European Origins of the American Gossetts
New Evidence from Conventional Genealogical Research
1. Evidence of Gossetts in America before Jean or Pierre could have arrived (continued)
John Gossett of New Castle County, Delaware
Next, we find a John Gossett in a 1709 Deed from New Castle County, DE (Note: this county was then part of Pennsylvania; Delaware, as a separate colony, did not yet exist):
Modern Abstract of the Deed:
Deed, New Castle County
On 17 Nov 1709, Cornelius Williamson of the County of New Castle, laborer, & John Gossett of Appoquinimink Creek & Jane his wife to Francis King of Appoquinimink Creek. Whereas Francis Lovelace, late Governor by patent dated in New York 26 Feb 1671 confirmed to Derrick Williamson & Derrick Lawrenson a tract of land containing 250 acres situated on the north west side of Appoquinimink Creek bounded a swamp land called Knowl Bush Haven, also the marsh lying on the creek. The said land equal moiety whereof both woodland & marsh nearest the mouth of the creek after the death of Derrick Lawrenson, by a decree of the provincial Judges at a court held 24 Sept 1686 was adjudged to be the proper right & estate of Hybert Lawrenson & as the only heir of said Derrick Lawrenson, the said Hybert Lawrenson in his lifetime sold the said moiety to John Heally of Appoquinimink Creek, yeoman. Which said moiety was sold to Marinns DeWitt & Anne King & whereas Cornelius Williamson aforesaid & Jane the wife of John Gossett, son and daughter of Derrick Williamson have a right & interest in said land. Now Cornelius Williamson, John Gossett & Jane his wife, for consideration already paid, grant to Francis King of Appoquinimink, son and heir of Anne King all right of the above said tract. Cornelius Williamson, John Gossett & Jane his wife appoint John Gossett their lawful attorney to deliver this in court. Signed Cornelius Williamson, John Gossett & Jane Gossett. Delivered in the presence of Isaac Gooding, Alexander Adams, & Hans Hanson.
Liber C1: 150.
[Click here for sample image of original document, with verbatim transcription.]
Another important document uncovered in this research is the will of John Gossett (written in 1729 and apparently executed in 1730/1 in New Castle County, DE).
The Last Will and Testament of John
Ex Jane Gossett
February 22, 1730
In the name of God amen the 25th day of March in the year of our Lord 1729 I John Gosard of the County of NewCastle on Delawar Joman being very sick and weak in body but in perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Dye Do mark and ordain this My Last Will and testament that is to say principally first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and for my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in Christian liek and decent maner at the Discretion of my Executors nothing Doubting but att the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as Touching such worldly Estate wharwith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give, divide and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. Imprimis I give and bequeath unto Joan my dearly beloved wife I likewise constitute make and ordain my only and sole Executor of this my last will and testament. I do give and bequeath to her my Dwelling plantation and land therunto belonging to all my (Blank space here in the document) moveabel estate during her naturall life and then the plantation and land therunto belonging to be equaly to be devided between my two sons William Gosard and Jams Gosard to them thir heirs and assigns for ever
I do allso give unto my son John Gosard one hundred and fifty acers of land that which was last taekin up begining at the lower end of it and so up the said land containing the above said compalament of one hundred and fifty acers of which I do give to my son John his heirs and assigns for ever. In Conformation her of I have her to set my hand and seal this 25 day of March and in the year of our Lord 1729.
Sealed and Delivered in the prsents of us ---- His
John X Gosard
William Williams [signed] Mark
Peter X King
Joseph X Bockson
[Click here for image of original document]
This 1729 will shows that John Gossett ("Gosard") left his estate to his wife Jane ("Joan") and sons James ("Jams) and William, and the “last land taken up” to his son John. This indicates that John was of legal age in 1729, but that James and William most likely were not. Note that "Jams" is apparently a misspelling of James. Within the document, almost all final letters “e” were omitted. On the outside of the document – in contemporary hand – "Jane Gossett" is noted as Executor, while within the text itself, her name is written as "Joan." Also, within the text the surname of the will's subject is spelled "Gosard," but the 1709 deed (presented above) and a 1739/40 survey (presented on the next page), leave little doubt that the man was John Gossett, who with wife Jane, had three sons: John, James, and William. Given that all participants (except, of course, the scribe) were apparently illiterate (their signatures merely "X"s or other scribbled symbols), the spelling of names would have reflected the national origin of the scribe who recorded the names as he heard them voiced, injecting his own origins into the process. New Castle County was a melting pot of Swedes, Dutch, and English (among other groups). While the 1709 deed was clearly the work of a highly educated English lawyer, this 1729 will seems likely the work of a Dutchman. Neither fact casts any light on the origins of John Gossett, himself. It is worth noting, however, that the evident illiteracy of John Gossett is further circumstantial evidence against noble birth.
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