Which Richard Gott is Powell’s Father?

Do you have the right Richard Gott as father of Powell Gott?

Recently a friend let me know that his DNA results were in.  He needed some help on his ancestry, particularly the lineage of his grandmother, Cora Gott Mayfield.  Looking at the online trees, the problem became apparent.  The online trees were based off one erroneous source.  They were all suggesting his ancestor, Powell Gott, was son of Richard Gott b. 1792 and wife, Milly Mannen, of Warren Co, KY.  Since all the trees said the same thing, it seemed to be true and proven.  Unfortunately, all appear to be relying on other online trees, not original records, and ultimately from the same source.  That source may be this online query:


There was no confirmation (and apparently the poster did not know about Richard Gott in Marion Co, IN) but this post from 2004 seems to be the earliest that I find Powell connected to Warren County Gotts.

                The danger of online pedigrees is that anyone can put anything online, but that does not mean it is correct–there needs to be some evidence!  You must do (or hire someone to do) the research into original records to confirm everything.  Your DNA will match, but all of your matches have to have the correct information to make it worthwhile.

                Here are the notes, evidence, and proof that Powell Gott was NOT the son of Richard Gott of Warren County, Kentucky, but another Richard Gott born between 1770 and 1775, married to Mary Hines.  I have included my steps in the process to help others in similar situations.

  1.  Locate the “low-hanging fruit”–the easy records to find!  In this case, census, marriage, and cemetery records.  Powell is named in the 1840,[2] 1850,[3] and 1860[4] census records.  He died in 1869.  No marriage record was found, but he does have a tombstone.[5]  Since Powell was in Sullivan County, Indiana, we should broaden our search in that county.
  2.  Locate other Gotts in the county.  The census records list several other Gotts in Sullivan County.  Among them are Lewis b. 1809, Jonathan b. 1810, Richard b 1815, and Powell b. 1818.  The age of these men make them most likely to be Powell’s brothers. 

Also listed in 1840 Sullivan Co:

Name and page Number 1840 census[6] Age based on 1850 Census Sullivan Co[7] (unless otherwise noted)
p. 95, Jonath’n Gott, age 20-30    
Lewis Gott, age 30-40               
age 40, bp KY in 1850 Putnam Co, IN.[8]
age 41, bp KY in 1850; wife is Eliza.
p. 212, Richard Gott, age 30-40   age 35, bp KY in 1850
p. 91, Powell Gott, age 20-30   age 32, bp KY in 1850

Now we have a few more names to find.

3. Do a statewide search for records.  If you use the Indiana Marriage Database to 1850,[9] and search Gott, you’ll find that Jonathan Gott married Margaret Harris 12 Feb 1834, in Montgomery County, Indiana; and Lewis married Eliza Groves 27 Nov 1828, in Marion County, Indiana.  Both of these places are significant.  There is a large family of Gotts in Montgomery County, all are descendants of Robert Gott, Sr (1745-1840) Revolutionary War veteran.  If Jonathan is part of that family, Powell would be also.

Lewis is in Marion County.

Additional records in Marion County include the marriages of William Gott to Elizabeth Groves, 1828; and Thomas to Ann Wright, 1835.[10] (The 1850 Marion Co census, shows Thomas was b. 1811 KY.[11])

4. Search for census records in Indiana.  There will be several in Montgomery County, but in Marion County there are only three in 1830; we see Richard, Richard again, and William. 

 William is age 20-30—b. 1800-10.  This could be another brother.

Richard (listed twice)[12] age 50-60—b. 1770-80.  This age makes him the logical father.  He has four younger males in 1830, two age 10-15—born 1815-1820, and two age 15-20—born 1810-15. 

Lewis is already married, so these four sons are Thomas and Jonathan, and Richard and Powell.

 So, we have found a man old enough to be the father of Powell and his brothers–Richard age 50-60. 

Where did he come from? 

5. Do a broad search for Richard Gott of this age in the U.S. census records for 1820 and 1810.  By doing this, we find there is a Richard Gott the right age in 1820 and 1810 in Shelby Co, KY, and also in Orange Co, NC.  Analyzing these records, we notice that Richard in NC had no sons.  Richard in Shelby did have sons–six to be exact.  Also, the Gotts from Montgomery County, Indiana, are all listed in Shelby County, too.  This connects all the records together.

