A Surprise In the Mail: Abel Goss of Lower Waterford, Vermont published 2011

I have always loved surprises and this was a good one.  In the mail came a beautiful dark green bound book .  It smells wonderful it is so new and the pages of this book are shinny and crisp.  It was written by my half 8th cousin once removed, David Philip Goss. I am serious!  At least that is what my Legacy Database tells me about our connection? 

Our common ancestor is Philip Goss (I) of Roxbury who later migrated to Lancaster and is buried there in the Old Settler Burial Field in Lancaster (the one over the railroad tracks) with the date 1698 as his death.  This Philip married twice. first to Hannah Hopkins whom I descend from and second, he married Mary Prescott in 1690.  She was a granddaughter of John Prescott founder of Lancaster.  My half cousin descends from Philip and Mary’s son John Goss, a half brother to my Capt. Philip Goss who is buried in the Old Indian Cemetery in Brookfield with his wife Judith Hayward Goss.

The book is:  Abel Goss of Lower Waterford, by David Philip Goss, Otter Bay Books, 2011. 

This book is literally “hot off the press.” 

My half cousin found this blog and was very surprised to see his name and manuscript listed in the post dated Monday, April 25, 2011 – For Thursday, April 14, 2011 Winchester, New Hampshire.  I had yet to introduce myself and one day I got this wonderful email from a happy excited person.  So I guess we are now even for he has surprised me with this wonderful book which is an updated and expanded version of the PDF I mentioned in the Winchester post. 

This is exciting because David takes the descendancy of Philip Goss of Roxbury and Mary Prescott Goss down through their son John Goss and his wife Mary (Woods) Goss to their son Philip Goss who was the one that married Hannah Ball and tells the real story.  This family left Lancaster, Massachusetts and headed up to New Hampshire and settled there.  Meanwhile another Philip Goss, a cousin and a son of Philip Goss (III) of Brookfield and Keziah Cooley, headed to North Granby, Granville, Becket and then to the Wyoming Valley where the Susquehanna River flows.  Some of the descendants of that Philip stayed there in the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania area and others headed further west to Ohio. This is my line. 

Meanwhile, Philip and Hannah Gosses children headed to other parts of New Hampshire and Vermont and then they went west to places like Wisconsin, Colorado and Washington State! Here is a brief summary of the descendancy discussed in the book: 

Philip Goss of Roxbury and Lancaster marries a 2nd time to Mary Prescott
John Goss, their, son, marries Mary Woods and their son is named Philip Goss.
Philip Goss marries Hannah Ball and migrates to Winchester, NH and settled there.
Their son Abel Goss married Irene Sprague and they name a son Abel.
This Abel married Amanda Hebard of Waterford, Vermont
From there the line goes down to David the writer and compiler of this new book.

The book has an index, footnotes with abundant sources, great photographs and examples of documents.  David writes lots of narrative and explanations.  A job well done!

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, please contact the writer of this blog or leave a comment and I will be happy to get you in touch with David.


Thursday, April 14, 2011: Montague to Hatfield, Massachusetts

My time in Winchester, New Hampshire was very short.  The goal had been to find Philip and Hannah Goss grave sites at the Evergreen Cemetery.  Having accomplished that goal I went in search of their son Philip Goss who married Esther Gale.  I took Hwy 10 south to Northfield and skirting the Connecticut River.  I turned west on Hwy 2 and crossed the  French King Bridge.  What an awesome bridge. 

The Connecticut River looking north

Looking down on the Connecticut from the French King Bridge

Greenfield is where you will find the Registry of Deeds for Franklin County but the dates will be later.  They do have abstracts of the earlier deeds. (See link to the right for this Registry).) They have a library in Greenfield that has an historical room but I think you need to make an appointment.


I was thinking of staying in Deerfield for the night but discovered the Old Mill Inn in Hatfield and decided that was more on my route. Besides I didn’t have time to dally and this is suppose to be a really historical place to visit:  http://www.historic-deerfield.org/  Instead of going to Greenfield and Deerfield I turned left at Main Street and went over a bridge cross the Connecticut River again.  There was construction and the bridge was down to one lane going south?) and headed south to Montague and the Burnham Cemetery.  I did go a little to far and ended up in across another bridge and in Cheapside and had to turn around.

Philip and Hannah Goss’ son Philip who married Esther Gale left Winchester, NH and migrated to Montague now Franklin Co., Massachusetts it was Hampshire Co.  He and Esther are buried in the Burnham Cemetery.  This Philip is the son of Philip and Hannah Goss who I just visited buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Winchester, NH. 

I had a little problem finding the cemetery but again dump luck.  It is on High Street and off Turnpike Road. The sign is missing? The Find A Grave has a listing. It is very small cemetery which was good because I was really getting tired and hungry.

