From the Scrapbook of Shirley Sorrell, Part 9

by Glenn N. Holliman  

 One of the delights of the Internet has been to discover distant cousins and relatives of my grand and great grandparents; stories that would have been lost otherwise.  Thanks to cousin Shirley Sorrell, an avid family historian, we are able to continue to post photographs and biographical data about shared relatives.

Shirley and I are both great great grandchildren of Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson, whose Civil War stories reverberate through our various family branches.  Shirley's ancestor was John Wilson, a son of Isaac and Caroline.  My great grandmother was Frances Caroline Wilson Osborne, a sister of John.  

So Shirley's grandmother, Mayme Wilson Donnelly (1892-1975), was a first cousin to my grandmother, ironically of the same first name, Mayme Torrence Osborne Stansbery (1896-1943).

As with my branch of the Greer/Wilson/Osborne families, Shirley's moved from rural areas to the technology employment opportunities of urban centers.  My great uncles, at least three sons and son-in-laws of Frankie and G.W. Osborne, also left family farms and in their careers, became automobile mechanics and salesmen in the early 20th Century.

Below in the late 1930s, Rebekah Sue Donnelly Sutherland (September 28, 1921 - August 8, 1999) , Mayme Wilson Donnelly and Roger Gus Donnelly at their home in Sutherland, North Carolina. Becky was Shirley's aunt, and Roger, her uncle. Mayme's other child, Deronda Donnelly, the father of Shirley, is not in these first photographs.

Below perhaps a decade older, are the same three persons, same home in Sutherland.

Below, at the same house in Sutherland, Becky holds Nancy, her only child.  Right is Barbara McCall Donnelly, another daughter-in-law of Mayme Wilson Donnelly, and wife of Deronda Donnelly,  Shirley Sorrell's father.  Barbara is holding young Shirley.  The date is approximately 1951.

Above, Deronda Donnelly, Shirley Sorrell's father and husband of Barbara McCall.  This picture was taken at Lee McCrae College in the 1930s, when 'Ronda' was a student in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Below, Becky Donnelly, obviously on a special occasion!  She married John Thomas Sutherland (April 25, 1918- July 9, 1991) on November 20, 1942.  They had one daughter, Nancy Leigh Sutherland Broyles.  Becky graduated from Appalachian State College and taught school before her marriage to John, a Greyhound Bus driver.  The family moved from the North Carolina highlands, which their ancestors had settled in the late 1700s to Raleigh, North Carolina in the mid 20th Century.   

The lives of Becky and John illustrate the increasing education levels of the family, and the need to relocate to a major city for employment opportunities.  Families were leaving the mountains and migrating to urban areas.  And if Becky is an example, also becoming snappy dressers!

Later, more from Shirley Sorrell's Scrapbook, a 20th Century family in transition....

 All are invited to join in building the family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.


Who is this G. W. Osborne?

by Glenn N. Holliman

Recently I received an email and pictures from a former antique dealer who found this blog on the Internet.  She has in her possession an object that has the name G.W. Osborne embedded.  I thank her for her email.  Here are her words.

"Do not know if this has anything to do with your family. I am redoing a room and when I was cleaning my old vintage register (see pictures) I took notice in the label on the side of it.

It reads:     Re-Order From
                    G. W. Osborne
                   Box 358
                   Crystal River, Fla.

I thought I still had the little work orders in the file, but when I was cleaning they are not there any longer. It seems to me if my memory is right that the work orders were small yellow paper and might of been a machine shop or repair business of some sort. The pictures are not great as I can not get a clear shot on my staircase. The thing weighs a ton, or I would take it outside and take better pictures.

Thought I would google it, and came up with your address.
I have had it for years. I am actually from Cape Cod Mass. When I was there I sold antiques. I used to go on antiques buying trips into Penn. all around  Lancaster, Allentown, and York. I picked it up on one of my trips, back in the mid 80's. Have carried it around with me ever since. Love it. I would love to know the history of it."

Left, a photograph believed to be my great grandfather, G.W. Osborne, not a merchant in Florida but a farmer in North Carolina and Tennessee

Hmmm...yes, my great and great, great grandfathers are named George Washington Osborne, but to my knowledge neither every visited Florida, much less lived there.  G. W. Osborne, 1803-1882, was born in Grayson County, Virginia, the son of Jonathan Osborne, 1753-1831, who was born in Yadkin Valley in Rowan County, North Carolina, and died on a farm in Grayson near his more famous pioneer brother, Enoch

Local Ashe County, North Carolina historian, Rufus Myers, has written about numerous of my Mother's ancestors (Geraldine Stansbery Holliman Feick, 1923).  Her grandfather, George Washington Osborne, 1846-1927, the son of the above G. W. Osborne, was born along the North Fork of the New River in Ashe County. 

This G.W. farmed in Sutherland, Ashe County after marrying Frances Caroline Wilson (1851-1940), daughter of Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson.  Later he moved his family to Cove Creek, Watagua County, North Carolina, and during the Depression of 1896 tried farming and the mercantile business in Blountville, Tennessee, Damascus, Virginia, Afton, Tennessee and finally retired to Bristol, Tennessee where he died and is buried.

According to Myers and my research the Osbornes originally came from New Jersey.  I have yet to prepare a comprehensive history of this branch of my family, but many Americans were named after the first President George Washington.  Perhaps one branch of the prolific Osborne family did settle along the Gulf Coast of Florida. 

Crystal River, Florida is about two hours north of Tampa, and is only a century old.  Originally the community developed from the local cedar that was cut and made into pencils.  Perhaps this Mr. Osborne migrated  south from the mountains and made furniture from the native Florida wood at the turn of the last century?

My thanks to the inquisitive lady who wrote me. Can any one help us with this family mystery?


Another Daniel Boone, Greers and Wilcoxsons

by Glenn N. Holliman

We are fortunate to have another article by Gary O. Hodges, recently retired from civilian U.S. Navy service, and now sharing with us his continued research on the Greer, Wilcoxson and Boone families.  He is our go-to person for ancestral societies information and is generous in passing along lineages.  

In this new article, inspired by recent emails from distant cousins, he writes further on the Benjamin and  Boone Greer families.  Yes, descendants of Daniel Boone,  occasionally named their offspring after the famous frontiersman.  Here is the story of one distant cousin and also some information on Greer and Wilson ancestors.

Below left to right: Mr. and Mrs. P. Thompson, Gary and his daughter, Wendy Hodges and Mrs Gayle Raizor a meeting of the national Daniel Boone Society conference in 2014.  The picture is the famous one of Daniel and his family (including John and Sarah Boone Wilcoxson) at the Cumberland Gap.  For information on the Daniel Boone Society (and most reading this are eligible to join), please contact Gary at gary.hodges1@verizon.net.

"Cousins, do you ever wonder if anyone outside our small circle reads the family blog spot? Well, I am not the only person who ran across the family blog through a Google search. Recently three people contacted Glenn and he forwarded their queries to me. I am now in contact with them, helping them as much as I can in their research. 

The most recent new cousin is Amber. She “stumbled across” the blog and found it very
interesting. Amber is the newest member of the family who is looking for documentation on
the Greer family. Like the cousins mentioned in our most recent posting, she is a direct
descendant of Benjamin Greer’s son James (17 September 1783 - September 1869). In fact, she is descended from James' son Alexander Greer. So we add another cousin to those looking for documentation on the children of James Greer. 

A short time before Glenn got the e-mail from Amber, Dorothy was surfing the web and ran across our blog. She was excited to see the name of Daniel Boone. It seems her husband is a descendant of Daniel Boone who was born in Rowan County, North Carolina. Well, this particular Daniel is not the brother of our Sarah Boone Wilcoxson, but a son of Daniel and Sarah’s brother Jonathan Boone (December 1730-1818). I contacted cousin Dorthy Mack, the senior genealogist of The Boone Society,and she sent me this reply: 

'As to this Daniel Boone, he married first Marie Rose Benoit in August 1800 in Louisiana and she died 3 April 18 01. They had no children. He married secondly on 23 Nov 1801 to Ann Boudreaux, and they had 7 children. This Daniel died between November and December 1817 near Beaumont, TX killed by Indians. He was not killed at the Alamo as many stories say. 

