“It’s a family name.” That is what I always thought my brother/father/grandfather’s name was. And it is, just not the way I thought. So this week #52ancestors is dedicated to the man who brought “Barclay Gibbs” into the family.
Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Carrel Jones had eleven children and Elizabeth Watts Jones was number six. She was born in October of 1873, most likely in Pemberton, NJ and within the family was called Lizzie.
On 23 December 1890 she married Barclay White Gibbs, son of Benjamin and Anna B. Gibbs, of Burlington County. Barclay was born on the family farm on 26 April 1868. Over the next ten years they had three children:
Around this time, the family is living in Neptune, NJ a lovely little seaside town in Monmouth County. However, at the turn of the century, Lizzie and the children are living with her mother and sisters in Pemberton. Barclay may have gone off to find work elsewhere. Lizzie died on 28 August 1900 in Pemberton.
Barclay moved with the children to Philadelphia, where in 1902 he married Jennie Greenwood (1870-1947). Barclay worked in refineries in York, PA and in Camden, NJ, eventually becoming a respected auto mechanic in the Camden area. He died in 1957, ten years after Jennie.
I don’t know how close they were in later life but at one point they were close enough that Arthur Jones named his only son Barclay Gibbs Jones.
Once again I select a name for my #52ancestors essay so unusual that I should have no trouble picking up the thread of his life story. And once again, I re-learn the lesson about common words in names and geographic location. This time I picked Francis Mumford Gibbs.
Francis was born on 17 September 1898, most likely in Burlington County, NJ but also possibly Monmouth as that is where the family is living in 1895, to Barclay White (1868-1957) and Elizabeth Watts Jones (1873-1900) Gibbs. He was the youngest of three children but the only one to see his thirtieth birthday. His sister Mattie J. Gibbs was born in 1892 but died in 1919 and his brother Elton Russell was born in 1894 but died in 1917. Their mother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jones Gibbs died in 1900.
The family moved to Philadelphia, where Barclay worked as a machinist and there Barclay married Jennie S. Greenwood on 12 November 1902. Ten years later the family is living in York, PA where Barclay Gibbs was employed by Gulf Gas and Oil as a manager. It is in York that the family lost both Mattie and Elton, Mattie to tuberculosis and Elton to a heart defect. Francis married York native Margaret Elmira Herman sometime around 1925. Francis also seems to have moved around a lot as each of their four children are born in different places:
William Bruce Gibbs (1926-1954) b. Philadelphia
Francis Mumford Gibbs Jr. (1930-2012) b. Michigan
Barclay White Gibbs 2nd (1933-2010) b. Camden, NJ
John H. Gibbs (1936- ) Trenton?, NJ
Francis eventually settled in Trenton, NJ where he worked for a company called Thermoid, which made rubber brake pads. The children all appear to have come of age in Hamilton township.
Francis died suddenly from a heart attack on 25 April 1959. He is buried in Ewing Cemetery and shares a headstone with William Bruce, who tragically died in an automobile accident in 1954.
The most complicated part of investigating this story was the family name: the Gibbs family is an old and fertile family in New Jersey and many of the branches named their children after other branches. The name Barclay, for instance, pops up all over the place, most likely because it too is a place name. Most concentrated in Burlington and Camden counties, which made parsing out this line more difficult than I expected. Also, I came to realize that Francis Mumford Gibbs may have gotten his name from his mother’s sister Susan Gibbs Jones, who married Francis Mumford, whom I know absolutely nothing about. But that is for another essay.
This week in #52Ancestors I’d like to finish the other half of the Richard Jones story: his first wife Susan Ellis Gibbs, from whom I am descended. She was born 9 May 1814, the second daughter of Joseph N. (1781-1865) and Elizabeth Ellis Gibbs (1785-1845). She appears to have resided her entire short life in Burlington County, New Jersey.
The Gibbs family appears in Quaker meeting records moving from Upper Springfield meeting to Mount Holly meeting in 1817, but the next time I find them is in 1835, when the entire family is being “disowned” by the Mount Holly meeting. This may be due to the fact that Susan and her sisters seem to have each married outside the faith. The marriage for Richard Jones and Susan Gibbs was performed by a justice of the peace in Burlington County on 13 June 1833.
Susan and Richard had two sons, Benjamin Jones (1835-1896) and Joseph Gibbs Jones (1834-1895). Susan died 22 February 1837 and is buried at Juliustown, in Arney’s Mount Friends Burying Ground, as is her father Joseph N. Gibbs. Although this cemetery is so named, there seem to be a number of “lapsed” Quakers buried there.
While I know that Richard Jones lived at Mary Ann Furnace later in the 1840’s I do not know if this is where Susan E. Gibbs lived with him during their short marriage. Because she entered and left the family history between two censuses and because her two boys had so little time with her, it is hard to find details.
This is the 1849 Map of Burlington County by A.W. Otley and E. Whiteford, which provides the most detailed view of Mary Ann Forge and its small village of worker housing.