Revolutionary War service and involvement of the Goss Family…a summary!

Mrs. Flora Montanye Osborn did a great deal of research on our family back in 1939 through to her death in 1951. I have featured her on a page at the top of this blog if you are curious. She is under Researchers of the Past and now!  Flora is a descendant of Levi Goss, son of Solomon Goss and Olive Scott Goss and brother to my Lydia Goss.

Flora made a table of Revolutionary War Service for the Goss Family. She was deeply involved with DAR and Mayflower.

Below is the original which I found in a FamilySearch Film in the pages of the Keziah Cooley Goss Chapter of D.A.R. Records.  The information had been sent to Mr. Martin from the Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio, FHL#940938 Items 4-5.

Please note that this is done in reference to Philip Goss III and Keziah Cooley G0ss the parents of our Philip Goss IV, so don’t get confused when you see grandson.  Those listed are children and grandchildren of this couple.

Flora’s original Revolutionary War for Goss Family

The Thomas Goss who is listed in Flora’s list, is the brother of Philip Goss IV. I will post about Thomas in the future. At this time, I will focus on Philip Goss IV and his sons Nathaniel Goss, Comfort Goss, David Goss, Solomon Goss and Ebenezer Goss’s service.  I will prepare and publish posts on each of these individuals in more detail after I finish up with Philip Goss IV and Mary Kendall Goss. Click the photo below and it will open in another window.

Goss Revolutionary Service by BJM

Here is my retyped version of her chart also presented above. Click on the link and then the attachment and it will open in another window: REVGOSS Family 

Here is the source that Flora cites for 3 of the individuals above: Comfort Goss, Solomon Goss and David Goss.  As I state, more detail on all of these individuals to follow.

pg. 616 – “The mother of the subject of our sketch, and the wife of John Coughlin, was Dianna Seward, daughter of Titus Seward, of Huntington township, in this county. He was a descendant of Enos Seward, Sr. , who was born July 7, 1735, and removed to Huntington in 1793…. Enos, married Sarah Goss, and lived in Granville, Mass., until he moved to Huntington, in 1793, and occupied the farm formerly owned by his wife’s father. Titus Seward was the son of Enos Seward, Jr.

Philip Goss, Sr., was the father of Mrs. Seward and one of the first claimants of land in Huntington. His sons, Philip, Solomon, David, Comfort and Nathaniel, were with their father in the place before the Indian and Tory invasion of 1778. Solomon was a prisoner in Forty Fort with Captain John Franklin, and others, for a short time.

The names of Philip Goss and Comfort Goss are enrolled among the first two hundred settlers who braved the hardships and dangers of the advance force who came to “man their rights.” The name of Goss has been permanent in Huntington since the first advent of the Connecticut settler. Before the massacre and battle of Wyoming the family of Philip Goss, Sr., lived on the farm now occupied by Levi Seward.

Mr. Coughlin married February 20, 1883, Emma Hughes, daughter of Edward Hughes of Kingston township. He was the son of James Hughes who wife was Elizabeth Swetland, daughter of Joseph Swetland, a descendant of Luke Swetland, of Kent, Conn. one of the Connecticut settlers of Wyoming. Mr. and Mrs. Coughlin have but one child living, Annette Coughlin. James M. Coughlin, county superintendent of the public schools of Luzerne county, is an only brother of Dennis O. Coughlin.”

Source:  Families of the Wyoming Valley: biographical, genealogical and historical. Sketches of the bench and bar of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. – Coughlin and Seward, Dennis O”Brien Coughlin, Vol. 2, page 616 – Wilkes-Barre, PA 1885-1890. Online at Internet Archive for viewing and downloading.

Knowing the Revolution War service of those who fought or served in other capacities during the Revolution can lead to membership in the DAR – Daughters of the American Revolution and SAR – Sons of the American Revolution.  I will also discuss this aspect of the Goss Families involvement in future posts.

