Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gideon Gibson, b. circa 1730 in Virginia

Gideon Gibson was not hard to find. The Gibson Family in early Virginia, North and South Carolina, and later in Mississippi and Louisiana are fairly well-documented. In addition to the PBS Frontline special: "Frontline: Gibson," The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families," aired approximately 10 years ago, G. Lloyd Johnson wrote an article entitled "Gideon Gibson, the 'Regulator", available online at, which documents the history of the Regulator Movement in South Carolina.

The "Regulators" were a semi-vigilante group that took law and order into their own hands and eventually ended up in legal actions in the South Carolina courts. But some of the best genealogical information about the Gibson Family actually appears at, where the lineage and family history of Randall Lee Gibson, a founder of Tulane University, is detailed.

According to that information, Gideon Gibson was a "mulatto," born about 1730 in Virginia. His father, also named Gideon, was born in 1695 and was a British subject who worked as a carpenter. Gideon (1) emigrated to Virginia to North Carolina about 1720 and married a white woman named Mary Brown in 1728. According to Virginia marriage records, in 1749, Gideon (2)married a white woman from England, Mary Martha O'Connell. Sometime after the marriage, Gideon (2) and Mary resettled in South Carolina, along with many immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales who had settled on land received as a result of the British government's land policy.

Problems in tracing Gibson family lines has been, in part, due to the similarity of names throughout the generations. Several names appear repeatedly, and the history of the Gibson family in South Carolina seems to revolve around the names Gideon, Jordan, John, Joseph, Stephen, and Tobias.

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