Paul Henry Goss, A Tribute!

Paul Henry Goss

or the Rev. Paul H. Goss

1890 to 1963

I believe in honesty and open-mindedness in genealogy.  I believe in going back of published facts to original sources, and I believe in giving references to back up interpretations….Paul Henry Goss, May 18, 1950″

Paul dedicated a copy of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine to the San Diego Genealogical Society where he wrote the above comment on one of the pages of the article. He published this article which was featured on page 93-96 of the magazine. The title was: “A Refutation of Certain Alleged Facts on the Goss Family.” Compiled by Rev. Paul H. Goss, Mrs. Flora M. Osborn Contributing.  The issue of the magazine was dated April 1950.  Copies of this magazine can be found in major libraries.  The Seattle Public Library has quite a large run on their ninth floor. You can also contact the Detroit Public Library, Burton Collection and get a copy.

In April of 1950, Paul was trying very hard to prove his Goss lineage but was being met with resistance from an established Mayflower member.

I stumbled upon Paul’s manuscript in the Goss and Philip Goss Family files at the DAR Library in the year 2000.  I was pretty new to  genealogy and didn’t find the Mayflower reference till weeks later after I had returned home and was reviewing my finds.  When I did find it, I gave a hollered and did my genealogy happy dance. I have been hooked on anything Paul has written ever since.

My father and my Aunt Miriam told me there were Mayflower connections in the family but they didn’t know the link. Well, it is a bit more complicated than just Goss to Mayflower and DAR.  For me there are other links through the Spracklin-Keller-Delano lineage to Mayflower and DAR. I have published posts on this blog about that lineage.

Paul was born in Nelson Twp., Portage County, Ohio on 3 January, 1890 to David Ephraim Goss and Virginia Fowler. David and Virginia married on 15 June, 1889 at the Fowler Farm in Nelson Twp. in Portage Co., Ohio.  They had three children. Paul was the oldest.

Paul grew up hearing the stories from his family about the Mayflower connection. Paul’s lineage is through Ebenezer Goss, younger brother to my Solomon Goss.

Paul’s mother Virginia Fowler died on 20 June, 1907 in Garrettsville, Portage County, Ohio.  She is buried in the Park Cemetery in Garrettsville.

Paul’s father, David, remarried on 28 March, 1909 in New York to a Hilda Sophia (Nilsdotter) Nelson.  David and Hilda had one son together.  Hilda had been married before and brought children to the marriage.

Unfortunately, tragedy would strike again and David Ephraim Goss died the 13th of November, 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was killed in an auto accident returning from a visit to his sister Etta.  He is buried in the Park Cemetery in Garrettsville, Portage County, Ohio as well.

The family made the move to California some time around 1916.  In 1916 Paul graduated from the Berkeley High School in California. I have long wanted a photo of Paul and much to my delight I found one in the 1916 Berkeley High School Yearbook on Internet Archives. Source: Olla Podrila, 1916 Yearbook, Published by the students of Berkeley High School. 

Paul H Goss, Nelson O. 1916 Berkeley High School

Paul H Goss, Nelson O. 1916 Berkeley High School

A little closer

A little closer to Paul H. Goss

Paul must have headed back home to Ohio for he married Gail Bloom on the 15th of June, 1921 in Portage Co., Ohio.  They would have a family of four children.

Portage Co. Historical Society Scrapbooks - Goss

Portage Co. Historical Society Scrapbooks – Goss

Paul entered the San Francisco Theological Seminary and became a minister and that is why he uses the “Reverend” with his name. I contacted the seminary and they were very helpful, confirming that he did graduate in 1922.

I cannot tell if the young man pictured above is in the group photo featured below. It is six years later and people do change, but at the very least you can see Paul’s classmates. Unfortunately, the students are not named in the photograph.  If you recognize anyone please let us know.

Commencement Program: The Trustees and Faculty and the Class of 1922 of San Francisco Theological Seminary invite you to be present at the ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES to be held in ASSEMBLY HALL, San Anselmo, California, Thursday, April the Twenty-seventh, two o’clock, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty-two. 

Paul appears as the fifth student from the top in this list: Paul Henry Goss, University of California, Berkeley, Cal.

I am told that Paul entered the seminary in 1917 and then returned to complete his studies and graduated in 1922.

