Gibson  Families


Gibsons of Langskaill

At the 1861 census there were 14 Gibson households in Rousay belonging to 6 unrelated groups as far as can be traced.  The largest of these groups consisted of the Gibsons of Langskaill, one of the largest farms on the island. The earliest traceable member of this farmily is David Gibson, c1765-1837, who was one of my more interesting ancestors.  A distinguished descendant of his, Dr Hugh Marwick,  said of David that in his youth he had had "an adventure" with a woman from Burness, a small croft further up the hill from Langskaill, as a result of which twins had been born.  David went on to marry three times, his third wife also being an ancestor of mine.  I can therefore claim that David married two of my ggg grandmothers.  He fathered 10 children and had 46 grandchildren.  Within 3 or 4 generations his progeny formed a considerable part of the island's population.  Another three generations of the Gibsons after David went on to farm Langskaill.  There are some descendants in Australia.  Orkney descendants include Margaret Kemp, Bruce Mainland, Evelyn Marwick, Norman Gibson, Olive Kemp, Euain Penny, and Lauren Marwick.

Several of the Langskaill Gibsons married relatives of their own.  It was jokingly said in Rousay that they did this because they did not consider anyone else good enough.




John Gibson, 1834-1920, a grandson of David Gibson of Langskaill  c1765-1837


David Gibson, 1844-1920, of Hullion, with his grand-daughter, Marjory. David was a grandson of David Gibson of Langskaill, born c1765

(Photos - T. Gibson) 


George Gibson of Avalsay, Rousay and his family. He was an uncle of David Gibson (above)



Alexander Gibson 1836-1887, a grandson of David (c1765-1837), and his wife Margaret Learmonth

(Photos of oil paintings - Hilary Shearer)



Gibsons of Knarston and Broland

The earliest traceable member of this branch is John Gibson born c1745 who married Christy Mainland.  Descendants in Rousay and other parts of Orkney, include Tom Gibson, Audrey Kenyon, Claire Kemp, and Fiona Bain.  There are also descendants in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

John Gibson b. 1771, a son off John and Christy, married Giles (Julia) Grieve in 1799.  They lived on the farm of Broland.  Their son John born in 1802 moved to the farm of Knarston and married (1) Isobel Craigie and (2) Janet Craigie while John's brother Thomas born in 1814 remained at Broland and married Jane Grieve.  John, born in 1833 of the first marriage, married Jane Mainland.  His half-brother Thomas born in 1847 married Bella Gibson from Langskaill and emigrated to Canada where there are numerous descendants.


John Gibson 1833-1924 of Knarston, and his wife Jane Mainland



Thomas Gibson born in 1847 at Knarston, Rousay, and half- brother of John above.  He married Bella Gibson of Langskaill and emigrated to Canada.

(Photo courtesy of Tom Gibson)

Gibsons of Faraclett

This family was in the farm of Sketquoy for several generations before moving to the larger farm of Faraclett.  Descendants of the Gibsons farmed there until 2002.  The headland shown as the Head of Faraclett on the Rousay map is part of the farm.  Orkney descendants include Anna Garson.