My Goß ancestor were ethnic German Bohemians. They considered themselves to be Egerlanders, just as Germans from Bavaria consider themselves Bavarians. Their language (one of many German dialects) and culture were much closer to that of Bavaria than to the culture of the Czech Bohemians who lived further east. They were not farmers. From church records, it seems that many of the Gosz clan lived in the village of Roßhaupt (literally, horse's head) or tiny villages close by. For the most part, they were landless, and worked as laborers on one of the large estates, probably the "Maierhofen" estate which is so often mentioned in the Catholic Church records of Roßhaupt.
The following is the information which traces the birth of Johann Gosz and of his future wife, Margaretha Hummer; their marriage record; and the birth record of their first son, Paul, my great-great grandfather.
Picture of 2nd great grandfather Johann Goß/Gosz, from an old tintype
1. Baptismal Records of the Catholic Parish of Roßhaupt (today Rozvadov)
Name of Child: Johann Goß*
Catholic, male, legitimate
Date of Birth: 9 May 1825; Date of Baptism, 10 May 1825; Village Roßhaupt N. 76
Father: George Goß, cottager
Mother: Maria, daughter of Georg Adam Huttl, cottager in Rosshaupt N. 52, and Margareth born Putzlocher, cottager's daughter from Neuhausl N. 10
Godparents: Johann Keim, inhabitant in Roßhaupt and Elisabeth Keim, his wife Midwife: Marg. Filssner
Minister (Priest): Johann Rustler
2. Baptismal record of the Catholic Parish of Rozvadov
Name: Margaretha Hummer
Date of birth: 16 December 1827
Date of Baptism: 17 December 1827
Village: Turkenhaeusln N. 14
Catholic, female, legitimate
Father: Matthes Hummer, Cottager
Mother: Elisabeth, daughter of Johann Magerl, farmer from Katharina and Elisabeth born Freisleben, farmer's daughter from Katharina
Godparents: Margaretha Stich, farmer's daughter from Roßhaupt, Johann Stich, her father.
Midwife: Margaretha Kreuzer
Minister: Johann Rustler.
3. Marriage register of the Catholic parish Rozvadov
Date: 28 November 1848
Village: Rosshaupt N. 52
Marriage Service: Lamm, Georg, minister
Groom: Goss, Johann, Landless laborer's son in Roßhaupt N. 52, Maierhofen Estate, legitimate son of George Goss, Landless laborer in Roßhaupt N. 52, and the deceased Maria born Huttl, landless laborer's daughter of Roßhaupt N. 76, Maierhofen Estate.
Catholic, 23 years old, single
Bride: Hummer, Margaretha, legitimate daughter of the deceased Mathes Hummer, former landless laborer in Turkenhaeuseln N. 14, Maierhofen Estate, and of the deceased Elisabeth born Magerl, farmer's daughter from the village Katharina, Maierhofen Estate.
Catholic, 21 years old, single
Witnesses: Georg Mayer, Farmer and (?) of Roßhaupt; Joseph Huttl, Cottager and sieve maker in Roßhaupt.
4. Children of Johann Goß and Margaretha Hummer
a) 11 Nov. 1847 Paul
b) 27 Oct. 1849 Anna
c) 22 June 1853 Katharina
d) 14 Jan. 1855 Theresia
e) 10 Jan. 1858 Georg Adam
f) 13 Oct. 1860 Margaretha
g) 30 Mar. 1862 Wenzel
h) 25 Mar. 1865 Joseph
Picture of great grandfather Paul Gosz
5. Baptismal Records of the Catholic Parish of Rozvadov
Name of Child: Paul Goß*
Catholic, male, illegitimate
Date of Birth: 11 Nov. 1847;
Date of Baptism: 11 Nov. 1847;
Village of Rosshaupt N. 76
Father: Johannes Goβ, Cottager in Roβhaupt No. 52, legitimate son of the deceased Georg Goß,
Note: The father, here present has declared himself to be the father and registered his truthfulness and signed the document.
Mother: Hummer Margarethe, legitimate daughter of the deceased Hummer, Johann, former cottager in Turkenhäusel No. 14 and the deceased Elisabeth, born Margerl, legitimate daughter of the deceased Mathes Hummer, formerly a cottager in Zirk N. 14, and the deceased Elisabeth Magerl, instructor's daughter from St. Katharina, N.1 (Herrschaft Maierhöfen, Roβhaupt No. 52 seems to have been the current residence of Margaretha Hummer)
Godparents: Paul Hüttl (apparently signed in his own hand), cottager and meat hewer in Turkenhäusl
Midwife: Hüttl Margarethe Ausnähmerin in Roβhaupt, Certified
Each birth record gives not only the names of the parents, but also of two more generations. I am told this was required by the Austrian Government, since the Egerland was ruled by Austria until the end of the First World War.
*The surname was originally spelled Goß using the German sharp S. I saw a copy of both Johann's and Paul Gosz's signatures on their immigration document in the Milwaukee County Archives. Father and son wrote that sharp S. In English, there would be two ways to deal with that, since there is no Sharp S in our alphabet, just as there are no umlauts (ä, ë, ö, and ü are written as ae, ee, oe, and ue in English). Thus the Goß men could either spell Goß as Goss or Gosz. Johann, Paul, George, Joseph, and Adam chose Gosz; their brother Wenzel preferred the surname Goss.
At the present time, the Egerland of old is part of the Czech Republic, and Rosshaupt, a border village, is today called Rozvadov. This is the flag of the city hall. Since the village was originally named "Horse's Head", it seems that the Czech-governed village of today is still represented by a horse.