John Cobb1,2,3

ID# 1525, (1786 - abt 1834)
FatherElkanah Cobb1,4 (21 Jan 1746/47 - 10 Aug 1795)
MotherMary Willard1,4 (abt 1753 - 2 Aug 1842)

Key Events:

Birth: 6 Apr 1786, Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont5
Marriage: 1 Aug 1820, Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, Sarah Story Briscoe (17 Aug 1787 - 30 Nov 1843)6,7,8
Death: about 18349
ChartsDescendants of Gideon Cobb
AncestryThe Cobbs of Pawlet, Vermont

Copyright Notice


     John Cobb was born on 6 Apr 1786 in Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont.5
     He was probably one of the five males under age 16 listed in the household of his father, Elkanah Cobb, in the 1790 Federal Census of Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont.10
     He moved with his parents to Wells, the next town north of Pawlet, by 1792.11,12
     His father died on 10 Aug 1795, when John was 9 years old.13,14,15
     John lived for a time in Greene Co., Pennsylvania, where his brother Joshua was living, before moving on to Eddyville, Kentucky, where their older brother Gideon was living, by 1815.16,17 On 12 May 1814 John received a power of attorney from his brother Joshua to recover debts owed to him by their older brother Gideon and his partner, Samuel C. Clark, apparently in anticipation of John moving to Eddyville.18
     On 27 Feb 1816, John bought from his brother Gideon lots 12 and 13, facing Water St. in Eddyville, which included his home and tavern, paying $2,200. John obtained a license 22 Apr 1816 to keep a tavern in his home, with Gideon as security for the £100 bond.19,20 On 9 Sep 1818 John sold lot 12 and half of lot 13 to Edward Tarrant and Robert Young for $1,600. This evidently included the tavern, as Tarrant obtained a tavern license for the "house formerly occupied by Cobb & Clark."21,22 He sold the remaining half of lot 13 to Jesse Brooks on 4 Jun 1819, for $200.23
     John married Sarah Story Briscoe, daughter of Hanson Briscoe and Mary Nappler Jordan, on 1 Aug 1820 in Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.6,7,8
     John appeared on the 1820 Federal Census of Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, with a household consisting of two white males under age 10 (Sarah's sons by her previous marriage, John and Hanson), and one between 26 and 45 (himself); two females under 10 (Sarah's daughters Caroline and Elizabeth), one between 10 and 15 (Sarah's daughter Mary), and one between 26 and 45 (wife Sarah); and one female slave.3
     On 28 Aug 1820 John was appointed guardian of the minor children of his wife by her first marriage, Roger, Caroline, John, Hanson and Elizabeth Cresap, aged 11 to 3. His brother Gideon and Mathew Lyon Jr. were his securities for a $2,000 bond.24
     On 1 Apr 1820 Hough Orr had a 79-acre parcel on Knobb Creek, on the north side of the Tennessee River in Caldwell Co. surveyed. John acquired the rights to the grant, which was subsequently patented to him.25,26
     John purchased 75 acres on Eddy Creek in Caldwell Co. on 18 Feb 1822, from C. A. Briscoe of Lowndes Co., Alabama, paying $400. The seller was likely a relative of his wife's first husband.27
     It appears that John operated a farm on at least some of this property. On the 1822 tax rolls he reported owning two slaves over the age of 16, and two horses. Together with the land, they were valued at $1,292. The slaves may have belonged to his wards, as after 1824 he reported none on his own account and two or three as guardian of the children.28
     But his fortune seems to have waned after a few years. On 6 Feb 1826 he sold the 75-acre parcel on Eddy Creek to Ferdinand Leigh for $200.29 He reported his 79-acre land grant on the 1827 tax rolls, but not thereafter.30 On 16 Apr 1832 a suit against him and his brother Gideon was decided against them. The basis for the suit is unknown, but the judgment was for $110, 6% interest from 28 Oct 1821, and costs of $10.24½. On 16 Apr 1832 the 79-acre grant, where John was then living, was sold at the courthouse door to settle his liability. The buyer was his nephew, Caleb Clark Cobb. Did he buy it so his uncle and his family could remain there?31
     John appeared on the 1830 Federal Census of Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, with a household consisting of one white male between ages 10 and 15 (Hanson, Sarah's son by her previous marriage), and one between 15 and 20 (Sarah's son John), and one between 40 and 50 (himself); one white female under age 5 (their daughter Modena), two between 5 and 10 (Sophia and another), one between 10 and 15 (Sarah's daughter Elizabeth, one between 15 and 20 [Sarah's daughter Caroline), and one between 30 and 40 (Sarah, but she was actually 43); and one male and one female slave.32
     John apparently died about 1834, as he does not appear in the tax lists after 1833, though no death record or tombstone has been found.9
Research Note, 2 Mar 2013:
The evidence that the John Cobb in Eddyville was the same John Cobb recorded as the son of Elkanah and Mary Willard Cobb is indirect, but compelling. He arrived in Eddyville with a power of attorney from Joshua Cobb of Greene Co., Pennsylvania, known to be another son of Elkanah and Mary, to collect debts owned by Gideon Dyer Cobb, also known to be their son. He then engaged with a number of transactions with Gideon, including buying his tavern, obtaining a tavern license with Gideon as surety, assuming joint debt with Gideon, and when that resulted in John losing his home, it was purchased by Gideon's son.33,34,35