Goss Headstone to the left in a group
The backside of this large stone reads:
1869 Frank E. Goss 1906
His wife
1856 Evelyn S. Huntley 1916
1883 David W. son 1957
1883 Rector L. son 1959
Smaller Stones in a row – Goss family members

Smaller stones left to right
1. Marie B. Goss 1905 to 1982
2. Rector L. Goss 1883 to 1959
3. Evelyn S. Huntley wife of Frank E. Goss 1856-1916
4. Frank E. Goss 1869-1906
5. Mabel M. Goss, wife of Earl M. Stables 1887 to 1962
6. Ralph H. Goss 1891-1938
7. Earl M. Stables 1886 to 1942
8. David W. Goss 1883 to 1957

Philip Goss and Esther Gale Goss’ Obelisk
In the middle of the cemetery

There is writing on all the sides of this tombstone.  Philip’s side is on the other side to the right facing away from me.  I think it is west?   

Philip Goss

Find A Grave has a great photo of this stone.  I was dealing with low light and back lighting as the sun set behind me so mind were not doing as well.  More information is at Find A Grave on this family.

Philip Goss born Oct. 17, 1757 Lancaster, Worcester Co., Died Jun. 23, 1840, Montague, Franklin Co., MA.  Esther Goss born 1756 (I have 13 Jul 1755, Sutton, Worcester Co., MA -Goss Newsletter), died Feb. 21, 1831 in Greenfield, Franklin Co., MA.

I have more photos and will upload them later.  Watch for a post that gives the links to them. There are other families close to these stones and that is very interesting.

I was tried and hungry but very pleased and happy that I was able to find these two Philip Goss’, father and son.  The manuscript that David Goss prepared that I mentioned in the last post covers many of the descendants of Philip and Hannah Goss, but for some reason he does not talk much about Philip Goss and Esther who went to Montague.  This is not a criticism but more an observation on his writing.  I know that there is always never enough time nor money to do genealogy.  The important point is that this is definitely a whole family line that went in another direction from the Philip Goss IV that Paul H. Goss talked about in his manuscripts and articles.   

The Goss Obelisk surrounded by other stones?

Once I was done at the Burnham Cemetery my goal was to get to Hatfield and check in at the Old Mill Inn. I headed south on Hwy 47.  Another bridge crossing over the Connecticut River to South Deerfield. I sought out River Road and headed south again to Hatfield another long township and I finally turned west on School St.

I was going to stop and have dinner at Mamma Maria’s in Hatfield but I found the Fish Tales instead and it seemed to be in the same location? Apparently the information on the Internet is old and Mamma Maria’s is long gone by 2 years.  Fish Tales gave me a good dinner of Atlantic Salmon.  So I was happy.  Oh and tartar sauce which is a food group (a quote from Bert Simpson the cartoon character that I have expanded on). The bar was lively and they had this huge TV on the wall and Law and Order was on?  Hmmm….no sports?

According to the waitress at the Fish Tales the Old Mill Inn was just down the road.  I followed her advice and was able to find it fairly easily.  You can’t miss it.  The Mill is bright yellow and a good size.

My room looked down on the front area and parking lot.  It was decorated in old antiques, oriental rugs.  There was a hint of the industrial origins of the building on the ceiling and more.  Upon entering the building you find yourself in a fancy Victorian style living area that leads into the formal dining room.  To get to your room you go through the door and up the stairs to the 2nd floor.   It was all very charming. The Old Mill Inn will be getting a new website soon.  http://theoldmillonthefallsinn.com/#/content/start/

Me, well I had a big day and I was very tired.  I was soon in bed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011: Winchester, New Hampshire

I pushed on to Winchester, New Hampshire.  At this point I was following Philip Goss of Lancaster to the place he would call home and from there his descendants would venture into other parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, drop back in to Massachusetts and head out west.

My goal was the Evergreen Cemetery in Winchester.  I crossed the Massachusetts and New Hampshire State line marked by a thin skinny sign on the side of the road. My first time in New Hampshire so I had to have some documentation.

Hopefully I am following in the footsteps of my cousin Paul H. Goss who wrote many articles and manuscripts on the Goss family.  In order to verify his findings he traveled to this area to verify the gravestone of this man. 

Conant Public Library, Winchester, NH

Winchester Town Hall

I had tried several times to contact the cemetery office for the Evergreen Cemetery in Winchester but they did not return my calls. I have learned that Cemetery Association are usually a part time job or they change to another person and the information online can be incorrect.

