GOULD, Zaccheus - I7110

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Zaccheus GOULD

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Gould Family Coat of Arms
The name GOOLD, GOOLDE, GOLD, GOLDE, and GOULD can be traced in England to an early period, the family being of that ancient Normandy stock which was transplanted to English soil with the coming of William the Conqueror. John Gole or Gold was a crusader of the 13th century. Collinson in History of Amersetshire (2:172) gives the following account of him:

us gave him an estate in Scarborough (by deed still extant) about 1229In the time of Henry III, Ralph de Vallibus, being obliged to send men in the service of the King when he undertook a crusade to the Holy Land, amongst others despatched on John Gole out of his manor of Scarborough, who went, accordingly, to Jerusalem, and was present at the siege of Damieta (1217) where he fought valiantly; and after his return, as a reward for his merits, this Ralph de Vallib.

The Goulds are descended form this John Gole, granted an estate in the County of Somersetshire for his valor. Various branches of the family figure extensively in the annals of that county, as well as Hertford, Devon, Buckingham, and London. Some held important offices in the army and navy, others were prominent as merchants, bankers, and members of the learned professions. There is an interesting story about one James Gould who was a wealthy merchant of Exon, and held successively the offices of head steward of that city (1630), receiver (1645), high sheriff of County Exeter (1646), and Mayor of Exon (1648). It was while holding the latter office that Charles I was executed, and the Cromwellian leaders issued a proclamation concerning the assumption by Cromwell of the throne.

Mayor Gould refused to receive the proclamation for his city, and turned the messengers who brought it out of doors. For this act of contempt he was fined 200 pounds, but he "fought the judgment in the courts and secured its reversal. The only other mayor of England whose loyalty to the King led him to follow a similar course was hanged at his own door for his temerity." An extended account of Honorable James Gould may be found in John Prince's Worthies of Devon[1]. Whittemore in his Heroes of the Revolution and Their Descendants (176-182) says further: "The Gould and allied families of America have from the beginning of the settlement of New England been among the most earnest and faithful promoters of civil and religious liberty. 'Let all the ends thou aimst at be thy God's, thy country's, and truth's' has been the great underlying principle which has actuated them through each succeeding generation, and their influence has been everywhere felt for good. Their personal achievements form an interesting chapter in American history."

In 1235 a branch of the Gould family was seated at Bovington, Hertfordshire, and from the middle of the 15th century the line can be traced without interruption from Thomas Gould of that place, born about 1455, through Richard, whose memorial tablet of brass in the Bovington church contains the following: "Of your charitie pray for the soul of Rychard Gold and Joan his wife, which Ric. deceased ye xxiv day of August in 1531, whose soul Jehu pardon," Thomas, who died in 1547, Richard who died in 1558, and Richard born about 1553 who remove to the parish of Chesham, County Bucks, to the immigrant sons, Zaccheus and Jeremy who came to New England.

I. Zaccheus GOULD, progenitor of the Topsfield, Massachusetts, branch of the family, was born in Bovington in 1589, in the parish of Hemel Hempsted, County of Hertford, England, and resided there, and at Great Messenden, Bucks, where he was assessed in 1629, until he emigrated to New England in 1638, bringing with him his wife and five children. He located first at Weymouth, Massachusetts, and a little later at Lynn, where he owned a mill. As early as 1644 he became one of the proprietors of Topsfield, where he acquired extensive property, being the largest landowner in that locality, and one of the first. In that year, by his petition, Topsfield was set off from Ipswich, becoming a separate town. The first building erected on his property there was a block-house which the inhabitants used as a protection against the frequent raids of the Indians. The iron works erected on the lands of Zaccheus Gould in Topsfield were among the first built in New England, and it was there the first iron castings were made. His son John was partner with him in these enterprises, and at the father's death inherited as only son an estate of three thousand acres.[2] In 1660, Zaccheus Gould was fined for entertaining Quakers, but "on account of his loss by fire," the fine was remitted. It is written of him that he was a man of strong personality, decided convictions zealous in maintaining his rights, with a strong sense of justice, and liberal in his religious views, the latter a trait of character the Puritans could never tolerate. "He had an altercation with Governor Winthrop in regard to the naming of Topsfield, and a suit-at-law with Governor Endicott respecting the boundaries of their adjoining estates. He maintained friendly relations with the Quakers and Baptists, though both were proscribed, and more than once was severely fined for entertaining Quakers. Incensed by such persecutions, he thereafter refused to attend church services, and was subjected to additional fines for this misdemeanor."[3]

Zaccheus Gould married in England, Phebe DEACON, who died in Topsfield, 20 September 1663.[4] The exact date of the death of Zaccheus Gould seems uncertain, Whittemore placing it at 1668, Benjamin Aprhorp Gould stating it occurred about 1670.[5] Stones which were partially visible in 1872, in the Topsfield Cemetery, were supposed to mark the resting place of these early pioneers, though when some of his descendants in that year exhumed them with the hope of finding some inscriptions thereon, they were disappointed.


  1. Phebe, baptized in Hemel Hempsted, England, 20 September 1620. She married Deacon Thomas Perkins, of Topsfield, born 1616; died 7 May 1686, aged 70. He was the son of John and Judith (Gates) Perkins, of Ipswich. Phebe was living in 1681. A daughter and son Timothy seem to be the only children recorded at Topsfield.
  2. Mary, baptized at Hemel Hempsted, 19 December 1621; married John Redingtyon, of Topsfield, who died 15 November 1690. Four daughters and two sons are on record, one of the latter dying young.
  3. Martha, baptized at Hemel Hempsted, 15 June 1623; married John Newmarch (or Newmarsh), of Ipswich. She died in 1699.
  4. Priscilla, born at Great Messenden about 1625, the exact date uncertain, as the records there were destroyed by fire. She married John Wildes, born 1620. She died 16 April 1663, shortly after the birth of her second child, Nathan, who died 17 March 1663. The first child was Priscilla, who married Henry Lake. After the death of his first wife, John Wildes married (2) 23 November 1663, Sarah Averill, who bore a family. He died 14 May 1705.
  5. John, born 10 June 1633; married Sarah BAKER.


II. John GOULD, born 10 June 1635, at Great Messenden, England, came to New England at the age of three, with his father. He lived at Topsfield, Massachusetts, where he was made freeman in 1665. Due to his large inheritances from his father, and his own business acumen, he was the greatest landowner in the neighborhood[6], and a man of much influence. Topsfield records bear his name frequently. He was ensign 22 March 1672, and elected constable 14 September same year. He was selectman (an officer now termed councilman) for fifteen years, beginning in 1663. In 1675 he was a member of the "Three County Troop," which served during King Philip's War. [7] For many years he was licensed to keep a "house of entertainment," i.e., hotel, and to sell beer and wine.[8] He was frequently on juries, acting also as attorney; was deputy marshal, and in 1688 commanded the Topsfield Militia, being made captain in 1693.

Capt. John Gould Headstone
A petition drawn up at Topsfield 1 March 1678/9, and signed by "Yours in all fidelity, Loyall servants under his Majesty," bore the names of many prominent men of that locality, who, addressing the "Honorable and Worshipful, the Council of the Colony of Massachusetts, asked that body to restore Ensign John Gould to freedom again, and to his former commission or a higher one."[9] On 26 March the request was granted and Lieutenant Gould's commission and standing restored to him.

He did not manage to stay out of trouble, however, for the court records of 9 April 1678 show him having been brought up for "reproachful speeches and behavior in court toward Captain Saltonstall, as saying 'you are no judge of ye Court,' in a violent manner."[10] He was fined for this irreverence. He was perhaps the most outspoken of all the patriots in opposing the arbitrary government which James II sought to impose upon New England when under Dudley and Sir Edmund Andros. Upon a warrant 5 August 1686, issued under "information ... of several treasonable and seditious words spoken by John Gould of Topsfield against our Sovereign Lord the King," he was arrested and lodged in Boston jail. In a presentment found against him by the Court Special Session, 19 August 1686, he is described as "John Gould, sen., otherwise called Lieutenant Gould of Topsfield," and it is asserted that "at a Riotus Muster of armed men gathered together by him, the aforesaid John Gould, as their pretended officer at Topsfield ... did against the duty of his Allegiance, and in terror of his Majesty's liege people, maliciously, wickedly, treasonably and advisedly speak and utter the malicious, treasonable and seditious speeches," etc., saying that he "was under another Government, and did not know this government, and this in manifest contempt of His Majesty's Laws," etc., etc. Captain Gould was released 25 August 1686, with imposition of heavy fine.

Three years later, in 1689, with the Advent of William, the Prince of Orange, Governor Andros himself was apprehended, and banished from the Colony, while in 1690, under the ensuing liberal government, Captain Gould was thrice elected Deputy from Topsfield to the General Curt, and subsequently twice re-elected.[11] Less than a hundred years after these occurrences, all the Colonies were in revolt against the same unjust tyranny which called forth John Gould's indignant protests, which he proclaimed, doubtless, in words and manner more vigorous than discreet.

It is said of him that his literary qualities were good; he wrote a very good hand in the fashion of the day in which he lived. He died in his 75th year, leaving the reputation of an honorable, public-spirited and religious man, morally as well as physically brave, and of sterling integrity. John Gould married 12 October 1660, Sarah, daughter of John BAKER, of Ipswich. She was born 9 March 1641, and died 20 January 1708/9 - just one year before the death of her husband, which occurred 26 January 1709/10. They are buried at Topsfield Cemetery where his parents also lie.

