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Osborn Adamson

1877 - 1932
London and California
United Kingdom and USA
Putney, Pinner, Romford and San Francisco

Osborn Adamson was born in October 1877 at East Dean, Eastbourne, the sixth child of Grace (Osborn) and Edward William Adamson. Osborn's father was the local telegraph operator and they lived in the Telegraph Relay Station in East Dean on the Sussex Downs.

As a young adult he moved to Putney where he is recorded on the 1901 census as a builders clerk at 30 Ruvigny Gardens. Here he lived with Sydney Adamson, his elder by three years. This house is of a modernistic design amidst Victorian red brick terrace houses. Was this an early venture by the family into new styles of architcture that was to lead to three generations of success in this field?

Osborn relocated to San Francisco in 1907 after the 1906 earthquake. He took a third class passage on the Teutonic from Liverpool to New York on the 17 June travelling alone and described as a builder. Here he would have met up with his Aunt Josephine and Cousin John William who had remained in the United States after the death of Uncle George Osborn in 1891.

In San Francisco, Osborn Adamson worked as a Construction Superintendent in the building industry. His English wife Annie L Adamson (born 1874) joined him in 1908. The couple are registered in the 1910 census as in SF Assembly District 37. He supposedly stayed in San Francisco until 1913, when, with war brewing, he returned to England, apparently leaving his wife Annie behind. This information is slightly at odds with the electoral role details of 1914 for San Francisco County. Annie and Osborn are recorded as being at 384 24th Avenue, she a housewife and he a Superintendent in the construction industry. Their party affiliations are recorded as PRH and PRG respectively. Nevertheless, around this time he appears to have temporarily returned to England supposedly leaving his wife behind in the US.

We find Osborn heading off to the US again in 1921. This time on the White Star Line ship Baltic, departing Liverpool on the 13 August for New York. He is travelling alone, recorded as a builder c/o F W Huntington Ltd and with future residence England, suggesting that this is not a long term departure from his homeland. His arrival is recorded in the Ellis Island archives, as married and coming from Bristol. This is the last footprint of Annie or Osborn in the US found to date. Did he return to the US to bring Annie back to England?

Thereafter Annie is something of a mystery. There is no record found to date of their marriage and she turns up in a Sussex Mental Hospital in Hellingly, where she dies at the age of 66 years in 1940.

SHOT GUN WEDDING - Back in England, by the late 1920s Osborn Adamson had progressed to Building Works Manager and was living in Pinner. On the 3 March 1928 a son Peter was born whom he had fathered. The mother was Hilda Elizabeth Tilston (formerly Hapgood) from Wealdstone. In later life at the age of 50, a year after the birth of his son, he married Hilda Tilston early in 1929 in Holborn, London. Osborn Adamson died in Romford in 1932, aged 55. Thereafter Peter Osborne Adamson was brought up by his mother and her sister Mary.

Peter Osborn Adamson can in turn be traced and his details can be read by clicking on "son" below.

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Edward William Adamson

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Grace Adamson (formerly Osborn)

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Annie L Adamson

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Hilda Elizabeth Tilston (formerly Hapgood)

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Peter Osborn Adamson


19th CENTURY second half, 20th CENTURY first half, PEOPLE


England - Southern

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