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:

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: 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