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Josiah Goodrich
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Birth: Jan. 15, 1739
Connecticut, USA
Death: Oct. 29, 1798
Berkshire County
Massachusetts, USA

Following is a major correction to the outline of the below family first published in 1883 by Edwin Hubbard (Goodrich Family Memorial, hereafter Goodrich Mem., p. 71, 108) then separately in 1889 by Lafayette W. Case (Goodrich Family in America, hereafter Goodrich Fam., p. 82). Stiles in his 1902 History of Ancient Wethersfield (2:383, Fam. 43) was thoroughly confused regarding the numerous Josiah Goodrich's of 1700s Wetherfield, Conn. and errantly assigned the below family to Lieut. Josiah Goodrich (1731-1764), son of Dea. David Goodrich, Jr. (David, Ens. William). An article in NEHGR 108(1954):44 provides indirect reference to the below Josiah's 1799 probate record at Pittsfield, Mass.

In particular, Case in 1889 claimed this Josiah Goodrich d. Oct. 24, 1793 without stating where, yet claimed his youngest child was b. 22 months after his death.

Josiah Goodrich, the presumptive s. of Elisha Goodrich and Rebecca Seymour, b. per Case [Goodrich Fam., p. 82] Jan. 15, 1739/40. No printed vital or church record has been found to confirm this date or even infer where Josiah was born. Based on his recorded death at Pittsfield, Mass., the writer has used a more likely birth date one year earlier on Jan. 15, 1738/9.

According to the Pittsfield, Mass. 1st Church records, Josiah's presumptive parents, Elisha Goodrich and Rebecca Seymour, joined the Pittsfield church in 1772. In the partially completed Nov. 16, 1772 census of Pittsfield is an unidentified Goodrich family of 4 persons, the first name blank. By July 4, 1779 Elisha and Rebecca Goodrich had returned to Wethersfield, Conn. and recorded as communicants of the Wethersfield Church from Pittsfield (Weth. Ch. Rec.). Presumptive s. Josiah was born upwards of 15 years before the existence of Poontoosuck (Pittsfield, Mass.) existed as an inhabited place by white settlers.

On Sept. 10, 1767 at the Farmington Society Church (now Berlin, Conn.), Josiah Goodrich, of "Weathersfield," m. 1) Ruth Gilbert, dau. of Ebenezer Gilbert and Mercy Cowles, b. July 23, 1742 at Farmington, Conn. She d. and was buried at Wethersfield Aug. 14, 1777 (Weth. Ch. Rec.). There was only one known child of the marriage b. of record at Wethersfield:

• i. Lydia Goodrich, b. Sept. 25 (bp. Nov. 6), 1768, d. Feb. 1, 1837 at Pittsfield, Mass. (TR); m. 1) May 10, 1790 at Wethersfield (Weth. Ch. Rec.), Daniel Graham, s. of Rev. John and Mary Graham of Suffield, Conn., b. at Suffield May 25, 1764 (Suff. VRs.) Two children were recorded at Suffield, but whether they d. young or survived cannot be found, nor where and when Daniel Graham died. "Lydia Graham" is recorded as having joined the Pittsfield Church in 1799. Then on Jan. 25, 1800 at Pittsfield (intent pub. Jan. 19, 1800 with Lydia stated as being of Wethersfield), she as "Mrs. Lydia Graham" m. 2) as his 2nd wife, Samuel Root of Pittsfield, s. of Oliver Root and Hannah Ashley, b. at Pittsfield Apr. 1, 1769. He d. at Pittsfield May 29, 1856 (TR.) According to the 1870 "Root Genealogical Records" there were three children of the marriage: Josiah Goodrich Root, Tryphena Root and Lydia Root.

On Feb. 25, 1779 at Wethersfield, Conn. (by Rev. John Marsh), Josiah Goodrich m. 2) as her 2nd husband, Abigail Wolcott, widow of Levi Wright, dau. of Samuel Wolcott and Mary Wyatt, b. of record Apr. 21, 1752 at Wethersfield. She d. Dec. 24, 1831 at South Hadley, Mass. (g.s.) They had the following seven children, the eldest six with recorded births at Wethersfield, five of whom were also separately baptized at the Wethersfield Church:

• ii. Ruth Goodrich, b. Dec. 6 (bp. Dec. 12), 1779, d. in infancy Set. 3, 1780.

• iii. Elizur Goodrich, b. July 18, 1781 (bp. missing), d. Jan. 14, 1858 at Middletown Springs, VT (g.s.); m. Nov. 11 (int. Nov. 11), 1802 at Pittsfield, Mass., Hannah Barber. Two children of the family.

