Olive Scott Goss – What Happened to Her?

Solomon Goss married Olive Scott, a daughter of Obadiah Scott and Hannah Howe in 1776 probably in Pennsylvania (more on their marriage in a later post).

Not much has been written about Olive Scott Goss. She seems to have disappeared into history.  While in the Marietta area in 2011, I tried to find a tombstone to help verify her life and death, but I failed. Others, like Paul H. Goss, also tried and failed.

There is a mention of Solomon Goss and wife in one of the History books of Washington County so I know that she was alive in 1800, of course & Wife does not give a name which would really help.

pages 382-383: 2nd column – The Methodist Episcopal Church – Rev. Robert Manley was sent to this section as a missionary in June 1799, preached the first Methodist sermon in Marietta. On Duck Creek he found SOLOMON Goss, 2 members of his family were Methodist. pg. 383 1st column …A number of small classes were founded, and a circuit was organized in 1800. The members were Henry Fearing of Harmon, Elijah Francis & wife, Jones Johnson & wife, SOLOMON Goss & Wife.

Source: 1788-1881 History of Washington County, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches, H.O. Williams & Bro. Publishers, 1881, reprinted 1976.

Many publications state that Olive Scott Goss died three days after her husband Solomon on 3/4 July, 1825.  This was not unusual for a husband and wife to die within days of each other, however, without a tombstone to verify this we are somewhat at a loss to determine her fate.

Paul H. Goss and Flora Osborn researchers of the Goss family feel she died after Solomon and write about this is in their manuscripts.  Flora even obtained a certified transcribed copy of Solomon’s will and is excited to have it but never mentions Solomon’s wife is missing from the document.

I was delighted when I got Solomon Goss’s will I had to send a copy at once to you. I know you are busy…..Mrs. F. Osborn 3 February, 1941 Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Below is a copy of the transcribed will of Solomon Goss that Flora Osborn obtained. Click on the photos and they will open up in a larger window and you can then print them off and study them yourself.

Flora's version of Solomon Goss's will

Flora’s version of Solomon Goss’s will

Flora's version

Flora’s version

Solomon talks about his faith and that his body be decently buried he does not mention his wife’s burial.  He mentions that he is labouring at present but is not clear on why. This is a will, so one usually doesn’t find personal things mentioned.

Flora's version of Solomon Goss' will

Flora’s version of Solomon Goss’ will

I have the actual clerk copy in the court books which I have shared on this and I transcribed it from the clerk’s copy.  The original is lost someone removed it from the file.

I believe that Olive died earlier and before 1810 when Solomon Goss wrote his will.  I believe that is why he wrote the will.

In examining the will, we find that Solomon does not mention his “loving wife” or give any instruction for her care such as land, a place to live, possessions. He talks only about his children. The will is the only piece of paper listed in the Probate Index for Solomon Goss, so no papers are listed in the court records books and sometimes those documents would tell us more about the family like a person is deceased such as wife or child.  We are again thwarted in our search.

The Index page of the probate box

The Index page of the probate records

Years later Solomon deeds land in Knox County, Ohio to his children: Noah, Mary, Levi, Daniel, and Lydia and in those deeds, done in 1815, there is no release of the female spouse’s dower written at the bottom.  The son Solomon inherited the land in Fearing so he is not listed in the deeds. Olive does not sign the deeds. If she was living she would be legally required to do so.  Here is the deed that Solomon Goss prepared for his son Noah. All the deeds for the other children are similar.  See the page at the top of this blog about the posts published on this blog for each of the children of Solomon & Olive Goss.  Remember to hover your mouse.

Son Noah Goss - 1815 Deed of land from Solomon Goss

Son Noah Goss – 1815 Deed of land from Solomon Goss

The census for Washington County is very spotty in the early years of this county. I have also poured over them and studied tax records and more trying to pin down information on Olive Scott Goss.  There is nothing.

In the 1801 census Solomon Goss is listed with the numbers 1 – 1 – 4  1.50 after him.  What this refers to I do not know. It is the same in 1802.  In 1810 it reads 17 Solomon Goss 1 (16-25)  – 1 (45) Males and 1 (10-16) – 1 ((16-25) -1 (45) females.  For the 1820 census, I have written a post about that so I suggest you review it.  It is a couple of posts back on this blog.

In the 1820 Census for Solomon Goss a woman in the age range of Olive is present in the household.  Unfortunately this is a statistical census so we cannot determine who this individual is.  There is no other record of a remarriage for Solomon Goss in Washington county, that I am aware of.  I have poured over those records as well.

I tried newspapers but they are very spotty in issues in the early years of the Washington county. In the Mound and Oak Grove Cemetery books the history of the condition of graves in the early years is discussed and we find that it was all very badly recorded and cared for in the Marietta city and this means that graves were lost as well as records. With development the older cemetery in Marietta was moved into the Mound Cemetery at some point. There is a sign with a brief mention of this older cemetery but no records that I know of.

The director of the Washington County Historical Society said that the area was a shipping port and when the ships came in they brought disease.  It was a hard life. In the History of Washington Co, Ohio 1788 to 1881 by H.Z. Williams pages 427-428 they discuss Epidemics.  Marietta experienced three in 1807, 1822 and 1823. There is a list of those who died in the 1822 and 1823 epidemics and I see no mention of Olive Goss.  You may be able to access a copy at Hathi Trust’s website.

I visited the Waterford Cemetery in search of Olive’s brother Obadiah Scott, Jr. but his tombstone is missing, although the publication for that cemetery does list his burial. This cemetery is about 15 to 20 minutes from Marietta and Fearing Twp. so it was a long shot.  I was hoping his records would mention his sister but it mostly focuses on his family which is not unexpected.  I will share what I know about this man in a future post.

I researched their son Solomon Goss Jr. and wife Polly Devol in an effort to try to pin down more about Solomon and Olive, but no luck. I did share a lot about the migrations of the son on this blog.  I researched Elizabeth Lake and her husband Andrew also in hopes of finding more information since she stayed close.  I tried to find out more about the son Daniel Goss who lived in Belpre and wrote about him on this blog but nothing about his parents came to light.

The fate of Olive Scott Goss will probably never be known.  I will let you decide what you think after you have examined the information presented on this blog and in this post.

I will return to the Scott family in future posts but at this time I want to go and share about Solomon’s involvement in the establishment of Dayton, Ohio.  Maybe we will learn a little more about Olive.


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 Belpre, Daniel Goss & Lydia Ackley, Fearing Township, Flora Montanye Osborn 1869 to 1951, Marietta, Mound Cemetery in Marietta, Noah Goss, Ohio Research trips 2011 and 2007, Olive Scott Goss, The Wife, Paul H. Goss 1890 to 1963, Solomon Goss (Jr.) and Polly Coburn Devol, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Washington County, Waterford Cemetery and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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