CHILDREN all born in Topsfield.

  1. John, born 1 December 1662; married 10 November 1684, to Phebe French, born 1667. He was a corporal. They were the parents of five sons and five daughters.
  2. Sarah, born 18 December 1664; married 29 March 1682, Joseph Bixby. Two sons and two daughters were born to this union.
  3. Thomas, born 14 February 1666/7; died 4 July 1752. He married (1) about 1699, Mary, whom the compiler of Massachusetts Genealogies[12] says was Mary Yates. Topsfield Vital Records carry the marriage of a Thomas Gould and a Mary Yates in 1770, which obviously could not be the same, though the coincidence might have occurred. There were eight children recorded at Topsfield. He married (2) 13 January 1728/9, the Widow Mary Stanley, of Boxford.
  4. Samuel, born 9 March 1669/70; married 20 April 1697, Margrit Stone. They had two sons and two daughters recorded at Topsfield.
  5. Zaccheus, born 26 March 1672; married Elizabeth CURTIS.
  6. Priscilla, born 2 November 1674; married 15 April 1695, to John Curtis, brother of Elizabeth just mentioned. He was born 11 October 1673. They were the parents of two sons and five daughter. She died 16 June 1715.
  7. Joseph, born 24 August 1677; died 4 April 1753. He was a captain. He married 14 January 1712, Priscilla, daughter of Tobijah and Sarah Perkins, born 21 April 1689. They were the parents of three sons and six daughters, among the latter being Priscilla, born 6 April 1714, who married, as his second wife, 8 October 1745, Samuel SMITH, of Topsfield, Joseph Smith's great grandfather and the organizer of the "Boston Tea Party," whose first wife had been her cousin Priscilla, daughter of her uncle Zaccheus mentioned above. Priscilla Gould died a week after her husband, her death occurring on 11 April 1753.
  8. Mary, born 16 June 1681; married 25 June 1711, Thomas Stanley.

Zaccheus GOULD

III. Zaccheus GOULD, born 26 March 1672, at Topsfield married 21 January 1701/2, Elizabeth, daughter of John and Mary (Look) CURTIS. She was born 15 December 1679, and died 21 June 1740. Zaccheus was for many years a selectman of Topsfield[13]. He died 29 April 1739, and in his will, dated 16 April that year, names nine children.


  1. Elizabeth, born 13 February 1702/3.
  2. Mary, born 1 March 1704/5.
  3. Priscilla, born 4 August 1707; married Samuel SMITH.
  4. John, born 29 January 1709/10; died 21 June 1778. He was a deacon, and representative to General Court. He married 5 January 1748/9, Widow Esther Bixby. Two sons and a daughter are recorded at Topsfield.
  5. Sarah, born 28 January 1711/2.
  6. Abigail, born 12 August 1715; married 2 August 1737, Jonathan Stanley. Five sons and three daughters are recorded.
  7. Zaccheus, born 7 November 1717; married (intention published 29 September 1745) Rebecca Symonds, of Middleton, who died 1792, aged 70 years. He died 2 January 1793.
  8. Eliezer, born 29 May (1) 17 April 1740, his cousin, Elizabeth Smith, daughter of his aunt, Rebecca Curtis, and her husband Samuel Smith, and a sister of Samuel Smith who had married Eliezer's sister Priscilla, as above stated. Elizabeth was born 8 July 1718, and died 27 March 1753, after having borne seven children. He married (2) 25 February 1755, Phebe, daughter of John Gould of Boxford. She was born 22 September 1716, and became the mother of three children.
  9. Susanna, born 11 February 1722/3; married her cousin, Robert Smith, a brother of the Elizabeth Smith who married Eliezer Gould above mentioned. Three children are recorded at Topsfield.

Priscilla GOULD

IV. Priscilla GOULD, born August 1707, married 27 May 1734, her cousin Samuel SMITH, who was born 26 January 1714. She was the mother of all his children.([14] For continuation of this line please see the SMITH biographical sketch.

  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. (London, 1810, 436-7)
  2. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 176-182.)
  3. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 176-182.)
  4. (Essex County Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 1, no. 4.)
  5. (Descendants of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield, 9.)
  6. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 2:285)
  7. (General Register Society Colonial Wars, 1899-1902, 647.)
  8. (Topsfield Historical Society Collections 27:76, 82.)
  9. (Ibid 15:40.)
  10. (Ibid. 27:89.)
  11. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 176-182.)
  12. (Cutter and Adams 3:1591)
  13. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 183), and a lieutenant of militia (Topsfield Vital Records 9:225)
  14. descendants of Zaccheus Gould, B.A. Gould, 25.)