• iv. Josiah Goodrich, Jr., b. May 9 (bp. May 11), 1783, d. Oct. 22, 1835 at Ware, Mass.; m. by intent pub. July 10, 1802 at Pittsfield, Mass., Rebecca Ripley, dau. of Perez Ripley and Parnel Sturtevant, b. of record Aug. 23, 1777 at Halifax, Mass. She d. July 13, 1868 at Washington, DC while a resident of her only son's household. Rebecca was a lineal descendant of twp Mayflower passengers - Isaac Allerton and Richard Warren.

• v. Levi Goodrich, b. Dec. 9 (bp. Dec. 11), 1785, d. Aug. 8, 1868 at Pittsfield, Mass. (TR); m. Mar. 23, 1806 (intent pub. Feb. 16, 1806) at Pittsfield, Wealthy Whitney, whose parentage has not been isolated. She d. July 24, 1858 at Pittsfield, age 70 (TR). Ten children of the family recorded at Pittsfield.

• vi. Sophia Goodrich, b. Feb 23 (bp. Mar. 1), 1789, whose death has not been found; purported m. June 24, 1818 at South Hadley, Mass., William Niles, whose marriage cannot be found. At the time this William Niles, or perhaps his father by the same name, was Town Clerk of South Hadley and recorded the 1823 marriage of Sophia's sister Harriet.

• vii. Harriet Goodrich, b. May 22 (bp June 2), 1793, whose death has not been found; m. Oct. 8, 1823 at South Hadley, Mass. (by Josiah Bardwell, JP) as his 2nd wife, William Bowdoin, Jr. Esq., by whom she had five children recorded at South Hadley.

• viii. Dr. Horace Goodrich, b. per Case (Goodrich Fam.) Aug. 31, 1795, undoubtedly at Pittsfield, Mass., d. Aug. 29, 1872 at Vineland, Cumberland County, NJ; m. by an intent pub. Nov. 7, 1828 at Ware, Mass., Elizabeth Dickinson, by whom he had eight known children at Ware.

According to the Pittsfield, Mass. 1st Church records, Josiah Goodrich and wife Abigail Wolcott joined the Pittsfield church in 1794. Josiah then appears in the Oct. 1, 1798 tax list of the Town of Pittsfield (Mass. and Maine 1798 Direct Tax, NEHGS on-line database). He d. of record at Pittsfield Oct. 29, 1798 of bilious fever, "age 60" (TR.) Until the early part of the 19th century in America, one's age at death in town records was typically stated in terms of the Latin phrase Ætatis suæ by the use of word "aged," meaning the person died one year older than the person's actual physical age. Assuming this to be the case for Josiah, he died Oct. 29, 1798, "aged 60," indicating he was b. on or after Oct. 30, 1738. Thus, his purported date of birth stated by Case (Jan. 15, 1739/40) has been adjusted by the writer to Jan. 15, 1738/9. If the record actually means he was then 60 years of age he was b. on an adjusted date of Jan. 15, 1737/8, which is the least likely date given the record at hand.

In a brief but partially errant sketch published in 1954 in the NEHGS Register (108:44) regarding the family of Jesse Goodrich and wife Naomi Hubbard late of Pittsfield, is included indirect reference to the Pittsfield estate record of Josiah Goodrich, husband of Abigail Wolcott (Berkshire Co., #1969, proved Feb. 15, 1799.) An extended biographical sketch [*1] of Josiah's son Levi states Levi assumed management of the family's Pittsfield farm when he was only 14 years old, or in 1799 following the death of his father.

The writer has not seen the cited probate record, but published in the Berkshire Gazette at Pittsfield, Mass.; 2-27-1799; Volume: II; Issue: 7; Page: 1

• NOTICE is hereby given, that the fubfcriber hath been duly appointed Adminiftratrix, on the eftate of Jofiah Goodrich of Pittsfield deceafd, and that fhe hath accepted of faid truft and given bonds according to law, for the faithful execution thereof. ABIGAIL GOODRICH. Pittsfield, February 15, 1799.

Josiah Goodrich has no known Pittsfield burial location. However, like the writer's early ancestors at Pittsfield with a surviving gravestone, one of the town's oldest burial grounds was later absorbed by urban development and the graves and extant gravestones moved to the large central Pittsfield Cemetery. Josiah was likely one of those interred at the same old cemetery but had no surviving gravestone for later identification.

[*1] Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical-genealogical; vol. 3, pp. 316-320.
Family links: 
  Abigail Wolcott Goodrich (1752 - 1831)
  Elizur Goodrich (1781 - 1858)*
  Josiah Goodrich (1783 - 1835)*
*Calculated relationship
Pittsfield Cemetery
Berkshire County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: Don Blauvelt
Record added: Apr 10, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 127764900
Josiah Goodrich
Added by: Don Blauvelt
Josiah Goodrich
Cemetery Photo
Added by: NatalieMaynor
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