An amateur dabbler in all things history, the writer embarks on what she thought would be a year-long journey into the Realm of Family History.  Little did she know her journey into the Realm would stretch out more than a fifteen years and involve many late nights of typing names and dates into a computer.  Her journey would include traveling to small, windowless rooms in the basements of libraries and courthouses across the country on purpose, and hiking across many a muddy field in rural America to find the elusive gravestones that are hidden behind a stand of trees.  And, at no time in her travels through the Realm did she run into any royalty whatsoever…almost.  Thus she has decided to name her blog:

The Lives of Serfs and City Folk: One Woman’s Journey into the Realm of Family History.

The writer hopes that the retelling of tales and a revisiting of historical events and family stories will entertain all her fellow travelers through the Realm of Family History.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. I have done some research on the John Gibbses of early Virginia, and include some of it here for your perusal.

    1) (Lt) JOHN GIBBS 1600 – 1659
    Came on the ship SUPPLY in 1619 from the port of Weymouth, Dorsetshire

    In July and August 1619 Lieutenant John Gibbs served as burgess for Captain John Ward’s plantation.
    A census taken March-May 1619 enumerated twenty-six men and no women or children on Captayne Wardes Plantation

    In early 1619 Captain Ward fished off the New England coast to aid Virginia’s food supply

    Afterward Lt John Gibbs moved to Westover and took up his own dividend of land

    John Gibbs sailed to New England to obtain a load of fish to feed starving Virginians in the 1620s.
    FROM : John Pory : to the Governor of Virginia to Sir Francis Wyatt, AUTUMN 1622.

    …. “ The place of fishing upon this coast are as universal as the times, for it is experimented NOW by one JOHN GIBBS, who this SUMMER – ( ie after March 1622 )- has passed FIVE or SIX TIMES between this place and New Plymouth…

    Gibbs survived the March 22, 1622 Indian attack at Westover due to a fishing expedition and then moved to Jordan’s Journey, a fortified position of greater safety. He was still living there on February 16, 1624.

    On January 7, 1624, the Rev. Bennett witnessed an agreement between Thomas Hamor and Lieutenant John Gibbs
    Official records reveal that while Lieutenant John Gibbs was living at Flowerdew Hundered , he agreed to sell some cattle to Thomas Hamor, but failed to uphold his end of the bargain. When the suit was settled on June 28, 1624, Gibbs was ordered to compensate Hamor’s heirs no later than November 20th

    “ Sometime prior to Nov. 8 1624 William Emerson agreed to free his servant , James Davis, and pay LT. JOHN GIBBS for two years’ use of his servant, William Popleton.”
    [ Popleton came on the ship James in 1622, and went on to be a prominent person in the colony djg ]

    Gibbs apparently maintained some ties to the Society of Berkley Hundred’s investors, for on June 28, 1624, he testified about the late George Thorpe’s indebtedness to Mr. Dade.

    In the Jamestown 1624/5 Muster Records John Gibbs is listed in the muster of Christopher Safford (his partner) at Jordan’s Jorney in Charles Cittie, arrived on the ship ‘Supply’ in 1619.No wife is listed.
    [ NOTE THE ARRIVAL DATE ! This does NOT “fit” ANY OTHER John Gibbs ]

    On January 21, 1625, John Gibbs and his partner, Christopher Stafford, jointly headed a Jordan’s Journey household that included one male servant.

    Beginning in 1627, a John Gibbs is frequently mentioned as the master of several different ships, especially vessels that sailed for New England

    – left England on 20th August 1627 in the ship Marmaduke,
    ( JOHN GIBBS, master )

    – the Lyon’s Whelp left Gravesend on Saturday, April 25, 1629, at seven o’clock in the morning and arrived in Salem mid-July 1629, under Master John Gibbs with above forty planters out of the Countyes of Dorset and Somerset. She brought `6 fishermen from Dorchester.’

    In 1632 John Gibbs asked those who had been members of the Society of Berkeley Hundred to consider reviving their plantation and requested some servants.