1922 Class photo permission of the San Francisco Seminary

1922 Class photo permission of the San Francisco Seminary

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Seminary at and

Here is a little excerpt from a letter Paul wrote.  It is an update of his life in Stockton, California.  I date the letter about 1923.

The month of MAY saw my installation. I followed this with vigorous pastoral visitation plus powerful sermons, the kind I used to write out and read before the class…JUNE: I had the responsibility of two schools and the principalship in the East one…Registration of over 150 in each school.  JULY saw us off for Synod at Pasadena. Mrs. Goss and I went with one our elders in and Oakland car. We travelled all night and the following day by the Inland Valley and Ridge Route. We located rooms in the Casa Loma Apts and we are in love with the place…Gosses have a new 490 Chevrolet. This was bot August 1st. Never mind if it isn’t all paid for yet. It is a part of a minister’s equipment these days if his work is to be well done. He mentions he visited Seminary… There is lots of work to do. Self-denial month in the Church; Sunday School Rally month, cottage prayer meetings, an evangelist for two weeks.  A Building campaign in November and a School of Stewardship.”

Paul and Gail moved to Stockton, California and he was a minister there from 1921 to 1926.  Here is an excerpt from a letter written after the birth of his son Paul Goss Jr.  Paul writes to a “Dear Jack.”

“Yes, our boy Paul Henry Jr. has been such a blessing in our home. Such a dear little fellow, and yet every father and mother feels that way….We have had the best medical skill on our boy…we have known over a year that we might have to bow our heads…Gail has made a great mother and has given hours and hours to his care…We are anticipating a try out of warmer climate…Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego have been suggested and that they might locate in San Diego.”

He goes on to share his frustration with church finances and church faith and he has been their nearly 4 and half years and thinks it is time to move on. He then writes about an International CE Conference in Portland, Oregon and that he really enjoyed it.

Sadly, on the 24th of February, 1926 in Stockton, Paul and Gail’s first-born son Paul Jr. died. Paul wrote to the President of the seminary in a letter dated March 26, 1926 from San Diego. He thanks him for his kindness and words of faith and for writing his fellow classmates and mentions their sadness at the loss of Paul Goss Jr.  He further comments that the messages from his classmates have been a source of uplift and inspiration…signed One of your boys, Paul H. Goss. The letters I share above and the photo were given to me by the Seminary.

Once again Paul and Gail moved on and finally settled in Chula Vista, California. Paul went to work as a U.S. immigration officer and continued in that profession till his retirement.

Paul Goss and Gail Bloom had several children.

1) Paul Henry Goss, Jr. 1924 to 1926 Stockton, California.

2) David Dameron Goss born 1928 and died 2007.

3) James Flower Goss born 1930 and died 2010.

4) Mary Virginia born 1934 in Calexico, California.

Sometime about 1937 or maybe earlier, Paul dived into genealogy. He didn’t know that much about his heritage and had to recreate it all starting with his father and mother and working his way up to Ebenezer Goss and Bede Blakeslee.  He also wrote the Fowler Genealogy and traced his mother’s lineage. A copy is at the Family Search website.

Paul Henry Goss’ lineage is as follows:

Parents:  David Ephraim Goss and Virginia Fowler

Grandparents:  Lucius Beder Goss and Lovincy S. Sumner

Great Grandparents:  David Goss and Hannah Ryder

2nd Great Grandparents:  Ebenezer Goss and Bede Blakleslee

3rd Great Grandparents Phillip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss*

4th Great Grandparents Phillip Goss and Keziah Cooley

5th Great Grandparents Capt. Philip Goss and Judith Hayward

6th Great Grandparents Anna White and John Hayward

7th Great Grandparents Resolved White and Judith Vassall

8th William White and Susanna (last name not known) – The Mayflower Passengers

*Paul and the writer’s common ancestor

Paul wrote many manuscripts, articles, affidavits and different drafts on the Goss history from about 1937 to 1960. Some were published in genealogical magazines.  He wrote letters to many family members and archives asking for help and these people assisted him in his quest. Some of these letters have survived.

Paul wrote about his travels in his manuscripts but he was vague about the dates, whom he visited and what he learned on those trips. I found two articles in the newspaper that shed some light on his travels.  This was not the only reunion there was one in 1941 which Paul writes about to his cousin Ruby Gearhart in 1941. This might have been the first one. The one below took place in 1946.

