Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ephraim Osborn (1749-1814)

Ephraim Osborn was my 4th great grandfather.  He, his brother Isaac, and their father Jedediah, were all Revolutionary War patriots from East Hampton, Long Island, along with their other brothers Jedediah, Jr. and Josiah.  Ephraim's DAR # is 160072.

Ephraim was born in East Hampton in 1749 (unknown date), to Jedediah Osborn (a millworker and 3rd generation descendant from the Osborns of Kent) and Deborah Miller (of unknown parentage).

At some point in the late 1760's Ephraim and his brother Isaac migrated north to Winslow, Maine, to seek out the farmer's life.  His brother Jedediah, Jr. stayed behind and died at age 24, during the Revolution.  His other brother, Josiah, married a Dolly Johnson and moved to New Haven, CT, where they had a large family.

Ephraim and Isaac made it to Winslow, Maine, through Pownalborough (now Dresden), a common port of entry for Maine immigrants (due to its distance from potential Indian invasion spots).  Ephraim worked as a constable in the town of Winslow (formerly known as Kingfield).  Ephraim's sheep mark & also the mark he used on his logs, which floated down the Kennebec, are recorded in Winslow (would like to obtain photograph).

In 1770, Ephraim married his first of three wives, who might have been named Atwood.  They had two boys {NOTE: there is reference in some research materials to a John Osborn born in 1770 who was son to Ephraim, but I've found nothing yet to back this up}:

1.  Ephraim Jr (1771-1821) worked as a blacksmith, and married Mary "Polly" Noble of Palmyra pictured below).  They had three children, (i) Sarah Jane Osborn-Brown (pictured below), who had 10 children of her own with her husband, George Abijah Brown (also pictured below) in Benton, Maine, (ii) Martha Mary Osborn-Gerald, who had six kids with her husband John, and lived in Benton and then Fairfield, and (iii) George Osborn, who died at 5 years of age (grave pictured below).



Martha Osborn-Gerald, Ephraim Jr's youngest daughter, had seven children, the oldest of which was Amos F. Gerald.  Amos' daughter, Helen Gerald-Day, died young at age 32, in 1902.  Her husband, Holman F. Day of Vassalboro, moved to Portland Maine shortly thereafter, and lived in the Falmouth Hotel during the 1910 Census.  He established himself there and became a published author, later remarrying and moving to San Francisco, but living in Auburn for a time as well.  Holman's obituary below tells the tale:

Holman Day, whose novels of Maine's big woods and lumbering operations, brought him fame in the literary world a score or more years ago, died in his sleep in San Francisco early Tuesday, February 19.

A poet and playwright as well as a novelist, Day, who was 69, lived in California the past 15 years, producing motion pictures and interpreting a Yankee character on the radio.

A native of Vassalboro, Day began his career as editor of a string of local weeklies printed in Bangor by Union Publishing Company. In 1888 he, in company with the late Edwin Bunker bought the Dexter Gazette from M. F. Herring and was its editor for four years. Combining Dexter's two weeklies, the Dexter Gazette and the Eastern State, they made it The Eastern Gazette. Leaving Dexter in 1892 he became a special writer for the Lewiston Journal. His first outstanding work was "Up in Maine", a book of verse written when he was in Lewiston.

"Pine Tree Ballads" was his second verse collection. Then he began to write novels, reaching the apex of his fame with "King Spruce" and "The Ramrodders".

Holman Day wrote more than 300 short stories, 25 novels, numerous poetry, and several plays.

A Portland resident several years, Day was an enthusiastic member of Portland's Yacht club, cruising in a large power boat he named "Davy Jones".

Son of the late Capt. John R. and Mary Carter Day, Holman Day was graduated from Colby in 1887. Twenty years later his Alma Mater conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature.

He was managing editor of the Union Publishing Company's publications in Bangor, and owner and editor of the Dexter Gazette. After his reportorial work on the Lewiston Journal he was managing editor of the Lewiston Daily Sun. From 1901 to 1904 Day was a military aide on Governor John F. Hill's staff.