6. Evaluate:  Powell was born in 1817 in Kentucky.  He lives near several Gott men about the same age.  At least one of them was married in Marion Co, IN.  In Marion County, we find Richard who is old enough to be the father, and in 1810 and 1820, we find Richard in KY with males the right ages to be these men.  No direct evidence was found, but all the other pieces seems to fit.

Now, we work the other route of this tree—looking for records about Richard and Milly Mannen Gott to see if it is possible that they are Powell Gott’s parents.

  1. Check the marriage records. Richard and Milly were married in 8 Sep 1814, in Warren County, Kentucky.[13] Although timewise they could be parents of Powell and Richard, they could not be parents of Lewis and the older brothers.  
  2. Richard is listed in Warren Co, KY[14] at the same time another Richard is listed in Marion Co, IN. So there are definitely two men with that name.
  3. In 1820 Warren Co KY census, Richard only has one male under 10 and two females under 10.[15] In the 1830 census, Richard has one male 10-15, and one male under 5.  This indicates that he only had one son born 1815 and 1820.
  4. Richard only has one son born around 1820 or earlier, and that is Simon Peter Gott.  Richard signs the marriage consent for Simon’s marriage in 1840.[16] Therefore, Powell, born in 1817, could not be Richard and Milly’s son.   NOTE: Deeds in the 1860s mention the “division of lands of Richard Gott” in Warren County.  That division of land should name all his heirs. (Unfortunately, I have not found it.)
  5. Evaluate:  If Richard and Milly are parents of Powell, they should have a son under 10 in their 1820 and two sons 10-15 (Simon P. and Powell) in the 1830 household.  Although they do have one son in the right age range, that son must be Simon Peter Gott, their oldest son.  There is no mark for Powell

Richard Gott and Milly Mannen are unlikely candidates for the parents of Powell Gott, but Richard Gott and Mary Hines of Shelby County, Kentucky, and Marion County, Indiana, certainly fit the bill.

Based on this, Powell Gott is the son of Richard Gott.  See the articles Shelby County, Kentucky: Tax Lists Rewrite Gott Genealogy and Richard Gott, son of Robert for evidence that Richard Gott is the son of Robert Gott, Sr. (1740-1840). 

[1] https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.usa.states.kentucky.counties.warren/4799/mb.ashx.  The query is dated from 2004.  A message to the poster was unreturned.

[2] “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHTL-N5T : 7 September 2017), Powel Gott, Sullivan, Indiana, United States; citing p. 50, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 94; FHL microfilm 7,730.

[3] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHV4-XCR : 12 April 2016), Powel Gott, Haddon, Sullivan, Indiana, United States; citing family 221, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[4] “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4NV-SWC : 13 December 2017), Powel Gott, 1860.

[5] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 May 2019), memorial page for Powell Gott (10 Jan 1818–9 Sep 1869), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19583978, citing Smith Cemetery, Dugger, Sullivan County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by StephanieSN (contributor 47383699) .

[6] 1840 U.S. Census, Sullivan Co, IN.

[7] 1850 U.S. Census, Sullivan Co, IN.

[8] 1850 U.S. Census, Putnam Co, IN.

[9] Indiana State Library, Indiana Legacy. “Indiana Marriages through 1850.” https://digital.statelib.lib.in.us/legacy/search.aspx?index=3

[10] Indiana State Library, Indiana Legacy. “Indiana Marriages through 1850.” https://digital.statelib.lib.in.us/legacy/search.aspx?index=3

[11] 1850 U.S. Census, Marion County, IN.

[12] 1830 U.S. Census, Marion County, IN.  Richard is listed once in Center Township and again in Warren Township.  The data is not exactly the same, but the number of people is.

[13] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2QD-Q1T4 : 17 May 2018), Richard Gott and Milly Mannen, 8 Sep 1814; citing Marriage, , Warren, Kentucky, United States, various county clerks and county courts, Kentucky; FHL microfilm 339,890.

[14] Check the 1830 census records for Warren County, Kentucky, compared to the Marion County, Indiana, information.

[15] 1820 U.S. Census, Warren County, Kentucky.

[16] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93Y-HVZR?cc=1804888&wc=QD3Q-HMK%3A1589735617 : 17 May 2018), 005771975 > image 223 of 710; citing various county clerks and county courts, Kentucky.

Shelby County, KY: Tax Lists Rewrite Gott Genealogy

By Dann M. Norton (C) 2019

When I started genealogy research in 1983, at the age of 13, I was blessed to have several long-time researchers as penpals.  All my original research was conducted through letters to these friends—most now passed on—and to courthouses.  With the advent of the internet, correspondence was made quicker.  Today Familysearch.org and Ancestry.com make locating hard-to-get records as simple as opening up your laptop.  There are records that the previous researchers never saw, maybe did not know existed.  These records provide evidence of a different story for the Gott genealogy.

