History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


(A correction to the Bio. has been submitted by Jon Holcombe and is located at the bottom of the page.)

OLIVER H. HOLCOMBE, of Wrightstown, is a worthy descendant of one of the oldest families in Bucks county. He is a son of John and Elizabeth (Hibbs) Holcombe, and was born in Upper Makefield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, November 7, 1830.

The progenitors of the Holcombes of Bucks county and of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, were Jacob and John Holcombe, brothers, born in Triverton, Devonshire, England, about 1680. George Holcombe Larison, the historian of the family, says that their father died when they were quite young, but this does not seem to be borne out by the records, as Jacob Holcombe, while in middle age and residing in Buckingham, requested that a meeting of Buckingham Friends might be held "at the home of his aged parents." John and Jacob are supposed to be the sons of Richard Holcombe and Sarah Holme, daughter of Thomas Holme, Pennís first surveyor-general. The latter, in his will in 1694, leaves a legacy "to the children of Richard Holcombe, by my daughter Sarah." Jacob Holcombe was one of the earliest landholders in Buckingham, and died there in 1748, leaving a son Thomas and several daughters. His wife was Mary Woolridge, whom he married at Falls Meeting in 1712.

John Holcombe purchased in 1705 a large tract of land on the Delaware in New Jersey, including a large part of the present city of Lambertville, and has left numerous descendants of the name in that vicinity. At the time of he purchase he was a resident of Abington, Philadelphia county, and married at Abington Meeting of Friends, 4 mo. 28, 1707, Elizabeth Woolridge. He settled in Amwell township, Hunterdon county, New Jersey, where he later added to his purchase of 1705 several other large purchases of lands, and owning at his death in 1743 over one thousand acres of land which he devised to his sons and grandsons. He was one of the judges of the first court held in Hnuterdon. John and Elizabeth (Woodridge) Holcombe were the parents of six children: John, who died a young man and unmarried; Samuel, see forward; Richard, married (first) Mary Harvey, and (second) Ann Emley, and had one son and two daughters; Grace, married Philip Calvin; Mary, married Samuel Furman, of Morris county, New Jersey; and Julia Ann, married Daniel Howell.

Samuel Holcombe, second son of John and Elizabeth, born in New Jersey, 1711, married Eleanor Barber, and they are the ancestors of all the Holcombes of Bucks county, as well as of Hunterdon county, New Jersey. He was a member of Buckingham Friends Meeting, and became a large landholder. He died August 26, 1769. His wife Eleanor survived him nearly a quarter of a century, dying June 2, 1793, aged about ninety years. The children of Samuel and Eleanor (Barber) Holcombe, were nine in number: I. John, born February 16, 1739, see forward; 2. Jacob, born December 7, 1741, married Rachel, daughter of John and Elizabeth Hyde, and had eight children. 3. Phebe, born October 23, 1743, married Henry Lott, and had ten children, three of whom died in infancy; 4. Samuel, born March 17, 1745, married first a widow Stephenson, nee Stillwell, and had two sons, Samuel and George; married (second) Sarah Emley, and had children: Mary, Robert, Elisha, Atkinson, Thomas A., Solomon, Lewis and Hannah; he lived and died in New Jersey near Mt. Airy. 5. George, born April 9, 1747, married Achsah Knowles, and had five children: Joseph, George, Achsah, John and Samuel. He was a soldier in the Revolution and rose to the rank of major. 6. Elijah, born September 29, 1750, married Nancy Brittain, and had eight children. He and his family migrated to Zanesville, Ohio, at an early date. He was also a soldier in the Revolution. 7. Richard, born December 30, 1752, married Hannah Emley, and had seven children: Ann, Emley, Lucilla, George, Elisha and Elinor. He was a revolutionary soldier. His grandson, George B. Holcombe, was sheriff of Hunterdon county, 1856-58. 8. Thomas, born November 19, 1754, married (first) Leah Deremer, whose only child died young. He married (second) Mary T. Holcombe, and had ten children, Richard, John, Abraham, Leah, Elias, Thomas, Henry, Ralph, Ann and Maria. 9. Elizabeth, born October 14, 1758, married John Bellis and reared a family of ten children.

John Holcombe, eldest son of Samuel and Elenor (Barber) Holcombe, born February 16, 1739, married Mary Green, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Wolverton) Green. Mary was born in Amwell township, June 26, 1741, and died in Solebury township, Bucks county in 1829. John and Mary lived on the old homestead near Lambertville, and reared a family of nine children, several of whom became residents of Bucks county. John Holcombe moved to Solebury in 1792, and died there in 1818. The children were: 1. Elizabeth, died unmarried in Solebury about 1855, at the age of ninety years. 2. Samuel, see forward. 3. Richard, born 1767, married in 1792, Elizabeth Closson, see succeeding sketch. 4. Elenor, married Asher Ely, of Solebury, see sketch of William L. Ely in this volume. 5. John, died in Solebury in 1820; married Mary Pearson and had children: Pearson, Rhoda, John, Hannah, Samuel, Mary, married Jesse Walton, and Elizabeth, married Thomas Paist. 6. Sarah, married Phineas Walker, see sketch of William L. Walker in this volume. 7. Margaret, never married, died in Solebury 1855. 8. Amaziah, died young. 9. Daniel, died young.

