Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Gibbon - Contents

Robert Gibbon, of Sunderland

"Robert Gibbon" and "Hannah Gibbon" witness his brother Arthur's marriage in 1814.
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Robert Gibbon,
born 2 Dec 1781.
From Aberdeen, Scotland.
He moved before 1804 to Sunderland, Durham, England.
Lived Monkwearmouth, Sunderland (a ship-building centre, see 1862 map).
"Robert Gibbon junior" of Monkwearmouth writes a letter on 20 Jan 1804 from Robert Gibbon and sons.
Robert Gibbon of Sunderland is listed as a subscriber to Christian Milne's book of poems in 1805.

He mar 8 Feb 1808, St.Peter's, Monkwearmouth, to Hannah Harrison [Hannah Joanna Harrison, born 1788, England].
Robert Gibbon, of Monkwearmouth, was owner of the ship Galatea from 6 Dec 1808 to 24 May 1810.
Robert Gibbon of Monkwearmouth subscribed to a book of poetry, Epistles in Verse between Cynthio and Leonora, in three cantos, descriptive of a voyage to and from the East Indies, by George Marshall, Newcastle, 1812.
"Robert Gibbon" and "Hannah Gibbon" witnessed his brother Arthur's marriage in Oct 1814 at Bedlington, Northumberland, N England (a bit N of Sunderland).
He might be "R. Gibbon" who was owner of the ship Castle Forbes (built 1818).
[Wyllie, 2020, p.317] says he was a ship's captain, and was living in Sunderland when his father died in 1821.
"R. Gibbon" is still listed as owner of the ship Castle Forbes in 1831.
As at 1834 he was in business with his brother Arthur, operating a colliery in Northumberland.
They would be Robert Gibbon, born Scotland but not in Fife, and Hannah Gibbon, born England, who are listed in 1841 census at North Queensferry, Dunfermline, Fife (near Edinburgh).

Hannah died 1846, age 58 yrs.
Her address in burial record is Southwick, beside Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
However the [England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991] index says she died in Liverpool (and was bur Monkwearmouth).
She was bur 15 Aug 1846 in Monkwearmouth.

Robert died 31 Dec 1848, age 67 yrs.
Grave says he died at Portobello, Edinburgh.
[Bedford, 1966, p.38] suggests his son-in-law Anthony Scott had a pottery at Portobello, Edinburgh, which would explain why the widowed Robert died there. (He would be living with his daughter.)
Gibbon papers say he died at what looks like "Perla Bella". Clearly refers to Portobello.
He was buried in, or at least named on, Gibbon grave at Nigg Bay, Aberdeen.
Robert and Hannah had issue:

  1. Barbara Yates Gibbon,
    born 1809, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
    She mar 16 Dec 1840 to Anthony Scott [born 1803] and had issue.
    They mar at St.Machar's, Aberdeen.

Burial of Hannah Joanna Gibbon, 15 Aug 1846 in Monkwearmouth.
From here.


1804 letter

A transcript of a letter survives from Robert Gibbon junior, from Robert Gibbon and sons, 20 Jan 1804.

The letter is in collection BB.7.1 (1800-1804 papers) in section 2.2. C (Demerara: Court of Civil Justice) in 1.05.21 (Archives of the Dutch colonies of Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice, in what is now Guyana, South America). At the National Archives of the Netherlands.

How did the letter end up in Guyana papers? It is a complex story.
In the letter, Robert Gibbon writes to Capt. Napier of the British ship Margaret, departing from England, bound for Grenada, West Indies. Gibbon requests he accept on board a passenger Dr. Ironside, bound for Grenada.
The Margaret left Portsmouth on 2 or 3 Mar 1804.
It was chased and captured by a French ship in the West Indies on 23 Apr 1804.
The French captors landed in the Dutch colony of Berbice (now in Guyana), where they were detained, and hence these papers survive.


Robert Gibbon's letter.
From p.1709 of BB.7.1.
On pp.1709-1711 are accounts of the capture of the Margaret and its arrival in Berbice.

Map from Bing showing the area of the Margaret's capture.
The Margaret was headed for Grenada.
It was chased and captured by a French ship near Barbados on 23 Apr 1804.
The French captors took it E along the coast of South America, headed for Suriname or for Cayenne in French Guiana.
But, uncertain where they were, they landed early, in the Dutch colony of Berbice (now E Guyana, where New Amsterdam is), where they were detained.

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