Welcome to Pennsylvania Wanderings: The Goss Family Sites, at Word Press

Welcome.  This blog used to be on Blogger but I moved it to Word Press because I wanted to consolidate my blogs in one place.  I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that may have caused.  Hopefully I have fixed some of the links on my other blogs for Pennsylvania Wanderings to bring you to the new location, but I am sure I will find more to update.

I went to Pennsylvania in 2008 and traveled around visiting the Goss Family history sites, cemeteries and as many archives, genealogical societies, historical societies that I could find.  Hopefully, this helps others who may not be able to go to Pennsylvania and are descendants of Phillip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss who settled in the Wyoming Valley about 1769. Just remember links do get old and organizations move and update their websites, so if you have any trouble, let me know by leaving a comment.

I am working my way to the Phillip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss story on my other blog: Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in Ohio.  This blog is about their son, Solomon Goss and his wife Olive Scott Goss.  It may be a couple more months before I return to Solomon and follow him back to Pennsylvania and his origins in Massachusetts, so please be patient. 


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Pennsylvania Wanderings is Spruced UP!

It was time to migrate this blog to WordPress.  This blog was written in 2008 and it is old but it is still very meaningful to me.  The subject was my trip to Pennsylvania where I visited the historical sites of my Goss Family and tried to dig further into their history.

Over the next weeks I will be fixing posted and links.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Blog Anniversary Celebration!

I returned from my trip to Ontario and Quebec and I am writing about it in my other blogs.  It was quite the trip.  It covered the other side of my dad’s family, his Canada roots and my mother’s:

The Man Who Lived Airplanes: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/ and the Boardmans and Browns http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Today is the anniversary date of when I started this blog Pennsylvania Wanderings back in 2008. It was the 2nd blog I started and it began my blogging journey.  I love it.  I get a big kick out of it but I do find that being both the writer an editor a challenge. Working with the blogging platforms of Word Press and Blogger have been interesting and frustrating at times.

This blog was written about the trip I took to Pennsylvania and my visits to all the Goss locations in the area.  I am particularly proud of my photographs from that area and the visits to the cemeteries.  This blog is old now and some links are probably broken one of the facts of blogging which is a living and breathing entity and subject to the whims of the Internet.

I will be slowly incorporating it into my blog Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. where it will actually help to enhance my posts at that blog and make them much better.  http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/   I really didn’t dig into the Goss research at that time focusing more on the setting and the location.  Sharing about the Goss family is not easy because there is so much and there are those who do have or know more.

You should go and see my post about my visit to the bust of Lt. Colonel John Butler at the Solomon Goss blog.  Yes, he was the man who was why the Wyoming Massacre even happened.  He was fighting for the British and really believed in his mission.  I could not help myself.  I had to have a picture of me with the statue at Ottawa’s Valiants Memorial.  One country’s hero is another’s villian.  It really made me stop and think about both sides of the story during the Revolution and made me reach in and try to understand a different perspective.

I actually have gone backward in time with the Goss family.  I really should have started in Boston and gone west through Massachusetts to Connecticut and then to Pennsylvania.  Life has a funny way of offering opportunities so I started in Pennsylvania.  I then traveled to Massachusetts and Connecticut and I wrote about that part of the trip in Massachusetts Meanderings and more http://massmeanderings.blogspot.com/


I only went as far as east as Lancaster and ended up in the Berkshires at the point where Philip Goss IV headed to Pennsylvania.

Hopefully sometime soon I can go to Boston again and head west following Philip Goss I as he moved west.  Getting around Massachusetts is not that hard, not like Ontario.

All the best to all who have stopped by:  Bonnie

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The Other Side of The Family: Canada Bound!

The Goss family is connected to me, through my father’s mother’s side of the family, through his grandmother Amarilla Barclay Dawes Urton.  Yes, Amarilla was married three times.  Her first husband George Angus Barclay was murdered in 1898.  So she remarried to a J.G. Dawes and that ended in divorce.  About 10 year later she married again to a George Urton and they were together for the remainder of their lives.  Amarilla and her life are featured in this blog:

The Barclay’s of Pine River: http://barclayspineriver.wordpress.com/

Amarilla’s maiden name was Spracklin.  Her parents were Daniel D. Spracklin and Elizabeth Keller.  Daniel’s father was John Andrews Spracklin and he married Lydia Goss the daughter of Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss.