The accepted genealogy—or at least the one you see most often online—is that Richard Gott b. 1734 in Maryland, and his brother, Robert Gott b. 1745, lived in Orange County, NC.  Richard was married to Margaret Weems and had several children: Martha Gott Doyle, Sutton Gott, John D. Gott, Hannah Gott Reese, Richard Gott, Mary Gott Squires, Jonathan S. Gott, Elizabeth Gott Reese, and Peter Gott.[i]   BUT there are problems. No records give us any indication of Richard Gott’s age, so his birth year is a guess. The Richard and Margaret Gott who sold land to a Weems, did so in 1772 in Maryland,[ii] and Richard Gott was already in North Carolina at that time—so Margaret may not be his wife’s name at all. The Richard Gott born about 1734 is likely the same Richard listed in 1767, Gunpowder Manor, Dorchester County[iii] when Richard should be in North Carolina—so 1734 might not be his birthdate.

Robert’s story is a true mess.  A separate article is necessary to present the problems and make corrections to his biography.  Most online trees mix up Robert’s grandchildren with his children. Robert’s first wife is unknown.  His children by her were born between 1765 and 1799. After he moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, Robert married a widow, Lydia Nichols, and had four more children—William Nichols Gott, Wilson M. Gott, Sarah Gott Maddox Scott, and Dann B. Gott[iv]—and a step-daughter, Mary Ellender “Polly” Nichols Hall.[v]

That Richard and Robert of Orange County, North Carolina moved to Shelby County, Kentucky has never been disputed.  We see the connections from other Orange County names who are neighbors in Kentucky—the Doyles and Stubbins families specifically. 

The Shelby County tax lists are preserved and available on microfilm.  My initial research conducted in the early 2000s utilized the films available at the Willard Library, Evansville, IN.  Familysearch has digitized these films, and they can now be accessed online with a free account.  Six microfilm reels cover the years 1792 through 1875.  Lists for 1792 through 1815 (with a few years missing) is film No. 7834508; 1816-1829 is film No. 7834509.  By 1830, all of the Gotts had moved out of Shelby County, but lists for 1830 and beyond can be found on flims Nos. 8140981, 8539494, and 8188402.  The film No. 8516104 for 1868-1875 has not yet been digitized.

Tax lists are important, but often overlooked, records.  The earliest tax lists for Kentucky followed the Virginia format.  The head of household is named, with tallies for white males over 21, white males 16-21, blacks of specific ages, and livestock.  Between the years of the decennial federal census, tax lists can often help to verify whose household a recently married man came from.  That is the process used for this report.  Additionally, if someone disappears from a tax list, he may have died or moved away.  Often a list will show the “estate” of a person being taxed which can confirm the death.  When using tax lists, it is important to know what information was being sought.  Up to 1808, Kentucky lists show males age 16-21, but not after 1811. The 1822 tax list asked for children of school age—including females.  Sometimes tidbits of information included in the name, like “of Richard” can determine parentage.  Land was taxed, and the lists will show if a man owned land, owned land in other counties, and who first held the patent for the land, which could show descent through ownership.  Familysearch has digitized most, if not all, the tax lists for Kentucky, and they can be viewed with a free account.

The first Gott to appear in Shelby County, Kentucky, is Sutton Gott in 1799 with one male over 21 (himself) and 2 horses.[vi]  This indicates that Sutton was born before 1778, and most genealogies put his birth at 1764. Sutton is found in Henry County, Kentucky after 1799.[vii]  Henry County was formed from Shelby County in 1798.[viii] Also in 1799, Samuel Doyel, Sr, Farmer Doyel, Samuel Jr., and Thomas Doyel are listed on page 6.[ix]  By 1800, Gregory Doyel had joined the group.[x] Martha Gott married Gregory Doyle in 1785, in Orange County, North Carolina.[xi] 

1800 Tax list, page 7, lines 6-8 show the three Gotts listed.[xii]

April 29–Richard Gott—no land—1 over 21, one 16-21, 2 horses

Robert Gott—1 over 21, 2 16-21, 3 horses

April 30–Richard Gott, Jr.—one over 21.

Detail from the 1800 tax list, page 7.

