John Goss and Mary “Polly” Davidson’s children: John Goss and his two wives Louisa Parker and Elizabeth McHenry

John Goss and Mary “Polly” Davidson had a son named John Goss.  He might have been named John Jode Goss.  I have yet to figure out if the “Jode” is really his middle name. He never uses an initial in the census. It is confusing because some researchers use John Jode and others do not.

This John was born about 1800-1805.  I am placing him after his brothers Chester 1800 and Ormond 1802 maybe 1803, but this is subject to revision because I have not been able to get a fix on John’s birth year.  It also depends on whether his sibling’s births are accurate?  Another researcher places his birth in 1805.

There are two possibilities regarding the location of his birth.  He was either born in  Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania or if he was born after 1805 he would be born in Portage Co., Ohio.  His parents migrated there and are said to have been there in Portage about 23 October of 1805 per the Pioneer History of Randolph Twp.

Let’s take a quick look at what census, we can find for John, says:

  • 1850 US Census John Gass Ste. Genevieve MO. age 46, means he was born about 1804 and location of birth is Ohio
  • 1860 US Census John  Goss Ste. Genevieve, MO age 61, means he was born about 1799 and the location of birth is Ohio. Note:  Now technically it is 10 years later so he should be 56 years old.  There is a big change in age between the two census.
  • I cannot find him in the 1870 census. I did scroll through Ste. Genevieve Twp. but had no luck.
  • 1880 US Census John Goss is living in Henry, Ottawa, Kansas age 80, which means he is born about 1800, again the location is Ohio.

Based on the above, the ages and years are a little mixed up. At least John Goss is consistent about being born in Ohio.  That could mean something.

John Goss died 2 Dec 1882 in Missouri per this reference in the Ste. Genevieve Herald for Saturday, December 9, 1882:

DIED: Saturday, Dec. 2nd, at 4 o’clock A.M. John Goss, of Ottawa, Kansas, aged 84 years. The deceased had been living in Kansas for the last five years but, feeling that his end was near, came to Ste. Genevieve to die among his relations. 

Unfortunately, no burial information is found for John Goss, which would really help out in the research on this man.

John was listed as missing by the court on petitions for the estate of John Goss his father in 1829 through 1830 in Portage Co., Ohio. See the post about the Estate and Legacy of John Goss the father. I therefore feel that he was already in Michigan prior to his father’s death along with his brother Chester.

FIRST MARRIAGE and John’s migrations

“Apparently John went to Michigan shortly after his father died in 1829. The marriage license/certificate indicates that he and Louisa Parker applied for a marriage license on April 29, 1832, and were married in July of that same year by a justice of the peace and that his brother Chester Goss married a Linda Sisson the same day but by a different official.”

Source: Report of the Ancestors and Descendants Benjamin Goss and Henry Goss, sons of John Goss and Louisa Parker, by Ken Goss circa 2008. 

John Goss married first to Louisa Parker, as stated above, on or about the 29th of April 1832 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan. I have had no luck in finding more about them in Michigan, but then there isn’t much online in sources for that area of Michigan.

Marriage record Louisa to John.

Louisa may have been born about 1808 in Louisiana but this is not verified. Louisa’s father might be a George Frederick Parker or just Frederick Parker. He may have been a General Frederick Parker who served in the Revolutionary war although I don’t find anything in a quick Google search that fits this name. Some trees have a Frederick Parker 1740 to 1800 listed.  In many cases the name Eliza is used for Louisa but the above marriage record tells me she is Louisa.

There is a very interesting Bristol, England, Select Church of England Parish Registers 1720 to 1933 that gives a Frederick Parker with a spouse named Eliza Parker and a child named Louisa Parker at  Louisa gives her birth in Louisiana per the 1880 U.S. census and that census also has the parents born in Louisiana.  There is so very little about Louisa Parker it is difficult to research her.

Something happened to the marriage of John and Louisa and they went their separate ways,  Louisa disappears and reappears in the 1880 US Census living with Benjamin, the son and his family, in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.

Louisa is living with Benjamin Goss in the 1880 US Census  and she is listed as 72 years old, mother, keeping house, born LA, parents born LA. They are in 047, 8th Ward, St. Landry, Louisiana.

SECOND MARRIAGE of John to Elizabeth: 

John Goss remarried to an Elizabeth McHenry on 29 November 1846 in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri. (Source: Missouri, Compiled Marriages 1754-1850). Or Book A, page 41 Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri January 1, 1847. 

It is believed that Elizabeth was married before to a William McHenry born about 1820 in Franklin Co., Alabama and died about 18 November 1845 in Missouri. From that marriage she had two sons.  They appear in various census so be careful and don’t mix them up with the children with John Goss.

William Chester McHenry born 29 April 1840 in Franklin, Alabama, died about 1911 in Oakdale, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. He is buried in the Oakdale Cemetery. He married Marguerite Welch born 26 November 1848 in Thomas Co., Georgia,  on 17 November 1869 in St. Landry, Louisiana. Marguerite died August 1887 and is also buried in Oakdale Cemetery.  This couple might have had about six children: William Morgan 1870-1942, Missouri Elizabeth 1873-1942, John Quincy 1874-1939, Julia Josephine 1876-1957, Lulu Jane 1881 to 1951, Chester George 1884-1926, and Wiley Benjamin 1886-1969.