Amarilla and George had Grace and she married a Ronald S. McDonald in 1898 in Hudson, Wisconsin but they lived in Minnesota where my dad was born.   These two people are my grandparents.

Actually, I started with the MacDonald/McDonald/McDonell/Macdonell side of my family when I began researching because that is what I knew the best.

This Spring of 2012, I am off to Ontario and Quebec, Canada to learn more about the origins of my great grandfather Archibald McDonell and my great grandmother Mary McDonell’s family. Yes, they were both McDonell’s.

I will also be learning more about the Brown side of my family, my mother’s side!  As you can see I have deep roots in Canada with my mother’s side and my father’s.

If you have connections to Ontario or Quebec join me as I travel along!  I will be attending the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference in Kingston June 1-3, 2012.  You will find more information at these links:

My Dad’s McDonald roots are featured in this blog The Man Who Lived Airplanes: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

and my mother’s Canadian side is featured in this blog The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

I will be sharing my adventures on both blogs.

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The Story Continues: Ohio

Some of the Goss descendants left Pennsylvania and migrated to Ohio.  These are the descendants of Philip and Mary (Kendall) Goss who settled in Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Ohio before the revolution and before it became Pennsylvania.

One of their sons, Solomon Goss and his wife Olive Scott headed west and first to what is called Dayton, Ohio about 1796 and something happened that made them migrate to Marietta, Ohio.  They were in Washington County by 1798 when their daughter Elizabeth married Andrew Lake. Their other daughter Lydia, married John Andrews Spracklin in 1819 and settled in Knox Co., Ohio.  Lydia and John’s son Daniel D. Spracklin married Elizabeth Keller, whose mother was a Delano. 

Solomon’s younger brother Ebenezer Goss migrated about 1804 to Portage Co., Ohio.  Their brother’s son John Goss also migrated to Portage Co., Ohio.  Various other family members came to Ohio as well.

In August 2011 I traveled to Ohio and I share that trip on the blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohiohttp://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/ 

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The Story Continues: To Massachusetts and Connecticut

This Pennsylvania Wanderings blog was done several years ago when I traveled to Pennsylvania in search of the Goss family history and historical sites in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.  The area around Wilkes-Barre is where Philip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss migrated and settled.  They came out of Massachusetts from Becket and headed to the Wyoming Valley.  Mary she is buried in the Scott Cemetery in Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania.  No one knows where Philip Goss is buried but probably somewhere in the area.  It was a very difficult time with the land wars between Connecticut and Pennsylvania and then the Revolution occurred making it very difficult for the settlers to establish themselves.  Many lost their lives in the conflicts.
Just recently in April of 2011, I traveled to Massachusetts and Connecticut to continue the search for the historical sites of my ancestors and specficially the Goss family. The blog “Massachusetts Meanderings and more…” continues the saga of the history of the Goss family.  Here is the link:  http://massmeanderings.blogspot.com/  


These two blogs are connected and follow the history of the Goss family from Lancaster, Massachusetts through several generations to Philip Goss the IV who settle in the Huntington Township in Luzerne County, PA.  One of his son’s Solomon Goss left the area about 1792 and headed to Ohio where he settled in Marietta.  Meanwhile, his brother Ebenezer Goss settled in Portage Co., Ohio about 1804.  In August of 2011, I will travel to Ohio and see what other information I can find on the continued migration of the Goss family.

I apologize for any broken links due to the age of this blog but I didn’t want to change or edit them for fear that the original intent would be lost.  If you have a problem and need my help, let me know and I will see what I can do to help.

Come along and enjoy!

Posted in Massachusetts Meanderings and More, Pennsylvania Wanderings, Philip Goss Family | 1 Comment

Reflecting on My Travels and Moving On!

