Paul H. Goss did a lot of research on the Goss family back in the late 1930’s through to his death in 1963. He visited Becket, Massachusetts and befriended several of the individuals there. He had great motivation because Ebenezer Goss was his 2nd great-grandfather. You can see these exchanges reflected in the quotations taken from the Bicentennial History of Becket.
Source: A Bicentennial History of Becket, Berkshire County, Massachusetts (incorporated June 21, 1765),by Cathaline Alford Archer, Mitchell J. Mulholland and others, by the Becket Historical Society, 1964. Available at the Family History Library, DAR Library in Washington D.C. Worldcat cites 34 locations where this book is housed.
Here is an online PDF titled Becket, Massachusetts 250th Anniversary 1765 to 2015 that you might find interesting. It is a little history of the area and very well done.
My goal here is to identify where Philip Goss’s land was located in Becket at the time he was living there. Here are some quotes from the History book above. This is a repeat from my last post, but it is important.
pg. 36 Footnote: Philip Goss, son of Philip and Kesiah Goss, born Nov. 18, 1724, in Brookfield, Mass., was in Simsbury, Conn., it may be assumed, when the birth of his son Philip was recorded there in 1746. (His wife was Mary Kendall.) Births of three other children were recorded in Granville, Mass, in 1752, 1754, and 1757. He sold land in Granville in May 1758, and probably was living in Township Number Four by this time, and continued to live there until 1769 where he was reported to have been in the Wyoming Valley of the Susquehannah Tract of Pennsylvania. In 1771 the Becket Church “Voted a letter of dismission and recommendation to Philip Goss to any Church of Christ where God in his Providence shall Dispose of him.” And on June 11, 1771, Philip Goss of Becket sold to Benjamin Chamberlin of Colchester his farm in Becket – part of Lot 56. (Berkshire County records, Book 8, pg. 656. Philip Goss was in the battle of Wyoming in July 1778, After the massacre by the Indians he and Captain Carr were trying to escape by slipping down the river in a canoe. Indians overtook them and they were shot below Wapwallopen; Philip Goss was dead but Captain Carr was left dying on the shore (Charles Miner. History of Wyoming, 1845, Page 246).
Pg. 46: From this list of “Heads of families,” it may be of interest to select those who were presumably living on their First Division Home Lots in 1765. (Ownership of second and third division lots has not been traced.) Philip Goss; Part of Lot 56.
pg. 48 Meanwhile, the townsmen were strenuously occupied with the business of extending the roads…In 1758 they had proposed to continue northward their road from Walker’s Mill to the Meeting House and to David King’s property east of Center Pond. This was to provide access to the northerly limits of the first division lots. But a dozen years elapsed before the town voted to open this “road from Jonas Childs to the meeting house…….then by a fence on the east side of the road to a Hemlock stump marked about four roads east of Philip Gosses House then by Gosses stone wall by the west end of his barn then a strait course to a Stake and Stones then by Gosses fence to Center Pond Brook….
Based on the map below you can find Center Pond and Lot 55 and lot 56 mentioned in the deed transcribed below. These lots were granted to the settlers by the town proprietors.
The map below gives the location of the lot numbers. This does not show Philip Goss on the land.
Here is the deed in which Philip sells his lands to B. Chamberlin — Deeds: Pg. 656 and 657, Book 8, Berkshire Deeds, Middle District, 1771. This deed is online at FamilySearch. According to the website of the Berkshire Middle District Registry of Deeds we would find Becket covered under their office: http://berkshiremiddledeeds.com/
Although this deed is a copy made by the court clerk, it is nice to see that Philip signed it.