All the 1800 tax list indicates is that there were three adult male Gotts with households.  We can figure out that Richard Gott, Jr. is obviously of a younger generation.  This then indicates that the supposed brothers—Richard and Robert—are there together: Richard has one male—likely a son—age 16-21, and Robert has two males 16-21.  Richard Jr. could be the son of either man because in early records “junior” only means “younger” not “son of.”  This Richard Jr is the son of Robert.[xiii]

1801 Tax List, page 8, lines 12-13.[xiv]

Richard Gott—one over 21

Robert Gott—two over, two 16-21, 4 horses

What happened to Richard, Jr.?  Or is this Richard the Junior and old Richard is missing?  It really could be either.  Richard, Jr. in 1800 has no horse, and this 1801 Richard has no horse.  Based on the next year’s list, and knowing that John Gott (son of Richard) married Gracie Stubbins in Jan of 1802[xv] in Orange County, North Carolina, and then appears in Shelby County in April[xvi]—it must be that John and Richard returned to North Carolina in 1801, settled up accounts there, then returned to Kentucky.  By 1802, all are back in Shelby County.

1802 Tax List 1, page 9[xvii]

April 8—line 6, Richard Gott, Sen—one over 21, 1 horse

line 7, John Gott, Jr.—one over 21, 1 horse

Ap 10—line 9, John Gott, Sr.—one over, 1 horse

Ap 14—line 13, Robert Gott 2 over 21, 1 16-21, 2 horses

line 14, Richard Gott Jr. one over 21, 1 horse

There seems to be a nice grouping of families in this list.  Richard Gott, Sr. with his son, called John Gott, Jr (because he is younger than another John Gott); Robert Gott with his son, Richard, Jr.  John Gott, Sr. is between the families, but with additional information,[xviii] one can determine that he is the son of Robert Sr.  Note that Richard Gott, Sr. has no other males in his household—at least none over 16 (born before 1786).  If Richard Sr. had any sons left in his house, they would be tallied here.  This is an important point when determining who his sons are and are not.

Robert Gott, Sr. shows himself over 21, another male over 21 (born before 1781), and two males 16-21.  The tax lists shows us that Robert Gott, Sr is the only one left with younger males in his household.

From 1803 through 1809, we will see a pattern of Gott men marrying and creating new households at the same time a male disappears from the home of Robert Gott, Sr.  The logical conclusion is that he has sons who are coming of age (age 21) and setting up their own homes.  One being John Gott who married Elizabeth Tucker, on 25 March, 1803, in Shelby County.[xix]

1803 Tax List, pages 7-9.[xx]

Mar12—p 7, line 28, Richard Gott Jun.—one over 21, 2 horses

line 29, John Gott—one over 21, 2 horses

Mar 17—p 7, line 32 (last line) John Gott son of Richard—one over 21, 1 horse

p 8, line 1, Robert Gott Jr.—one over 21, 1 horse

Ap 14—p 8, line 10, Richard Gott Sen—one over 21

Jun 14—p 9, line 5, Robert Gott Sen—61a Fox Run—one over 21, 2 16-21, 3 horses

By 1803, the Gott men are starting to purchase land.  Robert Gott, Sr. buys 61 acres on Fox Run. 

We see Richard Gott Sr, by himself.  We see both John Gott (son of Robert Sr) next to Richard Jr (son of Robert Sr).  We see John “son of Richard” as well.  This year, we see that Robert Sr lost a male over 21 from the 1802 list, and a Robert Gott, Jr. appears as a new household on the list.  Robert Gott Jr. married Rachel Cole on 12 October 1802.[xxi]  Based on his appearance in the tax list at the time when Robert Sr loses a male—Robert Gott, Jr. must be the son of Robert Gott, Sr.  Robert Gott , Jr. was born about 1781.[xxii]  Robert Gott Sr still has two males 16-21 in his home.

1804 Tax List 1, pp 9-11[xxiii]

May 1—p 9, line 24, Jonathan Gott –1 over21, 2 horses

May 7—p 9, line 26 (last line) Robert Gott Sr—61a Fox Run—1 over, 1 16-21, 3 horses

P 10, line 1, Robert Gott Jr.—1 over, 2 horses

May 10—p 10, line 2, John Gott—100a Christian Co, Little Riv.  2 over 21, 2 horses

Jul 11—p 11, line 6, Richard Gott—one over, 2 horses

line, 7, John Gott—one over, 2 horse.

