I Found Henry, my Great-Great Grandfather, Right Where he said he was!

When I started researching this family, nearly 30 years ago, I knew his name, the general area he was from and who he married. From there speculation from others served as clues for me.

  • Heinrick Frederick Gode was my great-great grandfather and information about him was scarce.
  • He was a Lutheran Minister according to family legend
  • The 1850 census listed him as a Milkman in New York City, Born in Germany, 37 years old and married to Amelia who was also born in Germany
  • I found his Naturalization dated 7 May 1853 in New York
  • In 1857 the New York City Directory list Amelia as a widow. She remains so for the rest of her life.

Various tidbits about the family didn’t seem to fit, and therein lay the problem. My great-grandmother, Wilhemine Sophia was born in February of 1854 in either New York City or Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. . . . and exactly how did Wyoming County enter the mix? The birth location is not consistant and changes from year to year. Several years ago I contacted Wyoming County Historical Society and they had nothing on the family. I checked out all the films I could from the FHL (not too many) having to do with Wyoming County, to no avail. I almost gave up!

Amelia Sophia Gode, wife of Henrick Frederick Gode

Amelia Louisa Gode, wife of Henrick Frederick Gode and my Great-Great-Grandmother

When I’m bored, I take my list of “Missing Persons” and enter their names and/or variations of their names, in various databases, hoping for hit. It could be newspapers, it could be Ancestry.com, it could be something I’ve picked up from reading somebody’s post. Yesterday it was Ancestry.com, and the first name I tried was Heinrich Frederich Gode, Voila! Pay dirt! and then I saw it was Wyoming County, Pennsylvania! A Second Mystery solved!

Henry’s will was signed on “the third of April in the year 1800 fifty four,” and my great grandmother was born in February of the same year, so chances are very good that the Wyoming County, Pennsylvania location was indeed where she was born.

Now this is what I am not sure of. According to his Last Will and Testament, It states:

  • “Know all Men by these presents that I HENRICK FREDERICK GODE, Cabinet-Maker in Colley Sullivan County, State of Pennsylvania, being of sound disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my Last will and Testament. I Give and bequeath to AMALIA LOUISA GODE, my Beloved wife all My property in Real Estate or Moveables ready money of all other whatever.”
  • The Probate in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania states that Gode “was of sound mind, memory and understanding. But was physically unable to sign his name to said will” and requested Barthold Kischhoff to sign his name.
  • Further down in the Deposition it says “. . . said will was executed about ten oclock in the forenoon and he died about three oclock in the afternoon of the same day and that he was not at anytime between the time said will was executed and the time of his death able to sign his name to the will.

If he was a Cabinet-Maker in Sullivan County and the time he was in the throes of death and he died are normal work hours, why was the probate held in Wyoming County? At first I thought perhaps Sullivan County was not incorporated yet, but this was in 1854 and Sullivan County was incorporated in 1849.

I think all of this warrants a trip to Wyoming County, maybe I’ll find out he was a Lutheran Minister on Sundays, as well as a Cabinet Maker.

The fall colors should be beautiful . . . 

As a plus to this post, the picture used above has Henry’s grand daughter, my grandmother in it. She, too, married a man named Henry! Bertha von Breyman Lindgren was the daughter of Wilhemine Sophia Gode von Breyman, born in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. Bertha is that cute kindergarten student with the big bow in her hair right over the word “From.” She and her best friend have their arms around each other.


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