Annie Oakley was born on 13 August 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. The fifth daughter of Jacob and Susan Moses, the Quaker family had migrated to Ohio after the family tavern in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania burned. Jacob Moses died of pneumonia in 1866. For the next several years, Annie helped her family by trapping and performing chores on the family farm.
At the age of eight or nine, she went to live with the Superintendent's family at the county poor farm. At one point during her stay at the poor farm, she was "lent out" to a local farm family as a servant. According to her autobiography, this family abused her mentally and physically. After two years, she ran back to the poor farm and remained there until she was thirteen or fourteen. While there, she learned to sew and received an education.