Monday, February 24, 2014

#52Ancestors - Week 8 - Roy William Westboy - Cattle Buyer, Farmer, Needlepoint Artist?? Found in Chicago, IL

Week number 8 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge, started by Amy Johnson Crow.  This week I've chosen to write about a man who has been the biggest mystery in all my research...Roy William Westboy.

Earliest photo I've found of him.
Not sure where or when it was taken.
Who was Roy William Westboy???  Was he from Norway, or was he born in the US??  Was he born in 1880 or 1888?  I've been researching him for 14 years, with little luck.  Who was this cattle buyer, farmer, gardener, and needlepoint artist????  Yes, I said needlepoint!  He did needlepoint and was very good at it.  I have several things that were passed down to me, that he created.  One that used to hang behind my grandmother's couch was a copy of Thomas Gainsborough's Blue Boy.  That one is now in the hands of another family member, but it was a beautiful piece!  I've shared a few pictures of his artwork.  If you scroll down, you can see them at the end of this post.

My grandmother didn't talk much about her father, but she did mention a couple of interesting things.  She said he was born in Norway, and was adopted out of England, prior to coming to the US.  She also said that he was a "perpetual liar!!"  That last comment threw me, but at the time, I didn't think to ask any further questions.  Now I'm kicking myself!!  Years back, I asked my Aunt Kathie and my father about him, but they just said the same thing.  No one knows anything about him!

Up until a couple of years ago, I had only seen one picture of Roy.  It was a picture of him walking, and was in a photo album my grandmother made for my father.  It wasn't a great picture, and I really couldn't make out what he looked like.  However, that all changed when I received all of my grandmother's pictures from my Aunt.  It was a wonderful gift!!  I can not express how much it meant to me to see these photos.  I carefully scanned each one, and made several digital copies so my family, and myself, would always have them.  I was very surprised to see just how many pictures my grandmother had of her father!!

 So, here is what I do know about Roy Westboy...
Roy Westboy and Wilhelmina Johnson
Wedding photo
There are several documents with info on him, unfortunately, none can be found prior to 1916.  The first record we can find is his marriage record dated February 10, 1917, in Chicago, Cook County, IL.  He married Wilhelmina Albertina Johansson/Johnson (she went by the name Minnie).  According to their marriage record, Roy was 29 and Minnie was 41.  Quite an age difference!!

I found his WWI draft card.  This document was dated June 5, 1917 and says he was 30 years old, residing in Thompsonville, Benzie County, MI.  His birth date is listed as "Jan 1 1887."  His residential status was Alien, and he was born in Christiana, Norway.  It shows he was a self-employed farmer working in Springdale, Manistee County, MI.  Item 9 on the card asks: "Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support (specify which)?", and he replied "Wife child. 1."  He was married, but my grandmother wasn't born yet, so this answer seemed odd to me.

Then, on March 16, 1918, was the birth of their daughter Judith Helen Wilhelmina Westboy in Chicago, Cook County, IL.  The birth record states he was a "Farmer," born in Norway, was 31 years old, and currently lived in Thompsonville, Benzie County, MI.

According to Google maps, Thompsonville, MI is about 300 miles by car, if you drive around Lake Michigan.  I'm not sure what type of ferry, or boat, would have been available at that time.  Its my opinion, that Minnie may not have been living in Thompsonville, but was living in Chicago.  The 1920 federal census also shows Minnie and Judith living on Berwyn Avenue, Chicago, Cook County, IL, but Roy is not listed in the household with them.

In my grandmother's scrapbooks, there are a few photos of her and her mother on a farm in Indiana when she was very young (age 2-6).  In the scrapbook its written "South Haven."  The same page had a photo with an older man chopping wood.  On the back of this photo it said "Granddad."  In another picture on this page, is a picture of Roy with my grandmother around the same time.  Wondering if Roy had family in South Haven, Indiana??

