Back in 2011, I traveled to the State of Ohio and visited Portage County, Ohio. I was interested in learning what I could about Ebenezer Goss and his life there. I was also trying to find any connection or communication between Ebenezer and my ancestor Solomon Goss, who were brothers. While there, I did research on Ebenezer’s children and also on John Goss, son of Nathaniel Goss and Hannah Scott. I visited several archives in the area.
While visiting the Portage County Historical Society in Ravenna, a wonderful archive, I looked at the Goss File, and various other files while there. I found some really amazing documents. One of them was the Probate file of John Goss. I do not know where in the Portage County Probates this file is located. The online sources at FamilySearch do not give me anything other than the index for John’s estate. Good luck if you can read it. Unfortunately, it does not have much in contents, but this is not unusual for older documents, they don’t always survive.
On June 22, 1829 the Judge apparently was questioning the probate of John Goss. When the Sheriff gets involved it is because the Judge has ordered and action:
John Goss Probate Portage County Ohio
Page 274 The State of Ohio
Portage County SS ))))) To the Sheriff of our said County Greetings Whereas it hath been ________to us that John Goss late of Randolph in said county hath died intestate & that the said John Goss which in full and at the time of his death was _____and possessed of summary goods and chattels and credits whereof administration remains to be made. We command you that you make know to the widow and next of kin of the said John Goss deceased that they be before our court of Common Pleas of said county at the courthouse in Ravenna on the second Monday of September ____if they shall think fit, to show _____why letters of administration should not be granted to them or some of them, or some other proper and fit person of the goods chattels and ____of the said John Goss dec’d and have you him his ______ witness George Loa ____of our series court at Ravenna this twenty second day of June Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine. Devy Clerk Honorable George ______
On September 17, 1829 two events took place regarding John Goss’s probate. There was a Bond given and Administration was assigned and appraisers chosen to determine the value of John’s estate.
John Goss Probate Bond #274
Know all Men by the presents That we William Coolman Jun’r, William King and Robert King of the county of Portage….bond four hundred dollars lawful money ….18 Sept AD 1829 William Coolman Jr to make true and perfect inventory of all goods and chattels and credits…1831 Signed Wm. Cooleman Wm King and Robert King.
Note: I do not like the William Coolman who was appointed Administrator of John’s estate. I think he did this probate for money. He doesn’t seem to appear at the court house much. Unfortunately, this means that there were no relatives or heirs taking on the task of being Administrators of the estate. Of course, we would need to look at the probate file at the courthouse/archive in order to determine if there are more documents that might be helpful? A look at court clerk books might also help with a timeline of the probate process.
John Goss Probate #274 Portage County, Ohio
The State of Ohio, Portage County ss ))) George Loa President of ____circuit of the court of common pleas, and Ellanah Richardson Elias Harmon & George V. De Puptin his associate, judges of the same court, etc. ct. Be it know that administration of the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits which were of John Goss late of the township of Randolph in the aforesaid county at the time of his death is hereby committed unto William Coolman jun Administrator. Whose duty it shall be….to have all and singular the said goods and chattels inventories and appraise by Abel Sabin, Rufus Beling and Bila Hubbard house-holders of this county aforesaid —–accurate statement of debts due and owing the estate of the said John Goss decease….adjust and settle up the account of his administration within eighteen months from the date of this letter as the law directs. And we appoint you William Coolman Junr administrator….. Witness the honorable George Loa etc eighteenth day of September AD 1829. S. Deny Clerk.
There is a most interesting petition to sell the land of John Goss presented to the court. Mr. Wm. Coolman Jr., as we have seen above, was made the Administrator of John Goss’s estate. You can see how difficult it is to read this petition. Here is only one page of many.
