Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Gibson Family - VA>SC>MS

The Gibson family has been my most difficult genealogy challenge. I can't seem to get any further back than John P. Gibson, b. circa 1799 in South Carolina. One thing for certain is that he married Margarett J. Williams in Monroe County, Mississippi, and one of their children was Malverda Gibson, who became my great-great-grandmother. I also know that John P. Gibson, according to the U. S. Census taken in 1860, was living in Calhoun County, Mississippi, and he was shown with the occupation of "blacksmith."

My first efforts to find information about the Gibson name resulted in many references to the Gibson Family in South Carolina, as well as the parts of that Gibson family who ended up in Mississippi. The Gibson family in South Carolina, specifically Gideon Gibson and his sons, were notorious because of their involvement in the "Regulator Movement," which I plan to write about later. Gibson family members became well-known in Mississippi because of their early involvement in the Methodist Church and the subsequent naming of the city of Port Gibson, Mississippi after the family name. Tobias Gibson, a descendant of the South Carolina Gibson family, is known as the founder, or father, of Methodism in Mississippi.

Also, early on in my research, I found references to the Gibson family's colorful history in South Carolina, when Gideon Gibson's race became an issue during his trial as a "Regulator." A PBS FRONTLINE special entitled Famous Families discussed "blurred racial lines" that exist in a number of well-known American families, and one of the families profiled was the Gibson Family of South Carolina. This special detailed the Gibson families who immigrated to South Carolina from Virginia in the 18th century, and who moved on to Mississippi in the early 19th century. Predominant names among the male members of these families were Gideon, John, Joseph, Jacob, Jordan, and Stephen.

According to the research, one of these men, the Rev. Jacob Gibson was the pastor of the Broad River Baptist Church in Fairfield County South Carolina in 1771. Joseph and Jacob were two of his sons.

Joseph Gibson, son of Rev. Jacob Gibson, may have been the same Joseph Gibson who posted the bond for the marriage between my John P. Gibson and Margarett J. Williams.

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