Arthur J Oram 1872 – 1934

Birth: 16 May 1872 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA  (Date to be verified)

Parents: John Samuel Oram  and Jane Clark

Siblings: Charles C Oram 1868-1869,  Ida V. Oram 1870 – 1957Emma Jean Oram 1875 – 1945Lillian Louise Oram 1876 – 1956Oscar Oram 1878 -1943

Married: Josephine Durgetto 1871-1964  in 07 Sep 1893 at Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. Definitely separated and probably divorced.

Offspring: Nathalie Jane Oram 1893-1973

Died: 5 Mar 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA and was buried in the Oram lot Section 11 Lot 219-0 at Lake View Cemetery


Daphne’s source in the 1960’s for ‘The Oram Family Saga’ was Arthur’s niece Jean Hoffman.  


The entry for Arthur in The Oram Family Saga, that is almost fully supported by all our 2012 research:

Eldest son of John and Jane Oram of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1893 he married Josephine Durgetto, younger sister of his aunt Annie or Clark. This marriage unfortunately ended in divorce. They had one daughter, Nathalie Jane.

“Arthur was a gentle kindly ‘rover’ who loved liquor” — his niece Jean Hoffman writes, “He was a black sheep I suppose, but such a gentle soul and so loving to us. Every now and again, my Father would open the front door in the early morning to pick up the morning paper and out of the bushes would pop Arthur. Then he would stay with us for a while”. He told his nieces stories of Ireland that he remembered hearing when he visited his cousins in England.

Arthur was born at 11, Lyon Street in Cleveland on 16 May 1872.  His father John was still an employee and it would be three or so years before he founded Oram & Atherton, the precursor of the very successful John S Oram & Co.

In 1886 Arthur and his mother visited his grandparents John and Jane Oram at their farm in Lovington, Somerset, England.  In 1881 John and Jane had returned from the West of Ireland to their native Somerset.  Looking at the diaries of John Oram 1824-1907 we find only two entries:

16 June 1886 “Americans arrived”
17 July 1886  To London with Arthur J. Oram sightseeing”

Arthur would have met his father’s five youngest sisters who had been been either infants or unborn when  his father emigrated to America in 1867.   He would have heard plenty of stories about Ireland from his aunts who were his own age or slightly older, later assumed to be his cousins.

Steamship City of Berlin

SS ‘City of Berlin’ prefixed RMS for Royal Mail Ship when under contract to carry mail for the British Post Office

Arthur and his mother Jane are included in the passenger list for RMS City of Berlin that arrived on 30 July 1886 in New York from Liverpool, England and Queenstown (near Cork) Ireland. They travelled “intermediate class” in the forward cabin with 53 other passengers.  Arthur’s father is not on the ship, nor included in any 1886 transatlantic passenger lists available to us in 2012.  It is odd that John 1824-1907 did not mention his son by name in his diary, so it could be that John Samuel was unable to visit Europe in 1886.  This would explain why John 1824-1907 wrote in his diary “Americans arrived” rather than “John arrived”.

Arthur’s mother Jane died in 1890 when Arthur was 18 years old. The next year he appears in the Cleveland directory as “Arthur J Oram, machinist 1135 Superior”.   So Arthur would have been living at home and working for his father at John S Oram & Co.

On 7 September 1893 Arthur married Josephine Durgetto in Erie, Pennsylvania the closest out of state city to Cleveland.  See their marriage licence docket and our research notes.  Josephine’s mother Gottliebe was a florist living and working at 1083 Superior.  On 16 September 1893, less than two weeks after they were married Arthur and Josephine’s daughter Nathalie Jane was born.  Soon the family were living at 144 Dana Street, the home of Josephine’s sister Anna, her husband William Clark and their ten year old son Arvin.

Arthur was not at 144 Dana with Josephine and Nathalie for the 1900 census.  As Josephine seems to have been a ‘single mum’ we are continuing her story on her own page.

Arthur did not feature in any more census returns and he had only three more directory entries. In 1898 Arthur was a ‘foreman’ living  at 94 Percival, now the short E 52nd Street, which was close to JS Oram & Co’s works. Arthur’s 1914 and 1915 entries show that his uncle James Henry Oram 1857-1917 gave Arthur a home after his father John Samuel Oram died in 1913.  James was also an alcoholic so would have understood his nephew’s needs.

Apart from his niece’s reminiscences, above nothing is known about Arthur until he died on 5 Mar 1934 in Cleveland and was buried in the Oram family lot at Lake View Cemetery.

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