Philip Goss IV sets his eyes on the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania and settles in Plymouth Twp. – 1769 to 1773

Philip Goss IV was not content, he decided to migrate once. He joined many other settlers and moved to what was called the Wyoming Valley this is where the Susquehanna River flows.

The area in question is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania where Wilkes-Barre is situated.  So Philip Goss IV takes his family to this area which was under the Susquehanna Company. They had negotiated with the Indians and sold shares for the land to settlers.

By 1769 Philip’s sons were young men. Philip Goss Jr. was 23 years old, Nathaniel was 20 years old. Comfort was 18 years old. David was 17 years old and brother Solomon was just about 15 years old. Ebenezer was only 9 years old at the time.  So the last three were not old enough to own land yet.  Philip Goss IV and his sons would become involved with the events of the area and in trying to establish the settlement. It would not be an easy task.

The map below covers many of the townships that were created over the years after 1769, We are interested in the area along the Susquehanna River.

Wyoming Valley Townships in what is now Pennsylvania.

We start with the first 200 settlers that went to the Wyoming Valley in 1769.  There had been an attempt about 1763 to establish a settlement but that meant with disaster. It was not until 1769 that it became a lot safer for the settlers.  Mr. Harvey in his history of Wilkes Barre writes:

pg. 497 – “The following list of 195 names, copied from a list made up by the Clerk of the Committee of Settlers on the 2nd of June, 1769, shows who were actually on the ground in Wyoming, under the auspices of The Susquehanna Company, at that date. In addition to the men here named the twenty men of the “First Forty,” who had been conveyed as prisoners to Easton and released on bail (as described on page 478), are to be considered as having been settlers in May and June and fully entitled to participate in the allotment of lands in the “Forty” township; although, observing the terms of the recognizances into which they had severally entered at Easton, they had not returned to Wyoming.” The list starts with Allen, Noah to Frisbie, Zebulon on the first page 497 and on pg. 498 starts with Forsythe, James and ends with Yale, Ozias.  On pg. 498 first column lists – Comfort Goss, Nathaniel Goss and Philip Goss.  3rd Column is listed: William Wallsworth. 

On 17 April 1770, William Walsworth of Beekman’s Precinct, Dutchess Co., N.Y., conveyed to Philip Goss (Sr.) of Becket, Mass., and Francis Gillow of Goshen, Orange Co., N.Y., one right in the Susquehanna Purchase to which he was entitled as “one of the first forty settlers there.” Nathaniel Goss was at Fort Durkee, Wilkes-Barre, May 1770, and in the list of Susquehanna proprietors made up on June 1770 the names of Philip and Nathaniel appear, page 999.

Source: A History of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from its first beginnings to the present time including chapters of newly-discovered early Wyoming Valley history, together with many biographical sketches and much Genealogical Material, Begun by Oscar Jewell Harvey, A.M. and completed by Ernest Gray Smith.  Vol. I, page 473 lists the first forty settlers. I do not find the name Goss listed. On page 497 the first 195 or 200th settlers to the valley are listed. Vol. II, page 999 the Footnote lists the shares to Philip Goss from Walsworth. These volumes are online at Internet Archive for viewing.

Here is the listing for the first forty settlers in Kingston Twp. Mr. Walsworth name appears in petitions and apparently he settled in Kingston Twp. as indicated by the information presented below.  He was a proprietor in the Susquehanna Company.

The first forty settlers of Kingston Township: Asahel Atherton, Ezra Belding, Thomas Bennet, Silas Bingham, Richard Brockway, Elijah Buck, William Buck, John Comstock, Ruben Davis, John Dean, Nathan Denison, Simon Draper, Thomas Dyer, Vine Elderkin, Elias Roberts, Benjamin Follett, Joseph Frink, Stephen Gardner, Samuel Gaylord, Joshua Hall, Stephen Harding, Peter Harris, Zerubabel Jearum, John Jenkins, Stephen Jenkins, Cyprian Lothrop, Benajah Pendleton, Timothy Pierce, Benjamin Shoemaker, Elijah Shoemaker, Oliver Smith, Timothy Smith, Henry Dow Tripp, Isaac Tripp, Rudolph Brink Vanorman, William Walsworth, Theophilus Westover, Allen Wrightman, Benjamin Yale, Job Yale. Source: The History of Kingston, PA The Very Beginning.   http://www.pagenweb.org/~luzerne/patk/kingston.htm

Not only was Philip Goss in the first 200 along with his sons Nathaniel and Comfort but they became involved in company business. Here are several events that took place as found in the Susquehannah Company Papers book series. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say which Philip Goss is being referenced, the father or the son in some of these quotations. Also when they right Mr. Goss it is not clear who they mean.

Volume III, 1768-1769:
pg. 170-172: [148] Petition of John Durkee & Others about the Yankee-Pennamite war and their grievances was written on August 29th, 1769 to the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut. This lists the subscribers who are on several pages are on page 171, 172, 173 …. Philip Goss, Nathaniel Goss appear on pg. 172 in the first column. Page 172 William Wallworth and William Walworth appear as well.

