Wednesday, July 17, 2013


© Kathy Duncan, 2013

Nathaniel Holcomb, brother of Azariah Holcomb, was born 1805 in  Missouri.

On 19 July 1826 in Jefferson County, Missouri, he signed a petition to move the county seat from Herculaneum to Hillsboro along with Azariah and Enoch Holcomb. The signature looks like he signed his name as "Natholcomb."

According to his divorce petition Nathan Holcomb married Sarah on 1 December 1825 in Jefferson County, Missouri. No surname is given for Sarah.

1830 census, Ste. Genevieve Co., MO, p. 383:

Nathaniel Holcomb 200002 - 00001

In 1830, Nathaniel Holcomb's household is composed of the 
two males under age 5: Isaac W. and James Holcomb
one males age 30 - 40: Nathaniel Holcomb and unidentified male
one female age 20 - 30: Sarah Holcomb
Living near by are the households of Benajah Brown, James Skaggs, Enoch Holcomb, and Elizabeth 

15 Sept. 1836, Jackson Co., MO:
In Jackson Circuit Court of July Term 1836
Nathaniel Holcomb vs. Sarah Holcomb, petition for divorce. Nathaniel states that the disposition of Sally Holcomb was such as to render his situation intolerable, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court, that the said Sally Holcomb is not a resident of, or residing within the Sate, it is therefore ordered by the court, that the said Sally Holcomb be notified that the said Nathaniel Holcomb has filed his petition for a divorce.
 [Source: The Far West; Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri on 15 Sept 1836.]

While Nathaniel filed for a divorce from Sarah, it seems unlikely that he followed through with the divorce since she is with him in 1860 and is the mother of six of his children, including Isaac Webster Holcomb and Phoebe (Holcomb) Owens.

1840 Elk River Twp, Newton County, MO, page 227:

Nathan Holcomb 11111-000001001

In 1840, Nathaniel Holcomb's household was composed of the following:
one male under age 5 = Alfred Holcomb
one male age 5 - 10 = unidentified male
one male age 10 - 15 = Isaac Webster Holcomb
one male age 15 - 20 = James Holcomb
one male age 20 - 30 = Nathaniel Holcomb
one female age 30 - 40 = Sarah Holcomb
one female age 60 - 70 = unidentified, but old enough to the mother of Nathaniel or Sarah
Living nearby are the households of Azarah Holcomb, James Brown, James Skaggs, Enoch Hocomb, and James Pool.

By July 1850, Nathaniel Holcomb had relocated to Santa Cruz County, California and placed this notice in the Sacramento Transcript:

Son, James Holcomb, would have been about 24 years old when this notice was published. If Nathaniel was giving notice of his residence in Santa Cruz, then James Holcomb "and all other friends" were not in Santa Cruz. Nathaniel may have been unsure of James's location at this time.

In 1853, Nathaniel Holcomb served on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in California.
[Source: Santa Cruz County History - Government, Santa Cruz Public Library webpage]

In 1858, Nathaniel Holcomb, a lumberman, was one of the residents of Soquel, California who formed the Santa Cruz Turnpike Company to create a new toll road from Soquel to the summit.
[Source: Highway 17: The Road to Santa Cruz, Richard A. Beal]

11 July 1860, Soguel Twp., Santa Cruz Co., CA p. 591:

621-551 Nathaniel Holcomb 55 M Farmer 0 - 3,000 MO
Sarah 52 F b. MO
James 34 M Farm laborer b. MO
Alfred 21 M b. MO
Helen [probably Phoebe] 14 F b. MO
Janson 11 M b. CA

25 July 1870, San Juan Twp., Monterey Co., CA, p. 399:

265 - 252 Holcomb, James A. 41 M W Deputy Co. Assessor MO

268 - 256 Owens, James A. 35 M W Merchant  1,000 - 4,000 VA
--- Phoebe 25 F  W Keeps house MO
---Cyrus   3 M W CA
---Florence 11/12 F W CA
Holcomb, Sarah 62 F  W Keeps house MO

