Monday, September 24, 2012

John H. Gibbs' Tennessee Converts

The following names were recorded by John H. Gibbs as being baptized while on his mission in Tennessee either by himself or by his companions: John Styler or W. E. Robison. They range in dates from September 6, 1883 to May 26, 1884. The locations range from Houston County to Lewis County, Tennessee and match Elder Gibbs proseletizing area.

Gibbs was 31 years old and had been working with the young men prior to his mission. Professionally he was a teacher. Among his missionary finding activities was to issue an open challenge to a game a marbles. All this made me wonder about the age of his converts. Turns out he was older than 68% of his converts and half were more than 10 years younger than him. One was even 7 years old, though only by a few weeks. In each case where a very young person was baptized, I have been able to find at least one parent who was a member as well, with the exception of James Prewett. Still looking.  That is even true of most of the teenagers too, with the exception of Fannie Willis (age 15). She joined with her 18 year old brother. But they had a 39 year old uncle who had joined earlier that year.

In fact the young ages of Gibbs converts had more to do with his focus on part member families. He baptized mostly spouses, and children of existing members,and a mother in one case. Less than 10 of his 44 converts were unrelated to existing converts.

There was nothing significant about the sex of the converts; 21 of 44 were female. I'm no statistician, but that seems pretty close to half. All but five were married or were too young to be married. Of those five at least two never married. If it were a ploy to get women for polygamous marriages, it was pretty much a failure.

Age Name
8     Archie H. Region
53   Zachariah Evans
39   Phebe Jane Evans
13   Rebecca Evans
11   David Roger Evans
8     Zachariah Evans Jr.
31   William S. Wood
30   Sarah V. Wood
20   Julia Ann Lockheart*
27   John Riley Hudson
50   Malinda Conder
17   Rachel Ann Conder
8     Jesse Whitfield Lancaster
53   William Winters
29   James Harrison Wood
28   Francis Josephine Sanders
45   Eliza Ann Talley
16   Jennette Love
7     William Jackson Love
9     James Samuel Prewett
14   Robt. Emmonds Bryant
60   Green Berry Corner
73   Gile Baker
39   William Sealy
24   Mary Ann Sealy
53   Lucretia Winters
13   Lupherty Catherine Winters
18   Josie Turner
46   Rachel Smith*
18   William W. Willis
14   Andrew Jackson Talley
15   Fannie Martha Angeline Willis
15   Lewis Sherman Winters
20   Joel Winters
13   George Thomas Talley
20   William Martin Conder
13   Levisa Jane Rebecca Conder
43   Eliz. Matthews Seals*
48   Feneby Fitzgiles
24   Laura Rebecca Grey
24   John Thomas Carroll
45   Banester Talley
45   Sarah Jane Carroll
26   Juda Clemant Carroll

The three converts with a * after their name were baptized by a companion of Elder Gibbs.

7 comments:

Amy said...

Nice. Lists like this are very useful -- they're one of the kinds of sources that make online historical research possible.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Thank you for posting this list! I'm sure our family has them written down somewhere but since I am down the list for having information like that this is very helpful!

My ancestry is to George Francis Gibbs, brother of John H. Gibbs.

Shantel said...

I just found you- I am so happy I did. My husband has an entire branch of his family from Kentucky. Any info you have anbout conversions there about this same time period, would be aweseome. Thanks for you work!

BruceCrow said...

Thank you Amy. I realized the other day that although I have had this list for while, I had not put it online. Time to correct that oversight. Maybe that could be a post unto itself "top ten things amateur historians wish were online"

BruceCrow said...

ComC
I don't think I knew that about your family. If there is something you think your family is keeping from you (just because they don't think to include you) feel free to ask. I'm happy to post this kind of info online.

BruceCrow said...

Shantel,
I focus almost exclusively on Tennessee, but the sources I work with don't care much for my self-imposed restriction. They cross over into Kentucky frequently, sometimes without comment as though the border were irrelavent, which I guess it is. The Blood River Branch from 1835 is a good example. I am still trying to figure out which side of the KY/TN border it was. Drop me an email (bruce_crow[at]yahoo[dot]com) with some names, dates, and places and I think I can point you in the right direction.

Julie Kingsbury said...

Robt. Emmonds Bryant at age 14 would be my great grandfather Robert Emmons Bryant. His sister Mary Belle Bryant was the wife of James Eardley whom served a mission to Tennessee.