According to historians, the first documented Cumbo in the New World was Emanuell Cambow, an African who arrived in Jamestown, VA sometime in the 1600s. He first appears in Jamestown documents in September 1644 when he is made an indentured servant by the Virginia Assembly. He was freed from indentured servitude in 1665, granted 50 acres of land in James City County on April 18 1667 and started a family. Many Cumbo descendants in America today trace their ancestry back to Emanuell. With this said, note that Cumbo was also a fairly common name among enslaved persons in colonial Virginia.
Emanuell Cambow’s descendants lived on as free people of color and intermarried with African, European and Native Americans from Virginia and coastal North Carolina areas through the colonial period of America. As a result, over successive generations, many Cumbo family branches either maintained black or mixed-race (mulatto) identities, passed as white (Melungeon or Portuguese) or fully embraced Native American (Lumbee or Tuscarora) identities. Cumbo descendants today self-identify across all of these racial groups. Additionally, as the Cumbo family grew, so did variations of the name which expanded to Cumba, Cumbee, Cumby, Cumbia, Cumboe, Cumbow, Combo, Cumber and others.
Additional research on the Cumbo family can be found here: www.CumboFamily.com