The Susquehannah Company established Huntington Twp. in 1775….

Philip Goss IV and his sons migrated a little further west from Plymouth Twp. and took up residence in Huntington Twp. This probably happened about 1776. Let’s take a look at how the township was laid out and a little bit about the history. I will share more in future posts.  What is happening is that the Goss family has migrated west and the Revolutionary war is about to happen and dominate the area from 1775 to about 1782.

” The township committee authorized the survey of the six-mile township on March 12, 1772. Instead of selecting the location south of Hanover as originally intended, the committee decided to locate the township “at or near Fishing Creek, so-called” on the opposite side of the River along the main to the West Branch. After appointing a committee of five to find a suitable location for the township. Obadiah Gore, Jr. surveyed the perimeter, a road through the town, and the fifty-three lots. He returned the survey for final approval in 1775 and the Company recorded it November 14, 1782 in Account Book C pages 75-77. The location was described as the east branch of Fishing Creek, now Huntington Creek. First lots were drawn in 1776. 

Huntington followed the usual layout of three divisions of fifty-three lots each. Each lot was approximately 100 acres regardless of division. In 1790 certified Huntington merged with Salem Township. The Compromise Act commissioners certified 190 claims for 90 claimants.” 

Source: Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony” 1754-1810, Susquehanna Company Proprietors, Settlers and Claimants, Volume III The Claimants, Appendix: The Seventeen Certified Townships, by Donna Bingham Munger, Heritage Books. 2007

In the map below you can see where Plymouth was situated and then you follow the river west and you see where Huntington Twp. is located.

Wyoming Valley Twps

In 1775 the township of Huntington was laid out under the auspices of The Susquehanna Company…and its location was within the bounds of what, by vote of the inhabitants of Westmoreland, was entitled “Plymouth District.” (See page 794). During 1775 and 1776 there were very few inhabitants in Huntington, but some time during the latter year the number had increased by the removal thither of Philip Goss, Sr., and his family, who settled near what is now known as Huntington Mills. The name of Philip Goss, Sr, Philip Goss, Jr., Nathaniel Goss and Solomon Goss appear in the tax-lists of Plymouth District (which included Huntington and Salem) for the years 1776, 1777 and 1778.  Nathaniel Goss, some time after settling in Huntington, built a grist-mill on a small stream which flowed into Huntington Creek.  

The first settler was John Franklin, a person of note in the affairs of the Susquehanna Company under the Connecticut claim.  He came in the spring of 1775, locating on Huntington Creek, below Huntington Mills.  Because of the out breaking of war, however, he returned to Connecticut, with his family, before the summer was spent.  In 1776, other Connecticut settlers came, Levi Seward settling in the northern part of the township, and Nathaniel Goss, the latter on a tract of three hundred and thirty-four acres in Huntington Mills.  In 1783 or 1783, Abraham Hess settled near the headwaters of Fishing Creek.  He was from New Jersey,  Other early settlers included; Stephen Kingsbury, who helped to make the original survey of the township; Reuben Culver, in 1795, one of those descendants is W.B. Culver, of Red Hill; Abel Fellows, Stephen Harrison, Samuel Franklin, Amos Franklin, all of whom settled in 1777, and are yet represented by many descendants in the township; Thomas Williams, in 1778; Solon Trescott, who was taken prisoner by the Indians and Tories, in 1778, but escaped and with Solmon Gas and Thomas and Samuel Williams returned to their Huntington homes a few days later.  The Trescott family still live in Harveyville,, Colonel Edward L. Trescott, of the second Huntington generation of that family, rising to much prominence in public and military affairs, and being a famous hunter…

Source: History of Wilkes-Barre, O. J. Harvey, Vol. I,  Vol. V. page. 120

Huntington Twp. a more modern versions

The reference to Levi Seward has the date about 1776 but according to my records the son of Enos and Sarah (Goss) Seward was not born till in Granville, MA in 1778.  Enos and Sarah did not migrated to the area till after 1790 and maybe were there by 1795.

There will be future posts on each of the children of Philip and Mary (Kendall) Goss with more information.