Court of Common Pleas October Term 1832 page 101 to 103
William Coolman Jun’r Adms of John Goss Petition to sell Land be it Remembered that heretofore, to wit at a term of the Court of Common Pleas of the county of Portage in the State of Ohio begun and held at the courthouse in the town of Ravenna within and for said county by and before the Honorable Reuben Wood President Judge of the the third circuit of the court of Common Pleas in said State and Elkanah Richardson, Elias Harmon and George B. De Peyster his associates for said county and the on eighth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one William Coolman Jun’r administrator of all and singular goods chattels rights credits moneys and effects which were of John Goss late of Randolph in said county deceased at the time of his death who died intestate by Thomas D. Webb his attorney brought into court before our said judges thereof his petition for the sale of certain land therein described and filed the same which said Petition follows these words that is to say:
The Honorable Court of Common Pleas now in session the Petition of William Coolman for administration on the estate of John Goss deceased respectfully represent that the said John Goss died whereby insolvent that there is no personal property out of which to pay the debts that the said John Goss died seized of the following tract of namely seventy five acres of land in Lot 78 in Randolph bounded east and south/north by the lot lines west by the lands of Rich Rogers and north/south by a line far enough from the south line to make 75 acres also one acre in lot 78 afd adjoining this 75 acres in square form bounded south by the seventy five acres west by land of R. Rogers and he would further represent that the said John Goss dec’d leaving a widow Mary Goss and also the following heirs at law Minerva Rogers wife of William Rogers, Chester Goss, Bernard Goss, Hannah Stephens wife of James Stephens, John Goss Julia Ann wife of Joseph McDaniels and Alma Goss a minor now the _____that they may be made parties to this his Petition and that notice be given them and that said land be appraised and be sold for the payment of the debts of said John Goss deceased Howard D. Webb atty for Wm. Coolman Jr. and on the hearing of said petition the court appoints William King guardian ______to the said Alma Goss to defend this Petition and ordered that notice of the pending of said Petition be given to said heirs by publication in the Western Courier one week previous to the next Sept Term of this court and Bela Hubbard Rufus Belden and Abel Sabin were appointed a committee to appraise the premises described in said Petition and make report thereof at the next Term of said court to which time the Petition was ________
Afterward to wit on the seventh day of March in the same year last aforesaid our order of appraisement under the seal of our said court was issued and directed to said committee appointed aforesaid in the words following that is to say:
The State of Ohio to Bela Hubbard Rufus Belden and Abel Sabin Portage County …of said Greeting: where as it hath been represented to us by the Petition of William Coolman Jr. —–Estate of John Goss of Randolph in said County that the said John Goss died seized of the following Tract of land namely seventy five acres of land in Lot 78 in Randolph bounded east and south by the lot lines west by the land of Rich Rogers and north by the line far enough from the south line to make a square form bounded south by the 75 acres and west by land of R Rogers and being desirous a ascertain the value of the said land and confirmed in your integrity and good understanding have nominated and by these presents do authorize and require you upon oath do view and appraise the said premises and make return of your assessing before out Judges of our court of Common Pleas at the Courthouse in Ravenna on the third day of May next and this writ Witness the Honorable Reuben Wood President of our said court at Ravenna 17 day of March A.D. 1830.
And afterwards at the next Term of said court be given and held at the courthouse aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Judges aforesaid by the third day of May in the same year last aforesaid came the said Petitioner by his attorney aforesaid and the said committee returned into court before out said Judges thereof the aforesaid order of appraisement with certificates of the oaths administered to the said appraisers together with their report thereon explained which said certificates and report follow in these word that is to say:
The State of Ohio Portage County ss))) Be it remembered that on the 20th day of April A.D. 1830 personally appeared Abel Sabin within name and took and oath well and faithfully to view & appraise the within described premises according to the best of his judgement. Before me, David Goss, Justice Peace. The State of Ohio Portage County ss ))) Be it remembered that on the 23rd day of April 1830 personally appeared before me Bela Hubbard & Rufus Belding within named & severally took an oath faithfully to view and appraise the lands within described according to the best of their judgment.
Before me Abel Sabin J. P.
