Solomon Goss and an Overview of Washington County, Ohio

Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss were in the Washington County, Ohio area by 1798. Solomon Goss had first tried to settle in the Dayton, Ohio area in 1796 but that did not work out as we will see in a future post.

I base their settlement in Washington County, on the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Goss to Andrew Lake. They married on 17 May, 1798 in Washington County, Ohio. The Goss family was probably there in the area some time before 1798, so that Elizabeth and Andrew could get to know each other and go a courting.

Goss to Lake 1798 Marriage Washington Co., Ohio

Goss to Lake 1798 Marriage Washington Co., Ohio

Source: Ohio Marriages Recorded in County Courts through 1820: An Index, Ohio Genealogical Society, 1996, pages 405-406, Goss marriages, “Goss, Elizabeth to Lake, Andrew, May 17, 1798 WASH NWT 031.  The picture of their marriage was taken in the Washington Co., Courthouse marriage records: Marriage Record 1789-1803, 1842, 1851 Washington Co., and Marriage Certificates, Vol. I, in 2011. 

So let’s say Solomon and Olive Goss arrived in the area about 1797. Various records like tax and census having him living in Marietta, Adams, Salem and then Fearing over the years.

Let’s review the boundary history of Washington County, Ohio.  It started out as a very large county and eventually was reduced to the current borders of today. Here is a brief description from the Washington County, Ohio government website.  This this was found in the history section of the website which has lots of links to other information.

“Washington County, originally about one-half the Northwest Territory now included in the State of Ohio, was established by proclamation of Gov. Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest Territory, on the 26th day of July, 1788. Events which led up to this establishment were due to the perseverance of two great men, Gen. Rufus Putnam and Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, the formation and function of the Ohio Company and the passage by the Continental Congress of the “Ordinance of 1787”.

The Map of US website is using Antimap, with permission.  This software shows the evolution of Ohio counties over the years and other states as well. You can click for a play by-play if you like. This software can be purchased from Gold Bug. Check with your local genealogical society they might have it on their computer.

As you can see from this map below, Washington County covered a large area in the in 1797.  The notation WAS stands for the county.  Just click and the picture will open.

Ohio 1797 via Animap software

Ohio 1797 via Animap software

Ohio was very primitive back in 1797.  Here is a map that shows the area we are interested in.  You can open the map up and take a look by clicking on it.

1801 Map of Ohio - David Rumsey Collection

1801 Map of Ohio – David Rumsey Collection

This is the world that Solomon and Olive Goss knew. Marietta is over to the right and above the first O in Ohio and to the right of the little peninsula that jutes out to the south.

Here is a map about 1810 done by the late Jerry Devol, a very amazing genealogist with the Washington Co. Genealogical Society. It was found on their website.

Washington Co. Genealogy Society map of Wash Co. 1810

Washington Co. Genealogy Society map of Wash Co. 1810

Below is a description of the evolution of the townships of Washington County, Ohio. You will need to go to this website to do more reading and some scrolling:

I have not been able to find maps, except the one above, that show the evolution of the townships for Washington county but with the help of the website I have quoted, you might be able to get an idea.

The division of Washington County into townships did not take effect till December of 1790 by the court of quarter sessions. Established were Marietta, Belpre and Waterford and they contained immense tracts of land.  Marietta extended from the 7th range to the western boundary of the 9th range (12 miles) and extended south so as to include township No. 2 in the 9th range.  Belpre and Waterford were of similar size. Gallipolis was bounded on the north by a line draw westward from the north line of township No. 3 in the 11th range upon the west by the Scioto and on the south by the Ohio River. In the northern end of the county extending to the lake were two townships Warren township, adjoining Pennsylvania and Middleton township further west were taken up by the establishment of Jefferson as a county in 1797. In December 1797 the townships of Adams and Salem were established, the latter extending from the donation tract to the north line of the county and being five miles in width. A new Middleton embracing nearly all of what is now Athens County was established in Dec. 1798. Newtown was formed from the north part of Waterford and extending to the north line of the county, was formed the same year as the above, also Newport

