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William Coomes, Sr. *
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WILLIAM COOMES
was born in Coomes Purchase, Charles County, Maryland, and died November 06, 1824 in Cox's Creek, Nelson County, Kentucky. He married FRANCES JANE GREENLEAF 1760. She was born in Maryland, and died April 25, 1816 in Cox's Creek, Nelson County, Kentucky.

The William Coomes family left Maryland, moving to Virginia. When hearing of the fertile ground in "Kain-tuck-ee", the Indian name for Kentucky (meaning beautiful ground), the Coomes family joined the pioneers, led by James Harrod, in the early 1770s. They used flatboats and poled them down the mighty Ohio. After journeying down the Ohio for several weeks, the party made their first permanent camp at a place called Drilling's Lick. It was located on the Kentucky River, near the present day site of Frankfort, Kentucky. While the men were busy with hunting and trapping, Frances Jane Coomes began to manufacture salt. This was the first and earliest manufacturing of salt in the state. After a short stay at Drilling's Lick, the pioneers pushed further into the wilderness. They settled at a place called Harrod's Station, later called Fort Harrod. The men hunted and trapped and cleared land to grow crops. Frances Jane Coomes spent much of her time teaching the children how to read, write, and cipher.

Oct 28, 1779: William Coomes this day claimed the right to a settlement & Preemption to a Tract of Land lying on the waters of Beach Fork of Salt River, known by the name of Cave Spring, by residing in this country FOR TWELVE MONTHS, before the year 1778, satisfactory proof being made to the Court they are of Opinion that the said Combs has a right to a settlement for 400 acres of Land including said Spring & a Preemption of 1000 Acres Adjoining & that a certificate issue for the same accordingly (certificate book of the Virginia Land Commission, 1779-1780)

During the War of Independence there were three companies of volunteers from what at that time was known as Kentucky County, Virginia. Captain John Holder's company was organized in either 1799/1780, at Ruddells' and Martin's Station, near the present day site of Cynthiana, Kentucky. William Coomes was a sergeant in Captain Holder's company. His official title was "Sergeant of the Continental Line".

After the war William Coomes and family settled in Bardstown on a one thousand-acre farm two miles northeast of the town. They wanted to be near people of their own faith - Catholic; and, there was a large cave on the farm for protection from Indians. William Coomes presented 105 acres to Father Badin for a new Church.

Children of WILLIAM COOMES and FRANCES GREENLEAF are:
WILLIAM5 COOMES, JR, b. March 13, 1769, Charles County Maryland; d. 1844, Daviess County, Kentucky.
CHARLES COOMES, d. Abt. 1843.
WALTER A COOMES, b. Abt. 1758; d. Abt. 1844.
ENOCH T COOMES, b. July 05, 1765; d. December 03, 1828.
NANCY ANN COOMES, m. ED MCFARLANE, 1789.

* Information used with permission of Ann Whalen, Alexandria, TN


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