Saturday, September 26, 2009

Which Goodman Family? Part 2

This is the second part of my search for Nancy Goodman's family.

By 1830, when Ephraim Comstock and wife Nancy Goodman were living in Carroll County, TN, most of the Goodmans that had been in Maury Co in 1820 had also left that county. Robert Bates, who married Nancy's probable sister Mahala, appears to be in Hickman Co, TN in 1830, and so is Alexander Goodman, who was one of the Goodmans back in Maury Co in 1820. Alexander is not a good candidate for Nancy's father, reasons will follow later.

There were in fact a number of Goodmans in Hickman Co TN by 1830. Alexander was there and on the same page with him was Asa [proved to be a son of Alexander] and a quite elderly Jessee, now age 70-80. There had been an older than age 45 "Jessey" on the same page with Alexander back in 1820, in Maury Co, too. Another group of Goodmans on a different page were a Drewry, age 20-30, a Robertson, age 20-30, and a John, age 40-50. There had been a John age 26-45 back in Maury in 1820 and he had older male children in the family. They could be all be part of that same family [or not] but any relationship to Alexander is unknown.

Also in Hickman Co in 1830, each on a separate page is an Ephraim Goodman, age 20-30, a Robert age 30-40, and a Terrel age 20-30.

The only Goodman family remaining in Maury Co in 1830 was the family of a William Goodman, was was age 30-40 - about 10 years older than my Nancy. William had as many as nine children in his household. There had been three Williams Goodmans in 1820.

No Goodman families had moved to Perry Co, TN by 1830 - at least none were noted in the census.

In Carroll Co, TN where Ephraim & Nancy Goodman Comstock were living, along with the widowed Nancy Goodman, there was one other Goodman family in 1830.

James Goodman had 1 male child, age 5-10, 2 males age 10-15, a male age 15-20, and a male age 40-50 [presumably himself]. He had 1 female child under 5, two girls 5-10, 2 girls 10-15, one female age 20-30 and one female age 40-50.

Note: There was no Carroll County in 1820 - it was formed from Indian Lands 1821 & 1822. No James Goodman can be found in Tennessee in 1820. I feel he is likely totally unrelated to the Nancys. This 1830 Carroll Co census is a bit unusual in that part of it seems to be arranged by neighborhoods as the surnames are random - another part of it has been semi-alphabetized by surname. The Comstocks and the widow Nancy Goodman were the part seemingly by neighbors; James Goodman was on an alpha page. Probably two different enumerators in two divergent areas.

Since Fleming Goodman was in Maury Co TN in 1820, Perry Co TN in 1840, but not with the others in Hickman Co in 1830, I searched for him. The only man of this name that year was in Wayne Co, TN. He is listed as Flemming Goodman with only one male age 60-70 [which is the same age as the man of this name is in 1840], a female 10-15, a female 15-20, and a female age 40-50 [in 1840, the female in the household of Fleming in Perry Co was the same age]. So even though Fleming is a relatively unusual given name, I would doubt that this is the same man - except there was also a John Goodman in Wayne Co, though not on the same page as Fleming & Johns were found in 1820 and 1840 counted next to Fleming. There was also an S. C. Goodman in Wayne Co, age 20-30 with young children and a spouse of the same age.

In 1840, when Ephraim & Nancy Comstock are found in Perry County, TN, there were several Goodman families living there, but the Comstocks did not appear to live near them. Many researchers have not located Ephraim in this census, his surname looks more like "Humpstock" but the makeup of the family is a very close match, and they were on the same page as Amos Randle/Randel, whose son married Ephraim & Nancy's only daughter. I'm confident it was Ephraim and family.

The Goodmans in Perry Co TN in 1840 were these three:
Fleming Goodman: 1 male age 60-70, 1f age 60-70 [was in Maury in 1820, but had no daughters that could have been Nancy]
John Goodman: 1m 10-15, 1m 15-20, 1m 30-40, 1m 40-50; 2f under 5, 1f 5-10, 1f 10-15, and a female age 40-50. [John and Fleming enumerated next to each other as they were in Maury in 1820. John had a 10-16 year old female in his household in 1820, although he was listed as 16-26 and probably not her father, and he also had two older women, over 45, living in his household.]
Caleb Goodman: 1m 5-10, 1m 10-15, 1m 30-40; 1f under 5, 1f 5-10, 2f 10-15, and a female 30-40. It is possible that this is the S. C. Goodman who was in Wayne Co with Fleming and John in 1830.
The Comstocks did not seem to be living near any of these Goodman families and I doubt that Nancy had a direct kinship to this group.

