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NOTE: This page has been adapted for the Website from Donald Coburn’s My Line. Use of the first person is in relation to Donald and not the webmaster/author of the site. Subscript index numbers (ex. Moses4) refer to generations after the family’s arrival in North America. Edward Colborne being generation 1.


DAVID5 COBURN (Moses4, Moses3; Joseph2, Edward1) b. 23 Feb. 1772 d. 4 Sept. 1829 son of Moses4 and Hannah (Burpee) Coburn m. (1) 1797 Elizabeth Tyler b. 18 July 1771 dau. of Abraham and Abigail (Stickney) Tyler m. (2) 30 Mar. 1824 Mary Christie b. 14 June 1786 d. Dec. 1835 dau. of Jessa and Esther (Burpee) Christie.

David5 was the second son of Moses4 and Hannah. He had one older full brother Mosesí and a still older half brother Stephen. David, as previously mentioned, had two sisters, Betty and Hannah. The youngest of his siblings was Jonathan who drowned 30 September 1798 in his twentieth year.

In 1797 David5, 25, married Elizabeth Tyler, 26, of West Boxford, Massachusetts. How did they meet? David was born and brought up in the remote pioneer settlement on the St. John River. But Elizabeth, born 18 July 1771, lived in a much more populated part of the world. She was the ninth of the eleven children of Abraham and Abigail (Stickney) Tyler. Elizabethís mother died and her father married Jerusha Coburn, who was a sister of Davidís father. David must have visited his Aunt Jerusha and ďfallen forĒ her stepdaughter Elizabeth.

All persons having any demands against the Estate of Moses Coburn late of Sheffield, deceased, are requested to render the same to the Subscribers in twelve months of the date hereof; and all those indebted to the said estate are desired to make immediate payment.
Moses Coburn Executors
David Coburn County of Sunbury, Sheffield August 12, 1800

David5 and wife Elizabeth moved to Kesway (Keswick) Ridge parish of Queensbury, York County.

There were a number of reasons for David Coburn to move to Keswick Ridge. The most compelling, in my estimation, was that Moses5 and David5 were joint heirs to the property in Sheffi eld and the easiest way to resolve the problem of division would be to sell. There were ready buyers with cash. Cash before the coming of the Loyalists was very scarce. There was cheap land almost anywhere up river where the spring freshet was not a menace. The Humphrey Pickard family and others were already on Keswick Ridge. Humphrey was a prominent citizen. He had been one of the twelve on the snowshoe expedition and had been clerk of the church from the beginning until 1788 when he may have moved to Keswick Ridge. Those who moved from Sheffield were true pioneers skilled in winning farms from the wild.

At that time York County of New Brunswick extended north toward the St. Lawrence River. A DíAmour descendant said their St. John Valley lands extended to Mt. Joli, Quebec. As the countryside fi lled up, new counties were formed from extremities of the old. A like situation existed for parishes within the counties. Keswick Ridge was fi rst in Queensbury Parish and later in Douglas Parish in 1824, when Douglas was created from parts of Queensbury and St. Marys. It is now in Bright since 1869 when Bright was taken out of Douglas.

It is not certain when David5 and Elizabeth actually came to Keswick Ridge where he settled on land that had already been granted to Loyalists belonging to The Guides and Pioneers Battalion. David purchased from Benjamin and Jane Sloot the mid section of land granted to Lieutenant Eli Benedict. The Benedict grant (#27) contained 515 acres and extended from the Keswick to the Macnaquac Stream. Lieutenant Eli and wife Peggy had sold their grant for £100 and eventually returned to Connecticut. David also purchased land from Jacob and Asa Barker, part of the lots 26 and 25 which had been granted to John McFarland also of The Guides and Pioneers. McFarland had sold his 400 acres for £200. David bought 200 acres of it, which was deeded to him 23 June 1808 by Jacob and Cynthia Barker and Asa and Margaret Barker and witnessed by the Barker sister Peggy. The deed for Lot #27 dated 1 April 1806 gave these boundaries: On the south side by the Keswick Ridge road, on the east side by Robert McCane (McKeen) northerly by Abraham Yerxa and westerly by lands of David Coburn. Obviously David was then already in possession of lots 25 and 26 in 1806 although the deed was recorded in 1808. This property had the old house where James Pickard was born in 1793. David5 must have built the house presently owned by David10 Coburn of the tenth generation. No one knows how old that second house is; the roof was built over so it cannot be dated by style of roof. This house is located on the original Benedict grant; the barn was just west and partly on the McFarland grant.

Clump of Coburn/McFarland woodlilies
transplanted to our garden at Stoneyburn Farm

The original house on the McFarland grant is long gone. That could have been David5sí first home. It was located on a knoll in what is now my orchard. Only a very old Alexander apple tree remains of a kitchen orchard; and it would have been a replacement in an existing original orchard. There is also a clump of Meadow Lily, obviously part of a flower garden as this plant normally grows only on the river islands. There are also some sour red plums which grow only on very old. house sites.

I remember my father, Fred Coburn, referring to that old location, once only, as the French house, although I doubt there was ever a ruins on the site in his time. Louise Pickard in her Pickard History, written 1935 - 1940, says her grandfather Humphrey Pickard and family built the old house and lived there. She says her father James was born there in 1793 and left that house when his mother died and he was forty years old. James Pickard apparently was born there. In 1793 Humphrey Pickard was granted 300 acres (Recorded 1799). The Keswick Ridge United Church is now located on that grant. From Louise Pickardís story, Humphrey was at Keswick Ridge long before the land was granted. He may have been a leader in the move to Keswick Ridge. He had a large family with grown sons who would soon need opportunity.

The Moses Pickard family moved to Keswick Ridge in 1806. Their land was near the mouth of the Madam Keswick River, a place known as the French Location. Moses built a substantial house in 1813 that still remains and is now owned by Professor Stuart Smith. Charles Pickard, a descendant of Moses Pickard and also of David5 Coburn, lives near there in another old Pickard house.

Humphrey Pickard was 20 years older than Moses but they were both sons of Moses Pickard senior who died 1803 in Sheffield.

I am giving some detail on the Pickards because fi ve of Moses Pickard Sr.ís direct descendants married children of David5 and Elizabeth Coburn, time of them his grandchildren and two his great grandchildren. Moses Pickard Jr.ís son David married Phoebe Coburn and his son Joseph married Elizabeth Coburn, both daughters of Davidí and Elizabeth Coburn. Humphrey Pickardís youngest son James married Mary Ann, the youngest Coburn daughter, and his grand- daughter Hepzibah Pickard married Abraham Tyler6 Coburn, David5 and Elizabethís eldest son.

David5 and Elizabeth Coburnís fourth child, Jerusha6, married Joseph Dunphy. Their next child David6, through whom the Coburn name survives in our family, married Sarah Sloot. Daughter Deborah6 married Nathaniel Perley, son of Solomon and Elizabeth (Pickard) Perley. (Elizabeth Pickard was also a daughter of Moses Sr. and Jane (Saunders) Pickard.) I have already reported on Mary Ann the youngest, above. There is almost eight years between the birth of Mary Ann on 11 May 1816 and David5sí second marriage on 10 March 1824 to Mary Christy, 37. Witnesses were John Christie and Joseph Pickard. David was then fifty-two and a widower. At that time his daughters Phoebe and Elizabeth were already married.

David5 and Mary (Christyís) only son Thomas was born in 1829. David himself was killed by a falling limb 4 September 1829. Was Thomas born before or after his fatherís death? David died without a will, leaving 8 children.

David5 was eleven years old in 1783 when the Loyalists came to the St. John River area. This event would change forever the world to which he was accustomed. Before their arrival David lived in a remote pioneer settlement that had a barter economy and no luxuries. The elders of the Puritan church were in control. That system seems to have worked quite well.

But in 1784 Sunbury County of Nova Scotia became the separate colony, New Brunswick. Maugerville was divided. It became Maugerville and Sheffield of a much smaller Sunbury County. A regrant was made of the lands. Most of the original settlers were confirmed in possession of their farms, the escheated lands went mostly to Loyalists. Many of the Loyalists had suffered terrible hardships both before leaving the Thirteen Colonies and after arriving on the St. John River. But some had money and many would receive partial cash compensation from the British Government for their losses. Most Loyalists were educated; some were professional people. Many preferred to buy developed farms.

The Pre-loyalists had learned the hard way how to cope. They had cleared their farms and knew the land. Their children (and David5 was one of them) had been raised there and so were schooled in pioneering and were quite willing to win new farms from the forest. So, many of them sold their original holdings to Loyalists and dispersed, several coming to Keswick Ridge.

Among those getting original grants at the Ridge, these surnames appear: Christy, Day, Jewett, and Pickard. Some of these, with others from Sheffi eld, founded the Keswick Ridge Congregational Church, a scion of the original Dissenter Church of Sheffield. There were great religious discussions based on the Bible, which was about the only thing there was to read. David5 had a Christian upbringing. His parents were prominent in the Society, as the Congregational Church was called. David, no doubt, had listened to spellbinder preachers, among them Seth Noble, John James and the one saint among them, Henry Aline. David5sí father Moses4 died a deacon. His brother Moses5 became a deacon in the Methodist Church and helped build the first one in Fredericton. David5 became a deacon of the Keswick Baptist Church. The following is from the Particular Baptist Church Kingsclear record.

In 1824 brought certifi cate from Madam Keswick Church stating that he was in good standing as a deacon. He received and requested to continue in the offi ce of deacon.

Also in the Kingsclear church record of 1829 is the following:

Previously to the time appointed for our little Branch to be constituted a separate Church, it becomes our painful duty to record the death of our Dear Brother David Coburn. His death was occasioned by the fall of a branch of a Tree upon his head.

This sad incident happened on the fourth of September 1829. David5 was probably buried beside Elizabeth in the Macnaquac Cemetery. Benjamin Sloot had willed that land in 1818 to the Baptist Society for a burying ground. There were already some graves there. Next to it on the adjoining Abraham Close grant was the private Close Cemetery. Abraham Close was an Anglican. The grave of Mary Davies widow is in the Pickard-Merrithew Cemetery, Keswick Ridge.

At this distance in time birth years are a problem for this generation. There is the 1851 census record for five of David5 and Elizabethís children. David5 Coburn died in 1850. I date Elizabeth by her head stone and Mary Ann by James Pickardís birthdate. He was 23 years her senior. If you accept the census dates, there could be two sets of twins in the family, an unlikely situation. However, I shall go with my first arrangement. Deborahís date is derived from The Perley Book