Gosset family history

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Huguenot refugee

Jean Gosset, a Huguenot, fled from Normandy, France, and settled in Jersey in 1685 (after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes), when his estates near St Sauveur were seized by the French government.

The Gossets (the name is variously spelt down the generations with one or two 't's) acquired Bagot Manor and Jean Gosset, his family and descendants lived there for many years. Gossets are buried at St Saviour’s Church.

Jean, the oldest son and the heir of Jean Gosset, was married to Susan d'Allain in Jersey. His younger brother Abraham married Jeanne Ester Le Tousey in about 1704, and they had a daughter Angelique. The youngest son, Matthew, married Judith Ravenel.

Matthew died in London on 27 March 1744, at the age of 61. He was an artist, a modeller of portraits in wax. He lived in Horton House, Wraysbury, London, and was one of the Gentlemen of the Band of Pensioners to King George II.

Jean and Susan Gosset had six sons. Only Abraham, the second son, who became the heir, remained in Jersey. Abraham was born 1701 and died 1785. He was married to Jane White.

Jacob, the third son, was born in 1703 and died in 1788 in Hampstead, London.

Gideon, the fifth son, was born in 1707 and died in 1785. He and his wife Ann are buried in Matthew Gosset's tomb at St Marylebone, London. Isaac, the sixth son, was born in 1713 and died in 1799. He settled in London and like his uncle, Matthew was an artist and a modeller of portraits in wax. He was closely associated with his uncle at Horton in London, and he and his only son, the Rev Dr Isaac Gosset, are buried in Matthew Gosset's tomb at St Marylebone.

Abraham's descendants

Abraham and Jane White had two sons, William and Matthew, and two daughters, Jane and Esther. Matthew married twice, first to Elizabeth Hilgrove and second to Margaret Durell. He had two large families: three sons and four daughters by his first wife and four sons and two daughters by his second wife. His son Matthew, who was Viscount of Jersey, was the head of the family when the French Government offered to restore the Gosset estates to the descendants of Jean Gosset, but he refused to pursue the claim. He married three times and had a total of five sons and three daughters, among them Henry Gosset, who became a Rear Admiral.

Another son of Matthew and Elizabeth Hilgrove, Isaac, was also married twice, and had seven sons and three daughters, among them James William Gosset, who became a Major General in the Royal Engineers.

William Gosset, the son of Matthew Gosset and Margaret Durell, was also a Major General in the Royal Engineers. His brother, John Noah Gosset, had a son William Driscoll Gosset who was also in the Royal Engineers and some sources suggest that he also rose to the rank of Major General.

American emigrants

This section is based on information contained in The Family of Gossett, published in 1954 by Evangeline Gossett Newcomer and now available on-line on Kim Hughes' website, www.familyofgossett.com

Jean, born 1699, went to America. He took up land in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1735, and he is found in the records to have settled on the frontier before 1735.

Abraham was born 1701 and died 1785. He was married to Jane White.

Jacob, the third son, was born in 1703 and died in 1788 in Hampstead, London.

Pierre, the fourth son, was born 1705. He was married to Catherine du Four, also from a Huguenot family. They had five children and emigrated to America between 1750 and 1760.

Gideon, the fifth son, was born in 1707 and died in 1785. He and his wife Ann are buried in Matthew Gosset's tomb at St Marylebone, London. Isaac, the sixth son, was born in 1713 and died in 1799. He settled in London and like his uncle, Matthew was an artist and a modeller of portraits in wax. He was closely associated with his uncle at Horton in London, and he and his only son, the Rev Dr Isaac Gosset, are buried in Matthew Gosset's tomb at St Marylebone.

Although brothers Pierre and Jean Gosset both emigrated to America, there is no evidence that they left together, or associated with each other after arriving. John preceded Peter by several years, according to family records and to land transactions in Pennsylvania. These men are thought to be the only two original Americans of the Gossett family.

Peter Gossett

(Pierre) Peter and Catherine were probably in their sixties when they emigrated and Peter is thought to have died first. No records of their children have been discovered, with the exception of John, who was a private in the Virginia Continental Line in the American Revolution and married Martha Groom. He died in 1818.

