An American Family History

Gould Family

Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

Zaccheus Gould, son of Richard Gould was born in 1589 at Bovington, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England.

He married Phebe Deacon (1620 - 1663), daughter of Thomas Deacon and Martha Field about 1618 at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England.

Priscilla Gould (1620),
Phebe Gould (1620, married Thomas Perkins),
Mary Gould (1621, married John Redington),
Francis Gould (1622),
Martha Gould (1623),
John Gould (1635, married Sarah Baker),
Frances Gould (1639, married Rose), and
Henry Gould (1640),

The family immigrated to New England around 1638.

At first they settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

From 1639 to 1644, they lived in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. Zaccheus owned a mill on the Saugus River.

By 1644, they were living in Ipswich, in the area that became Topsfield.

Zaccheus died in 1688.


Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled by English Puritans in 1629 and was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

John Gould was born about 1635.

He married Sarah Baker. Sarah was born on March 9, 1651 and was the daughter of John Baker.

John Gould (1662, married Phebe French),
Sarah Gould (1664, married Joseph Bixby),
Thomas Gould (1666, married Mary Yates),
Mary Gould
Margaret Gould
Elizabeth Gould
Zaccheus Gould (1672, married Elizabeth Curtis),
Priscilla Gould (1674, married John Curtis), and
Joseph Gould (1677, married Priscilla Perkins).

In 1670 Joanna Towne testified for the Reverend Thomas Gilbert and described a Sunday dinner at the parsonage. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert had Captain and Mrs. John Gould, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Perkins, and Mrs. Towne as their guests. A rare gold cup of wine was passed. Mr. Gould alleged that Mr. Gilbert drank too freely.

In 1684, John Gould, Sr. and his wife were members in full communion of the Topsfield Church.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Childbirth was was perilous. Around 1.5 percent of births ended in the mother's death. Since women gave birth to many children, chances of dying in childbirth were quite high.

John Gould, was born on August 25, 1687. He was the son of John Gould.

He married Hannah Curtis on February 2, 1708-9.

Martha Gould (1709, married John Pritchard and Samuel Perkins),
Mary Gould (1710, married Thomas Gould),
John Gould (1712),
Hannah Gould (1712, married Samuel Marston).

Hannah died on April 25, 1712.

He married Phebe Towne on June 23, 1715. Phebe was born about 1691 in Topsfield. Her parents were Jacob Towne and Phebe Smith.

Phebe Gould (1716, married Eliezer Gould),
Kezia Gould (1718, married Jacob Dwinnell),
John Gould (1720 died in infancy)
Richard Gould (1722, married Roxanna Burnham and Ruhamah),
Stephen Gould (1724, married Hannah Perkins),
Abner Gould (1726, died young)
Ruth, Gould (1727, died young),
Jacob Gould ( 1728-9, married Elizabeth Towne),
Esther Gould (1732, Jonathan Towne),
Amos Gould (1735, Huldah Foster).





Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts is approximately 25 miles north of  Boston. Boxford was set apart from Rowley Village and incorporated in 1685.

The Family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield By Benjamin Apthorp Gould

John Gould, b. 1687 Aug. 25; son of John;
m. 1) 1708-9 Feb. 2 Hannah Curtis (d. 1712 Apr. 25);
2) 1715 June 23 Phebe Towne.
Will made 1756 Dec. 30, pro. 1762 July 20. Lived in Boxford.

Children by first wife, Hannah:
Martha, b. 1709 Nov. 6; m. 1) 1729 John Pritchard; 2 1761 Samuel Perkins; d. 1771.
Mary, b. 1710-11 Jan. 2; m. 1731 June 30 Lieut. Thomas Gould (No. 63); d. 1784 Apr. 29.
John, b 1712 April 9 d. 1712 Apr. 18.
Hannah b 1712 Apr 9 m. 1732 July 9 Samuel Marston (d. 1756-7); d. abt. 1786. Children: Anna and Elizabeth, d. in infancy (1741 Sept. 17 and 23).

