Henry Cobb,

Elder of the Barnstable, Massachusetts line of Cobb families.

Henry Cobb was our first known Cobb ancestor to emigrate from England to Massachusetts (New England).

Philip L. Cobb, of Cleveland, Ohio, was a Boston-line descendant and author of "A History of The Cobb Family": (Barnstable Family) Part I (1907), Part II (1914) and Part III (1915); and the known Boston line [Part IV (1923)]. He was the researcher and compiler of the history of that Cobb book [but he did not write on the Taunton, Mass. line, which was mentioned in his intro to known lines of the Cobb families]Thanks is given to him and his book, its publishers and those libraries that have it on hand.

Further genealogical information on this Cobb line (Barnstable, Mass.) can be found in "History and Genealogy of the Cobb Family in New England "[aka the "Cobb Genealogy"] authored by Isaac Cobb (1825 - 1890). Probably done after 1850 to 1890 with editing (transcription) done by Miriam Dorr Cobb (1979). This particular work had been typed in two volumes with a separate index and errata added. It exists in the Maine Historical Society of Portland, Maine; { http://www.mainehistory.org/ } which has the rights to the work (and some other Isaac Cobb material) and elsewhere. It was cited in the "Maine Families before 1790" series. It was written separately and before Philip L. Cobb's book, "History of the Cobb Family" volumes. It has material complementing as well as being in addition to, Philip L. Cobb's volumes (not being cited, he probably did not have access to the work of Isaac Cobb).


Caution is advised to use the following genealogy, as it is has much based in those two and other printed genealogies. Use this as a guide only as there are some mistakes in both Philip L. Cobb's "History of the Cobb Family" volumes and Isaac Cobb's "Cobb Genealogy". Both books should not be thought of as being totally correct, although town records were used besides contemporary descendants. Even so, there are mistakes and while trying to be as correct as possible, those mistakes may be found here and noted or may be fixed; other sources or records can correct more of the data. As this is a large project and not one of a direct family tree, some sources used or found may not be as accurate as wanted. Consider any data by the sources available and verify yourself if applicable to your line. Always the original record(s) should be used if possible. This is a guide to the Barnstable line and not definitive in all aspects.


Philip L. Cobb's "History of the Cobb Family " volumes started this Barnstable line database. Much of the "Cobb Genealogy" has not been entered here so far (August 2005 version); if possible, more may be in the next "Cobb & Cobbs" update.

Any updated info or documented corrections are welcome as well as comment or questions concerning the genealogy. Thanks for your attention to this line and please view the rest of the "Cobb & Cobbs" site.


Introduction to Henry Cobb:

The following comes from Philip L. Cobb's introduction to this Barnstable line (Part I): "Among the early settlers at Plymouth was Henry Cobb, the ancestor of many of the family. Just when he came is not recorded, but his name appears in the Colony Records on a list of "Ratings by order of court, 2d Jan. 1632-3," with the amount of his tax, nine shillings. His name is also among "The names of the Freemen of the Incorporation of Plymoth in New England, An: 1633." In after years his name appears frequently on the records, giving us a clear idea of what his position and standing in the Colony was."

"He doubtless had been a member of Rev. John Lothrop's church in England, as we gather from what Mr. Lothrop wrote in his Church Records. So that when Mr. Lothrop came to this country, Henry Cobb was among the very first who came to his support and joined him in the planting and establishing of a new town and church."

The records of Rev. John Lothrop, a Puritan preacher who emigrated from London in 1634, after having been imprisoned there, provides details on the history of the time and Henry Cobb's place in the church and the Colony.

"Decemb. 15, 1635, our Brother Cobb was invested into the Office of a Deacon."

When it was proposed that the church remove to Sippican, now Rochester, Dea. Cobb was one of the committee to whom the Colony Court in 1638 granted the lands for a township. When it was afterwards decided to remove to Mattakeese, later called Barnstable, he was a member of the committee having charge, or the selecting, of a suitable location for the settlement.


The following part is given reference by "Barnstable Families, Otis":

"Deacon Cobb's house lot in Barnstable containing seven acres, was situate at a little distance north from the present Unitarian Meeting House, between the lots of Thomas Huckins* on the north and Roger Goodspeed on the south, extending from George Lewis' meadow on the "Old Mill Way" on the east. This tract of land is uneven and a large portion was originally a swamp. It was not one of the most desirable lots the settlement.

His other lands were the neck of land and the meadows adjoining, where Cobb & Smith's wharf and stores are now situate, bounded southerly by Lewis Hill and John Davis' marsh and on the other sides by the surrounding creeks. His Great Lot, containing three score acres, was situate on the south side of the County road, between the present dwelling houses of Joseph Cobb and James Otis. It was bounded in 1654 easterly by the lands of Henry Taylor and Joshua Lumbard, southerly by the commons, westerly partly by the commons and partly by Goodman Foxwell's land, and northerly by the highway and Henry Taylor's land. Two lots of six acres each in the Common Field."


"Deacon Cobb's house lot was rough and uneven, and not desirable land for cultivation. His Great Lot had some good soil. It was a good grazing farm, and as the raising of cattle was the principle business of the first settlers, his lands were probably selected with reference to that object. His two lots in the new Common Field had a rich soil, and were occupied as planting lands.

He appears to have built two houses on his home lot."


* [Thomas Huckins was later chosen by Jonathan Cobb as his guardian after the death of his father and this was approved by Mr. Huckins and the Court.]

[More can be found in the Cobb's "History".]


In Barnstable he was active and useful in promoting the temporal, and in ministering to the spiritual wants of the first settlers. He was a town officer, a member of the most important town committees, and a deputy to the Colony Court in 1645, 1647, 1659, 1660 and 1661. On the 14th of April, 1670, he was chosen and ordained a ruling elder of the church in Barnstable, an office which he held until his death in 1679.


