Wednesday, August 05, 2015


I mentioned in the previous post that I'd found my ancestor Edward Colbourne's probate file
at American Ancestors .org and that the handwriting on some of the document pages is a little
difficult to read. Here's an example:

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)

On the other hand, I also located the image of the land Edward sold to his son Joseph, also my
ancestor, and that for the most part is very legible. It begins at the bottom of the left hand page:

(,364521301 : accessed 3 August 2015), Middlesex > Deeds 1696-1716 vol 12-13 > image 230 of 832; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

About the only part of the document that is a bit tricky is the bit at the end where the person
recording the land sale gets a bit flamboyant. But in both cases, it's always a thrill to discover
images of documents involving an ancestor!

I'll discuss Edward's children and his wife in the next and final post in this series.

To be continued. 

Monday, August 03, 2015


As I said in the previous post, I found Edward Colbourne's Probate file over at the website. While there is an inventory of his estate and a list of debts
yet to be paid, there is no will. That's because Edward and wife Hannah had already divided
their land among there children by selling it to them  for amounts of money that could be paid
in installments, as described by Coburn descendant Frederick William Coburn in his History 
of Lowell:

"Edward Colburn's wife is known to have been named Hannah. Her maiden name is unknown—perhaps because the Ipswich town records were burned in 1831. His nine children were: Edward (16421675); John (1644-1695); Robert (1646-1701) ; Thomas (1648-1728); Daniel (1654-1712); Hannah (1656 ); Ezra (1658-1739); Joseph (1661-1733) ; Lydia (1666 ). This ample progeny of stalwart sons received allotments of land in the parts of Dracut which the father had acquired, each receiving a lot that bordered on the river. To John in 1671 was deeded one-eighth of the holding bought from John Evered, "right against the new barn bounded by Robert on both sides, the river south and highway north, reserving one-half acre about the new barn with convenient highway to new barn." The son did not receive this property as a gift, for he agreed to pay his father £55 sterling, in annual installments of £5. Deeds of property to other sons are on record, the latest being one of date 1690 to Joseph, who apparently had been selected to care for his parents in their later years. "For divers causes me thereunto moving," wrote Edward Colburn, "especially in consideration of that care to provide for me and for my dear wife so long as it shall please God to continue both or either of us in this life I do convey unto my son Joseph Colburn my old dwelling house in Said Dracut and upon my farm thereon, which was the Garrison House, and which he is actually possessed of. Together with a half part of my lot of land to said house adjoining to the land of my son Ezra Coburn, the said land lying northeast and up the river. It is the half part of that latter field which is commonly called the Barn Field." - pp32-33

History of Lowell and Its People, Volume 1 Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1920 - Lowell Ma

Joseph Coburn, who received the house and land in return for caring for his parents, was my
7x great grandfather.

To be continued.

Friday, July 31, 2015


Here's this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records:

"This week's new Findmypast Friday records include parish registers, school records, newspapers and much more. If you have British, Irish or American ancestors, you're bound to find something that sparks your interest in these latest collections...

This week, we're bringing you over 211,000 new family history resources including:
    You can see full details of these collections here at Findmypast.

     Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015


    I've blogged before about the value of social media in genealogy research. I belong
    to a number of genealogy Groups and Pages on Facebook, and made a list of them tonight.

    As you can see, there's quite a few of them, and I suspect I've left some more off the list. 
    I don't check each one every day, and sometimes a few weeks will go by between my visits.
    I tend to check in on certain of the Groups devoted to the places my ancestors lived and
    see if I can help someone out with questions concerning families I have in my database.
    I've also made cousin contacts with fellow Group members.

    If you haven't explored what Facebook has that could help you with you genealogy research,
    it's worth a few minutes of your time to do so. 

