Sunday, August 30, 2015


((Before I do the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for Caleb Coburn, I thought I'd repost
three posts from four years ago I did as part of an exercise we did in the Genealogists
in Second Life group four years ago. Afterward I'll discuss what I've found recently
and revise my Tchart for him. Here's part 2, which tells more about my problems
researching Caleb))

As I said previously, I don't know a heck of a lot about Caleb Coburn. Well,
I do know a bit more than some people know about some of their ancestors.
I found his DOB on the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts website which
contains images from the famous "Tan Books" transcriptions of the town
records. Interestingly, there appears to have been some damage to the
record because the transcription reads "(---)leb" .

There's a gap between that first fact and the second, the birth of Caleb's son
Moses Coburn in Dracut, Ma. in 1765. That's because there's apparently
no record of the name of Caleb's wife. Now I'm well aware that not everything
can be found online and there are a lot of records that can be found only at
town halls and courthouses. But even in the age before computers there were
other researchers who had no luck discovering the identity of Caleb Coburn's
wife and Moses' Coburn's mother.  Last year I blogged about how the co-authors 
of "Genealogy of the Descendants of Edward Colburn/Coburn"  dealt with
it almost a century ago in 1913. They simply wrote:

"Caleb Coburn(Moses 3 Joseph2 Edward1) was born in Dracut December
12, 1738; he married ________ ____________; they dwelt at Tyngsboro."


But looking at the T chart I did some figuring. Caleb would have been 26 or 27
years old when Moses was born. I guessed Caleb would have been 16 years old
or older when he married the mystery wife, so that would mean that the marriage
would have taken place sometime between 1755 and 1765.

In his book Val Greenwood talks about the importance of knowing the genealogy
of places(p61) because the boundaries of early American towns and counties
shifted so much which would effect where records might be kept at different
times. Tyngsborough is a perfect example of this. It used to be part of the
town of  Dunstable but split off as a separate area in 1789 before becoming
an actual town in 1809. Also, in colonial times in Massachusetts it was not
unusual for a person's birth or marriage to be recorded not only in the town
they were born in but also in the town their parents were born, which in this
case would still have been Dracut. I'd already checked the records at Early
Vital Records of Massachusetts for Dracut, Dunstable and Tyngsborough for
any mention of Caleb's marriage. I also checked for the record of Moses
Coburn's birth in hopes it would list the name of his mother but that didn't
pan out either.

I'll talk about what the Censuses of 1790, 1800, and 1810 told me next 
in part 3 here

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