Gause Surname History


A website dedicated to the research, development and preservation of the historical record of the descendants and ancestors of George Charles Gause (1695-1732).

William Gause and the Gause surname in the American South: are we all related?

There are two distinct and different lines of the Gause surname currently in the United States. At one time there were at least three lines of the Gause surname and possibly as many as five different and distinct lines. The other lines seem to fade out with future generations that have only daughters who don't carry on the name or events such as Cholera outbreaks and wars which have devastating effects on population, especially the male population.

The Gause surname was very perplexing for me as a researcher. For a long time I wrongly assumed that anyone named GAUSE was somehow all a part of the same lineage. Why not? After all, this is not a name like Baker or Fisher. There just were not that many Gauseís around. Gause is also a unique name. It did not seem plausible that a surname such as this would have many different lines that are not related.

As many different researchers and genealogists have found, Gause lineage becomes the most confused in the early 1700ís. Its obvious that the names Charles and William must have been popular in the early 18th Century because the research becomes littered with multiple Charles and Williamís. It becomes quite hard to determine what is happening with who-where. The solution to the problem of all of this confusion was to chart out what was going on with each person and where they were. From there the research forward-tracked each Gause to see where they ended up. The result was at least three distinct lines of the Gause surname in America of which two still exist today. I have identified more lines than this, but they die out after two or less generations.

Northern Line
The northern line of the surname began when George Charles Goss landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1717-1720. This date of arrival is based on a record that states that Charles was in Philadelphia in 1720, "a young man," and an immigrant. This is the earliest record that has been found.

Gause-Goss Line
The third line of Gause revolves around Frederick Gause who was born in Bosile, Switzerland and is in North Carolina approximately c.1740. Frederick had a son Colonel Frederick Gause who begins to spell his last name GOSS. His descendants pick up and use the GOSS spelling from that time on.

Southern Line
The earliest I can find the southern line is with William who was in the area of the Carolinas in the first part of the 18th Century. The earliest record I know of with the southern line of the surname is with the birth of a son to William Gause, in Craven, South Carolina, in 1710. I have not found any evidence of the surname in the American South prior to William. Researchers have stated that Williamís father Needham had also emigrated to America. However, it appears in my research that Needham either came after William (which is strange) or the same time as William, but was already married with children and did not generate any records for research to find. So this line could have started with Needham and not William.

Charles, William and the GOSS
The Gause surname is essentially a new surname. Several different spellings of the surname were used until the name stabilized to the GAUSE spelling. The actual family and meaning of the surname is traceable back to 14th century France, but the GAUSE spelling was not seen until the arrival in America.

There is a compound problem with research into this surname. First, the other spellings of this name that have been found such as Gauche, Gous, Gouws, Gaus, Gosse, Gose, and Goss are surnames today of families who are completely unrelated to the Gause line. The second component of this problem is the fact that the Goss family were very active from Massachusetts to the Carolinas in the 17th and 18th century. The Goss family had several members named Charles and William who are not the same as the Charles and William who later spell their surname GAUSE. As far as I have been able to research, the Goss family were English land gentry who were in America in the early 17th century. This family appears to have descended from Sir Philip Goss from England, although some of the Goss family have traced their descendants to Germany and a Guss spelling of the surname.

Thus brings us to our main issue, is G. Charles Goss (Gause) of Pennsylvania and William Gause of the Carolinas related. NO, well maybe.

There is no evidence that G. Charles Goss was related to William Gause. Some have tried to make the connection and have even come up with records of a Charles Goss who lived in James City, Virginia and left land to his son William. This is the wrong Charles! This Charles Goss does not change his name to Gause. This is one of the problems that occurs. When research progresses back before the name change one must stay clear and not make assumptions or members of the Goss and Gause families can get mixed-up.

The only real connecting point I have found between Charles and William is the name GAUSE. William spelled his name GAUSE and occasionally GAUS. When Charles came to the colonies, he spelled his name GOSS. This is the name of the family in Scotland. However, the birth record of his first son spells the name GAUSE. From that point on, the name was spelled GAUSE. This could be a problem of illiteracy or the fault of record keepers, but both lines stabilize the surname within a few years of each other. Two families, hundreds of miles apart, both adopt the spelling of the family surname to GAUSE, without variation, within a few years of each other could be a coincidence or a sign that they are related.

It is known that Charles was born in 1695 in Glasgow City, Scotland, to George and Jonet Goss. He was christened as George Charles Goss, after King George to show the family's allegiance to the monarch. This is the only record that exists of Charles in Scotland. William could be the son of John Gosse who was first cousin of Charles father George. John Gosse died in Scotland, therefore unless he emigrated here and then back William would be the emigrant to America. There is a lack of records for William other than a mention in Old Parish Records as the brother of James and John Gosse did have a son James. Judging from the birth of his son in 1710, he was probably born around c.1680. It is improbable that much of a record would exist about them in Scotland since they were only minors, and it appears that marriages and childrenís births happened for the most part in America. If both families are related then the connection originates in Scotland or even sometime before in France. However, it is completely plausible that the Northern line of the Gause surname is not related to the southern line in any way.

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