Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameMary Duncan , 5G Grandmother
Birthca 1730
Deathbef 1795, Caswell Co NC Age: 65
1Andrew Gibson , 5G Grandfather
Death1778, Caswell Co NC
ChildrenJoel (1749-1830)
 James (1750->1803)
 Julius (1751-)
 Naomi (Omey) (1752-1795)
 William (1753-1810)
 Richard (1754-<1816)
 Susannah (1756-1832)
 John (1758-1830)
 Lucretia (1768-)
 Hannah (1775-1863)
2John Cooper , Step 5G Grandfather
Marriage13 Jul 1782, Caswell Co KY
Notes for Mary Duncan
Mary’s maiden name is widely cited to have been Duncan. However, I am as yet unaware of any documented source for this information (Clayton Heathcock 28 Oct 2011).

A prenuptual agreement (10 July 1782) between John Cooper (widower) and Mary Gibson (widow) stipulates that Cooper would not interfere with Susannah’s disposal of property to her children. Witnesses: John Anthony, Thomas Douglas.835

Mary Gibson, the widow, bought and sold land after she married Cooper. She also gave 125 acres to her son John on Green's Creek,  Oct. 1785 - Mary Gibson to son John Gibson, 125 acres on Green's Creek adj. the Virginia line.836

By 1795 Will Book C, page 118 there is an inventory of goods and chattels of Mary Gibson, by Joel Gibson, adm. The estate is not settled until 1807. There was a total of 119 1/2 acres and each child received 19 1/4 acres. Lot A was valued at $5.00 per acre and balance of lots at $1.25 per acre. The children named were: Hannah Lay, Richard Gibson, Lucresha Burchfield, William Gibson, Julius Gibson, Omey Hogg, James Gibson, Susannah Lay, John Gibson, and Joel Gibson.837

Division of land of Mary Gibson, deceased, among her ten children, each to receive 19 1/4 acres. Hannah Lay (land on state line), Richard Gibson, Lucretia Burchfield, William Gibson, Julius Gibson, Omey Hogg, James Gibson, Susannah Lay (adjoining Henry Adkinson), John Gibson, and Joel Gibson. surveyor Danl S. Farley:838

Agreeable to an order of the Worshipful Court of Caswell County, NC. on July Term 1806 to Us devised - We have provided with Dan'l S. Farley Surveyor to divide the lands of Mary Gibson deceased among her ten children in manor following:

To Hannah Lay we have aloted a tract of land described in the anexed plat by No 1 beginning at a corner poplar in the State line and running South 19 3/5 chains to a stake thence East 37__ chains to a stake thence South 19-3/5 chains to the State line thence the State line to the beginning containing 19-1/4 acres to be the same more or less_____
To Richard Gibson 19-1/4 acres,
To Lucrtia Burchfield 19-1/4 acres,
To William Gibson 19-1/4 acres,
To Julias Gibson 19-2/4 acres,
To Amy Hogg 19-1/4 acres,
To James Gibson 19-1/4 acres,
To Susannah Lay 19-1/4 acres,
To John Gibson 19-1/4 acres,
To Joel Gibson 19-1/4 acres.

Signed by Titus Stokes, Mourning Price , Gregory Durham, Greenburry Vass, Joel McDaniel.
Notes for Mary Duncan
Following are some very cogent observations by Sharon Tabor:839

I am in agreement that Mary's husband was Andrew:

1) Record of Andrew Gibson's estate, Mary administrator, with Thomas Douglass as one of the men who inventoried the estate. Andrew had enough resources that he was able to loan money to 3 men. 9 children mentioned but not named. Mary Gibson Cooper named 10 children in her will indicating a child not yet born in the estate settlement of Andrew, or an older child above the age of maturity who would not be part of the estate settlement of his father.

2) Thomas Douglass is named as guardian of Mary's 6 children *after* her marriage to John Cooper. Undoubtedly she did not want her husband to have any say over the rearing of her children and hence John Cooper was not named guardian. Why would she marry a man she did not trust?

3) Mary was wealthy enough that she did not want John Cooper to have control, and Thomas Douglass was witness to that prenuptial agreement See Item #1

The common thread is Thomas Douglass. Are we sure her maiden name was Duncan? Could Thomas Douglass have been a brother or other close relative to be guardian to her children rather than a Gibson brother to her husband? In most cases a guardian was a close relative.

Notice that Mary's Gibson's will names her as Mary Gibson, not Mary Cooper, her second husband's surname. She must have been a very strong-willed woman or John Cooper was deceased and she took back the name of her first husband, and/or the second marriage was merely one of convenience for financial reasons/estate management.


Research on Thomas Douglas


Following is a May 1777 article from The North Orange Crier (which also appeared in the 4 May 1977 edition of The Caswell Messenger):

May, 1777, from the writings of Joshua Lea, itinerant journalist from Leasburg.

This wandering journalist has recently received word on his journey to Hillsborough that the North Carolina General Assembly did on May 9 ratify a document making the northern part of Orange County into a new County, henceforth to be called Caswell. Beginning June 1, all residents of the area beginning some 12 miles north of Hillsborough and laying north to the Virginia line, and lying between Granville County on the east and Guilford County on the west, will consider themselves to be citizens of Caswell County. The new county will run approximately 41 miles from east to west and approximately 21 miles from north to south. It is said that the honorable members of the General Assembly did take pity on the residents of the northern part of Orange County in that the county was so large as to make it extremely difficult for those in the remote northern section to attend to their public duties at Hillsborough. Making the northern section of Orange into a separate county should bring some relief to this difficult situation, making it possible for men to properly attend to their affairs and duties at a more accessible location.