George McHenry was born 24 December 1844 in Muscle Shoals, Franklin Co., Alabama and died 11 September 1821 in Eunice, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. He is buried in the Saint Louis Cemetery there in Eunice. He married Anna Glasby on 28 July 1869 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born about 1849 and died 20 November 1908 in St. Louis, Missouri.

There are some who believe Elizabeth’s maiden name might be”Viney.” Elizabeth was born August 1820 in Alabama and may have died 5 October 1876 in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.  This, of course, needs to be further verified, her first marriage, maiden name and more.


“Our John Goss arrived in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. between 1835 and 1850. He obviously had his two boys Benjamin and Henry with him when he arrived. His two daughters Louisa and Mary do not appear in the 1850 or 1860 Ste. Genevieve, Mo. census.”

Source: Report of the Ancestors and Descendants Benjamin Goss and Henry Goss, sons of John Goss and Louisa Parker, by Ken Goss circa 2008. 

We find a John Goss age 46 with a birth year of about 1804 in Ohio living in Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri in the 1850 US Census. John is in house 255 and family 268. His occupation is listed but I cannot read it at all. Real estate is listed as $200 born in Ohio. Below him is an Elizabeth (index reads Elsworth) Goss age 31 listed as Female born Tennessee.  Next is Henry age 16 born Missouri. Benjamin is 14 born Ohio. William age 10 born Alabama. George age 5 born Alabama. Susan age 2 born Missouri. John age 9/12 Missouri. A Richard Gusler age 21, laborer, born in Germany. Augustus Bacle age 22 Laborer born Germany. George Hunt  age 36 laborer born in Germany. Henry Putham age 40 laborer, born in Germany.

In the 1860 US Federal Census John Goss age 61 born about 1799 in Ohio is still in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri as a farmer. He is in house 508 and family #513. $2000 Real Estate and $1200 personal, born in Ohio. Elizabeth is 47 born in Alabama, Sophia is 8 born in Missouri, Josephine is 6 born in Missouri, Job is 4 born in Missouri, Chester is 2, born in Missouri, Elizabeth is 4/12 born in Missouri. William McHenry is 21 Farm laborer born in Alabama.  2nd page Enos Reaney age 21 Farm Laborer born in Missouri.

There is an 1863 US IRS Tax Assessment List for a John Goss in Missouri his total tax is $2000. There is another for 1864. I am not sure this is our John but it looks interesting.

There is a a US Civil War Draft Registration for 1863-1865 listing a John Goss Missouri 2nd Cong District Class 1. John would be about 59/60 years old when the Civil War broke out, I am not sure he did any service, of course, a search of the Civil War pensions and records is a good idea.

I cannot find him in 1870 in Ste. Genevieve Twp., even after scrolling page by page through the census and nothing appears in Louisiana for a John Goss.

The family moved to Lousiana after the sale of the property in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.  John Goss gave his permission for his daughter Ruth Sophia to marry in Louisiana in 1871.  Submitted to the LA Genweb Archives by Richard Arnaud, Nov. 1997.

#6295 James Arnaud to Miss Ruth Goss 9 Jan 1871 on 12 January 1871 Holy Bonds. Signed by F.S. Brown and H.H. McManus, and M. Savoie, JP State of Louisiana, Marriage Records.  

I am a little puzzled as to why John would give his consent when his daughter Ruth was born in 1852 and she would be 19 years old in 1871. This will need to be verified.

In the 1880 US Federal Census there is  a John Goss age 80, born about 1800 in Ohio, living in Henry, Ottawa, Kansas. He is listed as a widower and a farmer. Chester, age 22, his son, is with him as a farmer, single, born Missouri.  John Best age 54 is listed as visitor, farmer widowed born Canada.

“John Goss and Elizabeth McHenry sold their home – sw corner of Main and Gabouri Streets in St. Genevieve to Eli and Jane Bogy- Listed in The Story of Old St. Genevieve, pg. 142 as the Judge Bogy  House.

John owned couple of steamboats, a guarry near St. Genevieve and furnished the marble flooring of the New Orleans Custom House.”

Source: Report of the Ancestors and Descendants Benjamin Goss and Henry Goss, sons of John Goss and Louisa Parker, by Ken Goss circa 2008.  All the above needs to be verified.

Unfortunately, I do not know where John Goss is buried probably somewhere in Ste. Genevieve. His son Henry is buried in Valle Springs Cemetery. We do know from the newspaper notice that he came back to Missouri.

Where Louisa Goss is buried is probably in St. Landry, Louisiana. Elizabeth is said to have died in 5 October 1876 in St. Landry but her burial location is not known.

The Ste. Genevieve Probate records to not reveal an estate for John Goss. The deed records for St. Genevieve reveal in the index deeds for a John Goss and Wife. We will take a look at John Goss’s land in Missouri in the next post.

Comments:  John Goss or John Jode Goss, Louisa Parker and Elizabeth McHenry have been very difficult to research and it has been frustrating.  There have been a lot of stories about him and statements made that have not really been backed up with documentation.  He would be difficult because he was in Michigan, probably Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana perhaps, and Kansas and that is a lot of ground to cover even for me.  The only way to do this properly is to go to these areas he was living in and see what one can find.

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 Alabama, Henry in Ottawa County, Huntington Twp., John Goss and Mary "Polly" Davidson, John Goss his two wives Louisa Parker & Elizabeth McHenry, Kansas, Louisiana, Luzerne County, McHenry surname, Michigan, Missouri, Parker surname, Portage County, Randolph, St. Landry Parish, Ste. Genevieve Co., Washtenaw County and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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