Saturday, June 27, 2015

My great-great grandma has 4 last names!

Most of the time you will read about how hard it is to find a maiden name for your female ancestors. In this case, I didn't have that problem. So what do you do when your great-great grandmother has 4 surnames?

I recently discovered that I made an error in the Gibson branch of my tree on my mother's side of the family. Since most of my ancestors from Orangeburg were not found in the 1870 census I made several assumptions that came out wrong. I did this years ago and unfortunately my mistakes were shared when I had my tree public on Since I started this blog, it gave me a chance to revisit all my branches and fix my errors.

In June 1880, my great-great grandparents Daniel and Judie Gibson, lived in Union Township, Orangeburg, SC.

As you can see, Daniel and Judie had several children:
Daniel Gibson b. 1869
Henry Gibson b. 1873
William Gibson b. 1873
Florence Gibson b. 1874
Joanna Gibson b. 1875
Lou Anna Gibson b. 1878

My great-grandfather, Moses Gibson Sr., was born shortly thereafter in either 1879 or 1880.  When he died on September 4, 1927 his death certificate named his parents as Daniel Gibson and Judy WALKER.
And there lies my mistake. I assumed that Walker was her maiden name and I didn't need to search any further. I never bothered to find any other death certificates of Moses' siblings to confirm her surname.

Then I found another sibling, Martha Gibson born in 1882. She married Thomas Cleckley b. 1883 and lived near Moses in Cope, Union Township, Orangeburg in the early 1900s. Martha died at the age of 33 of a convulsion while shopping in a store in Cope on November 27, 1915. Martha was buried at Good Hope AME Church cemetery in Cope. Her death certificate read this:
Her mother was named Judy HENDERSON. Where did Henderson come from? The hell if I know!! I ruled out if Martha was the daughter of Daniel Gibson Jr b. 1869. He would have been about 13 when she was born. 

After that I found another sibling's death certificate, Florence Gibson. Florence was born in either 1874 or 1879. She married John Minnigan b. 1879 and lived near Martha and Moses in the early 1900s. Florence died of unknown causes on July 24, 1938 in Bamberg. She was buried at Lodgebridge in possibly Bamberg. Her sister, LouAnne Gibson-Huggins was the witness. Her mother was named Judy SALLY.

LouAnne Gibson b. 1878 married Jerry Huggins. They also lived near her siblings in Cope. LouAnne Huggins died of apoplexy on October 13, 1944 and is also buried at Good Hope. Unfortunately her death certificate named Juddy GIBSON as her mother.

I haven't been able to trace the whereabouts of the sister JoAnna Gibson b. 1875 and brothers, Daniel Gibson Jr. b. 1869, Henry Gibson b. 1873 and William Gibson b. 1873, with absolute certainty in the 1900s. I haven't found any death certificates yet for my great-granduncles.

Tracing Judie Gibson was difficult. A black Judy Gibson b. 1850 lived in Hilton Head, Beaufort, SC during the 1910 census with her niece Laura Hamilton b. 1889 and nephew Peter Hamilton b. 1890. This Judy was a widow and the mother of 4 children that were still alive. However, this may not be my great-great grandmother because Daniel Gibson Sr. died on September 11, 1915 in Cope. Daniel's death certificate said he was still married. His parents were Daniel Gibson and Mariah Gibson. My great-grandfather Moses Gibson was the witness.
 The 1917 death certificate of this Judy Gibson b. 1837 revealed that she was 80 years old when she died making her the wife of Renty Gibson b. 1845. Renty might have been a brother of Daniel. This was not my Judy since Renty and Judy were married in the 1880 Hilton Head, Beaufort census.

A mulatto SC born Judie Gibson b. 1850 lived in 1910 Macon, Alabama with her children Ernest Walker b. 1878 and Jemima Walker b. 1880. Earnest and Jemima were born in Alabama making it very unlikely that they were my relatives. This Judie was a widow and the mother of 6 children that were still alive. This would mean that Judie's actual children were Moses, Florence, LouAnna, Martha, Ernest and Jemima. But Moses and Martha were born in Orangeburg between 1879 and 1882. If this is true then Daniel Jr., Henry, William and JoAnna were probably the children of Daniel Gibson's first wife. I haven't found death certificates on any of these children yet. My Judie's death certificate is also missing. To add to the confusion, the Gibson family lived in an area of Orangeburg that was completely missed when the 1870 census took place. A lot of my ancestors on my mother's side lived there during this time so I couldn't double-check anything against the 1880 Union Township, Orangeburg County, SC census. My Gibsons could have been from Barnwell in 1870. I had to make assumptions that were initially wrong.

When I figure this one out, I will let you know. I am sure there is a logical explanation for all this.