Bible of Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby

Pages from a Bible owned by Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood, restored and preserved for Michelle Pierce, 2005 by Bob Inge, Lake City Co, who reported: “many tears, pieces missing, holes, much information missing or faded.”


[Page one:] This book was purchased Anno Domini 180–

By David Rice   Greene [County, Tennessee]


Job Comes T Willou… born Dec the 18th 1847

Job Comes Willoughby w… the 18th 1847 1847

Job C. T. Willoughby was born December the 18th 1847


[Page two: The first column is almost totally destroyed. The name Willoughby can be read four or five times plus the years 1840, 1842, [illegible], 14th day of [missing month, known from another page to have been February] 1846.


The second column was probably written first and contains numbered births, as follows:

Missing, a few letters only visible]

–) Elijah Berryman Willoughby was born June the 4th 1832

3) Mary-ann Elizabeth Willoughby was born March 15th 1834

4) Margaret Eeveline Willoughby was born April [xx][xx] 1836. [This is a different ink, smeared and faded, but possibly says the 21st or 23rd.]

5) Benjamin Franklin Willoughby, Born January 31st 1838 ~ 1838


[Page three: written in a more modern hand, possibly in pencil:]


Job Combs Willoughby Dec 18, 1847.

Mary Jane Florence Smith March 22, 1858.

John Wesley Hutson Oct 2, 1869.

Edith Melissa WilloughbyAug 10, 1880.

Leslie Willoughby Hutson May 15, 1905

Otto Albert Hutson April 21, 1913.



Job Combs Willoughby and Mary Jane Florence Smith were married Aug 22 ‘79

John Wesley Hutson and Edith Melissa Willoughby were married October 11, 1896.



Job Combs Willoughby July 24, 1886.

Mary Jane Florence Willoughby (Reeves) March 13, 1905.


[Page four: This appears to be practice writing similar to page one. There are also drawings of two women or dolls, one large and one small.]

Job Comes tomas was born J. Combs the 18th  1847

Willoughby Emily Willoughby


J[illegible] Sister

Job Combs


Benjamin Franklin Jeffers[off page]

Willoughby was born January the 31st day Adomin 1838


[Page five:} Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was mar[r]ied Dec the 29 1859


[Page six, the first column has:]

Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby son of Elijah Willoughby was born December 7th 1810

Katharine Rusel James daughter of Berryman James was born Dec 22nd 1810

Benjamin Willoughby and Katharine James was married October 15th 1829

— — — —

Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was Maried Dec the [illeg.] 185[?]

Nelson Brown son of [illegible] Brown was Born February the 11 183[?]


[Second column]

Benjamin Willoughby

— — — —

Robert Parker and Polly Richey was married Decr 31st 1836[1]

Samuel M Stewart and Elizabeth See W[as married?] March 24, 1850[2]

— — — —

William P Willoughby and Nancy Howard was married December the 30th 1852 = 1805 a 1852

Robert Sarchet and Margaret Willoughby was married April the 8th 1855 = 1855


[Page seven:]

David Rice born September the 1st Anno Domini 1775[3]  [This birth is in a very different hand from the rest of these notes.


At least half of the column headed Births is missing. The second column, with the same heading, starts:]

5 Susannah Willoughby was born Jan 31th anno domin 1795

6 Sarah Willoughby was born Sep the 15 Anno Domini 1800

7 Elijah Willoughby was born March 12th ano domin 1802

8 George Willoughby [the rest of the page is missing, except a fragment along the right margin, probably George’s birth year —04 or —06 and —hby De <end of line> thirty first –ear of his age —ty seven. Did George die in 1837, when he was 31?]


[Page eight starts with more practice writing in the first column:] Benjamin [next line] Biermann

Elijah Willoughby and Susanna Leachman was Maried Oct[o]ber the 23 day anno domini 1787   1787 [The writer copied over some of the words, possibly helping to preserve them, There is no “h” on Susannah, and “Anno Domini” is not copied over, but very faint.]

Enoch Willoughby [remainder of this marriage record is missing. Very large writing.


Second column, more practice words:] Mary

Martha Willoughby [This is written in large, dark letters, almost over the faint record below.

Very faint:] Rhoda Willoughby and Moreland was married Sep 4 Anno Domine 1804.

