The Osborn’s of Brooklyn

Another family with Brooklyn roots has written a family history for us to display on the site.  Anybody related that finds this page should contact the author directly.

England to New York

Robert and Sophia Osborn were both born in 1799 or 1800. They were both from England. They moved to Wales, had a daughter Mary Ann Osborn on August 21, 1830. The family immigrated to America in 1837. They went to Brooklyn to set up house. When they got to America Sophia had another daughter and they named her Anna Maria. I found Mary Ann living in a boarding house in 1850, she was 18. Soon after this she met and married a Mr. Rupert, I have never found anything about him. On September 18, 1858 Robert Osborn Rupert was born in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after a sister, Elizabeth Rupert was born. I do not have any information about other than her nickname was Libby. She married a man with the last name of Cox they had 2 children, Rupert(whom they called Purty) and Lewis.

Robert Osborn Rupert married Kathryn Leighton Phillips born in Jersey City, NJ on June 3rd, 1859, on June 3, 1884 in Brooklyn, NY. Robert was born at 158 High Street in Brooklyn.

They had a son, Robert Osborn Rupert, Jr on August 6, 1885. Sometime after this the family moved to Indianapolis, IN. Robert married my Great Grandmother, Hazel Fern Trees b. in Warrington, In October 25, 1889 on March 6, 1909 in Indianapolis, IN. They had 2 children. Winifred Jeanette Rupert was born January 16, 1910 and Robert Theodore “Ted” Rupert born June 6, 1911.

The original Robert Osborn that came from England died September 21, 1854, he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY. he was living at 266 8th Avenue, New York He died of Bilious Fever.

Sophia married a Tunstill sometime after Robert died. She was living at 70 Jackson Street, Brooklyn, NY. She died July 4th 1888 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.

Mary Ann Osborn Rupert ended up marrying a Ewing. She died December 15, 1886 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Her last known address was 268 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY.

The rest of the family all lived out their lives and died in Indianapolis. Except for Anna Maria, she married a Leonard Huking. They are both buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Anna had all her Osborn Family buried in her mother-in-law’s lot.

Ginger Hipszky,

Red Hook History

If you have ancestors living in Brooklyn in the 1800’s there is a good chance they are living in Red Hook.  This ship building and dock community provided jobs to many poor Irish immigrants including my own ancestors.

The name of Red Hook originates from the Dutch “Roode Hoek” meaning “Red Point” for the Red clay that covered the area.

Street Names

Beard St.

– Irish Immigrant William Beard lived 1806-1886 and created the Erie Basin. The Beard St Warehouse built in 1869 still stands today. Beards son was Colonel William Beard (1839-1893) was one of the wealthiest men in Brooklyn and a big supporter of the republican party.

Coffey St.

– Named after Michael Joseph Coffey (1839- 1907). District leader of the 12th Ward, later became alderman and state senator. Coffey was so popular that supporters called the Twelfth Ward “Coffeyville” an Partition St was renamed Coffey St. in his honor.

Conover St.

– John Conover was an 18th century land owner

Dikeman St.

– One of earliest families to settle in the Hook. Judge John Dikeman (1794-1879) was author of the 1870 manuscript “The Brooklyn Compendium” and the long time oldest surviving member of the Kings county Bar.

Luquer St.

– The “Luqueer” family were a major landowners. Abraham Luqueer (1739-1823) and his son Nicholas was a wealthy Mill owner whose mill stood at Huntington and Hicks streets. They, along with the Van Dyke Brothers controlled good portion of Twelfth Ward.

Richards St.

– Col. Daniel Richards was a leading developer in south Brooklyn in mid 18th century, developed Atlantic Docks and Atlantic Basin as well as Warehouses, factories and first grain elevator in the area.

Van Brunt St.

– The Van Brunt name in Brooklyn extends back to Dutch Slave holding family headed by Rutgert Joesten Van Brunt.  A Century later his descendent, another Rutgert Van Brunt was a member of the New York State Assembly for the years 1783 – 1784.

Van Dyke St.

– Jan Thomasse Van Dyke was an Dutch Settler who settled in Brooklyn in 1640. His descendents Thomas and Nicholas Van Dyke were major property owners until they were both dead in 1834.

Wolcott St.

– Oliver Wolcott, lived from 1726 -1797, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Delegate to Continental Congress, Brigadier General and Governor of Connecticut. His son, Oliver Walcott Jr. succeeded Alexander Hamilton as secretary of the Treasury.

