Levi Goss: The road leads to Lenawee County!

We know from Flora’s letter, which I shared in a past post, that Levi got around.  See the  7/21/2012 “Levi Sure Gotta Round,” post.

  1. He served in the War of 1812 out of Niagara Co., New York. 
  2. In 1830 he sold the land in Knox Co., Ohio to John Spracklin his brother-in-law and was living in Upper Canada at the time.  I featured this in the last post.
  3. There is evidence that Levi was a tavern owner on the Thames River near Chatham in Kent County, Ontario.  My understanding is they had to apply for a tavern license so that might be another possibility for research in Kent County or at the Ontario Archives in Toronto. I was told there was very little information on the subject of tavern owners in the area of Kent County, Ontario.  There was a book in the main library “Pioneer Inns and Taverns.”  On page 232 and 149 the Goss Tavern was mentioned.  I place Levi Goss in the area of Chatham about 1830.  (See below.)
  4. By 1845 the Michigan State Census places Levi in Lenawaee Co. by this time. 

Source:  Michigan State Census Index 1845, Levi Goss, Lenawee County, Medina Twp., pg. 123. 

Below is another letter of Flora’s to Paul H. Goss giving even more information about Levi.

 Keziah Cooley Goss, Chapter D.A.R., Ann Arbor, MICH,

Oct 21, 1947

 Paul Goss, Chula Vista Calif.

 Dear Cousins:

             I have been asked to join the daughters of the War of 1812, and I have dug up some information about Levi Goss son of Solomon Goss.  I went to Lansing to the Adjutant Generals Office and found he did not served in Mich then I wrote to Ohio and found he did not serve there, so I found he served in N.Y. “and the Adjutant General sent me this “Levi Goss, Private in Captain Rufus Spaulding’s Company Colonel Silas Hopkins (Niagara County) Regiment N.Y. State Militia, War of 1812 served from 12 September to 16 October 1812.”  Adjust General Wm. J. Magine Col. QMC., Director, Bureau of War Records.”

Pension record Levi Goss #15681 Claims of Soldiers of the War of 1812, as audited and allowed, by the Adjutant and Inspector General, persuant of the Chapter 176 of the Laws of Albany. Weed Parsons and Co. Printers 1860 p. 202 Gives Level Goss $19.00. Medina Lenawee Co. Mich 

Taken from National Society Daughters of 1812 State of Mich. Roster of Soldiers of 1812 buried in Michigan.  Compiled by Mrs. Lynn T. Miller 1940 p 30.

Levi Goss Lenawee County Mich buried in Perry, Goss, Cooley, Cemetery, d., Mar 31, 1872. Ae 78, Sophia, d, Feb 24, 1856 ae 55 (Rummerfield), Medina Twp., Lenawee Co. Michigan.

Census Records of Lenawee County Michigan, as copied by Lucy Scott Barnum Chapter D.A.R. 1845  

Levi Goss:  Males under 10 —- 3, Males 10 & under 21 — 1, Males 45 & under 75 – 1,       Males  5 (total), Females 10 & under 21 – 3, Females under 45 &  75  – 1, Total females  4

(Nothing further in this letter, no second page found) ======


Levi’s Tavern

 Here are the excerpts from the Pioneer Inns and Taverns book I mentioned above, pg. 232:

At Tiffanyville (Delaware) he found ‘a pretty good’ tavern, and eight miles farther on towards Detroit was Griffith’s stage-house.  Seventeen miles onward was Ward’s, and twenty miles beyond was a tavern at Howard’s Bridge.  The state then became an uncovered sleigh, and the occupants were all glad to warm themselves when a stop was made at a store and post office at McGregor’s Mill.  There was another house at Chatham, and as the snow was gone by the time they reached the L. Goss’s Tavern on the bank of the Thames River, the driver took to the ice of the river and torn along at a great rate to a stage-house twenty-three miles beyond.

Under Benjamin Lundy’s trip page 149.

“From Chatham the travellers proceeded five mils down the [Thames] to a tavern on the south bank kept by L. Goss.  Here horses were changed, and, the snow being pretty well gone, the sleigh took to the [river] ice.  The ice was strong, and good time was made.”

Here is another letter written to Flora about Levi’s activities in Ontario from Wayne University. It gives more clues and sources that could be located. 

Wayne University,
Board of Education,
Detroit I Michigan

 April 12, 1948

 College of Liberal Arts,   Department of History

 Mrs. Flora M Osborn
1339 S State St,
Ann Arbor  Michigan

 Dear Mrs. Osborn:

 I have gone through my notes on Levi Goss, and find the following, which may be of interest to you:

 (I)        Major Strickland mentions that his boat anchored for the night opposite Goss’s tavern on the Thames below Chatham in October 1831. (Strickland, Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West, Lon., I 1853 p. 114.)

 (2)        Levi Goss, Raleigh Township, received Inkeeper’s licence in 1832 (Askin Papers,  Canadian Archives Ottawa, vol. 32) 

(3)        Benjamin Lundy in 1832 by stage from London, stopped for breakfast at the house of L. Goss on the bank of the Thames, five miles below Chatham in 1832.

The state changed horses here.  Lundy calls it  “a pretty good tavern”.   (Diary of Benjamin Lundy, ed. Fred Landon, Ontario Historical Society, Papers and Records, vol. 19.)

 (4)        Malcolm Weir on June 12, 1834, arrived at Mr. Goss’s Inn, Raleigh, which was for sale.  Weir wanted to purchase it.  Mr. Goss was not at home, held the inn and land at $1300. (Diary of Malcolm Weir, MS in private hands Chatham).  Weir bought this in later in the year, and Goss moved to Chatham), where he  immediately opened another inn.

 (5)     Levi Goss obtained and innkeeper’s license, for Chatham town in January, 1835.  (John Askin Papers, Jan. 1835, MSS in Burton).

 Goss does not appear again among those getting licenses after 1835, nor have I found his name in any other connection, so probably he moved away after this year. 

                                                Sincerely yours: Fred C Hamil.

So with a little help from Flora we find out more about where she obtained the information about Levi her ancestor and we might be able to use her clues to obtain the documents.  Meanwhile I turn to the U.S. Federal Census to find Levi and his migration to Michigan.

Trying to pin Levi Goss down in the U.S. Federal census has been a difficult process.  I had not been successful in finding Levi in past tries. 

So I decided to try again. You won’t find him in Ontario in the Canadian census because their census starts in 1851 and he was gone by 1835 according to the above letter.

The reason I was not able to find Levi Goss was because they misspelled his name.  In the 1850 they have him under Gass. 

Source:  1850 U.S. Federal Census, Medina, Lenawee Co., MI, pg. 135B, August 9, 1850, NARA #M432_355, Image 275 Ancestry.com.

Line 21, 779, 772, Levi Gass, 51, M, Farmer, 2000, PA, Sophia Gass, 59, F, NY, Louisa, 11, F, Canada, Olive, 19, F, Canada, Ammda, 16, F, Canada, Andrew, 14, M, Canada, Daniel, 10, M, Canada, Mark 4, M Canada, Nancy Wright 24, F, 1000, Mich., Levi E. Wright, 4, M, Ohio, Levi Goss 17, M, Farming, Canada.

Levi Gass 1850 US Michigan Census

Source:  1860 U.S. Federal Census, Medina, Lenawee Co., MI, 1 of July 1860, pg. 218?. Roll M653_551, pg. 690, FHL# 083551. This is very difficult to read.  He is under the name “Grobe.” 

Line 7, 1725, 1768, Levi Grobe 67, M, farmer, 4000/800, born Ohio , Andrew 23, M, Farmer, b. Mich.  Daniel 22, M, farmer, born Mich, , M, Mariah 19 F born Michigan, Mark 19 M, born Mich.

In the 1870 he is with his son Andrew Gafs or Gass

Source:  1870 U.S. Federal Census, Medina, Lenawee Co., MI, NARA #M593_686, pg. 365B, Image 107, FHL#552185.

Line 3, 210, 208, Gafs Andrew, 33 M, W, Farmer, 4000/500, b. Mich. Gafs, Athelia, 32, F, M, Keeping House, born Indiana, Gafs Levi, 76 M, born W. Virginia, W, Retired farmer, Rutledge Jacob, 16 M, W, working on farm, born Ohio.

The birth locations are all over the place so a careful study of this census and then a search of Michigan and Canadian vital records would be in order.  Levi’s birth also changes from PA to Ohio and then West Virginia?

So in summary, we see that Levi Goss probably left Canada for Michigan about 1835 and settled in Lenawee County, Michigan.  There is more research to be done on Levi but hopefully the clues given in Flora’s letters and the census will help point the way.  As usual I wish I had more time but finding Levi in the census has made me a happy genealogist.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here: bjmcdonell@gmail.com
This entry was posted in DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), FAMILY SURNAMES MAIN LINE GOSS Surname, Flora Montanye Osborn 1869 to 1951, Goss Cemetery, Kent County, Lenawee County, Levi Goss and Sophia Rummerfield, Ontario, Canada, Paul H. Goss 1890 to 1963, War of 1812 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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