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John Gosmer

Birthplace: Fordwich, Kent, , England
Death: 1661 (85-87)
Southampton, Suffork, New York, USA
Immediate Family:

Husband of Mary Ellyzabeth Gosmer; 1st wife of John Gosmer and Elizabeth Gosmer
Father of Ann Woodruff; John Gosmer, Jr and Richard Gosmer

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Gosmer

John Gosmer immigrated to New England between 1621 and 1640, and later departed for Southampton, Long Island.



Woolley G.w Family Tree.FBK.FTW.lnk.FTW-3.FTW]

John Gosmer was an undertaker in Fordwich, England before he married John Woodruff's widow Elizabeth. It appears that he had 2 children: Anne & Richard Gosmer from an earlier mariage. They all emigrated to Lynn, Massachussetts from Southampton, England in 1630/40. John Gosmer's only son, Richard Gosmer, (an unmarried adult living in home that was seperate from his father's home) was appointed to a Southampton, L.I., New York whaling squadron on March 7, 1644, and Richard 's estate was administered in 1650. It is possible that John...II Woodruff married John Gosmer's daughter Ann Gosmer. John Gosmer "adopted" John...II Woodruff as his "own son" In 1655 John Gosmer bought property in Boston, Mass. , which he turned over to his "kinswoman Ann" (widow of Richard Carter).

On September 17, 1657 John Gosmer "bought an hundred pound lot of John Topping with the housing & fences and all accomodations" in Southampton, L.I., N.Y. which he handed over to his stepson John...II Woodruff, possibly to qualify John, his stepson, as his successor in the whaling squadron, which occurred in 1657.
On July 29, 1659 John Gosmer deeded to adopted stepson John...II Woodruff "all goods & chattles, house & lands" to which his wife, Elizabeth consented.

After February 20, 1660/61, John Gosmer dissapeared from Southampton Town Records. He is probably buried in the Old Burying Ground at Southampton, L.I., New York where he was also the town's undertaker. His will was dated on July 29, 1659

[Woolley G.w Family Tree.FBK.FTW.lnk.FTW-3.FTW]



John Woodruffe 1574-1611 was apparently a member of this parish also, as was John Gosmer. He probably married Eliz. Cartwright there in 1601. According to CNW, 'the Canterbury Marriage Licenses, 1568-1618, p. 181, record that on October 24, 1611, a marriage license was issued to "Gosmer, John of St. Mary Northgate, Canterbury, joiner, and Elizabeth Woodruffe of same parish, widow. Marriage to be held in St. Mary Bredin parish, Canterbury."' John Gosmer was witness to John Woodruffe's will there (Canterbury and St. Mary Northgate Wills). John Woodruffe, the Immigrant, was baptized in 1604 in St. Mary Northgate, Canterbury also. However, he was recorded as a churchwarden in Fordwich in 1636 and probably married Ann there (date?). Their son John was baptized in 1637 in the adjoining parish of Sturry, Kent, England. CNW does indicate, though, that the Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Fordwich, Kent, England is "a burial ground for Woodruff ancestors" and he has a picture of this pre-Norman church in his Vol


John Gosmer has to have been born before 1580. The estimated date is based on the marriage of his son John in 1618 the date of his marriage soon after 1611 to Elizabeth (Cartwright) Woodruff, widow of John Woodruff. That seems to have been his second marriage, because he had a son son Richard by a possible first marriage.

By his (unknown) first wife, he had a son, John Gosmer, Jr., who, as a bachelor in 1618, married as her second husband, a widow named Ann Woodruff. When John Jr. died, Ann would have become a widow for a second time. As such, she remarried for a third time, Richard Carter; and yet again became widowed. As Ann, widow of Richard Carter, but having earlier been a daughter-in-law, or kinswoman, to John Gosmer Sr., it would have been natural for Mr. Gosmer to have provided something out of his wealth for this widow of his first-born son.

Also, it would have been natural for him, when made childless by the 1650 death of his second son, Richard, to choose the name of his first-born, John, and give that name to his adopted son.


  1. Robert Charles Anderson. "The Great Migration Directory, Immigrants to New England 1620-1640 A Concise Compendium" New England Historic Genealogical Society. Boston, MA (2015) p. 136.
  2. The Woodruffs of New Jersey who came from Fordwich, Kent, England, by way of Lynn, Massachusetts, and Southampton, Long Island. by Woodruff, Francis E. (Francis Eben), 1844-1914. (1909). Pages 5-8 (Gosmer) and pages 11-17 (Woodruff) < Archive.Org >
  3. Woodruff chronicles : a genealogy: the Long Island-New Jersey family of John Woodruffe, the immigrant ancestor to America. by Woodruff, Ceylon Newton, b. 1893; Herod, Maurine R. Vol 1 & 2 combined. Chart A. “Woodruff Progenitors…”. Page 17-18. < Archive.Org > Free ID needed to borrow for an hour.
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John Gosmer's Timeline

Fordwich, Kent, , England
Northgate, Kent, England
Age 87
Southampton, Suffork, New York, USA