Some of Day's better known books included "Blow the Man Down," "Rider of the King Log, " "When Egypt Went Broke," "The Skipper and the Skipped", and "Joan of Arc of the North Woods."

Day leaves a widow, Mrs. Florence Day, and a daughter, Mrs. Roy Kilner, of Boston.
Ephraim Jr. was killed by falling tree in Benton Maine (which was then a part of Clinton) in 1821.  He is buried in Benton next to his wife Polly.


Continuing on to the remainder of Ephraim's descendants:

2.  Benjamin Atwood Osborn (1774-1843) married Abigail Noble (sister to his brother's wife) of Winslow, and had eight children, ultimately settling in Lincoln, Maine.

In 1771, Ephraim was called to duty for the Revolution.  Fort Halifax (a national monument) was built in 1754 by John Winslow (whom the former town of Kingfield was named for) to protect Waterville from attack by French Canadians and Indians.   It was the site of Ephraim Osborn's post during the Revolutionary War.  He also served on the Committees of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety.

In August of 1777, Ephraim bought "Lot #41 of Winslow" (Kennebec Registry Book 49 - 307)

In March of 1782, the Town built a road from his property to Fort Halifax.
In 1780, Ephraim married his second wife, Sarah Brown.  It's not clear if the first Mrs. Osborn had died or divorced him.  Sarah gave Ephraim two additional sons:

3.  Josiah Osborn (1783-1850) was named after Ephraim's brother, and like Ephraim's brother, this Josiah too left town, and moved to New Brunswick Canada to raise his family.  He married Mary Munroe and had seven children.  There is a Winslow court record dated October 1828 which charges a Josiah Osborn with trespassing, but I'm not sure this is him, since Josiah lived in New Brunswick by then.  It's possible he was charged with this crime while visiting his homestead.  Further, a marriage intention record between an "Ephraim Osborn" & Mary Munroe, dated 11 Feb 1837, appears in Lincoln, Maine.  These could be different people altogether, but note should be made here.

4.  Jacob Osborn (1784-1859) married Dorcas Robbins, and stayed in Winslow, but was buried in nearby Benton with other Osborn relatives.  He had two children, a daughter born somewhere between 1826 and 1829, and a son born between 1831 and 1835.  This was gleaned from looking through old census records, which don't give names for children.


In 1787, Ephraim became a surveyor of highways, possibly due to his experience working the road from his house to Fort Halifax.  Vol. 1, MA & ME Direct Tax Census of 1798, Winslow, Lincoln, ME page 417 C

Ephraim's second wife Sarah died in 1787, when these two boys were only toddlers.  Now, Ephraim's brother Isaac, who had been single the entire time Ephraim was starting his two families, had married Sarah Wyman of Winslow (daughter to William and Love Wyman) as late as 1787, twenty years after his arrival in Maine.  Sarah had a 17 year old sister, Lydia Martha Wyman (pictured below) who was ready for marriage.  Ephraim needed help raising his two young boys, so Ephraim married his sister-in-law Lydia.  Lydia gave Ephraim an additional ten children (including my 2nd great grandmother Sarah Ann Osborn-Fuller) and settled in Fairfield, just across the Kennebec River from Winslow:

5.  Jemima was born in 1789, and married someone with the last name Lord.  No further information.

6.  Lydia (1791-1826) died of consumption.

7.  Hannah (1793-??) married Alexander Jackson and moved to China, Maine.  Their daughter, Eliza, married Isaiah Carr Estes.

8.  Martha (1795-1886) married her distant cousin, Zebedee Wyman of Vassalboro, and lived in nearby Benton, Clinton and Canaan, Maine.  They had eight children, including Jacob Osborn Wyman (1822-1904), who had one son, Eugene F. Wyman (1846-1920), who had one son, Lafayette Judson Wyman (1875-1940?), all of whom worked on the railroad.  Another of Martha's children was named Seth Fish Wyman, named for her brother-in-law Seth Fish who married her sister Jane.

