GIBSON, Margareta - I72026

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Margareta GIBSON

Margareta Gibson (anglicized Margaret) was born on 13 May 1602 to William and Thomasin Gibson in Edenham, Lincolnshire (Edenham parish record, Baptisms, 1602). Willim Gibson (anglicized William) was born on 30 November 1573 in South Kelsey, Lincolnshire, 48 miles from Kirton in Holland (South Kelsey parish record, Baptisms, 1573). At age 27, William migrated 48 miles to Frampton, Lincolnshire, and married Miss Thomasin Clarke on 15 July 1600 (Frampton parish record, Marriages, July 1600). The two of them relocated 22 miles to Edenham, Lincolnshire, where Margaret was born in 1602. The previously mentioned custom of the day, to send children 12 years of age and up to work as residential servants in households near and far, probably applied to Margaret (Kremer, 2014). By that means or some other, Margaret landed in Kirton in Holland and married the widowed Robert Smith Sr. on 14 November 1626, nearly seven months after Robert Jr.’s baptism on 30 April 1626 (Kirton in Holland parish record, Marriages, November 1626).

The Kirton in Holland vicar in 1626 was John Vues (Kirton in Holland parish record, Marriages, November 1626). It must be noted: “Old church register entries are not always accurate for names, as vicars often spelled them in whatever form they thought best or the way they heard them, not necessarily the right way”[1]. Somehow Margaret’s last name Gibson was written Gilpin in the Kirton in Holland register. The spoken vowels of the two names sounded similar in Early Modern English of the 1600s[2], and the P and B consonants were easily confused “because they take the same mouth position”[3]. However, the vicar may have written it that way on purpose, as both surnames Gilpin and Gibson are derivatives of the surname Gilbert, the original meaning being son of Gil (“Gilbert Surname Definition,” n.d.). The two names could have been used interchangeably. Vicar Vues possibly misheard, and likely misspelled, Margaret’s surname and thus Gibson was recorded as Gilpin. This has caused some confusion as to the identity of Robert Smith Sr.’s marriages and the identity of Robert Jr.’s mothers.

Margaret Gibson and Robert Smith Sr., along with infant Robert Smith Jr., began their new life together and remained in Kirton in Holland after Margaret and Robert’s marriage. Robert and Margaret had eight children together:


  1. William (patronym for Margaret’s father and possibly in honor of Robert and Grace’s deceased son, 1627–1709)
  2. Susan (1628–1629)
  3. Katherine (1629–1629)
  4. John (1631–1638)
  5. Samuel (1633–1636)
  6. Thomas (1634-1635)
  7. Grace (patronym for Robert Sr.’s first wife, unbaptized–1635)
  8. Susan (1637–1637)[4].

At this point it must be mentioned that the only children of Robert Smith Sr. to survive to adulthood were Robert Jr. and William, who both emigrated to America with John Whittingham in 1638—and consequently took all of Robert Smith Sr.’s Y chromosomes with them to Northeastern Colonial America. This provides a reason for why there is no apparent DNA evidence of this Smith family existing now in Lincolnshire, England, as noted by Ugo Perego [5].

The most likely reason for the death of Robert and Margaret’s children was a lack of food caused by multiple well-documented deficient harvests from 1629–1637[6]. Robert Smith Sr., as a householder and smallholder who might also have had to work on the land of larger landowners to maintain himself, was impacted by deficit harvests and these would have directly affected Robert’s ability to provide for his children.

Also spreading through England in the Early Modern period of the 16th to the 18th centuries was the Golden Age of English Literature[7]. The Lord guided Robert Sr. to the places “according to [His] will and timing”[8] and blessed and prepared his sons Robert Jr. and William by staying in Kirton in Holland. A “grammar school. . . . originally a free school, [was] founded [there] in 1624 by Sir Thomas Middlecott” for “the benefit of children of the parishes of Kirton” and others nearby. The curriculum included “Latin and Greek languages and provid[ed] English commercial and agricultural education to children.” As children, Robert Smith Jr. and William Smith would have learned “principles of the Christian religion, Latin and French, mathematics, algebra, land surveying, with the several branches of a thorough English education”[9]. What a convenient and timely way for Robert Sr. and his wife Margaret to educate and prepare their sons to be successful patriarchal emigrants.

Margaret outlived her husband Robert Smith Sr. by two years. Her burial record notes that she was a widow. Since all of her family was deceased, her next of kin was her husband’s first cousin also named Robert, who most likely saw to her burial in the parish of Sutterton, Lincolnshire in 1645. Sutterton was a 45 minute walk from Kirton in Holland (Google Maps).


  • Edenham parish record, Baptisms, 1602
  • Frampton parish record, Marriages, July 1600
  • Kremer, W. (2014, March 23). What medieval Europe did with its teenagers. BBC.
  • Kirton in Holland parish record, Marriages, November 1626
  • Shepheard, W. (2018, August 14). A new cousin: And a reminder lesson on surname spelling. Discover genealogy
  • polyMATHY. (2017, August 13). Shakespeare’s original pronunciation [Video]. YouTube.
  • ELLO, n.d.; ELLO. (n.d.). Sound changes in early modern English – Consonants. Rachel’s English, 2016, 0:39
  • Gilbert surname definition. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2021
  • Kirton in Holland parish record, Baptisms, 1627, 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, 1635, 1637; Burials, 1629, 1629, 1638, 1636, 1635, 1637
  • De Groote, M. (2008, August 8). DNA shows Joseph Smith was Irish. Deseret News, para. 20
  • Hoskins, W. G. (1968). Harvest fluctuations and English economic history, 1620–1759. The Agricultural History Review, 16(1), 15–31. p. 16
  • Mastin, L. (2011). Early modern English (c. 1500 – c.1800). The History of English
  • Bednar, D. A. (April 2011). The spirit of revelation. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. para. 11
  • Staunton, H. (1869). The great schools of England: an account of the foundation, endowments, and discipline of the chief seminaries of learning in England. Strahan and Co. Publishers p. 484
  • Sutterton parish record, Burials, 1645


  1. (Shepheard, 2018, paras. 8, 10)
  2. (polyMATHY, 2017, 21:01)
  3. (ELLO, n.d.; Rachel’s English, 2016, 0:39)
  4. (Kirton in Holland parish record, Baptisms, 1627, 1628, 1629, 1631, 1633, 1634, 1635, 1637; Burials, 1629, 1629, 1638, 1636, 1635, 1637)
  5. (De Groote, 2008, para. 20)
  6. (Hoskins, 1968, p. 16)
  7. (Mastin, 2011)
  8. (Bednar, 2011, para. 11)
  9. (Staunton, 1869, p. 484)