Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which Goodman Family?

My Nancy (Goodman) Comstock is a stout brick wall in my research. These are the facts as I know them.

One of the really, really useful things about blogging is that it forces one to take another look at their research. After this Blog was first posted, I found it necessary to take another look at the census records. I discovered I had been "off" a column when first transcribing some of them. That of course caused some incorrect conclusions. So this blog was edited on 28 September 2009 - if you saw it prior to that, there were errors in some of the census interpretation.

She was born 2 Jun 1805 [recorded in her daughter's Bible] possibly in South Carolina [1850 Census].
Nancy Goodman married Ephraim H. F. Comstock, 14 Oct 1823, Maury Co, Tennessee. Robert Bates was bondsman and his wife was Mahala Goodman who he had married in the same place 25 Apr 1819. Bates' bondsman was William Goodman. There were several Goodman families in the 1820 Maury County census.
In 1830, Nancy, Ephraim and family were living in Carroll Co, TN and the person enumerated next to them was a Nancy Goodman, age 50-60, with several others living in her household. Living next to these two families was the family of Jordan Middleton, whose wife was Telitha Goodman and believed to be a daughter of Abraham & Nancy Goodman [more about this later].
By 1840, the Comstock family was living in Perry Co, TN. Again there were other Goodman families living there - no other Comstocks as Ephraim was a wanted man in Kentucky.
By 1850, Ephraim Comstock was dead - Nancy was head of household still in Perry Co TN
About 1852, all of the Comstock family, including the married children, moved to McDonald County, Missouri. Presumably Nancy did move with them and died there, 24 May 1855 [as recorded in the Bible]
Nancy and Ephraim had one daughter, seven known sons, and there may have been an 8th son who died young. Their names are in the previous post.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who connects to any of the following Goodman families. In this post I'll discuss those found early on in Maury Co. It is possible that all of these Goodman families are related in some way.

From Maury Co, TN, circa 1820. Looking for a Goodman family with a daughter born about 1805 - in the age 10-16 category. Based on the younger people living with the 50-60 year old Nancy in Carroll Co in 1830, there would likely be several young people in the family.

I found on the same page:

Abraham Goodman, age 45 with probable spouse age 26-45. He had three females age 10-16, as well as another female under 10 and two males under 10.
Fleming Goodman had females that would be of marriageable age by 1823. He had two females age 10-16, and two younger than ten. He had a male 16-18 and a male 16-26 who could have been the same young man given the peculiar qualities of this census, a male over 45, presumably himself, and a female also over age 45.
John Goodman had the following household: 1m 16-18, 1m 16-26 [in this case probably two different males unless he was quite a young husband], 1f 16-26.
Note: A Fleming and John Goodman will both appear in the 1840 census in Perry Co where the Comstocks were living – Fleming was by then age 60-70 and John 40-50. They were again listed adjacent to each other as they were in 1820 in Maury Co. Since John isn't quite old enough to be the father of "my" Nancy, and Fleming was still living in 1840, that leaves only Abraham of this group as a possible person of interest.

Another grouping of Goodmans in Maury Co, 1820:

Alexander Goodman was age 26-45. He had a boy under 10 [Asa D. Goodman] and apparently himself age 26-45; a girl under 10 [a Mahala, who married Roberts], a girl 10-16 [Sarah, married DePriest] and a female age 26-45 [probably his wife, Nancy]. [Alexander can be removed as a possible candidate for husband of the widow Nancy Goodman. He did move to Hickman and then Perry Counties. His wife was also named Nancy – she can be found as head of household in the Perry County 1850 census – some have mistaken her for the same as the Nancy Goodman in Carroll Co in 1830 but the age and deed records from Perry Co show this cannot be so. They had one more son born after 1820 – a Jesse Goodman.
As you can see I've done some research on this family. ]
Jessey Goodman: 1 male 10-26, 1m over 45, 1 female age 10-16. Two females over age 45.[Since Alexander had a son named Jesse, although he was not yet born in 1820, and these men were on the same page in the census, one could surmise a kinship – older brother, perhaps, or even father, uncle. There is a female of the right age to be a possibility for Nancy. Of course one of the older females could also have been a mother, aunt, etc. Nancy apparently wasn't the widow of Jessey of 1820 because he was found near Alexander Goodman in 1830 and still appeared to have a spouse living. [Jesse, age 70-80 and Alexander, age 40-50 are both in Hickman Co TN in 1830. Mahala Goodman Bates was also living in Hickman Co in 1830.]
There were three William Goodmans, all on this same page: Two of them were age 16-26 with a probable spouse of the same age and very young children. [not good possibilities, but either would have made a good bondsman for Robert Bates] The third William seemed to be over age 45, spouse of the same age, two young males – no daughters. [It would appear Nancy was not the daughter of any of these Williams.]
There was a John Goodman in this group, too. He had 2 boys under 10, 2 boys 10-16, a boy 16-18, a boy 16-26, who could be the same boy or an older one, and John himself, age 26-45; there were 2 females under 10, 1f 10-16, and a female 26-45. [This family could accommodate the young Nancy and possibly even a daughter old enough to have been Mahala married in 1819.]
A Joseph C. Goodman was young – age 16-26, probable spouse age 16-26, a little girl under 10.