"Mahaly" Goodman Bates was living in Williamson Co TN in 1840, now widowed, apparently recently since she lists three of the children as under five. No Goodman families there, but there was a much older Robert Bates. Mahaly's family contained 1 male under 5, 2 males 15-20, 2 females under 5, 1 female 5-10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 15-20, and 1 female age 30-40 [probably Mahala]. I will state here that I suspect Robert Bates of having been married prior to his marriage to Mahala and probably had some children with the first wife.

Still in Hickman Co TN in 1840 were Alexander and Asa D. Goodman, father and son. This time Alexander is on the same page with Robertson and Drury Goodman who are adjacent each other and two pages away from Asa. Later deeds from Perry Co which prove Asa's relationship to Alexander give no hints that Drury and Robertson were part of the same family, but Asa, Drury and Robertson were all age 30-40 in 1840. There was an older John Goodman living near Drury & Robertson in 1830 - listed as age 40-50 in 1830. In 1840, there was still a John Goodman in Hickman Co, but his age remained the same - perhaps an error on the part of the enumerator, or maybe not even the same John.

The one Goodman found in Maury Co TN in 1820, that is conspicuously missing from all this census evaluation for 1830 and 1840, is Abraham Goodman who lived next to Fleming and John in 1820.

Back in Maury Co TN in 1840, the Goodmans had increased in numbers. There was a John B., age 40-50 with his family. A John J. Goodman, age 30-40 with his family, counted next to a widow, Nancy N. Goodman, age 40-50. Nancy had a male child 10-15 and a female child age 5-10 in her household. There is a possibility according to unsourced Internet data that she was the widow of Abraham Goodman who had been in Maury in 1820, living next to Fleming & John Goodman - however, I believe Abraham's widow would have been older as they had teen-aged children in 1820. I think instead the Nancy Goodman living in Carroll Co is a better candidate. Abraham is found in databases online to have had a wife Nancy.

Part 3 will be more about Abraham Goodman and the possibility that he could have been the father of Nancy Goodman who married Ephraim Comstock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which Goodman Family?

My Nancy (Goodman) Comstock is a stout brick wall in my research. These are the facts as I know them.

One of the really, really useful things about blogging is that it forces one to take another look at their research. After this Blog was first posted, I found it necessary to take another look at the census records. I discovered I had been "off" a column when first transcribing some of them. That of course caused some incorrect conclusions. So this blog was edited on 28 September 2009 - if you saw it prior to that, there were errors in some of the census interpretation.

She was born 2 Jun 1805 [recorded in her daughter's Bible] possibly in South Carolina [1850 Census].
Nancy Goodman married Ephraim H. F. Comstock, 14 Oct 1823, Maury Co, Tennessee. Robert Bates was bondsman and his wife was Mahala Goodman who he had married in the same place 25 Apr 1819. Bates' bondsman was William Goodman. There were several Goodman families in the 1820 Maury County census.
In 1830, Nancy, Ephraim and family were living in Carroll Co, TN and the person enumerated next to them was a Nancy Goodman, age 50-60, with several others living in her household. Living next to these two families was the family of Jordan Middleton, whose wife was Telitha Goodman and believed to be a daughter of Abraham & Nancy Goodman [more about this later].
By 1840, the Comstock family was living in Perry Co, TN. Again there were other Goodman families living there - no other Comstocks as Ephraim was a wanted man in Kentucky.
By 1850, Ephraim Comstock was dead - Nancy was head of household still in Perry Co TN
About 1852, all of the Comstock family, including the married children, moved to McDonald County, Missouri. Presumably Nancy did move with them and died there, 24 May 1855 [as recorded in the Bible]
Nancy and Ephraim had one daughter, seven known sons, and there may have been an 8th son who died young. Their names are in the previous post.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who connects to any of the following Goodman families. In this post I'll discuss those found early on in Maury Co. It is possible that all of these Goodman families are related in some way.

From Maury Co, TN, circa 1820. Looking for a Goodman family with a daughter born about 1805 - in the age 10-16 category. Based on the younger people living with the 50-60 year old Nancy in Carroll Co in 1830, there would likely be several young people in the family.

I found on the same page:

Abraham Goodman, age 45 with probable spouse age 26-45. He had three females age 10-16, as well as another female under 10 and two males under 10.
Fleming Goodman had females that would be of marriageable age by 1823. He had two females age 10-16, and two younger than ten. He had a male 16-18 and a male 16-26 who could have been the same young man given the peculiar qualities of this census, a male over 45, presumably himself, and a female also over age 45.
John Goodman had the following household: 1m 16-18, 1m 16-26 [in this case probably two different males unless he was quite a young husband], 1f 16-26.
Note: A Fleming and John Goodman will both appear in the 1840 census in Perry Co where the Comstocks were living – Fleming was by then age 60-70 and John 40-50. They were again listed adjacent to each other as they were in 1820 in Maury Co. Since John isn't quite old enough to be the father of "my" Nancy, and Fleming was still living in 1840, that leaves only Abraham of this group as a possible person of interest.

Another grouping of Goodmans in Maury Co, 1820:

Alexander Goodman was age 26-45. He had a boy under 10 [Asa D. Goodman] and apparently himself age 26-45; a girl under 10 [a Mahala, who married Roberts], a girl 10-16 [Sarah, married DePriest] and a female age 26-45 [probably his wife, Nancy]. [Alexander can be removed as a possible candidate for husband of the widow Nancy Goodman. He did move to Hickman and then Perry Counties. His wife was also named Nancy – she can be found as head of household in the Perry County 1850 census – some have mistaken her for the same as the Nancy Goodman in Carroll Co in 1830 but the age and deed records from Perry Co show this cannot be so. They had one more son born after 1820 – a Jesse Goodman.
As you can see I've done some research on this family. ]
Jessey Goodman: 1 male 10-26, 1m over 45, 1 female age 10-16. Two females over age 45.[Since Alexander had a son named Jesse, although he was not yet born in 1820, and these men were on the same page in the census, one could surmise a kinship – older brother, perhaps, or even father, uncle. There is a female of the right age to be a possibility for Nancy. Of course one of the older females could also have been a mother, aunt, etc. Nancy apparently wasn't the widow of Jessey of 1820 because he was found near Alexander Goodman in 1830 and still appeared to have a spouse living. [Jesse, age 70-80 and Alexander, age 40-50 are both in Hickman Co TN in 1830. Mahala Goodman Bates was also living in Hickman Co in 1830.]
There were three William Goodmans, all on this same page: Two of them were age 16-26 with a probable spouse of the same age and very young children. [not good possibilities, but either would have made a good bondsman for Robert Bates] The third William seemed to be over age 45, spouse of the same age, two young males – no daughters. [It would appear Nancy was not the daughter of any of these Williams.]
There was a John Goodman in this group, too. He had 2 boys under 10, 2 boys 10-16, a boy 16-18, a boy 16-26, who could be the same boy or an older one, and John himself, age 26-45; there were 2 females under 10, 1f 10-16, and a female 26-45. [This family could accommodate the young Nancy and possibly even a daughter old enough to have been Mahala married in 1819.]
A Joseph C. Goodman was young – age 16-26, probable spouse age 16-26, a little girl under 10.

There were a couple of other Goodmans indexed in Maury Co in 1820, but examination of their names suggest different spellings to me, one was a Joseph Goodwin, one a Thomas Goodrum, although a Thomas Goodman does appear to be on some of tax lists - his name remains a question. The Thomas Goodman on the tax lists was a slave owner setting him somewhat apart from the other Goodmans.

Here are some early tax records from Maury Co, TN, listing the following Goodmans. The names in the tax records to not seem to be consistent with the names in the censuses and not all years are in existence. Tolliver T. Goodman is a name on the tax lists which doesn't appear in the census – but he will also appear later in Perry Co.

Maury Co TN Tax Books [years in existence]: [no Comstock or Bates found]

1811 Thomas Goodman (no white males over 21 ?) 5 slaves

1812 Thomas Goodman " 5 slaves

1817 Thomas Goodman " 4 slaves
Jesse Goodman 1 over 21

[Undated record]
Thomas G. Goodman 6 slaves; Value $2700; Poll tax 1.75

1825 Heanden Goodman 1 over 21

1826 Thomas Goodman 120 acres; (no w m over 21); 3 slaves
Bisha Goodman 1 over 21
Hosea Goodman "
Hardin Goodman "
Tolliver T. Goodman "
Additional list at end of 1826 Tax List
Johnston, J. B. Elliott Capt: Goodman, Thomas
Capt. Cathsy/Cattesy Justice:
Goodman, Bisha; Goodman, Hosea; Goodman, Hardin; Goodman, Tolliver

1830 Tolliver Goodman 1 over 21
Wm Goodman "
Thos. Goodman 125 acres; 1 over 21; 4 slaves; stud horse

There is a Road Minutes Book, compiled by Simmons Historical Publications. The items are from Feb 1817 – Apr 1824. These Goodman names are found either as overseers or as part of the road crew: Joseph Goodman and Alexander Goodman were overseers at times, John Goodman, Flemming Goodman, Asa Goodman, Bisha Goodman, William Goodman, Hemp Goodman, served on road crews. Again, some of the names do not appear in the 1820 census.

Other than the marriage of Ephraim Comstock to Nancy Goodman, I have not found the Comstock surname in any of the Maury Co records. He apparently never owned land there, nor was any other member of the Comstock family present.

More Goodmans to follow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Comstock Family OOPS - Ephraim's Wife, a Goodman Brick Wall

Ephraim Comstock's third wife, Nancy Goodman, is one of my sturdy brick walls. From Comstock-Haggard and Allied Families, compiled by Mary Jane Comstock, Adams Press, Chicago, 1973, is my beginning information about Nancy,
"Nancy Goodman was reared in Graves County, KY. She was, according to family stories, half-Indian. The tribe usually named is Choctaw but so far there is no proof of any kind. Graves County was formed in 1823 but the court house burned in 1887. In 1840, there were four Goodman families in that area, W. E., Hardin, Y. E., and E. L."
A date of death as 24 May 1855 was also given, but no birth date and no date or place for her marriage to Ephraim.

The above quotation is full of errors and faulty research. First the Indian story. Graves County, Kentucky was not a likely location for Choctaw Indians. It was part of the Jackson Purchase of 1818 - from the Chickasaw. I had a DNA test for racial indications and I was 100% white European - seemingly not one drop of Indian blood - and Nancy was my three great grandma. It is true that her son, Elijah Thomas "Tom" Comstock, my gg grandfather, did claim to be "part Indian". He was also known to have embellished stories considerably. The claim of Indian blood does not seem to exist in the family lines of Nancy's other children.

The courthouse did burn in Graves County, KY - in fact has had three major disasters. Tax records have survived and there were Goodmans living there in the 1820's, about the time Ephraim & Nancy married. But it's also true that other Goodmans were in Maury County, TN at the time of the marriage, and that's where this couple married, not in Kentucky. There were in fact a number of Goodmans in Maury County in 1820 - I'll describe them in another post. By the time of their marriage, Ephraim, charged and sentenced for forgery, had been declared "not of the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

There is no proof that Nancy came from Kentucky at all. I do not believe she did, although Ephraim had previously been in Kentucky. In 1850, Nancy stated she was born in South Carolina! I found the marriage of Ephraim Comstock to Nancy Goodman in Maury County, TN, 14 Oct 1823. The article in the Comstock book above did say that Ephraim had once lived in "Murray County" a name which does not exist. Bondsman for the marriage license was Robert Bates, for whom there is a marriage to Mahala Goodman, 25 Apr 1819, also in Maury Co TN. A William Goodman was their bondsman. "Mahaly" Bates was widowed by 1840, living in Williamson Co, TN. In 1850, she was still there and married John Hargrove soon after that; Mahala stated she was born in South Carolina. Both Nancy Comstock and Mahala Bates indicated they could not read or write - they seemed to have had no contact after Nancy's marriage. Certainly they did not live in the same places at the same time. But I strongly suspect Mahala was Nancy's sister.

In 1830, Ephraim and family was living in Carroll County, Tennessee. They were not easy to find as his name is scrunched up and nearly unreadable - the family makeup fits his profile, however. This census record in this location, as well as the marriage record in Maury County, seem to have gone unfound by other Comstock researchers. Enumerated next to Ephraim Comstock in 1830 is an older Nancy Goodman!