    Here's my list, divided by subjects:

    Errol, Coos, New Hampshire - Historical
    Newry, Oxford, Maine and Sunday River - Historical Site
    Upton Historical Society
    Wilson's Mills, Oxford, Maine, Historical Site
    Hanover, Oxford, Maine - Historical Site
    Wentworth Location, Coos, New Hampshire - Historical Site
    Maine Genealogical Society
    New England Genealogy
    Maine Genealogy (Maine Genealogy group)
    Massachusetts Genealogy Network
    New Hampshire Genealogy Network
    Massachusetts Society of Genealogists
    Descendants of Merrimack Valley First Settlers
    Descendants of the First Settlers of Old Newbury
    Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc.
    U.S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community
    Society of Early Lancastrian Families (MA)
    New Hampshire Mayflower Society
    Magalloway, Oxford, Maine, Historical Site
    Civil War Maine

    Descendants of New England Phelps
    Ellingwood Reunions!
    Early New England Families after the Great Migration (1641 -1700)
    Descendants of George Abbott of Andover Massachusetts
    The Sargent Family
    Descendants of John Lovejoy of Andover in Essex County of Massachusetts
    Clan McFarland
    Towne Cousins
    The Mayflower Society
    Calling All Mayflower Descendants!!!
    Descendants of the Salem Witch Trials

    The Organized Genealogist
    Technology for Genealogy
    Kindle for Genealogy
    WikiTree for Genealogists
    Genealogy Bloggers

    Find A Grave Volunteers
    Association of Graveyard Rabbits
    Cemeteries R Us
    Find A Grave
    The Cemetery Club

    And more:
    AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community
    Social Media for Genealogy
    Elmer's Genealogy Corner
    Genealogy & Historical Databases
    Ruth's Genealogy Society
    House of Plantagenet History & Genealogy
    War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions
    Kin o' Mine
    SL Chapter APG
    Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK)
    Nutty Genealogists
    The Book Of Me, Written By You
    The NextGen Genealogy Network
    Genealogists in Second Life
    Military Genealogy Research and History
    Genealogy Friends
    Books About: Family History, Genealogy, Places and such...
    Fraternal Organizations for Genealogists

    Monday, July 27, 2015


    My very first entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge about a year and a half ago
    was a post about my 8x great grandfather Edward Colbourne/Coburn. At that time I hadn't
    as yet hit on the method of concentrating on the ancestors of one of my grandparents and
    I wasn't really happy with the post on Edward. So I'm doing a "do-over" for Edward as I start
    my examination of his descendants among my grandmother Cora Bertha Barker's ancestors.

    I've found some new sources of information since that earlier post: the entry for Edward in
    The Great Migration book, and several online local histories and genealogies that include the
    Coburn family. Not surprisingly, two ofthem were written by Coburn family members. One
    of them is a History of Dracut, Massachusetts, written by Silas Roger Coburn, which had
    this on Edward and his family:

    "In the list of passengers who sailed from Liverpool in 1635 on the Ship Defence in command of Capt. Bostock, the name of Edward Colburn appears. His home was in Wilts County, England, and when, at the age of seventeen, he arrived in Boston, he went to Ipswich and was employed by Nathaniel Saltonstall, who owned a large estate in that town, and who later committed the management of the farm to him. The plan of the town of Ipswich does not include any farm belonging to Edward, although he owned some outlying land. He married Hannah, whose surname is not given in the records, but references in private letters lead to the conclusion that her name was Rolfe. His neighbor, Samuel Varnum, had purchased in 1668, a tract of land in what was known as "The Wilderness north of the Merrimac," which later became Dracut. Large tracts of land in this vicinity were for sale and probably influenced by his neighbor Varnum at Ipswich he purchased a tract as already described in a former chapter. As the Indians were troublesome, he occupied a garrison house near the river, and with his wife and children, who were born at Ipswich, he removed here in 1669. His children were Edward, John, Robert, Thomas, Daniel, Hannah, Ezra, Joseph, and Lydia. The greater part of the Coburns and Colburns in the United States descend from the six younger brothers, Edward2 being killed in King Philip's war in 1675, as already recorded. The descendants of Edward and Hannah had been prominent in public affairs in town and state. In the lists of those who served in the different wars which have occurred since the settlement of the town, the name of this family appears defending the rights and liberties of the country. On the Roll of Honor the names of 33 Coburns appear as serving in the War of the Revolution."

