Capt. Andrew Newcomb Sr

Capt Andrew NEWCOMB Sr. (1618 – 1686) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

Andrew Newcombe – Coat of Arms

Capt Andrew Newcomb was born about 1616 or 1618 in Tormoham, Torbay, Devon, England. His first married Susan COCK.  Susan died in England and he emigrated with his children.  (It is possible that Andrew Jr. was a nephew instead of a son, see discussion below) Some sources say he was a Sea Captain who first arrived in Barbados and from there removed to Virginia.   He married  second Grace [__?__] Ricks in 1663 in Boston Mass and lived in the former residence of William Ricks.  Andrew died 31 Jan 1688/86 when he was found dead floating near Plum Island off the northeast coast of Massachusetts, north of Cape Ann.  The left side of his face was swollen as if he had received a great blow, but the cause of death was not determined.

Susan Cock was buried  23 Apr 1652.

Grace was born about 1623 in England.  She married first William Ricks (Rix) and had Elisha, Mary, John, Thomas and Ezekiel, b. in Boston 1645-1655

Children of Andrew and Susan:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Andrew NEWCOMB Jr. 1640 in Devon Sarah YOUNG
c. 1661
Anne Bayes (daughter of Capt. Thomas BAYES)
Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard Mass
c. 1707 in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
2. Susanna Newcomb 10 May 1649
Tormoham, Devon
Philip Bleague
Benjamin Pritchard
BEF 13 OCT 1681 Boston, Mass.

Child of Andrew and Grace Ricks:

Name Born Married Departed
3. Grace Newcomb 20 Oct 1664 Boston, Mass. James Butler 2 Aug 1685 Boston, Mass.
Andrew Rankin
15 April 1692 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass
Aug 1713

Page ‘281 of Charlestown (Mass.) Records, shipment of cattle, etc., Fell. 28, 166(5-7, by John Page, of Boston, in Ketch [name blank], Andrew Newcome, Master for Virginia for account of John Ely and Eliakini Ilutchinson—various horses described—avouched by Mr. Page, beinsr bought of Capt. Hutchinson and Samuel Gough

New York Col. MSS. at Albany, vol. 21), page 13, date Aug. 28, 1679, show “Andrew Newcombe” to have been “Master of y’ Sloope Edmund and Martha,” then in the port of New York and bound for “Boston in New England;” probably from Virginia—a part of his lading being tobacco.

Suffolk Court files at Boston contain deposition of Philip Foxwell, in which the statement is made that Andrew Newcomb was with his [ Newcomb’s] vessel iu Saco River from Boston, Oct., 1684—this being the last mention of his name prior to proof of his Will a little more than two years later.

Suffolk Deeds contain copy of Agreement, date Feb. 14, 1072, in which Andrew Newcomb and wife Grace are to enjoy during life the old dwelling-house, “now in the tenure and occupation of the said Newcomb,” formerly of William Ricks, deceased; John and Thomas Ricks, sons of William, to have the new dwelling-house adjoining the same, etc., near the water-mill in Boston, half of land to each; they to pay Newcomb £20.

Suffolk Deeds, vol. 10, page 358, Andrew Newcomb, Mariner, for £67 16″ 3”, bought of Simon Lynde, merchant, and Sarah, wife of Joseph Goodale, the administratrix of Thomas Ricks, the right to redeem an estate in Boston mortgaged to Lynde by Thomas Ricks in 1077; date A pi1. 13, 1681. Again, vol. 12, page 46, Andrew N., of Boston, and wife Grace, for £25 sold John Ricks all right in house near Mill Bridge that belonged to Thomas Ricks, then deceased; date Apr. 14, 1681.

Capt. Andrew Newcomb made a will on 31 Jan 1682/83. His will mentions only his wife Grace, daughter Grace Butler, grandson Newcomb Blake by name, as relatives. “Wife’s grandchildren” mentioned in as group. No mention was made of son Andrew. There is some current debate if Capt. Andrew was actually the ancestor of the Newcombs or if Lt. Andrew, his purported son, was not his son but came from Devon on his own.

Many North American Newcombs claim descent from a Lieutenant Andrew Nucomb  supposed son of Sea Captain Andrew Newcomb born in England in about 1618 who both appear in the records of New England in the mid 1600s.

