Mathew Ozbun I and Mary

Mathew Ozbun I and Mary

Mathew (OZBUN) OSBORN (1661-1738)

The first record of this particular branch of the Osborn family in America and the new world is the coming of MATHEW (OZBUN) OSBORN I from England to Sussex County, Delaware, in the latter part of the 17th century, in the year 1682.

He is reported to have been a descendant of the William Fitzosborn afore mentioned. Quite well-founded tradition says that somewhere in England, as was custom of the time, MATHEW I was bound out to a gardener to learn that trade. In some way, whether willfully or not, he forgot to cover vegetables to prevent frost and fearing the consequences hid himself on a ship about to sail for America. He was not found for two or three days when it was too late to put him ashore. He got safely across but was promptly bound out again by the ship's captain to pay for his passage.

The following excerpts taken from the Court Records of Sussex County, Delaware, substantiate, to considerable degree, some of the early events of his life.

Sussex County Court, Georgetown, Delaware, June l3 - l4, l682:
"This Court do grant unto Mathew Osborne 300 acres; warrant 24 inst."

"Mathew Osborn - man servant - assigned by this court to serve Norton Claypool for three years - by agreement - that Claypool do save his land the said Mathew have a grant from this Court for. That said Mathew be allowed the time he be employed toward seating the land. Custom for servants judged in Court to serve until they attain the age of 24 years."

Thus we see that in the year of Mathew's arrival in America (1682) he was bound out by the Court for a period of three years and he did secure a land grant of 300 acres of land. Whether this Court judgment was the result of the action brought by the ship's captain is not known, but being for three years and his period of servitude being until he became twenty-four years of age would fix his age at the time as 21 years. This being true in 1682 would therefore establish the year of his birth as 1661.

Later Court Records also make the following references to MATHEW:-

Marriage in the home of Norton Claypool 9-15-1687
Isaac Bowd of Philadelphia and Jane Mawd

Mathew M. Osborne--One of the witnesses
Norton Claypool, Dep. Reg.

Marriage 11-28-1689 Joseph Booth and Frances Spencer

Mathew M. Osborne-One of the witnesses

Not much else is known of MATHEW I or his family. We do know that:-

1. He apparently spent most of his adult life in Sussex County, Delaware.

2. He married Mary ? and reared a family of five children.

3. He became owner of a relatively large acreage of land.

4. He is next seen as an old man writing his will in 1733, a certified copy of which follows.

5. His relationship to the Religious Society of Friends is not well known. One traditional writing says that he was present when William Penn made the treaty with the Indians. Penn told them that they were all of the same human family and lived under the same God. Reportedly MATHEW was so impressed with Penn's doctrine that he became a Quaker and joined the Quakers of Pennsylvania.

Records on the family of MATHEW OSBORN I are not complete. Their home Meeting was Cold Spring Neck, about which there seems to be little knowledge of record. By piecing bits of information together, this record seems to be accurate in so far as it goes.

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