Family Reunions – Seward-Goss — Goss and Seward families will hold their second reunion on the Patterson Grove Campground on July 14. There will be a basket picnic dinner in the boarding house at noon with the program starting at 2. Philip and Mary Kendall Goss, natives of Massachusetts, ancestors of the families moved to Connecticut and then to Wyoming Valley in 1769 and finally to Huntington Valley in 1778. Philip and Mary Goss had six sons: Philip V., Nathaniel, Solomon, Comfort, David and Ebenezer and a daughter Sarah, wife of Deacon Enos Seward of Brookfield, Mass. Deacon Enos and Sarah Seward settled near the present site of Patterson Grove where the hamlet known as Sewardsville grew. Philip and Nathaniel made their homes in Huntington Valley. Early in the 19th century Solomon and Ebenezer Goss settled in Ohio and David bought a farm in Orange County, N.Y.  The Wilkes-Barre Records, 15 Jun 1946, Sat, Page 18.

Here is a wonderful account of Paul and Gail’s trip to the above family reunion in 1946:

Paul H. Goss Family Home From Trip — Mr. and Mrs. Paul H. Goss and daughter Mary Virginia of 163 Cypress street, returned Tuesday morning from an extended eastern trip. Enroute they visited Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, Rocky Mountain and Estes Park. They viewed the highest highway point in the United States in Rocky Mountain Park, elevation 12, 183 feet. In Chicago they spent several days with their son David and visited many points of interest with him. The climax of the trip was the celebration of their silver wedding anniversary on June 15 at Garrettsville, Ohio, where they were married by President Miner Lee Bates, D.D., of Hiram college. For the occasion Mr. and Mrs. Wm. F. Bloom, Sr., parents of Mrs. Goss entertained in their honor a delicious chicken dinner, 50 relatives and friends, most of whom were present at the wedding 25 years ago. Their son James was not able to make the trip and be present for the event, due to his attending Boys’ State at Sacramento at the time, but their son David made the trip from Chicago for the occasion. Beautiful sterling was presented to them by the guests.  A boyhood chum of Mr. Goss also entertained about 60 friends at a dinner to honor the pair, it being the 50th anniversary of their old district school class, at which their teacher Mr. T.E. Shank, living in his eighties attended. Later at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, relatives gathered at a Goss-Seward family reunion to greet them and extend their good wishes. On their return trip they made a tour of the Indian Mounds of Southern Ohio, visited the birthplace of U.S. Grant and Wm. J. Bryan, and stopped at the Lake of the Ozarks. Inspector Goss will return to his duties at the Port of San Ysidro, Friday morning. Source: The Chula Vista Star, 26 Jul, 1946, Fri. pg 2.

Paul H. Goss contributed to genealogy through helping to found the San Diego Genealogical Society. He almost became its President but turned down the position before taking on the responsibilities. I suspect it was because he became regent of the San Diego Colony (Mayflower) at that time, based on research I have done.

Here is a summary of his involvement in the San Diego Genealogical Society:

  1.  Organization of the San Diego Genealogical Society, 10 October, 1946 – Mr. Goss is mentioned as being involved and present at the first meeting. From the minutes of the San Diego Genealogical Society. 
  2. Paul Goss – Member of the San Diego Genealogical Society as listed in the minutes of the society in 1948. 
  3. Mr. Goss gave an interesting and enlightening talk on Ship Lists with many references for research, some books not in the San Diego Gen. Library could be found in the Los Angeles Library. His paper contained data worthy of our files in the Library and was presented to the Librarian for that purposes – San Diego Gen. Soc. minutes 21 October, 1948. 
  4. Mr. Goss was on the Auditing Committee and motioned to have a bill paid for books, 18 November, 1948.
  5. Evening Tribune, At the monthly meeting of the San Diego Gen. Society – Paul H. Goss to speak 18 April 1951. 
  6. Paul H. Goss elected to 2nd VP for the San Diego Gen. Soc. minutes – October 1951. Again on 17 January 1952, he was installed as 2nd VP of the society per the minutes. 
  7. Paul H. Goss was elected to 1st VP of the San Diego Gen Soc. 18 December 1952 per the minutes. He continued in this position into 1953 and into 1954. 
  8. Paul H. Goss 1st VP will run the meeting in the absence of the President 6 March, 1953 minutes of the San Diego Gen Soc.
  9. Paul H. Goss expert researcher on family history in Pennsylvania will speak before the San Diego Gen Soc. tomorrow at 7:30 pm in the Gem Society auditorium of the Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego Evening Tribune, 25 March 1953.  Apparently this was on immigration and copies were made and to be distributed. He spoke of the three major waves of immigration into the State of Pennsylvania (1) William Penn, 2) The Grant to Calvert under Lord Baltimore 3) The Connecticut Susquehanna grant. He also talked about “Genealogy begins at home” and that there are six steps: 1) older living relatives, 2) old bibles, 3) churches, 4) cemeteries and gravestones, 5) courthouse records 6) census reports. 
  10. Paul H. Goss worked on the societies yearbook and gave a report which appeared in the minutes 5 February, 1954. 
  11. Paul H. Goss was elected as President of the Society Dec. 1954 but he withdrew as stated in the minutes for 27 Jan., 1955, no explanation was given. 
    Note: This is not all Paul did but I think it is enough. He also liked to serve the refreshments like the cookies and coffee at the society meetings.

