Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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John COMBER (c1789-1867)

and Mary FOSTER (c1794-1871)


St. Andrews, Nuthurst.  Photo taken from Comber and Mary Foster married on 22 January 1815 at the parish church of St. Andrews in Nuthurst, Sussex.  They were both then of Nuthurst.  The witnesses to their marriage were Peter Comber and Eleanor Comber.  (They were not my direct ancestors.)  Peter was probably John's uncle and Eleanor his sister.

John Comber was born in about 1789 in Broadwater, Sussex, according to the 1851 census, but in the 1861 census he gave his place of birth as Nuthurst.  Broadwater was a manor in Nuthurst, to the west of the village centre - see the page for Nuthurst at British History Online.  He died aged 78 years and his death was registered in the second quarter of 1867 in the Horsham registration district.  John was probably the son of Richard Comber (c1750-1841) and Mary Smart (1762-1844).  There was a John Comber baptised on 15 August 1790 in Nuthurst, the son of  Henry Comber (c1746-1826) and Dinah Duffel, (1753-1837) but he died as a child and was buried on 26 February 1794 in Nuthurst.  John was a witness to the marriage of William Killner and Mary Comber on 7 September 1813 in Nuthurst, and Mary was the daughter of Richard and Mary.  John was appointed and executor of his father's will along with his brother Peter and Simeon.

Mary or Mary Ann Foster was born about 1794 in Nuthurst, according to the 1851 census.  She died aged 77 years and her death was registered in the first quarter of 1871 in the Horsham registration district.

When the 1841 census was recorded the couple and their young son were living at Jackrells Farm in Nuthurst, where John was a farmer.  Also living with them at that time was 15 year old servant, Eliza Carter.  In 1851 the couple were living at New Pool, part of Sedgwick in Nuthurst and John was a farmer of 200 acres, employing 6 labourers.  Their son Richard was also with them on census night, as were 4 servants:  22 year old David Petersfield, 17 year old William Slaughter, 16 year old Edmund Greenfield who were all farm labourers and 22 year old Mary Wood who was a house servant.  The next property listed in the 1851 census was Bottings Farm which was occupied by 48 year old Simion Comber who like John said he was born in Broadwater.  In 1861 the couple were still living in Nuthurst and John was still farming 200 acres.  They also had a boarder with them in 1861, 66 year old widower John Howard who was an agricultural labourer, and 5 servants:  Henry Thompson aged 23, Alfred Mansbridge aged 14, William Francis aged 19, Eliza Heasman aged 16 and 14 year old Mary Attwater.


John Comber and Mary Foster had 2 known children:

  1. John Comber was baptised aged 16 years on 29 April 1832 in Nuthurst, at which time his father was a farmer of Nuthurst.  He married Eliza Chart in 1839.  (They have their own page.)

  2. Richard Comber was baptised on 29 April 1832 in Nuthurst.  He was 9 years old when the 1841 census was recorded.  In 1851 he was a 19 year old farmer's son living with his parents.  In 1861 he was described as an idiot and was living with his parents.  In 1871 he was a 39 year old imbecile living with his brother John at Jackrells in Nuthurst.



This page was reviewed on 9 April 2012