Children by second wife, Phebe:
Phebe, b. 1716 Sept. 22 ; m. 1755 Feb. 25 Eliezer Gould (No. 87), being his second wife.
Kezia, b. 1718 May 10; m. 1739 Jacob Dwinell; d. 1798.
John, b. 1720 Apr. 6; d. in infancy.
Richard, b. 1722 Apr. 20; m. 1) 1744 ? 2) Roxanna Burnham; 3) Ruhamah; lived in New Hampshire.
Stephen, b. 1724 July 6; m. 1747-8 Jan. 18 Hannah Perkins; d. 1798.
Abner, bapt. Boxford 1726 June; died young.
Ruth, b. 1727 Sept. 16; died young.
Jacob, b. 1728-9 Feb. 6; m. 1751 Elizabeth Towne; d. 1809.
Esther, b. 1732 Aug. 10; m. 1751 Jonathan Towne.
Amos, b. 1735 Aug. 13; m. 1759 Huldah Foster; d.1772.

During Shays' Rebellion the rebels were mostly farmers angered by excessive debt and taxes. Failure to repay debts could resulted in imprisonment in debtor's prison or the state claiming property.

Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

from The family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield by Benjamin Apthorp Gould

Zaccheus [Gould], b. 1717 Nov. 7; m. 1745 Nov. 4 Rebecca (b. 1722 Nov. 28; d. 1792 May 30), dau. of Dea. Samuel and Mary Symonds of Middleton; d. 1793 Jan. 2 ; no children.

He was a very useful man in the town. Although his education was small, yet he filled many important offices, was one of the Selectmen of the town 18 years in 21, and represented the town in the General Court. He was a wealthy farmer and a very benevolent man; and though he had no children of his own, yet he brought up many fatherless and motherless children, as also poor ones, from their infancy. He was a man of sound judgement, — a terror to evil doers, and a praise to all who did well, his wife was one of the excellent of the earth." (Rev. Daniel Gould, 1815).

He is said to have possessed remarkable arithmetical ability, habitually performing complicated calculations in his mind, within less time than most others could do them on paper.

Mr. Zaccheus Gould and his wife Rebecca, having no children of their own, brought up in their household the five following: ,

a. Mary Hooper, from Salem, an orphan. She m. 1766 (publ. June 8) Aaron Esty, who moved to Vermont,

b. Zaecheus [Gould] (No. 308) son of Mr. Gould's brother Eliezer.

c. Rebecca [Gould] (No. 312) dau. of the same. She m. 1788 Amos Foster from Rowley.

d. Mehitable [Peabody], b. 1764 Aug. 7, dau. of John and Hannah [Smith] Peabody. Her mother was dau. of Samuel and Rebecca [Curtice] Smith (see No. 82), and thus first cousin to Mr. Gould, and niece of the first wife of his brother Eliezer. They adopted her when three weeks old. She m. 1789 Nov. 24 Jonas Merriam (b. 1764; d. 1827 Feb. 23), brother of Dr. John, and had three children.

a . Anna (Nancy) Mecum, b. 1771, dau. of Elizabeth [Robinson] (No. 279), Mr. Gould's niece. She m. 1798 Moses Gould (No. 160).

His negro woman Venus, m. 1707 Prince, the noted slave of Zaecheus Collins (See Lewis's History of Lynn, p. 344).


The settlement of New Meadows was incorporated as the Town of Topsfield in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663. The third Meeting House was built in 1703 with Rev. Joseph Capen as pastor.

from The Heroes of the American Revolution and Their Descendants by Henry Whittemore

Capt. John Gould, only son of Zaccheus and Phebe Gould, was born at Great Messenden, England, June 21, 1635; died at Topsfield, Mass., in 1710. He was made a freeman in 1665, yet was chosen Selectman of Topsfield in 1663, continuing in office for fifteen years. In 1675-6 he was a member of the " Three County Troop," which served during King Philip's War. In 1688 he commanded the Topsfield militia and was perhaps the most outspoken of all the patriots in opposing the arbitrary government which James II sought to impose upon the New England colonies under Dudley and Sir Edmund Andros.