There were 9 townships in the county in 1800 of which 6 – Marietta, Belpre, Waterford, Salem, Adams and Newtown were within its present limits. Three others were outside Gallipolis, Middletown and Newport

  • Dates of Establishment of townships:
    • 1790 Marietta, Belpre, Waterford
    • 1792 Adams and Salem (1798 was cited above?) 
    • 1798 Newport 
    • 1802 Grandview 
    • 1806 Watertown and Roxbury 
    • 1808 Fearing 
    • 1810 Wesley and Warren 
    • 1812 Union 
    • 1815 Lawrence 
    • 1818 Aurelius and Barlow 
    • 1819 Ludlow 
    • 1840 Jolly and Independence 
    • 18151 Fairfield and Palmer 
    • 1856 Dunham 
    • 1861 Muskingum 
    • Of the foregoing 25 townships, 3 have ceased to exist – Roxbury, Jolly and Union. 

Source:  Historical Notes about Early Ohio Counties & Washington County Townships 1788-1980, by Debbie Noland Nitsche, 2003 updated 2008)  Note this website goes into detailed descriptions of the townships. She also gives her sources.

There are online versions of the 1858 and 1875 Washington County Atlas. Just Google old Ohio maps.

There were settlements all throughout Washington Co. and one in particular was of interest to me. It was called Rainbow. It is near the cemetery where Elizabeth, Andrew and Andrew’s parents are buried.  It is not much of a community at present time per my visit there in 2011, but back then it was a little settlement as described below.

Rainbow, OH – (1795 – present early Ohio River town with little growth)

Classification: small town

Location: Muskingum Township, Washington County – On Muskingum River Rd. (Town Rd. 32)

In 1795 some settlers from Marietta, OH drew lots for 27 plats of land near the mouth of Rainbow Creek. The creek & town were named for the rainbow shaped route that the Muskingum River takes through the area. Revolutionary War veteran Isaac Stone (1749 – 1808) his wife Lydia (Barrett) Stone 1751 – 1792) were the first to move there & had several children but later got divorced & both remarried. They were followed by the Stacy family & several other families that won plats. Ship building, mills, & farming were the main sources of income in Rainbow. During the Cival War many of the residents went to fight for the Union & Thomas Ridgeway, an avid abolitionist, helped nearly 100 slaves escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad at his house by the river. The town had a train station on the B&O Railroad & a post office that ran from 1888 – 1903.  Issac Stone & many other early residents are buried at the Rainbow Cemetery on  Township Rd. 513, Lowell, OH.

From Old Ghostown Exploration Co.

Rainbow settlement was begun April 29, 1795, by a company of several families from Marietta, who had drawn land located on the western shore of the Muskingum River. On the farm now owned by J. E. and A. R. Stacy, a block-house was erected. This was centrally located and served as a shelter and protecting roof until the cabins could be built.The first settlers in Rainbow where Israel Stone and family. He located on the farm now owned by the S. S. Stowe heirs. Other early settlers were Stephen Smith, Ebenezer Nye and sons, Simon Wright, Archibald and Mary Lake, Captain and Mrs. Abel Mathews and family, William Stacy and Joseph Stacy, sons of Col. William Stacy, Preserved Seamon, Cogswell Olney, John Dyar, Sr.

Source: History of Marietta and Washington County, by Martin R. Andrews, MA, 1902.

Another Source: A description of the Rainbow Settlement in Muskingum Twp., Washington Co., Ohio. History of Washington County with Illustrations and Biographical, H. Z. Williams & Bros. Publishers, 1881. Ohio pages 607-610 which covers some mini biographies of the people who settled in this community. There is an internet copy at Google Books.  

Rainbow Area per Google Maps. The Cemetery too.

Rainbow Area per Google Maps. The Cemetery too before the trees to left of 513.

Marietta had been established by 1788 so by 1797 it was well grounded. By 1798 they had a courthouse built.,_Ohio  It grew quickly because it was on the Ohio River becoming a trading center. They had a bank by 1808. They were a major shipbuilding port.

