Hugh Osbourne, Marine Private

Hugh Osbourne. Hugh Osbourne was born 10 November 1763 in Bridgewater, MA according to pension records or Pembroke, MA according to genealogical sources. Pembroke was part of the Parish of East Bridgewater at that time. Hugh was one of twelve children of George Osbourne (c.1733-1812) and Sarah Wade (c.1738-1778) and possibly a twin of brother Peleg. Seven of George Osbourne’s eight sons by Sarah Wade, served like their father in the Revolutionary War. Much of their story is taken from Volume 11 of “Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War” and the article “The Military History of the Osborne Family” written by William Osborne and published by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in 1900. Thirteen year old Hugh Osbourne first served as Private with his father in Captain Joseph Stetson’s Company of Col. Nicholas Dyke’s Regiment at Dorchester Heights in November of 1776. In company with his father again, Hugh marched from West Parish in Pembroke to Bristol, RI on 10 December 1776 with Captain James Hatch’s Company of Col. John Cushing’s Regiment, answering the alarm of 8 December and returning home after fifteen days on Christmas Eve 1776. He also served with brothers Peleg and Thomas in Captain Amos Turner’s Company of Col. Jonathan Titcomb’s Regiment for two months and six days between April and June 1777 marching to Tiverton, RI and back. The 5 feet 4 inch tall light complexioned Hugh Osbourne “passed muster before Captain James Hatch of Pembroke” with his older brother Thomas and ten other men raised from Plymouth County. Thomas Osbourne’s testimony in the pension application of Lot Ramsdell reveals that the eleven were “put under his command as Sergeant” and marched to Fiskill, NY where he delivered the recruits to the commanding officer. The contingent from Plymouth “joined the army” and were “put into different companys”. Hugh Osbourne enlisted for the term of nine months beginning with their arrival at Fishkill, NY on 10 June 1778. He served as Private in Captain Adam Bailey’s Company of Col. John Bailey’s 2nd Regiment until he was reportedly enlisted into the wagon service on 8 August 1778. Brother Thomas was enlisted into Captain Benson’s Company, sent to West Point and then White Plains before being detached from the Massachusetts Line and joining the Pennsylvania Line under the “New Levies”. He served twelve months before being discharged at Middlebrook, NJ about March or April of 1779. Hugh reputedly served with Thomas in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey until the same time. His activities between April 1779 and December 1781 have not been determined, however, it is possible he joined his older brother in the Sea Service and with him was taken prisoner and was carried to Nova Scotia. One family researcher concludes that Thomas Osbourne served on the Massachusetts armed vessel Protector under the command of Captain John Foster Williams, sailing from Boston in April 1780 and later that year was captured by the Roebuck and Mayday although no evidence has been provided to support this conclusion. Hugh Osbourne, along with his older brother Thomas and other brothers Peleg and William, enlisted together for twelve months in Captain Matthew Parke’s Company of Marines and were attached to the Continental frigate Deane under the command of Captain Samuel Nicholson at Boston on 12 December 1781. According to his pension application, Hugh enlisted for the duration of one cruise. All four brothers were transferred to the Continental frigate Alliance under the command of Captain John Barry. According to the payroll records of the Alliance in the Barry-Hayes Collection at Independence Seaport Museum Library, Hugh and his three brothers entered service on the frigate Alliance on 20 December 1781. According to the ship’s ledger in the same collection, the following day Hugh was issued a blanket, jacket, trousers, hose and frock. The shoes and hat he wore onto the ship must have been in good enough shape to last until new ones were also issued him the following August. While on the homeward bound leg of a voyage to the West Indies, Osbourne’s pension records indicate that the Alliance participated in an engagement with three British ships. This engagement the records refer to between the Alliance and the British warships Sybil, Alarm and Tobago on 10 March 1783 is recognized as the last major naval action of the Revolutionary War. The Alliance sailed into Newport on 20 March 1783 and shuttled to Providence several days later, anchoring just below the city. According to the payroll records of the Alliance in the Barry-Hayes Collection at Independence Seaport Museum Library, Hugh Osbourne was discharged at Providence, RI along with his older brother Thomas on 1 April 1783 having served fifteen months and twelve days. Brothers Peleg and William both died in June of 1782 while in service with the ship, then anchored at New London. After the war, Hugh Osbourne was married to cousin Azubah Wade on 13 January 1786 at Pembroke, MA by the Reverend Gad Hitchcock, minister of West Parish. Azubah Wade, known as Zuba, was born 27 July 1766 in Plymouth County, MA to Levi Wade and Deborah Phillips. After their marriage, the couple moved to Winslow Township on the west side of present day Waterville in Kennebec County, ME where they were living with their two oldest sons at the time of the 1800 Census. The Osbourne’s had three children- all born in Dearborn, Kennebec County, ME; Cyrus born 30 March 1787, Edmond born 10 May 1792 and Ezra born 1 November 1801. Dearborn was part of Winslow Township until it was annexed by Waterville in 1826. Hugh Osbourne served as one of the town assessors in 1802. This area was also known as West Pond Plantation, the place of their residence recorded in the 1810 Census. Only youngest son Ezra is living at home at that time with oldest son Cyrus residing next door with his wife Abigail. Cyrus was married to Abigail Hussey in Dearborn the previous year on 11 June 1809, having four children at Dearborn between 1809-1814 and three children at Rome between 1817-1820. He died at Madison, ME in March 1866. It is not known where Hugh and Zuba Osbourne’s eighteen year old middle son Edmond was living at the time of the 1810 Census. Soon after the death of twenty-three year old Edmond on 5 July 1815 in Dearborn, ME; the Osborne family moved to Ohio in 1817. By May of 1818, the family was living at Zanesville, OH in Muskingum County where Hugh was originally pensioned on 1 September 1819 having testified concerning his reduced and indigent circumstances. Pension application #W-6889 indicates Osbourne was residing in Bristol Township, Morgan County, OH in 1820. The 1820 Census confirms Hugh’s residence there with his wife, son Ezra and two unnamed others. Early in the year following his youngest son Ezra’s marriage to Thirza Abzubah Kenison on 17 May 1821, Hugh and Zuba Osbourne returned to Rome, Kennebec County, ME from Muskingum County, OH to live in proximity to their oldest son Cyrus, who is residing nearby at the time of the 1830 Census. Fifteen years later in 1836 or 1837, Hugh and Zuba Osbourne moved again from Maine back to Ohio to live with their youngest son Ezra, in whose household they are residing during the 1840 Census. Son Ezra and his wife Thirza had nine children of whom six were living at the time of the census. Hugh and his wife resided in at Bristol Township, Morgan County, OH until his death at age 84 years, 6 months and 5 days on 25 May 1847. The will of Hugh Osborne, dated 9 March 1839 and filed on page 217 in Box 0 at Morgan County, OH, names his son Azra Osburn (Ezra Osborn) as executor. Son Ezra was instrumental in obtaining the widow’s pension benefits for his aged mother in 1850. Hugh’s widow Zuba continued to reside at Bristol Township, OH until her death seven years later at age eighty-eight on 12 October 1854. Both are buried in Meigs Church of Christ Cemetery in McConnelsville, OH along with son Ezra and grandchildren Azubah, Cyrus and Ezra.

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