Much of our knowledge of Captain Andrew and Lt. Andrew comes from a genealogy published in 1874 by John Bearse Newcomb of Elgin Illinois entitled “Genealogical Memoir of the Newcomb Family”. JB Newcomb employed “Antiquarians” to search both the New England records and British Isles (Devon) records for indications of where the Andrews came from in England. He was not successful in this and claimed “a lack of means” prevented him from solving the problem.

John Bearse Newcomb explains why Andrew Jr. might not be mentioned in Andrew Sr.’s will

The fact that Capt. N. also, at the time of making his will, held peculiar relations to his grandchild Newcomb Blague,.who demanded from his youth and condition as an orphan ( then 1years old, and the only living child of his parents) his most conscientious consideration, and that his child Grace Newcomb,3 by his 2d wife, had in her mother a watchful guardian or friend in presenting her claims to the consideration of Capt. N.; all of which easily and plainly may account for the diversion of his property from his sou Lieut. N. It needs but to be added that in colonial times, where bequests were not made to children of the testator, their names were frequently omitted.

Bethuel Merritt Newcomb attempted to solve the problem in his book “Andrew Newcomb and his Descendants” published in 1923. He to ran into problems when the English records were removed for safe keeping during World War I. His book is a continuation of the JB book with little additional information on the two Andrews. BM was wealthy and employed many researchers in the pursuit. Both men appear to have exhausted the New England records without result.

JB tells us that the first record of Captain Andrew in North America is in 1663 when he married his second wife Grace Ricks (widow), they lived in Boston.  He states his first wife’s name was not known.

The first record of the Lt. Andrew Nucomb is from a meeting he attended on the Isle of Shoals (off Portsmouth, N.H.) in July 1666 where he was known to be living until he removed to Marthas Vineyard about 1675. His first wife Sarah died the previous year He was a Lieutenant in the militia hence is referred to as Lt. Andrew Nucomb. He died in between 1703-1708.

Captain Andrew was known from New England records to be the master of various sailing vessels between New England and Virginia. JB says Lt. Andrew was son of Captain Andrew and that a father/son connection will be established later in the book. A careful reading of the book however fails to show any evidence of the relationship of the two Andrews. The only indication that they are connected is that their first and last names are the same and they were in the same geographical area at the same time. In my opinion there is evidence contrary to them being father and son. Lt. Andrew spelled his name Nucomb while Captain Andrew usually spelled it Newcombe though he occasionally dropped the “e” and once it was written “Nucombe”. Both men were literate according to JB. In his will probated in 1686 Captain Andrew left his estate to his Grandson. No mention of any other children appear in the will. JB feels this was due to their being no need to assist his son Andrew who was well off by that time.

JB’s book says of Captain Andrew: “That he was born in England is quite certain; “that he immigrated from the “west of England,” perhaps Devonshire or Wales, nearly all traditions declare.” This would certainly narrow the search but how much credit can we give to “tradition”? JB began his research in 1861. He interviewed some elderly Newcombs who would have been born in the late 1700’s. Oral tradition would have been approximately 100 years older than the death of Lt. Andrew, but may well have survived the few generations between Lt. Andrew and JB.

The IGI shows Devon and area to have had a relatively large Newcomb population in the 1600s. The Devon records have two Andrew Newcombs living in Devon at the right time and within five miles of each other, but not as father and son. That they were related in some other way seems quite possible.

Tormoham, Devon is a seaport on the English Channel. Records show an Andrew Newcomb married Susan Cock in Tormoham, 13 Aug  1648. Their daughter Suzanna was christened 10 May 1649. No other births are shown for this couple. BM lists a daughter of Captain Andrew named Susanna, born between 1645-1650. The record also shows Suzan wife of Andrew Newcomb buried 23 Apr 1652. We know from JB that Andrew remarried in 1663 at Boston. The record shows no other births or deaths for this family. It seems possible that this is Captain Newcomb and his first wife Susan Cock. After the death of his wife he immigrated to North America with daughter Susan.

