Welcome to the Gibbs/Morriss Family Archive
First, enjoy, this is a gold mine. There is some dross, but the more you dig, the more you will find. A teacher and founder of a major military academy, an inventor, the founder of several regional telephone companies, a grandfather who set himself on fire, a sheriff who presided at the last hanging in Staunton, memories of the Civil War, a grandmother who nursed a soldier back to health, a master gardener, WWII soldiers and supporters, a suffragette, names of prominent Stauntonians whose descendants are still here, activists of every stripe. This project was done by Marney Gibbs (Mary Morriss Gibbs), helped enormously by Summer Gibbs and W. Wayt Gibbs, VI with some entry help from Marina Mead.
The material here came primarily from 15 scrapbooks created by Leta Watts Gibbs with articles from 1899 to 1960. There are photographs which go back to the 1850’s. It also includes family papers as they were available to us. It is a history not only of the family, but of many organizations local to Staunton, specifically the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, now the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the Kings Daughters Hospital, Covenant Presbyterian Church, and the Augusta Garden Club.
In the process of doing this work, I realized that a very old scrapbook that I had inherited was one Leta had made when she was 8 years old in 1893. It was filled with advertising cards and calling cards of the time. That one has been given to the Augusta County Historical Society who said they would keep it intact.
This is not perfect. The learning curve was steep. So it is not completely consistent. Corrections are welcome if you are sure of your facts. We are not sure of all the facts but have done the best we could.
15 scrapbooks have 100 pages each, many with 5-10 items per page. That makes 7,500-15,000 items, each of which had to be surveyed for its value to this family history project. The scrapbooks are for the most part chronological and have many articles about different subjects on the same page. I marked the articles for Summer to photograph, and these articles are for the most part in folders by decades. There were many pages where the material was not so very important but I did not think it should be lost, so I created a folder called Whole Pages. This folder is not chronological but each page has a date and caption. We did not copy all the pages as some were of current events and had no family significance. I will keep the scrapbooks until Jan 2, 2017 at which time they will go to the Augusta County Historical Society where they will be dismantled and preserved. (They are deteriorating rapidly.) In the meantime, I will make them available to family and organizations that are represented therein. Family members may remove personal items during this year.
Almost every item has a caption with date first and then who or what it is about. When I was not sure of the date, I guessed and put a “?” after the date. If you can correct the date, do so.
There are some articles which are reprints of articles published much earlier, e.g. an article published in 1960 about a 1911 flood that Leta remembered. In most cases I put the earlier date first and put it in that decade, and noted that the article was published later. Sometimes I put all of the information about a certain person together, specifically I did this with Captain Kable.
The portraits are in one folder, and the snapshots are in another. The portraits are arranged by person chronologically and the snapshots chronologically. There are some extra folders, family papers, Christmas cards, chess articles, genealogical materials, etc.
If you are looking for a specific person, there are several ways to find material. I tried to be consistent, but there may be errors.
If you want information on Leta Watts Gibbs, try her whole name, or Leta Watts, or LW for info before marriage and LWG for info after marriage.
For the William Wayt Gibbses, I tried to be consistent about using
WWG, WWGJr, WWGIII, WWGIV, WWGV
But there may be occasions where I put a space between the WWG and the number, e.g. WWG IV
And the early entries have the whole name. If you find a mistake or omission, add the right label.
Other initial shortcuts:
|NCW||Newton C. Watts|
|EBW||Edith Bolling Wilson, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson|
|BBW||Bettie Barnhart Watts|
|WHK||William Hartman Kable|
|WSM||William Smith Morriss|
|MMM||Marion McDonald Morriss|
|MWM||Mary Watts Meyer|
|HAM||Herbert Alton Meyer|
|DMG||Dorothy Morriss Gibbs|
|MMG||Mary Morriss Gibbs|
|CBG||Catherine Bell Gibbs|
|CGT||Catherine Gibbs Trinkle|
|LST||Leta Sue Trinkle|
|ELT||Elbert Lee Trinkle|
|BGS||Beverly Gibbs Smith|
|MWS||Margaret Walton Smith|