Life starts to move a little faster.  We see the previous players from 1803, except for Richard Gott, Sr.  Since Richard drops off the list in 1804, it is assumed he died about 1803.  This is where all genealogies get the death date of 1803, Shelby County, Kentucky.  Technically, we do not know he is dead, but it is a logical conclusion.  There are no probate or deed records for Richard Gott, Sr.

A Jonathon Gott appears, age over 21, and guess what!  Robert Gott, Sr. loses a male in the 16-21 category.  This would show us that Jonathan is 1) the son of Robert Gott Sr., 2) age 20 in 1803, but 3) age 21 in 1804.  Jonathan was born then in 1783.  Jonathan Gott married Maryann Brackett on 11 August 1803, in Shelby County.[xxiv]  Jonathan has always been placed in the family of Richard Gott, Sr, probably because he moved to Warren County, Kentucky.  If Jonathan were the son of Richard, Sr, He would be listed in Richard’s household in 1800, 1802, and 1803. Since he is not, and there are no records to support this parentage, the tax list is evidence that Robert Gott, Sr is Jonathan’s father.

A recap of the first families of Gotts in Shelby shows us that there was a Richard Gott, Sr who had a confirmed son, John, known as John of Richard or John, Jr.  There was a Robert Gott, Sr. who had several sons including Richard, Jr., John (of age by 1802), Robert, Jr. (of age by 1803), and Jonathan (of age by 1804).  In 1804, Robert Gott, Sr. still has a male age 16-21—born between 1783 and 1788.

In 1805, the details are basically the same.[xxv]  All the men are listed as over 21, heads of households.  Robert Gott, Sr., still has one additional male age 16-21.  (This narrows down the son’s age between 17 and 20 based on the age in 1804 and 1805—born between 1785 and 1788.)

In 1806,[xxvi] Jonathan is gone.  One John Gott owns 40 acres on Bull Skin in Shelby County. (This is John Gott, Jr., also known as, John D. Gott, son of Richard, Sr.[xxvii])  Richard, the other John, and Robert, Jr. are listed.  Robert, Sr. is listed on page 8, line 1, with his 61 acres of land and no other males in his household.  Right below him, line 2, is Peter Gott, head of household, but only 16-21.  Peter Gott married Margarette McClemants on 9 December 1805, in Shelby County.  Since he was underage, he would need his father’s consent, but no consent has been located.  Based on Peter’s appearance on the tax lists in 1806, a few months after his marriage in December 1805; and knowing Robert Gott, Sr. had a son the right age in 1805, Peter must be Robert’s son.  Peter is always shown as a son of Richard Gott, Sr.; however, Richard, Sr. has no males the right age in his household in earlier tax records.  Just like Jonathan Gott, there are no records to support that parentage, but the tax lists are evidence that Peter is the son of Robert, Sr.  Jonathan and Peter seem to move in tandem, first to Warren County, Kentucky, then eventually their families end up in Greene County, Missouri.

By 1807, the Gott men are moving out of the county of Shelby.  Peter is still listed, age 16-21; Robert (with no land) is next to Peter.[xxviii]  On the next page is John Gott (no land),[xxix] and further down the page is Robert Gott, Sr., with 61 acres of land and a new male age 16-21.[xxx] Only one John is listed from 1807 on, and it would appear John Gott, Sr. (son of Robert Gott, Sr.) had moved away.[xxxi]

In 1808, John Gott[xxxii] is listed several lines above Robert Gott, Sr. (61 acres) who has a male 16-21.[xxxiii]  Below Robert is Peter Gott, now 21—making his birth year about 1787; below Peter is Robert Gott, Junior.[xxxiv] 

In 1809, the state of Kentucky did not ask for males age 16-21.  Robert, Jr., Richard, Peter, and Robert, Sr. (with 68 acres) are listed as heads of household.[xxxv]  Further down is John Gott.[xxxvi]

There is no 1810 Tax list for Shelby County, but that is the year of the federal census.  The census gives us additional information about the families by including the females.  The numbers below indicate males under 10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, and 45+; females under 10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, and 45+.