The older Nancy Goodman's household looked like this: 1 male under age 5, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 15-20; and 1 female 20-30, 1 female 50-60 [old enough to be mother of Nancy and Mahala and some of the other children listed; the boy under five could even be the child of the 20-30 year old and be a grandson]. I never found this lady again after 1830.

There was also a John Goodman, age 40-50, with his family, living in Carroll County in 1830; I've never been able to find anything else about him.

By 1840, Ephraim Comstock and family were living in Perry County, TN. One hopes his frequent moves were not because of continuing problems with debt and the law. There were Goodmans living in Perry County. None of the Comstocks were in Tennessee other than Ephraim - it's doubtful his siblings knew of his whereabouts since he was "wanted" in Kentucky and had left a wife there as well. I have researched the other Goodmans in Perry County and so far have come up emptied handed as far as any connection to Nancy. I do feel that there is at least a reasonable chance Nancy was kin to some of these Goodmans - in 1860, after the Comstocks were gone to Missouri, Mahala Goodman and her second husband John Hargrove had moved to Perry County.

In the 1850 Perry County TN census, it's apparent that Ephraim has died and Nancy Comstock is head of household, age 44. Within a few years, Nancy, her married daughter Caroline Comstock Randal, and all of Nancy's sons moved to McDonald County, in the southwest corner of Missouri. Caroline had a family Bible - recorded in it were dates for Nancy Comstock, born 2 Jun 1805, died 24 May 1855. No locations are stated but it is most likely Nancy was there in McDonald County with her children at the time of her death.

It isn't likely that the names given to the children of Ephraim and Nancy would furnish hints to Nancy's family. Ephraim was given to rather fanciful names - he had named his son by his second wife, Napoleon Bonaparte Comstock. Nancy's children were:

1. Caroline Zelpha Ann Comstock, b. 14 Apr 1823 [Date is from her Bible and she appears to have been born six months before the marriage of her parents.] Caroline married William Riley Randal in Perry County TN. She died 17 Feb 1909 in Chautaugua County, Kansas

2. Hugh Bonaparte Comstock, b. ca 1827. Hugh married Elizabeth Rebecca Weeks in Perry County TN. Elizabeth died right after they arrived in Missouri, leaving two young sons. Hugh remarried, but died in 1856. The second wife left for Colorado. The boys were raised by their Comstock kin.

3. Leander Brown Comstock, b. ca 1828. Leander married Nancy Forguson, also while they were still in Tennessee. He died in Greene County, MO, 1877, leaving a large family.

4. William Decatur Comstock, b. ca 1832, married Hannah Mahurin in 1854 in McDonald County, Missouri. He was shot and killed in January of 1864, while home on leave from his unit in the Confederacy for the pending birth of his 4th child. The child was born three weeks after his death and named William Josephine, even though she was a girl.

5. Warren Harris Comstock, b. ca 1834, married Manerva Schell in McDonald County. Warren died in Feb of 1864. He was in a Confederate Cavalry unit. I have never been able to discover the cause of his death - whether he died from wounds or disease. He left a young daughter, Mary, or Nancy, her name found both ways.

6. James Irving [Erwin, later in life] Comstock, b. ca 1837, married Mary Elizabeth Stamps in Missouri. They lived in Kansas - were there for the 1870 and 1880 censuses. They had seven known children. Mary Elizabeth died after the 1880 census and before James moved back to Missouri, Cedar County, about 1890. James was murdered, poisoned, in October, 1893. He had married again, in December of 1892 to Margaret E. "Mag" Petty who had been married twice before. Mag's sister, Minerva Petty Wallace also was poisoned and died at the same time. Minerva was apparently an innocent victim who stopped by for dinner that night. Mag's son Sterling Brasher was accused and tried for the murder, but was acquitted.

7. Elijah Thomas "Tom" Comstock, b. 22 Dec 1838, was my great, great grandfather. He married Miranda Brown, 17 May 1859, in McDonald County, MO. After the Civil War they lived in Texas, but moved to Crawford County, Arkansas, prior to the 1870 census. Tom homesteaded there and he and Miranda, along with other members of the family, are buried in the family cemetery on that homestead location. Tom died 29 Apr 1917, outliving all his siblings.