Well, time moves so quickly and I have been back from Pennsylvania for over a month now. I have re-energized and relaxed from my very busy trip. I still have books to read and research to review from my adventures and that is on my to-do list.

Writing this blog while I was traveling was difficult and challenging but I found it to be very satisfying. I hope it has helped others. It was a good trip and I am pleased. I will leave it up for awhile but I will probably turn to other ideas for blogs like how to do genealogical research in the Pacific Northwest? So keep and eye out and go to my Profile on this blog for it lists other blogs. At the moment I am just having fun with my blog regarding my old cat Puffer. He is very political about pets. HA!

I am now turning my attention to other projects. On Tuesday, October 28, 2008 I will be giving a talk “Searching your Genealogical Roots” to the Rainier Chapter of DAR after their luncheon at 12 noon! They are located on Capital Hill in Seattle in a building that is a replica of Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s home. Ah yes, another item for my to-do list – Join DAR! (Daughters of the American Revolution).

On Saturday November 1, 2008 I will be attending the Seattle Genealogical Society Seminar for Fall, Finding Your Past in Your Future, this is their website.

Just click on events and scroll to the seminar information.

The Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (PS-APG) will be hosting a table at the SGS Seminar.

The Family History Expo VII, website is http://www.wafamilyhistory.net/, is scheduled for November 8th in Bellevue and PS-APG will have a table there. So if you are in the neighborhood stop by and say “Hello.”

Update:  The Family History Expo is now the Family History Fair and they have one every year in November alternating between Bellevue an Redmond, Washington.  PS-APG tries to have a table every year, 2013.

I will be in Port Angeles on November 8th giving a lecture for the Clallam County Genealogical Society titled “Wills, Probate and More!!!”

Update:  This went very well and we stayed at a railroad B&B in one of their cars and had dinner in another dining car in Sequim.

So a lot is happening!
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Treasures from Pennsylvania

My package arrived safely yesterday. It took a week to get here because I chose the less expensive method. I have found that shipping accumulated research papers, literature, conference syllabi, and books that I buy along the way is better than trying to drag them home on the airplane. With the new rules about luggage and the fees airlines are requiring it is better to ship from a UPS store or find one at a Staples or Office Depot. It might cost a little extra but it is worth it. Fortunately the Sleep Inn Hotel gave me directions to a Staples in King of Prussia where they had UPS shipping.

I had little time to review and read all these treasures that I accumulated while I was traveling in Pennsylvania so that will be my challenge in the next months to unlock there secrets. Meanwhile I thought you might find it interesting to see what this packrat collected:

I had previous to the trip purchased a overview book on genealogy in Pennsylvania. This book is titled Pennsylvania Genealogical Research by George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD, Self-Published, 1997. Make sure when you look for this booklet that you find as recent a copyright as you can. There are older versions of them. I had the good fortune of attending two of Dr. Schweitzer’s lectures at the FGS 2007 in Fort Wayne and the recent FGS 2008 in Philadelphia. Dr. Schweitzer comes dress in costume and then presents his lecture from the view of the person he is portraying. His lectures are usually about migration patterns. He has written other booklets on different subjects. I also have his Revolutionary War Genealogy and Civil War Genealogy.

His book on Pennsylvania genealogy was very helpful in getting overview of the archives and records that exist in an area. He also gives ideas for research strategies at the various archives. I read it several times before I went to Pennsylvania. It is proving to be a valuable aid and I will use it in the future as well. Do you think he takes fan mail?

While at the 2008 FGS Conference in Philadelphia I picked up my copy of the Genealogical Proof Standard, Building a Solid Case, by Christine Rose, CR Publications 2005. As I get farther back in my research beyond the 1850 U.S. Census I find that it gets harder and harder to find information and to prove that someone is your ancestor or a relative of an ancestor. This is a guide to how use the sources you have found to build your case. It is a small booklet very easy to read.

Although I do have a book on state census that was out several years. I decided to buy the 2 Volume set by William Dollarhide, Census Substitutes and State Census Records Eastern States Vol. I and Western States Vo. II., Family Roots Publishing Company, 2008. This will act as a guide to my online research on census at Ancestry and Heritage Quest.