To the Hon. Court of Com Please of Portage County We Rufus Beldin & Bela Hubbard and Abel Sabin within named having been first dully sworn & faithfully viewed said premises within described do appraise the same at two dollars per acre, Randolph April 23, 1830
Rufus Beldin )
Bela Hubbard ) Appraisers
Abel Sabin )
And the Court having seen and inspected the aforesaid report and being satisfied four proof exhibited by said Petitioner that notice of the _____________said petition had been given a _____to the order of said Court made at the last Term there of and aforesaid accepted and approved said Report and _____that the Petitioner proceed to sell the premises described in his said petition and a further day _____given said Petitioner until the next Term of said court.
Afterwords to wit: on the fifth day of August int he same year last _____and writ of subpoena issued against the Heirs of the said John Goss dec’d mentioned in the aforesaid Petition in the words further ___________________
The State of Ohio to the Sheriff of the county of Portage Greetings We the court Portage County sss
Named you that you summon Mary Goss, Wm. Rogers, Minerva Rogers, Chester Goss, Ormand Goss, James Stevens, Hannah Stevens, John Goss, Joseph McDaniels, Julia McDaniels & Almina Goss by Wm. King her guardian act litem to appear before the judge of our court of Common Pleas at the court house in Ravenna sixth day of September next to answer a petition in chancery exhibited against them William Coolman Jr. Administrator on the estate of John Goss dec’d and this they shall in no wise omit under the penalty of one thousand dollars and have you then there this writ. Witness the Honorable Reuben Wood President Judge of our said court at the Court house this fifth day of August Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty S. Day Clerk.
And afterwards at the next Term of said Court begin and held at the Court house aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Judges aforesaid on the sixth day of September in the same year ____aforesaid came the said William Coolman Jun’r by his attorney aforesaid and James Perry Esquire the Sheriff of our said County by J. B. King his deputy brought the aforesaid writ in court with his return thereon enclosed in the words following that is to say Portage County August 17th 1830 I served this writ by reading the same in hearing of the within named witnesses except John Goss and Chester Goss who are not found – James Perry Sheriff by J.B. King Dept.
And the court having seen and inspected the aforesaid report an being satisfied from proof exhibited by said Petitioner that notice of the pendency of said Petition had been given agreeably to the order of said court made at the last Term thereof first aforesaid again accepted and approved said report and ordered that the Petitioner proceed to sell the premises described in his said Petition.
And afterwards at the next Term of said court begun and held at the court house aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Judges aforesaid the twenty eight day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one came the said Petition by his attorney aforesaid and a further day was given him until the next Term of said Court
And afterwards the next term of said court held at the court house aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Judges aforesaid on the fifteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one and come the Petition by his said attorney and a further day was given until the next term of the said Court.
Page 104 Court of Common Pleas
And afterwards at the next term of the said Court begin and held at the courthouse aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Honorable Reuben Wood President Judge of the third circuit of the Courts of Common Pleas in the State of Ohio and Elkanah Richardson and George B. De Peyster two of his associates for the county of Portage aforesaid on the twenty first day of May in the same year last aforesaid came the said Petitioner by his attorney and a further day was given until the next term of said Court.
And now at this Term of said Court begin and held at the Court house aforesaid within and for the county aforesaid by and before the Judges first aforesaid on the fifteenth day of October in the same year last aforesaid comes the said Petitioner by his attorney aforesaid and exhibit to the Court here a report of sale of the premises described in the aforesaid petition in the words following to wit:
To the Honorable Judges of the Court of Common Pleas now settling at Ravenna within and for the County of Portage and State of Ohio William Coolman Jr. Administrator on the Estate of John Goss deceased begs leave respectfully to report that pursuant to an order made at the May Term of this Court 1830 he proceeded to advertise the premises described in the notice hereto appended in the Western Courier a newspaper printed at Ravenna in said county for six successive weeks preceding the 23 day of October 1830 and that between the hours of 10 O’clock A M and 4 O’Clock PM on said last mentioned day he offered said premises for sale at public vendue at the house of Rufus Belding in Randolph being the place mentioned in said notice where William Rogers bid therefor the sum of ninety dollars, and no person appearing to bid more and that being more than one half the appraised value of the same it was then and there struck off to the said William Rogers at the price aforesaid. All of which is respectfully submitted Oct 17th 1832. William Coolman Jr. Administrator sale by virtue of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Portage County shall offer for sale at public vendue on the twenty third day of October next between the hours of 12 o’clock AM and 4 O’clock PM at the house of Rufus Belding in Randolph the following described lands belonging to the Estate of John Goss dec’d seventy five acres of land situated in lot no. 8 in Randolph Township aforesaid bounded East and south by lot line west by the land of Richard Rogers and North by a line far enough ____the south line to make 75 acres. Also one acre in lot No. 8 aforesaid adjoining the 15 acres in square four bounded south by 75 acres and west by R. Roger’s land. Term of payment made know on the day of sale a be ____able credit will be given William Coolman Jr. Administrator Ravenna Sept 15, 1830.
