John James Goodman of Bedford, VA (ca. 1755-1795?)
His wife, related families and known children
This John Goodman is the earliest individual that I have been able to certainly identify as a direct ancestor of my own Goodman line. He was the father of the previously earliest documented ancestor, Amos I. Goodman, as identified by my aunt, Josephine Goodman. Because of common locations, dates, and given and middle names of later children, it is currently believed that this is the same person as the James Goodman mentioned in the Robert Hope Goodman letter, elsewhere on this site.
See the various VA and TN county abstracts on this site for details of records that I have used to support my theories about this John Goodman and closely related and allied families, as described following.
John (or James) Goodman was born about 1755 in VA, probably in Hanover, but possibly in Lunenburg Co. His parentage is unknown for certain, but given the common usage of the name Robert in this line, I believe him to be a son of Robert Goodman, planter of Hanover Co., VA, who was also an early pioneer of Lunenburg / Bedford Co., VA. John Goodman died, or was divorced or separated from his wife, before August 1790 in Greene Co., TN. The record on this is not entirely clear. He may also have been known as James Goodman or John James Goodman.
John Goodman was a Rev. War soldier in Bedford Co., VA. It is known by Greene Co., TN 1790 August Court Session records that John Goodman had sons: Stephen (later of Barren Co., KY), Amos I. (my ancestor, later of Barren Co., KY), Robert (later of Wilson Co., TN), and possibly others who may have been older, and therefore not mentioned (i.e.: John / James Goodman, who was 18 and therefore emancipated in 1790, and who reportedly went with his father to Wilson Co., TN, but removed shortly thereafter to the Athens, GA area. Re: Robert Hope Goodman letter and obituary.). He also had daughters, Susanna (who had married Joseph Richardson in July 1790 in Greene Co.), Sarah (who later married Obadiah / Obediah Richardson in Greene Co., TN, and they removed to Barren Co., KY), and Rachel. All of these were probably b. in VA. These minor offspring are documented in the Greene Co., TN, 1790 court record, some being placed in the care of John Richardson, formerly of Louisa Co., VA, whose wife was Susannah Fuqua, or possibly their son, also names John, and others being placed in the care of Joseph Richardson, who had in July 1790 married Susannah Goodman). See the links at the top of this page for more on these children.
John and Joseph Richardson were also from Bedford Co., VA, having originally come from Louisa Co., VA. They may have been sons of John Richardson, Sr., as mentioned in his will, recorded in Greene County TN, as referenced following. Louisa Co. deeds mention John Richardson and wife Susannah as having sold lands near those of Benjamin, Robert and Samuel Goodman of Hanover / Louisa Co., VA. Susannah Fuqua, wife of John Richardson, is also mentioned as executor in his will, recorded in Greene Co., TN. The Fuqua, Richardson and Thorp lands were also in close proximity in Bedford County, VA, as established by VA land grants and marriage bonds in Bedford Co. The Goodmans, Richardsons and Fuquas continued their familial relationships for many decades afterward, as the migrated to Tennessee, into Kentucky and on to Illinois, Indiana and Arkansas.
John Goodman was the brother of Anselm (Ansel) Goodman, also a Rev. War soldier from Bedford Co., VA, who was with Daniel Boone at Boonesborough for a time. This surmise is a result of the name Ansel and Anselm in the line of Amos I. Goodman, son of John Goodman, as documented further in other pages of this site. Ansel Goodman died intestate in 1841 in Wilson Co., TN, and Robert Goodman, Sr., probably his nephew, son of John / James Goodman, attested to his estate, consisting solely of a debt owed to Robert Goodman. In addition, Ansel is mentioned in a letter dated April 3, 1873 by Robert Hope Goodman to one of his children, relating their family history, which is the same as the history of my Goodman line.
Additional information has been received from descendants of his daughter, Sarah Jane Goodman, whose first husband was Obediah Richardson. According to this family’s tradition and bible records, John / James Goodman’s wife was Epharilla Thorpe/Tharp/Thorp. She was an supposedly Irish, and claimed to be born on a ship on its way to America, probably about 1755. Anselm Goodman, son of Amos I. Goodman, and grandson of John James Goodman, named a son Amos Thorp Goodman, b. 23 Feb 1835, and John Goodman of Georgia, eldest son of John / James Goodman, also named a son John Tharp Goodman, b. Mar 22 1810. Anselm would have heard the story of Epharilla’s Irish heritage and birth aboard ship from her her own mouth, as she may have been living with Amos I. Goodman and his 2nd wife in Barren Co. in 1810, according to the census records. Miss Thorp, as the name of the wife of John James Goodman, grandfather of Robert Hope Goodman per his letter above, further confirms that the James Goodman in Mr. Hope’s letter, and the John Goodman, father of the Greene Co., TN, Hart Co., KY and Wilson Co. TN Goodmans, are the same person!
From the Colonial Land Grants Series, on the Library of Virginia Digital Records web site, I found images of land grants that show John and Joseph Richardson both owned lands in Bedford Co., VA, very near those of Francis Thorp/Thorpe, both being on and around Goose Creek. The first grant to Francis Thorp/Thorpe was in 1769. The first grant to John Richardson was in 1760, although the boundaries described in that grant indicate the he owned other adjacent lands before that time. These grants also reveal that there was a separate Jonathan Richardson, probably Col. Jonathan Richardson, also in Bedford Co., but in the Gill’s Creek area. By these records, it seems likely that Epharilla Thorp, wife of John / James Goodman, was either a daughter or sister of the Francis Thorp who lived near John and Joseph Richardson.
John James Goodman was certainly kin to the Fuqua, Reynolds & Bright families of Goochland / Albemarle / Bedford Counties, VA, and later Barren / Hart Co, KY. This is established by several documented inter-marriages, and many shared given & middle names. Some of the Bright family were also prominent early settlers of East Tennessee.
He was certainly somehow related to John Richardson, who m. Susannah Fuqua in Louisa Co, and who was in Bedford Co., VA during Rev War, then died in Greene Co., TN 1796, as his children were placed in John & Joseph Richardson’s care, as recorded in the Fall 1790 Greene Co. TN Court records.
He was very probably somehow related to Charles Goodman of Louisa, later Albemarle Co., VA, by frequent occurrence of the Amos, Willis & Ansel/Anselm names in both lines. The Willis name was also prevalent in the Reynolds lines, and Amos was common in the Richardson lines of Bedford Co. The Anselm / Ansel name also occurs in the Clarkson family, two of which married sons of Charles & Elizabeth Goodman of Albemarle. From this, I believe that Ansel and John / James Goodman may have been nephews or cousins of Charles Goodman of Albemarle.