9.  Jane (1798-??) married Seth Fish in 1819.  No further information, but it can be assumed they were close enough to Jane's sister Martha to cause Martha to name her son after Seth.  One tree claims that Jane Fish died in Ottumwa, Iowa, where her sister Sarah Ann moved to.  Need to verify.

10.  John Wyman (1799-1876) [might be confused with Isaac's son, John Wyman Osborn].

11.  William (1802-1893) married Fannie Graves, and moved to Harmony, Maine.  They had three children, Hannah Osborn-Whittier, Susan, and William Moses Osborn (middle name came from William's little brother Moses, who supposedly died young).

12.  Moses (1807-1827) drowned at age 20, according to an unnamed source.  However, another source claims that he was actually born in 1796 and married Eliza Hanson.  Need to verify.

13.  Sarah Ann Osborn-Fuller, my 2nd great grandmother, married Samuel Bean Fuller, had six children, and moved the whole family to Ottumwa, Iowa during the Civil War to start up a dry goods business.

14.  Louisa Emily (or Emily Louise) (1813-1887), was the last of Ephraim's 14 children, and never married.  She was a second mother to her many nieces and nephes, and was her mother Lydia's companion and caregiver most of her life.

Ephraim died in Benton in 1814.  While I was able to find several of his children's graves at the local cemetery, Ames Cemetery, I did not find his.  I read that he was buried in a family cemetery 3/4 miles north of Benton.

In 1823, the whole family, as heirs to Ephraim's estate, quitclaimed the 14 acre family homestead in Winslow to elder son Jacob, per below:

Book 49, page 307, 2 Jun 1823

Know all men by these presents, that we Lydia Osborn and Jemima Lord, Hannah Jackson, Martha Wyman, Jane Fish, John Osborn, Lydia Osborn, William Osborn, Arza Osborn, Moses Osborn, Sarah Ann Osborn, all heirs to the estate of Ephraim Osborn, deceased, of Winslow in consideration of Seventy dollars to be paid by Jacob Osborn of Winslow in the county of Kennebec, in the State of Maine, yeoman, the receipt whereof we do hereby acknoqledge have remised, released, and forever quitclaim, and do for ourselves and our heirs by these presents, remiss, release and forever quitclaim unto the said Jacob Osborn, his heirs and assigns forever, all the right, title and interest that we have in and to a certain strip of land lying and being in the town of Winslow aforesaid, located and bounded as follows, to wit., Beginning at Kennebec River at the north wall of Jacob Osborn's land that this said Jacob Osborn now lives on, thence running east south east on said Jacob Osborn's north line one mile, thence north-northeast about seven rods to the land that we mortgaged to Etianne (?) Gilman of Waterville, Esq. thence west-northwest to Kennebec River thence running on the bank of said river about seven rods to the first mentioned corner; containing about fourteen acres be it more or less. To have and to hold the aforementioned premises with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging to him, the said Jacob Osborn his heirs and assigns forever; so thus neither are the said heirs, nor any of us, nor our heirs or any other person or persons claiming from or under us or them, or in the same right or stake of us or them, shall or will, by any way or means, have devise or demand any right or title to the aforementioned premises or their appurtenances, to any part or piece forever. In witness whereof, we the said heirs have hereto set my hand and will this second day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and twenty three. Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of Joseph Osborn, Ebenezer Pratt.

Not signing: Hannah Jackson & Arza Osborn

Signing: 2 June 1823

Lydia Osborn

Lydia Osborn Jr.

Jemima Lord

Martha Wyman

Moses Osborn

Sarah Ann Osborn

John Osborn

Jane Fish

William Osborn


The Centennial history of Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine

Oral history written down by Maud Maple in the 1930's, and carried through the Fuller family (several errors appeared on this)

Somerset County Records

Kennebec County Records

U.S. Federal Census

Maine Death Records

1 comment:

  1. I came across your page while looking into my own family history. I appear to be a descendant of Thomas Osborne of East Hampton, Long Island and am trying to decipher the connection with him. - Derek Osborne (