Traveling in Massachusetts is great because you can get to locations in under three hours. I live on the Pacific Coast and locations are a bit farther. My visit to the Brookfields took place in April of 2011. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed visiting the Brookfields and exploring the area. Brookfield was much bigger back in 1724. It took some time for it to be carved up into the specific areas we know today.*
Here is a summary of the dividing up of the area: Brookfield was first settled in 1660 and officially incorporated in 171. It was settled by men from Ipswich. North Brookfield was first settled 1664 and officially incorporated in 1812. West Brookfield was settled in 1665 and incorporated in 1848. East Brookfield was settled in 1664 then it became a part of the new town of Brookfield in 1673 and incorporated in 1920. I would say that this area is about the middle of the State of Massachusetts.
Brookfield is a township of excellent land. The surface is somewhat uneven and stony, though there are a number of plains of considerable extent. There are large tracts of meadow and intervale upon Quabaog river, which runs in a westerly direction through the town. The ponds are the Quabaog or Podunk, the South pond, and the Wicabaug. (3)
Massachusetts Bay Colony was active from 1628 to 1691 when it became the Province of Massachusetts Bay and was called that till 1776 when the Revolutionary War broke out. Meanwhile, Hampshire County was established in 1662 covering most of the western part of what we know as Massachusetts and included the Brookfields and Lancaster. Worcester County was founded in 1731 and carved out of Middlesex and Suffolk. It can be a challenge to find records for the time period you are interested in.
Our Philip Goss IV was born on 18 November, 1724 in Brookfield, Province of Massachusetts Bay to Philip Goss III (b. circa 1700 in Lancaster) and Keziah Cooley (b. 1702 in Longmeadow). (1)
Philip grew up in Brookfield, because his grandparents, Philip Goss II (Capt/Lt.) and Judith (Hayward) Goss migrated to Brookfield about 1704-1705 from Lancaster and settled in what we call West Brookfield on the west side of Wickaboag Pond. Capt. Philip Goss II obtained land in Brookfield, became a town leader and helped to defend the town.
Philip’s grandmother, Judith (Hayward) Goss was a descendant of William White and Susannah who were Mayflower Passengers. William and Susannah White had two sons. Resolved White was on the Mayflower when it came to Plymouth in 1630. His brother Peregrine was born on the Mayflower. Later Resolved (you pronounce the ed in his name) married Judith Vassall and one of their children was Anna White. Anna married John Hayward in Concord, MA in 1671. The lineage is Judith to Anna to Resolved to William White. I had the opportunity to visit Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2003 and tour the area learning about the Mayflower II and the settlement there of these pioneer families. (5)
Of course, Philip, probably knew his lineage or more likely, he knew the stories and names of the people involved. He didn’t know his great-grandfather Philip Goss I who died in 1698 a whole 26 years before his birth. He might have heard stories about him and his two wives Hannah Hopkins and Mary Prescott, after all, his grandfather’s half-brother John Goss was still living up till the middle 1740’s. In the early 1700’s there was no Mayflower or DAR Societies to join. Societies like that really didn’t get started till the end of the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s.
Philip Goss IV had even more deep lineage than just Mayflower, his mother Keziah (Cooley) Goss was born in 29 October, 1702 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts which is south of Springfield and part of it today. This is where her great-grandfather Ensign Benjamin Cooley put down his roots along with other old pioneer families. As I drove across the border between Connecticut and Massachusetts, I was very interested in how long it too me to get to the actual central area of Longmeadow. Keziah’s ancestors include surnames of Cooley, Wolcott, Pitkin, Bliss, Stebbins, and Chapin and more.
According to the Longmeadow Historical Society, Longmeadow families migrated to Brimfield, Massachusetts which is just south of the Brookfields. Benjamin Cooley and George Colton surveyed the area of Brimfield in 1657 and it looks like Keziah’s parents Benjamin and Margaret (Bliss) Cooley lived in Brimfield. They must have migrated further north and died in Greenwich about 1745 which was west of Hardwick. (4) These areas are northwest of Brookfield. The Quabbin Reservoir took many towns when it was created in the 1930’s. Greenwich was one of them and they had to move the cemeteries to other locations.
