William Osgood: Patriot Ancestor

Last summer I made the trek to Cabot, Vermont. It is the location of where my 6th great-grandfather, William Osgood, lived out his final years after serving in the Continental Army. It is here that William secured land and settled his family for the long haul. It is also here that William was buried at Center Cemetery, the towns oldest cemetery. The land that the cemetery sits on actually was donated by the Osgood’s.  I’ve included a picture of his headstone at this cemetery. He is buried next to his wife Hepsibath and his son Thomas. Thomas went on to become a prominent member of the Cabot community, serving as Town Clerk for 36 years. Image

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Patriot Roots

It’s been awhile since an update. Between work and vacations, it’s been tough to sit down and do meaningful research, let alone blog about it.  But I have made progress, especially tracking down ancestors of mine who fought in the War for American Independence.

This brief history has yielded two Patriot ancestors I am directly linked to: William Osgood and Richard Field, my 6th and 5th great-grandfathers, respectively. I also found evidence of multiple cousins and uncles who fought with the Rebels but I tried to narrow the scope of my research to direct descendants.

I have been able to find muster rolls with their names, signatures on enlistment papers, service descriptions, and cemetery headstones. I intend of zeroing in on their services, the men they fought with, and any other information that will unearth their contributions to the founding of this nation. More to come…

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Goals of My Research

I found out very quickly how rewarding family research can be (story on that later). When I started my research, I didn’t set any goals in terms of what I wanted to accomplish. Rather, I wanted to find out as much as I could as quickly as I could.

Fast forward two years later and yes, I found a wealth of information I never knew, but still find myself struggling with a research game plan. Here are some of my Osgood family research goals I’d like to accomplish:

  1. Create a solid research game plan and stick to it. Have rhyme and reason to my research. NO MORE RANDOM STARTING POINTS!
  2. Record all methods of research, findings, reflections, etc. in this blog. I wish I started this blog when I first began my research. Regrettably, I know items I would have liked to share have already been forgotten. I will try my best to recall and record past experiences in coming posts.
  3. Once a particular subject/topic is being researched, I will not move onto another topic until I find the answers I need.
  4. Don’t rush.
  5. Start forming the early stages of a Osgood genealogy narrative.
  6. Spend more time researching the wives of Osgood ancestors – they have a lot to share.
  7. Determine military service of every direct descendant.
  8. Determine if military service documents exist (pensions, draft registrations) and file accordingly.
  9. Contact and get in touch with more local historical societies for access to primary source material.
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Humble Roots

I’ve always been fascinated with history. As a middle school student in a New England suburb, I always took a liking to my Social Studies classes. The books I enjoyed the most were about history. My favorite was a 1943 novel titled Johnny Tremain, written by Esther Forbes, and was set in 18th century Boston at the beginning of the American Revolution. A close second was a book about the Holocaust in Denmark I read in the 4th grade called Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. It was these fascinating books – fiction or non – that always kept my interest more so than any other subject (although I did want to be an astronaut when I was little!).

Another factor that continues to influence my love for country and history is the environment I live in. Historically and geographically speaking, New England is one of the oldest settled regions in the United States. Yes, it is the “Birthplace of the American Revolution” and that’s why it is so special. It is a region that is littered with clues and evidence dating back to our nations infancy. It is this New England setting that invokes a primal feeling; an interconnectedness with time, place, and people.

The small towns I pass through are obliterated with hints of a time before us. Old colonial homes tower over sleepy town greens. Town “centers” are quaint hubs that connect the people to their community. Mom and Pop stores exist here too, representative of decades of family ownership and hard work. And not to be forgotten is the hearty pubs whose offerings range from belly-warming pot roast to buttery lobster pie. In short I live, work, and play in a time machine. It is this rich history of New England that has influenced me to become more appreciate of those who came before me.

This love of history and country cannot be evidenced more in me than on the 4th of July. Independence Day is and always will be the one holiday I look forward to the most. As a child, I remember waking up early to help my Mom and Dad decorate our backyard with patriotic decorations in preparation for annual family cookout. After a day of swimming, food, and family, we would gather to admire our backyard firework show then retire to the house to watch the Boston Pops perform on TV.  As a child growing up in suburban America, it didn’t get much better than the 4th.

I did not know much about my family history until I was in college. In fact, for someone who loves learning, I was never interested in learning about how I became me. It wasn’t until I started trying to figure out where my last name, Osgood, originated from. A late night e-mail to my Mom requesting information about our last name  is all I needed to become hooked. It was a small clue that my Mom provided me with that intrigued me most: my Grandmother Mary Osgood may have come to this country through Ellis Island from England. It was this tiny clue (as it turns out, a wrong clue, innocently enough) that sparked a appetite for more information and answers about my Osgood ancestors.

With the help of librarians, local historians, and my wife, this unplanned inquiry into my family history has evolved into a quest for answers. Two years later I have just scratched the surface, uncovering old family pictures, visiting grave sites, walking among old Osgood homesteads, and touching the delicate paper from century old documents once held by my ancestors. It’s been an incredibly interesting and at times challenging experience.  In the end it is my hope that this blog can provide help for those who are embarking on a similar journey such as myself.

Something to note: The primary research on this website will focus only on my Dad’s side of the family, the Osgood name. There are many reasons why this is the case – the main being I have easily traced my entire male lineage back to one emigrant ancestor, John Osgood, in 1638. From John, my lineage is as follows: Stephen, Hooker, Joshua, William, William, William, Mat(t)ias, George F., Clarence, Russell, and then my Dad, Steven.

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The Journey Begins

Although I’ve been researching my family history for over two years now, I have never kept track of this amazing journey. I hope to use this blog as a way to learn, share, and reflect upon my discoveries. My first task is to document the genealogical trip I have taken over the course of the past couple of years so I can keep this journey fresh in my mind. As my journey progresses, I hope this blog will ultimately serve as a travel log/journal of sorts to refer back to at times. I hope if you are viewing this blog you too will leave with information you may find helpful or interesting pertaining to the Osgood family.

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