The Bowery Boys

A great podcast by The Bowery Boys outlines much of Red Hook’s history in this fantastic audio presentation.

2014 Holiday Season Discounts – Start Your Tree For $20

If you have never looked into your family tree, this is the best offer you will find.  From now until New Years Eve you can learn all about your Great Grandparents for only $20.  We will provide you with census reports, newspaper articles, burial locations, military records, and anything else we can find.

While every case is different, we return awesome results and shock most of our new customers with the amount of information we can provide.  Whether your ancestor was a Civil War Vet, a slave, a politician, or an orphan, you will want to know their story.

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Tina Fey’s, David Sedaris’ and George Stephanopoulos’ Greek Ancestry

Tiny Fey Learns about her Greek ancestors.
Tiny Fey Learns about her Greek ancestors.

In this episode of “Finding Your Roots”, Genealogist Henry Louis Gates teaches 3 Greek Americans about their ancestors heroic and tragic stories. This episode is a great source to learn about the Greek War for Independence, and the Nazi Occupation of Greece. Featuring Tina Fey, David Sedaris and George Stephanopoulos.

Finding Your Roots – Carole King, Alan Dershowitz and Tony Kushner

Season 2, Episode 7 “Our People Our Traditions”

Carole King on PBS
Carole King on PBS

Henry Gates Jr. teaches three Americans about their Jewish heritage.
Alan Dershowitz finds a connection to the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, Tony Kushner’s ancestor is found in the history of the Holocaust, and Carole King learns of the discrimination her American ancestors faced.

Finding Your Roots – Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai & Aaron Sanchez

Season 2, Episode 5, “The Melting Pot”

Tom Colicchio on PBS
Tom Colicchio on PBS

This episode first aired on October 21st, 2014

These three celebrity chefs have their Family tree explored by Henry Gates Jr.

Italian Tom Colicchio of “Top Chef”, Chinese Ming Tsai of “Simply Ming”, and Mexican Aaron Sanchez of Food Networks “Heat Seekers” all learn about their diverse roots.

Finding Your Roots – Anderson Cooper, Ken Burns & Anna Deavere Smith

Season 2, Episode 3 “Our American Storytellers”

Anderson Cooper Finding Your Roots on PBS


This episode, which originally aired on October 7th, 2014, shows genealogist Henry Gates Jr. teaching 3 of our legendary storytellers about their family history. Ken Burns and Anderson Cooper feel awful that their ancestors owned slaves, and Anna Deavere Smith learns she descends from at least one line of free black folks, one of which played a big part in the history of Gettysburg.

If you decide you would like to find out if you have a similar story in your family history, contact us now to have us build your family tree.

See the rest of Season 2’s episodes here.

Old Family Photo’s

The Coney Island Express
A photo from an unknown year on the “Coney Island Express”


The “Coney Island Express” Family Photo Mystery

A few year’s ago I was able to locate surviving family members of a recently discovered branch of my grandfathers side of the family. From that came the above photo, with names written on the back, passed down to a distant cousin from a cousin of my grandfather to her daughter.

Attempting To Date An Old Photo

First off, this photo is a goldmine for me as it is the one and only photo I have ever seen of my great grandfather William “Billy Murray”, the shorter man on the left side of this photo. When trying to place a date on this photo I had several clues, mostly surrounding the apparent age of the people in the photo.

First we have William Murray born 1883. Next, his brothers widow Margaret, born 1884, Margaret’s sister, Pauline, born 1882 and Pauline’s husband, John, born 1878.

Next, I need to know the years this subway car would be in service and available to have a photo taken on it. That is when I found this incredible photography blog, from which I learned that this train was subway car #983, built by The American Car & Foundry Co in 1935.

Clue #3 in this case is that fact that my great grandfather passed away in September of 1937. Assuming the car was not in service during a summer until 1936, that gives me the window of 1936 or 1937.  This make the approximate ages of these folks to be 53, 52, 54 and 58.  They somehow all look younger then that to me.

Coney Island History

Although I do not believe the photo is taken upon the actual train car, I do imagine that the new car to Coney Island would have been a big deal, and I have to assume this canvas backdrop behind a railing would have been the type of thing that families would get a photo on the same way families might have a photo taken at a staged setting in a modern amusement park. This type of thing would probably be staged by some local photo studio, so if anybody happens to have any info on that, I would be interested in hearing it.


Cone Island History
Walter Arnold Photography

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