In Mayflower he served as an officer and eventually became regent for the San Diego California Mayflower Colony as they call them in that state.

  1. July 1951 – New Member Paul H. Goss #1796 #15777. Paul became a member of the Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Bulletin #291 at the Annual meeting.  
  2. In July 1955 he was listed as Assistant for the State of California Bulletin No. 307 and Chaplain for the San Diego Colony.
  3. July 1957 Paul H. Goss was listed as the Vice President of the San Diego Colony per Bulletin #315. 
  4.  May 1958 Paul H. Goss sponsors junior member Kimberly Ann Goss per bulletin No. 318.
  5.  August 1958 Paul H. Goss is listed as Regent of the San Diego Colony per bulletin No. 319. He is still Regent in Aug. 1959 per bulletin No. 323.
  6. Aug. 1960 – Paul H. Goss is listed as Elder for the State Society in bulletin #327.  In Aug 1962 bulletin #335 he is still Elder and also Chaplain for the San Diego Colony.  Also listed are new members Kimberly Ann Goss, David Cameron Goss and James Fowler Goss. 
  7. May 1963 – Rev. Paul H. Goss State Elder – The California Society received the sad news of the death on March 11, 1963.  Rev. Goss was our Elder since 1960 and before that served on the board as an assistant for several years. Rev. Goss was a life member of the Massachusetts Society and a regular member of our society. He was a devoted worker and will be greatly missed by both the State Society and the San Diego Colony. The William Brewster Genealogy has been given to the new library at the Mayflower House in Plymouth as a memorial to Rev. Goss. Under – In Memorium: Rev. Paul Henry Goss, California No. 1796, General No. 15777. Elected to membership June 30, 1951. He was born in Nelson, Ohio on Jan. 3, 1890 and died at San Diego.

Source: Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, various bulletins years and numbers, Los Angeles Public Library, Genealogical Collection. 

Paul writes in a letter to his cousin Flora Osborn in 1949…at the end he makes this statement: “Well, Christmas has come and gone. It was wonderful for us to have all our children home for one Christmas; also to have their grandparents here with them to enjoy it. I hope yours was a good and joyous one…”

Paul H. Goss passed away in Chula Vista, California in March of 1963. He is buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.  I have had the privilege of visiting this cemetery twice over the years once in 2004 and again in 2015.  I was able to pay my respects to both Paul and his wife Gail and in 2015 to their two sons all buried in this cemetery. It is a beautiful cemetery right on the ocean in San Diego.  I have published posts about my visit on this blog.

Here I am with my broken foot in 2004.

Bonnie's visit in 2004 to Paul and Gail Goss's tombstones, Ft. Rosecranz National Cemetery

Bonnie’s visit in 2004 to Paul and Gail Goss’s tombstones, Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery

I visited again in 2015 and the wind was really blowing me around.

Ft. Rosecranz National Cemetery, Paul Goss Tombstone

Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, Paul Goss Tombstone

I found quite a few obituaries and funeral notices for Paul.  He certainly was a busy and involved man.


