Written by Lisbon
J. Gober (1922 - 1989)
and copied from his book History and
Decendants of the Gobers in America
(out of print)
This compilation is the results of my
researches, including the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the DAR
Library, State and County
Courthouse and Archive
records, State, Co. and City Libraries and contributions from other Gober
descendants and researchers. Some of these people have done considerable
genealogy research at State Libraries, Universities and State and County
It would be a monumental task to
attempt to track all Gobers descended from the first Gober migrating to Virginia. However, many
Gobers who are not in my direct line of descent are included here since they
will be of interest to many other researchers of Gober ancestry.
My grandfather (Hockenhull McPherson
Gober) wrote a short Gober history, parts of which I have not been able to
verify. For example he refers to a Wiley Gober as his great grandfather. Other
records indicate that William Gober was his great grandfather, and that Wiley
was the brother of John Y Gober who was his grandfather. A footnote on another
short writing by my father says that the name Wyley is uncertain. (Records show
that Wiley was a brother of John Y. and son of William III. Some other names
and dates may be inaccurate because the source record was illegible (especially
microfilm) and some had to be guessed at due to poor or faded handwriting. In
early years written records were not always maintained; in some cases they were
destroyed over the passing years; names were misspelled and to further
complicate research Gobers married cousins named Gober and many children were
given the same names as their grandparents, uncles, in laws etc. Census takers
and other officials had to spell names phonetically when many of the people
could not read or write. Frequently nick names were written in family Bibles
instead of the names given at birth.
Illustrating how errors creep into
records, in Mecklenburg Co. Va., Marriage License Bonds 1765 1810 is listed
(Speeds) William and Molley Gober, 4 July 1798, John Gober, Sec." The
publication 'Mecklenburg Co. Marriages 1765 1810' shows the correct spelling
"Moley Gober to William Taylor Speaks, July 19, 1798; Minister William
Creath." I assume the license bond was issued on 4 July and that the
marriage took place on 19 July. In 1780 Virginia required that a marriage
register be kept by the Clerk, however this was not enforced; some ministers
made returns when the spirit moved them if at all some submitting lists even
two years after the event. These registers contain errors and discrepancies but
they still give valuable genealogy data.
Hockenhull Gober wrote in 1923 and
1930 that "two brothers of Scotch Irish descent came over from Ireland to America
in the latter part of the 16th century and landed at Jamestown. (Since Jamestown was founded in 1607, I assume that
he probably meant in the late 1600's.) After about a year one of the brothers
became dissatisfied and homesick and went back to the old country. The other
married an English girl and started the Gobers on their way in the new
world." Based on grandfather's writings, I have always understood that the
Gobers were of Scotch Irish descent and that they came from Ireland. Since
early immigrants to Virginia were largely from
England and the large Irish
immigration was much later, it seems likely that the Gobers came from England though
they could well have been of Scotch Irish descent. However, in researching the
birth/christening records compiled by the Mormon Church I did not find any
Gobers in the Irish list while I did find a few Gobers, and a large number of
Gober variations e.g. Goble, Gobel, in the English list.
Some Gober researchers believe that William
I was the first Gober to arrive in Virginia
in the early 1700's. They may well be correct since there was a large influx of
new arrivals between 1682 and 1727. Sarah
Temple, noted Georgian historian and
an author on Georgia's
early history had first hand acquaintance with some of the earlier Gobers. She
wrote that Nancy Meekin left England
and came to Virginia in order to marry William
Gober who had recently sailed to Virginia.
If true, and her qualifications for research are most excellent, then the
American Gobers began with William I and not John Young as my grandfather
thought. I am continuing to search for information to support an earlier
arrival, or records to prove that William was the first.
"When in 1634 the General
Assembly divided the Virginia Colony into eight Counties, there were only about
5,000 persons resident in Virginia.
In 1682 there came to Virginia Sir W.M. Berkeley. The Colony he found consisted
of some 15,000 white people and 300 black slaves. In 1727 there were well over
100,000 inhabitants in the Colony of whom about 1/4 were slaves. During the
years that followed, first Germans and then Scotch Irish immigrants came
flooding down through Pennsylvania and Maryland into the Shenandoah Valley."1
It is well known that many people, especially political and religious groups,
fled persecution in Europe, went to England
and subsequently immigrated to America.
One of these groups was the Huguenots. Temperance Chasteen, a descendant of the
Huguenot immigrants married John Wesley Gober in 1844. A table containing the
names of Huguenot families naturalized in Great
Britain and Ireland from 1681 to 1712 includes
the name "Gobert" (French spelling for Gober 2). The book states:
" It should be noted that the date of the naturalization of a Huguenot
refugee is not necessarily, or even almost, the same as the date of his arrival
on British soil, some having arrived many years earlier."
