by Phillip G. Goff, GGFA DNA Project Manager

Canada’s first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, was published in 1752. Nearly seven decades elapse before Gough and Goff entries are in the papers. Here is a glimpse into these early 19th century mentions in Canadian newspapers, all from

The Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, Ontario), 15 September 1820:

At a meeting held . . . at Moore’s Coffee House on . . . the 2d of September inst. It was unanimously Resolved, that no Coppers shall be hereafter received or paid out by the subscribers except which by statute are the only legal tender, namely the ‘old British Coppers. . . .’” Signed by 50 men, including H. M. Gough.

Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, Ontario), 22 July 1823:

Advertisement: “Stone Cutters & Masons will meet with liberal encouragement and constant employment upon application to Peter Nowlan and Henry Gough.”

Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, Ontario), 16 December 1823:

“DIED . . . Lately in Sandwich, Western District, Mr. John Goff, aged 74 years. – he filled the arduous office of Teacher in that country for twenty years, and possessed a good heart and benevolent disposition.” Sandwich largely corresponds today with Windsor, Ontario, which immediately to the east of Detroit, MI, USA, directly across the Detroit River.

The Newfoundland Patriot (Saint Johns), 6 January 1835:

“DIED,-  . . . At Portugal Cove, on Saturday se’nnight, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with truly Christian fortitude and resignation, Mr. George Goff, a native of Hampshire (England), aged 75 years-about 60 of which he spent in this country.” Sennight, an archaic word,  means a period of seven days and seven nights. The newspaper was published on Tuesday, so the date of death was 27 December 1834.

The Patriot (Saint Johns), 22 March 1843:

“[Resolutions of] The General Assembly. . . . From certain inhabitants of Portugal Cove, for a road from Gough’s Bridge to the public landing place.” The bridge likely refers to the family of George Goff, noted in the 1835 article above. More on his family may be found at

The Patriot and Terra-Nova Herald (Saint Johns), 27 September 1843:

Advertisement: “To be Let, For one year or for a Term. The store lately in the possession of Mr. R. N. Goff, capable of containing about 1500 Qtls. Fish.”

The Colonist (Saint Johns), 1 March 1851:

“The Legislature. . . . On Monday a paper was brought down from the government, perporting [sic] to be a letter from Mr. Gough, Fish Inspector at Liverpool, in answer to a charge by petition, from the people in the Western shore of Queen’s County, of not having created Deputies where they were necessary. The letter accused the whole of the petitioners of fraud and trickery. [A] Representative for this County . . . . retaliated upon the Inspector in no measured terms, as a Bankrupt, whose appointment was disgraceful to the government.”

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.

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