Page 677, line 3                 John D. Gott       30010—20010

Page 676, line 3                 Richard Gott      21010—20010

Page 714, line 17               Robert Gott        30010—10010

Page 721, line 4                 Robert Gott        30101—11101

Page 730, line 9                 Peter Gott           20100—10100

Based on this information, Robert Gott, Sr is obviously the oldest man listed, age over 45. He has one male 16-26, which fits with the data in the tax records of 1808.  This narrows that son’s birth year to between 1787 and 1792.  Robert has females including his wife, Lydia, two older daughters, and then four children under 10, the children by Lydia. Based on the tax lists, all the other men are his sons, except for John D. Gott.  Peter, listed as 16-26, would be 23 based on the analysis of the tax records above.  Adding additional support that Peter is the son of Robert, Sr., the census shows Peter living next to Powell Skelton who married Hannah Gott on 28 May, 1805.[xxxvii]  Hannah is the daughter of Robert, Sr.  Next to Powell is Daniel Butler who married Margaret Gott, another daughter of Robert, Sr.[xxxviii]

In 1811, the Shelby County tax list again asks for males 16-21, and Robert Gott, Sr has a male in that age bracket.[xxxix] Richard and Peter appear on page 14 of that list, and Robert , Jr. and Sr. are on page 15, and John is on page 16.[xl]  In 1812, the only age bracket for white males is 21 and older, but this is the year Thomas Gott shows up on the tax lists as a 21-year-old landholder with 54 acres on Fox Run.  Thomas is the next Gott male to arrive of age from Robert Senior’s household.  From the records, it appears Thomas was the youngest son by Robert Senior’s unknown first wife.  No new Gott households will appear until the year 1825 when William Nichols Gott comes of age.  William N. Gott is the son of Robert Gott Sr and Lydia—if he is 21 in 1825, his birth year before 1804.

John D. Gott last appears in Shelby County in 1819.[xli]  He moves to Warren County, Kentucky.[xlii] Richard Gott’s last appearance is in 1824.[xliii]  He is located in Marion County, Indiana on the 1830 U.S. census.[xliv]  The year 1827 is Thomas Gott’s last tax record in Shelby,[xlv] and he moves to Montgomery County, Indiana.  William N.[xlvi] and Robert Jr. remain until 1828,[xlvii] but both move to Montgomery County, Indiana, as well.  Robert Gott, Sr. is the only one left in tax lists in 1829.[xlviii]  An 1824 deed between Robert and Lydia to their son, Dann B. Gott recites that Dann was to get the land as long as he took care of his parents.[xlix]  Another deed shows Robert and Lydia, and Dann and, his wife, Eliza Jane (nee Hannah) Gott selling that land in 1830[l] and moving to Montgomery County, Indiana.  They are not listed on the 1830 tax list.  Robert Gott, Senior’s last appearance was in 1829, page 33, line 30—the last line on the page.[li]

Robert and Richard Gott may have been brothers.  This has not been fully proved.  There are no records to give an indication of Richard’s age. Another possibility could be that Richard, Sr. was Robert, Sr’s father, and he had younger children by an unknown wife.  There are no known marriage records for Richard Gott.  We do know that Richard had children of comparable age to Robert’s children, and some of them had the same names.  There were two Richards in the children’s generation; two Johns, two Hannahs, and two Elizabeths.  Richard Gott, Sr. had at least those children, but finding evidence that Peter and Jonathan S. Gott are sons of Robert Gott, Sr, and not of Richard Gott, Sr. calls every one of his assumed children into question.  Could Sutton Gott be the son of Robert Gott, Sr. as well?  Even if he is Richard, Sr’s son, is he Robert, Sr’s half-brother or nephew?  No one has yet provided records to prove the kinship of Sutton to the rest of the family.

So, it is now the duty of responsible genealogists to ask, “What records prove my Gott pedigree?”  Many will be surprised that the top branches are built on guesswork, not facts.  What should hold greater credence?  An unsourced genealogy passed down by researchers from decades ago, or actual records, like these tax lists, that have been analyzed, perhaps, for the very first time. 


The children of Robert Gott, Sr. can be proven with records.  Since there were people in the next generation with the same name, we can pinpoint some of Richard’s children by default—Richard Gott (c. 1821 Orange Co, NC), John D. Gott, Hannah Gott Reese, and Elizabeth Gott Reese.  If some of the children of Richard were misattributed to his family, others could be also—there are (as yet) no conclusive records to link Martha Gott Doyle, Sutton Gott, or Mary Gott Squires to Richard, Sr. or to Robert Sr.  

Records do connect children to Robert, Sr. and these records change the accepted online genealogies. There are gaps in the birth years where more children could fit.   Robert’s confirmed children, with the evidence for their parentage is in the chart below. For more research on the Gott family searcg GOTT at my blog: http://www.dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com.

