Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Nathaniel Holcomb of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri

© Kathy Duncan, 2018

At long last, I've found documentation that Nathaniel Holcomb was the father of the Holcomb siblings. Early research revealed that Titus Strickland was acting as the guardian of the heirs of Nathaniel Holcomb, but those heirs were not named in any of the records to which I had access.

This evening, I was exploring Ste. Genevieve County in the FamilySearch catalog. Specifically, I went into the Court Records for 1815 - 1819. I knew that Strickland was acting as the guardian of Nathaniel Holcomb's children by 1818, so I located the end of 1818 and started scrolling backward. Since these records are not indexed, and I don't want to wait until they are indexed, there was no other option. I found the record in the October Term of 1817. Four of Nathaniel Holcomb's children were listed in the record: Isaac, Nathaniel, Phebe, Hannah. This is exactly what I needed--a configuration of some of the Holcomb sibling's names. All four of these names are a fit.

These four Holcomb children are Enoch Holcomb's siblings as are Azariah Holcomb and Esther Jamison. My conclusion is that all of these Holcomb siblings are the children of Nathaniel Holcomb.

Now I will have to start referring to them as Nathaniel Holcomb's children.

"On application the Court have and do hereby approved Titus Strickland Guardian for Isaac, Nathaniel, Phebe & Hannah Holcomb orphan children of Nathaniel Holcomb of the County of Ste Genevieve dec'd and the said children being under the age of fourteen years."

While this document refers to the children of Nathaniel Holcomb as orphans, that does not mean that they had lost both parents. In the legal sense, an orphan was a child who had lost at least one parent, usually the father. A guardian was appointed to oversee the child's inheritance not to assume custody. The appointment of a guardian might even signal the remarriage of the widow. Courts did not name step-fathers as guardians because they might not have the best interest of the child in mind. Titus Strickland is either a neighbor willing to take on the responsibility of looking after the Holcomb children's interests, or he is a relative of some sort.

This record can be found in LDS film #008114991, image 543. I stopped at this image, and I am looking forward to finding what else might be on this film.

Revised July 4, 2019.


  1. This is exciting! I am trying to find the parents of my gggrandmother and hope to find a document one day that confirms it.


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