There were a couple of other Goodmans indexed in Maury Co in 1820, but examination of their names suggest different spellings to me, one was a Joseph Goodwin, one a Thomas Goodrum, although a Thomas Goodman does appear to be on some of tax lists - his name remains a question. The Thomas Goodman on the tax lists was a slave owner setting him somewhat apart from the other Goodmans.

Here are some early tax records from Maury Co, TN, listing the following Goodmans. The names in the tax records to not seem to be consistent with the names in the censuses and not all years are in existence. Tolliver T. Goodman is a name on the tax lists which doesn't appear in the census – but he will also appear later in Perry Co.

Maury Co TN Tax Books [years in existence]: [no Comstock or Bates found]

1811 Thomas Goodman (no white males over 21 ?) 5 slaves

1812 Thomas Goodman " 5 slaves

1817 Thomas Goodman " 4 slaves
Jesse Goodman 1 over 21

[Undated record]
Thomas G. Goodman 6 slaves; Value $2700; Poll tax 1.75

1825 Heanden Goodman 1 over 21

1826 Thomas Goodman 120 acres; (no w m over 21); 3 slaves
Bisha Goodman 1 over 21
Hosea Goodman "
Hardin Goodman "
Tolliver T. Goodman "
Additional list at end of 1826 Tax List
Johnston, J. B. Elliott Capt: Goodman, Thomas
Capt. Cathsy/Cattesy Justice:
Goodman, Bisha; Goodman, Hosea; Goodman, Hardin; Goodman, Tolliver

1830 Tolliver Goodman 1 over 21
Wm Goodman "
Thos. Goodman 125 acres; 1 over 21; 4 slaves; stud horse

There is a Road Minutes Book, compiled by Simmons Historical Publications. The items are from Feb 1817 – Apr 1824. These Goodman names are found either as overseers or as part of the road crew: Joseph Goodman and Alexander Goodman were overseers at times, John Goodman, Flemming Goodman, Asa Goodman, Bisha Goodman, William Goodman, Hemp Goodman, served on road crews. Again, some of the names do not appear in the 1820 census.

Other than the marriage of Ephraim Comstock to Nancy Goodman, I have not found the Comstock surname in any of the Maury Co records. He apparently never owned land there, nor was any other member of the Comstock family present.

More Goodmans to follow.


  1. Great idea, Kay. I believe we have corresponded by emails in the past.

    Here's my Goodmans who fit in your list:

    Hardin Goodman, born 1780 in VA is in Montgomery County, Illinois 1830 census. In Williamson County, Illinois 1850 census and gone thereafter.
    Hosea Goodman is in 1830 census Montgomery County, Illinois and 1839 buys land in Shelby County, Illinois. By 1850 he is in Graves County, Kentucky.
    Also on 1830 Montgomery County, Illinois census listed together are: Hardin, Hosea, Lemuel and Washington Goodman together with Minerva Parks.
    Minerva is my direct ancestor and believe her to have married Wilson Parks in Maury County, TN in 1821. In 1830 she is head of household with 3 children, 2 males under 5 and 1 female 5-10.
    Minerva's son John Parks married Mary Jane Rust in 1852 Jackson County, Illinois. On 1850 census Minerva is living in Jackson County, Illinois with John Croutch (sic) Crouch and son John who is listed as age 17 but actually is 19/20.
    Not sure where all were in 1840.
    There are direct ties between Goodmans, Rusts, Troutman, Middleton, and Drew families in Maury, TN, Graves, KY and Williamson, IL.

  2. Sandee,
    If you come back again, please email me direct - you can find my email addy by going to my profile, or my website link. I do not find any past correspondence with you. I'm pretty sure that Hosea Limuel & Minerva were likely siblings. But not sure how or if Hardin & Washington were direct kin. Just any thoughts you have would be helpful.