8. Harvey Alexander Comstock, was b. ca 1841, in Tennessee, as were all his siblings. His name is sometimes seen as Harry or even Henry, but I believe that's when his name has been mis-read. Harvey married Eliza Grant. They were living in Cooke County, TX in 1880. He is said to have died in 1882, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory [Oklahoma]. There were three children, at least one of whom was still living in the Chickasaw Nation in 1900.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Comstock Family OOPS - My "Gray" Sheep Ancestor, Ephraim Comstock

Ephraim Comstock, born say 1795 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, was my third great grandfather. The Comstock genealogies have various stories with a positive slant regarding his accomplishments. There definitely are a few sins of omission and evidence of criminal behavior, although he was never convicted. I believe for him to actually qualify for a Black Sheep Ancestor, he would have had to serve some time for his crimes. He led an interesting life to say the least. And although I've uncovered much, I'm sure that's only the tip of the iceberg. Puzzles remain.

One curious fact about Ephraim is that he is much older than his two known siblings. He was born probably within the first year of his parents' marriage. His brother Elijah was born in 1808, and sister Lavinia in 1810 - Ephraim was in his mid-teen years. If there were other children that did not survive, no mention of them has been passed down in the family lore. This gap in the birth order leaves me wondering about the family dynamics and what may be unknown. The younger siblings seem to have led uneventful lives. His father was a local court justice. It is true his grandfather Capt. William "Wild Bill" Hardin was a rather colorful figure.

Ephraim married for the first time, 2 Jan 1817, to Martha "Patsy" Williams, daughter of Amos and Dorcas (Riley) Williams. Patsy died in childbirth when their daughter Dorcas was born on the 30th of November, 1817. Perhaps this tragedy started Ephraim down the wrong path. I suspect the infant remained in the care of Amos & Dorcas Williams from her birth, and Williams family tradition supports this fact, but not until 1820 do the court records reveal the following:

Breckinridge Court Order Book 3; p.156 21 Aug 1820: Amos Williams ordered that Ephraim Comstock be summoned to appear at next term to show cause why Amos should not be guardian of Dorcas Williams. p.188, 19 Feb 1821: Comstock did not appear in Court on that day. Amos Williams was appointed guardian of Dorcas Comstock by default.

In the years between the birth of Dorcas and her grandfather being appointed her guardian, Ephraim's life was in turmoil. I will highlight only the major incidents.

His father died. Court Minutes, Book 3, p. 2 21 Sep 1818 Ephraim Comstock and his mother WinneyAnn Comstock granted administration on William Comstock, dec'd, estate. Security with William Hardin Sr [grandfather] & Amos Williams [former father-in-law]. By November, Amos Williams asked to be released from acting as security and on 21 Dec 1818, Ephriam posted security bond with William Hardin Jr and William Davison [both were brothers-in-law].

His mother died. WinnyAnn Comstock's Will was recorded 18 Jan 1819 leaving a smallish bequest of $6 for Ephraim, stipulating that he was not to have the care of the two younger children. They were left in charge of Winny's brother, John Hardin. Will Book 1, p.8; probate 7 Jan 1819. Many of Ephraim's troubles had not yet surfaced in court when WinnyAnn wrote her simple will; but she must have had no confidence in his character.

On 27 Jan 1819, within weeks, perhaps days, after the death of his mother, Ephraim married the widow Eleanor "Ellen" Pate Clark. Her first husband was William B. Clark, son of Thomas Martin and Milly (Moorman) Clark and Ellen had three small daughters. William Clark was not long dead because a deed in Sept of 1818 between William Hardin Sr [Ephraim's grandfather] and Ephraim Comstock, has William B. Clark acting as one of the witnesses.

Ephraim had a serious fight with his brother-in-law. Circuit Court Order Book 4, p.215. Wed. 21 Jul 1819. Ephraim Comstock sued William Hardin (Jr or Sr - impossible to tell from the handwriting, but evidently it was Jr given a subsequent entry) for Trespass Assault & Battery. The jury found in favor of Ephraim and assessed damages to Hardin for 1 Cent plus costs. The jury seemed to believe Ephraim was not badly hurt.
p.235. Fri 23 Jul 1819. William Hardin Jr against Ephraim Comstock for the same TA & B offense. Jury said Ephraim was not guilty and ordered Hardin to pay his costs. Appeal was filed by Hardin the next day.
I discovered William Hardin Jr took this case to the Court of Appeals, but he lost there, too.