Polly Willoughby and James Richey was married May the 20 Anno Dom…[4]


[Page nine, across the top of the page:] The war for the [Come   enas — commenced?  —Comberland?] in the year Eighteen and Sisety 1860 and they are still fiting yet and this is the years 1865

[Along the side of the page:] 1860 Abraham Lincoln President


[Page ten, hand-drawn lines on an originally blank page. At the bottom of the page are initials, MW:]


9 Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby was born December the 7 – 1810

Elijah Beneman Willoughby son of Benjamin J Willoughby was born June the 4 1839

Martha E Willoughby was born February the 14 1846



Benjamin Jeffers Willoughby died August 30th 184[? Probably 9]

Elijah Berman Willoughby died June the 6 1846


[There are also two pages of a Clay Co IN deed, apparently made in 1830, between Berryman James and Benjamin Willoughby. It is only in occasional spots where the reader can distinguish a few words, conventional language for a deed. James’s daughter married Willoughby’s son.]


Internal evidence suggests the Bible was purchased before 1810 by David Rice of Greene Co TN. At some time the Bible was acquired by the Willoughby family.

The earliest Wiloughby notations were made in now-faded ink of events from 1787 through the death of a 31-year-old in 1837. Many portions of this record are missing, including the exact birth date of my ancestor, Elizabeth, ca 1813.

Possibly after the marriage of Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby and Katharine James in 1829, a new hand wrote the family events, including the children of Benjamin and Katharine.

The latest event in this hand is the birth of Martha Willoughby 14 Feb 1846. A child or young woman, probably Martha, used the Bible for copying. She particularly enjoyed making copies of her younger brother Job Combs Thomas Willoughby’s birth record; it is only from this writing that we know he had a third given name. Martha died in 1927 in Walla Walla WA. There are no records in the Bible after 1860. It is tempting to think she was married then and left the Bible at home.

The Bible must have passed to Job’s family, since a new hand, possibly using a pencil, wrote the events in the life of Job and his wife, through 21 April 1913. This was probably Edith Melissa (Willoughby) Hutson, since her mother’s death is recorded here, and she likely wrote everything on one occasion.

Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood was the granddaughter of Edith Melissa (Willoughy) Hutson. After her death in 1991, the Bible was given to Michelle Pierce of Lake City CO, who writes,  “It was in a paper grocery bag and smelled very musty. It had no binder and the pages were very water damaged. It didn’t take long to figure out what a treasure I had. Although I was broken hearted to see what was lost on torn and missing pages, I was thrilled by the remaining information.”

[1] The marriages of two granddaughters are listed here, Polly, daughter of Polly (Willoughby) and James Ritchey, and Elizabeth, daughter of Sara Eveline (Willoughby) and George See. Polly Ritchey, sometimes written as Richey, married Robert David Parker, the brother of her aunt Elizabeth (Willoughby) Parker’s husband, Greenberry.

[2] “Rootsweb Tree Zimmerman” at identifies her as a daughter of George and Sarah (Willoughby) See.

[3] “East Tennessee Hicks, Bowmans and Cooks” at has a David Wilson Rice born in Bedford Co VA this exact day and died in Greene Co TN in 1864, having outlived three of his four wives. He was in Greene Co TN, the same county as the Willoughbys, which makes me guess the Bible was acquired second hand by the Willoughby family.

[4] Jefferson Co TN Marriages give a date of 16 May 1812 for this marriage. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.Original data – Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.


Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 1:33 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. Do you think this Elijah Willoughby to be the son of Benjamin Willoughby or William Willoughby, Benjamin having married Susannah Wyatt, with William Willoughby their son? I have a feeling he was probably a brother to William and a son to Benjamin…or do I have the wrong family? My normal email address is Diana Covey Frymyer Mussaw, g-g-granddaughter to Susan Willoughby & Nixon Covey, Estill Co, KY

  2. Thank you so so much for this. I can’t wait to read all the information that you have here. You are so great for taking the time and effort to do this.
    Liz, North Carolina

  3. ===
    1706-1713 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    At a Court held for Northumberland County the 22nd day of March 1711
    The Records being burnt and THOMAS SMITH presenting to this Court an Original Deed and bond from THOMAS LEECHMAN and MARY his wife to the said SMITH Upon his Motion they are Admitted to Record.

    • Which Thomas and Mary is this?

