Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely collection (1809-1830)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Clements Staff, March 1998; Mary Parsons, November 2004; and Meg Hixon, March 2013
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely collection
Creator: Parmely family
Inclusive dates: 1809-1830
Extent: 20 items
This collection contains letters to Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely, who moved from Vermont to central Ohio in the 1810s. Members of the Gould family in Dover, Vermont, provided news of family members and friends and discussed their separation from the Parmelys.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1998. M-3451.3.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


John Gould (1746-1816) and his wife, Jane Palmer (1753-1825), were married in 1772 and lived in Wardsboro, Vermont (later Dover, Vermont). They had eight children: Enos (1773-1801), John (1775-1851), Aholiab (1777-1840), Silas (1780-1845), Huldah (1782-1849), Timothy (1787-1868), Lois (1789-1873), and Amos (1792-1867). Enos Gould and his wife, Betsey Johnson, had one daughter, Betsey E. Gould (1801-1830). The younger John Gould married Polly Stearns (1777-1851) and had six children; they later moved to Sullivan, Ohio. Aholiab Gould married Jane Sears (1785-1864). Silas Gould married Betsey Johnson Gould, his brother's widow, in 1803. They had four children: John P. (b. 1806), Sally (1808-1863), Lucy (1811-1841), and Lois (1817-1846). Huldah Gould married John Emerson in 1834, and they later moved to Sullivan, Ohio. Amos Gould and his wife, Polly Johnson (1792-1885), married in 1813 and had eleven children; they also moved to Sullivan County, Ohio.

Lois Gould married Sylvanus Parmely (1784-1874) in 1807, and they moved to Sullivan County, Ohio, before 1817. Sylvanus Parmely participated in early surveys of Lorain County, Ohio, and operated a sawmill and general store in Sullivan. Their ten children were Manning (1809-1833), Lois (b. 1811), Louisa (b. 1811), Rosetta M. (b. 1815), Sylvia (b. 1818), Ellsworth (b. 1821), Jane L. (b. 1823), Celia D. (1825-1888), Melvin B. (b. 1827), and Sarah Ann Agnes (1833-1874).

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of 18 letters to Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely, natives of Vermont who moved to Ohio in the 1810s; 1 letter from Sylvanus to Lois Parmely; and 1 letter from John Gould to Manning Parmely. Various members of the Gould family wrote to the Parmely family from Dover, Vermont: Huldah Gould (4 items), Jane Sears Gould (4 items), Betsey E. Gould (4 items), Aholiab Gould (2 items), Silas Gould (2 items), John Gould (1 item), John P. Gould (1 item), Amos Gould (1 item), and Jane Palmer Gould (1 item). One item, attributed to both Aholiab and Jane Sears Gould above, contains notes from each of them (1818). Another item, attributed to both Silas and John P. Gould above, contains a note to Sylvanus and Lois Parmely from Silas Gould and a note to Manning Parmely from his cousin John P. Gould (February 17, 1826). Some of the letters address Sylvanus Gould as "Captain."

Sylvanus Parmely's letter to his wife Lois pertains to his life in Stillwater, New York (December 30, 1809). The following 18 letters are from members of the Gould family to Sylvanus and Lois Parmely, written while the couple lived in Sullivan and Elyria, Ohio (September 9, 1817-August 29, 1827). The Gould family's correspondence largely concerns news of family and friends in Dover, Vermont, usually related to health issues and deaths. Huldah Gould often complained of ill health, and Aholiab Gould reported the death of Jeremiah Kempton after Kempton was struck by a falling tree (December 27, 1818). Many members of the Gould family were farmers, and they occasionally commented on their crops; in his letter of September 22, 1820, John Gould complained about hard economic times and low grain prices.

Other family members, particularly Jane Palmer Gould in her letter of February 4, 1822, discussed their separation from the Parmely family and shared their desire to visit with Sylvanus and Lois. Betsey E. Gould once briefly mentioned her work as a teacher (August 29, 1827). The elder John Gould wrote the final letter to Manning Parmely, his nephew in Zanesville, Ohio, from Sullivan, Ohio, on September 26, 1830. He commented on a recent visit to New York, and the effects of sickness and drought in Sullivan.

Subject Terms

  • Dover (Vt. : Town)
  • Farmers--Vermont.
  • Internal migrants--United States.
  • Sullivan (Ohio)
  • Emerson, Huldah Gould, 1782-1849.
  • Gould, Aholiab, 1777-1840.
  • Gould, Amos, 1792-1867.
  • Gould, Betsey E., 1801-1830.
  • Gould, Jane Palmer, 1753-1825.
  • Gould, Jane Sears, 1785-1864.
  • Gould, John, 1775-1851.
  • Gould, John P., b. 1806.
  • Gould, Silas, 1780-1845.
  • Parmely, Lois Gould, 1789-1873.
  • Parmely, Manning, 1809-1833.
  • Parmely, Sylvanus, 1784-1874.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   17, Small Collections  
Sylvanus and Lois Gould Parmely collection [series]
Folders   21-23  
 December 30, 1809-September 26, 1830

Additional Descriptive Data


Baughman, A. J. A Centennial Biographical History of Richland and Ashland Counties, Ohio. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1901.

Gould, Benjamin Apthorp. The Family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield. Lynn, Mass.: Thomas P. Nichols, 1895.