     Children with Sarah Story Briscoe:


  1. [S862] Births, Marriages and Deaths, Pawlet, Vermont, 1768-1856, pg 5.
  2. [S847] "Marriage Index: KY, NC, TN, VA, WV 1728-1850,", record for John Cobb and Sally S. Cresass, viewed 26 Jun 2005, citing FHL film no. 0546371 & 0548011-0548024.
  3. [S1791] John Cobb household, 1820 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.
  4. [S1171] Hollister, Pawlet for One Hundred Years, pg 261, article attributed to Henry Willard.
  5. [S862] Births, Marriages and Deaths, Pawlet, Vermont, 1768-1856, pg 5, shows date. Since the entries for his older siblings show other places, it appears the absence of a place entry indicates a local birth.
  6. [S49] Freeman, Family File "David and Deborah.GED," 31 Jul 1998, shows year, town, county, and state.
  7. [S3003] "Caldwell County, Kentucky Marriage Records, 1809-28,", record for John Cobb and Sally S. Cresap, shows date.
  8. [S2002] Smith, transcript of family pages from Sarah (Briscoe) Cresap Bible, in a different hand, shows her as widow of E. O. Cresap and afterward married to Jno. Cobb.
  9. [S4057] Caldwell Co. tax lists,, 1833, pg 10; 1834 book missing; not found in later books; 1833 showed no property that would have appeared in an executor's listing.
  10. [S1781] Elkanah Cobb household, 1790 U.S. Census, Rutland Co., Vermont.
  11. [S2395] Land Records, Wells, Vermont, C:272-3, notes of town meeting 6 Mar 1792 at the schoolhouse near Nathan Warram and meeting of authority & selectmen afterwards for the appointment of tavern or houses of intertainment, shows Elkanah nominated for license; C:425, town meeting 14 Feb 1793 at schoolhouse near Elkanah Cobbs does not mention tavern license; notes for 1794 meeting not found; B:423 notes of town meeting 10 Mar 1795 held at school house near Elkanah Cobb's, and meeting of authority afterwards for the appointment of tavern or houses of intertainment, shows Elkanah nominated for tavern license.
  12. [S863] Cobb, History of the Cobb Family, pg 154, shows that in probate proceedings he is called "Elkanah Cobb late of Wells.
  13. [S2395] Land Records, Wells, Vermont, B:99-100, deaths 1782-1811, shows date.
  14. [S500], online, memorial #28545418, Elkanah Cobb, shows date, and includes tombstone photo showing same.
  15. [S2222] "Register of Deaths," The Rutland Herald, 7 Sep 1795, shows town, as Pawlet.
  16. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, B:164-5, shows him as John Cobb, of Greene County, Pennsylvania, 28 Feb 1816.
  17. [S4056] Cobb, patent file, 16 Jul 1816, Kentucky Secretary of State, Land Office, survey 30 Dec 1815 shows John as "marker" - the one who blazes trees or plants stakes used as corners.
  18. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, B:9-10, 25 Jun 1814.
  19. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, B:164-5, 28 Feb 1816.
  20. [S1971] Caldwell Co. Order Book, B:35, 22 Apr 1816.
  21. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, B:530-1, 9 Sep 1818.
  22. [S1971] Caldwell Co. Order Book, C:35, 26 Oct 1818, tavern license to Edward H Farrants at house formerly occupied by Cobb & Clark.
  23. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, C:120-1, 4 Jun 1819.
  24. [S1971] Caldwell Co. Order Book, C:225, 28 Aug 1820.
  25. [S4055] Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants, pg 515, shows acreage, survey date, watercourse as N s Tennesse R, grantee as John Cobb.
  26. [S4057] Caldwell Co. tax lists,, 1822 pg 6, shows watercourse as Knob Creek, Orr as having entered the parcel; 1823 pg 10, shows same but Orr as entered, surveyed and grantee; 1825 pg 9, shows same but Jno Cobb as grantee.
  27. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, D:79-80, 17 Mar 1823.
  28. [S4057] Caldwell Co. tax lists,, 1822, pg 6; 1823, pg pg 10; 1824, pg 8; and 1825, pg 9, for example.
  29. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, E:31, 20 Mar 1826.
  30. [S4057] Caldwell Co. tax lists,, 1827, pg 7.
  31. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, G:16, 20 Aug 1832.
  32. [S1787] John Cobb household, 1830 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.
  33. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, B:9-10, 25 Jun 1814, power of attorney from Joshua Cobb of Greene Co. Pennsylvania to John Cobb, to collect debt owed by Cobb & Clark; and B:164-5, Gideon D. Cobb to John Cobb of Greene Co. Pensylvania, two lots in Eddyville, where Gideon then lived, 28 Feb 1816.
  34. [S1971] Caldwell Co. Order Book, B:35, 22 Apr 1816, John Cobb granted tavern license, Gideon D Cobb as security.
  35. [S1975] Deeds, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, G:16, John Bradley, Sheriff to Caleb C. Cobb, 29 ac. where John Cobb then lived, sold in settlement of suit against John Cobb & G. D. Cobb, 20 Aug 1832.
  36. [S12060] Bolin, "Columbus Cemetery Record", pg 10, record for Sophia M. Cook.
  37. [S4098] Willoughby, "Smith Family of Between the Rivers, KY" family tree,