Not the son of Frederick Goss I

Started by Jan Goss on Friday, February 4, 2011


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2/4/2011 at 4:47 PM

This Ephraim is not the son of Fred the First b 1701. There was an Ephraim born to Frederick the First but, he was born 20 or 30 years earlier. The information here is about right for the Ephraim who was the son of Frederick Gass, Jr. or II (b between 1720 and 1738). Lois Heuss' usually correct genealogy shows his birth as 1766 not 1769.

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2/5/2011 at 7:52 AM

Could you provide a link to Lois's material so we can source this and get it strait. Which Ephraim was married to Ann Workman and so on...

2/5/2011 at 5:09 PM

I do not know where if anywhere the whole book is available on the internet. Bits and pieces are. However, I inherited my Grandfather Harry Goss' copy (#99 of the original 150 printed in 1968). The book is 350 pages or there abouts and contains over 3000 Gosses. It is generally reliable. There are known omissions and even errors but not many. I am amazed how she could do what she did without the internet or a computer. She makes frequent references to her sources, deeds, wills, and various public documents. Still, I wish she had been more faithful in documenting her documentation.

I will gladly look things up; but, it may be too much to copy the entire thing.

2/5/2011 at 5:36 PM

Jeff Gentes,

Lets go to work and get discover our family's mysteries!

By way of introduction with specific information on my primary interests I copy below, with some redactions, correspondence with fellow researchers.

January 25, 2010 I sent this email to a collaborator in NM who is one of only two others that I know of who have made the Gass/Goss connection with the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania before resettling in Rowan County, NC.

As you know I am fixated on getting more information on Frederick Gass, Sr.'s wife.

I found this email exchange from 2008 with xxxxx Rickard of Evansville, IN. I think he may just be the foremost expert on the Rickard family in America. I have a 2 MB pdf file of his compilation on his family. On pages 200 to 269 he covers Jacob Reichert/Rickard (father of Fred Jr.'s wife Isabella Rickard) family and their descendants. He nails the name of Isabella's mother, Jacob's 1st wife, as Maria Happes (most public pedigrees and LDS files show her mother as a Tator lady!). This information could fill in a blank for your Tree.

Also, I queried him regarding prospects for a Betsy Richards, alleged wife of Fred Gass, Sr., tie in with his Rickards family. He thinks not - as he explains below (now far below as I have added several paragraphs).

My best guess is that Betsy was the common nickname for Frederick Sr.'s (b 1701) wife Elizabeth and that this wife is the same "helpmate" that died in Ephrata in 1754. Whether her maiden name was Richards or not is unknown; but, somewhere for some reason it has come down as Richards.

I speculate that my own grandfather, Harry Goss, heard the name "Betsy Richards" from his father, Joseph Hussy Goss whose great, great grandmother was the woman in question. This Betsy Richards thing could be from a reasonably well based "oral traditon." In support of this theory I offer The 1928 Booklet privately published by Mr. & Mrs. C.L. Goss and Mattie Hodges, entitled: Goss Genealogy - 1700 - 1928. It was dedicated to the memory of Ephraim and Ann Workman Goss and their descendants. I remember reading this booklet as a child. This booklet is riddled with errors. It is from this booklet that I got the idea that my surname heritage was English! It conflates what we now know about Frederick Goss, Sr. with Frederick Goss, Jr. and their children. Beginning with Frederick, Sr.'s grandson Ephraim, this booklet's genealogy becomes less inaccurate.

The authors make much of the fact that, "six of the grandchildren of Ephraim Goss and Ann Workman Goss are yet living at this time, 1928." One of those "yet living" grand children of the grand child of Fred, Sr. and his "helpmate" was my great grand father, Joseph Hussy Goss. The first daughter of Ephraim and Anne Workman Goss was named Elizabeth and commonly called, "Betsy."

On page 8 of this same Booklet of 67+ pages (type set and of over all better printing quality than the better researched Lois Heuss book of 1968) it says:

"... some time very early in 1700, there came from London, England, a family by the name of Goss and settled in Bosile, Switzerland, and that in the year 1720, a son, Frederick Goss, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Goss and as this Fredrick Goss is the first Fredrick Goss that we can secure record of we prefix to his name, and will use where ever any reference is made of him, the first; hence, Fredrick Goss, the first.