The Conant Public Library of Winchester is only open every other day and of course it was not this particular day.  They did verify that they have a listing of the burials in the Evergreen Cemetery.  If someone is willing to get me a copy I would be very grateful and will be happy to pay for the copies and postage. This cemetery is at Find A Grave.  I do not believe it is complete because this is a big cemetery and 410 interments seems too small. Someone has put up photos but they are more of the artistic type.  You will find them at Grave Addiction for this and many other cemeteries:  http://www.graveaddiction.com/evergwnh.html

Again it took a few miles to get to Winchester after the sign.  You turn right into the town center area and there is the courthouse and the library.  I took a right onto Hwy 119 south to the cemetery.  It is easy enough to spot.  There is a big white wood archway at the front of the cemetery.  You can drive through some of the cemetery by taking the road on the north side of the cemetery and entering in the side.  The older front area has been closed off with metal drums and rope. Based on what I observed the older part of the cemetery is in the front on the hill while the newer part is in the back on the flat land.

Winchester Historical Society:  http://www.winchesternhhistoricalsociety.org/ Be careful with this link.  I had a virus warning at their website.

How was I going to find them and were they even in this cemetery?  I was going in blindly. I drove around some then positioned the car in front of one of the barricades.  I ate a snack and pondered my situation.

I started to walk forward to the front.  Now the front part is very hilly so that makes it a challenge.  The front are of the cemetery is a big empty grassy space or so it looks.  The fence is white.  I needed a picture of the cemetery so I walked over to it and took some photos.

It was time to give it my best. It is a big cemetery and it was going to take a lot of time to find them. Paul H. Goss, my cousin, must have been looking out for me for I found them within a few minutes.  They were right up in the front to the right as you face the cemetery. 

Evergreen Cemetery, Winchester, NH
They are to the left and forward of the white building in the distance
under the large arch
I found the tombstones of Philip Goss and Hannah Goss along with their son Samuel, Willard and others.  There was a grassy area in front of the arch way with some trees. I went back and retrieved my car and pulled the car in there in front of the arch and gathered my camera equipment.   Sometimes you just have to go on faith.   
Philip Goss, died April 17, 1804, in the 84th year of his age.
“Now death doth call and I must go
An leave you in this world of below
And when this world I leave behind
I hope a better world to find.”

Hannah Goss in the middle, Philip Goss on the right.   

Samuel Goss…

This is not my Goss line. There is a manuscript by a David Goss that was sent to me by my cousin Ken Goss. I have not asked permission to reproduce it, however, I do have a PDF. 

Source:  Abel H. Goss.  This account of the Goss history deals primarily with Abel H. Goss and Amanda Goss of Lower Waterford, VT. and their children and their descendants with particular focus on Abel Goss, Jr., by David P. Goss, self-published 2008-09 about 126 pages with photos, links, and more.

David writes in his manuscript: 

Philip and Hannah had the following 11 children:
i. John Goss b. 5 Feb. 1748; d. July 5, 1820 Randolph, VT
ii. Nathaniel Goss b. 28 April 1751; d. June 25, 1824 Claremont NH
iii. Sarah Goss b. 26 Aug. 1753; died young
iv. Hannah Goss b 20 Nov. 1755; died 25 Aug. 1827; St. Johnsbury, VT
v. Philip Goss b. 17 Oct. 1757; d. 23 June 1840; Montague, MA.
vi. Mercy Goss b. 28 May 1760; d. 9 May 1791 Hartland, VT
vii. Abel Goss b. 31 Mar. 1763; d. 29 May 1825; Waterford, VT
viii. Levi Goss b. 24 May 1765; d. 13 Nov. 1826; Waterford, VT
ix. Sarah Goss b. 9 Sept. 1768; d. 24 May, 1850; St. Johnsbury, VT
x. David Goss b. 16 Oct. 1770; d. 9 May 1861; St. Johnsbury, VT
xi. Samuel Goss b. 9 Sept. 1772; d. March 26, 1856 Winchester, NH.


The first five children were born in Lancaster and Sterling, MA. Mercy was born in Warwick, Franklin Co.

MA. Thereafter, the children were born in Winchester, NH. Philip Goss (the son) served in the Revolutionary War under General Washington and at his death was known as “Major” Philip Goss. In the 1790 census of Winchester, NH, Major Philip was reflected still living in Winchester. Hannah married John Stearns. Mercy married Elias Taylor. Abel, following a stay in Hartland, VT, and Levi later migrated to Waterford, VT. David Goss founded the community of Goss Hollow just outside of St. Johnsbury, VT; Sarah married Joel Roberts and with her husband also moved to the Waterford/ St. Johnsbury area in about 1788. Joel Roberts was prominent in the founding of St. Johnsbury and was its first representative in the state legislature. Samuel Goss remained resident in Winchester with his parents”

For some reason seeing their graves was a very satisfying experience.  I hope these photos will be of help to the descendants of Philip and Hannah (Ball) Goss.  

There are more photos of the cemetery and they will be added later.

Keene is the county seat of Cheshire County, New Hampshire of which Winchester is a part.  I was tempted to drive there (north) and do some research but decided that my goal was the finding and photographing these graves. Keene is not that far.

Historical Society of Cheshire County, New Hampshire http://www.hsccnh.org/default.cfm