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Ransom Osborne

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Oxford, New Haven, CT, United States
Death: October 14, 1872 (82)
Geneseo, Henry, IL, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Osborne and Sarah Osborne
Husband of Sarah Osborne
Father of Martha Caroline Blain; Esther Parker; Ruth Arnold; Sarah Ayres; Joseph Osborne and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Ransom Osborne

One of my great regrets in geneaology is not having a chance to ask my grandmother about her father. Most elementary schools assign a project where you ask your family about their ancestors and make a family tree. I don't remember ever doing that and I'm sure I would have remembered the story of Ransom Osborne! Here is a brief biography I found on the internet -

A descendant of Thomas Osborn(e) (b. ca. 1594-5) of Ashford, co. Kent, England who moved to New Haven, CT and East Hampton, Long Island - - - Ransom Osborn was yet a pioneer of his era.

Born in Oxford, New Haven Co., CT, on 5 Apr. 1790, Ransom was the son of Joseph & Sarah (Smith) Osborn. He married 15 Jan. 1815, Derby, New Haven Co., CT to Sarah Hurd, dau. of Ebenezer Hurd & Hannah Miles. Sarah b. 2 Sept 1795 in possibly Huntsville or New Haven, CT; d. 8 March 1843, Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH; buried (date & place unknown). Ransom was age 24 (3 months short of 25) & Sarah age 20 when they married.

Still in the years of pioneering the west, Ransom, with his family, moved to Hicksville, Williams Co., OH. This compiler is still researching more details about the dates & places that Ransom resided.

It was in Hicksville, which later became part of Defiance Co., OH, where "Ransom Osborn, one of Hicksville's first pioneers and Hicksville's very first school teacher" made an impact in the history records.

After his wife Sarah's death in 1843 at Hicksville, OH, Ransom lived with his daughter, Caroline (Osborn) Blain. He was a whip maker (1850 census). When the BLAINs moved to near Manhattan, KS in 1856, Ransom went to live with his oldest daughter, Sarah (Osborn) Ayres (wife of Buenos Ayres) in Geneseo, IL.

Ransom died 14 Oct. 1872, Geneseo, Henry Co., IL and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery: According to research by Harriet (Zimmer) Odom, in Geneseo, Henry Co., IL is recorded that Ransom's place of burial in Oakwood Cemetery - "No. of interment: 611." Possibly from the city hall records of Geneseo - Ransom's age at death "82 yrs. 6 mo." of "old age."

This photograph of Ransom (above) from the Defiance Co., OH history books was the only one that this transcriber had seen until 1998, when a distant cousin shared one of Ransom taken after his legs had been amputated. Ransom had gotten lost in a snow storm while returning home from a journey with his team of oxen.

Photo from History of Defiance Co., OH, Illustrated, 1976; Opal N. & Guy L. Volkert; Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, TX, 1976, p. 142.


1- Jacobus, Donald Lines. Families of Ancient New Haven [CT], Combined volumes IV-VI, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1974, pp 1322-1330. [OSBORN CT25]

2- Jacobus, Donal Lines. The American Genealogist, Volume 12, 1935-36, pp 248 - 255. [OSBORN CT24]

3- Obituary of Caroline (Osborn) Blain [or Mrs. James W. Blain]. Obituary from "Obituaries of Northwest Ohio" researched by Harriet (Zimmer) Odom.

3- Receipts made to Ransom Osborn for subscription to "Star in the West." Four receipts dated Sept 8, 1851 through 1855, when Ransom residing in Hicksville, Defiance Co., Ohio. Annual subscription was $2.00.


4- Sharpe, William Carrosa. The History of Oxford, CT 1885-1910. Record Print, Seymour, CT, 1885.


4- Town vital records of Oxford, CT. Xerox copy of original handwritten records from record book page "O" received from registrar of vital statistics 25 Oct 1982, Oxford, CT.

5- Volkert, Opal N. & Guy L. History of Defiance Co., OH, Illustrated, 1976 Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, TX, 1976, p. 142. Photo of Ransom Osborn. [OSBORN OH10]

Note: Compiled biography of Ransom Osborn by descendant Gloria Odom in Feb. 1999.

Brackets indicate xerox copy of information in files of this compiler.


Part 3

Part 3 is from a handwritten record by Ransom Osborn BLAIN in April 1940. R. O. BLAIN was the son of Martha Caroline “Caroline” OSBORN & James Whur BLAIN and grandson of Ransom OSBORN who married Sarah HURD. These are actually pages 1, 2 & 3, that preceed pages 4 & 5 above. However, this transcriber wanted to continue the genealogy portion of R. O. Blain’s handwritten information immediately following the Osborn Family lineage.

While R. O. Blain states that he “copied from the History of Hicksville Ohio,” he also added additional information of interest to the reader. Additional brackets [ ] are inserted by this transcriber, Gloria ODOM. Mr. Blain’s handwriting scrawled across the page from the left to right margins. “Mrs. Zimmer” was Florence Joan (Ayres) Zimmer, a cousin to R. O. Blain. Florence lived in/near Hollywood (Pomona), CA. This transcriber is a descendant (grandaughter) of Florence.


