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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.


THOMAS6 COBURN (David5, Moses4, Moses3, Joseph2, Edward1) b. 1829 d. July 1885 son of David5 and Mary (Christie) Coburn m. (1) 9 Oct. 1856 Isabella C. Burpee b. 4 Nov. 1833 d. 30 Sept. 1857 dau. of Samuel and Hannah (Stickney) Burpee of Keswick Ridge m. (2) Elizabeth A. Burpee b. 10 Aug. 1834 d. 28 Sept. 1898 dau. of James and Betsy (Stickney) Burpee of Sheffield.

Thomas was born in 1829 the same year his father was killed by a falling limb 4 September. Which event came first we do not know.

Thomasí mother Mary died in 1835. She had named her brother Jeremiah Christie as guardian. After his motherís passing six-year-old Thomas went to live with his guardian Jeremiah Christie. I am indebted to Donald Griffith for the following information and rhyme. Jeremiah and Diana (Quint) Christie had twelve children, 10 of whom grew to be adults. They also raised three more children, one of whom was Thomas. There is a rhyme by which his foster mother is remembered:

Diana Quint is my name
United States my nation
New Portland is my native home
Christ is my salvation.

Thomas had a claim on the land and eventually acquired one third of the land his father possessed at the time of his death. Thomas got one half of Lot #25 of the Guides and Pioneers grant. The 1851 census finds Thomas working for Abraham J. Brown of Queensbury. He later farmed near the top of the Ridge. The house is still there and is now (1992) occupied by the Russell Hunt family. On 9 October 1856 Thomas married Isabella C. Burpee of Keswick Ridge. He was near 27 and she in her twenty third year. Isabella died in just under a year on 30 September 1857. The story is told that before she died, Isabella actively promoted her cousin Elizabeth A. Burpee of Sheffield to be Thomasí next wife. Isabellaís parents were Samuel and Hannah (Stickney) Burpee. Elizabethís parents were James and Betsy (Stickney) Burpee. Their mothers were sisters. Their fathers were not so closely related.

Thomas Coburn, to my father, Fred Coburn, was Uncle Tom. Actually he was fatherís great uncle. Tom was only five years older than Fredís uncle William and seven years older than his father Tyler. My father described him as very light complexioned, a blond man. This is noteworthy as his children were quite dark complexioned.

In the York County Atlas, of which Tom was a sponsor, he along with James W.Jewett are listed as York County Councillors for the Parish of Bright for 1877 and Ď78. James W. Jewett was a brother of Robert Kee Jewett and Margaret Jane Jewett.

Robert Kee Jewett was married to Thomasí niece Hetty Caroline Coburn and Margaret Jane was married to Thomasí nephew William Coburn.

Here is a day, 17 November 1880, in the life of John H. March who was 42 on 30 October that year and lived at Bear Island, York County, New Brunswick. John was also a York County Councillor but for Queensbury. He kept diaries until his death in 1919. Here he writes about a trip by horse and buggy to Springfield where many of his wifeís relatives lived.

At Joseph Reed's (father in law) took him. and C. Gordon went to Shaws they object to changing road to Planeville over the hill or ridge unless they get $200.00. I offered them $100.00 for right of way they to have until next April to make up their minds. Geo. Sleep agreed to above offer took dinner at Jno. Caverhillís tried Hallets and Watsons for girl did not get any. Saw Sherman Gordon at his Fathers he told me to take oats for what he owed. Met T. Coburn on road said no opposition in their Parish for Councillors. Reported that Wm. Timmins was married today to Miss I. Edmonds.

Marion (McKeen) Dykeman told this about Thomasí first wifeís parents, Samuel and Hannah Burpee. They lived where Tyler and Kay (Saunders) Holyoke have theirmodern home. It seems Samuel was rather lax in supplying fuel for the kitchen. One day when Samuel came for dinner - Behold! The potato pot with uncooked spuds sat on the wood pile.

As well as being involved in county politics, Thomas was very active in the Keswick Ridge Congregational Church. There was some difficulty in the church either finances or church rules. At this distance nobody knows what. This story was told to me by Albert Currie who heard it from Scott Griffith.

Parson Simeon Sykes prayed during the Sunday service at great length and fervently that the problem would be removed. He buried Thomas the following Friday. When Parson Sykes prayed the following Sunday the congregation was not only awake, it was all ears. Whether Thomas was the problem or not cannot be determined. It is recorded, however, that Thomas died of acute appendicitis.