New York, USA
|Death: ||Sep., 1860|
Abraham Coombs, the son and fifth child of Samuel Coombs and Margaret Langdon, was born about 1805 in the southwestern section of the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York in the village of Rockville Centre.
His father Samuel Coombs had also been born in Hempstead on June 6, 1779 as well as his mother, Margaret Langdon, who was born at Rockville Centre on September 31, 1788.
Samuel and Margaret were the parents of ten children, five girls and five boys, all of whom were also born at Rockville Centre.
Abraham was also a Mayflower descendant. On November 11, 1621, as the ship lay anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor at the northern tip of Cape Cod Abraham's 6th great-grandfather Digory Priest, along with 40 others, signed the Mayflower Compact.
Priest died early in the first winter, on January 1, 1621 of the "general sickness" while on board the Mayflower as it lay anchored in the harbor at Plymouth Rock. He was about 42 years of age. He was probably buried in Coles Hill Burial Ground in Plymouth, in an unmarked grave, as was the custom that first winter. His name, along with the others, who died in the winter of 1620-21, is now memorialized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb located on Coles Hill in Plymouth.
Not much is known of Abraham's early life in Rockville Centre. He perhaps, according to some records, married a woman named Anna Marie Murry in about 1831 and she became the mother of his first four children, Katherine, Abraham, Sarah Ann and Margaret. Then, due to Anna's death or perhaps other reasons the marriage ended around 1838.
His oldest daughter, Katherine remained with him when he met and married Olive Olivia Curtis in 1838.
Olive, the daughter and 7th child of Matthew Curtis and Betsey White, was born at Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut on August 16, 1819. Her father, the son of Reuben Curtis and Silence Allen, had been born also at Danbury on September 9, 1784. The Curtis family were among the original settlers of Connecticut. And both of her mother's parents, Larr White and Betsey Meggott, were also natives of Danbury.
Olive's parents and siblings moved to New York City and it is possible that she met and married Abraham while he was attending school in 1838.
On September 17, 1840 Olive gave birth to their first son Charles Marion and in 1842, while perhaps attending school in New York, she gave birth to their first daughter, whom they named Helen Mars.
Olive was, without doubt, a brilliant student and had even, according to one report, mastered the ability to speak several languages. It was while she attending school that she became acquainted with L.D.S. Apostle Parley P. Pratt and his companion, Erastus Snow who were missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Olive and Abraham soon became convinced of the message of the Restoration and were baptized as members of the L.D.S. (Mormon) Church. Later, on November 8, 1845 they gathered together with other members of the Church in a conference at the American Hall in New York City. During the proceedings Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered an impassioned plea for the Saints to "flee Babylon, either by land or sea" and gather to Zion. The Saints of Nauvoo were at that time already preparing a mass exodus to the West and Pratt announced that Samuel Brannan would also lead another company by sea from New York City, around Cape Horn to upper California.
The Coombs decided to join the gathering to the new Zion in the West and began selling their belonging to raise the money needed for passage. Seventy-five dollars for adults and half for children.
Brannan had rented the Ship Brooklyn for $1200 per month plus expenses, and he and Captain Abel W. Richardson were hoping to catch the end of the Cape Horn summer. On Wednesday, February 4, 1846 the journey began and along with seventy men and about sixty women and 100 children the Coombs boarded the Ship Brooklyn. Then, after a long and strenuous voyage the Ship Brooklyn sailed into the San Francisco Bay.
The Coombs settled for a while to a saw mill in Redwood Canyon, north of San Francisco. While there they welcomed their third child, Emily born August 27, 1849 and fourth child, Jane Arabella born on December 28, 1851. Abraham also ran the Semples Ferry on Carquinez Straight near San Francisco. He, being, a farmer by trade, also lived with his family on a ranch in Napa, California.
L.D.S. apostles, Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich later visited were they resided seeking funds to purchase a ranch in southern California. Many of the former Ship Brooklyn Saints had decided to make San Bernardino their home and Abraham agreed that being a farmer and a rancher less strenuous than that of the lumber business. So, once again, at the call of their church leaders, Olive and Abraham moved again. Due to the Gold Rush and the increase in construction in the Bay area he lumber business had been profitable and Abraham and he was able to purchase land in Napa, Fresno and Kern counties prior to the move to San Bernardino. Before going south however they visited Catherine and her family and decided to leave Charles and Helen there to attend school in Napa.
After residing in San Bernardino for a time they again answered the call of their Church leader to relocate to Utah. He sent Olivia and his four daughters to Utah by the safer northern route while he, with the family possessions, traveled the southern route.
Abraham "purchased about forty head of purebred animals which he planned to use as breeding stock. Also, he filled one of his wagons with cuttings of fruit trees, seeds and starts for a variety of berry plants. He hired some drovers and wagon drivers and took the southern route to Utah. He sent his wife and four young daughters on the northern route to Utah. They planned to farm in southern Utah... It is known that Abraham was in the Ephraim Hanks Company from other sources and that cattle were driven from Southern California to Southern Utah along with many wagons full of household goods, seed, fruit tree cuttings, farm machinery, tools from San Bernardino to the Beaver area in southern Utah Territory taking the route across the Mojave desert and the Big Muddy River" (Clayton Wray, The Story of Abraham and Olive Olivia Coombs).
Abraham sadly contracted pneumonia and died near Beaver, Beaver County, Utah in September of 1860 and was buried in an unmarked grave. The family's possessions, which included $6,000 to $8,000 in gold, were considered, according to law, abandoned and were divided among his fellow travelers.
His wife, Olive, would later be brutally murdered by George Wood (1822-1908) on July 28th of 1862 in Cedar City, Utah.
Olive Olivia Curtis Coombs Higby (1819 - 1862)*
Katherine Coombs Briggs (1832 - 1858)*
Charles Marion Coombs (1840 - 1913)*
Helen Mar Coombs Clayton (1842 - 1910)*
Elvira Coombs Branch (1857 - 1928)*
Specifically: Buried in an unmarked grave in a meadow near Beaver, Utah
Created by: Carl W. McBrayer
Record added: Jun 11, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19844025