Five miles North west of Tormoham is Wolborough, (Newton Abbot). This place is not on the sea. Six children were christened to the family of a Thomas Newcombe as shown below.

i. Emley Lucomb Aug 1630
ii. Mary Newcombe 23 Oct 1631
iii. Elizabeth Newcombe 29 Sep 1633
iv. Katherine Newcombe 21 Sep 1634
v. Andrew Nucombe 24 Nov 1639
vi. William Newcombe 17 May 1646

The child Andrew Nucombe may well be our Lt. Andrew. His year of birth exactly agrees with the age given in JB in the court deposition9 in March 1672 as “thirtey tow yeares or theare about”. Three of Lt. Andrew’s children by his second wife are named Mary, Elizabeth, and Emlen or Emiline10, which match his sisters names. Mary and Elizabeth are common names but Emeln was not common at that time. From his first wife their first son was Andrew but the third son was Thomas, perhaps named after the fathers father.

What then is the connection between the two Andrews? The fact that they were living within a few miles of each other in Devon suggests that they may be related. The fact that Captain Newcomb lived by the sea in Devon while Lt. Andrew lived inland, fits with the facts that in North America Captain Andrew was a sea farer all his life while Lt.Andrew appears to have spent more of his life on land though he did engage in fishing yoyages when he was younger. The record names Andrew of Wolborough’s father as Thomas therefore the Tormoham Andrew cannot be his father. The immediate area around Tormoham/Wolborough has only a few Newcombs according to the IGI. It may be that Lt. Andrew was a nephew or cousin of Captain Andrew and they came to North America together or separately.

But maybe the name is so common that other Andrews can be found at other locations in England that would match up. A search of the IGI  failed to find any other matches that are remotely likely. Indeed from 1600-1640 only three Andrew Newcombs are recorded in the IGI for the entire British Isles. For comparison purposes the number of records of common given male names are extracted from the IGI for the 1600-1640 period, for the surname Newcomb (and all spelling variants), for all of the British Isles.

John 65, William 52, Richard 44, Thomas 43, Robert 24, Henry 16, George 15, Francis 14, Edward 10, Alexander 4, Stephen 3, Charles 3, Andrew 3, Joseph 2, Hugh 2, Samual 1, Simon 1, Peter 1, Gilbert 1

In summary we find two Andrew Newcombs living in close proximity in Devon which is one of the possible areas mentioned in the “tradition”. All birth and marriage dates match closely with those estimated by JB, there are no contradictory dates. Names of children appear to be from previous generations. No record appears in the IGI of these two Andrews being in England when they were known to be in North America.

What can be done to further the case? A non-transcript copy of the original documents from Devon England is necessary to prove the accuracy of these records which are a double transcript. I understand that they are only available in Devon and have not been released to any library but can be viewed locally on microfiche. This copy is very difficult to read as it has faded badly. A search of various records from Devon from 1663-1730 or so would reinforce the theory if the Andrews are absent from England and disprove it if they are present.


1. Andrew NEWCOMB Jr. (See his page)

2. Susanna Newcomb

Susanna’s first husband Philip Bleague (Blaque) was born 24 Mar 1643 in Braintree, Mass. His parents were Henry Blague and Elizabeth [__?__]. Philip died 30 Sep 1678 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

Susanna’s second husband Benjamin Pritchard was born about 1651 in Devon, England. Benjamin died 13 Oct 1681 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

3. Grace Newcomb

Grace’s first husband James Butler was born 2 Aug 1665 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass. His parents were Stephen Butler and Jane [__?__]. James died in 1689 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

Grace’s second husband Andrew Rankin was born 1660 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass. His parents were Andrew Rankin (b. 1645 Scotland – d. 1677 York, Maine) and Martha Merry. Andrew died 10 Aug 1699 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass


Andrew Newcomb – Bio – Andrew Newcomb and his Descendants, a revised edition f “Genealogical Memoir” of the Newcomb family, p. 442.

Andrew Newcomb 4

Andrew Newcomb 5

Genealogical memoir of the Newcomb family By John Bearse Newcomb 1874 (Google Books)

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Sea Captain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Capt. Andrew Newcomb Sr

  1. Pingback: Andrew Newcomb Jr. | Miner Descent

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  4. iam james newcomb, my grandfather was nathan b. newcomb of butler oklahoma. we come from a long line of newcombs, all the way back to captain andrew newcomb, i enjoyed reading about him and his family. i always wondered where we came from,i found some information out when my aunt died i enjoyed reading obout my great great great grandfather. thanks!!!