Everything in this area of Washington County was dominated by the Ohio Company of Associates, a land company. Here is a brief summary at Wikipedia:

The records of this company are online at the Marietta College website for you and me to view:

Ohio would become the testing ground for Federal land use.  The thirteen colonies were considered state land states. This means that they could managed their own lands. The rest of the country was Federal Land States with Ohio being the first. You can see that it was pretty divided up into sections which makes it very difficult to figure out where an ancestors land might be. Then you add the counties on top of the divided land areas and it can get confusing. Click and the map will open up.

Map of Ohio 1787

Map of Ohio 1787

Here is a list of the 13 original states:  Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.

The map below shows the land as it was identified from 1782 to 1802. You notice that there were claims by states well into the west. We were not only taking the land from the Native Americans but we were fighting over land between each other and with Britain and France.  Again you can click on the map to open it.  We will be most interested in Connecticut and Pennsylvania in future posts. So notice how far west Connecticut claims the land.


State Land Claims and Cessions – Creative Commons license

Solomon Goss is indexed as living in Marietta on the  16th of June, 1800 according to the Northwest Territorial census. He is indexed under the name of “Gip.” He is accompanied by familiar names like Noah Fearing, Abraham Whipple, C…Olney, Daniel Northrup, Henry Skinner, Daniel Davis, Jonathan Devol, James White, Jesse McFarlin, Olsahat Griffin, Finehas Ford, Charles H. Martin, Widow Kelley….There are actually two lists one of families and another of free white males over 21 years of age.  The names were difficult to read. According to that census the townships were Adams (80 number of inhabitants), Belpre (109), Gallipolis (190), Marietta (173), Middletown, Newport (82), Newtown (231), Salem (52) and Waterford (120).

Solomon Goss appears on the tax list in the Northwest Territory for 1803 in Adams Township. He is accompanied by Thomas Lake, Andrew Lake, Solomon Gofs, Eliza Olney, Abel Mathews, Roscoe Johnson, William Battey, Simon Starlin, Simon, Starlin, Jonas Mathews, Jesse McFarlin and more. The names are very hard to read.

In 1809 Solomon Goss appears in the Washington County, Fearing Twp. Tax list. This is part of the Ancestry Ohio Compiled and Substitutes Census Index list. There is no image available. He appears again in Washington County in the Tax list for 1810.  No township is listed.

The US Genweb has a transcript of an index of the 1810 census (per their records) and it does include Solomon Goss page 5B, Fearing Township. Here is a link to this transcription:

This link goes to a version featuring Fearing Township:

Source:  Year 1810: State Ohio, County Washington page. No. 48, Reel No. M1803 Div. Fearing Twp. Enumerated by Paul Fearing, National Archives Microfilm Publications.

Washington County, Ohio

Washington County, Ohio a more current view

It is difficult to tell just exactly where Solomon Goss actually lived in Washington County based on the tax lists, census and the creation of the townships as I have presented above. Based on my research, I believe that Solomon was on the land in Fearing much earlier. In a future post I will review and discuss how Solomon obtained the land in Fearing Twp.

This is a very interesting website called http://www.fortwiki and it has the location and drawings of the forts in Ohio in the late 1700’s. You can find Fort Harmar easily. These drawings can give you an idea of what life was like in those days and how necessary it was to have a fortified building to keep the peace.

Summary:  So we have learned from this that Solomon Goss and Olive were living, at the time, when Ohio was just getting settled and started.  We have learned that finding records can be a challenge because of all the changes in the townships, and counties. We have learned that you have to understand the land divisions in Ohio in order to understand just what your ancestor may have hand to deal with in obtaining that land.  I may be referring to these maps and websites in future posts.

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 Andrew Lake and Elizabeth Goss, Belpre, Fearing Township, Jerry Barker Devol - Devol Research, Lake Surname, Marietta, Marietta College Special Collections, Olive Scott Goss, The Wife, Rainbow, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Washington County and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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