The Family of Charles C. Goodell of Westminster West, Vermont about 1900


Robert Goodell was the progenitor of the Goodell/Goodale family in America. Robert, with his wife and three children came from England on the ship "Elizabeth" in 1634 and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. His wife's name was Katherine Kilham and they had nine children. The Goodell family lived in Salem for two generations and then began to spread out and find homes in other areas of New England. Following is a short account of Robert Goodell and his family.

Lineage of the Goodell Family(s) of Westminster


ROBERT GOODELL was born in England in 1604. This is calculated from the only known contemporary account of his age. He was recorded as age 30 by the Customs House when he came to this country in 1634. There has been much speculation as to who Robert's parents were, but their identity has not been proven. One current theory, as suggested by George E. Williams in his book, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Goodale/ Goodell of Salem, Massachusetts, states that Robert Goodell was the son of Robert and Joan (Artys) Goodell, who was born in 1601 and was baptized 16 Aug 1601 in Dennyngton, Suffolk Co., England. There are other families with sons named Robert of his generation, but in no case do the few known facts go together correctly.

He died in 1683 in Salem, Essex Co., MA (LDS/AF, 4 Apr 1683) (Versailles). The will of Robert Goodell was dated 12 Oct 1682 and was probated 24 Jun 1683 in Salem, Essex Co., MA. His will reads as follows:

I Robert Goodell being now aged & weake, in body as alsoe my wife and my daughter Elizabeth Bennett, hath taken care of me and therefor my will & desire is & I doe will & bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Bennet & my grand child, John Smith, my house & the orchard & all the meadowes that I now posess with the pasture which is about eight acres of upland be more or lesse, all which house land & meadowes my daughter Elizabeth Bennett, and my grand child John Smith, shall enjoy after the lease, or terme, that it is now let for, is expired, they or either of them paying as much rent, yearly which is to the value of twenty shillings in currant pay, dated the twelfth of October one thousand six hundred eighty two; & after my daughter Elizabeth's decease, the whole lands shall be my grand child's John Smith. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal

He married (1) KATHERINE KILHAM (or Catherine) about 1628/29 in England (b.of ch.). Katherine was born about 1606 (age 28, 1634) in England and is said to have died in 1645 in Salem, Essex Co., MA.

Robert married (2) MARGARET LAZENBY of Exeter, NH in 1669 (Torrey, marriage contract 1669) (The History of Salem, Mass.) (LDS/AF, 30 Aug 1669) (Williams, 1647). He entered into an agreement with her to settle on twelve acres of her land and build a house there. He also promised two cows and a riding horse for the property. His son, Jacob, was to inherit this property after Margaret's death. Margaret was mentioned in Robert's will of 1682.

Robert, his wife Katherine and three children, sailed from the port of Ipswich, Suffolk Co., England on 30 Apr 1634 on the ship "Elizabeth" in charge of Captain, Mr. Andrews. They took the oath of allegiance and supremacy at his Majesties Customs House on 12 Nov 1634 at Ipswich MA. Sailing on the same ship was Margerie Washburn, the wife of John Washburn and their two sons, John and Philip. They were the ancestors of the Putney, Vermont Washburns who married into the Goodell family in the 9th generation. Also, on board were John and Anne Crosse, who were probably the ancestors of Hannah Cross, who married John Munroe. John Munroe was the great grandfather of Minnie Jane (Monroe) Scott, and three of her children married into the Goodell family.

According to Bowen's account and the History of Salem, they made their home at Salem, "in the field northeasterly of Cold Spring in North Salem," where he was granted a house lot and an acre of land in 1636. He obtained another 20 acres in 1639 and 1652. By 1651, he had 480 acres of land in Salem. On 15 Mar 1660, he sold 50 acres to Giles Corey called the "Corey Farm." He gave generous acreages of land to his sons and daughters as wedding gifts. George E. Williams gives the following account of his land:

 ...the first record of the Goodells in America [at Salem], indicated that they settled at Great Cove in the North Fields. This Spring, so often mentioned in the early records in what was later called Liberty Hill Park, was on Robert Goodell's farm and was known for the first half century of Salem's history as Goodell's Spring. It is not recorded how he acquired this first farm. However, in 1636 and in 1638 he received grants of twenty acres each in that portion of the town which became known as Salem Village, and he gradually acquired by purchase similar grants made to other early settlers, until by 1651, he was the owner of a tract of land at Bald Hill comprising four hundred and eighty acres, which was confirmed to him by a town grant on November 7, 1651. He probably moved to this new property at about that time, and, as opportunity offered, disposed of his Great Cove farm, deeding the house and a portion of the land to his son-in-law, John Smith in 1658. Another lot was conveyed to Nicholas Manning in 1667, and a third conveyance was probably made to John Orne, who owned a part of the property, hitherto unconveyed in 1684. 

Robert was a farmer. "He was a man of piety, of education, of considerable wealth, of great strength of character, a helper in all important matters --- such was our ancestor, Robert Goodell" (Versailles). In 1670, the people of Salem petitioned for a church of their own and Robert Goodell's signature is on that document. Robert does not appear to have taken part in govenment affairs.


Children of Robert and Katherine (Kilham) Goodell:

1. MARY GOODELL was born about 1630 in England (age 4, 1634) and died 5 Jan 1668/69 in Salem MA (Torrey) (DRS). She married JOHN PEASE in 1653. John, the son of Robert and Marie (---) Pease, was probably born about 1633 in England and died in 1693 in his 60th year. He married (2) ANN CUMMINS on 8 Dec 1669 Topsfield (Torrey) (Salem IGI, 8 Oct 1669, o.s.). Ann (Cummins) Pease died in 1689 (Torrey). John Pease was of Salem and Enfield MA. See Bowen #2.

2. ABRAHAM GOODELL was born ca1632 in England (age 2, 1634); died young.

3. ISAAC GOODELL was born in 1633 in England (age half a year, Apr 1634) and died 1679 in Massachusetts He married PATIENCE COOKE on 25 Jan 1668/89 [25:11m:1668, o.s.] in Salem (VR). Patience married (2) JAMES STIMSON of Reading [Mass/Conn?] before 1684 (Torrey). James Stimson married (1) MARY/NAOMY LEAPINWELL (1638-1681) on 18 Apr 1661 Reading, Middlesex Co., MA. James Stimson died in 1691 (Torrey). They had six children. See Bowen #4.

4. NEHEMIAH GOODELL was born 30 May 1636 Salem (Williams) and died in Dec 1726 in Framingham MA. He married HANNAH HAVEN on 30 Jul 1673 in Lynn, Essex Co., MA. Hannah, the daughter of Richard and Susanna [Wastall/Newhall] Haven was born 22 Dec 1645 in Lynn (IGI) and died in 1726 in Framingham MA (Torrey). Nehemiah resided in Charlestown and Lynn. According to Torrey, he called Richard Hubbard "kinsman". They had children. See Bowen #5.

5. ELIZABETH GOODELL born about 1638 Salem (Bowen, 1646). She married (1) JOHN SMITH about 1658. John died in 1672 (Torrey). Elizabeth married (2) WILLIAM BENNETT on 6 Mar 1673/4 (Torrey, 1675). In 1680, she was living with her father and son, John Smith (probably born ca1660). See Bowen #10.

Robert Goodell deeded a portion of his Great Cove farm and the house on it to his son-in-law, John Smith in 1658. This seems to indicate that Elizabeth must have been married by 1658, since it is likely that this land was bequeathed upon their marriage. From this it would seem that Elizabeth was probably born about 1638 and was the daughter of Robert and his first wife, Katherine. This is contrary to that which has been written in some previously published genealogies which have said that Elizabeth was the daughter of Robert's second marriage.

6. ZACHARIAH GOODELL was baptized 31 May 1640 [31:3m:1640, o.s.] Salem (VR) (Danvers, b. 31 Apr 1640 Salem Village) and died in 1715. He married ELIZABETH BEAUCHAMP at the last of Dec 1666 [last of 10m:1666, o.s.] Salem (VR). Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward and Mary Beauchamp, was born 23 Jul 1648 in England. See Bowen #6.

7. JACOB GOODELL was born 9 Jan 1641/42 [9:11m:1641, o.s.] Salem (VR) and died in 1676 age 34 unmarried. "Jacob was employed by Giles Corey, and in a quarrel with the latter was so badly beaten that he died, according to a coroner's jury, of blood clots about the heart caused by the blows. Corey was fined for the offense. Longfellow, in New England Tragedies, takes advantage of poetic license to substitute Robert' in his account." (Bowen: "Goodell Memorial Tablets"). See Bowen #7.

8. SARAH GOODELL was born about 1638-1644 Salem (DR, b. ca1638; Torrey, b. 1640/1) and died in 22 Mar 1729/30 age about 92 years [b. ca1638]. She married JOHN BATCHELDER on 4 May 1666 in Wenham MA (VR). John Batcheler Sr. was born in 1631 and died 17 Dec 1698 in Wenham (VR). See Bowen #8.

9. HANNAH GOODELL was baptized 6 Aug 1645 [6:6m:1645, o.s.] Salem (VR). She married LOT KILLAM on 22 May 1666 in Salem (VR) (Wenham VR, 21 May 1666). Lot, the son of Austin/Augustine1 and Alice (Gorball) Kilham was born 11 Sep 1640 Dedham, Norfolk Co., MA (Torrey) (IGI). He died 26 Oct 1683 in Enfield CT (WFT, #3876, V. III). Res. Dedham, Salem and Wenham MA and Enfield CT. See Bowen #9.

References and Abbreviations:

AF: Ancestral File of the LDS Church. Note: information from this file is presented for information only; it's sources have not been verified.

b: Birth

Bowen: Clarence Winthrop Bowen, The History of Woodstock Connecticut and Genealogies of Woodstock Families (Norwood MA: The Plimpton Press, 1933). Note: this book provides an extensive genealogy of the Goodell family. References in the text refer to numbers used in this book.

Ch: Child/children

DR: Death Record

DRS: Correspondence from David R. Swaney to Rachel V. Duffalo.

Hist. of Salem: History of Salem, Massachusetts.

IGI: "International Genealogical Index" of the LDS Church. Note: information from this file is presented for information only; it's sources have not been verified.

LDS: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

o.s.: Old style date.

Torrey: Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1985).

Versailles: Correspondence from Elizabeth Starr Versailles to Elizabeth (Goodell) Scott.

VR: Vital Records of the town mentioned.

WFT: World Family Tree, published by the LDS Church. Note: information from this file is presented for information only; it's sources have not been verified.

Williams: George E. Williams, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Goodale/ Goodell of Salem, Massachusetts (West Hartford CT: George E. Williams, 1984).

We understand that the "Goodell Memorial Tablets," housed in the Essex Institute, Salem, MA, are the principal source of information used in some of these books on the early Goodell family of America.

You are cordially invited to submit your email and/or website addresses to be included on this page.  Let me know too, if you know of other sites that I might contact for permission to include here. I envision that this could be the beginning of a central location to find information on Goodell families. Please feel free to offer any corrections or suggestions that you might have.


Goodale (Goodell, Godell) by Jana Ulrich

Goodell Bible Records

Cynthia Abbott

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Rachel Valliere Duffalo

Goodell/Goodale by Rachel V. Duffalo, © Copyright 1998, All Rights Reserved

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