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Goff Family, Henderson Co. TN

Updated August 13, 2014

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Descendents of Edmund Goff and Jane Long of Henderson County TN. Various spellings of the name were Gough, Gaugh, Goff, Goffe, and Gawf. It is said that Edmund and Jane came from North Carolina in a two wheeled oxcart, settling on the current Goff farm in Henderson County before West Tennessee was opened for settlement (1818). Various branches in the family have all stated that this was shortly after the Great Earthquake, and that there were no white neighbors, only indians. This would put the settlement time after 1811-1812. Elias Goff's state of birth in the Census is listed as Alabama, so it's likely the family took the easier land route south below the Appalachians through Georgia and Alabama and then into West Tennessee. Jane Long Goff was said to have shot and killed an indian with a musket during the first year when she caught him leading off the milk cow. There was no where to get another. The original home was log with a mud and stick chimney. Nothing is left of the site except for some depressions, made sometime after the Civil War by people looking for some 'buried gold or coins.' This site is on Hwy 100 in Henderson County, just west of the Chester County Line, and east of the Goff Branch Creek. Shiloh Baptist Church is near the property.

At some point prior to Edmund Goff it was thought that the name was originally Barlow, but no one in my greatgrandfather's generation remembered when or why. The ancestors/relatives listed for Edmond Goff here are from the research of Terry Goff in Ky. I haven't done any research for information prior to Edmund and Jane Goff, and most of the information here is from Goff Reunions and cemetery records. Recent DNA testing has confirmed that Edmund and his brothers carry genetic markers common to the Barlow family. One story relates that the daughter of a Dr. Goff married a Barlow, and after their death the children were adopted by this Goff grandfather.

Standardization of the name to Goff was made after the Civil War. The Goff family were Union sympathizers and many joined the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, US. Several died in prisoner of war camps and another in the North at a hospital.

The Goff Reunion is held at Shiloh Baptist Church on the 2nd Saturday of August.

Family Trees (viewing trees requires 4.0 or later browser)
Family Photos
  • Guy and Ann Goff, Brenda Goff (Crook) (30 KB)
    Brenda Kathleen Goff, born March 26, 1943. Clifton St. in Lexington (now South Main) at the home of her parents, Guy H. Goff and Anna Belle Barker. Brenda Goff Crook was my mother.
  • Martha Spain Goff and her descendents 1896 (76 KB)
    Martha Spain Goff in Center. Her husband, Elias Perry Goff is buried at Andersonville. Backrow: Silas Goff Hezekiah Goff, Elias Goff...Edmund Robert Goff, Wm Goff, Steve Goff (child), John Will Goff and Elias Thomas Goff. From Martha Spain right is Bob Goff, Oscar Goff, Matthew Valentine Goff, seated far right, Mary Hefley Goff
  • Brenda K. Goff weds Winfield C. Crook (14 KB)
    First Baptist Church, Sunday afternoon, 2pm, Lexington, TN, June 5, 1960. Bro. Edwin E. Deusner, officiating. Front row, right, Guy Goff and Ann Barker Goff. Brenda and Winfield are my parents.
  • Stephen Hefley & Almira Haney (47 KB)
    These are the parents of Mary Hefley who married Matthew Valentine Goff, and Nep Hefley who married his cousin GW Goff. Stephen and Almira are buried at Shiloh Baptist Cem., Henderson Co. TN
  • Matthew Valentine Goff and Mary Hefley (37 KB)
    M.V. Goff was the son of Pvt. Elias P. Goff, a son of Edmund Goff and Jane Long. Mary was the daughter of Stephen Hefley & Almira Haney.
  • Walter and Nep Goff Phillips (103 KB)
    Walter Phillips and wife Nep Goff. She was the daughter of Matthew Valentine Goff and Mary Hefley. Seated- Walter Phillips holdingVerDell, Nep is holding Zula Belle, and the boy in the back is Elijah. The boy on the right is Noah, and the girl standing on the left is Lula Mae. There was another child latter, Annie Margaret.
  • George W. Neisler and Jane Goff (36 KB)
    These are the parents of Cora Neisler Goff. Her mother, Jane, was the daughter of Pvt. Robert Goff, a son of Edmund Goff(Gawf,Gough)and Jane Long.
  • John Will Goff and Cora Lee Neisler (23 KB)
    J.W. and Cora on their 50th wedding anniversary. J.W. Goff was the son of Matthew V. Goff and Mary Hefley. Cora was the daughter of George W. Neisler and Jane Goff. Jane was the daughter Robert Goff, Pvt. 7th TN Cav. USA, who died at Andersonville. He was the son of Edmund Goff and Jane Long. He married Anna Maria Beecham. The Goff spinning wheel from the 1700's came back into my family through this line.
  • John Will Goff and Edmund Robert Goff (29 KB)
    These are sons of Matthew Valentine Goff and Mary Hefley. Bob Goff was killed in the March 22, 1952 tornado in Lexington, TN. He was the father of Roxie, Axie, and Wiley. J.W. Goff was my great grandfather through his son, Guy H. Goff.
  • Charlie Goff and Guy H. Goff (26 KB)
    These are sons of John Will Goff and Cora Lee Neisler. Charlie married Edith Gilliam and Guy married Anna Belle Barker.
  • Spinning Wheel, Jane Long Goff, ca 1800 (69 KB)
    This spinning wheel was brought by Edmund Goff and his wife, Jane Long, from North Carolina to Henderson County ca. 1812. It travelled in a two wheeled ox-cart to the original homestead, located on the south side of Hwy 100, just east of Goff Branch Creek, and 1/4 mile west of Shiloh Baptist Church, where the couple are buried. The original home was log with a mud & stick chimney.
  • Jane Long Goff glasses; Elias P. Goff's pipe (59 KB)
    The spectacles belong to Jane Long Goff. They and the deerhide case were made prior to 1850. The pipe belonged to Pvt. Elias Perry Goff, 7th TN Cavalry, USA. Elias survived Andersonville, but his first meal locked his digestive tract and killed him. He was buried at Camp Lawton in Millen Ga in 1865 and then moved in 1868 to the National Cem at Beaufort SC plot# 2065. The clay pipe and some small coins are all that were returned to the family by some of his cousins, who managed to survive Andersonville and the sinking of the Sultana.
  • Cora Lee Neisler Goff, ca 1910, Neisler homeplace (14 KB)
    Cora Neisler Goff in the Middle, holding, left, Eathel Goff (Kelly/Ervin) and Ollie Mae Goff (Tucker). Man to the far left, unknown, man sitting, George W. Neisler, father of Cora, to the right woman, Millie Neisler (Mayo), girl unknown, standing man unknown.
Related Files
  • Desc. of George W. Neisler and Jane Goff (41 KB)
    A collateral Goff line
  • Desc. of Edmund Goff (1794) and Jane Long (233 KB)
    Edmund Goff (Gough/Gawf) who was born in 1794. Edmund married Jane Long and moved to Henderson County TN from NC sometime after 1812. Ancestor of Edmund is unknown, as the family relates an origin to the Barlow(e) family. Terry Goff is exploring a connection to a William/Thomas Goff in Duplin Co. NC, and genetic testing for Barlow lead towards Wake Co NC.
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