During the fall months of 1819, court records reveal that Eleanor Pate Clark Comstock had apparently inherited 100 acres and a few slaves from her Clark husband. Her father, Edward Pate, took various legal steps to ensure the property would descend to Eleanor's three young daughters as heirs of their legal father. Several cases of debt are levied against Ephraim Comstock, one initiated by his former father-in-law Amos Williams, quite likely for support of the infant Dorcas Comstock. By 1820, a guardian had been appointed for the three Clark girls:
On 15 May 1820 John Dejarnet, was selected guardian of the infant heirs of William B. Clark, dec'd. Commissioners were appointed to settle with Ephraim "Cumstock" and Eleanor his wife. [John Dejarnet was related to the Clarks by marriage and in the future, his son would marry one of the Ellen's Clark daughters.]

In the summer of 1820, Ephraim mortgaged his inheritance, his father's land: Deed Book E, pp.220-221: 18 Jul 1820. Ephraim mortgaged his share (200 acres) of the 600 acres deeded to his parents by William Hardin, Sr.

Also, on 22 August 1820, a son was born to Ephraim and Ellen Comstock. He was named Napoleon Bonaparte Comstock. A bit pretentious, perhaps.

There are hints in some of the various suits for debt that Ephraim had an association with one William Lasewell [Lacewell?] and it did not seem to be for the better. There is a deed dated 30 Dec 1820. George Lee and Mary his wife, to Ephraim Comstock and William Lasewell for $400. 194 1/2 acres on the little fork of Clover Creek, part of a tract patented to William May. [There was some problem with this deed. In 1821 the County Court mentioned a "pretended sale" from Lee to Comstock that was to be set aside and declared void.]

1821 was a bad year for Ephraim Comstock.

Circuit Court Order Book 5. p.69 Mon 16 Apr 1821. Commonwealth vs. Ephraim Comstock for Felony [later records reveal this was for forgery]. Jailor brought Prisoner to Court. Bail set at $500 from Comstock plus $500 Security. William Hardin Sr. [his grandfather] put up the Security that he would appear. Comstock released on his own recognizance.
p.90 Wed. 18 Apr 1821. Ephraim Comstock came not.
p.180 Sat 21 Jul 1821. Ephraim Comstock against Edward Pate and others for Trespass Assault & Battery. Plaintiff hath departed from this Commonwealth and the suit dismissed.

I believe by July of 1821, Ephraim had left the state of Kentucky and gone to Tennessee.

Ephraim forfeited his grandfather's $500. In the Circuit Court Records, Vol. 5, p.193, Monday, 15 Oct 1821, the Commonwealth of Kentucky brought suit against William Hardin for the $500 but notes that he "has departed this life and John E. Hardin is the acting executor of the Last Will and Testament of William Hardin, Senior."

Here is an abstract of the Will of William Hardin, which indicates how William "Wild Bill" Hardin Sr., felt about this errant grandchild.
The Will is dated 19 Jun 1821. Names wife, Susan [a second wife]; remainder equally divided between children Henry, Malinda Crawford, Amelia, Merry Celia Davidson, John E., Hannah Ann, Lucinda, and the children of deceased daughter Winny Ann Comstock - Elijah & Levina. [William Hardin omitted entirely the eldest child of Winny Ann - Ephraim - but that's understandable given the situation mentioned above.] Gives son William $3 and nothing more. Executors were John E. Hardin & Robert Huston. Witnesses: Gideon Brown, Robert N. Washington, Robert Huston. Probate 18 Sep 1821. Will Book 1, p.35.

In 1822, we discover the depth of Ephraim's crimes. He was convicted of forgery and sentenced in absentia. We discover he had title to the land that was to descend to the Clark girls and had sold the slaves that were to be theirs - a situation the Court took steps to correct.
Circuit Court Order Book 5. p.303-304. Mon. 15 Apr 1822. Ephraim Comstock indicted on two counts of Forgery. He came not. Convicted and sentenced to jail for not more than six years nor less than two years. Writ ordered for his arrest.
p.361-362. Sat. 20 Apr 1822. Several cases against Ephraim Comstock. Continued. He is not a citizen of this State and newspaper notices are required for two months in succession requesting his appearance at the next Court Term.
p.415 Mon 21 Oct 1822. William B. Clarks heirs against Ephraim Comstock. The Court delivered their opinion. We discover the 100 acres Edward Pate had signed over to the Comstocks in 1819, he had already deeded to William B. Clark, and Eleanor had full knowledge the deed had been made to Clark. Sale of the slaves mentioned in the bill was declared fraudulent and void. The heirs were awarded the 100 acres by 1st January next. Sale of Negroes to be annulled. The heirs were awarded their costs of the suit.

