This family likely originated in England.


In America, John Goff b. 1717 is the earliest known ancestor. About half of the matching descendants are through John’s sons Dempsey Goff b. 1758 and William Goff b. 1761. Other matches are through the following families with brick walls. However, geography and genetics strongly suggest they also descend from John Goff b. 1717:

  • Gates Goff b. ca. 1777 SC was in Bladen Co., NC by 1800, migrated west to Darlington Co., SC by 1810, then to Kershaw Co., SC by 1820, where he lived the rest of his life.
  • Enos Goff first appears in the 1830 Claiborne Co., LA census. Daughter Emmeline J. (Goff) Adams (b. 1827) reported in the 1880 Cherokee Co., TX census that she was born in AL and her father was born in SC. Son Thomas W. Goff (b. 1830) reported his father’s birthplace as TN and KY in the 1880 Claiborne Co., LA and 1900 Lincoln Co., LA censuses, respectively. Thomas gave his own birthplace as LA.
  • William Gough was born ca. 1794 in GA or KY, according to 1850 Jasper Co., MS and 1860 Clarke Co., MS censuses, respectively. In 1841, William Gough was granted about 40 acres of land in Newton Co., MS.


DYS449 separates the lineages into those descended from Dempsey Goff of Duplin Co., NC (DYS449=31) and the other three lineages (DYS449=30). Note that all four Dempsey Goff descendants are through his son Samuel Goff (1790-1860) so the mutation may have arisen after the Dempsey Goff generation. It is not known if 30 or 31 repeats is the ancestral state.


Most participants have YDNA37 and are encouraged to upgrade to Big Y 700 to reconstruct the branches of this early American Goff/Gough family.