Sunday, January 22, 2012


It's once more Saturday night and time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun on
Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings. Here's  this week's challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow Chris Staats' rules (from Freaky Friday: Random Research Reports)  for picking a random person's name and then doing some online research about that person.  Here are Chris's rules:

1. Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen (more than once if you want).  Pick one of the names you see.

2. Go to and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. [Randy's add:  If you don't have, go to and do it there - it's free.]

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

5. Post about it on your own blog, or as a comment here, or a comment on Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter.

So, my name was Jerrold Gibson.
I entered the name at  and was taken to the Historical Records
page. The first hit was for a Jerrold Gibson on the 1900 federal Census for
Lacrosse Ward 9 in Lacrosse Wi. at 1413 Caledonia St. He was 4 years old and
born in Minnesota in July 1895. His parents listed on the Census are Archie
A. and Lillian Gibson. Archie's occupation is given as merchant and apparently
business was good enough to be able to employ the 18 year old Carrie Knudson
as a servant, but not for long.

On the 1905 Wisconsin Stete census Archie is listed as a mail carrier. Carrie is

By the 1910 Census there were more changes. For one thing, Jerrold's name was
now spelled as Gerald and would be on all further records I found. There was
now a younger sister, 8 year old Mildred. The family was no longer living on
Caledonia St but at 1102 Charles St. Father Archie is now listed as a "Distributor"
for the Post Office.

On June 5 1917 Gerald registered for the World War 1 draft. He gives his date of
birth as July 25th 1895 and his occupation as Motion Picture Operator at the Casino.
He is living at 912 or 412 Vine St.

On the 1920 Census the whole family  is living together  on.Vine St. Archie had
switched jobs again and was now a traveling salesman for the Elite Cream Co.
24 year old Gerald is single and not working, and there is another sibling, 7 year
old brother Laurence.

In 1930 there is a Gerald A Gibson living in Minneapolis on Dupont St with his wife
Charlotte and four children, three girls and one boy. This Gerald's a schoolteacher.
While I can't be absolutely sure this is the right man, one of his daughters is named
Lillian and the other Mildred. Since Lillian was 8 years old at the time of the Census,
that would mean he married Charlotte in 1921 and 1922. One interesting point is
that the family seemed to move around a lot after the marriage: Lillian the oldest
child was born in Montana in 1822, Wilma in Idaho in 1923, then Mildred and son
Gerard in Florida, 1925 and 1927 respectively.

I couldn't find a record of the marriage.

I found Gerald's death on the California Death Index 1940-1997. It had the correct
DOB of Jul 25th 1895 and gave his mother Lilian's last name as Graves. He died on
April 7th 1991 at the age of 96,

I next looked on Family Search using Gerald Gibson and his wife's name Charlotte.
I found the record for a fifth child, Richard Laurence Gibson, which gives Charlotte's
last name as Kaug.  I had no luck finding a record of Gerald and Charlotte's marriage
nor could I find one by a Google search or on Rootsweb.

So to summarize, Gerald A Gibson was born on July 25th 1895 to Archie Gibson and
Lillian Graves.  In 1917 he was working at the Casino movie theater in La Crosse WI.
where he had grown up. Sometime between 1920 and 1922 he married Charlotte
Kaug and became a schoolteacher. He and his wife moved around before settling
in Minneapolis. and had at least five children together. Finally, Gerald Gibson died
in Santa Cruz California  on April 7th 1991 at age 96.

Thanks for the challenge, Randy!


Brenda Leyndyke said...

Happy Blogiversary!!

Bill West said...

Thanks Brenda!