  5. I also have traced my great gandmother Mabel Lillian Newcomb: born Sept. 8,1880 in Harrison, Cumberland County, Maine to Capt. Andrew Newcomb: born 1618 in Devonshire, England and that died Jan 31, 1685/86 who came to Boston in 1640..or about.
    Its nice to have a new relative out there in this big world… Thank you so very much.

  6. Bettye-Jean (Newcomb) Roy says:

    My name is Bettye-Jean (Newcomb) Roy and I have been trying to trace my background. I actually have a copy of the Capt. Andrew Newcomb and his descendants book. My father is listed in the book as well as my sisters. My oldest son lives in the North End of Boston, where Capt. Andrew Newcomb lived, and we have been trying to find his grave site He has been trying to find the site where Capt. Newcomb was buried, but hasn’t found it yet. He has located the area where Capt. Newcomb resided. If anyone has any information of the burial site, we would be very appreciative to receive that information. Our fear is he may have been buried at sea, considering his demise.

  7. Liane says:

    I love reading your blog because every click takes me to a name from either my direct line or someone I know the name of. I gave found two great grandfathers so far, Andrew Newcomb being my 7th. I parallel you up to the children of Solomon Kendrick – my fourth great grandfather was Joseph Kendrick. His daughter Martha married Abner Walker in Yarmouth. Their descendants came to California. The line of Solomon through Martha may have ended there, but the name was not forgotten. I just met on ancestry a young man (well younger than me!) whose grandfather was the son of a Walker daughter who named her son Kendrick. My mom knew him as a little girl, actually he was her father’s cousin, and now I have found his grandson. My first thought after telling him about the John Kendrick book was to send him here. Thank you for all your hard work. It has made my own research so much easier when I have a way to double check my facts.

  8. William D Dick says:

    Mark, Great work regarding the two Andew Newcombs. Your analysis of Lt Andrew being the son of Thomas with the naming of his daughter Emlem looks very promising. If he is the nephew of Capt Andrew Y DNA won’t confirm parentage, but would suggest relationship. The problem being that Capt Andrew only had one reported male child. My mom was born a Newcomb with her line being Eleanor, Roy, George, Nathan Harvey, Henry Cook, William, Silas, Silas, Thomas, Thomas, Andrew, Andrew. I agree that leaving a son off of ones will is rather odd, and also his focus on his grandson, Newcomb Blague suggests that his focus was on maintaining that line. Thanks Bill

    • Liane Goodrich says:

      I’ve used primarily ancestry materials to find my farthest back ancestors in this line I also read a lot of really old pre DNA books. What I have is Andrew b 1640 and Anna Bayes as Emblem’s parents. My line descends through Emblem and Samuel Atkins by daughter Elizabeth. Eliz. Married twice first Daniel Eldridge, then Solomon Kendrick. From there it’s smooth sailing. But I’ve wondered if my Newcomb connections were correct and as a female 11 Gen removed, DNA won’t help. Glad you commented. Mark and I have a dozen or so connections so it’s always fun to hear some confirmation.

      • William Dick says:

        Liane, Many thanks for the message. I would love to stay in touch and talk more about the problems of assuming that Andew was the son of Andrew. Any research about Thomas Newcomb and his children would be great. I am writing a book about my Newcomb family from Silas Newcomb II forward. It involves the first marriages outside of Brits to Brits and then the decision to stay in Maine or migrate west to Iowa in the 1850s. It also involves the war of 1812 and how that event led to compensation for boat seizure contents in 1853 and how that to a second marriage and a decision to leave Maine behind. My email address is Bill

  9. William D Dick says:

    Mark, Have a question for you. I have been documenting all of my and my sister’s Newcomb DNA cousins in Ancestry. I have about 10 connections to what appears to be DNA connections to the Francis Newcomb line. (The same Francis Newcomb of Braintree, MA detailed in John Bearse Newcomb book) As of yet, I don’t know if the DNA is hooked up with the Newcomb line or other families in that line, but at 10 connections it is looking interesting. I am wondering if you or others have noticed the same DNA connections to folks who are part of the Francis line? Bill

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