Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Great Great Great Great Uncle Murphy

Relationship between Murphy Giberson of Murphy Lake, Bath, New Brunswick, Canada; and me, Clair Marie Harris Zarges of New Mexico, USA:

Murphy Giberson (1795 - 1868) is my 4th great-uncle

John Giberson (1762 - 1842) was the father of Murphy Giberson

James Giberson (1791 - 1869) was the son of John Giberson

Samuel Giberson (1826 - 1917) was the son of James Giberson

William Giberson (1856 - ? ) was the son of Samuel Giberson, and my great-grandfather

Edith Rae Giberson (1880 - 1946) was the daughter of William Giberson and my grandmother

Elva Myrtle Crabtree (1914 - 1998) was the daughter of Edith Rae Giberson and my mother

Clair Marie Harris Zarges: That's me, daughter of Elva Myrtle Crabtree


My great great great great Uncle Murphy was a descendant of Lubbert Gysbertszen, who was born in 1601 in the Netherlands. Lubbert came to America in 1634 "on a three-year contract as a wheelwright with the famous patron, Killaen van Renssalaer." (1)

Murphy's father, John (grandson of Lubbert), is known in our family as John Giberson, The Loyalist. The Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the King of England, and so fought on the losing side in the American Revolutionary War. Our John the Loyalist was a private in the King's American Dragoons in New Jersey. 

After the war, many Loyalists had their lands and moneys confiscated, and thousands left America for other parts of the world. Around 30,000 or so went to Canada, settling in parts of Nova Scotia and in the newly-formed (1784) province of New Brunswick.(2)

Loyalists landing in Canada (10)

John the Loyalist settled on the east side of the St. John River, just below present-day Bath, New Brunswick. He married Elizabeth Brown, who was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.

Loyalist family starting over (10)

John's son, Murphy, came from a big family; all my New Brunswick relatives seem to do so. Murphy was one of eleven children; and together with his wife, Lydia Stickney (1805-1883), he created a good-sized family of thirteen: Benjamin (1824-1828), Samuel, Joseph, Hannah, Mary, David, Hamilton, Harriet, a second sadly short-lived Benjamin (1841-1845), Hepsibah, Charles, Emily, and Amos. 

Fifty-eight of their grandchildren grew to maturity.(3)

Murphy hadn't married Lydia until he was 28. When he was 21, and his brother Simon was 16, they petitioned for the ownership transfer of 300 acres of land, bought for a hundred pounds by their father.  
Land Petition, Murphy and Simon Giberson, 19 Mar 1816: Murphy Giberson, aged 21 yrs, and Simon Giberson, aged 16 yrs; single of Wakefield, born in New Brunswick. Their father purchased in May, last part from Gabriel Davenport, an allotment of 300 acres between Monquart Creek on the east side of St. John River for 100 pounds.(4)
As I've been researching Murphy, I've found that many of the things I have learned to do were a part of Murphy and Lydia's daily farm life. Here is a quote from Wiley Waugh:
Murphy Giberson... had a grist mill; rye was the grain, as there was no wheat. Maple sugar was made, and sheep raised for wool, which was spun, woven and made into clothes, all by hand. They also raised flax, which was spun and woven into sheets, pillow cases, and table[cloths]. Lydia Stickney had the first iron cookstove, and the first buggy to be seen on the St. John River. (5)
Although I can't claim to have driven a buggy, I have raised and sheared sheep, and have tried my hand at spinning, weaving, and dyeing. I even raised a bit of flax once. Of course, none of this counts as the kind of hard work Murphy and Lydia were doing, but I certainly feel some kinship with them.

Spinning on my wheel, just like Lydia Giberson

Murphy was involved in his community:
Murphy Giberson was the first magistrate in Kent (New Brunswick) and first postmaster of Kent and in April 1853 Murphy was appointed as a way officer in Kent.(6)
In an obituary for Deacon Nathan Milbury, one of the Giberson's neighbors, we read that Murphy was also an active member in the neighborhood's Free Baptist Church.
Shortly after [Deacon Milbury's] settlement here, he was brought under the power of the Gospel to embrace religion and was baptized, by whom is not known; he united with the Free Baptist Church and was chosen one of its Deacons and as the country was new and Ministers scarce. Brother Milbury and late Brother Murphy GIBERSON and Brother Holland Estey united in holding up the worship of God in the neighborhood.(7)

Having led a productive and hardworking pioneer life, Murphy died when he was 73. He was buried in the Lower Wicklow Cemetery, Wicklow Parish, New Brunswick. Although the exact location of his grave in the cemetery is unknown, a memorial has been created for him next to the grave of his wife. (8)
d. 13th ult., at his residence, Kent, Murphy GIBERSON, Esq., age 73, left wife, eleven children. Funeral took place on Monday 15th. Sermon preached by Rev. G.W. Orser. (9)

1, 3-6: John Giberson, Loyalist, by Wiley Waugh, Sr. Bristol, New Brunswick: Books of Waugh, 1999. Rev. ed.

2. Wikipedia: Loyalist (American Revolution).

7. Carleton Sentinel, Woodstock, Carleton County. 3 Mar 1883.

8. Murphy Giberson, in Find a Grave:

9. Carleton Sentinel, Woodstock, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. 1 Aug. 1868.

10. Historical Narratives of Early Canada: Two Nations.

1 comment:

  1. I love the photo of you spinning! Interesting about skills abiding through the generations.


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