Research from the Center for Appalachian Studies

by Glenn N. Holliman

Notes from a Crowded Computer....

While on a recent cruise, I spent time in my cabin cleaning out computer files and rearranging my very confused notes.  Several years ago, I spent an afternoon in the Center for Appalachian Studies at the State University in Boone, North Carolina, and took numerous notes from just a few of the many volumes on local and family histories.  Here are a few items I saved.

One volume in which I explored was Ashe County, N.C. Cemetery Records by Russell Hamilton, published 1999.  This is only a partial list of my Wilson and Osborne ancestors buried in two Ashe County grave yards.

 Above, my son, Christopher S. Holliman takes a picture of my grand daughter, Camille Elizabeth Holliman, standing by the grave of her 4th great grandmother, Caroline Greer Wilson (1828-1911).  This photograph was taken in summer 2013 at the Wilson Cemetery on Oscar Wilson Road in Sutherland, North Carolina.  One generation hands down to the next the stories of family.
When I was a boy in the 1950s, I remember on a thundery day in East Tennessee my mother, the late Geraldine Stansbery Holliman Feick, telling me of her grandmother, Frances (Frankie) Wilson Osborne who was terribly afraid of thunder storms and used to hide under her bed.  Right, Frankie in old age at her home in Bristol, Tennessee, 1930s.

Mother also told me of the bushwhacking of her great grandfather, Isaac who was Frankie's father.  Frankie was with him when he was shot in June 1864 during the Civil War while hoeing corn.  Decades later the memoirs of The Rev. William A. Wilson, Frankie's brother, told of the event in detail.  These writings have now been published in the work, Neighbor to Neighbor by Appalachian State University's Center for Appalachian Studies.

Below is a partial list of those in Wilson Cemetery.  Many reading this posting have been to this cemetery where my generation's great, great grandparents, Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson, are resting. Birth and death dates are given.  Perhaps this list will help some who are filling in Ancestry.com profiles.  If you see any errors, please let me know.

1.Nancy Emeline Wilson, 25 Feb 1850 – 4 Dec 1919
2. Caroline Greer Wilson, 10 Dec 1828 - 8 Sep 1911, w of Isaac Wilson
3. L. Boyd Wilson, 8 Dec 1885 - 24 Dec 1885, s/John W & Rebecca Wilson
4. Isaac Wilson, 16 Dec 1822 – 17 June 1864, CSA NC Co. E, 37th Reg.
5. Mary McClellan Wilson, 10 Mar 1868 – 14 May 1949, w. of W.A. Wilson, Sr.
6. Oscar Thomas Wilson, 24 Feb. 1889 – 29 Aug 1985, s/Robert B. and Sarah Wilson
7. Rebecca Wilson, 21 Sep 1862 – 19 Aug 1954, wife of John Wilson, D/Jacob & Eliza Wilson
8. Robert Boyd Wilson, 4 Jan 1860 – 17 Feb 1949, s/Isaac and Caroline Greer
9. Robert McClellan Wilson, 23 Dec 1897 – 17 Sep 1904, S/Wm. A and Mary McClellan
10. Sarah Ellen Wilson, 6 Mar 1866 – 1 Mar 1952, W/Robert B.; D/Jacob and Eliza Wilson
11. William Albert Sr.,  20 Dec 1861 – 18 Feb 1951, S/Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson
12. William Albert, Jr., 17 Aug 1894 – 19 Nov 1983, S/W.A. Wilson, Sr. and Mary McClellan Wilson

Right is a view of Wilson Cove, the large farm that Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson acquired after their marriage in 1849, and which was divided among their children after his death.  Today, there are numerous owners of plots in the cove, not related to each other.  The elevation of the farm is at 3,200 feet.  The Wilson Cemetery is out of the picture at the upper left.

Another cemetery Mr. Hamilton studied is the Osborne Cemetery in Ashe County not too far from the Wilson Cemetery.  Here another pair of my great, great grandparents George Washington and Mary Baldwin Osborne, are buried.

This cemetery is located at Map Coordinates C07; on the south side of NC-88, o.55 mile north of West Peak Road, SR-1119, across the New River on a hill 4000’ from the road, chain link fence, 60’ by 75’. It has 22 graves at this North Fork Township location and was in good condition in the 1990s.

1.      George Washington Osborne, Sr. 28 Apr 1803 – 18 Apr 1882, S/Jonathan Osborne and Agnes Wells
2.     Mary Baldwin, 11 Feb 1803 – 21 Jan 1895, W/George W. Osborne, Sr.
3.     Clem W. Osborne, 26 Feb. 1835 – 23 Jan 1902, S/Geo. W. and Mary Baldwin.
4.     Effie A. Lewis, 1873 – 1954, W/Walter R. Osborne.
5.     Esther S. Osborne, 16 Aug 1910 – 14 Aug 1985, D/Walt R. Osborne & Effie Lewis.
6.     Ruby Hill Osborne, 28 Oct – 13 May 1935, D/Walt R. and Effie Lewis Osborne

All are invited to join in building a 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.  Saving our family history one ancestor at a time.  Thanks!

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