Casefile Clues

11 January 2014

Not Getting the Revolutionary Cart Ahead of the Horse

Haste makes waste.

A search on GoogleBooks for Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent brought up the a reference in a genealogy of the descendants of John Gibson of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Sarah Gibson who married Samuel in 1798 is my ancestor.

And it's tempting to immediatly conclude that my Sarah is the daughter of this John Gibson referenced below:

I don't have too many ancestors with Revolutionary War service as this John does--his father actually does as well.

But it's important to read the entire writeup carefully. The author uses the word "likely" to define the relationship between Sarah (Gibson) Sargent and this John Gibson. Just how "likely" is "likely?" It is enough to put the relationship in my database and go from there?

Just because other online trees have included the relationship does not mean it is true. They could very well have used the reference above (or a reference derived from it). It may or may not be worth my time to look at other online compiltations to determine if someone has attempted to take the relationship from "likely" to something even stronger.

At the very least, it would be good to know why the author used the word likely? There's no indication of what prompted the author to clarify the parent-child relationship as likely. Was it beause of the proximity of the indivduals involved? Were there no other Gibson families in the area? Was it based upon the probable age of the Sarah who married compared with the known Sarah, daughter of John?

I don't know.

It appears that the author was unable to locate John after he sold property in 1799. The book follows other male Gibson lines of descent (it also includes information on children of Gibson daughters) and the lack of information on any of John's other children causes me to believe that the author simply lost the family after 1799.

What to do?

I know where Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent were after 1799. They left the immediate area. It's possible that they moved along with other Gibson family members. At this point, I will:

  • Look for Gibsons living near (in the same and adjacent counties) to Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent in post 1800 census and other records. 
  • Look for Gibsons living near Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent's children in New York State, Michigan, Illinois, Vermont, and New Hampshire. While the father John probably didn't move into Illinois, it is possible that he did go to any of the other areas and the Sargents could always have lived near Gibson cousins.The Sargents who settled in Illinois and Michigan did not settle near other Sargent relatives. 
That's probably enough for now. 

The motivation is to find something on John Gibson that may more concretely tie him to the family of Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent.