Revisiting Levi Goss, Son of Solomon & Olive Goss…

On my trip to Canada this year in 2014, I did a quick stop in Chatham, Kent Co., Ontario. Levi Goss was supposed to have a tavern on the Thames River near Chatham.  Levi was a brother to Lydia (Goss) Spracklin and a son of Solomon and Olive (Scott) Goss.

I have written about Levi in past posts on this blog:

  • Levi Goss, Soldier in the War of 1812!, July 6, 2012
  • Levi Goss, youngest son receives land from his Father!, August 12, 2012
  • Levi Goss and Sophia (Rummerfield) Goss’ Family, September 9, 2012
  • Levi Goss: The Road leads to Lenawee County!, September 24, 2012
  • 1872: Levi Goss of Lenawee County, Michigan, October 6, 2012

I would like to refer you to the one post I bolded above.  In this post I shared about the possibility of Levi Goss having a tavern near Chatham.  To find these posts use the search box or the archives to the right side of this blog.

In that post I refer to the book: Pioneer Inns and Taverns, pages 232 and 149 where the Goss Tavern is mentioned. 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 miles 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.”

In a letter written to Mrs. Flora M. Osborn a descendant of Levi (See above page at top of this blog on Flora) there is source for Levi’s tavern license.

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

Note:  I think this is the collection, which was very difficult to find now that they have changed the website, make a copy quickly it could go away.

I was in Chatham very briefly (prounounced Chat  hem, not Chath  em).  Now back in the 1830’s Chatham may have been small and therefore five miles out-of-town then was more in the wilderness then it is today and the course of the river could have changed some from natural causes and man-made.  I went west following the Thames River and found a lovely spot to stop and take a picture.  I was surprised to find the river was very brown.  There were houses on the north of the road with large green lawns.

Thames River at Chatham

Thames River at Chatham looking east

Thames River looking West

Thames River looking West

I was not going to be in Ottawa this time nor visit Libraries and Archives (Canadian Archives) but I was going to be at the Archives of Ontario in Toronto and I was going to look at the Township Papers for Chatham, Western District.  I did not find Levi’s tavern license but I did find that he must have been a prominent person in the town because he was signing other men’s tavern licenses and petitions for tavern licenses.

The first petition was extremely difficult to read.  The second was much better.

First Petition:

1. Recomendation of Wm. Desmond as an InnKeeper

First Petition names

First Petition names

We the undersigned  having a knowledge of the necessity of an Inn required in this township do recommend and think the Wm. Desmond on old place ______situated for ________and him fit person to attend to it.  Therefore we pray your _______the Magistrates at Sandwich assembled do ______him license as retail _____________Talbot Road April 7th 1831

  • Josp Brineton
  • C. Arnote
  • Thos. M. Crae
  • E. Brereton
  • Levi Gofs
  • Jeruel Smith
  • Robert Nilson
  • D. Warren
  • John Unsworth
  • Robert Wood
  • James Coll
  • ______H. Lee
  • Peter Hosier
  • P. Joseph Albernathy
  • Jesse Call
  • Andrew Zlum…
  • David Heron
  • Jesse Polnet
  •  License granted……

Second Petition:

2.  Chatham Dec. 30, 1834

We the undersigned do hereby recommend Mr. Norman L. Freeman as a fit and suitable person to keep a public Inn in the town of Chatham, County of Kent and Western District of Upper Canada.

Duncan McGlegory

Geo. P. Kirby

James Read

H. Van Allen

Levi Gofs

John Dobsen

Levi left the area probably around 1835 and headed to Michigan settling in Lenawee County.  I did try to see if I could find birth records for his children in Ontario but Levi was probably Methodist so I will have to go to the United Church records to see if they are recorded in those records.  I did not find him in the Wesleyan Methodist Records but they were not early enough and that may be the problem because it gets harder to find records before 1835.


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:
This entry was posted in Chatham, Kent County, Levi Goss and Sophia Rummerfield, Ontario, Canada, Trip to Ontario & Quebec in 2014 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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