The last real skirmish with the Indians was in 1710 in the Brookfield area. This attack by the Indians is remembered by the monument in the Indian Burial Ground called the Haymakers Marker and it lists the men killed. There was some fear of the Indians in 1721 but nothing came of it. Here is a description of the 1710 incident and the monument.
‘The last mischief which was done by the savages, in Brookfield, was about the 20th of July, 1710. Six men, viz. Ebenezer Hayward, John White, Stephen and Benjamin Jennings, John Grosvenor and Joseph Kellog, were making hay in the meadows, when the Indians, who had been watching an opportunity to surprise them, sprung suddenly upon them, dispatched five of them, and took the other, John ‘White. prisoner. While, spying a small company of our people at some distance, jumped from the Indian who held him, and ran to join his friends: but the Indian fired after him, and wounded him in the thigh, by which he fell; but soon recovering and running again, he was again fired at, and received his death wound.’ (3)
So our Philip Goss IV grew up in relative peace in Brookfield. He grew up on a farm and probably went back and forth from his father’s land to his grandfather’s. His parents Philip Goss III and Keziah were married in 25 November, 1723 (2) in Brookfield and began a family:
The children of Philip Goss III and Keziah Cooley, a quick summary (1)
- Philip Goss IV was born 18 November, 1724 in Brookfield.
- Hannah was born 4 September, 1726 in Brookfield.
- Ebenezer born 11 September, 1728 in Brookfield and died 24 April 1729 in Brookfield.
- Keziah born 26 February, 1730 in Brookfield.
- Judith born 15 November, 1731 in Brookfield
- Nathaniel born 7 September 1733, Brookfield and died 23 March 1734 in Brookfield.
- Thomas Goss born 6 January, 1734 in Brookfield. He would become of Barkhamsted in his later life.
Ebenezer and Nathaniel did not survive, so Philip IV knew a little about tragedy. Later he would name two of his children with these names. Philip IV’s sister Keziah and brother Thomas would migrate west and end up near several of Philip’s places of settlement like Granville and North Granby which is next door to Barkhamsted.
Life is going to get complicated for Philip Goss IV in the decade of the 1740’s and in the next posts I will discuss the events of his life during 1740 to 1749.
Selected sources for this post – look above for (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 in parentheses)
- Brookfield Vital Records – Philip and his siblings births – Published version: Vital Records of Brookfield, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849, Worcester, Massachusetts, Franklin P. Rice, Trustee of the Fund, 1909, Birth, Marriages & Deaths, pages. 106, 211, 324, 492. The Family History Library has Massachusetts vital records online at their website and you can access the original town records.
- Marriage of Philip Goss III to Keziah Cooley in Brookfield: Vital Records of Brookfield, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849, Worcester, Massachusetts, Franklin P. Rice, Trustee of the Fund, 1909, Birth, Marriages & Deaths, pages Marriages 324, Deaths 492. Family History Library has vitals records for Massachusetts online at their website.
- Quotations from the online given above: Historical Collections Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every town in Massachusetts with Geographical Descriptions, Brookfield page 557 to 561, by John Warner Barber. Worchester, Worcester, Door, Howland and Co., 1840. This book is online at Internet Archive for viewing.
- Cooley family – Historical Celebration of the Town of Brimfield, Hampden County, Mass, by Rev. Charles McEwen Hyde, The Clark W. Bryan Co., 1879, various pages. This book is at Internet Archive and available for viewing. This is only one of many sources for the Cooley family.
- Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Thirteen, William White, Compiled by Ruth W. Sherman, Robert M. Sherman, re-edited by Robert S. Wakefield, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1997. pp 3-4, 10, 23-24, 67-68. These volumes can be found in almost any large genealogical library, Family History Library has sets.
More indepth detail and sources will be shared in future posts on many of the topics in this post.
* and ** Note: In April of 2011, I traveled to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut in search of our Goss History. I called that blog Massachusetts Meanderings. I will be removing the blog from the web and reincorporating the information into this blog where relevant. Go here for more information: IN PROGRESS