Gober History
Written by Lisbon J. Gober (1922 - 1989)
and copied from his book History and Decendants of the Gobers in America

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 records.

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 "Taylor (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 Black Gober 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 am told."

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 1663.

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 to America. 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 hair.

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 (pounds)."

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 Haleyville, Ala 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.