John Broderick and Florence (Shepherd) Goff

From History of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa, 1884:

John B. Goff

John B. Goff, a prominent farmer and stock-dealer in Valley township, was born in Delaware county, Indiana, July 5, 1844, and is the son of Nathan and Elizabeth Goff. In the fall of 1864, he cane with his parents to Madison County, Iowa, where they still reside. John was married there, on the 6th of October, 1865, to Miss Florence Shepherd, a daughter of Bazil L. and Henrietta (Sockman) Shepherd. They have four children – Milton S., Eddie C. Henry F., & Minnie Bell. John moved to Cass twp. in 1870 & there remained until March, 1884, when he removed to his present location on Sept. 2, where he owns 215 acres of fine land, 100 acres of which are under cultivation. He raises stock and follows farming in general.

I was told that his father paid for a substitute so that he and his brothers wouldn’t have to serve in the Civil War.

Children of John B. and Florence I. Goff

Milton Sheridan “Sherd” Goff (1865-1930), married Laura Arminta Jordan and had 11 children.

Edwin Carlton Goff (1867-1948). Unmarried, but I recently learned that he fathered a daughter who was born in 1904.

Henry Franklin Goff (1869-1889). Rode a horse home from a Christmas dance while hot, caught pneumonia, and died.

Minnie Bell Goff (1871-1892). School teacher, who drowned in flooding. Buried at Monteith, Iowa.

Watson Monroe Goff (1874-1875)

Morris Clyde Goff (1876-1880)

John Wesley Goff (1878-1879)


So the only two who lived several decades were the two oldest sons. I’d told that Sherd Goff was the only one who married and had children, but in 2021 heard from the great granddaughter of Ed Goff! She not only had evidence, she had more information about Ed and his parents than I’d discovered.

When I confirmed that she’d found that right family, she called her mother and they both wept. Her grandmother had been searching for decades. I won’t use names until they are ready for it, but I was blessed to send them photos of Ed Goff as an older man, and even one as a child.


  1. Wow! What a surprise to find Ed had a child. That must have been quite a story they had to tell.

    I found a DNA first half-cousin today, but I have not contacted her, yet. I am hoping to be introduced through a common relative who knows the whole story.

    • I’m hoping this new relative will eventually tell their compelling story. She sent a lot of details about trying to learn about the man, but she has been quiet lately.

    • I guess there were even letters from him. He knew about the daughter but said he needed to care for his aging parents, who followed him to Montana.

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