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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Ann Courtenay (and husband Gilbert Holcombe) - any living children as of 1630?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: inquiry on documents available at Powderham Castle
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 15:29:19 -0400
From: Ray Holcomb

Dear Sir or Madam,

My wife and I plan a visit to Devon from the United States between September 2 and September 6. We will visit the Devon Heritage Center (Exeter), Powderham Castle, and perhaps the Devon Record Office (Barnstaple) for genealogy research. We have located several documents in the Heritage Center online catalog that appear relevant to our research, and would appreciate your advice to make our short visit efficient.

We are particularly interested in Thomas Holcomb(e) (1601-1657), the first immigrant to Massachusetts with that surname (1629). Several genealogies published in the 1930s claim that his mother was Ann Courtenay (1573-1642), a well-documented descendent of the noble Powderham family of that surname. However, two notable Devon surveys from ca. 1630  (Vivian and Westcote) are in direct conflict over whether Ann Courtenay (and husband Gilbert Holcombe) had any living children as of 1630.

While we plan to visit Powderham Castle as well as the Heritage Center, it appears that much of the Powderham Courtenay material has been transferred to the National Archives (under acquisition code D1508/M). The catalog of that deposit includes “a survey book, 1574-1640” which could hold very useful material. It is not clear to me whether it resides at Exeter or Barnstaple, and how I might arrange access to it and similar records.

We would also appreciate your advice on how we might divide our time most efficiently between Exeter, Powderham Castle, and Barnstaple to conduct our research on the progeny (if any) of Ann Courtenay. Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide.


Raymond L. Holcomb


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