by Phillip G. Goff, GGFA DNA Project Manager

Australia’s first newspaper was the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, which started publishing in 1803. Goff and Gough families were in Australia in the early 19th century and appear in numerous columns. Here is a peek into these early mentions in newspapers of the day, all from

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 27 January 1805:
“WM. GOUGH, desirous of arranging his affairs in this Colony, requests that any Claim on him may be presented for payment; and every one who stands indebted to him he expects will be so obliging to discharge their respective Accounts without further notice.”

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 30 September 1815:
“We hear by the Geordy of the following recent marriages at Hobart Town; viz . . . Mr. James Gough to Miss Billet.” Note that a higher quality image is at

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 2 November 1816:
“CAPTAIN GOFF hereby requests that the Inhabitants of the Colony will not give Trust or Credit to any of the Seamen or other Persons belonging to the Brig Furquhar, of which is the Commander, as no such Credits will be answered by him.”

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 25 November 1820:
“At this Auction Mart, in Macquarie Place, on Tuesday next, the 28th Instant, at Eleven o’Clock, THE EFFECTS of the late Captain STEPHEN GOFF, consisting of a quantity of wearing apparel, nautical instruments, charts &c . . . .”

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 30 June 1825:
“The notorious Goff, one of the most incorrigible characters that ever infested society, ran into the bush on Thursday the 2nd instant. He was attached to one of the out-stations, and previous to his absconding had formed an arraignment with some prisoners at the Settlement, of similar habits to himself, to join in his lawless intentions.” This article is lengthy – further information on John Goff is at

Hobart Town Gazette, 1 July 1826:
“The Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to approve the Appointment of Mr. William Henry Gough to be Keeper of His Majestry’s Gaol at Launceston.”

Phillip Goff is the co-author, along with Roy L. Lockhart, of The Four Goff Brothers of Western Virginia. Since 2004, he has run the Goff/Gough Surname DNA Study, which today has over 100 participants.

One thought on “Extra! Extra! Goff/Gough Entries in Early Australian Newspapers

  1. Norman Edward Gough
    Norman Edward Gough says:

    Fascinating information. Interesting that there were both Gough gaolers and Gough conicts! My family member arrived in Australia a bit later on: see Gough, N.E. (2015) Charles Oliver Gough (1861-1928) of Wales and Rockhampton, Australia, Goff-Gough Newsletter, Winter 2015, 18-22. And no, he was not a convict.

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