The Death and burial of John Goss 1829 and Mary “Polly” Davidson 1862

The burial of John Goss

John Goss of Portage Co., Ohio died on the 22 of June 1829 in Randolph Township. I visited the Sand Hill Cemetery several times in 2011.  I studied all the publications for that cemetery and Hillside Cemetery next to it, but found no a trace of burial for John Goss. I feel pretty sure that he is buried there but his stone has gone missing or there never was one.

Satellite Map Google – of the Hill Side and Sand Hill Cemetery.

John Goss is said to be buried in Sand Hill Cemetery in the plot where his daughter Mary Goss is located by a small marker in Family plot Row #4. Mary Goss was a daughter of John and Mary “Polly” Davidson Goss. She was born about 1804 and died 1818. She was only 14 years old when she died. I did not see any marker or anything in the publications that identified her.  There is a memorial at Find A Grave but no tombstone photo at this time.

The area to the south of the road is where the trees are located, to the left, you will find the Goss Stones. About where the one lone round tree is in that area.

This cemetery is very important and I will revisit this Sand Hill cemetery when I write about Ebenezer Goss.

While touring in Ohio, I observed that the broken stones would be piled up on top of each other in stacks, making it impossible to read them. They are very heavy and one could hurt oneself moving them, so please don’t attempt to lift them.  The photo below is one of those piles I saw. This one was in the Sand Hill Cemetery when I visited.  This was minor compared to other piles I saw at other cemeteries throughout Ohio. The cemetery is well kept but stacking of the stones is a big problem. It makes it impossible to read them. I also had a problem with the neighbors dogs barking on the wire fence and being very aggressive.  The Goss stones are close to the boundary line.

What I saw in the Sand Hill Cemetery

Polly Goss wrote to Nathaniel Goss Jr. in Huntington about the death of John Goss.

Letter: “Randolph February 18, 1829 – From Polly wife of John to Brother Nathaniel: Your brother John is dead. He died on the 13, buried the 15th. On Saturday he worked very hard at flax drinkee. Physician allowed lung fever with his old complaint. Sister Hannah lives 13 miles from here. Granny is infirm by age. Chester has been at Michigan territory. Been there three years. Ormand at Cleveland, Hannah married. Julia 18, at work with a taylor. John 21 in August, Alma 19 this month. I live with Minerva. Uncle Ebenezer GOSS quite infirm, unable to work, but chirks and reads much.”

I do not know if this is all of the letter. Paul H. Goss only presented this quote in his Goss Manuscript. In this letter, Polly says he died on the 13th buried on the 15th. What I might have above is the probate date? Lung fever is grouped under pneumonia descriptions.  I think the “flax drinkee” was him taking flax seed in a drink?

Mary “Polly” Davidson Goss burial

Mary Goss, wife of John, is believed to be buried in the Hawley Cemetery in Paris Township, Portage Co., Ohio. This cemetery is also known as the Paris Cemetery. According to Find A Grave she is buried in Sect 1, Row 8. Her stone is pretty much out there alone in the 1 Section. It is not hard to miss.

Map of Hawley Cemetery

The stone reads:


Polly Goss  d. 1862 ae 86 1/2

Cemetery Publication for Hawley Cemetery

This means that this Polly was born 1776. Which fits with her birth which is 20 August 1775 per the Granville, MA town records. Pennsylvania vital records have her birth as We do have a slight difference in the year of birth 20 August 1775 in Wilkes-Barre, Westmoreland Co. I would like to know why she was buried in this particular cemetery. She out lived John 33 years.  Polly is listed living with her daughter Almena Fisher in 1850. She mentions that she was living with her daughter Minerva in the above letter.

1850 U.S. Federal Census, Paris, Portage, Ohio – 795/805 James Fisher 37 Farmer $1400 born PA, Almena Fisher, age 34 born Ohio, Mary Ann Adams age 4 for VA, Wid Polly Grofs 76 female born PA. Enumerated 2nd day of Nov, 1850.  

There is a Polly G age 84 in the 1860 Paris, Portage, Ohio census living with James and Almena Fisher and family. I think it is Polly Goss and Ancestry has miss indexed her?

The Hawley Cemetery is located on the west side of McClintocksburg Road 1 C R 135 500 ft. South of Gilbert Road. ITR 188. Paris was originally called Storrsboro, named after Lemuel Storrs, a shareholder in the Connecticut Land Co. Remember he also sold land to John Goss in Portage Co. Paris became a separate township in 1820, previously being a part of Deerfield and later a part of Palmyra.

These maps shows you where the Hawley Cemetery is located

Hawley Cemetery and distance from Ravenna

Hawley Cemetery Sign

Overview of the cemetery

Looking into the Hawley Cemetery

Polly Goss Tombstone

Close up of Polly Goss Tombstone in the Hawley Cemetery

I did not find Polly’s tombstone on my own, I had help. The locating of this grave and burial was done by several cousins before me and who shared their knowledge with me and pointed the way. I thank them and share my photos and study of the burials from my visit to Portage County in 2011, for all to see.

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 Ebenezer Goss, Hawley Cemetery, John Goss and Mary "Polly" Davidson, Mary Goss 1804 to 1818, Ohio Research trips 2011 and 2007, Paul and Gail Bloom Goss, Paul H. Goss 1890 to 1963, Portage County, Randolph, Sand Hill Cemetery. Bookmark the permalink.

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