When attempting to find the birthdates for the children of Clark Gibson, I realized that the job would not be easy. There were no civil registrations available for the children, and because Clark’s family apparently adhered to no religion, there were no infant baptisms available for the children.
For Ada May, I used a combination of her age in the 1861 Canadian Census Record and her stated date of birth listed in her adult baptism to determine that she was born on 04 Aug 1859 in Canada.
For Arnold, I used a combination of his age in the 1910 and 1920 US Census Records, his absence from the 1861 Canadian Census Records, and his stated date of birth on his Death Certificate to determine that he was born on 17 Aug 1862 in Vermont.
For Lewis Dwight Gibson, the route to finding the date of birth required a third approach. I found the World War I Draft Registration Card for Lewis where he stated that his date of birth was 24 Jan 1874. The 1910, 1920, and 1930 US Census Records provided Lewis’ age as 36, 45, and 55, respectively, indicating he was born between 1873-1875, so the date in the World War I Draft Registration is consistent with that in three census records.
The World War I Draft Registration for Lewis Dwight Gibson – Front
The World War I Draft Registration for Lewis Dwight Gibson – Back
SOURCE: Louis Dwight Gibson, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Micropublication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration), roll VT5.
Click on the link for a PDF copy of the World War I Draft Registration for Lewis Dwight Gibson – 1918. The record shows that:
Lewis Dwight Gibson lived at R.F.D. Fairfield, Franklin Co., Vermont;
On September 12, 1918, Lewis was 44 years old; his birthdate was 24 Jan 1874;
He was white;
He was not a native US citizen, he was not naturalized, but he was a US citizen because he was younger than the age of majority when his father became of citizen;
Lewis was a farmer and was employed by Ward Paradee of R.F.D. Fairfield, Franklin Co., Vermont;
Lewis’ nearest relative was Mrs. Carrie Gibson of R.F.D. Fairfield, Franklin Co., Vermont;
Lewis was tall, of medium build, with hazel eyes, brown hair, and no deformities.
The Registrar filled out this form, and spelled Lewis’ first name as Louis. Lewis correctly spelled his name when he signed the form.
Mrs. Carrie Gibson, and Ward Paradee, are listed on the form. Carrie Gibson was Lewis’ wife. Ward Paradee was Lewis’ employer. Ward Paradee’s son, Ward Sturgess Paradee, would later marry Lewis and Carrie Gibson’s daughter, Grace Irene Gibson.
Of note is the fact that Lewis had derivative citizenship, since his father became a US citizen before Lewis attained the age of majority. Since I don’t have any idea where the family lived between 1861 and 1900, this piece of information shows that Clark Gibson had become a US citizen no later than the early 1890s.
Take a look at the year of birth as written on this card. At first glance, the year looks like 1884, but close inspection reveals that the year is actually 1874, as evidenced by the curved downstrokes on the “8” and the strong, straight downstroke on the “7”.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko