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GOODWIN Family History, Part I

August 2009
Information here is based largely on that done by Elizabeth (Goodwin) Goss's granddaughter Ila Goss-Barrett and her grandson Bill Jenkins. Cousin Ila was a major inspiration in starting my genealogical work.

Our Goodwin line originated in Ireland, later settled in Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire, Strathclyde, Scotland, and is probably part of the small Goodwin clan that is centered around Ayr. The name Goodwin traces back to pre-Norman conquest days as the Old English "Godewyn" which means "Good friend."

Our Goodwin clan descends from "Long Tom" Goodwin1. Three of his four sons and his daughter emigrated to America, first settling in the coal mining region of Pennsylvania:

During the California Gold Rush, James, and probably brother John as well, went to California to find a suitable homestead and by 1856 settled in Coulterville, Mariposa County. James' family came out the following year.

In 1864, James died and his widow Jane remarried and continued on in Coulterville. John moved a little further south to Bear Valley in the early 1870s, then on to Bodie, Mono County, California, in the late 1870s, and finally resettled in Jerome, Yavapai County, Arizona.

Thomas "Long Tom" GOODWIN, Sr.1Top

1. Thomas "Long Tom" Goodwin, Sr. married Elizabeth "Betty" Newell and started a family in Ireland, where his first son was born. By 1823 they had moved to Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, where the rest of his children were born:

11. Hugh Goodwin --  --  -- 
12. Thomas Goodwin, Jr. 23 Jul 1823 10 Apr 1867 (43)
13. James Goodwin2 6 Jun 1829 2 Jan 1864 (34)
14. John Goodwin, Sr. (1830) 5 May 1896 (65)
15. Elizabeth Goodwin 13 Jun 1830 21 Mar 1919 (88)

"Long Tom" Goodwin "stood six feet four inches in his socks and was heavy in porportion and a recognized giant in strength." He arrived in Kilbirnie, Scotland, from Ireland "when his oldest son, Hugh, was a child."

"Long Tom" died in Kilbirnie on Dennyholm Street.

Hugh GOODWIN (1823-)Top

11. Hugh Goodwin is the first born son of Thomas "Long Tom" Goodwin. He was born in Ireland before the family moved to Scotland.

11. Hugh Goodwin --  --  -- 
12. Agnes Goodwin --  --  -- 

Thomas GOODWIN, Jr. (1823-1867)Top

12. Thomas Goodwin, Jr. was born on July 23, 1823, in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland. He married Jean Dock (Doak/Deak) in Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire, Scotland, and had at least nine children, likely all born in Kilbirnie:

121. Thomas Goodwin, III 6 Jul 1845 3 Mar 1898 (52)
122. James Goodwin 5 Nov 1847 23 Feb 1904 (56)
123. Robert Goodwin 1855 --  -- 
124. Hugh Goodwin 19 Mar 1856 --  -- 
125. John Goodwin 17 May 1858 1861 (<2)
126. Jane Goodwin 24 Mar 1860 1860 Infancy
127. John Goodwin 10 Feb 1861 --  -- 
128. Elizabeth Goodwin 23 Oct 1863 --  -- 
129. Alexander Goodwin 25 Jul 1866 --  -- 

Thomas Jr. and Jean started their family in Kilbirnie and probably followed his brothers, James and John Sr., to America. Brother James arrived in America in 1851 and Thomas is believed to have only settled for a short while in Pennsylvania, probably in Schuykill County, but returned to Kilbirnie.

Thomas Jr. worked in the coal and iron mines of Kilbirnie until unable to work any longer.

Thomas Goodwin, Jr. was an invalid for some time before he died on April 10, 1867, at Dennyholm Street in Kilbirnie. He was only 42 years old.

After their father's death, sons Thomas and James set out to America from Glasgow or Liverpool on June 1, 1870, and arrived at Castle Gardens, New York, on July 10, 1870. Son Robert also traveled back and forth between Scotland and America, finally settling in Illinois in 1895.

Jean (Dock) Goodwin died in Kilbirnie in 1889.

James GOODWIN2 (1829-1864)Top

13. James Goodwin2 was born in Irwin (Irving?), Ayrshire, Scotland on June 6, 1829. He married Jane McNeil, a laundry girl of Ayrshire, on February 19, 1849, at the St. Thomas Methodist Church in Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire, Scotland. They had eight children:

131. Thomas Goodwin 5 Sep 1849 1849 (0)
132. James William Goodwin 17 Mar 1851 Sep 1851 (6 mos.)
133. Elizabeth Goodwin3 12 Aug 1852 2 Jun 1942 (89)
134. Martha Jane Goodwin 7 Sep 1854 1 Mar 1885 (31)
135. John Charles Goodwin 9 Apr 1857 9 Sep 1876 (19)
136. Maggie Goodwin (1861) 3 Nov 1899 (38)
137. George Thomas Goodwin (1861) 15 Mar 1920 (58)
138. James N. W. Goodwin Oct 1864 1935 (72)

The first two children were born in Scotland. Thomas died and was buried in Kilbirnie in his first year. The couple then had their second son, James William just before setting sail for America. James William died en route and was buried at sea just before arriving in New York.

Upon arriving in New York, the couple, and probably James' brother John Sr., moved to the area of Bear Gap, Northumberland County and Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. James was a coal miner there, probably continuing a trade he knew in the old country. The Goodwin couple then had two daughters, Elizabeth and Martha Jane, both born in Bear Gap and baptized there at the Methodist Church. Their next child, John Charles was either born in Pennsylvania or California.

1856 Indian Troubles
The Indian troubles likely refers to the Tule River Indian War of 1856. Following a gold strike along the Kern River in 1853, several thousand settlers descended upon Tulare County, putting pressure on the local Tejon Indian tribes. As tensions grew, white settlers exaggerated minor incidents and misunderstandings, sparking a six-week war in the spring of 1856.

It was about this time that James decided to follow the wave of gold prospectors to California. He went ahead of his family and set up a store along the Kern River which runs through Sequoia National Park in Tulare County. He stayed there until the store was destroyed during an Indian massacre.

Probably later in 1856, James moved north to the area of Coulterville, Mariposa County. Once settled, he sent for his family around 1857. They went by way of boat from New York to the Isthmus of Panama, crossed and then took another boat to San Francisco.

Once the family was reunited, the next children were born, probably around Coulterville near the Banderita Mine. James and his brother, John Sr. first worked at the Banderita Mine which was established in 1856. In 1861 the Goodwin family moved down into Coulterville and John Sr. eventually had a ranch at Dutch Creek in the Red Cloud area (present day Greeley Hill).

"Mariposa Free Press," January 9, 1864

"Died, at Chowchilla, January 2d, JAMES GOODWIN, a native of Irwin Ayshire, Scotland; aged 38 years."

"Deceased had been for several years a resident of Coulterville and vicinity; was an honest, and generous man, a kind husband and father, and was universally esteemed by the community for those sterling qualities which go to make up the sum total of a good citizen. Enterprising and industrious, his loss will be severely felt by the business community, while to the social and family circle, it is irreparable. He leaves a wife and six children."

Just years after settling in Coulterville, James Goodwin apparently moved down into the valley and resettled in Chowchilla, Madera County. He died there at the age of 34 on January 2, 1864, leaving his wife and six children. He was buried at the Coulterville Cemetery. Given the early age of his death and his earlier profession of coal mining, it is likely that James Goodwin died of "black lung" disease.

Following James' death, his widow filed for a homestead declaration on Friday, February 24, 1865.

Jane remarried to Peter Johnson on September 26, 1866, and had four more sons by him.

After Peter's death, Jane remarried for a third time in 1888. This time to James Opie. Jane died two years later in 1890 at about the age of 58 and is buried at the Coulterville Cemetery.

  • Cen 1860: 8 Aug 1860 Census, Coulterville, Townships 1 & 4, Mariposa County, California
  • Cen 1870: 12 Jul 1870 Census, Maxwell Creek, Fourth Township, Mariposa County, California

John GOODWIN (Sr.) (1820s-1896)Top

14. John Goodwin (Sr.) was born in Scotland between 1826 and 1830. He emigrated to the United States probably about the time of his older brother James Goodwin, who arrived in 1851. He also settled in the area of Bear Gap, Northumberland County, and Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. He had at least two, possibly three sons, two of whom were born in Scotland:

141. John Maurice Goodwin (Jr.) 1 Mar 1849 30 Jul 1901 (53)
142. Thomas Goodwin (1850) --  -- 
143. Frank Goodwin --  --  -- 

John Goodwin, Sr. applied for citizenship July 21, 1860, in Schuykill County. A month later he was living with his brother James in California working as a quartz miner[Cen 1860], his family probably still waiting back in Pennsylvania. In September 1865 he received his citizenship certificate in Mariposa County, California.

John Goodwin, Sr. probably worked at the Banderita Mine first. He later set up a ranch at Dutch Creek in the Red Cloud area. In the early 1870s he moved to Bear Valley, 17 miles south of Coulterville. There his son John Maurice, Jr. was married and his grandson Walter T. Goodwin was born.

Jerome is now a ghost town located about 3 miles west of Clarkdale along Alternate Highway 89.

By the late 1870s, John Sr. and family were on the move again, searching for more fortunes in gold. They moved to Bodie, Mono County and eventually to Jerome, Yavapai County, Arizona[Cen 1880], where he and his son Thomas worked as stockraisers.

John GOODWIN (Sr.) died on May 5, 1896, near Peck's Lake in the Upper Verde valley in Yavapai County.

"Mariposa Gazette," May 22, 1896
"Death of John Goodwin Sr."

"From a private letter written to Judge Corcoran we learned of the death of John Goodwin Sr., which took place on the 5th inst. in Cottonwood, Yavapai county, Arizona. Mr. Goodwin was formerly a resident of Coulterville, where he and his brother James conducted a large mercantile business in that town, He is well known in that vicinity, where a number of his relatives still reside. At the time of his death the deceased was 68 years of age."

  • Cen 1860: 8 Aug 1860 Census, Coulterville, Township 1 & 4, Mariposa County, California
  • Cen 1880: 1 Jun 1880 Census, Yavapai County, Arizona

Elizabeth (GOODWIN) ALLEN (1830-1919)Top

15. Elizabeth Goodwin was born on June 13, 1830, in Scotland. She immigrated to America possibly in the early 1850s when at least one of her elder brothers immigrated. She married Thomas Allen, a coal miner and native of Wishaw, Lanark, Scotland, on October 6, 1853, in New Mines, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. They had 13 children:

15A. Elizabeth Allen 7 Aug 1854 7 Aug 1854 (0)
15B. George Allen 7 Aug 1854 13 Aug 1854 (6 days)
15C. Catherine Allen 8 Jul 1855 2 May 1932 (76)
15D. Thomas Allen 6 Apr 1857 24 Apr 1924 (67)
15E. George Allen 24 Nov 1858 14 Mar 1939 (80)
15F. Elizabeth Allen 24 Aug 1860 24 Aug 1861 (1)
15G. John Goodwin Allen 17 Feb 1862 24 May 1940 (78)
15H. Alexander C. Allen 22 May 1863 26 Mar 1940 (76)
15I. Hugh Goodwin Allen 7 Apr 1865 26 Sep 1937 (72)
15J. James Goodwin Allen 5 Jul 1867 28 Dec 1939 (72)
15K. Archibald Allen 22 Apr 1869 9 Apr 1928 (58)
15L. Susannah Allen 1 Jun 1870 --  -- 
15M. Crawford Sidney Allen 26 Mar 1873 29 Jun 1949 (76)

The Allen family settled in New Mines, Schuylkill County, perhaps as early as 1852 through 1865. New Mines is about 4 miles WSW of Minersville where Elizabeth's elder brother James settled until around 1857. By 1867 the Allens moved to Braidwood, Will County, Illinois.

Thomas Allen died on January 3, 1913, in Braidwood.

Elizabeth (Goodwin) Allen died six years later in Braidwood on March 21, 1919, at the age of 88. She and her husband are buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Custer Township, Will County, Illinois, near Joliet.