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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ARTHUR W. GIBBS, of Huntington, Mass., was born in Blandford, Mass., March 2, 1862, son and only child of John H. and Jane M. (Hubbard) Gibbs. He is a descendant of William Gibbs, a native of England, from the town of Lenharn, Yorkshire County.

About the year 1650 William Gibbs received from the king of England for signal service a grant of land, one mile square, in the centre of the town. He had three sons, of whom the eldest remained at home, and inherited his father’s property. The two younger sons learned the ship carpenter’s trade; and, when they became of age, their elder brother gave them money, and they came to Boston. One of them settled on the Cape, the other in Newport, R.I. The one who settled on the Cape (first name not known) had three children: Isaac, Israel, and Sarah. Israel married Mary Hamilton, a lady of Irish descent; and because of this marriage he was disowned by his brother and sister. This induced Israel to join a Scotch-Irish company who were on the eve of starting to settle this region, then a wilderness. These hardy adventurers reached the centre of Glasgow (now Blandford) in the latter part of April, 1735. On the day of their arrival a heavy snow storm set in, and continued three days, leaving snow on the ground to the depth of three or four feet. However, the snow soon began to thaw; and they were enabled to prosecute their pilgrimage. The first cart that entered the town was owned by Israel Gibbs, whose son Israel, Jr., was the first male child born in Blandford. Israel was the father of nine children, of whom Elijah was the oldest. They both served in the Revolutionary War, and were with General Gates at the surrender of General Burgoyne. Elijah had eleven children, of whom Bradner, Mr. Gibbs’s grandfather, was the youngest. His mother in her maidenhood was Fannie Morton, born November 15, 1769, daughter of John Morton, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Morton was pastor of the Presbyterian church (now Congregational) in Blandford from 1749 to 1772.

Elijah Gibbs, born May 14, 1761, died November 7, 1840; and Fannie Morton Gibbs died March 31, 1838. They accumulated a very large property for those days. Although their education was imperfect, their sound judgment and natural good sense won for them a prominent position in society. A short time before the death of the husband and father he called upon a magistrate, and wished to add the following codicil to his will, having heard that some of his children were determined to break it after his decease: “Whereas many estates have been spent in law by children while endeavoring to obtain more of their father’s property than he designed to give them, and whereas my children may be as likely as others to do the same, therefore, if any of my children shall attempt to break this, my last will and testament, after it shall have been read to them, it is my will and design that that child or those children who shall attempt to break this, my last will and testament, shall have no part of my property, and that the same shall be equally divided among my other children who shall be satisfied with their father’s bounty.” It is needless to say that it had the desired effect.

Bradner, the youngest son of Elijah, was born December 1, 1814, and died August 19, 1888. He was married in Sandisfield, Mass., November 30, 1837, to Sarah C. Deming, who was born November 26, 1815, and died December 10, 1890. They had seven children, of whom John H. Gibbs, the eldest, is the father of Arthur W., the subject of this sketch.

He (John) was born in Blandford, December 14, 1839. He is successfully engaged in agriculture and in general farming and stock-raising. His wife was a native of Sandisfield, Mass.; and her people were farmers in that town. The old homestead has been owned by the Gibbs family for more than a century, passing successively from father to son, has never had any encumbrance, and always had a clear title.

Arthur W. Gibbs attended the Wilbraham Academy during the years 1881 and 1882, and then engaged as clerk in the general store of Timothy Keefe, of Chester, Mass., for sixteen months. On January 1, 1886, he came to Huntington for the purpose of taking a similar position with E. Pease, of whose business he later purchased an interest. The firm is an enterprising one, and has a large and profitable trade. Mr. Gibbs was appointed Postmaster of Huntington in 1893, and conducts the affairs of the office to general satisfaction. He is a member of Huntington Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and is highly esteemed by his fellow-townsmen.

On January 1, 1888, Mr. Gibbs was united in marriage to Carrie E. Eames. She was born in Troy, N.Y., October 4, 1861, daughter of Andrew and Janet (Lyman) Eames, the former of whom was a prosperous farmer. Mrs. Gibbs’s parents raised a family of three children: Carrie E., Nellie, and Lizzie. Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs had three children, namely: Howard Arthur, born October 5, 1889, who died July 29, 1890; Isabelle Frances, born March 16, 1892; and Elizabeth May, born January 10, 1894. Both parents are members of the Congregational church, Mr. Gibbs being the treasurer of the society and a member of the choir.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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