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Goffe - Goff - Gough

From Wethersfield, Connecticut to Manifest Destiny and Beyond

If you follow the Goff family migration pattern over several generations, the one thing that stands out is that they were are the forefront of the settling of America. From Philip Goffe helping to establish Hartford County, Connecticut to James Goff and his family in the Morman wagon train to Salt Lake City, Utah to James' brother, Thomas Goff helping to settle Callaway County, Missouri to Stephen Goff (the son of Samuel Goff) helping to settle Humboldt County, California. These men seem to have one thing in common - the need to live freely and to have a hand in building something for future generations. For the most part, the Goff men were farmers, tilling the earth that they loved so much and worked so hard to acquire.

There have been many researchers looking for the parents of Stephen Goff for many years. After eliminating the Stephen Goffs (and all forms of that name from Gaff to Gough to Gof, etc., we are left with the son of Samuel Goffe who was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut as the most likely candidate. Not only have there been records of a Stephen Goff born in 1743 to Samuel and Elizabeth Hollister Goffe but Stephen fought in the French and Indian Wars with another of Samuel Goffe's sons, Josiah. Why Stephen moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is a mystery and we have no letter, etc to give us a clue. We do know that Stephen and Jean Price Goff had a son named Samuel and that name is repeated for several generations. It has been suggested that Stephen used his portion of his inheritance (no will has been found for Samuel Goffe to date) to buy land in North Carolina. He owned no land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Until we can find a will from Samuel Goffe naming Stephen in it, I guess this is all an educated guess and should be treated as such. Researchers that have worked diligently for years on this family and have come to a similar conclusion are: Charles Roland McCain, Virginia Manley and Kathleen Hale. They have spent countless hours pouring over records, paying for searches, driving to far flung libraries on the off chance that that library might hold a clue and give us a more definitive answer. These researchers as well as other Goff researchers have my neverending gratitude. Another family member, Judy Ann Goff Cook, has been invaluable as a researcher and helper in gathering documents on not only her particular branch of our large Goff family but on other branches as well. H Dale Goodwin has shared his Utah Goff and Kimbrough research as well as a multitude of photographs with Judy and me. Al Goff and Marilyn Goff Yard of Missouri, Harold James Goff, Bernice Rockwell Rappleye and Elaine Goudy of Washington, Ronald Bulkley of Montana, Sally Miller Gelsthorpe and Stanley Gelsthorpe of Iowa, Geneva Arquette Christopher of Oklahoma, Diane Reid of the Godfrey Library in Middletown, Connecticut and my father, mother and grandmother and my Aunt Molly Goff have all generously shared with me what they could of their families. They all have my undying gratitude. Any information confirming or disproving the parentage of Stephen Goff would be immensely appreciated by all the Goff researchers.


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