Sometime in 1920, Minnie and Judith went back to Tegnaby, Sweden to visit Minnie's family.  I don't know how long they stayed, but they returned in 1926 through New York.  After arriving back in Chicago, Minnie took a job as a housekeeper for Mr. Olaf Christopherson.  She and Judith lived with Mr. Christopherson on Roscoe Street in Chicago for many years.

Then we have the 1930 census...this gets a bit more interesting.  Minnie and Judith are shown living on Roscoe Street with Mr. ChristophersonMinnie is shown as a housekeeper/servant and divorced.  Then, we have another entry, this time on Otis Road in Barrington, Cook County, ILRoy is shown living here with Minnie and Judith listed in the household.  Now, Roy is listed as age 50 (this would mean he was born about 1880), and he was born in Louisiana!!!  His parents birth places are listed as South America!!  It also shows he was working as a gardener for a private house.

In all of my research, I have not been able to find any divorce records for Roy and Minnie, nor have I been able to find any naturalization paperwork on RoyMinnie filed for naturalization.  Her Declaration for Intention was filed May 31, 1929.  At that time, the document stated that she did not know where Roy was residing.  On August 26, 1931, her Petition for Citizenship was filed.  On this form she still did not know where Roy was, but she listed him as being born January 1, 1886 in Oslo, Norway. 

The picture on the right is one from my grandmother's scrapbook.  On the back is written "Min Man och dotter" in Minnie's writing.  This means my husband and daughter.  My grandmother also wrote on the back "Taken of Judy in the year 1931 age 13."  So they must have known where he was by 1931.

By 1934, I know Minnie and Judith made their way back to Tegnaby, Sweden, and I know they lived there with one of Minnie's sisters for an extended period of time.  I do remember my grandmother saying she lived in Sweden with an aunt and cousins.  Roy did not go with them.  They stayed until June of 1935 and returned back to Roscoe Street in Chicago.  Where Roy is at this time, again I do not know for sure.

A couple of years ago the 1940 census was released to the public.  I couldn't wait!!  I looked daily to see if I could find this family somewhere.  I was able to find Minnie prior to the census being indexed.  She was still living on Roscoe Street, with Mr. Christopherson.  This time, she is listed as his sister and single.  She was not his sister, I know that for a fact.  By this time, Judith was 21 and had moved out on her own.  She was living with a friend Vernace M. Schroeder (or Vern as my grandmother called her).  She was living on Winthrop Avenue in Chicago, Cook County, IL and working as a typist for a manufacturer.  It wasn't until the census was indexed for Michigan that I was able to find Roy.  He was living alone in Springdale, Manistee County, MI.  Here he is listed as married, about 58 years old, and born in New Mexico!  It says he was living at this same residence in 1935 as well.
During WWII another draft was done.  Roy also filed for this.  We can see his registration card below.  Notice he is sticking with the New Mexico birth, this time we have the city of DemingRoy is still living in Springdale when this was filed in 1942.  His birth date is listed as January 1, 1880, and his person of contact is Minnie living on Roscoe Street in Chicago.

The final document I have on my great grandfather is his death certificate.  Roy William Westboy died July 21, 1953 at Grant Hospital of Chicago from Coronary Thrombosis.  His date of birth given on the form is January 1, 1880, and his birthplace given is Illinois.  "Cattle Buyer" is shown as his usual occupation.  Here, they have names for his parents: John Westboy and Mary Gonzales.  It also lists Roy as a widow, which is odd considering Minnie did not die until 1955.  My grandmother, by the time of Roy's death, had been married with children, and was living in California.  The person who filled out the paperwork for Roy's death record was someone who worked at the hospital.  I'm not sure how accurate the information she gave was.  Roy was buried July 24, 1953 at Irving Park Blvd. Cemetery in Chicago.