Most of the source in the above charts are online at Internet Archive or as I have described in past posts on this blog. I suggest that you do your searches online at Internet Archive before downloading the PDF. I have found it difficult to search after downloading a book to my computer.

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Posted in Comfort Goss, DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), David Goss and Anna Slater, Ebenezer Goss, Flora Montanye Osborn 1869 to 1951, Huntington Twp., Levi Goss and Sophia Rummerfield, Nathaniel Goss, Philip Goss III b. circa 1700 and Keziah Cooley 1702, Philip Goss IV & Mary (Kendall) Goss, SAR Sons of the American Revolution, Sarah Goss and Enos Seward, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Thomas Goss 1734, Titus Seward, Wyoming Valley | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

24th Regiment & Westmoreland Independent Companies (Wyoming Independent Companies) established…1774

One of my goals was to learn more about the Goss Family’s involvement in the events of the Revolutionary War and how that affected the Wyoming Valley settlement.  This has been no easy task, because of all the fighting over land and other difficulties in the Wyoming Valley which resulted in the destruction of a great deal of the records, especially regarding the local militia.

Paul Revere’s ride 1774 from History Central

I am not an expert on the Revolutionary War, but I finally came to understand that there is what is called the Continental Line or Continental Army and service in this would warrant a pension. So a soldier would probably be on the Revolutionary War Pension lists if they were a soldier in the Continental line.

The next military group was the colonial militias for each colony and you would find information about those soldiers in the archives of the state, like in our case, Pennsylvania or Connecticut.  For the Wyoming Valley, specifically Westmoreland Town and County,  we would look to Connecticut for this information.

The next group would be the local militia for a township or town and I believe the records would be kept by that local government.  In this case, the townships for the Wyoming Valley means that a lot of records were lost with all the fighting. So you need to look at all the different levels of military units/militia.  You will find it a challenge because they liked to reinvent the military units combining them and dissolving others.

Donna Bingham Munger writes in her Settlers book the following:

The settlers took their own protection seriously and in June 1774 formed military companies in each township from the Westmoreland Town Meeting July 27, 1774, WR. Such organization stood them in good stead when the Connecticut Assembly established the 24th Connecticut Regiment at Westmoreland the following May 1775.

Source:  Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony, Volume II Settlers pg. 1-11. Also The History of Wilkes-Barre pg. 811 is another source. 

Battle of Wyoming by Dziak

We unanimously join our brethren in American in the common cause of defending our liberty,” declared a panel of Wyoming Valley patriots on August 8, 1775, not long after hearing the news of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. 

The colony of Connecticut assumed a leading role in the fight for American Independence from Britain. The Connecticut settlers in Wyoming Valley quickly followed suit, putting aside all of their other troubles to participate in America’s war for independence. 

The participation came in many forms. Farmers stepped up their production to provide food for American soldiers. Women made time to craft uniforms, knapsacks, and other essentials, including homemade gunpowder.

Meanwhile the settlement’s young men swarmed to enlist in the army. As early as the summer of 1775 many of Wyoming’s most promising men left to join George Washington’s armies gathered near Boston. 

Connecticut was quick to tap the enthusiasm of its settlers in Wyoming. In May 1775, the Connecticut legislature called on them to form their own army, the Twenty-fourth Connecticut Regiment. Wyoming officials quickly obeyed. They drew up plans to form nine companies of soldiers, basing each company on the existing militias that had been formed to protect the settlement. 

Zebulon Butler was made colonel of the Twenty-Fourth Regiment….he soon turned the regiment into a formidable fighting unit…..pg. 66

Source for the Above: The Battle of Wyoming For Liberty and Life, Mark G. Dziak, 2008.

