Uprooted: Annie Oakley

Uprooted: Annie Oakley

A trivial look at famous family trees.

Firing Line

Everyone could use some genealogical target practice from time to time — unless you’re related to Annie Oakley. America’s sharpshooting sweetheart was born Phoebe Ann Mosey Aug. 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. With her deceased father’s old Kentucky rifle, at 14 she set her sights on small game for the Katzenberger brothers’ grocery store in Greenville, Ohio. By the time she was 15, her skilled shooting scared up enough money to pay the entire $200 mortgage on her mother’s house. Later on, Oakley scored a bull’s-eye when she defeated her future husband, noted marksman Frank E. Butler, during his traveling show’s stop in Cincinnati. The couple joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1885, where Oakley quickly became a shooting star. In honor of the markswoman’s birthday, we take aim at her family history.

1. Oakley’s father, Jacob Mosey, fought in the
a. Revolutionary War
b. Civil War
c. War of 1812
d. Korean War
2. The Mosey family left Pennsylvania and moved to Ohio because
a. a fire burned down their tavern
b. Oakley’s mother shot a man
c. Pennsylvania had no National Rifle Association chapters
d. Oakley couldn’t get a concealed weapons permit
3. Oakley’s mother, Susan Wise, had
a. a shotgun wedding
b. eight kids with Jacob Mosey
c. a fear of guns
d. a gunshot wound in her left shoulder
4. After Oakley’s father died when she was 6, she lived

a. on her own in the woods
b. in the county poor farm
c. on the range
d. at the local gun club
5. How much younger than Jacob Mosey was Susan Wise?
a. about 34 years
b. a few weeks
c. two years
d. 10 years
6. Oakley was buried
a. in Grant’s Tomb
b. in Brock Cemetery, Greenville, Ohio
c. with a 21-gun salute
d. next to Buffalo Bill Cody
e. at Wounded Knee
7. What was the name of Oakley’s only brother?
a. Colt
b. Remington
c. Winchester
d. John
e. Wesson
8. Oakley’s ancestors were
a. Quakers
b. Amish
c. Jewish
d. Zen Buddhists
e. American Indian
9. What nickname did Chief Sitting Bull give Oakley?
a. Annie Oakley
b. Pistol Packin’ Mama
c. Little Sure Shot
d. Little Girl with Big Gun
10. Oakley’s husband, Frank E. Butler,
a. was an Irish immigrant
b. died just weeks after she did in 1926
c. was a former dog trainer
d. all of the above


  1. c.
  2. a.
  3. b. Their children were Mary Jane, Lydia, Elizabeth, Sarah Ellen, Catharine, Phoebe Ann, John and Hulda.
  4. b. Annie went to live with Superintendent Edington’s family at the Darke County Infirmary, where she helped with the orphaned children, and Mrs. Edington taught her to sew.
  5. a. In the 1860 Darke County, Ohio, census, Jacob Mauzy is 61, and Susan is 27.
  6. b.
  7. d.
  8. a. What would her peace-loving ancestors have thought?
  9. c.
  10. d


Number of correct answers:

8-10 Celebrity Savvy

6-7 Notably Knowledgeable

4-5 Star Crossed

0-3 Infamously Ignorant