The following letter was written by Nathaniel Holcomb from La Paz, Boliva in 1873. It accounts for why he is not on the 1870 census:

from the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- I send herewith a letter of Nathaniel HOLCOMB from La Paz, South America. It is full of interesting details. Mr.HOLCOMB was an old and well-known resident of this county and lived formore than 16 years at what is known as the Masons Grove, Soquel. He iseminently a pioneer and organizer. His zeal helped to build the first churches, school-houses and roads in this county. He must now be 70 years old, but in will and energy he is still young. When urged to stay here and finish his old days with his family and amongst his friends, he remarked to the writer, "I knew the time when no white man's track was to be found on this side of the Mississippi; I have moved west and west, have helped to build up States and Territories and have raised a large family of children. I will do my best to provide for my wife, my children are old enough to shift for themselves; my duty to them is done; but my duty to mankind not yet. I feel the strength within me, old as I am, to explore another continent to open paradise on earth to man. I am going to explore the Amazon River, from its source to the sea, and in due time, you shall hear from me."

Oct. 10, 1872; City of La Paz, Bolivia; Dear Sir: I left San Francisco the 26th of December, 1866 and landed in Callao, March 27th, 1867, thence I went to Tacna, from Tacna to Cochambamba. I arrived at Cochambamba the 16th of June, 1867...I entered upon the headwaters of the Tipuany [river] the last of August, 1867. We prospected all the way to its mouth, 40 leagues. We found gold at every place. I
remained in this vicinity from the 13th of Sept. 1867 til the 15th of August, 1869...we had our canoe ready and started down the Mapirito the confluence with the Urigus, about 40 leagues. From the confluence of these rivers we passed down to the town of San Buenaventuro, at which place we arrived Sept. 5th, 1869...Yours truly as ever, Nathaniel HOLCOMB [full letter, p. 2, col. 2]
[Source:  The Hollister Advance; Hollister, California, 11 Jan 1873]

Nathaniel Holcomb died after 1873.

23 June 1880, Hollister Twp., San Benito County, California:
360 - 364
Owens, Phoebe W F 30 married Keeping house b. MO fb. MO mb. MO
----, Cyrus W. W M 16 Son single Student b. CA fb. VA mb. MO
----, Marens W M 8 Son single Student b. CA fb. VA mb. MO
----, Emma W F 4 Dau single b. CA fb. VA mb. MO
Holcomb, Sarah W F 72 Mother single b. MO fb. NY mb. MO

4 June 1900, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California:
Robertson, Walter Head W M Feb 1871 29 M-5 b. CA fb. IL mb.MO
----, Emma Wife W F Apr 1876 24 M-5 1-1 b. CA fb. VA mb. MO
----, Hazel Dau W F Apr 1897 3 S b. CA fb. CA mb. CA
Owens, Phoebe M-i-l W F Sept. 1845 54 M-5 1-1 b. MO fb. MO mb. MO
----, Syres B-i-l W M Oct 1866 33 S b. CA fb. MO mb. MO
----, Clara S-i-l W F Sept 1881 18 S b. CA fb. MO mb. MO
Holcomb, Sarah Grandmother W F Sept 1808 91 Wd 6-2 b. MO fb. MO mb. MO
-66 Meyes, George Head W M Oct 1874 25 M-3 b. CA fb. IL mb. Portugal
----, Theresa Wife W F July 1876 23 M-3 0-0 b. CA fb. IL mb. IL
----, Annie Sister W F Nov 1876 23 S b. CA fb. AL mb. Portugal

The only children of Nathaniel and Sarah Holcomb who were still living at the time of the 1900 census were Phoebe (Holcomb) Owens and Isaac W. Holcomb.

Died -- HOLCOMB -- at San Francisco, Nov. 14, Mrs. Sarah HOLCOMB, mother of Isaac W. HOLCOMB and Mrs. J.A. OWENS, formerly of this place, native of Missouri, aged 92 years.
[Source: The Free Lance; Hollister, CA, 16 Nov 1900]

Children of Nathaniel and Sarah Holcomb:

1. James Holcomb
2. Isaac Webster Holcomb married Emily Imus
3 Unidentified male
4. Alfred Holcomb - went to Bolivia and was never heard from again
5. Phoebe Holcomb married James A Owens
6. Janson Holcomb

This page last updated on December 24, 2015

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