In August 1776, the Wyoming settlers met for a town meeting. They…voted to erect suitable forts, as a defense against our common enemy.  The Wyoming colonists set about building new forts, and repairing old ones..most were just log cabins surrounded by log stockades..the best they could hope for pg. 67

In August of 1776 two more companies were to be raised in the town of Westmoreland. Robert Durkee and Samuel Ransom were elected Captains. James Wells and Peren Ross were elected 1st Lts., Ashael Buck and Simon Spalding 2nd Lts, and Herman Swift and Matthias Hollenback Ensigns..of the said companies. These would be Westmoreland’s Independent Companies or Wyoming’s Independent Companies)

Source: History of Wilkes-Barre, Oscar Harvey Jewell, Vol. 2, pg. 883 and on page 892 and 893 the roll for Captain Robert Durkee is given.  S. Ransoms rolls are on pages 893 through 897.  Biographies are in the footnotes for both men on these pages. This volume is online at Internet Archive.

Zebulon Butler would be very involved in the military and political events of the Wyoming Valley for many years. If you would like to learn more about Zebulon Butler’s role there is a wonderful book titled:

Zebulon Butler Book

By early May 1775, news of the events of Lexington and Concord had spread throughout the Colonies. When the Connecticut legislature met at Hartford on May 11, Zebulon Butler and Ezekiel Pierce attended as the Westmoreland representatives. At this session, the Assembly voted to extend the Westmoreland boundaries westward to the Fort Stanwix treaty Line, to erect a Court of Probate, and to appoint Zebulon Butler, Nathan Denison, William Judd, and John Vincent as justices of the peace. In addition, the Assembly voted “That the Town of Westmoreland shall be one Intire Regiment [of militia] distinguish’d and Call’d by the Name of the twenty-fourth Regiment.” Zebulon Butler was appointed colonel, Nathan Denison lieutenant colonel, and William Judd major of the regiment, and they were commissioned as such by the governor….”

Source: Zebulon Butler Hero of the Revolutionary Frontier by James R. Williamson and Linda A. Fossler, Forward by John Lord Butler, Jr., 1995 Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut. This book is a little pricey but you might find copies somewhere.

In, January 1777 General Washington needed troops so Congress ordered the two Westmoreland Independent Companies to Morristown, New Jersey, thus leaving the Wyoming Valley poorly protected from attack.

The two independent companies listed above, eventually ended up as Capt. Spaulding’s Company of Westmoreland, if I read it all correctly. This is all described in The History of Wilkes-Barre Vol. II, on pages 980 and 981 which is available online at Internet Archive.

I have studied the listings for the 24th and the Wyoming Independent companies and had no luck in finding evidence of the Goss family being involved with any of these companies listed above, so this may be why you can’t find Revolutionary war pensions for the Goss family except for Ebenezer Goss who did receive a Revolutionary War pension.

In the next post I will give a short outline of the involvement of the Goss family in the Revolutionary War and follow that up with future detailed posts of each of the family members.

