Week 3 = #52Ancestors

About two years ago, I discovered that who I though was my grandfather was not. In my first research project using DNA, I determined that my biological paternal grandfather was a man by the name of Harrison Osborne.

As a bit of background, my paternal grandmother, Crettie Sheppard, never married. However, she raised six children (with one set of twins) as a single mother. It appears that there were two, possibly three, different fathers.

As I began researching my newly found grandfather, Harrison, in Ashe County, North Carolina, he suddenly disappeared! As did his father, Marion.

Marion’s wife, Marilda, remained in Ashe County as she is enumerated there on the 1900 census, but Marion is nowhere to be found in 1900. We can only presume that she stayed behind so that Marion could investigate a new area in which to move the family. A country-wide search of census records found Marion, his wife, Harrison and several other Osborn children, in Wheeler County, Oregon on the 1910 census.1 Marion and Marilda would remain in Wheeler County. Harrison eventually moved to Idaho, where he died in 1964.2

(Marilda & Marion Osborne)

Harrison’s wife, on the other hand, remained in Ashe County, as did their two sons.3 The sons would eventually find their way to Oregon as adults. It is uncertain as to whether Harrison and Etta ever divorced; however it doesn’t appear that either every remarried. (It is also uncertain as to whether they ever married – no marriage record has been located, and Etta’s maiden name was also Osborn.)

I have wondered what took them across the country, leaving the area where their ancestors had lived for many generations. They also left behind many family members and friends who remained in North Carolina. A review of the 1910 Census for Wheeler County, Oregon shows that individuals moved there from all over the country: Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota, Tennessee, and a noticeable number from North Carolina. More research is most definitely needed for this group of ancestors.

Regardless of what prompted the Osborn family to move to Oregon, this move is the only significant move any of my ancestors made out of the area comprised of NE Tennessee, NW North Carolina and SW Virginia.


1 1910 U.S. Census, Wheeler County, Oregon, population schedule, Mitchell Precinct, sheet 2B (stamped), dwelling 42, family 42, Marion Osborn; image no. 4 of 15, Ancestry.com, (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7884/images/4449647_01146?pId=23337056: accessed 15 Jan 2023); citing microfilm publication Series T624, roll 1283, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

2 Idaho Bureau of Vital Records; 1964 > William Harrison Osborne, 20 August 1964; image 7101 of 11607,”Idaho, U.S., Death Records, 1890-1969”, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/60566/images/d1964-00003465_page_0001?pId=247624: accessed 30 August 2022); citing Death Index and Images, 1911-1969, Idaho Department of Heath and Welfare, Boise, Idaho.

3 1910 U.S. Census, Ashe County, North Carolina, population schedule, North Fork Township, sheet 2A (stamped), dwelling 23, family 23, Etta Osborne; image no. 3 of 40, Ancestry.com, (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7884/images/4450004_00413?pId=20308467: accessed 15 Jan 2023); citing microfilm publication Series T624, roll 1096, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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