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The Life of Charlotte Emma Goss Freeman
by Wilford Freeman

I donít know very much about my Grandmother Freeman.  I didnít get to see her very often--not nearly as much as Grandfather.  Her name was Charlotte Emma Goss.  She was the eldest child of Enoch and Charlotte Stanley Marshall Goss.  She was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England on 28 January 1863*.

She grew up to be a fine looking, brown-eyed girl.  Her beauty was destroyed by the dreaded disease of smallpox which  caused so many deaths all over the world at that time.  Her face was covered with pock marks.  This, I am sure, saddened her and her parents, although they were thankful that she was still alive.

She had three sisters all younger than herself and one brother.  The sisters were named Rosetta Mary Goss, born 4 July 1840; Sarah Naomi Goss, born 16 October 1844; and Grace Hannah Goss, born 4 July 1846.  Her brother was William John Goss born 23 February 1843.  All were born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.

William grew up to be a boxer and never married.  He died 14 January 1871.

Rosetta Mary Goss married Thomas Stratton.  She died 24 September 1904.

Sarah Naomi Goss married Alfred Denton.  She died 1 July 1899.

Grace Hannah Goss, unfortunately, was both deaf and dumb.  In her later years she married another person who was deaf and dumb, John Bonham.  She died 1 February 1919.

At the age of twenty-two, Charlotte Emma Goss married my grandfather, Richard Freeman, in Olney on 10 October 1858.  She became the mother of seven children as follows:

George Richard Freeman b. 29 June 1859; d. 17 July 1943
John Freeman b. 22 March 1861, d. 24 March 1861
Thomas Charles Freeman b. 14 August 1862;d. 7(8) July 1907
William Henry Freeman b. 26 August 1863; d. 26 November 1864
Samuel Freeman b. 17 December 1864; d. 12 August 1865
Harriet Ann Freeman b. 12 July 1866; d. 10 April 1867
Richard Henry Freeman b. 8 May 1869; died 21 July 1870

I have heard my mother say that my Grandmother Freeman worked very hard to help earn a living for the family.  During the late spring and early summer she picked the blossoms of the cowslip, the oxlip, and some other flowers, prepared the blossoms and carried them to Northampton, twelve miles away, to sell them for making wine.  She was able to get a few pennies this way to help out.  She could pick some of the blossoms in the fields because there was plenty of rain for plants to grow.

She helped in many other ways besides her work at home.

The last few years that my grandparents lived, they lived in my fatherís house, and he helped to provide for them.
I remember being taken into my grandmotherís bedroom just a few days before she died.  She was dressed up in her best clothes, with her bonnet on, sitting in an armchair at her bedside.  My father had had her picture taken right in the room just before I went there.  The fireplace with the mantle shelf above  and pictures of her family on the wall and the candlesticks on the edge of the mantel and other things are plainly shown in the picture.

I did not see my grandmother as often as I did my grandfather.  Her health was poor when I was a youngster.  She died 14 November 1900 and was buried in the cemetery in the churchyard of Saint Peterís and Saint Paulís Episcopal Church in the  south part of Olney---not very far from the River Ouse.  She was buried in the same grave that my grandfather was buried in two years previously.

I remember the grave very well.  It was a short distance inside the west gates on the left-hand side of the road or pathway.  My father leveled off the top of the mound just enough to plant a few pansies there.  I remember visiting it with my father several times.

*In the FHL film 0919243, Baptisms in the Parish of Olney form 1813 to 1851, page 112, line 895, Charlotte Emma Goss is listed as being born 28 January 1836 and christened 12 June 1836.

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