John Gossett

Peter’s brother John was the father of Matthias Gossett of Virginia. John, who was educated in London, settled by 1734 on the frontier in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. In 1735, aged about 35, he acquired 300 acres of land on the Conegochege River or Creek, in all probability in Franklin County, which was cut off from Cumberland County.

There are no records of his marriage, thought to have taken place in America, nor directly of his children, although it is believed that he had several. Few records of that part of Cumberland County where the Gossetts lived survived the burning of Chambersburg during the Civil War.

Records in the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia and several published lists of early churches in the Cumberland Valley have proved that the second generation did exist in the area where John Gosset lived, and that his children included Peter, John, Mary, William, and Matthias.

Peter was one of the oldest children of John Gosset's family. His name is first found in the records of Cumberland County in 1749, where he is named as a neighbor in a list of adjoining landholders of Guilford Township. From 1751 to 1783 land records and tax lists show him married and living on the same large plantation up to 1783, when he disposed of it with his wife Eve to two sons.

Confusion has existed concerning the men named Peter Gosset and John Gosset who were living about the same time. Numerous speculations have been made in the endeavor to identify these men. However, genuine evidence of their relationship has been established by the recent discovery of the records of John Gosset and of Peter Gosset in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Mathias Gossett

Matthias Gossett, one of the youngest members of the family group in the Cumberland Valley, was born about 1740. He was buying and selling land in the 1760s in Frederick County, Virginia.

Closely associated with Matthias Gosset in the records of Frederick and Berkeley Counties, in the same locality where Mary Gossett Morgan lived, there was a land owner named William Gossett. He must have been another son of John Gossett of Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

Mathias married Mary Littler, daughter of Samuel and Mary Littler.

Matthias and Mary had three sons, Matthias, born about 1767, in Virginia; John, born in 1769, and Jacob, born 1770.

John Gosset

John Gossett (1769-1823) was a son of Matthias and Mary Gossett of Virginia and a grandson of John Gosset of Cumberland Co, Pennsylvania. Born in Pennsylvania, he was brought up in Virginia. He was married about 1787 to Honor Hull.

He was a pioneer of Ohio. He and his wife were in Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania from 1788 to 1796, before they settled in Ohio in 1797. They spent two years in Chillicothe. Their first child, Amariah, was born 1788 in Kentucky and their second child, John, was born 1791 in Virginia.

An alternative theory

The descendance of the American Gossets from two immigrant brothers from Jersey has been challenged and branded a 'myth' by recent research. Jeffrey Lynn Gossett and James Michael Gossett claimed in 2009 that recent genealogical research has uncovered evidence that strongly suggests neither brother ever emigrated to America and that both died before their supposed dates of arrival in America.

They say that many participants in a DNA survey can reliably trace their ancestry to John and Jane Gosset, who were living in New Castle County in 1709 when the brothers from Jersey were still children. They say that DNA evidence suggests that most of the American Gossetts descend from one immigrant (or a few very closely related immigrants), and genealogical research suggests that the immigration occurred just before 1700 with the arrival of John Gossett, who probably paid for his passage through indenture. While his departure point was probably England, his ancestral origins are probably French-Huguenot.

They argue that the evidence for the emigration of the two brothers is based solely on a genealogical study commissioned by Thomas Henry Gossett in the early 1900s. Its conclusions were based upon the absence of evidence for the continued presence in Jersey of two brothers (Jean and Pierre) and the concurrent appearance in Pennsylvania of two Gossetts (John and Peter) whose origins presented a similar mystery to the genealogical researchers.

"Against the genealogists' deductive logic, one must weigh the implausibility that two prominent sons of a prominent Jersey family (and first-born Jean being, no less, the heir to considerable family wealth) would have forsaken all to move to the wilds of mid-18th-century Pennsylvania. For Chester and Cumberland Counties, PA, were comparatively "the wilderness".

Jeffrey Lynn Gossett and James Michael Gossett say that there is a burial record for Jean Gosset in St Helier, Jersey in 1720, 15 years before he is supposed to have emigrated to America, and they believe that his brother, Pierre, died about 1748, before earlier research claimed that he emigrated. There is a burial record for his wife, Catherine du Four, in Jersey in 1777.

The two theories of the Gossett ancestry, together with stories of some of the American Gossetts,

are presented as a classic example of the problems facing family historians as they attempt to research their ancestry

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