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The Gottshall Family in Lycoming, Clinton and Blair Counties

Note: Descendants of Samuel Gottshall and Mary
(Shoemaker) Gottshall are eligible to join the
following hereditary organizations:
  • Sons of the American Revolution
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Sons of the Revolution
  • Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War,
    and allied organizations

Webmaster's Note: You will see many different spelling variations for the name "Gottshall" here. I have tried to use whatever variation appears on the particular document. Information on more recent family members is not included here for privacy reasons, so please contact me if your research involves the last couple of generations.

John Gottschall.
Born in Berks County, Pa. (date unknown), Died 1839.
Married (first name unknown) Fouse, had 12 children.

John Gottschall, one of the above 12 children.
Born in Berks County, Pa., About 1800, Died 1862.
Married Kate Sherman (born at Muncy Creek, Lycoming County, died 1849). Second marriage to Christina Hartzock.


The rest of this page focuses on what may be called the "Altoona Branch" of the Gottshall family.

Samuel Gottshall was the son of John Gottschall and Kate (Sherman) Gottschall. It would seem that, like many people of his time, he had many brothers and sisters and spent his childhood on the family farm. His mother died when he was around 8 years old, as documented above. His father's second wife was Christina Hartzock, who brought with her a young son from a previous marriage.

Samuel would likely have gotten some experience at farm work at a young age. However, it is known that when he enlisted in the army at age 19, his occupation was listed as "plasterer." He may have learned this trade as an apprentice during his teen years in the 1850s, but this is speculation on my part. Having a trade to fall back on certainly would have been a good idea in that time and place for a younger son in a large farm family, because even had his father not died, without making a will, in 1862, it seems unlikely that he would have inherited a great deal of land or money. Also, Lycoming and Clinton counties did not have particularly good land for farming. One of his brothers, Abraham, went west after the Civil War and appears to have settled permanently in Oklahoma. John went to North Carolina, Thomas appears to have become a machinist or woodworker, and Solomon went into the carriage manufacturing business. Only Samuel's brother Jacob stayed on to become a successful farmer in the area.

Samuel Gottshall enlisted in the United States Army on April 24, 1861. He served in the 19th P.A. Volunteer Cavalry. Military records indicate that he was "five feet five inches high, light complexion, hazel eyes, light hair, and by occupation...a Plasterer." He was a Private in rank. In December of 1862, while on a march in the state of Virginia from Harpers Ferry to White Plains, he contracted the measles and spent the rest of December thru January in a military hospital in Washington D.C. It appears there were some medical complications, and he was given a medical discharge January 19, 1863. He re-enlisted on July 22 of 1863, rejoined the 19th P.A. Cavalry, and served the remainder of the war. He was mustered out on June 6, 1865 at Camp Dennison, Ohio.

It appears that he was involved in combat. His regiment is not well-documented, however. He may have been at the battle of Antietam, and there is a brief reference to Holly Springs, Miss. With regard to the latter location, he may have been part of a Union force in pursuit of the Southern general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Again, a lot of this is speculation on my part.

He was married in 1870 to Mary W. Shoemaker in Lock Haven, P.A. Their first child was born in 1871.

After living in several different places, Samuel Gottshall and his family came to Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1880. Most Gottshalls in the Altoona area, and those who in the last couple of generations have moved elsewhere, can trace their ancestry to him. As stated above his occupation has been listed as plasterer, although he may have also worked in the Altoona railroad shops. Since the city of Altoona was growing rapidly at that time, it is likely that workers with construction skills would have been in demand. It appears that he had recurring health problems stemming from his illness during the war, because he applied for and began receiving a partial pension in 1888.

Samuel Gottshall was born in Clinton County, Pa. On Oct 22, 1841 and died Nov. 20, 1902 in Altoona, Pa. He was married to Mary W. (Shoemaker) Aug. 24, 1870 in Lock Haven, Pa.


Harry Edward Gottshall, Born July 30, 1871, died Sept. 29, 1916.
Married Lida Francis (Barnhart) (June 5, 1872 to May 5, 1951) on April 21, 1896.


John Samuel Gottshall, Born June 6, 1897. Died Sept. 27, 1971
Married Ethel Elizabeth Soyster (born 1/23/1900, died Sept. 18, 1986) on Sept. 12, 1929.

Clarence Grant Gottshall, Born April 9, 1900. Died Dec. 19, 1978
Married Margaret Flemming Bowman (born 11/21/1897, died Aug. 5, 1967) on April 21, 1918


Mary Margaret Gottshall, Born Dec 29, 1901, Died April 19, 1974
Married Clifford Frank Hart (born 8/10/1904, Died Dec. 16, 1994) on August 10, 1926


Eleanor Mildred Gottshall, Born May 28, 1903, died January 19, 1958
Married Gregory Leroy Davis (Born 5/5/1905, died August 25, 1979) on Sept 22, 1926


Frank Milton Gottshall, Born Nov. 28, 1904, died Feb. 5, 1950
Married Verna Naomi Werts (Born 1/30/1906, died Dec. 30, 1965) on April 4, 1923


Elsie Ina Gottshall, Born July 9, 1908, died Oct. 17, 1972
Married Jacob Rudolph Keagy (Born 6/14/1905, died Nov. 9, 1986) on Aug. 7, 1931


Edna Harriet Gottshall, Born July 9, 1908, died March 9, 1974
Married Red Fleming (Born 12/30/1904) on July 12, 1938


Irene Naomi Gottshall, Born June 25, 1910
Married Alvin C. Gray (Born 9/18/1907, died Aug. 14, 1946) on Oct 1, 1938


Edward Raymond Gottshall (Sr.), Born Nov. 21, 1911, Died February 26, 1996.
Married Dorothy Alice Johnson (Born 7/2/1913) on June 5, 1935

Myrtle Lillian Gottshall, Born Jan. 4, 1914
Married C. Wayne Waite (born 5/1/1909, died 7/3/41) on Aug 6, 1938
Married John Bayle (born 12/1/1905, died Jan. 30, 1987) on Jan 11, 1946

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