    John Gibbs returned to England in 1632, before returning to Virginia.
    [ Married Mary Grigory ? ]

    He is located at the Plantation Flowerdieu, on June 10, 1635, at the age of 35 (which would place his actual birthdate in 1600).
    He returned to England about this time, where he gave a deposition in London that summer. He had travelled to England in the Defiant with details of the goods. He returned in 1635 in the Truelove as Master. The ship sailed 19 Sept 1635 from London and arrived at Boston late in November.

    He said that on Dec. 26, 1634 he had been at the house of William Emmerson, planter, at Weyanoke when Emmerson gave him a schedule for tobacco deliveries for the ship Robert Bonaventure then lying at Point Comfort. The schedule, written by Arthur Harwood, kinsman of Emmerson, was returned to England by a passenger named Courtney.

    Later, John served as a Gentleman Justice in Charles Cittie County, Virginia, 1655 through 1658. He witnessed an agreement between two merchants on January 31, 1658.
    Source: Court Order book of Charles Cittie County, Virginia: “Entries include statements from lawsuits in which John Gibbs was involved, the appointment of a committee to appraise his estate, following his death in 1659, settlement of his will,

    He made several court appearances that were other than serving as Justice. An appearance was documented in 1655:
    “Whereas Mr. John Gibbs complained against Ca;Jo ffrome for an iron chaine carried away from his ground by some of the sd Ca:ffromes people; it is therefor ordered the sd Ca;ffrome shall deliver and reneder the sd chaine to the sd Mr Gibbs and pay cost of the suit als Exec…”
    “To prevent the many scurrilous reproachful and un-neighborly difference and Language between Mr.John Gibbs and Capt.John Ffrome the court doth order that either of them first raysing and causeing any more disturbances…”

    Also in the Court Order Books are notices of John Gibbs’ death and court dealings with his wife and others:
    “Capt John Wall, Mr. David Jones, Mr. FFred Aston and Mr. Ffranceis Redford are required and appointed to aprise the estate of Mr. John Gibbs dec’d on the 10th this instant month.” (January 10, 1659)

    CHILDREN OF Lt JOHN GIBBS,( married Mary Grigory )

    1) Elizabeth born 1634 at Jordan’s Journey, Charles City, VIRGINIA

    2) Grigory 1635 / 1696

    3) Joan

    4) [ Capt.] John Gibbs b. 1639

    5) Margaret b. 1641

    6) Ann b. 1643

    7) Henry b.1644 ? d. 1714 ?

    [ Note : Capt. John and Henry were involved in an affray in Norfolk Virginia in 1684 ]


    There were further descendants !

    2) JOHN GIBBS [ servant to Arnold Oldsworth] xxxx – 1622
    Came on the ship SUPPLY 29th January 1621
    [ It is likely this John Gibbs came from Gloucestshire djg ]
    In 1618 a group of local Gloucestshire, England merchants and Gentlemen came together to form the Berkeley Company. Their goal was to exploit the immense resources of the New World. The principal backers of the enterprise were: John Smyth of Nibley, agent to and historian of the Berkeley Company; Richard Berkekey; George Thorpe of Wanxwell Court; Sir William Throckmorton and Sir George Yeardley, Governor of the new territory of Virginia.
    The Berkeley Company negotiated a grant of land on the James River containing some 8000 acres, on which to build a private colony to be named the Berkeley Hundred. The first ship sent to Berkeley was the Margaret of Bristol, under Captain John Woodliffe and brought thirty-eight settlers to the new Town and Hundred of Berkeley.The ship arrived at Berkeley December 4, 1619.
    The second ship sent by the Berkeley Group from England to the Berkeley 100 was the ship Supply. The ship arrived at Berkeley January 29, 1621, and the Governor certified the arrival on February 8. 1621, with 50 passengers. The authorization to sail in England listed 58 passengers . Most of the passengers were indentured workers, contracted to the Berkeley Group to build the Berkeley Plantation. They signed an agreement with the Berkeley Group requiring them to work for three years to six years. However, most contracts required only three years service. For the first year they would be provided “food, lodging, cattle, clothes, tool and other equipment” After the first year they would receive “50 percent of the profit from their endeavors. At the end of their three-year indenture they would be granted 50 acres of land.”
    During the Indian massacre of 1622 nine colonists were killed at Berkeley. For several years, thereafter the plantation at Berkeley Hundred lay abandoned,

    John Gibbs (Gibbes) left Bristol, England, on September 10,1620 on the Supply, with the group of settlers bound for Berkley Hundred. Aboard was Arnold Oldsworth, Gibbs’s master.

