Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Gibbon - Contents

Virginia St, Aberdeen

Capt. Robert Gibbon (died 1821) had his business on Virginia St, Aberdeen, and lived there.
There is a family bible, printed 1766, with a concordance of 1767, signed "Robert Gibbon and Barbara Yates", Virginia St, Aberdeen.
Virginia St is near the quay in Aberdeen (where a ship's captain would live).
Virginia Street was laid out in 1768. The name reflects the trading route to Virginia in America.
The Gibbon family portraits would have hung in Virginia St.
Capt. Robert died 1821.

The Gibbon family business is listed in [Aberdeen Directory, 1824-25] as "Robert Gibbon and sons, merchants", 11 Virginia St. Capt. Robert has died, but name still on the business.
In the same entry, Capt. Robert's unmarried daughters, the "Misses Gibbon", are listed as living at 11 Virginia St.
So 11 Virginia St was both business and family home, and presumably was when Capt. Robert was alive before 1821.
Gibbon business is at 11 Virginia St in [Aberdeen Directory, 1825-26].

Capt. Robert's son Arthur Gibbon came back to the family home for a time.
He is listed at number 11 Virginia St in [Aberdeen Directory, 1827-28].
He is listed there in [Aberdeen Directory, 1829-30].
He then moved to England.

The "Misses Gibbon" are again listed at 11 Virginia St in [Aberdeen Directory, 1835-36].
And listed there in [Aberdeen Directory, 1839-40].
The Gibbon daughters are gone from Virginia St in [Aberdeen directory, 1840-41].

Identifying the Gibbon house is hard because the street was re-numbered between 1839 and 1840, it was then constantly and massively re-developed, and most of the old street was demolished.

Up to 1839


Title page of a two volume family bible, The Grand Imperial Bible, by Rev. William Luke Phillips, printed 1766, with a concordance of 1767.
With signature of "Robert Gibbon and Barbara Yates", Virginia St, Aberdeen.
See full size.

Virginia St on 1789 map of Aberdeen.

Close-up of W end of Virginia St.
As worked out below, the Gibbon house would be to the N or S side of the "nia" of "Virginia St".

Gibbon entries on p.35 of [Aberdeen directory, 1824-25].
And Livingston entry on p.52.
Capt. Robert Gibbon had just died in 1821.
His business and house were clearly at 11 Virginia St.

The W end of Virginia St on 1828 map of Aberdeen.
The N side looks more residential. The S side more business.

Gibbon entries on p.46 of [Aberdeen directory, 1829-30].
Arthur Gibbon is at 11 Virginia St. He will shortly move to England.

Gibbon entries on p.61 of [Aberdeen directory, 1835-36].
And Livingston entry on p.78.
The Gibbon/Livingston sisters are at 11 Virginia St.

Gibbon entries in Aberdeen on p.171 of [Pigot's directory of Scotland, 1837].


1839 and 1840


Gibbon entries on p.63 of [Aberdeen directory, 1839-40].
And Livingston entry on p.91.
The Gibbon/Livingston sisters are at 11 Virginia St.

John Gordon, beadle (Union Chapel) and funeral waiter, is listed at 11 Virginia St (Gibbon address) on p.67 of [Aberdeen directory, 1839-40].

Gibbon entries on p.95 of [Aberdeen directory, 1840-41].
And Livingston entry on p.113.
They have left Virginia St.

John Gordon is listed at 8 Stronach's close on p.98 of [Aberdeen directory, 1840-41].
Looks like when Gibbon left, he left too.


The re-numbering in 1839-1840

Virginia St was re-numbered between [Aberdeen directory, 1839-40] and [Aberdeen directory, 1840-41].
The 1839 numbering is the old numbering, with Gibbon at no.11.
The 1840 numbering is the new numbering, which is the same today.
Unfortunately, because Gibbon left the street at exactly this moment, we did not get to hear what number they would be under the new numbering.
To try to locate the Gibbon house, we will do a detailed comparison of 1839 and 1840 numbers. The houses we can clearly identify across both listings are as follows.