"Fredrick Goss the first came with his parents and their large family to America from Switzerland when he was yet a very small boy and settled in Pennsylvania where Fredrick the first grew to manhood and was married to a young lady of German or Holland Dutch descent by the name of Betsy Richards."

Analysis: Note the birth year for Fredrick Goss "the first" is shown as 1720. The authors did not know that little Freddy's fathers was also Fredrick. Hence the father was the first Fredrick and it was the father who married an Elizabeth possibly known as Betsy Richards. The account continues stating that they had eight sons and one daughter and naming them in a way that confirms that the authors had throughly confused the first generations of Frederick Gosses in America. Still, while this booklet by no means provides proof that the name of Frederick Gass/Goss, b 1701, wife was Betsy Richards; it may be correctly expressing an "oral tradition."

So, when I add in the few hard facts that we have to the analysis, I feel this booklet does not refute but in fact provides support, be it very soft support in the form of a confused oral tradition, for my view that Frederick Gass/Goss, Jr. was born in Europe abt. 1720-22 (but definitely long before 1738) and, married to Isabella Rickard in 1761. He had a mother named Elizabeth "Betsy" Richards who was born in Holland or Germany or Switzerland and is the same as the Elizabeth Gass that died at Ephrata in 1754. This Betsy Richards probably married very young - her husband was only 18 or 19.

Some 18th century documentation for this educated speculation would be very gratifying and I will continue to pursue it.

Jan C

Here is another access point for part ofxxxxx work. He is descended from Isabella's younger brother John. Page 21 is most relevant.



Begin forwarded message:

From: xxxxxxxx
Date: September 1, 2008 6:09:31 PM CDT
To: Jan Goss <>
Subject: Re: Thanks & Congratulations

Dear Jan Goss,
It's always nice to hear from a fellow researcher. I do now have some further information on the family which may be of interest to you. First, I contacted a researcher many years ago who had done considerable and extended research on the Goss family, and was instrumental in clearing up a long time error several Rickard researchers had made concerning the name of Jacob Reichert's wife. Her name was . yyyyyyyy. That was many years ago, and she may not still be around. I don't know.

At any rate, I am attaching two genealogy reports for your information. One is the descendants of Jacob Goss (b. 1670 in Switzerland). You will note his son Frederick (b. 1701) had a son Frederick (b. 1738) who married Isabella Reichert about 1761. They had a very large family--thirteen children.

I have also attached a genealogy report of Isabella Reichert's ancestors. I was quite lucky recently in finding a German researcher who researched the ancestors of Jacob Reichert for me. I had previously found a large file on Jacob's first wife (Isabella's mother), Maria Elizabeth Happes and her family. This report includes all that information back many generations on the Happes line (again to Switzerland) and back a couple more generations on the Reichert side in Germany.

I am inclined to agree with you that Frederick Goss (b 1701) probably came over to Pennsylvania with his father Jacob and brother Jacob in 1727, although my file shows Frederick (b. 1701) was born in North Carolina. I now believe that to be in error

No, I'm reasonably certain that Betsy Richards was not related in any way to the Reichert/Rickard 's of North Carolina. My genealogy reports pretty well put that notion to rest, I think.

Please let me know if these attachments come through okay, and if this has been of any help to you.

Best Regards,


From: Jan Goss
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 12:44 PM
To: xxxx
Subject: Thanks & Congratulations


I just found your genealogical work two nights ago. Wow! The quality is far better than most of what I seen in the past eight years of intermittent browsing for my family history.

The history of my line is reliable back to Frederick Goss/Gass b. (abt) 1721 and married to your Jacob Rickard's daughter Azebel (Isabelle) b. Abt. 1741. So your work helps a lot in verifying and providing additional detail for the time in Rowan County, NC.

Upon reviewing this email, I see that you do not need to read what follows unless you want more obscure detail than you probably need. It serves my need to organize my thoughts. If I find solid documentation that relates to your work, I will write to you again. Once again my thanks and congratulations.