The State of Ohio, Ravenna Oct. 17 1830 Portage Co. ))) personally came William Coolman Jr. of lawful age late Editor and publisher of the Western Courier a paper printed at Ravenna in the county aforesaid and made oath that the notice a copy of ____________was published in said paper six weeks succession (missing a page)
This petition was long, hard to read and complicated. I hope I have presented it correctly. Let’s review. From this above petition, we see that the process of handling John Goss’s estate took some time and met with delays. It is also interesting to note that this is with the Court of Common Pleas and that makes me wonder if there is more information at the courthouse in Ravenna and not just with the Probate Court.
There are several things that this Petition tells us:
- What we see listed above are the following heirs of John Goss:
Requoted from the above petition: “John Goss dec’d leaving a widow Mary Goss and also the following heirs at law Minerva Rogers wife of William Rogers, Chester Goss, Bernard (Probably Ormand) Goss, Hannah Stephens wife of James Stephens, John Goss, Julia Ann wife of Joseph McDaniels and Alma Goss a minor…”
Further down another list of heirs when the Judge has the Sheriff summon:
“Named you that you summon Mary Goss, Wm. Rogers, Minerva Rogers, Chester Goss, Ormand Goss, James Stevens, Hannah Stevens, John Goss, Joseph McDaniels, Julia McDaniels & Almina Goss by Wm. King her guardian…”
- widow Mary Goss
- Wm. Rogers and Minerva Rogers
- Chester Goss (not found)
- Ormand Goss
- James Stevens, Hannah Stevens
- John Goss (not found)
- Joseph McDaniels, Julia McDaniels
- Almina Goss by Wm. King her guardian
2. That several of the heirs were not found like Chester Goss and John Goss.
3. That the sale of the land and other items of court process might be found in the Western Courier Newspaper printed at Ravenna. The period of 1830 is not online. Newspapers give the notices for the probate and they can be helpful if you lack other documents.
4. Guardianship of Alma/Almira under Wm. King. I tried to find online at FamilySearch but was unable to. So that means that the courthouse in Ravenna needs to be checked.
5. That David Goss, son of Ebenezer Goss was Justice of the Peace? That is interesting.
6. That William Rogers bought the land of John Goss “Randolph being the place mentioned in said notice where William Rogers bid therefor the sum of ninety dollars, and no person appearing to bid more and that being more than one half the appraised value of the same it was then and there struck off to the said William Rogers at the price aforesaid. All of which is respectfully submitted Oct 17th 1832.”