1839 number - 1840 number 
(sorted by 1840 number since we know where these are)

N side (odd numbers)

 7  13
 25 43
 30 47
 31 51
 33 53
 35 55
 35 57
 37 59
 43 65
 61 83

S side (even numbers)

 59 8	(outlier - maybe discount this one)
 9  16
 10 18
 12 20
 15 26
 16 28
 17 30
 19 34
 22 38
 27 48
 32 50
 38 56
 48 60
 54 66
The 3 courts are unchanged:

17 17 Walker's court
25 25 Gordon's court
28 28 Watt's court

Possibly discount the other ones with no change.
These may be an error recording the old number.

 5  5
 32 32
 47 47
 50 50
 55 55
 59 59


After 1840

Virginia St on pp.271-272 of [Aberdeen directory, 1847-48].
Looking at occupants, this reasonably matches the 1840 numbering system.
As shown below, this numbering system is the same as today.
Gibbon is gone from the street.
The listing here hops back and forth between the N side (odd numbers) and S side (even numbers) as we go down the list.

Virginia St on p.315 of [Aberdeen directory, 1858-1859].
Same scheme as 1840 and 1847. Same scheme as today.
The list here is divided to show the odd numbers along the LHS (N side). Even numbers along S side.

Virginia St on OS map. Surveyed: 1866. Published: 1871.

Using the modern map with numbers (below) plus the analysis above, the Gibbon house, the old 11 Virginia St, would be around the address to the left of the Union Free Church School, or else directly across the road from that address.
The N side here seems more residential and the S side more for business.
Since it was a business as well as their home, maybe the Gibbon house is on the S side.
Or it may be in the small group of houses on the N side, with gardens, to the left of the school. There are houses at the road and set back. According to later numbering, there may be four residences in this group.

Sketch of Virginia St, by William Stratford Percy, 1932.
From the E end, looking back up the street.
S side (left) is warehouses. N side (right) is more residential. (But it could have been different in 19th century.)
Image from Silver City Vault.
Possibly from Artistic Aberdeen (1932).

Virginia St on OS map. Surveyed: 1954. Published: 1955.
This has house numbers marked.
The numbering system is the same as in 1840 on.
Now we can see roughly where the Gibbon house was. Consider the "bonded warehouse". The numbers inside the bonded warehouse, to the left of "22", would be a row of 16, 18, 20. As shown above, this is the old group of 9, 10, 12.
The Gibbon house, old no.11, therefore is one of these two:





Virginia St looking East. Photo 1970.
LHS shows odd numbers 17 to 37.
Set back from the road on LHS is the elegant building 23 and 23 ½ Virginia St. In front of it at the road is number 21 and 25.
The Gibbon house may be in this group of 21 to 25. Or it may have been a house across the road that is long demolished for warehouses.
From Canmore.

Closer look at the group 21 and 23 and 25 Virginia St.
In background: The building 23 and 23 ½ Virginia St.
In foreground: The edge of number 21 and 25.
Photo 1970. From Canmore.

View from E down the street.
To the left, the house number 21 and 25.
To the right, the warehouse number 27 and 29.
Photo 1970. From Canmore.
See further up the street.

Excavation during demolition of the buildings on the N side of Virginia St.
S side of Virginia St in background.
Building in background on N side would be 21 and 25 Virginia St, which is still standing (for now).
Photo 1978. From Canmore.

The entire N side between Marischal St and James St was brutally wiped out in the 1970s for modern apartments.
3D view from Google Maps.
Nothing left today. See street view.


23 and 23 ½ Virginia St

The pretty 18th century building 23 and 23 ½ Virginia St (modern numbering) was photographed in 1973, not long before demolition.
As explained above, this may be the Gibbon house.

George Stirling, senior, is at 23 Virginia St (new numbering) in [Aberdeen directory, 1840-41].
Did the Gibbon sisters sell their house to George Stirling in 1839?

The building 23 and 23 ½ Virginia St. S front.
Photo 1973 by RCAHMS. From Canmore.

S front door.
Photo 1973 by RCAHMS. From Canmore.

From Canmore.

Photo 1973 by RCAHMS. From Canmore.


Sources yet to be consulted

Donation Drive

Please donate to support this site. I have spent a great deal of time and money on this research. Research involves travel and many expenses. Some research "things to do" are not done for years, because I do not have the money to do them.
Please Donate Here to support the ongoing research and to keep this website free.

Help       Conventions       Abbreviations       How to read the trees

Privacy policy       Adoption policy       Image re-use policy       New 250 G VPS server.