Since all of the above indicates Ephraim had been missing at least since the summer of 1821, the following record is peculiar. Court Order Book 6, p.26 Friday, 25 Apr 1823. Deed from Ephraim Comstock and wife Ellen to the heirs of William B. Clark was recorded. The deed is signed by Ephraim - one wonders how this signature was obtained. Did the family know where he was? Or did they forge his signature... A fact overlooked by the Court under the circumstances.

Apparently Ephraim and Eleanor were divorced, or more likely they simply agreed to disagree, as she married Edward Hamilton in 1825. She must have kept her son Napoleon Bonaparte Comstock, as he is found living with "Hambltons" in 1850, still in Breckinridge Co KY.

At the time Ephraim & Eleanor were separated, divorce could only be accomplished in Kentucky by an act of the legislature and the party at fault could not remarry within the state of Kentucky. I have never found any evidence that a divorce took place. I believe Ephraim was also guilty of the crime of bigamy...

According to an entry in her Bible, a daughter, Caroline Comstock, was born to Ephraim Comstock and Nancy Goodman, on 14 Apr 1823, probably in Maury County, TN. On 14 Oct 1823, Ephraim and Nancy were married in Maury County. Bondsman was Robert Bates, probably Nancy's brother-in-law married to her sister Mahala Bates. Ephraim & Nancy Goodman Comstock went on to have seven more children - all sons. They are found in Carroll County TN in 1830, Perry County TN in 1840. The youngest son, Harvey Alexander Comstock, was born in 1841.

Ephraim's death was recorded as 1860 on a worksheet in the manuscript file of Samuel Willett Comstock at the NEHGS library which is incorrect as his wife is the head of household in the 1850 census in Perry Co Tennessee. Soon after that census, the family all removed to McDonald County in southwest Missouri. Family papers have recorded Ephraim's death as 20 Dec 1847, but I have found no outside confirmation of the date. The manuscript file said that Ephraim went to Missouri with his family prior to 1850, then returned to Kentucky alone - I believe everything about that statement to be untrue - he was dead, certainly before 1850, and the family did not move to Missouri until about 1852.

Nancy Goodman Comstock's dates of birth and death were recorded in daughter Caroline's Bible. Nancy was born 2 Jun 1805 and died 24 May 1855, likely in Missouri. Caroline did not list her father in the Bible at all. I've been unable to discover much more about Nancy. Family tradition has held that Nancy was half-Indian, but my DNA shows not one drop of Indian ancestry. She was said to have been Choctaw, but there's no indication that she was ever located in a place populated by the Choctaw - if anything, she would have been Cherokee, but of course my DNA test indicates this is one of those mythical "Indian Princess" traditions.

The manuscript collection at NEHGS has this statement about Ephraim: "Ephraim was a school teacher & a Soldier in the Battle of Tippecanoe". This has been picked up in all the Comstock genealogies. He could have settled down to being a school teacher, I suppose. The Comstocks were in general an educated family; documents bear his signature, not a mark. And he could have been in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Tippecanoe is where William Henry Harrison defeated Tecumseh; a campaign from 16 Oct - 24 Nov of 1811. Ephraim would have been approximately 16. I have found two units listed from Kentucky - the Battalion of KY, Light Dragoons under Capt Peter Funk (27 men) and a Company of Mounted Riflemen under Capt. Fred Geiger (62 men). No Comstock is listed, nor do I find that these men came from Breckinridge County.

One last curiosity about Ephraim is his name. On the marriage bond for his marriage to Nancy Goodman, he signed his name as Ephraim H. F. Comstock. He never used any initials in any of the records in Kentucky. Some of the family references call him "Ephraim Flor Huber Comstock". His grandmother Hardin, nee Winifred Holtzclaw was of German ancestry so he might have known some of the language; his mother would likely have known some German as well. I have found that huber is a German word meaning "farmer"; flor is "bloom". Was he perhaps a fruit farmer, a truck gardener, a nurseryman? Was he given these names at birth, or was this something he adopted for himself?