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Thomas Ryburn -- Gold Miner
Posted by: Roderick Ryburn (ID *****2530) Date: October 25, 2008 at 17:30:51
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I'm trying to find out where Thomas Ryburn, who is in the 1868 New Zealand Government Gazette, came from. I think it likely he came from North America, and was possibly a "Forty Niner".

According to the NZ Gazette he was a shareholder in the "British Empire Gold Mining Co." that mined at Waihi, at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand. His address was given as 'Wairoa', which is where my relative James Ryburn was married in 1867 -- so he must have been known to James. he does not seem to have remained in NZ.

There are only two Thomas Ryburns I am aware of that could be this Thomas. One was a 'scavenger', born in Campbeltown, Scotland, in 1829, and still there in every census from 1841 to 1891 -- rather unlikely. The other is Thomas Ryburn, born in Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1819, who settled in La Salle County, Illinois, in 1841. His younger brother, David, settled in Will Co., Illinois, and his youngest brother Charles went by wagon train to California in 1849. Charles died in Melbourne, Australia in 1854, where he later went gold fossicking.

The Illinois Thomas is a definite possibility, but he must have gone back to Illinois, as he is mentioned in connection with a court case there in 1886. Does anyone know the history of this Thomas?

There is a book called "Will County on the Pacific Slopes" which apparently mentions several Ryburns who joined the 1849 gold rush. Does anyone have this book?

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