Here is a copy of the deed of Wm. Coolman Jr. Administrator of John Goss’s estate to William Rogers in 1833:
1833 Wm. Rogers Estate John Goss Vol. 15 pg. 353
The Administrator of John Goss, to William Rogers who buys John Goss’ land in 1832:
To all persons to whom these presents shall come Greeting, Know Ye that – whereas heretofore to wit at the March Term of the Court of Common Pleas of Portage County and State of Ohio in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty, William Coolman Jr. Administrator on the estate of John Goss, deceased presented to the Court by his petition filed at the said Term that said Goss died intestate leaving no personal property on which to administer and that he died seized and posses of the following tract of land to wit: seventy five acres in Lot Seventy eight in Randolph in said County bounded East and South by the Lot line West by the Land of Richard Rogers and North by a line far enough from the South line to make seventy five acres. Also one acre in said Lot seventy eight adjoining said seventy five acres in a square form bounded South by said seventy five acres West by land of Richard Rogers. And he would further represent that said Goss died leaving a widow and heirs named in said petition whom he prayed might be made defendants to the same and have notice of its pendency and that he might be authorized and empowered to sell the same for the payment of debts due and owing from said estate. All of which beg reference to said petition will appear. A___said C___at-the same aforesaid having heard said petition did appraise Rufus Belding, Bela Hubbard and Abel Sabin to make a appraisal of said land and repost the same to said Court at the next term thereof. And it appearing to the Court that a part of the defendants are not residents of the County of Portage it is ordered that notice of the pendency of said petition be given by publication in the Western Courier a publication newspaper printed in said County and of general circulation therein for nine weeks and said petition was continued under advisement. And whereas afterwards to wit: at the September Term of said Court in the year aforesaid said administrator did __________and shew the Court that he had given notice of the pendency of said petition as required by said order and the said appraisers did report that having been first duly sworn they reviewed said premises and appraised the same at two dollars per acre as by reference to their report – will fully appear which report have been inspected by the Court – was approved and the administration aforesaid was ordered to make sale of said land for the payment of debts against said estate. And whereas the said Administrator afterwards to wit: at the October Term in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two did report to said Court that pursuant the said last mentioned order he proceeded on the fifteenth day of September in the year last aforesaid to advertise that he should on the twenty third day of October then next between the hours of twelve o’clock noon and four o’clock afternoon of said day at the house of Rufus Belding in Randolph aforesaid expose said lands for sale at public vendue publishing an advertisement in the Western Courier a newspaper printed in said County and of general circulation ____for four weeks _____succeeding said ____and on said day and at the ______and place in said advertisement mentioned he exposed said lands for sale when there appeared one William Rogers who bid to pay for said lands seventy six acres the sum of ninety dollars which was more than one half of the appraised value and more than any other person bid to pay for the same (the same being unimproved lands) whereupon he openly struck of and sold said seventy six acres to the said William Rogers for the sum aforesaid which ad_____d____and sale use at the ______aforesaid by the Court aforesaid inspected examined and approved and the administrator aforesaid was decreed to make a deed to the said purchaser all of which by reference to the records of said Court will fully appear. Now therefore know Ye that I William Coolman Jr. Adminstrator on the estate of John Goss late of Randolph in said County deceased for and in consideration of ninety dollars to me in hand paid by William Rogers and by virtue of the proceedings aforesaid and in obedience to said last mentioned order have and herby do remise release and forever quit claim and confirm unto him the said William Rogers all the right title interest claim and demand which John Goss at the time of his decease had in to or ___ the said seventy six acres of land before described with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto in any manner belonging or appertaining. To have and to hold the same to him the said William Rogers his heirs and assigns in as full and ample manner as I the said William Coolman Jr. Administrator as aforesaid by virtue of the authority aforesaid can convey the same. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the eight day of November A.D. 1832. William Coolman Jr. (Seal) Administrator of John Goss
In the presence of H.A. Brewster, John J. Skinner
The State of Ohio Portage County SS Be it known that on the eighth day of November 1832 personally appeared William Coolman Jr. Administrator of the estate of John Goss deceased whom of my personal knowledge I ______to be the person before representing himself and acknowledge the signing and sealing of the above and foregoing in instrument to be his free act – Before me Lucius V Bierce J. Peace
Received Nov. 20 & Recorded Nov. 29th 1832 John J. Skinner Recorder
6. That we are missing a lot of the process documentation for John Goss’s estate. We are missing information about the inventory of personal possessions, summons for the heirs and what was going on with them, heir at law forms, and other probate court processes. This means that a check of the Probate court and Court of Common Pleas is in order to see if an estate file actually exists or survived for John Goss. It would be the actual file folder with the filings in it. There is also the court clerk books that show the process of the probate which can be very interesting and give a timeline.
At this point, I have covered a great deal of information about John Goss, son of Nathaniel Goss and Hannah Scott. It is now time to take a look at the children of John Goss and Mary “Polly” Davidson.