Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Allen Line: Nicholas Corbin about 1650-1696, Immigrant

First, I am not joining in the controversy as to the parentage of Immigrant Nicholas.  I know there are those who think it "proven" that his parents are Thomas Corbin and Margaret Goodver, of Halls End, but I don't have any reason to think that is correct.  Nor do I have reason to think it is incorrect.  I am just suspicious that it may have come from Gustave Anjou or one of his comrades, who tried to fit nearly every family they worked on back to a line in England.  If there is better documentation than that, I'd love to see it and see where those lines run,but I'm not ready to go off in that direction at the moment.

So, we believe that Nicholas was born about 1650 in England, possibly in or around Halls End, but possibly in some other location entirely.  He could have been born earlier, but he is listed in 1671 as claiming headrights for himself, his wife Elizabeth, and two daughters.  This means he paid for the passage of his family, himself.  21 would have been young to have married in England, had two daughters, and raised or saved enough money to pay for the passage of four persons.  Perhaps 1640 is a better guesstimate for his age.  (This is just speculation on my part.) 

Sometime before 1677, Nicholas's wife Elizabeth died, and in 1676, Nicholas received a bequest from Lewis Bryan.  He is believed to be the father of Alice, Nicholas's second wife, so Elizabeth was likely to have died prior to 1676.  Nicholas and Edward Corbin were born to Nicholas and Alice, and Nicholas acquired land at this time.  He patented 200 acres in 1680, called "Corbin's Rest" and another 100 acres in 1687, called "Costrell Hill", and the family would have lived at the first site, most likely.  The land he acquired was apprently somewhere along the Patapsco River, in what was then Baltimore County, Maryland, but so fara I've not been able to pinpoint the exact location.

Nicholas was a constable in 1692 and a vestryman in 1693 and 1696, so he had the respect of his neighbors and fellow church-goers.  "Vestryman" indicates that he was a member of the Anglican church, and "vestryman" seems to be similar to a member of the church board in today's language.

Nicholas wrote his will in 1695 and died December 31,1696.  His son Edward received 100 acres of land known as "Corbin's Hill" but it's not clear whether this was the land earlier noted as "Costrell Hill."  He also left land to Thomas Gostwick, his grandson, and left cows to his two daughters.  His wife Alice was left the balance of the estate and was named executor.  His estate was valued at 32 pounds, which was not a large estate at all.  That may explain why Alice remarried to John Barrett within a few years.

Of course I'd like to know more about Nicholas, particularly where he came from and who his parents were.  I'd also like to know more about his life in Maryland.  Were he or his family ever threatened by native Americans, or was he involved in a militia?  Did he have another occupation besides farmer?  Did he have indentured servants to slaves to help him on his land?  Did he raise tobacco?

It seems that no matter how many answers we have, there are always more questions.  Maybe another Corbin descendant will have some of the answers we are lacking.

Our line of descent is:

Nicholas Corbin-Alice Bryan
Edward Corbin-Jane Wilkinson
Mary Jane Corbin- Samuel Lane
Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants