The earliest ancestor found for many of the GOHN/COON/GOAN descendants in the United States and Canada is Phillip Gohn. He is believed to be from Altdorf, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany. According to the records of the Reformed Parish Walsheim, Assemblies 1704-1778, a marriage record for Hans Adam Gohn, the son of Phillip, states that he was from "Altorff, Degenfelsischer Herrschaft".
The German record shows:
GOHN, Hanß Adam, von "Altorff, Degenfelsischer Herrschaft"
oo 07.01.1738 in Walsheim
Schäfer, Catharina, V: Paulus
The English translation would be:
Groom: Hans Adam Gohn Bride: Catharina Schafer
Marriage Date: 7 Jan 1738 Marriage Place: Walsheim
From: Altorff, Degenfelsischer Herrschaft Father: Paulus Schafer
Altorff Degenfelsischer Herrschaft has changed names many times since 1468. From 1717, the Counts of Degenfels became the owners of the village and therefore called the village "Altorff Degenfelsischer Herrschaft". Today, it is known as Altdorf, located in the German State of Rhineland-Pfalz.
It is assumed that the Gohn family moved from Altdorff to Rimschweiler, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany sometime after 1724 since there are no Gohn families listed in the tax lists of Rimschweiler from 1698, 1701 and 1724. According to the ship passenger records, all of the Gohn family members lived in the Rimschweiler area of Germany before sailing to America in 1738. It is interesting to note that many other residents of Rimschweiler traveled to America on the same ship.
The following maps show the migration from Altdorf and Rimschweiler.
According to the "Coon-Goan Descendants from Chanceford Township, York County Pennsylvania" by Frances Davis McTeer (1979), the Gohn family arrived in America September 19, 1738, on the ship "Thistle" (John Wilson, Commander) and landed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Rotterdam via Plymouth, England.
In reviewing the Ship's passenger list published by ProGenealogists®, Gohn family & extended family members listed were:
Phillip Gohn [written as Fielip]
Johannes Gohn [son of Phillip Gohn]
Hans Adam Gohn and family members [son of Phillip Gohn]
Catharina (Schäffer) [Hans Adam Gohn's wife]
Father-in-law Paul Schäffer, Senior (written as Shiffer]
Heinrich Balthasar Schäffer [written as Henry Bartholome Shiffer; Catharina's brother]
Paul Schäffer, Junior [written as Shiffer; Catharina's brother]
Berhard Schäffer [written as Shiffer; Catharina's brother]
There was no reference to Phillip's second wife, Maria Sophia Braher, on the ship passenger list. They were married in 1737 in Hornbach, Zweibrucken, Pfalz, Germany. According to the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society Yearbook, Philip Gohn was the son-in-law of "George Brahr" who also came to America about the same time.
There have been references that a John Ulrick Gohn was listed as boarding the ship "Thistle", however, there is no record that he left the ship in Philadelphia. He was listed as "old and sick" and there is speculation that he died at sea.
According to "A Historical Sketch of the Gohn Family in Canada", by Lloyd B. Gohn, published in 1989:
The name of his (Phillip) first wife is unknown. His second wife was Sophia Braher. Philip and his first wife had two sons: Adam, born 1718 and John, born 1720 who came with their parents to America aboard The Thistle. Philip Sr. died about 1746.
Philip and his second wife, Maria Sophia (Braher) Gohn, had three children:
Different years have been posted for Adam's and John's birth than stated above. Based on information known, the following chart depicts the known children of Phillip Gohn.
FAMILY NAME SPELLING
As with many early families that settled in America, the spelling of names were varied. The original German spelling of Göhn evolved into other variations, such as Coon, Goan, Kuhn, Kohn and Goon.
Some possible reasons for the name variations are:
The most common other spellings used today of descendants of Phillip Gohn are COON and GOAN.
outlines the GOAN descendants in her book "Gohn - Goan Descendants from Somerset County, Pennsylvania"
A branch of the KUHN/COON family has been documented going back to John Heinrich Kuhn who was born about 1720 in Germany. Per the book "Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants in Pennsylvania," by Israel Daniel Rupp, John Heinrich Kuhn migrated via Rotterdam through Portsmouth, England to America with his brother, Christopher [Christof] Kuhn, on the ship Phoenix. They arrived in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania on 2 Nov 1752. John Heinrich Kuhn was listed on board as sick. Jacob Kuhn, the brother of John and Christopher, migrated from Germany on the ship Neptune a month earlier. Jacob arrived in Philadelphia on 4 Oct 1752.
At this time, there are no documented connections between the John Heinrich KUHN family and the Phillip GOHN family.
Below is a report to view information of all the known descendants of John Heinrich Kuhn to the present. These reports are generated by the Legacy Genealogy program. (Reports with documentation also available)
John Heinrich Kuhn Descendant Book (1720 - Present) - a privatized (dates & places of living people omitted) 7 Generation Descendant Book (PDF) - 8 pages plus index
ADAM and DAVID GOHN - The Gohn Family in Canada
Adam Gohn (1781-1810), the great grandson of Phillip Gohn, emigrated from the United States to Upper Canada. Family lore indicates he traveled on foot for 3 months from Somerset County, Pennsylvania to Markham Township, County of York, Ontario where he settled on 100 acres.
David Gohn (1787-1861), Adam's younger brother, went to Canada in 1811 to settle Adam's estate. While there, the War of 1812 broke out between England and the United States. David was either conscripted or joined the British Army.
After the war, David Gohn remained in Upper Canada (now Ontario). Since he was an American citizen who served with the British Army during the war, he was not allowed to return to America. He went on to live on Lot 9, Concession 3 in Markham Township where he married Lucy Hederick and had nine children.
David Gohn rebuilt the house that was on the farm. It remained there until 1987. The house was moved to the Heritage Subdivision in Markham, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. The pictures below are courtesy of Wayne Gohn.
ABRAHAM COON - The Coon Family in Utah
Abraham Coon, the GG Grandson of Phillip Gohn, is credited with settling the Magna, Utah area as can be seen on the memorial below.
The inscription on the memorial reads, in part:
EARLY MAGNA SETTLEMENTS
In Commemoration of the First Communities Established on the West Side of Salt Lake Valley and the First Major Industry of Utah
In 1853 Abraham Coon, an early Mormon pioneer, explored a canyon in the Oquirrh Mountains on the west side of Salt Lake Valley. He found an abundance of timber suitable for lumber and also a variety of oak tree the bark of which was useful in tanning leather. There was ample water to power a saw mill and a tan-bark processing plant. Abraham Coon obtained permission to open the canyon for these purposes, established a toll fee for access to the canyon, and used the revenue for the construction and maintenance of the road. The canyon was officially named Coon Canyon.
Abraham Coon and his family settled at the mouth of the canyon, and started a farming community that became known as Coonville. This was the first settlement on the west side of Salt Lake Valley and it covered a one-square-mile area south of this marker. The Coon, Deardon, Hardman, Shafer, Thomas, Sadler, Ek, Jenkins, and Larson families settled in the area.
In May 1839, Abraham Coon was baptized into the Church of the Latter-day Saints in Greene County, Arkansas. In 1845, he was ordained a Seventy and soon thereafter joined the Mormons' western trek, spent the winter of 1846-1847 in Winter Quarters (now Florence, Nebraska), where he was ordained a Bishop and called to look after the families of the men who went ahead with the Mormon Battalion.
Abraham actively participated in polygamy, having 4 wives and 16 known children. His grave marker indicates his marital relationship and the 1880 U.S. Federal Census shows 2 wives recorded.
1880 U.S. Federal Census, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah,
Enumeration District 46, Roll 1337, Page 116D, Dwelling 328, Family 330
Name Sex Age Relation MS PoB FPoB MPoB Occupation
Coon, Abraham M 70 Head M Ohio Penn Va Farmer
Coon, Elizabeth F 73 Wife M Tenn Tenn Tenn Keeping House
Coon, Sarah F 68 Wife M England England England Keeping House
B. COON - The Coon Family in Missouri
B. COON - The Coon Family in Missouri
Jacob B. Coon (1814-1898), the GG Grandson of Phillip Gohn, was born in Madison County, Ohio to Henry Coon and Sarah Dickerson. On 21 Jul 1833, he married Mary Newcomb. Mary died 26 July 1840. Jacob then married Julia Caroline Blair on 27 May 1841 in Madison County, Ohio. In 1849, Jacob and Julia Coon and family moved to Mercer County, Missouri by ox-drawn covered wagon.
Once in Missouri, Jacob was instrumental in developing a school, a church, and a cemetery, all given the COON name. The following 3 articles from the Mercer County Pioneer Traces, Vol. III, published in 1845 describe the history of each.
COON FAMILY INFORMATION
Several books have been published on the GOHN/GOAN/COON family. Below are portions of three books that can be used for research.
Page 145 contains this information.