There are also stories handed down by
other Gobers which indicate that Gobers may have originated in other countries.
Richard Gober of Clearwater, Fla.
wrote me "I have heard the story about two twins of German descent
settling in Virginia
about this time. Gober came across the Channel with William the Conqueror so I
Archie Gober of Texas wrote "I have discovered that
Gober is an authentic German name and I have records of at least 3 German
families immigrating to US since 1800. Even so many German families moved to Ireland and then came from Ireland to America. I feel this is true of our
family as my father had passed down this info. He died at 99 yrs." And
"I have access to a German book of Genealogy giving Gober as an authentic
name of its own. It listed a Peter Gober there in the 1400's. Also present day Vienna telephone
directories list several Gobers."
Alvin Gober of Longview,
Texas wrote: "Several Gobers are on the
immigration list and the majority appear to have immigrated from the German
States, usually Prussia.
I have met a Gober from New Braunfels,
Tx. His great,great Grandfather
originally settled there from Germany.
Two families in Marshall, Tx. spell their name Gobert and pronounce it as
Gober. They'll let you know real quick that they are French." The book
'Early Settlers of Maryland' by Skordas lists the immigrant John Gobert; place
of arrival 'Maryland and or Virginia'
immigrated from Virginia
And W.F. Gober of Macon, Georgia
wrote me in July l987: "My father William George Gober came from Elizabeth
N.J. His father came to the U.S.
about 1885 from Lithuania."
Francis Scott Gober, a descendant of
the Isom Gober family who moved to Texas in
1851 wrote: "The beginning of Gober in the United
States was when two Gober men and two old maid Gober
girls left England and came
All Gobers are kin." In the book 'A History of Georgia and Georgians' by
Knight I found: "His (Thomas A. Gober) ancestors came from England and one
of the founders of Jamestown bore his name and doubtless was the progenitor of
the present branch. There was also a Scottish strain and an Aunt of Captain
Gober has the name of Elizabeth Burns and was a descendant of Robert
Burns." And in a biography of Dr. Newton Gober 3it is stated that "he
is of Scottish descent." Others have stated that possibly they (Gobers)
are Dutch, Swiss or German. It seems they were blondes or red heads. We do know
that they were very devout Protestants. Daniel Goober was listed in the Georgia
Militia in 1812 as light complexion, blue eyes and Wesley Gober, an enlistee in
the Confederate army in 1864 was listed as fair complexion, blue eyes, dark
The J.B. Reitstap ARMORIAL GENERAL
lists four coat of arms for the name Gobert. They are:
Gobert, Flandre Gobert, Poitou
Gobert, (Baron de l'Empire) France Ec. Gobert, France (Chevalier de l'Empire)
Documentation for a German Coat of
Arms can be found in "Siebmacher's Wappenbuch". It describes a blue
chevron under a green hill with one oak branch, 3 acorns and one leaf. The
crest has a mail coated arm swinging a turkish sabre.
Please note that we have no proof of
direct descendancy from any of the families to whom these coat of arms belong,
but I do find the above of interest and think that others will also. Of
interest also is the Coat of Arms and Historiography my brother sent off for
and which I have included herein.
While it is my belief that the
Goberts, Gobels, Gobles, etc. are all derived from the same family name many,
many years ago, I am doubtful that those in the U.S.
are descendants of our Va.
family of Gobers. (I exclude the obvious mispellings such as Goober and possibly
Gobee, Gobey and Gobern.) In searching the English Christening/Marriage Records
compiled by the Morman Church or Church
of Jesus Christ of the
Latterday Saints I found many names of the variant Gober spelling, but only a
few spelled "Gober". I did find a reference to a Jane and Richard
Gober, whose father was John Gober, 22 Oct 1649 at Stepney, St. Dunston, Eng.
The earliest records I found of the name Gober or a variation thereof was:
1578 79 Feb 19, Charles Gobert of St.
Giles, Crippengate and Jane Pittie, widow of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate; at St.
Peter's Paul's Wharf. (ref d)
1582 Sep 18 Samuel Edgrave, Barber
Surgeon of St. Martin's Ludgate and Anne
Goberde, Spinster, Gen Lic. (ref d) The Will of Richard Chamberlaine of Astly, County Warwick,
dated 7 Oct 1629 referred to a John Gobert. (ref e)
Item 1087 the Bill of Complaint of
Edward Read of Gober Hill, Gloucester,
Esq versus Sir Charles Harberd 13 May 1641. (ref f)
Of course there is no proof that
these were Gober ancestors, but it does show the use of the Gober name in England in the
16th 17th century.