Copied from the History of Hicksville Ohio

For Mrs. Zimmer

Ransom Osborn was born in Oxford New Haven County Conn. April 4 1790 & married Miss Sarah Hurd of Huntsville Conn. January 15th 1815, 16 years later He removed to Guaga [Geauga] Co. Ohio & remained there 8 years. From there He went to Litchfield Median Co. Ohio. In the fall of 1836, He moved with His family to Hicksville town ship Ohio. When He arived He found but 2 cabins, built by Hicks & Co. & occupied by David Comstock & Robert Boles. Mr Osborn built the 3rd Cabin, near where the home stead of A P Edgerton now stands.

As soon as He had His family domicilled, He started for Ft. Wayne Ind. with a load of wheat & corn & Two Yoke of oxen. The former to be converted into Flour for the use of the family, the distance was 25 miles, through a dense forrest, & the only road was a winding path, from which a few brush had been cut. He reached His destination safely. Got His grain ground, & started for home about 3 o,clock in the afternoon. After traveling

some miles, it commenced to rain & snow, & the weather which had been mild, turned bitter cold.

The path lay through a level country, & the heavy fall of rain, had covered the lower portion of the trail with water, which commenced to freeze, & the oxen soon became weary, as at every step the ice would break, cuting their legs, but He urged Them on, with all the skill of an experienced driver, The cold increased & He began to be alarmed for His safety, As the night was rapidly approaching. He tried to kindle a fire, but everything being covered with sleet, it was impossible. (At that time matches were not in use, & He had to depend on a flint & steel. And as His hands were numb, He could not strike the flint so as to make a good spark ROB)

He moved slowly along, & as the darkness deepened He had to feel His way & guide His team. The weather grew colder & colder - - ice formed on His Clothing & His body became chilled & benumbed.

2 [Page 2]

For a long time He urged His team forward but at length They halted & refused to go. He then unyoked Them, & let Them loose in the forrest, hoping to reach some habitation, where He could obtain shelter, & relief. His feet became so wet & frozen that he could not walk without support of the limbs of trees, with which He swung Himself from tree to tree, often stoping to rest against some Oak or Beach, while He called loudly for help.

But no help came until He had remained in the wood all night. (or nearly so ROB) When a Mr Brant at whose house He had stoped, on His way to Ft. Wayne. Thinking that He was probably lost in the wood, started out to look for Him. As Mr Osborn cried again & again for help, He heard no sound save the dismal howling of the wolves & the echo of His own voice, He gave up in despair, but hark what was that? A shout ---- the barking of a dog. Mr Brant assisted Him to the cabin, where everything was done to alleviate His suffering. That could be done.

All this time His wife & the Children were anxiously a waiting His return. The cold wind

whistled among the trees, & after waiting in great suspense, until after midnight They bolted the door & retired, but could not sleep. As quickly as possible, word was sent to Mrs Osborn of Her husbands misfortune; She went to Him. & staid a week & then He was taken to His home in Hicksville Ohio. Medical assistance was called from


Dr. Colby & Dr Kirby examined the case, & found nothing but amputation of the limbs, would save His life. The same Evening, of Their arival, They amputated Them. Just 6 inches below the knee. This fearful ordeal, was passed through by Mr Osborn, without a murmur, but He was a cripple for the rest of His life. He had a pair of cushions or a sort of

a knee shoe constructed, & as He recovered, with the help of a cane, He was able to walk about. And taught the first school in Hicksville. It consisted of Five schollars. Joseph Bunnell [?]. Sarah Bunnell [?] Alexander Yaxley, & His Two Daughters, Mary &

3 [Page 3]

Caroline Osborn. Mr Osborn taught several terms, & was also Justice of the piece. for the spring of 1837 He moved into the double cabin formerly occupied by Mr. Comstock. where Mrs Osborn kept the workment that cleared away the dense forrest & also the men who built the first grist mill

Mr Osborns family consisted of His wife & one son & 5 daughters - Sarah, Ruth, Esther, Joseph M, Mary & Caroline. He owned the property where Mr Rakestraw now lives & also the farm on the Edgerton road, where Mr Herrick now lives. Mrs Osborn died (of cancer ROB) March 8th 1843 Aged 41 years. In 1857 Mr Osborn went to Geneosu [Geneseo] Ill. to live with His oldest daughter, Mrs Buenos Ayres [Sarah Osborn]. Oct. 14th 1872 He ate His dinner as usual & in the afternoon, died siting in His chair. About 3 years before His death, He regained His second sight, which was a great pleasure to Him, as He was a great reader.

Mr Osborn [Ransom OSBORN], my mothers Father, was 82 years & 6 months & 10 days old a the time of His death.

He is buried at Geneosu [Geneseo] Ill. (R O Blain 4-7-1940)

As I remember hearing my mother tell the story of Her Father freezing.

