The surname likely originated in the area of Oxfordshire, England. Two branches migrated to New England and Virginia in America. The first confirmed record of this family is the 1639 probate of the will of Richard Gough c1564 – 1639 of Souldern, Oxfordshire. Descendants of this family still live in England and use the Gough spelling.
The earliest known family member is Richard Gough c1564 – 1639 of Souldern, Oxfordshire. Descendants still live in England and use the Gough spelling.
In America, there are two primary branches: MA and VA. The MA family uses the Goff spelling and appears late 17th century records, such as in 1685 Billerica, MA: “Anthony Goffe aged about 29 years testifyeth that . . . Michaell Bacons sons . . . . pulled up some fence . . . .”
Some families have brick walls or surname changes, but likely descend from the MA family. David Goff b. pre-1791 NY, Samuel Goff b. 1795 NY, David T. Goff b. 1812, Jonathan Goff b. 1818 MA, William S. Goff b. 1826 NY and Benedict N. Goff b. 1829 NY are examples of the former. An example of the latter is Simeon Reynolds, b. 1798 MA, who vanished into MS in 1820, emerging three years later as Simeon Reynolds. Reese, McPherson, Wilburn and Davenport families likely descend paternally from the MA family.
William Gough b. 1755 of Buckingham Co., VA is the earliest known member of the VA family, descendants of which use the Gough spelling. The VA and MA families match on 63 of 67 markers, making it likely that the VA family shares a common lineage with, but does not descend from, the MA Goff family.
Because of the time depth of this family, helpful mutations have been identified that are associated with different branches, including DYS458, DYS449, DYS464b, DYS607 and DYF395S1.
Big Y 700 testing, or at least YDNA111, is strongly encouraged in order to reconstruct the family tree.