I've researched the names of John Westboy and Mary Gonzales, but I've come up with nothing.  Again, I'm not sure these names are correct.  My theory is that he may have come from Norway, possibly at a young age.  He may have been an orphan as well.  His name could have been changed if he was from Norway...possibly could have been Westby?  I believe he may have not had the paper trail to rely on and was unable, or just didn't want to, obtain U.S. citizenship.  This may have been the reason for the changes in his birthplace.  Maybe he was afraid the U.S. would deport him??  I really don't know.  But I do know I'll keep looking into it.  Only 8 more years until the 1950 census is scheduled for release!!  I wonder what his birthplace will be on that??

Below are some of the pieces of needlepoint I have passed down from Roy.

One of my favorite pieces by Roy.  My grandmother gave this to my parents years ago.
Another by Roy.  I remember asking my dad when I was young about it and he said his grandfather made it.  I didn't believe him at first, I thought it must have been his grandmother, but it was Roy.
A purse Roy made for my grandmother

This final picture is of Roy working on one of his pieces.

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a message.  I'd be happy to answer any questions or share what information I have on the individuals listed above.  Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#52Ancestors - Week 7 - Who is Alexander Gibson from South Carolina to Missouri?

Again, its time for the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  I am just throwing this post together...I'm a little behind this week.  This time, I'm going to finish up my Gibson Family line.  I'll show what I do know, then discuss what connections I think might be possible.

What we do know...

The earliest known Gibson ancestor I can verify is Alexander Gibson, born about 1804 in South Carolina and died between 1870 and 1880 in, or near, Jefferson County, Missouri.  His wife was named Melinda, but have not been able to locate her maiden name.  We believe Alexander and Melinda had the following children:
  • William H. born 1832 in South Carolina
  • Margaret or Martha E. born 1834 in Tennessee
  • Herod born 1836 in Tennessee
  • John A. born 1839 in Tennessee
  • James J. born 1841 in Tennessee
  • Jefferson (or Green BJ) born 1843 in Tennessee
We believe Alexander and Melinda were probably married in South Carolina based on census records and the state listed for the birth of their first child, William.  They must have moved to Tennessee sometime between 1832 and 1834.  They resided in Gibson County, Tennessee according to the 1840 census.  Gibson County, TN was named after Colonel John H. Gibson, who served in the war of 1812 and the Creek Wars in 1813.  He was in the Tennessee militia and was from Bedford, TN.  I have nothing supporting a relationship between Alexander Gibson and Col. John H. Gibson of Tennessee.

1850, the family is shown living in Carroll County, TN, which is next to Gibson County, TN.  But, by 1860, the family had moved about 200 miles to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.  Then 1870 Alexander and Melinda are living in Central Township, Jefferson County, Missouri.  Sometime before 1880, Alexander must have passed away.  Melinda is seen on the 1880 census living with Herod, their son,
in De Soto, Jefferson County, MO, and listed as a widow.  Melinda died November 12, 1889 and is buried next to her son, Herod, in the De Soto City Cemetery.  I do not know where Alexander would have been buried.

Here are possible connections...this might get a bit confusing

Doing research online, I've found a Gibson Family DNA Project hosted by  On this site, you will find a kit submitted by a descendant of William Frank Gibson, Alexander's great grandson.  Who submitted this, I don't know.  The kit, or ID, number is GX-3.  Alexander is listed under Gibson Lineage VIII on the Patriarch's page.  Here we see another Gibson, George Washington Gibson, born June 17, 1800 in Union County, SC.  I'm not a DNA expert, but I would guess that these two Gibson men would be related in some, I don't know??

By clicking on the kit number, you are taken to the Y-results page.  Here we see Alexander listed under the Haplogroup R1b - Lineage XVI.  What this means, I'm not sure.  However, there are other Gibson men listed in this group:
  • Jos... (years ago, I saw this online and my notes have it listed as Joseph Gibson of Union County, SC who died in 1804, but currently, it just says "Jos...")
  • Alexander Gibson b.1804
  • George Washington Gibson b.1800 SC
  • Mr. Samuel Gibson b. 1850
  • Robert Gibson 1853-1934
  • William L. Gibson 1846-1905
Could these people all be related?  Still not sure.