At Washington Crossing National Historic Park at the Visitor Center I purchased two books. The Pennsylvania Militia, Defending the Commonwealth and the Nation 1669-1870 by Samuel J. Newland, PhD, Pennsylvania National Guard Foundation, 2002. Mr. Newland is a Profession of Military Education at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. See my blog entries on the park. The park probably has a link for their store.

The other book was The Pennsylvania Line, Regimental Organization and Operations, 1775-1783, John B. B. Trussell, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, 2nd Edition 1993. There is some interesting information on the Artillery unit and more. This I will be studying carefully along with the book above.

I also purchased a souvenir copy of the Washington Crossings Historic Park, Pennsylvania Trail of History Guide, Stackpole Books, 2004. Since I was not allowed to photograph inside the buildings these was the best I could do.

At The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg where I stopped for several hours before heading for Sunbury I picked up a few booklets.

1. Sherman’s March to the Sea 1864 Atlanta to Savannah, by David Smith, Osprey Publications 2007. It is filled with photos, maps and interesting information. My great uncle Alexander Barclay marched with Sherman to the Sea. I have his Civil War service records and pension in which he talks briefly about this event in his life.

2. A souvenir booklet on The National Civil War Museum, An Illustrated Guide, The Creative Company 2007. Again more pictures of the museum and its contents and establishment.

3. I was surprised to find this booklet: The Civil War Research Guide, by Stephen McManus, Donald Thompson and Thomas Churchill, Stackpole Books, 2003. There actually might be more recent edition and that would be good because the Internet site chapter would be out of date quickly. However, it is still a good reference guide and I am curious as to what they suggest. Again go to my blog on my visit to the museum and see the link for more information.

When visiting the Northumberland Historic Society in Sunbury I picked up Index to Wills of Northumberland County Pennsylvania 1772-1859. It is a little booklet that I felt was helpful to me in determining family names. It will be useful in studying the county records to see if there are any gems in them for my family.

At the FGS I stopped by Retrospective’s booth and spotted a CD on Frontier Forts, this is based on the Report of the Commission to locate the site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania, Vol. I and II, 2nd Edition, Thomas L. Montgomery Editor. I was very interested in forts now I can study the history of the different forts especially Forty-Fort from this CD.

My visit to the Luzerne County Historical Society prompted me to buy several titles:

1. Warrior Road, The Story of Sullivan’s March Through Pennsylvania Before the Invasion of the Iroquois Homelands, Narrated Auto Tour 3 DC’s & Guidebook, 2006. It was a little pricy but I decided it was worth it. I have yet to review the CD’s but I did review some of the guidebook while I was touring the Battle of Wyoming sites in Luzerne County. See my blog entries on the Battle sites.

2. I bought the book: The Susquehanna Frontier: Northeastern Pennsylvania during the Revolution Years, by James R. Williamson and Linda A. Fossler, Wilkes University Press, 1997. They also wrote the Zebulon Butler book that is so expensive. I am excited about reading this book and about the good sources it may provide. I wonder if they take accept fan mail?

3. The Battle of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, CD Rom, Rhino Media 2005. I hesitated on this but decided I would see what it might reveal?

I also have my conference syllabi from the Professional Management Conference (PMC) by APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) 2008. My copy downloaded from Footnote.com of Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained. Not exactly a book for bed-time reading but it will prove invaluable as I start to work through the Goss manuscripts and their sources/citations to prepare them for updating and publication.

The syllabi for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2008 in Philadelphia is on CD Rom this year. I could have purchased a big thick volume at the conference but decided not too. I am interested in reviewing the lectures I attended and studying the ones I could not because I cannot clone myself yet.

Lastly are of course are the piles of literature I picked up at the two conferences from the vendors in the Exhibit Hall. There is literature collected from societies, archives and libraries I visited. In addition, is the pile of travel literature I accumulated on Pennsylvania as I traveled through.


Posted in The David Library of the American Revolution, The National Civil War Museum, Washington Crossing Historic Park | Leave a comment