A Devout Christian Woman

On Sunday, the twentieth day of May 1810, in Norwalk, Connecticut, David Gibbs, a lawyer recently admitted to the Connecticut bar, joined in holy matrimony with Elizabeth Lockwood, a devout Christian woman. [1] He was less than a month shy of his twenty-second birthday.

David Gibbs portraitDavid was born in Windsor, Connecticut to Samuel and Nancy Gibbs. Of Scottish descent, his father had served in the Revolutionary War, and after the war was captain and part owner of a ship sailing out of New York in the European trade. David’s mother, born Nancy Hansen, came from a New York family of Dutch heritage.

The Gibbs family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut when David was about fourteen, and he grew into manhood there. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1810, not long before he married Elizabeth. [2]

David’s bride was three years his junior, born in Norwalk, Connecticut on March 24, 1791 to Stephen and Sarah Lockwood. Elizabeth’s father was a successful merchant in the millinery trade, owning a shop in Norwalk that manufactured and sold hats. Like David’s father, he was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth’s mother, born Sarah Betts, also came from well-off family; her father was a physician. From an early age, she was an active member of the Norwalk Congregational Church, and “was a firm belief in the Christian religion, having breathed no other atmosphere – a sweet and hallowed influence, pervading the whole of her childhood and youth.” [3]

One might expect that David, newly married, would begin practicing law to support his bride and the family they were sure to raise. But when he married Elizabeth, he became part of a family of Sufferers, who had been burned out of their homes during the American Revolution. Two years previously, land in the Firelands had been divided among these Sufferers to compensate them for their loss. [4]

For David, that changed everything. Opportunity on the frontier beckoned.



[1] “Descendants of David Gibbs and Elizabeth Lockwood of Norwalk, Ohio, 1816,” The Firelands Pioneer, New Series, Volume IX; The Firelands Historical Society; 1896; page 546.

[2] “David Gibbs,” Obituaries: The Firelands Pioneer, New Series, Volume XII; The Firelands Historical Society; December 1899; page 542. I have been able to find little about David’s ancestry. I do not know if his parents were alive when he married, or anything else about them beyond the short description in this article.

[3] “Incidents in the Life of Elizabeth Lockwood Gibbs,” The Firelands Pioneer, Old Series, Vol XI, October 1874, pp. 83-85 and Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls; number 23558.

[4] Baughman, Abraham J. (1909). History of Huron County, Ohio: Its Progress and Development, with Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens of the County, Volume 1; S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; p. 268.

The portrait of David Gibbs is from “David Gibbs,” Obituaries: The Firelands Pioneer, New Series, Volume XII; The Firelands Historical Society; December 1899; page 543.


This is the first of a series of posts about the Lockwood and Gibbs families trek to the Firelands in 1816.


Thanks for visiting! Share and like this post below, and on Facebook. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

11 Responses

  1. Another adventure to look forward to. I think Elizabeth and David found their faith challenged many times with whatever hardships awaited during their westward trek.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your comment. I hope you will enjoy future posts about the Gibbs and Lockwood families adventures.


  3. As ever, fascinating and entertaining. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you.


  5. Enjoyed the read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Carl.


  7. Hey Dave!

    Interesting history as always!!! Thanks for the post!

    Your friends at GKexplorers,


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you!


  9. Your writing is of top-notch quality. In a concise manner you portray David and Elizabeth providing their backstory and some of their personal traits. Do you have any plans to publish your postings professionally? I think they have potential.


  10. Thank you for your kind words. I would love to publish professionally some day and appreciate your encouragement. Thanks again.


  11. Reblogged this on après-pensées.


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