George Gould
George Gould

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

GEORGE GOULD was born at Litchfield, Conn., on the 2d of September, 1807. He was the fifth son of Judge James Gould. His genealogy shows an unbroken succession of educated gentlemen, in both the paternal and maternal branches; and in the former he stood in but the third remove from his English ancestors, whose descendants (of the junior branch) are still extant in England. His great-grandfather, Mr. William Gould, was born in North Tawton, Devonshire, England, in 1693. He emigrated to this country in 1720, and took up his residence in Branford, Conn. His grandfather, Dr. William Gould, the younger, was born in Branford, in 1827, and his father, Judge James Gould, was born in Branford, in 1770.

His father's sister, Elizabeth Gould, was the wife of the Hon. Roger Minott Sherman, and his mother (Sally McCurdy Tracy) was the eldest of four sisters, who were severally married to the Hon. James Gould, of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, the Hon. Samuel G. Hone, and the Hon. Theron Metcalf, judges of the Supreme court of Massachusetts, and the Hon. Silas W. Robbins, judge of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, while his eldest brother became a judge in the State of Georgia, and he himself a judge of the Supreme Court of New York.

On the maternal side his great-grandfather was Eliphalet Tracy, of Norwich, Conn., and his grandfather was Gen. Uriah Tracy, for ten years a senator of the United States, from Connecticut, who died at Washington, and was the first person interred in the Congressional burial ground at the national capital.

Judge Gould's father had few equals at the bar, and when he was associated in important cases with his justly eminent brother-in-law, Roger Minott Sherman, and opposed by such men as David Daggett and Nathan Smith, the legal tournament is said, by those who were so fortunate as to witness it, to have exceeded in brilliancy anything ever witnesses in American courts. In view of these facts Judge George Gould may be said to have, as it were, inherited both education and law in a very unusual degree; and in respect of both he eminently upheld the family reputation. He was remarkable for the elegance of his person, and the combined dignity and grace of his manners, no less than for his almost unrivaled legal accomplishments, the purity of his English, and the perfection of his elocution.

Judge Gould entered Yale College in 1823, at the age of seventeen, and was graduated with distinction in 1827. He immediately entered upon a study of the law, under the teaching of his father, at whose celebrated law school he was a student for two years. At the end of that period (i.e., in 1829) he removed to Troy, and was admitted to the bar in the following year (1830). In November, 1840, he married a daughter of the Hon. George Vail, of Troy, and with her enjoyed a measure of domestic happiness rarely accorded to any man.

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