Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something evey week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. I thought I'd
give it a shot, and start with Edward Colbourne.

My 8x great grandfather Edward Colbourne/Colborne/Colburn/Coburn arrived in
Boston on the ship "Defence" on October 30th, 1635. His age was listed as seventeen.
There is some evidence that he was, for a time, a farmer on land owned by the
Saltonstall family in Ipswich. In 1642 he married his wife Hannah(her last name may
have been Rolfe)in Ipswich and they began having children. By 1666 they had nine
children, two girls and nine boys, one of whom was my ancestor Joseph Colburn.

With that many sons, Edward would have wanted his own land to provide for their
future. At first the family moved to Chelmsford, where his by now grown sons started
their own farms, but apparently Edward felt the need for more. So  In 1668 he bought
part of the land owned by a John Webb from his widow, and three years later he bought
the rest. The land was on the norther side of the Merrimac River and is now in the town
of Dracut, Massachusetts. Edward is credited as one of the founding fathers of the town. 

A few years later the King Philip's War broke out. Edward Colborne by that time had
built one of the classic New England garrison style house. On  March 18 1675 the Wamesit Indians attacked while Edward was guarding the ferry at the Merrimac River. Two sons of Edward's friend Samuel Varnum were killed and the houses in Chelmsford that were owned by Edward's sons were burned down. Other than that the family came through that war unharmed, and also survived the King William's War thanks to the garrison house. Edward died on 17Feb 1700.

You may have noticed I listed all the various spellings I've found for Edward's name. This
is because many of them are used in documents issued in Edward's own lifetime. He seemed to have settled on Coburn by the end of his life, although some of his descendants used Colburn. My own descent from Edward comes to me through my grandmother Cora Barker:
Edward & Hannah Rolfe(?)
Joseph & Hannah(last name UNK)
Moses & Deborah Wright
Caleb & UNK
Moses & Esther Spaulding
Wesley & Lesley Stowe
Lucy & Nathaniel S Barker
FranK W, Barker & Charlotte Barker(cousins)
Cora B, Barker & Floyd E. West Sr.(my grandparents) 


  1. Hi Bill ~ I like how you showed your line of descent from Edward. I've seen a few people do that and it's something I think I'll start doing going forward.

    I'm jealous of all your New England ancestors and how long they've been here!! Most of my ancestors managed to get here in the mid-1800s.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Very interesting. I enjoyed reading your blog post, I am too a descendant of Edward.

    My line is as follows

    Edward (9th great grandfather)
    Robert, Mary Bishop
    Edward, Sarah Heyward
    Samuel, Elizabeth Holt
    Cornelius, Rachel Robinson
    Nabby Colburn, Joseph Preston
    Talitha Philena Preston, Leonard Van Alstine
    Evaline Van Alstine, Joseph Minor Brown
    Margaret Irene Brown, Orson Hull Watson
    Helen Dorothy Watson (Grandmother)

    This would make me your 8th cousin once removed. I will retweet this on twitter! Great blog post! Thanks. I started doing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on my Facebook page,

    Good work,

  4. I found a cousin of my SIL during week one of the 52 ancestors challenge. Pretty neat!

  5. I'm a descendant of Edward Colbourne severral times through his sons John, Thomas, Daniel, Joseph and Ezra and grand children Sarah and Josiah. My paternal line is
    John Colburn
    John Henry
    Fred Allen
    Paul Francis Colburn m Olive Fox

    Lydia m Josiah Richardson
    Hannah Richardson m Joshua Coburn
    Hannah Coburn m Job Colburn

    Ezra Coburn
    Joshua Colburn m Hannah Coburn

    My maternal line
    Ezra Coburn
    Henry Goodrich
    Orpha Coburn m Lester Fox

    Thomas Colburn
    Josiah m Sarah Colburn
    Mary m David Fox
    Darius Lincoln
    Eben Tappan
    Lester Fox m Orpha Coburn
    Olive Fox m Paul Colburn

    Daniel Colburn
    Sarah Colburn m Josiah Colburn
    Mary Colburn m David Fox

    Very confusing...

  6. Glad to meet you cousins Gary and Deborah!

  7. I'm also the proud granddaughter of Edward Colbourne and Hannah Rolfe. And Edward Bishop and Hannah Moore. Then Robert Colborn and wife Mary Bishop. My name is Angela colborn

  8. Anonymous8:52 PM

    Edward Coburn
    Robert Coburn
    Daniel Coburn
    Ebenezer Coburn
    David Coburn
    David Coburn
    Joel Coburn
    Wilbur Coburn
    Elwyn Coburn
    Sylvan Coburn
    John Coburn
    Ed Coburn

  9. Dee Coburn7:47 PM

    Thank you for posting my husband's paternal line of the Coburn family, last night. I have explored your website for the last couple of days and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the information, your personal thoughts, and views you have shared with all of us. It is obvious you went through great lengths to acquire such a massive amount of valuable information. I just wanted to let you know, I would certainly be happy to share any and all of my information with you. I was stuck on the younger David Coburn listed in the family line and it literally took me many years to acquire the cited information to enable me to finish this family line correctly. I found the much needed documents, to prove lineage through some documents tucked away in Massachusetts and Connecticut, while I was on vacation up there one year. I am sure there are still individuals who are still stuck on this particular generation in my husband's family. Honestly, I just got lucky!! I am still stuck at a dead end in my family's tree.

    I have been exploring my husband's family for many years and it has been a very enjoyable and exciting adventure filled with twist, turns, and surprises. The Coburn family has an impressive history filled with various stories of courage, sorrow, success, and prestige. I am sincerely blessed to be part of this wonderful family! Once again, thank you Mr. West for sharing all your information with us.

  10. Yes and then the records of my direct grandmother Mary Bishop Colborn are hard to find. Because of the Salem witch trials. Our birth records are jumbled up with. Grandpa Edward Bishop of the Salem witch trials. Because of Bridget Bishop the first witch Hung. And Edward Bishop Jr and wife Sara Wilde's Bishop. Also taken for witchcraft.

  11. Greetings! I am also a descendant of Edward. Here is my line...

    Edward Colborne
    Robert Coburn
    Daniel Coburn
    Jacob Coburn
    Daniel P Coburn
    Asa Coburn
    Thomas Coburn
    Chester Coburn
    Albert Coburn
    Ralph W Coburn
    Ralph Coburn
    Michael Coburn
    Rebecca (Me!)

  12. Thanks. I've been looking for the ship (Defence) and date of arrival.
    My line is:

    Emily Marie Coburn Slade Ward Austin, author of "My Life With the Mormons"