Further research into the census records of Union County, SC we find the following names:
  • 1790: Robert, John
  • 1800: Gideon, John, Joseph, Robert (2), William
  • 1810: George, Herod, Robert, Salley, Soloman, William
  • 1820: Herod, John (2), Matthew, William
  • 1830: James, John (3), Martha, Washington, William, Herod
Also, research online into estates in Union County, SC we find the estates of Joseph and Juda (Judith) Gibson in 1804, William Gibson in 1820, George Gibson in 1827, and John Gibson in 1837.  We see there is a Herod Gibson as the executor of the estate of John Gibson.  There is also paperwork showing a John Gibson who fought in the Revolutionary War.  This John Gibson entered the war while residing in Bedford Co., VA and  was living in Union County, SC when filing for a pension around 1833.  The age listed is 84 years, and he received $20 per year.  I believe the Revolutionary War John is the same as the John Gibson who died in 1837.

There is also a John Gibson living in Union Co., SC, born about 1801 in SC.  In the 1850 census, we see him in Union County and in his house is a 13 year-old Alexander.  This John Gibson is shown as the son of Herod Gibson of Union County, SC on some family trees online.  This Herod is also listed as the son of John Gibson who died in 1837 in Union County, SC.  Of course, this is just what people have put online, and I don't have absolute proof of it.  I'm using it as a starting point.

I've had a lot of luck in the past with different lines by using naming patterns to locate family members.  By looking at records of names shown often in the family, we've been able to find the paper trail leading to our ancestors.  By looking at the names of Alexander's children, we can assume he had family members by the names of William, John, James, Herod...all of which show up often in the Union County, SC records.  This compiled with the DNA results, I am leaning toward the assumption that our Alexander Gibson came from this area.  Of course, this is all theory. 

Could Alexander be the son of Herod of Union County, SC.  Based on naming practices, the first son would have been named after the mother's father.  So, could Melinda's father be named William???  The second son would be named after the father's father.  This is what I'm basing my theory on.  Hopefully, I can find the paper trail to prove, or disprove, that Alexander is the son of Herod Gibson of Union County, SC, and possibly the grandson of John Gibson, Revolutionary War veteran, who died in Union County, SC.

If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to leave them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

#52Ancestors Challenge - Week 6 - Herod Gibson - Gibson County, TN to De Soto, Jefferson County, MO

Well, I've had a bit of a dilema on who to write about this week.  Originally, I thought I would alternate each week from my maternal side of the family to my paternal side.  However, I think I'm going to stick to one side for a while.  This way I can just keep researching the same line as I go instead of jumping back and forth.

With that said, we'll continue the 52 Ancestors Challenge that was proposed by Amy Johnson Crow.  Last week, I wrote about William Francis Gibson.  This week, we'll take a look at his father, Herod Gibson.

Herod was born October 10, 1836 in Gibson County, Tennessee.  He was the son of Alexander Gibson and Melinda (unknown).  Both of his parents are believed to be from South Carolina.  It is my guess that they may be from Union, South Carolina, but that is speculation at this point.  We believe his possible siblings were:
  • William H. - b.1832 in South Carolina
  • Margaret (or Martha) - b. 1834 in Tennessee
  • John A. - b. 1839 in Tennessee
  • James J. - b. 1841 in Tennessee
  • Green B.J. (or Jefferson) - b. 1843 in Tennessee
In 1840, we can find the family of Alexander Gibson living in Gibson County, Tennessee (at this time, I do not know if they are related to Col. John H. Gibson, who the county was named after).  There are 2 boys under the age of 5, one age 5-10, one girl age 5-10, one adult male age 20-30 and one adult female age 20-30. 

