Joseph Cobb1

b. circa 1594, d. circa 1653

7th great-grandfather of William Lemuel Horn Jr.
9th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Horn and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for William Lemuel Horn II
     Joseph Cobb was born circa 1594.1,2 He married Elizabeth.3 He probably married Elizabeth Flinton circa 1624 in Virginia.1 He died circa 1653.
     Joseph Cobb, the first of this family in Virginia came over on the Treasurer from London in 1613.4 Owned jointly by Captain Samuel Argall and others, the Treasurer is famous as the ship on which Argall made Pocahontas prisoner in 1613, taking her to Jamestown "for the ransoming of so many Englishmen as were prisoners of Powhatan..." (her father). Although Joseph Cobb was not granted land under the status of Ancient Planter in any record now surviving, his date of arrival in the colony would entitle him to be so classed.

     No record has been found of Joseph's activities in Virginia between his arrival in 1613 and the muster of Virginia settlers in February 1624/25 in which he is listed at Elizabeth City with his wife Elizabeth, who had come in the Bone Bess in August 1623. Both are given as aged 25, but Joseph was older. He does not appear among the living (or dead) in the census taken in February the year before, so he was apparently either missed or out of the country. He had perhaps returned to England for his wife and two sons for whose passages, as well as those of four servants, and by his own right, he was granted land in 1637. (It was often years before patents were recorded).

     The questions beg then, if Elizabeth Cobb, by that name, was in Virginia in August 1623, six months before the census was taken in February 1623/24, why does she not appear therein, and where was Joseph? An answer to the first question, accepted by some, rejected by others, is that Elizabeth Cobb in the 1624/25 muster appears as Elizabeth Flinton in the earlier census with two other Flintons, Pharow (Pharaoh) and Joane, who in 1624/25 were neighbors of Joseph and Elizabeth Cobb in Elizabeth City. If so, it follows that Joseph Cobb married twice, and probably both times to an Elizabeth as that is the name of his wife recorded on the 1637 patent. It seems a reasonable guess that Joseph was in Europe at the time of the first census, that he soon returned to Virginia with his family, and that his wife, if she survived the passage, soon died leaving Joseph free to marry Elizabeth Flinton before the second census. It should be noted however, that there is no direct proof that Joseph married more than once, or that he married Elizabeth Flinton. Nevertheless, circumstantial evidence does exist that supports both ideas.

     Both Pharaoh and Joane Flinton appear in the muster, so a reasonable explanation for Elizabeth Flinton not appearing among the living or the dead in 1624/25, is that she had married. There were only about 1,232 persons living at 25 locations in Virginia at that time, but there were undoubtedly a number of men whose wives were named Elizabeth. However, only one, Joseph Cobb, had a wife Elizabeth and a son Pharaoh. That Pharaoh Cobb was named for Pharaoh Flinton is certain as there were no other men in the colony at that time by that name or any of its variant spellings. Therefore, it seems almost certain that Joseph Cobb married Elizabeth Flinton, but it doesn't prove the relationship between Elizabeth and Pharaoh Flinton. Some believe he was her brother; others, her father. However, if their ages as given in the 1624/25 muster are correct, Pharaoh was only eleven years older than Elizabeth, and therefore, could not have been her father. Futhermore, Pharaoh and Joane arrived in Virginia together in 1612, eleven years before Elizabeth. That they would have left their child behind for so long seems unlikely.

     All this having been said, there is one more possible scenario that comes to mind. It could be called the one wife theory. As already mentioned, there is no record of Joseph between his arrival in Virginia in 1613 and the 1624/25 muster. Perhaps he returned to England periodically, or once for an extended period, married Elizabeth Flinton and fathered two sons before finally returning to Virginia with his family. He may have been out of the country again in 1623/24, during which time Elizabeth stayed with the Flintons and was incorrectly called Elizabeth Flinton in the census. This theory, if it has any merit, could account for there being no record of Joseph Cobb having been granted land under the status of Ancient Planter. (Those persons who arrived in Virginia before 1616, remained for a period of three years, and paid their own passage have been referred to as ancient planters. They received the first patents of land in the new world as authorized by Sir Thomas Dale in 1618 for their personal adventure).

