John Cockburn Sr.

Cockburn Crest. According to the Oxford University Press Dictionary of American Family Names, "possible meaning of the surname Cockburn derives from Scottish and English (Northumberland): habitational name from a place in Berwickshire named Cockburn, from Old English cocc ‘cock’, ‘rooster’ (or the related byname Cocca) + burna ‘stream’ (see Bourne). This surname is traditionally pronounced Coburn." It seems our ancestors were Cockburns on both sides for at least two generations...

My Maternal 2nd Great-Grandfather

South Leith Parish Church, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, site of Cockburn marriage in 1851. (photo taken in 2009)

My 2nd great-grandfather on my mother's side of the family was John Cockburn Sr. who was born around 1825 in Ireland to Robert and Ann Cockburn.  Records about John cannot be found until his 1851 marriage. The old Parochial Register in the Parish of Leith South, Edinburgh states "after proclamation of banns and marriage, John Cockburn, labourer, residing in Catskin Close, Leith, and Catherine Cockburn residing in Vinegar Close, Leith, daughter of Samuel Cockburn, there, were three times proclaimed in order to marriage in the Parish Church of South Leith on June 29th 1851 and were married on July 8, 1851 by Reverend Valentine G. Faithful."

John and Catherine Cockburn had six children together, all born in Leith between 1860-1869. Unfortunately two of their daughters died as toddlers from Scarlatina (Scarlet Fever).   Their youngest child, John Jr. (week #4) became my maternal great-grandfather.

For some unknown reason the Cockburns do not appear in the 1851 or 1861 Scotland census, however John is recorded every ten years between 1871 and 1891; his occupation is listed as toll collector for 1871 and 1881 and then gardener by 1891.

John died on Jan 13, 1899 in the District of Newington, Edinburgh (at the Royal Asylum, Morningside) - his death certificate states: John Cockburn (75, gardener) married to Catherine Cockburn. Usual residence 93 Marchmont, Edinburgh. Parents: Robert Cockburn and Ann Cockburn (m.s. Cockburn) both deceased. Son John Cockburn, present. Cause of death: cerebral apoplexy, acute pneumonia. John and Catherine are both buried in North Merchiston cemetery, Edinburgh.

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09.10 | 13:33

Hello Peter - please email me at

23.08 | 15:28

Hi Karen, If you are still maintaining this page, please drop me a line. William and Mary were my great, great, grandparents. Best Regards,

29.08 | 18:46

John. Can you email me at - then we can connect directly. ..

16.08 | 11:58

Hi Karen, if you are interested, please visit my facebook page
regards john crome.

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