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THE GIBSONS

This family, originally from Edinburgh, is chiefly connected with Orkney, where several members of it settled as ministers.

JOHN GIBSON, of Edinburgh, had four sons: -

  1. Alexander, Dean of Bower and Watten
  2. Adam, minister of Shapinsay from 1665 to 1678, when he died
  3. John, minister of Holm from 1654 to 1681
  4. Archibald, Writer to the Signet, 1660
ALEXANDER GIBSON, Dean of Bower and Watten from 1668 to 1682, married Katharine, eldest daughter of James Sinclair of Assery, and had four sons and a daughter: -
  1. Alexander, minister of Canisbay
  2. John, minister of Evie and Rendall from 1700 to 1724, when he died
  3. Archibald of Hemisgar
  4. George, a merchant, who married Katharine, daughter of Bailie Rorison, Thurso. Before her marriage to Mr. Gibson, Katharine Rorison had formed an attachment and engaged herself to John Gow or Smith, a native of Scrabster, whose piratical exploits in the early part of last century suggested Sir Walter Scott's tale of "The Pirate". At what period of Gow's career this love affair took place is uncertain, but at any rate the Bailie disapproved of his daughter's choice, and while Gow was absent at sea, obliged her to listen to the addresses of her future husband, then schoolmaster at Stroma. The marriage had scarcely taken place when Gow returned to Thurso, bringing bridal dresses for his betrothed, who, even as matters then stood, would gladly have gone off with him. Gow departed highly incensed, and after Katharine Rorison had settled down in Stroma, he visited the island with the intention of carrying her off, or having his revenge, but he left again without doing any mischief. She had two sons to Mr. Gibson, and after his death resided at or near Banniskirk, her aunt, Katharine Rorison, having married Donald Williamson, the first Williamson of Banniskirk. These particulars were given to the late Dr. P. B. Henderson by Mrs. Elizabeth Sinclair, widow of the Reverend Alexander Smith, minister of Olrig, who died at Thurso 15th October 1831, aged eighty-eight, and who was personally acquainted with Katharine Rorison. In a note to "The Pirate" Gow is mentioned as having been a native of Orkney, but this is believed to be incorrect. A. narrative of his piratical proceedings will be found in Johnston's" Lives of' Highwaymen", and similar chronicles. There are other interesting particulars in the Notes and Ad vertisement to the" Pirate". In 1725 Gowand several of his associates were convicted at London by the High Court of Admiralty, and deservedly executed
  1. Elizabeth, who married George Sinclair in Brabsterdorran
Alexander Gibson, the eldest son, was minister of Canisbay from 1713 to 1747, when he died. He married Margaret; daughter of John Sinclair of Rattar, and widow of Alexander Sinclair of Brabster. He had two sons: -
  1. John, sometime a writer in Edinburgh, and who, about 1750, was appointed Sheriff-Substitute of the county by Mr. Brodie of Spynie, then Sheriff. He married Margaret, daughter of James Murray of Clairden, and widow of David Sinclair of Southdun, and died without issue
  2. George, a merchant in Thurso, who married Janet Sinclair, daughter of John Sinclair and Elizabeth Manson. He had two daughters, Margaret, who married her cousin, George Sinclair of Brabster, and Barbara, who married Major James Williamson, and had issue a son (who died unmarried), and two daughters

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