Additional Data
In the census of settlers taken in Virginia, 7 February 1624/25, Joseph Cobb made his muster in Elizabeth City County where many of the settlers were then living because of fear of the Indians. His muster included himself Joseph Cobb, aged 25, in the "Treasoror", 1613, Elizabeth Cobb, aged 25, in the "Bone Bes", 1623, and John Snowood, aged 25, vessel and year of arrival not stated.1,5,6

In 1629 the Court ordered Joseph Cobb, Gent. and Mr. Farrar Flinton, to appraise the goods of Thomas Clarke who died at sea on the Elizabeth of London, May 1625.7

Joseph Cobb received a grant of 400 acres of land in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 4 August 1637, on a "branch of Warwicksquike River, now called New Town haven," and on the back creek parting it from the land of John Vaslers, due for the personal adventure of himself, wife, Elizabeth, two sons Joseph and Benjamin, and four servants;8 Click to view image renewed 1 September 1643.9,10 Click to view image Few of the land grants even to the earliest planters were recorded before 1635.11,3,12

In an Act of Assembly, 6 January 1638/39, Joseph Cobb was named as a tobacco viewer from "the Indian feild to the Levie neck."2

In 1642, Isle of Wight was divided into two parishes. The Upper Parish was to extend from Lawne's Creek to the eastern side of the Bay, the creek dividing the plantation of Samuel Davis and Joseph Cobb in Isle of Wight County.3

Joseph Cobbs made his will 1 March 1653/54, "aged sixty years," in Isle of Wight County mentioning wife Elizabeth Cobbs and children Benjamin Cobbs, Pharoah Cobbs and Elizabeth Cobbs.13,2 Click to view image

Whereas Pharaoh Cobbs and Ann his wife by their deed dated 10 April 1671, confirmed to George Williams a tract of land in L.P. [Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia] which land was sold by Pharaoh Cobbs and Elizabeth, his mother to Saml. Haswell and is now in the possession of Richard Reynolds, Jr., and Eliz. his wife the dau. of the said George Williams and lawful inheritrix. Now, we Richard Hutchins and Elizabeth. His wife, the dau. of Joseph Cobbs, Jr., dec. the eldest son of Joseph Cobbs, Sr., dec. for 1000 lbs. tbco. sell to Richard Reynolds, Jr., and confirmed by Richard Hutchins and wife Eliz. of Western Branch Nansemond County. 10 April 1671.14,15

Indenture, 9 July 1693, between Richard Hutchins and Elizabeth. His wife of Western Branch Parish in Nansemond County and Col. Arthur Smith of Lower Parish. Richard Hutchins and Elizabeth., his wife, dau. and only heir of Joseph Cobb, the Younger who was son and heir apparent of Joseph Cobb, the Elder, now both deceased, for consideration of 2250 lbs. tbco. paid by Col. Smith, deeds him 130 acres [Isle of Wight County, Virginia] adj. Smith, running to Mr. Hardins and Cobbs, to Pharaoh Cobbs to John Hole. (signed) Richard (RH) Hutchins.16

Children of Joseph Cobb and Elizabeth (—?—) (Cobb)

Children of Joseph Cobb and Elizabeth Flinton


  1. [S585] Benjamin C. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Myron J. Taylor, "Cobb of Isle of Wight County, Virginia," in Historical Southern Families, Mrs. John Bennett Boddie, editor. (Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1968), 12: 173.
  2. [S606] John Frederick Dorman, comp. and ed., Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5, Fourth Edition, Vol. One, Families A-F (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004), 702.
  3. [S563] "Virginia State Land Office Patents" Book 1, 1623-1643 (v. 1 & 2): 506, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
  4. [S585] Benjamin C. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Myron J. Taylor, "Cobb of Isle of Wight County, Virginia", 173.
  5. [S587] Virtual Jamestown, Introduction - 1624/5 Muster Databases, online <>, search term cobb%.
  6. [S606] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, 53, 702.
  7. [S585] Benjamin C. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Myron J. Taylor, "Cobb of Isle of Wight County, Virginia", 12: 176, citing Minutes of the Court and General Council, 198.
  8. [S563] "Virginia State Land Office Patents, Book 1" Book 1, 1623-1643 (v. 1 & 2): 506-507, The Library of Virginia.
  9. [S585] Benjamin C. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Myron J. Taylor, "Cobb of Isle of Wight County, Virginia", 176, citing Cav. & Pioneers, p. 77.
  10. [S563] "Virginia State Land Office Patents, Book 1" Book 1, 1623-1643 (v. 1 & 2): 901-902, The Library of Virginia.
  11. [S588] Judith McGhan, indexed by, Virginia Vital Records from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1984). Records of Isle of Wight County, from TQ, Vol. IX (1827), 116-122, 97.
  12. [S606] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, 703.
  13. [S550] John Bennett Boddie, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia; A history of the County of Isle of Wight, Virginia, during the Seventeenth Century, including abstracts of the county records (Chicago: Chicago Law Printing Company, 1938), 520.
  14. [S550] John Bennett Boddie, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia, 613.
  15. [S606] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, 704.
  16. [S550] John Bennett Boddie, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia, 612.
  17. [S588] Judith McGhan, Virginia Vital Records, 236.