From the William and Mary College
Quarterly, Vol 26, 1917 18, I found "Payment to wives and widows and
parents of soldiers Nov 6, 1778, King William Co, Va. Gobey, Molly." And
from Virginia Military Records 1983 "King William County petition for
wives, widows and parents of soldiers pay to Col John Quarles for the following
soldiers wives per order of King William Court Molly Gober 12.0.0
In Virginia Tax Records we find
"Edward Gobee, page 543, 90 acres, Va. quit rent rolls, 1704 a prefect
role of the Land in Middlesex Co. 1704," and from the Virginia
Genealogist, Vol 22, 1978: "List of Insolvents and Non residents for
revenue taxes due for the year 1789 returned by Sherriff Mecklinburg, to Nov
Court 1790: John Gober, Insolvent, 1 horse."
It is remarkable that as many records
exist as there are. Many of the documents were signed by a "Mark"
e.g. "X" Many of the early settlers were too busy making a living and
too remote from schools to learn to read and write. One Gober decendant wrote:
"My Grandfather was born during the Civil War and didn't learn to read or
write until he married and my grandmother
taught him. He was such an intelligent man and I know he came from a cultured
family because he used such good grammar." Many of the early Gober
documents were signed with "their Mark" and in many cases neither
husband or wife were literate.
We have records of Gobers buying land
in the Island Creek district of North Carolina and in several counties in Georgia. Early
purchases were apparently purchases of land from the States, from land
lotteries, and for war services. "Deeds of Franklin Co. Georgia, 1784
1826" by Acker includes many land transactions by the Gobers. The Gobers
located on Littles Creek and Nails Creek where Col. Little's ford and Trembles
mill were located. This area of Franklin
County became Banks County
in 1858. On many of the deeds where the location is described, the Littles and
Trembles are named as having adjoining property. and sometimes the Gobers
bought from a Mr. Little or Mr. Trimble. There are also Blackwells, Armstrongs,
Pitchfords , Sewells and Joneses families the Gobers married into. A few
examples of land sales are: Deed 25 Dec 1797 from Stephen Westbrook to William
Gober 11 acres on Nails creek.
Deed 18 Jan 1803 from Moses Trimble
to William Gober 153 acres on Nails creek being whereon said Gober now lives.
Deed dated 13 April 1823 from William
Gober Jr. to George Wisdom Gober, Franklin Co, 147 acres on Nails creek,
witness Henry Bramblet.
Wiley Gober bought and sold land on
Beavers creek. George Gober bought and sold on Hunter creek, Littles creek,
Crockett creek and Nails creek. John Gober bought on Littles creek and, with
William and 3 other men as trustees, bought land on Gum creek on 30 May 1821
for building a Methodist Episcopal Church. James Gober bought and sold on Nails
creek. Thomas Gober bought on Littles creek; Daniel bought on Hudson
river, and William Gober Jr. bought on Beaverdam creek.
Following this history section is an
excerpt from Archie Gober's history which briefly details land acquisitions by
the Gobers in the early 1800's.
There was a 1960 Texaco road map of
Ga. that listed a town named "Gober" in Cherokee Co on Rt 5 about 6
miles N. of Canton. On a recent trip thru Ga. we could find no such town or road
marker. Questioning an old resident on Cherokee road (intersecting Rt 5 where
there is a large plant) we found that this used to be "Gober Road"
and the railroad stop there was known as the "Gober stop."The name
was changed when the plant was put in. She knew of no Gobers in the area now.
There are many references to Gobers
in the several American wars. A few of these are: Wm. Gober is listed in the
Index of the Rolls of Honor (Ancestor's Index) in the Lineage books of the
NSDAR and in Georgia Roster of the Revolution as receiving a land lottery
grant, Newton co. John Gobern from Va enlisted in Caroline Co. Abel Gober Roster
of soldiers from N. Carolina in the American Revolution Militia. Geo. Gober
pension application SO28396 S.C. 1812 war. Daniel Goober, 1st co Ga Militia, 12
Oct 1812. R.H. Gober listed in Shacklefords co. 1836, Indian war. Dr. Newton
Gober was with Longstreet's corps. Col Daniel Gober volunteered in the 16th La. Vol Inf,
1861 and had a long distinguished career. And according to Alvin Gober, Tx.
" R.A. Gober of the municipality
of Refugio, Tx. served in the Texas army under Col
Fannin. He was captured at the Battle of Goliad and with many others executed
by order of Gen. Santa Anna on 27 Mar 1836."
A Gober Family reunion was began in
1948 by my father and his brother Victor. It was held annually, around my
fathers birthday, at different locations but I believe mainly in the
area. For a number of years there was a large attendance with a Church Service
and picnic baskets with all descendants of H.M. Gober and relations by blood or
marriage invited. With H.M.'s children growing older and dying the attendance
decreased until in circa 1966 only one family (Hazel's) was present and the
reunion was discontinued.