Upon a warrant of August 5, 1686, issued on

information ... of several treasonable and seditious words spoken by John Gould, of Topsfield, against our Sovereign Lord the King," Mr. Gould was arrested and lodged in Boston jail. In a presentment found against him by the Court of Special Sessions, August 19. 1686. he is described as "John Gould, Sen.. otherwise called Lieut. Gould, of Topsfield.

and it is asserted that

at a Riotous Muster of armed men gathered together by him, the aforesaid John Gould as their pretended officer at Topsfield .. he, the said John Gould,...did against the duty of his Allegiance, and in terror of his Majesty's liege people, maliciously. wickedly, treasonably and advisedly speak and utter these malicious, treasonable and seditious speeches following. viz.:

If the County was of his mind they would keep Salem Court with the former Magistrates, and if the County would go the rounds he would make the first, and would go on and keep Salem Court, and would have his company down to do it.

And further, be. the said John Gould ... maliciously, advisedly and treasonably did say and utter these malicious treasonable and seditious words following, vizThat he

was under another Government and had sworn to another Government, and did not know this government. and this in manifest contempt of his Majesty's laws and Government here in New England, to the evil and pernicious example of all others in the like case offending, and against the peace of our said Sovereign Lord the King. his Crown and dignity.

Capt. Gould was released August 25, 1686, with the imposition of a heavy fine.

Three years later, in 1689, with the advent of William, Prince of Orange, Gov. Andros was apprehended and banished from the colony;

while in 1690, under the ensuing liberal government, Capt. Gould was elected deputy from Topsfield to the General Court. and subsequently twice reelected.

It is said of him that "his literary qualifications were good; he wrote a very good band in the fashion of the day in which he lived."

He died in the seventy-fifth year of his age, leaving the reputation of an honorable, public-spirited and religious man. morally as well as physically brave, and of sterling integrity.

He married Sarah (born March 9, 1651; died January 20, 1708), daughter of John Baker, and had issue, John, Sarah. Thomas, Samuel, Zaccheus, Priscilla, Joseph, Mary.

King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, Volume 1 edited by William Richard Cutter

Daniel Gould, son of John Gould, born November 8. 1699, died December 11, 1766. He resided in Topsfield, and was selectman in 1739 and 1742.

He married first, July 28. 1731, Lydia Averill, born December 11. 1712, died December 22, 1739, daughter of Ebenezer and Mehitable (Foster) Averill;

second, January 3, 1753, Lucy (Tarbox) Perkins born October 25. 1722, died August 29, 1806. daughter of Captain Thomas Tarbox, of Wenham, and widow of Elisha Perkins. She married third, Asa Gould.




The Family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield by Benjamin Apthorp Gould

Joseph Gould, b. 1726 Nov. 4;
d. 1803 June 9;
son of Joseph;
m. 1751 Dec. 19 Elizabeth (b. 1730 Sept. 28; d. 1825 Mar. 5), eldest dau. of Rev. John and Elizabeth Emerson.
He was Capt. of the Topsfield company which marched to Lexington 1775 Apr. 19 (Col. John Baker's regiment);
deacon 1778, and later Major in the regiment. Member, from 1776 to 1780, of the Committees of "Correspondence " and "Public Safety." "A clever and noble-spirited man, and for many years deacon in the church." (Rev. Daniel Gould).

Elizabeth, b. 1752 Dec. 4; m. 1784 Stephen Perley; d. 1840.
Joseph, b. 1753 Dec. 6; d. 1767 Sept. 16.
Dorcas, d. 1767, in infancy.
Daniel, b. 1755-6 Jan. 18; m. 1778 Sarah Bradstreet; d. 1826.
Priscilla, b. 1757 Nov. 13; m. 1796 John Longfellow.
Sarah, b. 1759 Aug. 26; d. 1761 June 13.
Mary, b. 1761 Mar. 29; m. 1788 Elijah Averill; d. 1797.
Emerson, b. 1763 Jan. 23; m. 1790 Sarah Stevens.
John, b. 1765 Jan. 27; m. 1) 1788 Sarah Lamson; 2) 1795 Betsey Stephens; d. 1840.
Cornelius, b. 1767 Feb. 1; m. 1) 1791 Phebe Porter; 2) 1812 Lydia Jenkins.
Sarah, b. 1769 Feb. 5; m. 1794 Phineas Perley; d. 1845.
Abigail, b. 1771 Oct. 27; m. 1792 Peter Shaw.
Joseph, b. 1773 Aug. 29; m. 1) 1794 Ruth Porter; 2) 1825 Catherine B. Parker; d. 1834.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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