|Battle:||Battle of Dunbar in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland|
|Ship/Arrival:||Unity, Dec 1650|
|Prisoner and List:|
|Name Variations:||Coombs, Comby|
|Residences:||York, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire|
|Other SPOW Associations:|
Published: 11 Sep 2018, Updated: 4 Apr 2019
Page contributors: Rosann Beauvais, Andrew Millard, Teresa Rust
IMPORTANT UPDATE! (July 2018)
According to, Christopher Gerrard, Pam Graves, Andrew Millard, Richard Annis, and Anwen Caffell, in Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650, (England: Oxbow Books, 2018),1 on page 252, Allister is categorized as:
Possible [that he is a Dunbar prisoner transported on the Unity]
For explanations of the category, abbreviations and references see List of Dunbar prisoners from Lost Lives, New Voices.
First Generation in the New World
1. ALLISTER/ALESTER¹ COOMBS, was born possibly in Scotland.
No record of marriage or children was found, although based upon notes below, he may have had children. IF a familial relationship can be connected to the Anthony Coombs mentioned below under notes, for whom there has been a DNA project, then this Allister Coombs may not be a SPOW.
Sources and Notes:
Unable to locate references for Allister Coombs residence location in Portsmouth NH or a death of 1707, might have been a date for Alexander Coombs of Portsmouth NH who was reported as deceased in 1707 and his widow, Abigail, was appointed administratrix 15 Aug 1707. See source: http://www.combs-families.org/combs/ms/coombs/19.htm
Reference to Allister Coombs “Comby” was located in York Deeds Book II, Fol 191, dated 19 Jan 1673, as a witness to a deed between Thomas Stephens and Indians “Robine Hoode, Derumquen & Abomhammon, Weroumby & Roben, Sagamors”.4
Reference to Allister Coombs “Comby” was located in York Deeds Book IX, Fol 254, dated 3 July 1775 as a witness to a deed between Thomas Stephens and Indians “Robine Hoode, Derumquen & Abomhammon, Weroumby Werumby & Roben, Sagamors”. Described as “…adjoyning to Pejepscot river butted & bounded as followeth, to the Land of Thomas Stephens now in possession, East, And to Alester Coombs his Land South. And from the head of Alester Coombs his Marsh westerly to a certain path commonly called the Carrying path or the carrying place, and from the s[ai]d path; upon a straight line to a certain Island commonly called the Stave Island…”5 There is no documentation of Allister receiving his land through grant or deed but instead was considered a squatter.
The Coombs Families of New England Prior to 1700 investigates an Allister Coombs from New Meadows near what is today Brunswick, Maine. The Coombs of Maine.
It is discussed that the Allister Coombs land in the New Meadows area were not legally acquired and later potential descendants attempted to claim his previously occupied land by applying to the “Pejepscot Company” but their requests were denied. It goes on to state that he occupied the area over a ten year period from 1665 to 1675, possibly being killed by Indian attack or being driven away. There is the suggestion that since Anthony Coombs’ children relocate to that same area in the 1730s they might have been descendant from Allister Coombs.
Discussion on WikiTree states Anthony is a descendant of Pierre Comeau as determined by a DNA test. It is also a theory that Anthony Coombs and Antoine Comeau who was born in Port Royal, Nova Scotia in 1661 are the same person. Based upon this information, it appears that Anthony Coombs should no longer be considered as a potential son of Allister Coombs who we are investigating as a possible Scottish Prisoner of War. See Wikitree page for Anthony Coombs – https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Coombs-55
Also see the related website: Comeau, Sébastien. “Anthony Coombs and His Link to the Comeau Family.” The Comeau Website. November 13, 2013. Accessed August 03, 2018. http://comeaunet.org/en/anthony-coombs-relation-comeau-family/.
Excerpt from The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin Meaning and History suggesting the name Coombs might have originated from MacComb or Combe. 6
For additional help, please go to the:
Descendants and Researchers List and the Facebook Group.
(Our small website team is unable to help with further research.)
- Gerrard, Christopher M.., et al. Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650. Oxbow Books, 2018, p. 252.
- Stackpole, Everett Schermerhorn. Scotch Exiles in New England. 1922. Coll. 733 & 831, Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Portland ME.
- Gerrard, Christopher M.., et al. Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650. Oxbow Books, 2018. Appendix B, p. 257-284.
- York County (Me.). Register of Deeds. York Deeds, Book II, 1642-1737. Portland : John T. Hull, 1887, Internet Archives, https://archive.org/details/yorkdeeds02main/page/n10.
- York County (Me.). Register of Deeds. York Deeds, Book IX, 1642-1737. Portland : John T. Hull, 1894, Internet Archives, https://archive.org/details/yorkdeeds09main/page/n6.
- Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948. The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin Meaning and History, (New York : New York Public Library & Readex Books, 1962), First published in 1946.