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Above, I have listed several sources for research on the Revolutionary War and how it affected the Wyoming Valley settlers.  A brief account of the military units that were created as well.  Here are several more possibilities for research. Be advised that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  1.  The Susquehanna Frontier, Northeastern Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War Years, by James R. Williamson and Linda A. Fossler. Wilkes University Press, 1997.
  2. Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the I War of the Revolution, II War of 1812, III Mexican War, Compiled by the Authority of the General Assembly, Under Director of the Adjutants-General, Hartford, 1889. This book is online at Internet Archive and I suggest search on-line for it is easier to find things. I find that after I download it becomes harder with my version of Adobe Acrobat. Pages xiv, xii, 131, 157, 168, 169, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 295, 301, 311, 318, 337, 359, 440
  3. The Revolutionary War Diary of Lieut. Obadiah Gore, Jr., Edited by R.W. G. Vail, The New York Public Library, 1929. If you can’t find a diary or account you then turn to those who were there that did write diaries like this man. You will find that this editor had a really hard time compiling the history of the service of this man. Lt. Gore would resign from a unit and go seek out service in another so that also made it difficult.  On page 12 I found this quote to be disappointing: “The only remaining units in the brigade were Captain Spaulding’s Independent Wyoming Company and Captain John Franklin’s Wyoming Militia, of neither of which units can a muster roll be found.” I found this book at the David Library for the American Revolution which is north of Philadelphia and a must see archive if you are able: http://www.dlar.org/
  4. Military Records check these Archives:  Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. David Library of the American Revolution. They can be divided up into Records, and Manuscript collections, published sources, finding aids etc.
  5. The Historical Record, A Monthly Publication, The Early History of Wyoming Valley and Contiguous Territory with Notes and Queries…Edited by F.C. Johnson, M.D. Vol. I Sept 1886 to Aug 1887, Press of the Wilkes-Barre Record. Page 211 An Old Time Military Co, Capt. John Franklin 1782. Early Wyoming Militia page 38 looks like a duplicate of the first listing, pay roll of Company Militia under Capt. John Franklin page 1229 dated May 1780. Online at Internet Archive. This is an important magazine for Wyoming Valley history of all topics so check out other Volumes.
  6. Online resources are Ancestry.com for military records (Be advised that many Goss names come out of New Hampshire and are descendants of Philip Goss IV’s cousin also named Philip Goss who went to Winchester, NH. Fold3 (formerly Footnote) has pensions and more, Family Search online, the National Archives. You will find a lot at these sites.
  7. DAR Daughters of the American Revolution (Ancestry search), SAR Sons of the American Revolution.

Some Pennsylvania sources:

  1. The Pennsylvania Militia, Defending the Commonwealth and the Nation: 1669-1870, by Samuel J. Newland, Ph.D. This might be helpful for Pennsylvania information. Page 101 and others. Be careful and do not confuse Westmoreland Co., PA est. 2/26/1773 with Westmoreland Co., Litchfield Co., CT.
  2. The Pennsylvania Line, Regimental Organization and Operations, 1775 to 1783, by John B.B. Trussell, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, 1977. This one to my surprise is online at Internet Archive for viewing. You will find on pages 108, 144, 282, 288 information about the Wyoming Valley but mostly this is after the Massacre in 1778.  Westmoreland Co., PA is also featured on pages 54, 59, 102, 106, 112, 166, 170, 174-75, 238, 241. On page 227 The Regiment of Artillery Artificers. I will revisited this when I post about Ebenezer Goss, son of Philip and Mary Goss.
Posted in AMERICAN REVOLUTION & Other Conflicts, Connecticut, Litchefield County, Pennsylvania, Westmoreland Town & County, Wyoming Valley | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Revolutionary War erupts and the Wyoming Settlers Embrace the Cause…1776

Just about the time that the Wyoming Valley was annexed to Litchfield County, Connecticut under the name of Westmoreland Town and then later made a County, the Revolutionary War comes to the Colonies and things get even more complicated for the Settlers of the Susquehannah Company and Wyoming Valley.

The Goss family had migrated from Plymouth Twp. to Huntington Twp. about 1777. In my past posts I have shared that the settlers in Huntington Twp. were buying and selling land and also holding meetings well into 1778.

The Revolutionary War had been affecting the area from about April 1775 on, with skirmishes between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord. By the following summer in 1776 the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence. Once the Continental Congress voted on the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. There was no turning back.

It would take about 8 years for the colonies to earn independence from Great Britain which was acknowledged with the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.

Under the town of Westmoreland – At a meeting legally warned and held, in the county August 1, 1775 it was “resolved and voted,” after suitable preambles “that the rules and regulations of Congress would be observed and followed.” And that we will unanimously join our brethren in America in the common cause of defending our Liberty.”

Source: History of the Huntington Valley, Mrs. M.L. T. Hartman (Margaret Trescott Hartman), Reprinted by granddaughter Emily Wheeler Lewis, in the Mt. Echo Newspaper, March 11, 1949 to Sept. 30, 1949. I believe this is at the Family History Library available through their online catalog for reading. You may have to create an account with the Family History Library to access. This is their new policy but it is free.

