of Henderson County TN

Thomas Jefferson Gilbert Family
Contributed by Joe E. White

Seated in the center are Thomas Jefferson Gilbert and his wife, the former Mary Hart. Their two sons with wives are seen standing rear: John Alexander and wife, Tennessee Scott Gilbert at left. Dr. Thomas Albert ("Tom Abb") Gilbert and wife, Ellen Presley Gilbert at right. The John Gilbert children, left side of picture are, standing, Lessie, Delia (later Mrs. Rufus Harwell) Minnie (front) (later Mrs. James W. McNatt), and twins, Vester and Lester. The Dr. Tom "Abb" Gilbert children are in right part of picture center row from left, Willie and Mary; front, Johnny, left and Eddie. I (Joe White) come through Mary Gilbert Martin and Nathaniel Martin My mother, Martha Martin (later Mrs. Floyd A. White), was the daughter of Mary Gilbert Martin and Nathaniel Martin

Thomas Jefferson Gilbert b 11 Jun 1838. Died 2 Sep. 1915 Henderson Co TN. Married Mary Hart born 10 Sep 1841 died 6 Sep 1935 the daughter of Allen T. and Mary Elizabeth (Rowsey). Be sure and see the Hart Family History. The 1870 Census of Henderson County indicates another son named William E. He was age 2 in this census but does not show in the 1880. William E. Gilbert is not listed in the Cedar Grove Cemetery. Thomas and Mary are both buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Their surviving children are Thomas Abb and John Alexander Gilbert.

1. Thomas Abb Gilbert (son of Thomas Jefferson and Mary (Hart) Gilbert was born 18 Jul 1866 Henderson Co - died 04 Mar 1915. Married Mary Ellen Presley 8 Feb 1862 died 5 Feb 1948. Thomas Abb and Mary Ellen are buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Children were ---
.. Mary E Gilbert 1887 married James Nathaniel Martin 24 Dec 1908
.. William T. Gilbert 1889 m. Laura E. Kennedy 23 Dec 1910. Children: Jella, W.Paul, James E.
.. John C. Gilbert 1892
.. Eddie F. Gilbert 1894 m. Florence. Children: Dorothy Mae, Virginia E and Mary L.
.. George Dewey Gilbert m. Pearl Massengill. Children: Aaron, Junior and Geraldine
.. Beulah M. Gilbert m Lonnie Curtis McKenzie

Dr. Thomas Albert (Tom Abb) Gilbert went to Huffman AR in 1911 and established a medical practice. Huffman Arkansas (Mississippi County), was located in the northeast corner of Arkansas on the Mississippi River. His son, William T. Gilbert (Willie), went to Huffman shortly afterward and rented a farm. They returned to Tennessee and brought the rest of the family to Arkansas. The boys, Willie, Eddie and Dewey Gilbert and Nathaniel (Nat) Martin came by wagons and brought household items. Dr. Tom Abb and his wife, Ellen (Presley) Gilbert, their daughter, Beulah (later she married Lonnie Curtis McKenzie), Mary Gilbert Martin, Nat's wife, and their daughter Martha (later married Floyd A. White) and Laura Kennedy Gilbert, Willie's wife, came by train. They lived close to the Mississippi River. The boys had a small crop that first year. Dr. Tom Abb's office and drug store were located in the front yard of their residence.

Photo on the right is Nathaniel and Mary (Gilbert) Martin. The following spring, Nathaniel Martin died in a hunting accident. He was duck hunting in a boat with a friend and was accidentally shot and killed. His body was returned back to Cedar Grove in Henderson County TN for burial in the Cedar Grove Cemetery. His wife, Mary, was pregnant with their second child at the time of the accident. James Thomas was born in September after his father's death.

After Nat's death, the family moved to a farm about 2 miles north of Huffman and lived there 2 years. They then moved back to the area they first lived in and stayed approximately 1 year.

There was an opening for a doctor in Manila, AR. Dr. Gilbert looked into it and found that there was also a hotel, barber shop and restaurant for sale. he bought the hotel, barber shop and the restaurant. The boys worked at the barber shop and restaurant. The girls cooked for the restaurant and took care of the hotel. There were 16 rooms to rent at the hotel.


On the left - Martha, Tommy Martin with Beulah Gilbert
On the right is Eddie and Florence (Cecil) Gilbert

Tragedy struck the family again. Dr. Gilbert had been out that day seeing patients. It had sleeted and snowed all day. He had a chill and hard shakes that night when he returned home. He had pneumonia. He told his wife, "the day's work is done" and went to bed. He never got up again. Several doctors came to see him, but they were unable to save him. He died on March 4, 1915. His body was returned back to Cedar Grove, Henderson TN for burial. After Dr. Gilbert's death, the family returned to Henderson County TN.