    These are to certifie the right Honble Right worshipfull, and others of the Counsell and Comany for this first Southern Colony of Virginia, that there arrived at Barklay in the same country, for the account of that Society, and the Plantation fot he said hundred, upon the 29th of January 1620 {OS}, these fifty persons underwritten. Vist ………

    John Gibbes, servant to Arnold Oldsworth Esqr.

    Oldsworth was a London lawyer and MP. He was a shareholder in the Mines Royal. About a year after Queen Elizabeth’s death, his first son, Edward, was granted the reversion of his office of clerk of the hamper…. Oldsworth died abroad, [ Virginia, 1621 ]

    ENGLAND, FROM EASTER COURT, MAY 12, 1621 — JUNE 1, 1622
    At the Easter court the old officers generally were re-elected ; but as Mr Briggs [one of the auditors] was now gone to Oxford to abyde Mr Gibbs was chosen in his place.”
    ……………….Mr. Oldsworth, who had been a justice of the peace in England, was added to the Council of State in Virginia.
    “Ouldsworth, Mr., whose Christian name has not come down to us, enjoyed the distinction of membership in the council for a very brief season. Upon April 12, 1621, it was moved that since Mr. Ouldsworth, then in Virginia, had, when he was in England, “lived in that reputation and credit as befitted a gentleman in his rank and ability as justice of the peace, and of the quorum” he might be admitted to the Virginia council. This motion was “conceived to be very reasonable,” and it was “therefore ordered that it be moved in quarter court, and besides some place should be thought upon” for the new councillor, “suitable to his merit and worth.” On May 2, upon Mr. Smith’s recommendation of his “worth and sufficiency,” and as “having been a justice of the peace here in England for so many years, and of the quorum,” he was formally “chose and confirmed of the council of state in Virginia,” by the Virginia Company. On July 16, 1621, the company had received information of his death.”

    Members of the council of state of Virginia :
    MR. OULDSWORTH, of Berkeley Hundred, Va. Born in England. Died before July, 16, 1621.


    Was this the John Gibbs killed Lt Gyb’s Dividend in the massacre of 1622 [ ??????? ]
    During the Indian attack he may have sought refuge at Westover, about a mile from Berkley-Hundred at Lieutenant Gib’s Dividend.

    The following list of dead after the Massacre of 1622 according to “The Records of the Virginia Company of London” Pages 565-571 Volume III 1933 US Government Printing Office
    Lt. Gib’s Dividend 12 { probably part of Capt Ward’s plantation djg }
    John Paly, Thomas Ratcliff , Michael Booker, John Higglet, Nathaniel Earle
    John Gibbes
    Willaim Parker, Richard Waineham, Benomy Reyman, Thomas Gay, James Vpfall (Usher), Daniel _____Mr Dowbelowes man

    It would seem that the reason for the difference in spelling if the Gibbs surname is to distinguish between the two Gibbs ????????

    3) JOHN GIBS (GIBBS) 1601 – 16xx
    Came on ship ABIGAIL in 1621

    On August 1, 1622, Virginia Company officials noted that John Gibbs (Gibbes, Gybs), who came to Virginia in 1621 on the Abigail, had been sent to the colony as a Company servant. In early 1625 he was living on the south side of the Elizabeth River, on the Virginia Company’s land and was a servant in Sergeant William Barry’s household.

    A John Gibbes lived at Elizabeth City during the 1625 count.

    On January 12, 1627, when the defunct Virginia Company’s servants and tenants were being assigned to high-ranking officials, John Gibbs was given to Governor George Yeardley.


    • Thanks David! I think perhaps we’ve chatted before? There is a lot here to digest so I’ll make sure to take a look and see if this helps me with my Gibbs family research!

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