The 1850 census has the family living in District 2, Carroll County, Tennesee.  Here we see Alexander and William working as farmers.

By 1858 we know the family moved to Missouri.  There is a marriage record for Herod Gibson and Sarah Jane Patterson.  They were married on August 15, 1858 in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.  We aren't sure who Sarah's parents were, however, there is a James Patterson and a Sarah A. Patterson living in Madison County, Missouri (Madison is near Ste. Genevieve).  This James and Sarah A. have a daughter named Sarah J M Patterson, and she is the same age as the Sarah who married Herod.

In 1860, we find Herod and wife Sarah living in the household of Alexander Gibson in Ste. Genevieve Township, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.  We also see their first child, William Francis, living with them at the age of six months.

In 1861, we can see Herod enlisted for the Confederacy, as a private in Company C, of the 5th Regimental Infantry, 1st Division, Missouri State Guard.  He enlisted for the term of 3 months and 21 days.  His brother John also enlisted in the State Guard.  On, there is a "Union citizen File" on John A. Gibson.  Apparently, John was "arrested upon the charge of giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States, and of other acts of disloyalty."  This was signed by John, Herod, and William (Herod's older brother) on June 25, 1862 in Ste. Genevieve.  Herod and William were acting as security for the sum of $1,000, and John was instructed not to leave the county of Ste. Genevieve.  We can see by the signatures that Herod and John signed with a mark, while William signed his name.  Herod could not read or write.

Also found on, we find Herod was drafted into the Union Army on September 22, 1864.  He is shown in Company H of the 18th Missouri Infantry.  They describe him as having a dark complextion, brown hair, brown eyes, and 6 feet 1/2 inch.  He was enlisted in Ironton, Missouri for the term of 1 year.  We also see he filed for pention on July 15, 1890.  According to his obituary, he was in "Sherman's march to the sea.  He served until the close of the war and was honorably discharged from the service."  According to The Civil War Archive, online, the 18th MO Inf. was mustered out July 18, 1865 from Louisville, Kentucky.

Between his time in service with the Confederacy and Union Armies, Herod and Sarah had 2 more children: Ida Ann born December 17, 1863, and Mary Emma born March 20, 1864.  Unfortunately, Ida Ann died on July 5, 1865, just prior to Herod's discharge.  After he returned, the couple had one more child, Sarah Jane born October 9, 1866.  However, just after the birth of their daughter Sarah Jane, Herod's wife Sarah passed away (possibly due to complications of the birth), on October 19, 1866.  Now Herod, just back from war and ready to carry on with his life, was left widowed with 3 small children.

In 1980, in De Soto, Missouri, there was a Gibson family reunion.  There was a wall with different stories posted, the following was one of those posts, by Olive Gibson (Herod's granddaughter):

"Great Grandfather Herod Gibson was in the fields a working and one of the little Gibson children (a girl) was left to watch the baby.  She was sitting before the fireplace, holding the baby, and it tumbled from her lap and rolled into the fireplace and it died."

The infant that died was the youngest, Sarah Jane.  She died November 5, 1867.  She would have been just over one year.  The girl watching her might have been Mary Emma, however, it could have been a Gibson cousin, we just aren't sure.  Mary Emma would have only been 3 years old, so I hesitate to believe she would have been watching her younger sister.

1870, we find Herod, William Francis, and Mary Emma living in Central Township, Jefferson County, Missouri.  They're living next door to William, Herod's brother, and his family.  Both Herod and William are shown working on the railroad.

By 1880, we see Herod and his 2 children living on Lewis Street in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  This time, Herod's mother, Melinda, is shown living with the family.  Herod is listed as working as a laborer.  Melinda died just nine years later on November 12, 1889.

By 1900 both William Francis and Mary Emma married and had children of their own.  On the 1900 federal census, we see Herod living in the household of William Francis on Cedar, in Valle Township, City of De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  I'm not sure how big the house was, but I'm guessing it would have been busy.  The census shows 14 people living in the house: William Francis, his wife, their 9 children, Herod, Mary Emma (Herod's daughter), and Mary Emma's two daughters.  Mary Emma was widowed by this time.  Her husband, William H. Brown, died in a caboose accident.  Herod was shown working as a day laborer in 1900.

If you recall my previous post on William Francis Gibson, then you know he and his wife died of "consumption" (tuberculosis) in 1904, leaving behind 9 children.  By 1910, we see Herod living on East Main Street in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri with his daughter Mary Emma Brown and her two daughters Cleo and Ethel.  He was working as a laborer for the railroad.  The family was still living on the same street (possibly the same house) in 1920, but Herod was not working anymore.  He could have retired, he was 83 years old at this time.

The picture to the right is of Herod.  The 3 women in the photo are unknown to me, but I'm guessing it is Mary Emma and her two daughters.  Mary Emma Gibson Brown died in 1923.  She is buried in the City Cemetery in De Soto, MO.

According to notes that were given to me from other family members, Herod was living with Ethel and Homer Milhouser (Ethel was Herod's granddaughter), at 1906 Missouri Avenue in St. Louis, MO, when he died July 13, 1926.  Cause of death was chronic bronchitus, non-tubercular, brought on by old age.  The note said he was 87 years 9 months and 3 days (but that does not match with the birthdate we have in our family records).  Herod is buried next to his mother, Melinda, in the City Cemetery, De Soto, MO.

Herod did indeed live a very long life.  He outlived his parents, his wife, all four of his children, and 2 grandchildren. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

#52Ancestors Challenge - Week 5 - William Francis Gibson - Ste. Genevieve and Jefferson Counties, Missouri

It's week 5, and I'm continuing the 52 Ancestors Challenge that was proposed by Amy Johnson Crow on her blog No Story Too Small.  This one is going to be about my great, great grandfather, William Francis Gibson.

William Francis Gibson was born February 7, 1860 in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri to Herod Gibson and Sara Jane Patterson.  He was their oldest child, and only son.  On the 1860 census we can find him listed as Francis at the age of 6 months, living in Ste. Genevieve County with his parents.  The family was living in the household of Alexander and Melinda Gibson, Herod's parents.  Because most records show his name as Francis, that is how we'll reference him in this post.

In 1861, Francis' father enlisted in the Southern Army and served in the Missouri State Guard for a short time.  After being honorably discharged and returning home to his family, he was then drafted into the Union Army.  I'll discuss this more in another post about Herod.

Back to Francis...we aren't sure where he and his mother were living during the war, but I'm guessing they were probably living with Herod's family.  Francis' parents had 3 more children, all girls: Ida Ann b. 1863 and d.1865, Mary Emma b. 1864, and Sara Jane b. 1866 and d. 1867.  In 1866, after giving birth, Sara JaneFrancis' mother, died. 

In 1870, we find Francis at age 11 and attending school.  He is living with his father, Herod, and sister, Emma, in Central Township, Jefferson County, Missouri.  Next door to them is Herod's older brother William and his family.  His father was working on the railroad, and his uncle was a foreman for the railroad.

By 1880, the family can be found in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  At this time we see Melinda Gibson, Francis' grandmother, widowed and living with the family as well.  Both Francis and his father, Herod, were listed as laborers.

Years ago, my grandfather came back from a visit to Missouri with copies of marriage and bible records.  To the right is a copy of the marriage record of Frank Gibson and Louisa N. Cotner.  This is William Francis Gibson and Louisa Nancy Carolyn Cotner.  They were married June 24, 1881 in Plattin, Missouri, about 9 miles east of De Soto.  Louisa was born January 11, 1862 in St. Francois County, Missouri.  She was the daughter of Hezekiah Cotner and Mary Elizabeth Griffaw/Griffard (who will both be written about on a later post...tons of information on these two and their families).

