Did Johana Gould (b. 1681) of Ipswich, MA marry Peter Clarkson (b. 1677) of York, VA?

+8 votes

Did Johana/Johanna Gould, born in Ipswich in 1681, marry Peter Clarkson, born in York, Virginia in 1677?  There are presently two profiles for her: Johana Gould and Johanna Gould Clarkson, which need to be either merged or separated, with different parents.

We need some help to find documentation to either confirm or refute this marriage.

There are apparently a number of Trees out there which say she did marry him in New Kent, Virginia, in 1698.  They don’t, however, seem to have any documentation for this (except, perhaps, other Trees).  

Those Trees then proceed to state that Johana/Johanna, the wife of Peter Clarkson, died on 3 Feb 1712.  The documentation for this may be the source of the idea that Peter’s wife was named Johanna, although it can’t be the source of the idea that she was a Gould from Massachusetts.

Peter Clarkson died in New Kent, Virginia on 30 Dec 1711, according to ‘’The Parish Register of New Saint Peter’s, New Kent County, Va., from 1680-1787’’,  p. 57.   Immediately above that entry is one which reads: "Johanna wife of Peter Clark Departed this Life February ye 3d, 1711."  The entry above the one for Johanna is for "Frances Daughter of David Clarkton."  It is therefore very tempting (and possibly quite correctly so) to read "Johanna wife of Peter Clark" as a clerical error for "Johanna Wife of Peter Clarkson." There is, however, a "George Clarke" reported on that same page as having died on 8 Apr 1720, and there are Clarks (and Clarkes) among the vital records elsewhere in this volume.  Either the same clerical error was made multiple times, or there were actually Clarks, as well as Clarksons, in the parish at that time.  So, the Johanna Clark who died on 3 Feb 1711/2, was not necessarily Peter Clarkson’s wife.

We do know that Johana (or Johanna or Joanna or Joana) Gould was born in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on 19 Nov 1681.  Her parents were Henry Gould, Jr., and Sarah Warr (usually interpreted as Ward).  For this much, we have the ‘’Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849’’, p. 166.

There seems to be no evidence of Johana/Johanna’s marriage in Massachusetts.  Nor does there seem to be evidence that she died in Massachusetts.

So, did Peter Clarkson marry a Johanna Gould? Was she from Massachusetts? Was she Johana Gould of Ipswich?

Update, 12 Jul 2018:  Gould-3643 was mistakenly merged into Gould-309, resulting in a single profile for what are possibly two women: the wife of Peter Clarkson of Virginia and the daughter of Henry Gould of Ipswich.

Added, 9 Sep 2018:  I have hesitated to do anything further with these profiles, since the obvious solution seems to be to detach Peter Clarkson of Virginia from Johanna Gould of Ipswich and to give him a wife named Unknown Unknown, since no one has come up with documentation for her given name (or proof that the Johanna, wife of Peter Clark, who died in 1711 or 1712, was actually Johanna, wife of Peter Clarkson). 

WikiTree profile: Johana Gould
asked in Genealogy Help by Susan Anderson G2G6 Mach 1 (16.5k points)
edited by Susan Anderson
Susan, your solution seems like the best way to go on this. The idea of an Unknown Unknown profile never feels altogether satisfactory,  but I think a carefully documented Unknown Unknown profile is needed here to prevent Johanna Gould from being reconnected to the husband, as well as preventing new erroneous profiles from being created.
Thank you, Ellen.

3 Answers

+6 votes
I would give no credence to a purported 1698 marriage between a woman born in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1681 and a man born in York, Virginia in 1677 without very solid evidence. There is nothing in her family's records to suggest any connection with Virginia, and unless he is a sea captain, the relationship is nearly impossible.
answered by Walter Howe G2G6 Mach 1 (10.6k points)
I agree with you, Walter.  Indeed, as far as I can tell, the Goulds of Ipswich tended to be farmers, rather than mariners, despite being in Ipswich.  So, I tend to come down on the side of "look for a wife closer to home" for Peter.  It is not, however, impossible.  And there are any number of Trees out there with this marriage presented as fact.

Are you aware of any actual documentation, either for a different marriage for Johana or for her death, unmarried?
+4 votes

This is a link to the Tim Dowling Family tree showing Joanna Gould: http://gw.geneanet.org/tdowling?lang=en&p=joanna&n=gould

She was born 19 Nov 1681 but there is no record of her death.  There is more data about her siblings who married and stayed in the Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts area.  Three sisters Sarah Gould 1675-, Elizabeth Gould 1677-, Jane Could 1679-, and only Rebecca Gould 1687-1731 married.   

Some family trees are more cautious about Joanna’s last name and vitals.  Only her death date and place is recorded.

answered by Keith Burke G2G3 (3.9k points)
Thank you for that link, Keith.

It does need to be emphasized that the date and place of her death is that for "Johanna Clark."  If there's no other documentation for her first name, then that must also be questionable.
This Tim Dowling Family tree does not show Joanna Gould as marrying anyone.   And you even stated in your next sentence that Rebecca (my 6th GGM)  was the only one of the sisters to marry.

Evelyn McKelvey (Murray-2307)
Evelyn, there are obviously several "families" of Tree out there.  This one doesn't show a marriage and lacks that associated death information from Virginia.  Here's one which does (thank you, Keith, for sending it to me, earlier): https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/LR8Q-P1F/details

Perhaps it would be better to say that Rebecca is the only sister with a documented marriage at this point.  So far, I've only found positive evidence for Sarah's lack of a marriage: She described herself as a "spinster" when she took over guardianship the minor children of her deceased brother, Henry, in 1733.

For now, I'm simply hoping someone in the community can come up with something to help us prove or disprove this particular marriage.
All I could find also was the marriage listed in various trees. No documentation.
Thank you for taking the time to check, Angela.
+1 vote
I poked into this situation because Johana Gould is a key link on my Connection Finder path to Babe Ruth, and I didn't think it looked right.

I don't see any evidence for identifying the woman who married in Virginia as the same person as the baby who was born in Massachusetts. It seems to me that there should be two separate profiles here -- one for the child born in Massachusetts and one for the adult in Virginia.

PS - For what it's worth, my alleged connection to Johana is through a supposed sister of the child in Massachusetts (i.e., Rebecca) whose connection to the parents is questionable (there is no birth or baptism record for her), but is at least based on both a shared name and shared geography, not just a shared name.
answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (892k points)
Thank you, Ellen, for taking a look at this problem.  My own connection to Johana is even more ghostly: I came across the apparently duplicate profiles while sorting out Ipswich Goulds as I tried to track the family of a Connecticut Gould gg'...grandmother.

There were two Johana/Johanna Gould profiles, but they were merged.  Now the problem would seem to be whether to create a second profile for a Johanna (Unknown) Clarkson - if there is any evidence of her given name, other than the death notice for Johanna Clark - as Peter Clarkson's wife.  I've hesitated to do this because of the apparent lack of evidence for her given name (hoping to hear from someone who has researched the Clarksons).

The only alternative I can see would be to delete the connection on Peter Clarkson's profile, with a note and reference link, and relegate the supposed marriage to a note on Johana Gould's profile, with a reference link to Peter's profile.  This might, however, invite a future "helpful" reattachment of Johana Gould's profile as his wife.

I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this.

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