Children of Robert Gott, Sr    
by unk. first wife    
Name Approximate birth year Proof or evidence
John Gott 1765 Revolutionary War application
Richard Gott Bet. 1770-75 Tax lists, DNA
Robert Gott 1781 Tax lists
Jonathan S. Gott 1783 Tax lists
Hannah Gott (m. Powell Skelton) Bet. 1784-91 Marriage bond and consent
Peter Gott c. 1787 Tax Lists
Margaret (m. Daniel Butler) Bet. 1785-1794 Marriage bond and consent
Thomas Gott 1790 Tax lists
Nancy  (m. John J. Stubbins) 1791 Obituary of Samuel Stubbins[lii]
Elizabeth (m. Powell Skelton) 1790-1800 Biography of James Skelton[liii]
by Lydia (Maddox?) Nichols    
Wilson M. Gott Bef. 1810 Lydia Black Welty letter[liv]
Sarah (m. Robert Maddox) Bef. 1810 Lydia Black Welty letter[lv]
William Nichols Gott Bef. 1810 Tax lists
Dann B. Gott Bef. 1810 Shelby County KY Deeds


[i] From a family group sheet by researcher, Mary K. Pierson (1922-2006); this is the family most often shared online.

[ii] Text of the deed can be found at Maryland Online Archives.  At the link http://aomol.msa.maryland.gov/000001/000726/html/am726–304.html.  Nothing in this deeds suggests Margaret is a Weems, but this is the record referenced for that conclusion.

[iii] Gaius M. Brumbaugh.  Maryland Records: Colonial, Revolutionary, County, and Church, Vol. II, page 43, listing 100 acres of Gunpowder Manor, leased to Robert Gott on 2 Mar, 1737, now in the possession of Mary Gudgeons (Robert’s widow, remarried to Thomas Gudgeons), for the lives of Richard (age 31) and Elizabeth (age 42) in 1767.

[iv] Lydia and Robert only had the four children named.  There are group sheets that show several children born to Robert and Lydia born after 1800.  Those children are actually the children of Robert Gott, Jr. and his first wife, Rachel Cole.  Why this mix up happened, and why no one else has analyzed the records to correct this misinformation befuddles the author.  Surely, I am not the first one to check the records…or am I?

[v] Bainbridge Hall married Polly Ellender Nichols “step-daughter of Robt Gott Sr” on 8 Oct 1806, Shelby County, Kentucky.  Marriage Bond linked at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89S9-RFTY?i=668&cc=1804888&cat=192528.

[vi] Shelby County, KY, 1799 Tax List 2, p 8, line 14: Got, Sutton. 

[vii] Sutton Gott is listed in Henry County, KY, 1800 Tax list, p 9, line 10, through 1808 Tax List 2, p 4, line 5.  By 1810, he was on the Warren County, Kentucky, census records.

[viii] “Henry County, Kentucky.” Wikipedia.com.

[ix] Shelby County, KY, 1799 Tax List 2, p 6.

[x] Shelby County, KY, 1800 Tax List 1, p5, line 9.

[xi] Gregory Doyle to Martha Gott, bond dated 19 Oct, 1785. Link at Familysearch.org: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ9-NC3S?i=656.

[xii] Shelby County, KY, 1800 Tax List 1, p 7, lines 6-8.

[xiii][xiii] DNA matches between for the author’s father are high enough to confirm a sibling relationship between Thomas Gott (1790-1860) and Richard Gott, Jr.  Another Richard Gott, of comparable age, remained in Orange Co, NC.  He married Catey Gill, and died in 1821.  He lived near the Freshwater family, who purchased the land of Richard Sr.  ( see Orange Co Deed Book 8, p 133).  This proximity suggests Richard of Orange Co was the son of Richard Sr.

[xiv] Shelby Co, KY, Tax List 1801 List 1, page 8, lines 12-13.

[xv] John Gott to Gracie Stubbins, 2 Jan 1802, Orange County, NC, link at Familysearch.org: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZ9-NQZR?i=1486

[xvi] Shelby Co, KY, Tax 1802 Tax List 1, page 9.

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] John Gott, who married Elizabeth Tucker, later moved to Darke County, Ohio.  He applied for pension off his father’s Revolutionary War service, naming Robert Gott as his father.  See, http://revwarapps.org/r4150.pdf.

[xix] “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F47W-MM8 : 11 February 2018), John Gott and Elizabeth Tucker, 25 Mar 1803; citing , Shelby, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 259,273.

