Monday, 11 April 2011

The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge

Bill West, over at West in New England wrote an interesting post about the The Civil War Blog Challenge whereby we can write about our Civil War ancestors and connections.

This set me thinking and remembering. Not long after we were married I started to perhaps pay more attention to my husband's ancestry. I knew where my father in law had been born and his father, but before that? I wrote to a fellow Goucher researcher who connected to a family in Staffordshire. We did not appear to have a connection, as my husbands family had been instead in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire borders.

One thing that the fellow researcher wrote was "Do you have a Samuel Goucher?" I wrote back and said we have two! one born in 1833 and his son born 1854 both born in Scarcliffe, which is not far from Bolsover in Derbyshire. Why do you ask was my reply. After a week or so I had a reply. There are lots of Goucher's in this part of England, and the thread of Samuel seems to be significant, passed down generation after generation. With each generation creating another Samuel there would often be, in a community several Samuels, thus a trend started with the turning of the U in the surname to an A making the name of Goacher. Now, this is very likely to be true. Richard born in 1715 in Cuckney was recorded as a Goacher. Even now, we occasionally get post with our surname as Goacher.

I also have the added complication of  Goacher's appearing on my own ancestry, in Surrey and Sussex.....

The story also goes, and it is at this stage a story, that a Goucher went to America as a Gunsmith and made a fortune during the Civil War. Now, as far as I can see from research my husband's family are in Scarcliffe from 1898 with the birth of his Grandfather Ernest and can be traced back, through two Samuel's to a Richard Goucher of Cuckney Nottinghamshire in 1715. So, at least part of the story appears to have a grain of truth in it.

So, I thought, that over the last 17 years of so I have not pursued this angle of research and this might be an opportunity to do so.

So, a quick search on Ancestry for the name of Goucher revealed more than 5,000 entries. Oh my, This will be a much bigger project than I first thought, especially when I am simply exploring the possibility, and nothing concrete. Some records revealed are entries for the same individual, and a search for a Samuel Goucher revealed 329 entries at first glance. Looking deeper, Most of the references were to a Goucher who had S as an initial for example Conrad S Goucher. There were references to those whose name appears in the same soundex as Goucher and one, just one Samuel Goucher, and even he had a spelling of Gaucher!

This is going to be a fascinating task and I hope to be able to devote the time to the project later in the year and give it the justice it deserves.


  1. Sounds like you have an interesting challenge in front of you. Good luck!

  2. Strange how a spelling can make such a difference!

    Had much the same with my lot - until I worked out the reason I'd hit a brickwall was down to local dialect (hence, 'Langmeyer' was really 'Longmire'!)

    Good luck with the rest of the research!


  3. I'm going to be interested to see where this leads you. Thanks for sharing this story in the Challenge!


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