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Philip Goss IV and family settle in Plymouth Twp., one of the first settled areas of the Wyoming Valley…

The Susquehannah Company set up several townships in 1769 for the 200 settlers in the Wyoming Valley.  These townships were Plymouth, Hanover, Wilkes-Barre, Kingston and Pittston.

Philip Goss IV and his sons Nathaniel and Comfort appear in the list for the 200 settlers.  I have written about their involvement in a past post titled Philip Goss IV sets his eyes on the Wyoming Valley published Nov. 26, 2017.

Please be advised that each history book, of the area, has their own version of the number of settlers.  I am using Mr. Harvey’s History of Wilkes-Barre.

Wyoming Valley in the early years when the Susquehannah Company was operating

We know that William Walsworth, a proprietor in the Susquehannah Company, gave Philip Goss IV one right in the Company in April of 1770 for land in the Wyoming Valley.  On 11 June 1771, Philip Goss sold Lot #56 in Becket, in the Berkshires, to a Benjamin Chamberlin of Colchester. He also received a letter of dismissal from the Becket Church in this same year.  So Philip was closing up business in the Berkshires and also establishing himself by becoming involved with the business of the settlers and the Susquehannah Company by collecting taxes, helping to build roads and he and sons were trying to get a government established in the area.

Philip, Solomon and Nath sign petition for a county

In June of 1770 there was a list of 283 names of which Philip and Nathaniel Goss were included.

 Among the original early Wyoming documents now in the possession of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society is “A List of the Proprietors of the Five Townships, 17th June, 1770.” This list of 283 names, which was prepared at Wilkes-Barre on or about the date indicated, is presumed to comprise the names of all the proprietors of The Susquehanna Company then on the ground here. The following is a copy of the same, and it is now printed for the first time. (In the original the word “Comtee” is affixed to the names of those who composed the “Committee of Settlers,” mentioned on pg. 652.) (Vol. II, pgs. 658 and 659)

Goss, Philip
Gore, Silas
Goss, Nathaniel (no Seward or Scott)

According to Mr. Harvey there is another document in 1771 that is a list of the names of 65 adventurers and Philip Goss was included.

From an original unpublished document entitled “List of Settlers, 1771– from 15 July to August 19th,” partly in the handwriting of Maj. Ezekiel Peirce, and party in that of Captain Butler and now preserved (Wyom H&G) we learn the names of the Yankee adventurers and their associates who arrived here on July 8th. They numbered sixty-five, and were as follows: Goss, Philip. (Volume II, page 694)

Nathaniel Goss was at Fort Durkee, Wilkes-Barre, in May, 1770 (see page 649), and in the list of Susquehanna proprietors made up in June 1770 (see page 658), the names of Philip and Nathaniel appear. Philip Goss was a member of the party commanded by Capt. Zebulon Butler which came to Wilkes-Barre in July, 1771, to besiege the Pennamites in Fort Wyoming. Nathaniel Goss joined the party a few weeks later. (See pages 694 and 702.) Prior to March, 1772, Philip Goss had become a proprietor in the township of Plymouth, and was a member of the “Settlers Committee” for that township. In March or April, 1772, he was sent express to Connecticut on business for the settlers—as is shown by an original paper now in the possession of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society.* From 1772 till 1776 Philip Goss, Sr., and his family resided in the township of Plymouth. (Page 999 Vol. II.)

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.  These volumes are online at Internet Archive for viewing and downloading.

After 1772 things settled down in the Wyoming Valley and the Pennamites withdrew.  The land squabbles were not solved; however, and things would erupt again between the Connecticut Settlers and the Pennsylvanians over the land in the area. Because the conflict is so complicated, I suggest that you seek out articles about the Yankee-Pennamite wars online like at say, Wikipedia or in the history books I cite.

This fighting over the land meant that the settlers had to go back and forth from the Wyoming Valley when things got tough and difficult and then return to their former homes wherever that might be, such as Connecticut or even New York.

The Susquehannah Company voted at meetings on many occasions to demand the proprietors honor their shares and protect their lands.  The company was determined to settle the area and needed the settlers to be “on the ground,” actually be there farming their land.