Mr Brant had got up early, 5 o,clock or before, & as His dog kept barking, He went out to see what was disturbing Him. And the dog kept going out towards Mr Osborn & Mr Brant kept following Him. until He found Mr. Osborn. (R O B 4 7 40)


Handwritten Family Records


"Genealogy on Hawkeye Mill Stationary"

Page 2

It is believed that this document was handwritten by Ransom Osborn Ayres, who was interested in his genealogy; recorded on 4 pages, with pages 1 & 2 of the pages containing an imprinted heading. The handwriting was scrawled across the page from the left edge of the paper to the right edge of the paper. The paper size was approximately 5 7/8 in. x 9 3/8 in. This document was transcribed from a copy of the original undated, hand written document on stationery imprinted as follows:


R. O. Ayres

Proprietor of



Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Flour, Feed, Hay,

Grain, Buckwheat and Meal.

Also Sand, Brick, Tile and Stone

Knoxville, Iowa ……………………., 190….

Record of Ransom Osborns family

[Page 1]

Ransom Osborn

Born in Oxford Co Conn - April 4, 1790

Married in Derby Conn - Jan 15, 1815

by Rev Abner Smith to Sarah Hurd

Died in Munson Ill - Oct 14, 1872

Sarah Hurd wife of Ransom Osborn

Born in Conn - Sept 2, 1795

Married in Derby Conn to Ransom Osborn - Jan 15, 1815

Died in Hicksville Defiance Co Ohio - Mar 8, 1842 [1843?]

Sarah Osborn their oldest Child

Born in Conn - Sept 2, 1816

Married to Buenos Ayres - Sept 1, 1833

Died in Knoxville Iowa - Nov 1, 1894

Ruth C. Osborn Born in Conn - July 15, 1818

Marriade to Samuel Arnold Plainsville Ohio - July 16, 1836

Died in Joseph Decall Co Ind - Aug 7, 1838

[Page 2; imprinted with heading as above]

Sheldon Osborn born in Conn - April 5, 1821

Died in Conn - [April & May crossed out] 7, 1821

Esther Osborn Born in Conn - July 8, 1822

Married to Allen Parker in Hicksville

Defiance Co Ohio - November 14, 1839

Died in Zeandale Riley Co Kan - Aug 22, 1891

Joseph M. Osborn Born in Conn - Oct 25, 1824

Marriade in Ohio supposed in Paulding Co

Died in the Battle of Chickamauga - Sept 20, 1863

Rosalind M Osborn Born in Conn - May 17, 1827

Marriade Allen L. [or F.?] Pierson in Hicksville Ohio - May 1844

Second Mariage at Wichita Kan to Alfred Ray - July 20, 1892

Died in Wichita Kan - May 17, 1897

Martha C. Osborn Born in Oxford Conn May 31, 1829

Marriade to James W. Blain

in Pauldin Co Ohio Feb. 23, 1846

Died in Zeandale Kan - Riley Co. Nov. 30 1897

[Page 3, paper not imprinted]

Ruth Osburn

Sarah [Hurd - this word crossed out] Osborn was born at Oxford, Newhaven Co. Connecticut. September 2, 1816 - in decent she is of English extraction and her ancestors were residents of New England for several generations - Sarah Osborn Ayres was the daughter of Sarah Hurd and Ransom Osborn [she married Buenos Ayres] to whom 6 [7] children were born, 5 girls and one [2] boy[s] - of whom Sarah was the eldest then came Esther who married Allen Parker, then Mary who married - Pearson [Pierson], then Ruth unmarried [married], then Miles who was killed in the battle of Mission Ridge Rebellion [Battle of Chickamauga], then came Martha Caroline who was married to James Wheeler [Whur] Blain

[Page 4, paper not imprinted]

Sarah married Buenos Ayres


Transcribed by Stephen A. Cholet, June 2, 1998, in Woodstock, Georgia.

Bracketed [ ] notes were added to the document and included here by Gloria Odom of PA, May 1998; xerox copies of these documents are in possession of this transcriber. Original documents are in the possession of Merrill Kempster Zimmer, Jr. of CA in 1999, now deceased.

Note regarding the order of children for Ransom OSBORN & Sarah HURD -

the correct order is as follows:

1 - Sarah OSBORN md. Buenos AYRES

2 - Ruth Ann OSBORN md. Samuel ARNOLD

3 - Sheldon OSBORN - died young - about 2 months old

4 - Esther OSBORN md. Allen PARKER

5 - Joseph Miles OSBORN md. Unknown

6 - Rosalind Mary OSBORN md. (1) Allan F. PIERSON (2) Dr. Alfred RAY

7 - Martha Caroline OSBORN md. James Whur BLAIN


The 1850 census of Hicksville, Ohio shows

James W. Blain - 25 - merchant

Martha C. Blain - 21

Rodman P. - 3

Ransom O. - 1

Ransom Osborne - 60 - whip maker

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Ransom Osborne's Timeline

April 5, 1790
Oxford, New Haven, CT, United States
July 8, 1822
Age 32
Humphreyville, CT, United States
May 31, 1829
Age 39
Oxford, New Haven, CT, United States
October 14, 1872
Age 82
Geneseo, Henry, IL, United States