Francis and Louisa went on to have 9 children:
  • Claude Percy (1882-1956)
  • Francis Pearl (1884-19510
  • Leslie Lee (Lester) (1886-1898)
  • Emma Clyde (1888-1981)
  • Olive Louisa (1890-1986)
  • Hazel Mae (1892-1988)
  • William Frank (1895-1965)
  • Isaac Herod (1897-1978)
  • Stella Laura (1900-1923)
Years back, my Great Aunt Vicki sent my mother some copies of some notes she had from Betty Tracy Thayer, daughter of Emma Clyde Gibson, and granddaughter of Francis and Louisa.  In it Betty wrote about a fond memory her mother, Emma, had:

"She (Emma) recalled the times when she was a child that her father would rent a carriage (rig) with horses, and they would all pile into it, kids and mother and father, and drive out to the "Plattin" to her grandfather and grandmother Cotner's farm for the day, she said it was "great fun."

I believe this would have been their grandmother Mary Elizabeth Griffaw Cotner's place.  She was living in Plattin in 1880 with Louisa and Louisa's older brother Isaac, before Louisa married FrancisMary was also living in Plattin with her brother John Griffaw on the 1900 census.  Mary's husband, Hezekiah Cotner, died sometime before 1870 (the last record we can find of him is the 1860 census). 

The 1900 census we find Francis and Louisa, with 8 of their children, living in Valle Township, City of De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  Also in the household are Francis' father, Herod, his sister, Emma Brown (she was listed as a widow), and Emma's two children: Cleo and EthelFrancis was working as a switch man for the railroad.

In 1980, there was a Gibson family reunion.  At that reunion was a wall, or mural, with notes from family members.  One note from Emma, Francis and Louisa's daughter, talked about the death of her brother Leslie.  The note I was given says "Leslie was found hanging in the shed by his mother.  He had been playing in the rafters and had his book strap round his shoulders and he fell and the strap caught on something and broke his neck.  He was 12 years old."  The note also says "Another story says he hung himself accidentally while putting up a swing.  November 4, 1898."  How very sad to lose a child, especially in this way.  I can't imagine what Francis and his wife must have went through.  But, unfortunately, the bad times don't end there...

On January 8, 1904, Louisa passed away.  Her obituary stated that she suffered from the disease "consumption" for 3 years before it took her life.  Consumption was what they called Tuberculosis.  She wasn't the only one to suffer it in the family.  Later that same year, on December 29, Francis died of the same disease.

The children were left without their parents.  Some were grown, but some were still very young.    In the note written by Betty Tracy Thayer, she also stated the following:

"Emma, Mom, also recalled that after her father, Wm. Frank Gibson died, her mother having preceded him in death by a year, she and her brothers and sisters were left alone in their home in De Soto.  She recalled that they "had no sens of money," and when the "rag man" came by at various times, calling "old rags and bottles" the children blithely sold articles of value to the man - I.E. down comforters for 10 cents each!  Later, they were taken care of by their Aunt Em Brown, who had lost her husband in a tragic caboose fire sometime before.  Aunt Em had 2 girls Ethel and Stella.  The good times were over thereafter!!" (The note says Emma's daughters were Ethel and Stella, but I think she meant Ethel and Cleo).

Not sure how long the children stayed with their Aunt Emma, but the 1910 census has them living in another part of town, with Claude as the head of household.  Writing this post, I did some additional research, and found that the Jefferson College Library has a searchable Probate File Index.  Listed on the index are two case numbers (6717 and 4841) for "Gibson Minors."  At this time I haven't contacted them to obtain a copy.  Hopefully in the near future.  I'm sure there must have been some court proceedings to determine who would take care of the minor children.  The youngest would have only been 4 years old.  Francis and his wife Louisa had such a short life.  At the ages of 44 and 42, they left so much behind.

The picture to the right was found online on in the Gibson/Stockdale Family Tree.  I'm not sure when it was taken.