Samuel Holcombe, eldest son of John and Mary (Green) Holcombe, was born in Amwell township, Hunterdon county, New Jersey March 16, 1765. He married November 9, 1797, Anna Amelia Van Horn, born January 25, 1775, daughter of _____ and Sarah (Mode) Van Horn, and settled in Upper Makefield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he became a large landowner. Anna Amelia (Van Horn) Holcombe died March 12, 1833. He married (second) Elizabeth Furman, nee Wildman, who survived him. The ceremony was performed October 16, 1834. He died April 8, 1855. The children of Samuel and Anna Amelia (Van Horn) Holcombe are as follows: Sarah, born July 31, 1798, married Samuel Ross. Mary, born December 14, 1799, married Benjamin Beans. Elizabeth, born May 1, 1801, married William Hibbs. John, born December 4, 1802, see forward. Anna Amelia, born March 24, 1804, married David Phillips. Hannah, born April 6, 1806, married William Martindale. Samuel, born August 2, 1807, died unmarried, 1870. Phebe, born September 9, 1809, died March 11, 1831. Matilda, born April 25, 1811, married Carey Longshore. De Witt Clinton, born October 23, 1812, died unmarried, September 20, 1843. George, born May 31, 1815, married and had one son, Samuel, and three daughters; he died July 24, 1844. One child was born to Samuel and Elizabeth (Furman) Holcombe, Phebe W., born October 12, 1837, married Dr. Benjamin Collins. Samuel Holcombe was in early life a carpenter and cabinet maker, but later in life followed the life of a farmer.

John Holcombe, son of Samuel and Anna Amelia (Van Horn) Holcombe, was born 12 mo. 4, 1802, and died in Newtown 9 mo. 15, 1894, at the age of ninety-one years. He was a farmer in Upper Makefield until 1837, when he purchased a farm in Newtown township. He was a successful farmer and an active and prominent man in the community. He took an active part in the establishment of the public school system, and an active interest in all that pertained to the best interests of the community. He was a member of Wrightstown Friendsí Meeting, and in politics was an ardent Whig, and later a Republican. His later years were spent in Newtown borough. He married Elizabeth Hibbs, who bore him five children of whom two survive: Oliver H., the subject of this sketch, and Hannah E., residing in Philadelphia.

Oliver H. Holcombe was born in Upper Makefield township, November 7, 1830. He acquired his education at the common schools and at a private school conducted by Jeremiah Hayhurst, at Kennett Square, Chester county, Pennsylvania. He married on March 22, 1855, Cynthia Scarborough, daughter of John and Hannah (Reeder) Scarborough, of Solebury, and began life as a farmer on a farm recently purchased by his father in Wrightstown township. A year later he removed to Newtown township on a farm purchased by his father across the road from the homestead, where he lived for five years, and then took charge of the homestead, where he lived for thirty-four years, having acquired the ownership of the homestead. In the spring of 1895 he removed to Newtown, and has since lived a retired life, purchasing his present residence in Pineville, and removing there in the spring of 1899. He has been a stockholder in the First National Bank of Newtown since its organization, and a member of the board of directors since 1899. He was one of the first to agitate the building of the Philadelphia & Newtown Railroad, spent much time and money to that end, and was elected one of the first directors of the completed road. He has served several years as a school director, and has filled other local positions. He has been for many years active in the cause of the Prohibition party; has been its candidate for congress and other offices; and in 1888 was a delegate to the national convention of the party in Indianapolis. Mrs. Holcombe has also been active in temperance work for many years, being the first president of the Bucks County Womanís Christian Temperance Union, which was organized in March, 1885, and under her efficient management about one thousand women were enrolled as members. For more than twenty-five years she has been a monthly contributor to the Home Department of the Farm Journal, of Philadelphia, under the pseudonym of "Mary Sidney," and her essays have been copied into many papers and attracted much attention. Mr. and Mrs. Holcombe are both members and regular attendants of Wrightstown Monthly Meeting of Friends, and for many years have been elders. They are the parents of two children: William P., now residing in New Hampshire; and Anna, wife of Edward R. Kirk, of Buckingham.

Text taken from page 320-321

Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed January 2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published January 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

NOTE: The only noticeable error is in the article under Oliver Holcombe, in the reference to "Mary Green, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Wolverton) Green."  The surname "Wolverton" for Elizabeth has been disproved, and remains unknown. From Jon Holcombe

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