"In the government of his town and Colony Henry Cobb took a modest, yet not unimportant, part. For many years he represented Barnstable at the General Court at Plymouth. There were two deputies from the town. ... There can be no question but he was a man of standing and importance, valued and respected by his associates."


Elder Henry Cobb married in 1631, Patience, daughter of Dea. James Hurst, of Plymouth. She was "buryed May 4, 1648, the first that was buryed in our new burying place by our meeting house." (Lothrop's Church Rec.) He was married to his second wife, Sarah, sister of Governor Thomas Hinckley and a daughter of Samuel and Sarah Hinckley by Mr. Prince, December 12, 1649. He died in 1679, and his wife Sarah survived him.

The precise date of his death is not known, "but he had lived in the Colony forty-seven years or more."


A plain simple granite shaft about six feet in height from the base, on the front of which has been engraved the following inscription to his memory: ELDER HENRY COBB THE ANCESTOR OF THE COBB FAMILY, IN BARNSTABLE. DIED IN 1679 --- ERECTED BY ENOCH T. COBB, A DESCENDANT IN 1871. (Barnstable, Old Cemetery aka Lothrop Hill Cemetery)


Henry Cobb Monument

In his will dated 4 April 1673, proved before the court at Plymouth on 3 June 1679, and in the Codicil thereto dated 22 February 1678, he gave his "Great Lott of Land in Barnstable" to his son James; the latter paying Elder Cobb's son John 5 pounds for his interest therein. Names his sons John, James, Gershom and Eliezer, to whom he had theretofore given "half my Lands at Suconeesset", gave his "new dwelling house" and all the rest of his "Lands both upland and meadow" to his wife Sarah. In his will he gave his dwelling house after the decease of his wife to his son Samuel; but in the codicil to his son Henry. He also named his son Jonathan and daughters Mary, Hannah, Patience and Sarah.


The various trails of his descendants begin here.

Closeup of Henry Cobb Monument















NOTE: DNA and Cobb Ancestry

Within the magazine "New England Ancestors", Winter 2005, pg. 43 - 44, in the article "Cobb Family Genetics: A Case Study Using DNA" by Hubert F. Cobb, a DNA study found Henry Cobb (who married Jemima Morse, moving his family south to North Carolina) has been confirmed to be a descendant of Henry Cobb, Elder of the Barnstable line. The conclusion reached is that there are seven known, unrelated, lines that exist of the Cobb immigrations to America.

When Philip L. Cobb wrote his book in 1907, he knew of four lines of immigration: three to Massachusetts and one to Virginia.

Some Other COBB Line Notes

Henry Cobb's arrival here was the first of three unrelated Cobb lines that removed from England to Massachusetts before 1686.

(1) The Barnstable line from Henry Cobb was first, coming to New England before 1633; being shortly in Plymouth (1632) and Scituate, Mass. (1633) and then settling in Barnstable (on Cape Cod), Mass. (1639). This line had some movement to the other New England states (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), to the South (Carolina's) and also to New York and westward.

(2) Following that immigration were those of John Cobb and his nephews, Augustine Cobb and Edward Cobb, to the Taunton, Mass. area about 1651 and later. This line had movement to New Jersey (also southward with Clisby Cobb), north to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. (This Taunton line is found elsewhere on the "Cobb & Cobbs" website.)

(3) Later Thomas Cobb, with his wife and their son, came to Boston, Mass. at the end of July 1685. Thomas Cobb is the elder of the Boston line. This family 's descendants moved elsewhere, first within Mass., such as Abington, Hingham, Truro (on Cape Cod) and Cummington in western Mass. and then westward, including Cleveland, Ohio. (This Boston line is also found separately on this "Cobb & Cobbs" website.)



(A) Henry's son John Cobb (b. 1632) has been confused in some early books and elsewhere with John Cobb of Taunton, Mass.

John, son of Henry, was mistakenly given, as his second wife, Jane (Godfrey) Woodward [who was actually the second spouse of John Cobb (of Taunton)], in error, along with his children, sometimes. John Cobb (son of Henry) had only one spouse.


(B) Further, Edward Cobb of Taunton (John's nephew) has been found elsewhere as one of Henry Cobb's sons, also incorrect. As Taunton was then in the Plymouth Colony and records for Taunton were in the Plymouth Colony Records, there are some early birth records for those Cobb of Taunton, Mass., like Augustine [Austin] Cobb's family (Edward's brother) and marriages, such as Edward Cobb's.

Edward Cobb (1636-1675) was not related to Henry Cobb, but was related only to John Cobb of England and then Taunton, Mass.


(C) As Taunton's Cobb line was not written then [and still not documented, but available in part online] while only the Barnstable and Boston lines have been done (to an extent), those mistakes still continue. However, this and the other lines of the Cobb families on this website should help correct the record for each line.

Mistakes or typographical or transcription errors may happen even in very good genealogies (as used here) but corrections and additions are welcome and encouraged.

Please USE THIS AS A GUIDE ONLY, this is a large project that is extensive but not complete.




Philip L. Cobb's "History" used primary and secondary records and personal family info from those living then, as does Isaac Cobb's

"Cobb Genealogy". However, both have errors or were incomplete. Philip L. Cobb's "History" may be more complete on the early Cape Cod families by town records. The "Cobb Genealogy" is more complete on the Maine families. However, the transcript of the "Cobb Genealogy" particularly has typo's, differences in dates and some errors, so if there is any data issue, let me know. Some personal data has both sources but other records, genealogies, gravestones, etc. help complement that data. Your help is needed to make this work as a whole Cobb family work.



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