TO ALL PEOPLE to him these presents shall come, Greeting Know ye that I Philip Gofs of Becket in the County of Berkshire in the province of Massachusetts Bay in New England for and in consideration of the Sums of One Hundred and Forty Pounds current money of the province aforesaid to me in hand paid before the Ensealing hereof by Benjamin Chamberlin of Colchester in the Colony of Connecticut and County of Hartford the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and am fully satisfied contented and paid have given granted bargain, sold, aliened, release, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do fully clearly, and absolutely given grant bargain, sell, release convey and confirm unto him said Benjamn Chamberlin his Heirs and assigns forever a Tract or parcel of Land lying in the Township of Becket abovesaid bounded as followeth Beginning at the South East corner by a Hemlock Tree so running North 10 degrees East about ninety eight Rods to the heap of stones by a stake from thence running West 168 Rods to a monument on the East Side of a Hill bounding North by a Lot No. 55. Then turning and running south, page 657, South 10 degrees: West 45 Rods to a stake and stones, then East about 87 rods to a stake and stones, then running south 10 degrees: west 53 Rods to stake and stones bounding West on Henry [Oalken] Land, then running East to the first mentioned bounds.
TO HAVE and TO HOLD the above granted premises, with the appurtenances and privileges thereto belonging to him the said Benjamin Chamberlin his Heirs and assigns to him and their own prop____ benefit & Bck of forever more, and I the said Philip Gofs for myself their Executors, and administration do Covenant promise and grant unto, and with the said Benjamin Chamberlin her Heirs, and assigns forever that before & until the ensealing hereof I am the true sole proper & lawful owner of the premises of the before granted premises with appurtenances and have in myself good rightfull power and lawful authority to give, grant, bargain, sell, aliene, release, convey and confirm the same aforesaid and that free, and clear and fully and clearly execute acquitted and discharged of and from all forever, and other give, grant, bargain, sales, Lease, Mortgages will, intails join___dowries, thirds, executions and Incumbrances whatsoever and furthermore I the said Philip Goss for myself Heirs, Executors & administrators, do hereby covenant promise and engage the before granted premises with the appurtenances unto him the said Benjamin Chamberlin his Heirs, and assigns forever to Warrant Secure and Default against the lawful claims or demands of any person or persons whatsoever. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand, and Seal this 29 day of May Annoq. Domini 1771 in the Eleventh year of his Majesty Reign. —- Philip Goss & seal
Signed Sealed and Delivered in presence of Elvard Taylor, Aaron King
Hampshire May 24, 1771 Then Philip Goss the signer of this Instrument personally acknowledged the same to be his act and deed. Corain Edward Taylor Just. Pac’d June 11, 1771 Rec.d and Recorded from the original __H Hopkins Regr.
So we do know when and to whom he sold his land in Becket in 1771, but we don’t know how he obtained the lot in the first place.
Here is the source that I think might be what we need to find out more about Philip obtaining land in Becket, but I cannot tell for sure because I cannot access it online. I have to go to the Family History library or a Family History center to view: Colonial records and proprietary plans : a compilation of the proprietors lots, grants, plantations and colonial records of the middle, northern, and southern districts of Berkshire county, Berkshire Co. Register of Deeds. The other option is to go to the courthouse in Pittsfield and inquire about the proprietor’s records.
This deed is very interesting. It has been stated that Philip Goss IV had left for Pennsylvania in 1769 but this deed suggests that he was still in Becket in May of 1771. With the information above you can go to Google Maps or Google Earth and find Center Pond in the Becket area and get an idea where his land was at this time.
Philip was apparently still not content in his land choices. He had land in Simsbury (North Granby), then Granville and then Becket. We have traced him through these migrations since he left Brookfield in past posts. He was not done; however, and Philip Goss IV turned his eyes to land that was being sold by the Susquannah Company out of Connecticut. The land was in the Wyoming Valley where the Susquehanna River flowed in Pennsylvania. It is in the area of what we know as Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania.
Little did Philip know that this would probably be the biggest challenge of his life. Pennsylvania and Connecticut claimed this land and the result was the Yankee-Pennamite Wars that caused a lot of strife and destruction in the area. The other event was the Revolutionary War that came along and caused real problems resulting in the Wyoming Massacre in which many settlers were killed in 1778.
Before we head for the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, we will take a little visit to the Norton Cemetery cemeteries in the Berkshire area. Philip Goss IV was not the only one from his family living in the area. His sister Keziah Goss Haskell Rose was also living in the Otis area. We know that he shared and sold land to his brother Thomas while living in Granville. Therefore, Philip Goss IV had brother and sister nearby while he lived in Becket.