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William Osborn and Rebecca Cox

William Osborn and Rebecca Cox


WILLIAM OSBORN (1725-1768)

While living in the vicinity of Warrington Monthly Meeting of Friends near Wellsville, Pennsylvania, WILLIAM, son of MATHEW II and lsabella Dobson Osborn, was married. According to Monthly Meeting records Rebecca Cox and William Ozbun declared their intentions of marriage 8-20-1750 and again 9-17-1750. Rebecca Cox, daughter of Richard Cox of Wartington, York County, married William Ozbun 10-5-1750 at Neeting at Richard Cox's.

In 1753 he took his wife and two babies and went to North Carolina to join his father and mother, brothers and one sister who had settled there a few monehs before, about twelve miles south of Greensboro. There is an interesting story, quite well-founded, regarding the trip. It is related that the trip from Pennsylvania to North Carolina was made on horseback. Rebecca, reportedly, carried a whip made from an apple twig and at the end of the journey she stuck it in the ground. The twig took root and grew and the apples became known as the "Becky" apple. Mr. B. F. Osborn, of Rippey, Iowa, on a trip to North Carolina (about 1924) brought some of the apples to William E. Osborn of Indianapolis and reported them to be a common variety in that state.

Here, in this new home, WILLIAM and Rebecca were to become the parents of seven more childten, for a total of nine, including one set of twins. Late in 1781 tragedy struck the family when a malignant disease, described in the records as "slow fever," took six of their children (ABRAHAM, Richard, Jonathan, Mathew, Elizabeth and Isabell) between November 3, 1781, and January 3, 1782. The record shows that another son, Thomas, died only three weeks before but does not say if of the same disease. The six are all buried in Center Cemetery; Thomas in Cane Creek Cemetery in Alamance County.

This tragedy left Rebecca, widowed since 1768, with only two sons, (William and David) of a family of nine children, and two young widows (daughters-in-law) with small children.

Son William married Mary Lowder 11-21-1782 and reared a family of ten children. They lived near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the account of his death is in Deep Creek Meeting Records in Yadkin County, North Carolina. Several of his children made their way to Ohio and Indiana around 1815 and many of their descendants are to be found there at this writing.

David, the other survivor, was one of the twins. He married Elizabeth Thompson, a non Friend, and they went to Ohio in 1804 and then to Wayne County, Indiana, in 1816 and settled in Perry Township near Economy. Their family consisted of one son and seven daughters.

ABRAHAM left a widow, Abigal, with four little children, two of whom married and went to Orange County, Indiana, in the early 1800s. His other son married and reared a large family most, if not all, of them eventually moving to Indiana. Nothing is known of the sister. Abigal later married a second time to Owen Williams but no further record is found.

Thomas left a widow, Elizabeth, with two small children. She, along with her daughter Margaret (Sheridan) and her husband, went to Ohio in 1805 and her son William and his family followed about 1815. Many of their descendants are living in Ohio and Indiana.

None of the other children of WILLIAM and Rebecca were married before the fever struck them down. No further record of Rebecca has been located.

Adapted from "Mathew Osborn and His Family" by Frederic Verne Osborn, 1970