[xx] Shelby Co, KY, 1803 Tax List 1, pp 7-9.

[xxi] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89S9-R6TV?cc=1804888&wc=QD3Q-WXS%3A1300334232 : 17 May 2018), 005552474 > image 315 of 537; citing various county clerks and county courts, Kentucky.

[xxii] The birth year for Robert Gott (Jr) taken from his age in U.S. Census, Brown Tp, Mongtomgery Co, IN, p 1064, dwelling 821, family 851. Familysearch.org link: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-67K9-6X4?cc=1401638

[xxiii] Shelby Co, KY, 1804 Tax List 1, pp 9-11.

[xxiv] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89S9-R6P5?cc=1804888&wc=QD3Q-WXS%3A1300334232 : 17 May 2018), 005552474 > image 306 of 537; citing various county clerks and county courts, Kentucky.

[xxv] Shelby Co, KY, 1805 Tax List 1, p 8 (lines 1, 9, 20, 26, 27) and p 9 line 7.  Be aware of similar names like Goe, Gooch, Gothia, and Gie.

[xxvi] Shelby Co, KY, 1806 Tax List 1, p 7 (lines 14, 17), 8 (lines 1, 2, 3, and 12).

[xxvii] Shelby  Co, KY, Deed Book S, p 364, John D. Gott and Gracey, his wife, of Warren County, Kentucky,  sell 40 acres on Bull Skin to Sam M. White, 25 Feb 1822.

[xxviii] Shelby Co, KY, 1807 Tax List 1, p 8, lines 18-29.

[xxix] Shelby Co, KY, 1807 Tax List 1, p 9, line 3.

[xxx] Shelby Co, KY, 1807 Tax List 1, p 9, line 19.

[xxxi] See note 17.

[xxxii] Shelby Co, KY, 1808 Tax List 1, p 9, line 17.

[xxxiii] Shelby Co, KY, 1808 Tax List 1, p 9, line 29.

[xxxiv] Shelby Co, KY, 1808 Tax List 1, p 9, lines 30-31.

[xxxv] Shelby Co, KY, 1809 Tax List 1, p 5.

[xxxvi] Ibid.

[xxxvii] The marriage bond for Powell Skelton to Miss Hannah Gott “the daughter of Rob Gott.” Familysearch.org link: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9S9-RNTX?i=396&cc=1804888&cat=192528

[xxxviii] Daniel Butler to Margaret Gott, 1 Mar 1810; marriage consent dated 28 Feb 1810 signed by Robert Gott Sen. Familysearch.org link: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8937-KY5J?i=823&cc=1804888.

[xxxix] Shelby County, KY, 1811 Tax List 1, p 15, line 37.

[xl] Shelby County, KY 1811 Tax List 1, pp 14-16.

[xli] Shelby County, KY, 1819 Tax List 1, p 29, line 14.

[xlii] See note 26.

[xliii] Shelby County,KY, 1824 Tax List 1, p 30, line 11.

[xliv] Richard Gott is actually enumerated twice in the 1830 Marion County, IN, census.  Once in Center Township and again in Marion Township.  The census data is not exact, but certainly represents the same household.

[xlv] Shelby County, KY, 1827 Tax List 1, p 32, line 10; listed below Robert (Sr) and William N. Gott.

[xlvi] Shelby County, KY, 1828 Tax List 1, p 28, entry 23.

[xlvii] Shelby County, KY, 1828 Tax List 1, p 29, line 12, listed as “Gate, Robert” with 91 acres of land on Clear Creek, and two males over 21, indicating that his sons were coming of age.

[xlviii] Shelby County, KY, 1829 Tax List 1, p 33, line 30—last line of the page.

[xlix] Shelby County, KY, Deed Book U-1, 1824-1826,p 19. Available on Familysearch Film No. 007897709, image 275 of 770.

[l] Shelby County, KY, Deed Book Y-1, 1829-1831, pp327-28. Available on Familysearch.org Film No. 008141845, image 184 of 548.

[li] Shelby County, KY, 1829 Tax list, p 33, line 30.

[lii] See http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/obituaries/s/stubbins-samuel.htm.

[liii] See http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/bios%20s/–skelton—james-a.-.html

[liv] Letter written by Lydia Black Welty, granddaughter of Wilson Gott, originally in possession of Florellen Pan Krotz, great-granddaughter of Lydia.  This letter was sent to Gott researcher Barbara L. Goodbar from Hazel Voris, 1992.

[lv] Ibid.