He is the son of Jonathan Boone who married Mary Carter, he the son of Squire Boone, Sr. and Sarah Morgan. The children of Jonathan Boone and Mary Carter have been contrived and inflated through the years. I think the son Daniel escaped due to the fact that he went to Louisiana as a young man and sort of got lost in the Boone folly that intrigues so many to claim what they are not. His daughter, Uranie, was just two or so when he died, and her mother died when she was about age 15. Although I have completed a lot of census work on this line not much has ever been known about them in reality.' 

The downloads Dorthy Mack refers to are the ones Dorthy attached in her contact e-mail to
Glenn. Some of you may remember me mentioning Dorthy Mack before. She is a descendant of Sarah Boone Wilcoxson’s brother Nathaniel Boone. So Dorthy is one of our Boone cousins. Now we know at least one of our Boone family moved to Louisiana and it includes Cajuns. 

The next cousin who emailed recently is Nancy. She is also a descendant of James Greer (1783-1869) and his wife, Mary “Polly” Hampton (1789-February 1880).

Nancy is a descendant of Alfred Greer (b 1840) whose mother was Mary Greer (b 1815)
who married William Thomas of Ashe County, North Carolina. Nancy says Alfred is an illegitimate son of Mary. I have not gotten far enough in my research on the children of James and Mary so I have nothing on Mary other than her birth year and that she married William Thomas. 

I will continue researching James descendants gathering as much information on his children and grandchildren as possible. It’s a trip on a tree branch I hadn’t intended on taking until we started getting queries from cousins on James and Mary’s family. Now my interest is aroused on the children and grandchildren of my William Greer (21 January 1772, Rowan County, North Carolina - 1862, Ashe County, North Carolina) siblings. 

Another cousin contacted Glenn about the Wilson family wondering of this person is part of the Wilsons of this blog. Well, that cousin is me. I know in a former article I said I was not a Wilson but I was wrong. Call it old-timers but I had been looking at my Wilcox family line over and over again and it wasn’t till a few weeks ago I saw my great grandmother was Rebecca Iva Wilson Wilcox.

Great grandmother Iva was born in Ashe County, North Carolina in 1835-6. She died in the same county before 2 June 1880. Iva was the first wife of Martin Van Buren Wilcox. Glenn told me Iva’s parents were John Wilson (1812-1892) and Jane “Jenny” Norris (1812-1895). I refer to great grandmother by her middle name Iva because that the given name shown on her son, General Grant Wilcox’s death certificate. So she may have gone by either Rebecca or Iva. 

Great grandmother Iva does not show on the Ashe County cemetery records under either given name. Not sure why this is the case. Any help on my Wilson family line will be helpful. 

So take heart cousins. Our family blog is getting a lot of attention. I would venture to take a wild educated guess and say there are probably several people who peruse the blog for every one who contacts Glenn. I think it is exciting that all the hard work Glenn does maintaining the blog and posting articles is bearing fruit. Who knows how many more contacts we will get in the future. Remember our blog is only as good as the information we have on it. You don’t have to be a wordsmith. Just give the information to Glenn and me and one of us will turn it into an article or articles. 

Recently I made another presentation at my Sons of the American Revolution chapter representing myself as John Wilcoxson.  Similar to the one I gave at our July 2014 family forum in Boone, North Carolina, but I added information on John's brother-in-law, the Daniel Boone.

That same night I received a supplemental certificate from the Sons of the American Revolution for our ancestor John Greer (1714, Baltimore County, Maryland - May 1782, Wilkes County, North Carolina.  John was Benjamin Greer's father.  Again, I was in period attire, complete with a new long waist coat and tri-corn hat.  My daughters Leigh Ann Workman and Wendy Hodges were present to hear the talk."

Cousin Gary O. Hodges
4th Great Grandson of Benjamin Greer and Nancy Wilcox