This small quaint seaport has roots back to April 7, 1730 when Isaac and Jonathan Green Sr. purchased from Ebenezer Harker "a certain plantation and track of land containing by estimation 441 acres situate lying and being in ye Carterett in ye county of province of aforsaid being ye west side of ye mouth off White Oak River." By 1771 Theophilus Weeks started a town on his plantation, laying out a plat and selling lots. Formerly known as Bogue, Week's Point, The Wharf and New Town, the town was officially designated by the North Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 1783. Above photo (from North Carolina State Archives) courtesy Jack Dudley, as included in Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute

William Gibson House circa 1775

GIBSON HOUSE (Holland Family renters*) - 1920
Left to right: Alonza 1871-1952, 
Lina (Canady)1885-1947 holding Iva, 
Clarence, Beatrice, Marie, Lila Mae and Haywood.
Demolished in the late 1970s, the Gibson House was located at 302 Main Street on the northeast corner of Main and Elm Streets--now site of First Citizens Bank. The house, unique with its flushed chimney, was built about the same time and similar to the Ringware House , diagonally across the street on the southwest corner. Built between 1771 and 1778 by John McCullough or Ezekiel Hunter, both of whom had owned the lot, the two-story, four-bay structure was home to members of the Gibson family for over 150 years.

GIBSON HOUSE - Photo circa 1940s
Family album photographs included in this post are courtesy of Arizona resident Ora Smith. Ora descended from Susan "Caroline" Gibson who married the Reverend John F. Mattocks; Ora Smith was named after their first child Ora DeVaine Mattocks born in Swansboro 27 April 1861.

A 1920 photo from Mel Guss shows Holland family renters on the front porch. *(photo above) Left to right: Alonza 1871-1952, Lina (Canady)1885-1947 holding Iva, Clarence, Beatrice , Marie, Lila Mae and Haywood. Alonza Deene (Riggs) Holland was born in Swansboro, son of Everette Riggs and Caroline Watson.

The old Gibson family land near Maysville was first acquired by a 1751 land grant to William Gibson 1720-1788, husband of Mary Barclift. On this land, near the Jones County line, where the White Oak River Road meets Gibson Branch Road and Gibson Bridge Road, Gibson built what was called the "White Oak Plantation." He was a carpenter and built the first Onslow County courthouse.

At some point the Gibson family had to sell their property. However, the land was brought back into Gibson hands when William J. Gibson purchased it between 1835-1837.

The "White Oak Plantation" home no longer exists. The Gibson cemetery, on private property off Gibson Branch Road, has only one readable headstone--that of Susannah, wife of William J. Gibson.

Julia Ann Gibson Harget Stephens
Susannah Simmons Gibson
William J. Gibson 1805-1860 was the son of Daniel Y.Gibson 1772-1852 and Ann Morton 1776-1850. William J. Gibson owned ships and traded between the West Indies and New England. As mentioned, he owned the "White Oak Plantation," but also owned the Main Street house, perhaps initially using it as a "town house" base for his trading business.

William J. Gibson married Susannah Simmons 1814-1890 on May 29, 1832. Susannah Simmons was born in Onslow County to Obedira Isler Simmons and Julia McDaniel. Both families had been in Onslow County for many generations.

The 1860 Swansboro Census recorded William J. Gibson 55, wife Susan 46 and 9-year-old Benjamin. The value of his real estate was noted as $5200 with a personal estate of $25,000. At that time, Gibson was the owner of many slaves occupying six slave houses.

Ben Gibson and Cousin Dollie
Hester & daughter Minnie Ward
Children of William and Susannah Simmons Gibson included: Julia Ann 1833-1907 who first married Daniel Ambrose Harget and secondly Christopher "Kit" Stephens; William Simeon Gibson born 26 March 1836 and died 23 September 1843; Mary Elizabeth 1837-1918 married Edward Ward “Ned” Mattocks; Susan “Caroline” 1840-1923 married the Reverend John Frederick Mattocks 1838-1868, brother of E.W. Mattocks; Hester Rebecca Gibson 1843-1901 married George Washington Ward 1835-1860; Sarah Frances Gibson born October 1849 and died October 1859; and Benjamin Sanders Gibson born 17 November 1851 and died 17 January 1903, married Narcissa Fonville Hurst 1858-1952 about 1882. Interestingly, David Ward Sanders 1800-1860 included Benjamin Sanders Gibson in his 1859 will: ITEM the second, I give to Benjamin S. Gibson, son of Wm. J. Gibson, one negro girl by name of Sarah, the daughter of Fanny Scott, to him and his heirs forever.

Noma Mattocks Harget
Edgar Harget
Children of Julia Ann Gibson and Daniel Harget: William Davis Harget 1853-1932 married Mamie Meadows, Edgar B. Harget 1856-1928 married Noma Mattocks (daughter of James Allen Mattocks and Sarah Hatchell), Ida Dolly Harget 1859-1916 first married Francis Joseph Fulford in 1875 and secondly Edward H. Barnum (born 1855) in 1887, Walter Lee Harget 1862-1865, Daniel Harget born about 1865, and Etta Dollner Harget 1869-1914 married Julian Adolphus Mattocks son of James Allen Mattocks and Sarah Hatchell. Julia Ann Gibson Harget married Christopher "Kit" Stephens after the death of Daniel Harget. They lived in Richlands and had two children: Julia Gibson Stephens 1875-1946 married Wayne Brinson Venters in 1894; Christopher Caroline Stephens 1878-1960 married Wayne Venters' brother Roland Vance Venters in 1896.

Susan Caroline Gibson
Julia Mattocks Hardison
Of the above children of William J. Gibson and Susannah Simmons, Susan “Caroline” Gibson married the Reverend John Frederick Mattocks 19 January 1860. They had the following children: Ora DeVaine Mattocks, born in Swansboro 27 April 1861, married Gabriel Lee Hardison of Craven County, and died 26 June 1886 in Thurman, Craven County; Lorena Bryan Mattocks born 8 September 1863 and died 13 October 1865; Mary Elizabeth Mattocks born 25 June 1867 and died 8 August 1888; and Julia Frances Mattocks born 29 March 1869 and died 14 October 1939. Julia Mattocks married Ora's widowed husband Gabriel Hardison of Craven County.

The Reverend John Mattocks was in charge of the Swansboro Male and Female Academy which opened in 1857 but closed at the time of his death in 1868. Another academy used the building until the early 1900s, when it was replace by the Methodist Parsonage.

"Julia with Lila"
The tintype* photograph, left, is most likely Julia Ann Gibson Harget  1833-1907 and daughter "Lila"--perhaps Ida Dolly 1859-1916. This and other photographs were all tintypes, except for the one of elderly Julia Ann Gibson Harget Stephens.

*Tintype, also melainotype and ferrotype, were photographs made by creating a direct positive on a sheet of iron metal that had been blackened by painting, lacquering or enameling and was used as a support for a collodion photographic emulsion. Photographers usually worked outside at fairs and carnivals. Since the support of the tintype was resilient and did not need drying, photographs were produced in only a few minutes.

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