    History of Dracut, Massachusetts: Called by the Indians Augumtoocooke and Before Incorporation, the Wildernesse North of the Merrimac. First Permanment Settlement in 1669 and Incorporated as a Town in 1701,  Press of the Courier-Citizen Company, 1922 - Dracut (Mass.)

    I'll discuss Edward Colbourne's probate file and other matters in the next post.
    To be continued

    Sunday, July 26, 2015


    Before I begin examining the Coburn/Colburn/Colbourne for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
    Challenge I thought I'd post a relationship chart between Edward Colbourne and my grandmother
    Cora Bertha Barker. As you can see,there's some missing information: the surnames of the wives
    of both Edward Colbourne and his son Joseph. the name of Caleb Colburn's wife, and Caleb's
    death information.

    Between the Coburns and the other associated families, I should have enough blogging material
    to keep me going on the Challenge well into next year!


    Friday, July 24, 2015


    From this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records

    "It's the fourth and final Findmypast Friday of Crime, Prisons and Punishment Month and we've added exciting convict records so you can find out what became of your wayward relatives after their sentence. You could also discover your military ancestors in our new British and Irish army collections...

    This week, we've added over 149,000 new records including:

    From convicts to colonels, uncover fascinating ancestors with Findmypast each and every week.
     The Findmypast team."
    These should really be of interest to my Australian and Irish friends! 

    You can see expanded descriptions of these records here at the FindMyPast website.
     Full disclosure  I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.


    For Week 28 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I come to the last post (for
    now) on my paternal grandmother Cora Barker's ancestors on her mother's side of her
    family tree. This concerns my 9x great grandfather John Wakefield, who married Elizabeth
    Littlefield, sometime before 1663 when his daughter (and my 8x great grandmother)Mary
    Wakefield was born.

    Much of the records of Wells Maine were destroyed in several Indian attacks during the King Philip's War. There's not much online, either. I was able to find the following in Volume 1 of Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire:

    (I) John Wakefield, the progenitor of the family which has been very numerously represented in Maine, was a native of England. The first record of him found in this country bears date January 1, I637, when at the town meeting held at Salem he was assessed fifteen shillings as an inhabitant of Marblehead in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. It is presumable that he came as early at least as the previous summer. On the fourteenth of the same month, among the several portions of land laid out at Marblehead. he received four acres "on the Neck." Prior to 1648. he lived in Salem, which then included the present town of Marblehead. He first appears on record in Maine in 1641, when he and his brother-in-law, John Littlefield, received a grant of what is known as the Great Hill Farm. The hill at that time extended much farther into the sea than it now does, and with the projecting land at the eastern end was called the Great Neck. This was in the ligonia patent, and neither of the grantees took possession probably on account of the uncertainty as to their title. John Wakefield settled in the town of Wells, where he attained considerable prominence. He served as commissioner and selectman in 1648-54-57. In each instance his father-in-law, Edmund Littlefield, served in the same capacity. In 1652 John Wakefield purchased Wakefield's island and removed to it in that year and there resided for a time. He subsequently purchased land in Scarboro and resided upon it several years. Thence he removed to that part of Biddeford which is now Saco, where he remained until his death. That he was a man of considerable substance, is evidenced by the fact of his buying and selling lands, and he was frequently called upon to witness deeds for others. In 1670, when he was probably incapacitated by illness or the infirmities of age, his wife acted as his attorney in selling parcels of land. He died February 15, 1674, and was buried at Biddeford. The destruction of the records of Wells, Maine, leaves us no accurate data as to the time of his marriage or his birth or the births of his children. His wife Elizabeth was a daughter of Edmund and Annis Littlefield, of Wells. Her death is not recorded. Their children included: John, James, Henry, William, Mary and Katherine.
    Ezra S. Stearns, William Frederick Whitcher, Edward Everett Parker. editors, Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 1, Lewis Publishing Company, 1908

    Now I'll be moving on to the Coburn family side of Grandmother Barker's family tree.