On September 2, 1915, Grandpa Thomas Jefferson Gilbert died. The remaining family lived with their Grandmother Mary Ann Gilbert and other family relatives.

William Thomas Gilbert about 1914
Take note of that "black" dirt. Name on wagon is Hiawatha
This photo was taken in Arkansas

In 1916-17 Mary Gilbert Martin married N.P. Talbott and her family moved to Leapwood TN (McNairy County). Mary and N.P. Talbott had a son, William P. Talbott, in the spring of 1918. Mary Talbott died on October 21, 1918 from the influenza epidemic that swept the nation. Their son William died a few days later on October 30, 1918. William Talbott is buried in Hopewell Cemetery, McNairy County TN. At that time the family moved back in with Grandma Gilbert, formerly Mary Ann Hart. The minor child of Tom Abb Gilbert, Beulah Gilbert and the minor children of Mary Gilbert Martin, Martha Ellen and James Thomas Martin, lived with various relatives until adulthood. The adult children of Tom Abb Gilbert were all married at this time. Willie was married to Laura Kennedy Gilbert at the time they moved to Huffman. Eddie married Florence Cecil while they were living in Arkansas. Dewey married Pearl Massengill after they returned to Tennessee.

Top Left: George Dewey / Eddie / Willie T. / Laura
Martha Ellen Martin /Mary (Gilbert) Martin with Tommy /
Dr. Tom Abb / Beulah / Mary Ellen Presley Gilbert

2.. John Alexander Gilbert (son of Thomas Jefferson and Mary(Hart) Gilbert was born 11 Nov 1869 Henderson Co. He died 14 Mar 1946. John married Tennessee Scott b 20 Aug 1870 - died 22 Feb 1956 in TN. Both John and Tennie are buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery. They were the parents of :

.. Delia Ellen Gilbert 26 Jun 1887 married Rufus Stevens Harwell. Children are Fredia, Ovid Thomas, Roma Geraldine, Lena Ray, Florence Iris, Johnny Edward, Gilbert Franklin, Elzer Virgil, Dorothy Daul.

.. Minnie A. Gilbert 14 Dec 1889 m. James McNatt. Children: James, Arthur, Thomas, Loren

.. Mary Lessie Gilbert 17 Dec 1891

.. John Lester Gilbert 31 Dec 1894

.. Thomas Vester Gilbert 31 Dec 1894 m. Frances D. Barland. Children: Mary, Thomas, Jeanette

.. Noel A. Gilbert 5 Feb 1909 married Flora Margaret Eason. Children: Joan, Michael, Robert

..Margie Leona Gilbert married Jess Presley

..Kenneth Gilbert 11 Nov 1913

..Jerome A. Gilbert 05 Jan 1916

1840 Census Craven NC has Thomas Gilbert listed at age 40-50 which gives his birth between 1790 - 1800.. This 1850 Census Henderson County Dist. 13
Thomas Gilbert age 13 1837 TN was living with the family of William Sheppard of N.C. (30) and his wife Elizabeth of TN(25). Their children were Nancy (2) and William (1). We have not determined what connection Thomas Gilbert had with the Sheppard family. This young Thomas age 13 wa the "only" Gilbert living in Henderson County in 1850. There were no Gilberts listed in nearby Decatur County either.

1860 Census Henderson County (Did not find Thomas J.)

1870 Census Henderson County Dist. 13
Thomas J. Gilbert 33 - wife Mary A. (Hart) 30
Children: Thomas A. 4, William e. 2, John A. 9mts.
Lucinda Hart 19 and Silas Austin 32 are also in the home

1880 Census Henderson County Dist 13
Thomas Gilbert 43 - wife Mary A. 40
Children: Thomas A. 14 and John A. 10
(Son William E. is not listed in 1880)

1900 Census Henderson County Dist 13
Thomas Gilbert 62 - wife Mary 53 (No children listed)

Nearby is son
Thomas A. Gilbert 33 - wife Mary (Presley) 38
Mary E. 12, William T. 10, John C. 8, Eddie 5, George 1

1910 Census Henderson County Dist 7
Thomas Gilbert 71 - wife Mary 68

Nearby is son
Thomas 43 - Wife Mary 48
Children: Wm. J. 20, Eddie 15, George 12 Beulah M. 4

1920 Census Henderson County Dist 7
John A. Gilbert (son) 50 - Wife Tennie (Scott) 49
Children: Lessie 28, Noel 10, Margie 8, Kenneth 6, J.A. 4
Mary Gilbert age 78 - Widow. Mother of John

1930 Census Henderson County Dist 7
Mary Gilbert age 88
Mary E. Gilbert 68 widow of Thomas A.
James T. Martin age 18