the emigrant was the son of Ambrose Shown on page 151 of Berry’s Cobb Pedigree of Co. Kent. NOTE: subsequent DNA analysis proved that Henry Cobb of Massachusetts was not related to this Ambrose Cobb.
  • Duane Philips Cobb, "The "Blacksmith Cobbs of Corfe Castle, Dorset, England" 1981. This is part of the Taunton, MA Cobb line.
  • Isaac Cobb (1825-1890), "Early History and Genealogy of the Cobb Family in New England," unpublished genealogy of Elder Henry Cob’s descendants; the original is at the Maine Historical Society in Portland, ME. There are copies at several libraries’ in New England.
  • Hubert F Cobb, Cobb (Hubert) Family Records, (Apr 2007)., 66 Campbell Shore, Road, Gray, ME 04039; private collection of Larry Chesebro'
  • Oliver Ellsworth Cobb, The Cobbs of Stonington, Their Antecedents and Descendants with Allied Families, (1885, revised by Henry Evertson Cobb 1934), pages 1 - 10.
  • Philip L. Cobb, A History of the Cobb Family, Cleveland, OH (1907). This book was not completed as he died before it was published. Missing information may be in his manuscript files at Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH. It has a lot of information on Henry Cobb and his descendants and most seems quite good. He also has a genealogy on Thomas Cobb of Boston, MA. This was Philip’s line.
  • Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1831, Boston: J. Loring (1831)
  • Rev. John Lothrop, Church Records in Scituate and Barnstable, MA. He was at first a pastor of the established Church of England at Egerton, Co. Kent. Where is this source?
  • [ Scituate, Massachusetts: Second church records, Boston, MA:Wilford J. Litchfield (1909)
  • Amos Otis, of Yarmouth, MA- historical papers published in the Barnstable Patriot
  • Susan E. Roser, Early Descendants of Henry Cobb of Barnstable, MA, Markham, ON, Canada: Stewart Publishing and Printing, 2008.
  • Richard Anson Wheeler, History of Stonington, Connecticut, 1649 - 1900, New London, CT, USA: Press of The Day Publishing Company (1900), page 429.


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On August 4, 2014 at 15:40GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Thank you, Becky! I went ahead and incorporated that into the narrative; should anyone else have any source citations for the information in this profile, please feel free to add it directly to the narrative. Thanks!

On August 4, 2014 at 15:12GMT Becky Syphers wrote:

For marriages Henry Cobb, see GMB Vol I p. 394. 1)by 1632, married Patience Hurst (birth of first child 7 June, 1632), citing will of James Hurst and NEHGR 9:281 and PCR 8:42. 2) Sarah Hinckley Dec. 12, 1649. Citations: NEHGR 9:281 and PCR 8:42.

On August 4, 2014 at 11:06GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Please do not attach parents without first discussing. Thanks.

On August 3, 2014 at 20:12GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Profile cleaned up to align with wikitree style standards. Actually, I think the Disputed Origins section is still too long, but without having something to link to (Hubert Cobb's work), I've left his details in for the time being.

On July 8, 2014 at 03:46GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

For future reference, Larry Chesebro's own profile of Henry Cobb is here:

On July 3, 2014 at 00:20GMT Becky Syphers wrote:

When we do not have agreement on the identity of the parents, WikiTree policy is to leave the parents' field at the top of the profile empty, and discuss the possible parents in the bio section.

On July 2, 2014 at 22:07GMT Morag M wrote:

Susan Roser states that having his father as Henry Cobb is unproven . Can wed elite what John Rounds has added? He seems to have no references for the change he made. Morag M-547

On June 15, 2014 at 18:17GMT Morag M wrote:

Susan Roser agrees he was born in Kent but estimates his birth date at ca 1605-1610 because of the birthdates of his first and last child. neither Mehitable nor Ephraim/Experience are mentioned in his 1673 will. Aunt Mehitable is mentioned in the 1742 will of her brother Samuel's son, Thomas Cobb.

On May 31, 2014 at 11:34GMT Becky Syphers wrote:

Nickname for Henry Cobb "the elder" meaning there were two men named Henry Cobb living in the same area. This one was older.

On May 31, 2014 at 11:30GMT Becky Syphers wrote:

Titles for Henry Cobb:

Elder is appropriate. It is a church title. In the 1600's in the independent churches, "Elders" were elected by congregational vote. Not the same as Rev., which implies ordination.

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