Tuesday, September 15, 2009



This picture is of an ancestor of mine, John McTurk Gibson. He is a moderately well known pioneer who traveled to California from Iowa during the gold rush in the 1850's on both the California and Oregon trails. His Journal of Western Travel is a frequently cited reference on the conditions of that journey.

I just learned about John a few days ago. My mother, while looking up some information on our family came upon the name and thought that since there aren't an abundance of McTurk Gibsons he may well be a relative. She asked her Aunt about it and sure enough he is a great-great-great something grandfather. He is also considered, at least according to my great aunt to be something of a rascal and ne'er do well in family lore. This of course attracted me instantly and I began researching him. I found his Journal on line and have put the link above. He is a clever and interesting writer and I think I would have liked him. I also found his portrait and it is just eerie. Although I lack the monstrous white beard I otherwise resemble him very much. My wife and mother noted it before I did, but after they pointed it out it was almost as if it were a charcoal drawing of me.

I am going to continue reading his journals and attempt to find and collect other mentions and references to this ancestor of mine. For now though I just had to post a little bit about it on this blog, I will probably revisit this topic in time.

This is another cross post from my personal blog


  1. That is really cool. Glad you tracked him down.

  2. I recently discovered that he is my great-great-great grandfather. It's amazing what the internet can turn up, no?

    I look forward to learning more about him!


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