Volume IV: 1770-1772
pg. 76 – 83: Names of Connecticut People and Pennsylvanians in the Connecticut Fort at Wyoming are listed and the date given is May 25, 1770. On page 77 middle column is listed a Nathaniel Gaus which I suspect is really Goss.

Additional information is on pg. 79 cover the Memorandum Book of Zebulon Butler which starts about Feb. – May of 1770. Mr. Butler is giving an account of the events that have taken place over the past months such as the comings and goings of the settlers, houses that have been leveled, conversations with Indian Chiefs, Indian squabbles, fighting with the Pennamites. On page 83 there is a notation “May 21 Philip Goss Dr to 1/2lb Powder” with a list of other men and powder.  There is no real explanation of what this means but I suspect that Zebulon Butler is taking and inventory of what the settlers have on hand.

The Pennamite–Yankee Wars or Yankee–Pennamite Wars were a series of conflicts consisting of the First Pennamite War (1769-1770), the Second Pennamite War(1774), and the Third Pennamite War (1784), in which the Wyoming Valley along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River was disputed between settlers from Connecticut …These wars were involving the land disputes between the Connecticut Settlers (Yankees) and the Pennsylvanians (Pennamites).  It was not pretty and people were killed, their farms burned, if they stayed they were  harassed and had to flee back to their homes in Connecticut – Both sides claimed ownership of the area and took drastic measures to keep control.  It was not resolved for years. From Wikipedi.

pg. 216-217 – [169] Minutes of a Meeting of the Susquehanna Co. Mar 13, 1771 at Windham.  On page 217 there is a description of a Vote taken that James Hannah, Philip Goss, David Carver, Andrew Graham, John Bacon Junr, Tho* Fanning, Benjn Dorchester, Ebenezer Larnard & Jonth Buck of Nine partners, be added to the Comte for Collecting the last two dollars tax that was granted & pay the same to the Treasurer.

Vol. V: 1772-1774, Edited by Robert J. Taylor pg. 40 – [48] Minutes of a Meeting of Proprietors and Settlers in Wilkes-Barre – Oct. 2, 1772 – voted that Mr. Perkins, Mr Corry for Lackawanna, Mr. Goss for Plymouth, Mr Daniel Gore for Wilksbarre, Mr. William Stewart for Hannover to secure subscriptions and see what they Can Git signed by ye adjorned meeting for to make a Rode to Delleware. Voted again that Esq. Tryp, Mr. John Jenkins, Mr. Goss, Mr. Perkins, Mr Bates, Mr. Daniel Gore, Mr. William Stewart are appointed Commtee men to mark out ye road from Dilleware River to Pittstown.

This was a rather interesting comment made in the notes: voted that if any Propriator or setler Now on sd Land or shall be Received in as a setler that shall Refuse or Neglect to do his Duty in Gardin and scouting when worned shall be Punished according to ye Laws of the ye Colloney of Connecticut.  This suggests that the settlers were all responsible for defending the settlement. The settlers were not fooling around.

pg. 41 [50] A Petition of the Inhabitants of Wyoming to the Connecticut Legislature dated Oct 3rd, 1772 in Wilkes Barre. The settlers are asking that a government to be established in the area. We find in 2nd column the names of Philip Goss and Solomon Goss, pg. 43 1st column Nath Goss (see footnote) Daniel Scott 2nd column page 44.

pg. 81 [95] Petition of John Durkee and Others – Wilkes-Barre Apr 3, 1773 are again asking that a county be erected because the people are in great need. On pg. 83 – 2 column – Nathaniel Goss and later Solomon Goss are listed. On pg. 84 bottom of 1st column –  Nethannil Goss 4 up from bottom is listed.

pg. 215 [194] Petition of the Inhabitants of Kingston regarding their distressed circumstances, dated Dec. 24, 1773. Kingstown pg. 2171st column Philip Goss 1/2 down second column, Nathel Goss, Salmon Goss are at the top of the column.

The above excerpts were taken from the Susquehannah Company Papers, a series of books by Boyd. In order to understand how the area of the Wyoming Valley was settled, you need to understand the Susquehannah Company.  In the next post I will discuss this settlement company that was established in 1753 in Windham, CT.  I will also discuss the series of books written and how you can find copies. You can read more about the above 200 settlers in the Susquehannah Co. Papers, Vol. III, 1768-1769 pg. 170-172. Also Volume IV: 1770-1772 pg. 76-83. These books are still under copyright so you will have to find them in a library.

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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 Comfort Goss, David Goss and Anna Slater, Nathaniel Goss and his wife Hannah Scott, Philip Goss (Jr. or V) and Hannah Darby, Philip Goss IV & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Plymouth, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Susquehanna River, Wilkes-Barre, Wyoming Valley and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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