In 1773, Col. Zebulon Butler made a list of those in the Plymouth District:

By an enrollment of the resident inhabitants of the valley, made in 1773, in the handwriting of Col. Zebulon Butler, the following persons are known to have been settlers in Plymouth: Noah Allen, Peter Ayres, Capt. Prince Alden, John Baker, Isaac Bennett, Daniel Brown, Naniad Coleman, Aaron Dean, Stephen Fuller, Joseph Gaylord, Nathaniel Goss, Comfort Goss, Timothy Hopkins, William Leonard, Jesse Leonard, Samuel Marvin, Nicholas Manville, Joseph Morse, James Nesbitt, Abel Pierce, Timothy Pierce, Jabez Roberts, Samuel Sweet, John Shaw, David Whittlesey and Nathaniel Watson.

Source: History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Selections, H.C. Bradsby, Editor, S.B. Nelson & Co. 1893, pg 634 to 641 and page 635. Available at Internet archive for viewing and downloading. Mr. Bradsby has a list of the first 200 or more settlers.  I will refer to his book in later posts.

Plymouth Township – This is one of the original five townships formed by the Susquehannah Company….”By an enrollment of the resident inhabitants of the valley, made in 1773, in the handwriting of Col. Zebulon Butler, the following persons are known to have been settlers in Plymouth: …Nathaniel Goss, Comfort Goss. 

Source: History of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, PA. with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of their Prominent Men and Pioneers, W.W. Munsell & Co., 1880, page 348.  This is at Internet Archive for viewing and downloading.

On the day before Christmas 24 December 1773, the settlers sent, one of many, Petitions to the General Assembly in Hartford in the Colony of Connecticut about their distressed circumstances and asked that a county be erected. This is called the (194) Petition of the Inhabitants of Kingston. It was signed by many of the settlers including Philip, Nathaniel and Solomon Goss. Source: Vol. V Susquehannah Papers, 1772-1774, Edited by Robert J. Taylor, pg. 215.

Finally in January of 1774 the Connecticut Assembly granted local government and created the Town of Westmoreland. It was attached to Litchfield Co., Connecticut and it encompassed all of the Delaware Co. lands.  The town boundary extended only 15 miles from Wilkesbarre.  It did not include the West Branch Twps. By 1775 the township was made into a probate district using the name Westmoreland. The militia of the township was formed into the 24th regiment of the Connecticut militia. In 1776 it was enacted that the town of Westmoreland, lying on the west side of the river Delaware in this State, should be a distinct county.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westmoreland_County,_Connecticut

If you do any research in the area, you will learn that the documents are under Westmoreland Twp./Co. and connected to Litchfield Co. in Connecticut.  A lot of information is at the Connecticut State Library and the Connecticut Historical Society.

*The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society is now the Luzerne County Historical Society in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Posted in Comfort Goss, Litchefield County, Nathaniel Goss, Philip Goss IV & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Plymouth, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Westmoreland Twp and later County, Wyoming Valley | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Enter the Susquehannah Company….1753

Philip Goss IV and his wife Mary (Kendall) Goss had migrated from Brookfield to Simsbury (North Granby) in the late 1740’s, then to Granville and onto Becket living in Becket from about 1758 to 1768. From there they migrated to Plymouth Twp. as laid out by the Susquehannah Company.

Philip Goss IV learned about the Susquehannah Company and decided that the land along the Susquehannah River sounded good. He had been farming in mountainous country which was no easy task. Maybe he would find a better life there for his family. You cannot understand our family history in Pennsylvania without knowing something about this land company for it dominated the area from 1753 to 1803.

The land in Pennsylvania was called the Wyoming Valley and the Susquehannah River flows through this area.  Several of the Colonies claimed land in the area. The maps below may be of help is seeing the claims to land by the various original states or 13 colonies.

