Rose O'Hara was created by Frank Tieri and Sean Chen and first appeared shadowed in Wolverine issue 166 (2001) and first appeared fully in Origin issue 1, where she was further developed by Paul Jenkins, Joe Quesada and Andy Kubert.
Rose is the beautiful redheaded Irish girl who lived in the late 19th century and who came to live at the Howlett's mansion after the death of her parents. She was twelve years old when she first arrived and became James Howlett's constant companion. Originally, she became friends with James (Wolverine) Howlett and Dog Logan, a boy who was the son of the groundskeeper of the estate. However, as they aged, Rose and James grew apart from Dog Logan. Dog became more and more aggressive and started having sexual feelings towards Rose. After many unanswered and unwanted advances towards Rose, Dog eventually tried to rape her. The attempt failed but the two incidents caused James' father, John, to fire Dog's father, Thomas Logan.
Angered by his being fired, Dog's father broke into the Howlett's property with his son and ordered Dog to keep the Howlett's under gunpoint. The scene escalates and John Howlett is killed by Dog's father. In turn, the young James kills Dog's father and severely wounds Dog. Rose, not knowing what to do, takes James away, leaving the estate. When the police arrive, Dog blames the whole thing on Rose and James.
On the Run
After being accused of the murders in the mansion, Rose and James traveled towards James' grandfather, Old Man Howlett. He however refused to help Rose and Logan, after which the pair goes on the run again, eventually traveling to the north of Canada. Eventually they end up in a small mining community deep within Canada where they start a new life. Rose claims James is her cousin named 'Logan' and soon begin to settle in the community. Rose always had a journal by hand in which she had described the events of her life. The two remain in the camp for several years, during which Rose grows up to become a beautiful young woman. James 'Logan' Howlett feels very attracted towards her, but these romantic feelings are not mutual. Eventually, Rose falls in love with Smitty, the camp's foreman. Smitty and Rose make plans to marry and move back to the city. Much to the grief of James. During this time, a ghost from the past reveals itself. Dog Logan, their former childhood friend, had tracked the pair down to the mining community, on strict orders from Old Man Howlett who wanted to make amends with his grandson. However, Dog Logan had different ideas and soon attacked James. During the fight, Rose tries to intervene and, tragically, is stabbed and killed accidentally when she falls onto Logan's extended claws.
Rose's death had a profound impact on James 'Wolverine" Howlett, as he fled into the wilderness soon after her death, not being able to cope with this tragic loss. Rose's boyfriend Smitty tried to bring James back, telling him they could not cope with her loss apart from one another. James however refused to listen and remained in the wooded area of Canada. After Rose's death, one of the mining community's residents got a hold of Rose's journal and, after reading some passages, threw it into a fire. Thus, the story of the birth of Wolverine seemed lost forever.
When Wolverine was at Death's door he saw a vision of a beautiful red haired woman he thought to be Jean telling him he was not ready to cross over. Only as he was returning to the land of the living did the spirit reveal that she was not Jean, but in fact Rose, who Logan did not remember.
Earth-4011 (Wolverine: The End)
For more information see Wolverine: The End
In this reality, Rose is still dead but now she haunts Wolverine's dreams.