Gibson & Harper Family History

For this section, I must acknowledge the significant depth of information that I found through and its external links. In the Generation Numbering this study begins much later than the others. I have begun the Gibsons at {6} since they were fairly recent immigrants from Ireland and the Harpers at {8} since my Grandmother was only a 2nd-generation immigrant, i.e. her father was born in Scotland and came here at the age of 5 with his family.

Of course, I personally knew my grandfather "Grandad" and my Grandmother. They were both lovely, quiet people who traveled little, didn't drink and were content just sitting on their front porch in little Oxford PA in the early evenings and speaking to neighbors as they strolled by. And, they had their habits: Grandad never had the daily newspaper delivered; he preferred to walk a quarter-mile to the downtown newsstand and often stop at the firehouse on the way back for a game of pinochle with his buddies. And, although the technology had improved, Grandmother still used the old hand-run wringer on her turn-of-the-twentieth-century washing machine. Grandad warned me not to try genealogy on his ancestors; "you won't find anything but horse thieves and vaudeville acts!" Well, I am defying him now and I've yet to find any horse thieves (at least ones who were caught). He once said that his mother Lizzie Foy was related to Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys, though I now know that wasn't possible since Eddie Foy was a name dreamt up by Edwin Fitzgerald for his vaudeville career when Lizzie was 15 years old!

{6} John Gibson b. 1734 Ireland, d. Dec 29 1814 New London Pa, m. Mary Hutchisson (b. 1737, d. 1792) on Mar 1 1767 in Union Ct. & had 5 children:
{6} William Shearer b. ~1747 New London Pa, d. Jan 18 1828 New London Pa, m. Rachel MacKay (b.~1751 New London Pa, d. Sep 8 1824 New London Pa, d/o John & Jane MacKay of New London Pa) & had at least 1 daughter:

{7} James Gibson b. 1780, d. Jul 7 1860 New London Pa, s/o John & Mary Gibson, m. Dorcas Shearer (b. ~1782, d. Oct 12 1862 New London Pa, d/o William & Rachel MacKay Shearer) & had 5 children:

{8} John Gibson b. 1810 Oxford Pa, d. 1880 Oxford Pa, s/o James & Dorcas Gibson, m. Anna Eliza Brogan (b. 1815, d. Jan 14 1845 in childbirth, New London Pa, d/o Aaron & Jane White Brogan) & had 1 daughter, Annie Elizabeth (b. 1845) who m. George Washington Ortlip (b.1828, d. 1900). After Anna's death, John m. Mary Jane Walton (b. May 12 1816 Md, d. Feb 16 1903 Oxford Pa) & had 4 children:
{8} Martha J. Galloway b. ~1820 East Hottingham, Pa, d. Apr 30 1881 Philadelphia Pa, d/o William & Patsy Galloway, m. William Foy (b. ~1818 Chester Cty. Pa) & had at least 1 daughter:
{8} James Harper b. Nov 20 1813 Edinburgh, Scotland, d. Sep 16 1896 Glen Mills Pa, immigrated with his family in Oct 1850 & settled in Willistown (near Malvern) Pa. He m. Catherine Oram (b. Nov 24 1812 Edinburgh, Scotland, d. Nov 11 1903 Malvern Pa) & had 5 children:
{8} Michael Hanvey b. ~1800 Galbally, Ireland, d. ~1870 Henrico Cty. Va, m. Elizabeth Kahmer (b. 1814 Pa, d. 1895, d/o Irish immigrants) & had at least 1 daughter:

{9} Emmett Walton Gibson b. Aug 1854, d. 1929 Oxford Pa, s/o John & Mary Gibson, m. H. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Foy (b. Dec 31 1856, d. Jul 15 1932 Oxford Pa, d/o William & Martha Galloway Foy) in ~1880 & had 3 children:
{9}Thomas D. Harper b. Dec 29 1844 Edinburgh, Scotland, d. July 28 1912 Oxford Pa, c/o James & Catherine Harper. With his family around 1900, he lived in & ran the famous old Oxford Hotel in the heart of Oxford Pa. (It is now in the National Register of Historic Places.) Around 1885, he m. Virginia Bell Hanvey (b. Mar 9 1852 Richmond Va, d. Sep 8 1928 Oxford Pa, d/o Michael & Elizabeth Hanvey) & had 2 daughters:

{10} John Foy Gibson b. Sep 21 1882 Oxford Pa, d. Sep 6 1974 West Palm Beach Fl, s/o Emmet & Lizzie Gibson, was a very successful building contractor with perhaps his finest work being several major buildings at Lincoln University near his native Oxford Pa. In 1912, he m. Mary Kerns Harper (b. Aug 1886 Oxford Pa, d. Nov 4 1965 Oxford Pa, d/o Thomas & Virginia Harper) & had 2 daughters:
{10} Nora Virginia Harper b. Nov 14 1888 Oxford Pa, d. Jun 1973 Havertown Pa, m. Samuel Dotterer Frank (b. Oct 12 1888 Media Pa, d. 1929 Lansdowne Pa.) & had 2 daughters:

{11} Janet Walton Gibson b. Jul 20 1920 Oxford Pa, d. Oct 1 2002 Melbourne Fl, d/o John & Mary Gibson, m. Christopher Harris "Kit" Williams IV (later known by "Jr.") (b. Oct 10 1918 Washington DC, d. Jan 11 2003 Melbourne Fl, s/o Kit & Gladys Walter Williams [See my research on the Williams line] OR [See my research on the Walter line]) on Aug 18 1942 in Wilmington De. & had 3 children

This page last updated May 29, 2018.
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