That Ogburns were slave owners in the USA from the 18th century onwards is clearly evidenced by the collection of wills which are included elsewhere in this homepage. When the slaves in the South were freed in 1865 following the American Civil War, many of them took the family name of their former master as their own. The Ogburn family was no exception to this practice. The Ogburns mentioned below are thought to be the descendants of slaves who had been owned by Charles Harrison Ogburn of Mecklenburg, Virginia and earlier.
The history of this branch of Ogburns in the USA begins with John and Irena (Rena ) Ogburn; they were the first generation. John could be the 'Negro man John' named in the estate inventory of Charles Ogburn in 1839.Will of Charles Ogburn 1836 (9k)
The formation of 'The House of Ogburn'
Rev. Ogburn knew many family members lived near New York and, for some time, had been thinking of inviting them to Brooklyn as his guest and forming some kind of family organization. Herbert Ogburn had the desire to get his children together with his brothers' and cousins' children so the fourth generation would know each other as the third generation did.
One day the cousins got together and decided to contact every possible member of the family. Herbert said he would supply the financial backing and Rev. John said he would handle the administration of putting the first "Reunion" together.
The first Sunday in August 1942 the first reunion took place at St. Cyprians Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. It was a memorial to Olden and Taylor Ogburn in which more than fifty members were in attendance. Rev. John Ogburn claimed that day to be the greatest day spent during his ministry. After the service, dinner was served in the Parish Hall; and following the dinner, an organization was perfected, to be known as the 'House of Ogburn.' The first reunion of 1942 (34k) Wilfred Ogburn came up with the name at this historic meeting. The purpose of the organization is "to foster and perpetuate family ties and the right relationship that should exist between all families."
Since then the House of Ogburn has flourished, and members of the family have met at annual re-unions every two years, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of foundation at the Ramada Hotel, Clark, New Jersey in September 1992. Branches of The House of Ogburn exist in New York/New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Virginia. Virginia Barnwell. niece of the Rev. John T Ogburn, has been President of the New York/New Jersey branch for the past 50 years.
August 18 - 20, 2006 Norfolk, VA - Waterside
Members at the Renunion August 2006
The 1996 Reunion took place at Downington, near Philadelphia 30th August to 1 September. A report on the proceedings is attached.
The 2008 Reunion is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend (Fri. Aug 29 thru Sun Aug. 31) in Wilmington, Del. Further enquiries to George Long