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ORIGINS OF THE GOSE NAME



The name "Gose" is derived from german alphabetic character spellings of the name as seen in various old hand-written records. The equivalent english representation is "Gosse".

Upon his arrival in this country, immigrant Stephan Gose signed the passenger list of the ship 'Brothers' with his name, ending with the handwritten german alphabetic character which looks something like a handwritten lower case english "f" and is called a "sizlig" (ß). So far as we know at this time, this was the first record in this country of the surname that eventually came to be officially spelled and known as "Gose".

(See photo image of Stephan’s signature in the Family History section of this website)

The above described german alphabetic character translates into the English equivalent "sse". This is the same representation that is still in use today. An example of this would be the word "strasse" (which means street or way) and which appears on street signs throughout Germany. "Strasse" is pronounced "straw’ suh" with the accent on the first syllable.

Thus the family name Gose was originally spelled with no true English alphabetic character equivalent to the last letter and was probably pronounced something like "Go’ suh".

Many of those whose job it was to record legal records and other data in this "New World" were unfamiliar with the German language. Often the names were written however they sounded to the one doing the record keeping. This situation makes it a bit more difficult for genealogical and heraldic researchers who are looking for family information. In some cases, however, the recorder may have been of germanic descent as well and therefore wrote the name as it originally was.

The data entries for the 1800 and 1810 Rowan County, NC census are hand written with an artistic script writing style similar to that seen on the U.S. Declaration of Independence and other early U.S. documents. The name is handwritten there also with the same german alphabetic character representing the "sse" english equivalent. In other old documents found elsewhere, the name is most often spelled "Gosse" "Goss" or "Gose". Occasionally it is seen to be spelled as "Goos", "Gost, "Goast", "Ghost", and even "Gore".

Although the "Gose" spelling seems to be somewhat unique to the Stephan Goß family lines, there are other immigrant family lines with the name "Gosse" who have experienced the same transition in the spelling. However, this is only the case with the germanic families with the name represented in the handwritten, lower case, german characters.

The family surnames that are truly originally spelled "Goss" seem to come primarily from areas in or around England. Some germanic Goß immigrant family lines in the U.S. do have the surname Goss however. This is true of the Frederick Goss family who was already living in Rowan County, North Carolina before the Stephan Goß family relocated there from Pennsylvania.

For more information on Gose and Goss connections in this country, start with the first of two articles on the genealogy of the Gose family titled "
Gose Family History" which is posted in the "Family History" section of this website.


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