Lands Claims by the States

Pennsylvania when Connecticut and Pennsylvania claims it

Connecticut in the early 1700’s took advantage of these land claims and tried to make good on the sea-to-sea boundaries granted in the Charter of 1662. https://connecticuthistory.org/the-charter-of-1662/

Private individuals in Connecticut, organized the Susquehannah Company, and persuaded the government to support efforts to settle the northern third of the land constituting the colony of Pennsylvania. The Susquehannah Company was founded on 18 July 1753 in Windham, Connecticut and within 3 months – approximately 250 Citizens pledged $2 Spanish Milled Dollars for land at the Susquehannah Companies 1st Meeting.*

Suquehannah Company Papers Vol. III title page 1768 to 1769

The history of the Susquehannah Company is very carefully recorded in the eleven volumes compiled by Julian P. Boyd and Robert J. Taylor, titled The Susquehannah Company Papers (Wilkes-Barre and Ithaca, 1936-1971).**

  1. Vol. 1 1750-1755
  2. Vol. 2 1756-1767
  3. Vol. 3 1768-1769
  4. Vol. 4 1770-1772
  5. Vol. 5 1772-1774
  6. Vol. 6 1774-1775
  7. Vol. 7 1776-1784
  8. Vol. 8 1784-1786
  9. Vol. 9 1787-1788
  10. Vol. 10 1789-1800
  11. Vol. 11 1801-1808  The last two might be published together.

Here is a map from the Lackawanna County  PA website that might also give a little more information about the area along the Susquehannah River that was involved in the lands of the Susquehannah Company and Delaware Company in the Wyoming Valley.  Just click the picture and it will open in a larger window.

Wyoming Valley in the early years when the Susquehannah Company was operating

You can find the above map at this link:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~palackaw/history/index.html

** The Susquehannah Company book volumes can be found in the following locations and more. Remember there are 11 (eleven) volumes total.

  1. Hathi Trust online has volumes Vol. 1 through Vol. 8 at their website: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009538663
  2. The Family History Library has a complete set of the 11 volumes at their library  but you would have to view it at their library in Salt Lake City:   https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/272157?availability=Family%20History%20Library
  3. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Library has a complete set of all 11 volumes in their library in Washington D.C.
  4. The Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford has a set and they indicate that volumes 10 and 11 were combined. https://chs.org/research/research-tools/
  5. Any large library that has a genealogical collection may have copies. I found them at the University of Washington library, so include University Libraries as well. I suggest you use Worldcat to search for libraries that would have copies.

Here is a list of articles that could be of help in educating you about the Susquehannah Company and its history in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. This is not all that is available for this subject is vast one.

The first two are articles in the New England Genealogical Register and they are available  at American Ancestors website with a subscription:   https://www.americanancestors.org/index.aspx

  1. New England  Moves West, Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony,” by Donna Bingham Munger, Holiday 2007 New England Ancestors, pg. 21 – 25.
  2. Following Connecticut Ancestors to Pennsylvania: Susquehanna Company Settlers, by Donna Bingham Munger, page 112, Vol. CXXXIX, April 1985, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.
  3. Six Steps to Susquehanna Company Settlers, by Donna Bingham Munger, Vol. XXXVII, 1991, No.2, The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, pg. 125 to 134.
  4. The Susquehannah Company: Connecticut’s Experiment in Expansion, by Julian Parks Boyd, No. 34, pg. The Tercentenary Commission by Yale University, 1935. At Family History Library FHL#974.6 H2, not online but in their catalog. The Connecticut Historical Society also has a copy in their library in Hartford, CT.
  5. Connecticut’s Critical Period: The Response to the Susquehannah Affair, 1769-1774, Richard Thomas Warfle. Warfle condensed his dissertation for publication as Bicentennial pamphlet XXXII (1979), probably the most convenient, lively, and authoritative account.
  6. Connecticut’s Western Colony, The Susquehannah Affair,  by Richard T. Warfle, Hartford, Co. American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1979.

The story of the Wyoming Valley in Northeastern Pennsylvania is not an easy story and it is very complicated.  I will do my best to show you what happened and what life was like for Philip Goss IV and his family. In the last post, I identified several sections of the above books in which Philip Goss and his sons appeared. Using those references and this post should help you get a better understanding of the compilation of the Susquehannah Companies proceedings.

Note: You might see it spelled Susquehannah. Eventually the “h” at the end would be dropped and it would be written “Susquehanna.”

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