It is expected that the center of the government for the new county will be located near the village of Leasburg, as it lies approximately half way between the eastern and western boundaries as they have been named in the law. Official reports are that John Butler, John Lee and James Saunders, Esquire, have been appointed Commissioners and that they will hold responsibility for running the dividing lines according to the law. It is further learned that Justices of the Peace are to be nominated and commissioned for the new County of Caswell and that these Justices are directed to meet on the second Tuesday in June at the house of Thomas Douglas to take their oaths. A poll tax of two shillings is to be layed on each taxable person in Caswell County for a period of two years, these monies to be laid aside for the building of a Courthouse, Prison and Stocks. it will be responsibility of the Sheriff to collect these taxes for that purpose.

When this tired journalist chanced to stop for the night on his return from Hillsborough, he heard from the residents in the area of North Hyco Creek that their sympathies are neither for nor against the new county, as the journey to Hillsborough is not as difficult for them as for some in northwestern Orange (soon to be Caswell). However, it was learned last month on travels up to the Dan River area that those dwelling in the northernmost part of Orange were eagerly awaiting ratification of the Act, as they dwell in one of the areas lying the most remote from Hillsborough. In fact, it is said that some of the folk living along the Dan would be even more pleased if their land were to be taken into Virginia as much of their business is transacted across the Dan!

Neighbors around Leasburg welcome heartily the prospect of conducting official business at a place not far from their homes and the prospect of a better economy which will accompany the setting up of a center of government nearby. It is not really known how the settlers in the western part of this newly formed county will react as they live in such remote areas that this writer has had no contact with them in months. Yours truly may, in fact have to discontinue his journalistic wanderings in this area, as he feels strongly called to take up arms to assist the Revolutionary Forces in the colonies which are gathering to help defend our infant nation whose independence from the Mother Country was officially declared less than one year ago. Perhaps this new venture will provide material for yet another journal.


The 166 acres Abraham purchased from Thomas Douglass was almost certainly part of a 266 acres Lord Granville patent to Thomas Douglas (patent book 14, p.385) dated 7 Jun 1761, for 266 acres in Orange Co on Hico Creek, adjoining John Pryor and others. Hico Creek flows from eastern Caswell into northwest Person Co, NC, very near Halifax Co, VA, where Abraham married his second wife, Martha Watkins. John Pryor was the father-in-law of both David Womack, and John Womack, Abraham's brothers. There is no surviving record of when Abraham sold the 166 acre tract.


We will step back in time now to North Carolina. The earliest record I have found of any of the McIntosh and related names in Caswell County is June 3, 1768 when Alexander McIntosh witnessed a land sale in Orange County, North Carolina. William Barnet sold land to Thomas Douglas. Witnesses: Jas. Hicks, Robt. Huston, Albt. McIntoch. (Caswell was formed from Orange in 1777 after the start of the Revolution and Caswell records began in 1777.) (FHL Film # 305929 pg 510)
Notes for Andrew (Spouse 1)
Mary Duncan’s first husband is widely said to have been John Gibson. However, a recent evaluation of original records suggests that her first husband was actually Andrew Gibson:

Caswell County Court records, book A, March Court 1779, item 66: "Inventory of personal estate of Andrew Gibson on 29, Sept 1778. Debts due from Elias Walock, John Warack, John Stourgen. Taken by Moses Carson and Thos. Douglas. Return by Mary Gibson, adm."832

1783 March Court p 252 estate settlement of Andrew Gibson between widow and nine children, no names given.

Book B: 1783 December Court p 20 marriage contract - John Cooper (widower) to Mary Gibson (widow). Cooper will not interfere her disposal of her property to her children and will make no claim on it. 10 July 1782. witness: John Anthony and Thomas Douglas.

1787 January Court p 169 Mary Cooper (aka Mary Gibson) in conjunction with James Gibson account with Thomas Douglas, Guardian for her six children, 29 December 1786.

In regard to the question of Mary’s first husband, one online family summary833 even gives an exact marriage date:

“John Gibson was born in 1725. He married Mary Duncan of Caswell, North Carolina on March 12, 1747. They lived briefly in Frederick, Virginia where their first child, Joel was born in 1749 before returning to Caswell. Mary, who was born in Caswell, and John lived the rest of their lives in Caswell, North Carolina. John and Mary had eleven children (Joel, Susannah, Neoma, William, Susanna Neoma, John, James, Richard, Julius, Lucretia and Hannah). While many of their children also lived out their lives in Caswell, several of them moved to Kentucky, including Joel, Susannah, Neoma, William and John.”

The problem with this is that Caswell County was not formed until May 1777.

Land Grant #66 to Andrew Gibson: Enter date 14 Aug 1778, 404 acres on Hyco River (at that time apparently still considered part of Orange Co)

Ref: Caswell County, NC, Land Entries 1778-1863 #1134: Mary Gibson enters--200 acres of land joining the Orange County line of James Rawls and John Sturges on South Hico including her improvements. 26 July 1779.

Land Grant #1094 to Andrew Gibson: Enter date 23 Oct 1779, 129 acres on both sides of Traverse Creek [also still considered Orange County]

Land Grant #633 to Mary Gibson: Enter date 28 July 1779, 300 acres on waters of Gunns Creek, Caswell County
Research notes for Andrew (Spouse 1)
North Carolina Census834

Name: Andrew Gibson
State: NC
County: Granville County
Township: No Township Listed
Year: 1755
Database: NC Early Census Index

Name: Andrew Gibson
State: NC
County: Caswell County
Township: Richmond District
Year: 1777
Database: NC Early Census Index
Notes for John (Spouse 2)
Bondsman/Witness for the marriage of Mary Gibson and John Cooper was Thomas Douglas.
Last Modified 16 Feb 2022Created 3 Jul 2023 using Reunion for Macintosh
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