The focus of my research is to push back the curtain veiling the Goss family before 1759 when they start showing up regularly in Rowan County, NC records. I am currently researching the possibility that my Frederick Goss' Father ,Fred Sr. b 1701, his Uncle Jacob, Jr. b. 1704, and his Grandfather Jacob, Sr. b 1667 may be the Gasses that show up various records relating to the Ephrata Cloister, an early German Seventh Day Baptist sect with considerable historic significance in the early part of the 18th Century in Lancaster County, PA. To my knowledge no one else has made this connection but, then no one seems to know what the Gosses were doing between 1727 and 1759.

It appears my Goss/Gass family were on the Ship James Goodwill arriving Philadelphia Sept. 27, 1727 from Rotterdam. They appear to have come from Rothenfluh, Basel-land Canton, Switzerland. It also appears that my Frederick Goss who married your Azebel Rickard was on that ship with his parents along with his Grandfather and Uncle and was probably born abt. 1721. I believe these dates and pieces of information are probably true; but, I have yet to obtain sufficient documentation to totally rely on them.

Norman Roy Rickard's family genealogy shows Frederick Goss to be born abt. 1738, many other researchers do too; however, many small "puzzle pieces" suggest that he was born no later than 1738 and I think make a better case that he was born about 1721. The only thing that does not fit with the 1721 birth date is that it would make him quite a bit (20 years) older than his wife Azebel.

Why this is important:
Was the Frederick Goss b. abt 1738 or abt 1721 on the Ship James Goodwill when it arrived in Philly in 1727?
The records show 6 in the party but only identify 3: Hans Jacob Gass, Sr., Hans Jacob Gass, Jr. and Frederick Gass (b. 1701). As adult males these 3 swore allegiance to King George II on Sept. 30, 1727 (O.S.). Who were the other 3?

Some have guessed that the other 3 were wives. However, there is very little information on Jacob Jr. and no specific information that I am aware of that he was ever married. Further, the most authoritative genealogy done on my family was compiled by Louis Heuss of Akron, Ohio and privately published in 1968 (She has nothing about the Gasses on the Ship James Goodwill as this was apparently discovered by later researchers). She states in the first paragraph about young Frederick Goss that since young Fred is on the tax rolls in Rowan Co. in 1759, he must have been 21 and therefore was born in 1738 OR EARLIER. The next paragraph says:

Some data on hand states that Frederick (2) was born in North Carolina though family tradition ascribes "he was born in Switzerland and came to Philadelphia as a small child." In legal deeds he is referred to as a "German"; in other court records he is called a "Foreigner"; descendants declare him "the immigrant." These facts would indicate that Frederick (2) was born outside the Colonies.

So, if born outside the Colonies, it seems likely he was on the Ship James Goodwill and born before abt. 1725 or earlier. Somewhere, I can not at the moment remember where, I found research suggesting the date 1720 or 1721 for his birth.

The other thing I paid attention to in looking at the Rickard family genealogy was to see if there was any indication that Frederick Goss (1), the senior Fred b. 1701, might have married a relative of the Rickards. In short, could young Fred have married a cousin?

The reason for this inquiry is I am trying to pin down just who Fred, Sr. married. Most Goss genealogists report him as married, wife unknown. However, I have found some websites that show the senior Frederick married to Besty Richards (however, with no citation or documentation). Also, Ephrata records show a Frederick Gass "helpmate" Elisabeth Gass died in 1754. So, I am thinking Elisabeth could be Betsy and perhaps Richards could be Rickard? I believe that in those days marriage among cousins was more common than it is now. Anyway, in spite of alternate spellings for Rickard that include, Reichert, Raccurst and others, there was nothing I saw in Rickard family history to validate this theory.

You gotta keep trying...

So, I will continue my quest to determine if Frederick (2) was on the ship in 1727 with his mother and father and if his mother was Betsy Richards Gass and if she and the Frederick Gass "helpmate" Elisabeth Gass d. 1754 at Ephrata are one in the same.

Best wishes,

Jan Goss

Jan Goss

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2/5/2011 at 6:59 PM

Jan, this is great information. Thanks for sharing. I've fixed the relationship and date and finished up the merges in that area, with exception to the profiles managed by Timothy Dennis Larson. His tree has not yet been linked into the main tree, so someone from his tree will need to approve it first.

Let me know if you have any other corrections that you need help fixing.

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