Author: Nora
•Friday, July 03, 2015
Lucy Goff, my 3rd great grandmother, was born in Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, on the 20th of January 1785.  Her parents, Daniel and Lucy Goff, were married in July 1775 in Coventry, Rhode Island, where their first child Abigail was born.  By the fall of 1779, the young Goff family had moved to Vermont; their son Christopher Bailey Goff was born in the town of Shaftsbury.  And some time after 1788, they’d moved again – to Clarendon in Rutland County, Vermont.

These are the names and birth dates of Daniel and Lucy Goff’s children:
Abigail Goff, born 20 September 1776, Coventry, Kent County, Rhode Island
Christopher Bailey Goff, born 4 October 1779, Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont
Abner Goff, born 4 November 1782, Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont
Lucy Goff, born 20 July 1785, Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont
Eunice Goff, born 22 December 1787, Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont
Elizabeth Goff, born 6 November 1802, Clarendon, Rutland County, Vermont

There are many land records for the Goff’s in Clarendon.  One early deed was to Abner Goff (Daniel’s father), “of Shaftsbury” from Noel Potter, “of Clarendon”, in December, 1785 and another tract from Potter in 1786.  Then in 1788 Daniel Goff, also “of Shaftsbury”, bought about 85 acres in Clarendon from Daniel Reynolds (reference Clarendon deed book 4, pages 104-105).

Although there are no deeds for John Fitch Bishop recorded in Clarendon or nearby, I found that he’d witnessed three for others of the town.  The first two were in 1802.  On the 15th of March (Clarendon Deeds, Book 6, page 465): John Forbes sold to Daniel Goff a small parcel of land 30 feet by 30 feet, in a deed witnessed by John Hills (the town clerk) and John F. Bishop.  The parcel of land was described as beginning at the northeast corner of John Hills’ blacksmith shop.

Could Daniel possibly have bought this land for his daughter and son-in-law to live on when they got married?  Some researchers of this Bishop family have said that John F. Bishop and Lucy Goff were married in 1802 in Clarendon.  Unfortunately, the town records are incomplete for that period of time.  I’m hoping someone can furnish the date of their marriage from another source.

The other Clarendon deed John witnessed in 1802 was from Peter, Phillip and Mary Parker, wife of Phillip, to Palmer Tripp (Clarendon Deeds, Book 6, page 435).  Then finally, in 1805 he was a witness to land sold by Tilly Ballard of Tinmouth to John Larnard of Clarendon (Clarendon Deeds, Book 7, page 217).

I’m mentioning these deeds because they help to create a timeline for John and Lucy before their move to Crown Point, New York.  For in 1806, John F. Bishop and Lucy purchased their first farm in Crown Point and began raising a family.  (For details about this deed, see my first post of September 26, 2014, titled “Biographical Sketch of John Fitch Bishop”).

Other than being mentioned as a party to the land transactions she and John were involved in, there’s very little to help document Lucy’s life in Crown Point.  That is until about the time of her husband’s death.  Either just before or soon after John died in 1840, Lucy Goff Bishop was visited by some Mormon missionaries.  She was moved by their message and converted to the LDS church, as did at least five of her children. 

Before leaving New York, Lucy had to take care of her husband’s estate, selling the farm to Cyrus Whitlock in 1842 and paying money owed to creditors.

Next in the time line is 1842-45 in Nauvoo, Illinois.  The names of Lucy Bishop and the children appear on the list of early LDS members, with the comment that they had moved their membership by letter from Crown Point, New York, to Nauvoo in 1845.  The family was actually in Nauvoo at least a year before that; in the fall of 1844 Lucy’s daughter Charlotte was united in marriage to Orson Pratt, with Charlotte’s sister Adelia Ann joining Orson in marriage in December of that year.

My remaining ‘brick wall’ with this family group is:  when and where did Lucy Goff Bishop die?  I’m unable to place her anywhere from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City after 1845-46.  I’ve been able to trace almost all of Lucy and John’s children and have been able to verify death dates and places for all of them except for Emeline and Julius. I’ll write more about the children in a future post.  But Lucy continues to be a mystery ancestor.  Other researchers have given a death date and place for her, stating she died on 27 July 1849 in Crown Point, New York.

The 27th of July is the same day and month of John Fitch Bishop’s death, but in 1840.  So has her death date been confused with his?  If anyone can help me with this by providing a source, I’d love to hear from you.