San Diego Union Newspaper – March 16, 1963 pg. B6 – Obituary- Goss: The Reverend Paul Henry, husband of Gail B. Goss. Father of Mary Virginia Cushman, James F. and David D. Goss. Brother of Delbert E. and Hilding G. Goss. Three grandchildren. Member of San Joaquin Presbytery; Sons of American Revolution; Chula Vista Lodge No. 426. F&A.M.; Chula Vista Chapter No. 458 O.E.S.; Robert H. Schaler Post No. 2111, V.F. W. Chula Vista, Scottish Rite Eagles, American Legion Chula Vista Post No. 434; Charter member of San Diego Genealogical Society; Charter member and regent of Mayflower Colony. Services Monday 10:30 a.m. in Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, Interment, Ft. Rosecrans under the Auspices of Robert H. Schaler Post No. 2111, V.F.W. Bonham Brothers Mortuary, Contributions to the Paul Goss Memorial Fund, First Presbyterian Church appreciated.”

I also found another version of this dated March 14, 1963 in the same paper on page b-11 under Deaths and Funerals.

The San Diego Union Thurs, Mar 14, 1963, pg. A30
Paul Goss Funeral Pending; Ex-Minister, Border Officer, Services are pending for a Chula Vista man who for 30 years combined careers as a minister and border patrol officer and once helped keep a revolutionary party out of Mexico. He was the Rev. Paul H. Goss, 73 of 163 Cypress St., Chula Vista, a retired Presbyterian Minister who also had served in two branches of the military. The Rev. Mr. Goss died Monday at his home. Ex-Marine. A native of Garrettsville, Ohio and a county resident 32 years, the Rev. Mr. Goss was a marine corps sergeant in Central and South America. He was in the corps from 1909 to 1913. In World War I, he served in the Army. From 1925 to 1955, the Rev. Mr. Goss was in the border patrol of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, stationed primarily at San Ysidro and Calexico. In 1926, he and other patrol officers halted a Mexican general and his party of 143 insurrectionists trying to cross into Mexico. The patrolmen were rewarded by Gen. Abelardo Rodriquez, then governor of Baja California and later president of Mexico, with gold pocket watches. These, however, were held in Washington until each man retired. While government officers they could not legally accept gifts from foreign governments. Became Cleric. The Rev. Mr. Goss was ordained a minister in 1922 after graduating from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo. He held pastorates in Canada and at Berkeley and Stockton. Until three years ago, when he was retired, the Rev. Mr. Goss was minister of visitation services for East San Diego Presbyterian Church. for 12 years, until the late 1940s, he was director of religious education at Chula Vista Community Church. The Chula Vista clergyman was a descendant of William White, who came to this country from England on the Mayflower. The Rev. Mr. Goss was a state chaplain of the Mayflower Colony and charter member and past regent of its San Diego chapter. He was a member of Chula Vista Masonic Lodge, San Diego Scottish Rite Bodies, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Chula Vista Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. Surviving are his widow Gail; two sons, James of La Jolla and David, a Navy aviation machinist’s mate first class stationed in the Philippines; a daughter; Mrs. Mary Cushman of Altadena; two half brothers and three grandchildren. Bonham Brothers Mortuary is in charge.”

There were funeral announcements in several papers and another Obituary run in The San Diego Evening Tribune on Thurs Mar. 14, 1963 which pretty much repeated the above.

Gail Bloom Goss, wife of Paul, was born 1896 and died in 1984. She is buried with Paul at Ft. Rosecrans. Her obituary was very brief:

Gail's tombstone marker on the backside of her husband Paul H. Goss

Gail’s tombstone marker on the reverse of her husband Paul H. Goss’s stone.

San Diego Union Saturday, May 19, 1964: Goss, Gail widow of the Rev. Paul H. Goss, mother of David Dameron Goss and James F. Goss, Virginia C. Cushman, 2 brothers, 5 grandchildren. Memorial Services 11:30 am, Mon, First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, Contributions to the Gail B. Goss Memorial Fund, c/o First Presbyterian Church, Hubbard Mortuary.

Unfortunately, I did not know about Paul till 2000 when I was at the DAR Library. He died in 1963 and I was a teenager at that time. Sadly all my dad’s family was gone by 2000 and there was no one to share all this with. I did not know anything about my family history so if I had met him then I would not have understood the role he has played in the Goss History.  I was a teenager when he passed and you know what that means, HA!

I have the greatest respect for my cousin Paul H. Goss and am very grateful for his contribution to our family history and to genealogy. Thank you cousin!

Over time I will be add PAGES under this tribute PAGE for Paul regarding this research and other researchers that I think you should take a look at.

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