In 2008 on my trip to Pennsylvania, I wrote about my visit to Independence National Park in Philadelphia. I shared that visit on my Pennsylvania Wanderings Blog which will eventually be removed from the web and turned into a PDF and featured on a Page at the top of this blog.  Here is my post, dated September 5, 2008. A link is on the right side of this blog if you want to go and read the original post on the Pennsylvania Wanderings Blog.

I was told by the concierge of my hotel, that walking to Independence Square from the Marriott took only 8 minutes. Well, I didn’t time it, but I did walk east into the sunrise on Market Street. 

Market Street is a main street in the downtown area and it is lined with stores like Ross, Staples and CVS. There are restaurants like the Hard Rock Café, Dunkin Donuts which is housed in the Pennsylvania Convention center. This facility covers one block. There was a Courthouse which I learned was the Bankruptcy Court. The street was alive with people, cars and the business of the day.

Independence Square appeared quickly and I found the Visitor Center. It is a very long building with exhibits but I didn’t have time today. I obtained my ticket for viewing Independence Hall, it was 8:30 a.m. You need to read the National Park website for information about how to obtain your tickets so you can see Independence Hall. I walked down passed the Liberty Bell Center taking photos. The park is very large with a huge lawn area spreading out between the buildings. 

Independence National Park, Philadelphia, PA.

I passed through the security to Independence Hall and wandered around the courtyard behind it waiting for my tour at 9 a.m. Rangers were positioned at various locations keeping an eye on things. One of them pointed to a door instructing us to enter. We gathered in a room with chairs and a screen on one wall. We were told that the tour would begin in a few minutes.

Independence Hall front view

 Independence Hall

 The Backside of Independence Hall

A little after that announcement a very pleasant and friendly Ranger appeared and started chatting. I asked him how long the tour was and he told us “about 15 minutes.” He informed us that we could take as many pictures as we wanted. He gave us a little more detail and asked where we all came from. The other Ranger gave him the “all clear,” and sharply at 9 a.m. our guide said “follow me” and led us through a door on the right side of the screen. Apparently we were not going to see the usual short intro movie??

The Tour of Independence Hall

We entered into a hallway and to the right was the court room area. The Ranger went behind the wooden railing and started to tell us about the events that took place in this room. He pointed out where the prisoner stood and he said “innocent until proven guilty.” 

Courtroom

 Then he led us into the room across and this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The delegates gathered here from the various colonies to argue and discuss the events and issues of the times. Once again the Ranger went behind the wooden barrier. When the delegates signed the Declaration they all knew that it meant death. They were committing treason and if the new nation lost the war there would be serious repercussions. Later they would sign the Articles of Confederation in this same room.

Room where the Declaration of Independence was signed and later the Articles of Confederation

After this simple but sweet visit to Independence Hall, I decided to try the Liberty Bell. It is housed in this very long building filled with exhibits, but I blazed past them to see the bell. It was there at the end of the building suspended in this round room with windows from ceiling to floor. I was told the wood at the top was Elm and they had dated it to around 1700. I had a nice talk with the Ranger. He was surprised that I was able to view it alone for that didn’t happen to often. 

The Liberty Bell

I am a very content Patriot….

Life in the Wyoming Valley would get very tough in the next years for the settlers of the Susquehannah Company. The land issue cooled off during the Revolutionary period but then there was fighting between the Rebels and the Tories.  Tories or Loyalists, as they were called, supported the crown.

If you have an opportunity to visit Philadelphia go and visit Independence National Park it is really amazing.

The History Channel has a great American Revolutionary History page that is very helpful in giving a timeline of the Revolutionary War.

http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history

Posted in AMERICAN REVOLUTION & Other Conflicts, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Trip to Pennsylvania 2008 see Pennsylvania Wandering Blog for more info, Wyoming Valley | Tagged , , | Leave a comment