Monday, October 03, 2011


Before I go into the Federal Censuses I've found for Caleb Coburn, here's
the page for him from The Descendants of Edward Colburn (p48):

Notice the entry following Caleb for his brother Abiel.

This is the image from the 1790 Census for Tyngsborough, Ma.There
is only one Caleb Coburn on this Census and the presence of Reuben
Butterfield is significant since Caleb's brother married the daughter of a
Reuben Butterfield..Notice how the town of Dunstable has been changed
to Tyngsborough:
What I hadn't done when I found this document was pay attention to the other
members of the household. There is a male under 16 years old and 3 females
living with Caleb. Caleb's son Moses Coburn was my ancestor and was already
25 years old in 1790. Who was this young boy?

On the 1800 Census there is again only one Caleb Coburn. On the same page
I found an Abiel Coburn. Again, there are additional members of Caleb's household
that I hadn't paid attention to up until now. The boy is gone, either deceased or grown
and out on his own. There are still three females, one between age 10 to 15, one
between 15 and 25, and one over age 45.

By 1810 the household is reduced to Caleb, one female between 16 to 25 years
old and one 45 years or older:
When I found these records on Ancestry,com I was just starting to really dig
into researching my family. I took a two week trial with Ancestry and grabbed
any records I could find as fast as I could before the two weeks were up. While
I spent more time examining the records for the generations a bit closer to me,
I only recently began to analyzing the older ones. Back then, for example,
I assumed that Caleb only had one child, Moses, because I couldn't find a record
of any other. I went back to the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts site to see
if I could find the births or marriages of daughters of Caleb Coburn but was

But I did find something I had missed before, the possible date of death for Caleb
and perhaps the answer to the mystery of the boy from the 1790 Federal Census.
From Vol 1, p97 of the Tyngsborough Vital Records I found the following:
    Caleb, s. Caleb, Apr. 3, 1798. PR1
    Caleb, Dec. 17, 1810, a. 72 y. PR1

(Fellow SL genealogist DeeDee Nelson found the same information
 elsewhere while I was writing this post. Thanks DeeDee!)

I know Caleb was born in 1738 so he would have indeed been 72 years
old in 1810, so there's  a good chance that 17Dec 1810 is indeed his
death date. The other Caleb might be a younger son, but I need more
to be confident about that. What I need to find now is a will or a deed
that lists members of Caleb's family, or find Caleb's grave and check for
other Coburn's buried nearby. In otherwords, I know I need to look
beyond the Internet. I also need to keep the "genealogy of place" in
mind and look beyond Tyngsborough to the surrounding towns.( including
across the state line to Pelham which once was part of Tyngsborough).

All in all, I found the "t chart" a useful tool to break down what I'd found on
Caleb Colburn and help me analyze it more rather than just gathering it. I plan
to use it on others of my ancestors.

And thanks to Dear Myrt aka Clarisse for conducting the book review session
of Val Greenwood's book over at Second Life!


1 comment:

Taco Goulooze said...

Thanks Bill for sharing. Hope you'll find Caleb's wife!