  4. last record for Elizabeth

    1706-1711 Deed-Will Northumberland Co Virginia; {Antient Press}; Pg 91-92
    THIS INDENTURE made this Eighth day of February in the yeare of or: Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and Eight Nine Betweene THOMAS LEECHMAN & ELIZABETH his Wife. Daughter and sole Heire of JOHN GRALESSE, late of the County of Northumberld. in the Colony of Virga: of the one part and THOMAS SMITH of ST. STEPHENS Parish in the same County & Colony of the other party; Witnesseth that the said THOMAS LEECHMAN & ELIZABETH his Wife for Ten thousand seven hundred pounds of tobacco & caske to them paid, have granted unto the said THOMAS SMITH and to his heires a certaine tract or parcell of land containing One hundred acres in the sd. Parish, County & Colony bounding upon the Lans of WM: HART, JOHN WAY. the land late belonging to WILLIAM TIGNOR and COLEs land fifty acres part of the sd. hundred acres of land being part of a Pattent of Three hundred acres of land granted to THOMAS GARRARD dated the 24th of October 1655, who transferred th same to DANLL. NEALE the first of December 1656, (excepting fifty acres) out of which he acknowledged to belong to JOHN JOHNSON, and the other fifty acres the residue of the said one hundred acres of land being part of the said Pattent and the said excepted fifty acres out of GERRARDs Pattent which the said JOHNSON alsoe sold to WILLIAM THOMAS in Aprill 1662. which sd. WILLIAM THOMAS sells 229 acres & fifty acres includeing the said excepted parcell of fifty acres unto RICHARD WAY the 12th day of March 1663, & the first menconed fifty acres DANLL: NEALE assignes to the sd. WAY in October 1669, and JOHN WAY. Sone and heire of the said RICHARD WAY, conveyed the said one hundred acres hereby granted unto the said JOHN GRALESS as aforesd. with all houses waters all rights belonging unto him the said THOMAS SMITH and his heires and assignes for ever; To have and to hold freely & clearly acquitted from any future dames of them the said THOMAS LEECHMAN and ELIZABETH his Wife. their heires and from all incumbrances and in Testimony of all the prmisses, the sd. THOMAS LEECHMAN & ELIZABETH his Wife hereunto sett their hauds and affixed their scales the day & yeare first above menconed
    Signed sealed & delivered in the pr:sence of

  5. Elizabeth’s Brother John

    1699-1706 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    Att a Court held for Northumbld County the 21st day of Feb’y Anno 1704/5
    321/1: Upon the Moc’on of THOMAS LEECHMAN for and in behalfe of his Brother in Law JOHN GRALIS a Minor it being Rep[re]sented to this Court that he has beene unkindly Used by one of the Adm’str’s JOHN REASON Its therefore Ordered that he have Liberty to goe home with the said LEECHMAN and that the Sheriffe Cite the said REASON to the next Court to shew Reasons if any he can why the said GRALIS might not have another Guardian Appointed him.
    1699-1706 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    Att a Court held for Northumbld County the 17th day of Maij An’o 1705
    336/2: THOMAS LEECHMAN for & in behalfe of JN’O GRALIS a Minor ag’t JN’O REASON Cont’d to next Co’t.
    1699-1706 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    Att a Private Court held for Northumb’ld County the 9th of June 1705
    340/13: Upon the Moc’on of RICHARD KENNER on behalfe of his Mother & Wife joynt Exec’s a Probate is granted them of the Last Will and Testament of M’r THOMAS HOWSON the said Will being proved by the Oaths of JOSEPH TIPTON, THOMAS HOBSON, WILLIAM WINDER & THOMAS LEECHMAN Witnesses thereto and is Recorded.
    1699-1706 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    Att a Court held for Northumbld County the 19th of July Anno 1705
    342/9: THOMAS LEECHMAN moveing this Court that JOHN GRALIS his Bro[ther] in Law might be admitted his Guard’n he is Accordingly Admitted And Ordered he Give Security for the s’d LEECHMANs Estate the next Court.
    1706-1713 Order Book Northumberland Co Virginia {Hamrick};
    At a Court held for Northumberland County the 19th day of November 1707
    JOHN GRALIS Orphan Son of JOHN GRALIS Seventeen Years of Age the Twenty Fourth day of May next is by the Court with his own Consent bound as Apprentice to serve WILLIAM EDWARDS until he shall arrive unto the Age of One and Twenty Years the said EDWARDS Assuming in Court to teach the said GRALIS the Trade of a Shoemaker and also to read the bible perfectly and to Find and provide for him Competent meat drink washing and Lodging and also Convenient apparel both Linen and woolen during the said term and at the End thereof to give him such things as the Law Directs.

    • Thanks, Mike. I appreciate these docs. Kathy

  6. What is the significance of the name “Job Combs”? I am researching my 5th GGF Job Combs from Jefferson Co., TN. My GG Grandfather was Job’s son named Thomas. The only reference I find of Thomas is from Shenandoah Co., VA on a document where he signed his name “Tomas” same as in your record. Is this a member of my Job Comb’s family? I know Job’s son Solomon was in Greene Co., TN and died back in 1793 there. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • My understanding of the Bible is that Job Combs T(h)omas Willoughby’s sister used the Bible to practice writing. She was apparently quite taken with her baby brother’s name and wrote it repeatedly.
      I have no idea where the parents found the name. They may have been neighbors in Greene Co TN, or some other connection.
      Good luck, Kathy

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