Maj. George Gibson NSDAR holds Founder’s Day and new member luncheon

By Augusta Sinon - Special to Civitas Media

The Maj. George Gibson Chapter NSDAR met July 18 at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church in Jonesville, Virginia. Members present were Regent Nancy Britton, Charlotte Brooks, Joy Burchett, Andrea Cheak, Dolores Ham, Linda Lawson, Agnes Marcum, Fay Ramsey, Augusta Sinon, and Manerva Watson. Also attending was prospective new member Marisa Anders, daughter of Joy Burchett. Regent Britton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. Members participated in the DAR ritual and patriotic exercises.

Chaplain Watson gave devotion entitled “Choosing Joy,” referring to Romans 5:11. She read that we have a duty to God, ourselves, and others to overcome our difficulties and battle through to joy. For a Christian, joy is a choice. Watson ended with a prayer and table grace. The group then enjoyed the meal and a period of fellowship. Afterward, the meeting continued with approval of the secretary and treasurer’s reports.

Ramsey presented the Founders’ Day Program on the history of NSDAR and our Major George Gibson Chapter. She read that young George Gibson served as Lieutenant at the battle of Point Pleasant, under Captain George Matthews, in the Southern Division of Lord Dunmore’s Army. He was commissioned a Captain on February 2, 1777. He served with distinction in Scott’s Brigade the terrible winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. On March 22, 1777, Captain Gibson received his commission as Major in the Fourth Virginia Regiment with Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Reed, the commanding officer. Around 1800, after the Revolution, he settled in Lee County. He purchased land at twenty-five cents an acre and built Gibson Fort near Cumberland Gap, a pass in the mountain used by all going west. Today, this is Gibson Station.

This is the 98th anniversary of the founding of the Maj. George Gibson Chapter. This chapter was organized on July 25, 1917, as a family chapter limited exclusively to descendants of Maj. Gibson. The inspiration for its founding was Elizabeth Ball Kincaid, mother of the organizing regent, Nannie Lee Kincaid Stickley. The 14 charter members were Nannie Lee Kincaid Stickley, Lucy Gibson Bales, Bartie Gibson, Cornie Gibson Fugate, Elizabeth Gibson Harmon, Annie Bales Kincaid, Olivia Morrison Orr, Minnie Pridemore McKeehan, Anna Gibson Campbell, Lula Campbell, Lucy Gibson Ewing, Amelia Gibson Carr, Elsie Harmon Disque and Nanette Gibson. The Maj. George Gibson Chapter remained a family chapter until June 1946 when it was opened to qualifying descendants of other Revolutionary War patriots and soldiers. Today, there are only two members who are descendants of Maj. George Gibson.

Brooks presented a program on DAR insignia, pins and ribbons. She described the meaning of each part of the DAR emblem, stating that it is the only jewel in the world money cannot buy. Brooks also explained and demonstrated the proper wearing of this and other DAR official items.

Regent Britton performed a Founders’ Day Lighting of Candles Ceremony by lighting three candles. The first candle was “In Honor of the Founders of NSDAR,” the second was “In Honor of the Founders of the Virginia Society of the DAR,” and the third was “In Honor of the Founders of our Maj. George Gibson Chapter of NSDAR.” Britton followed this ceremony by asking for a moment of silence for NSDAR and our country.

Cheak read from the DAR President General’s Message that each chapter is asked to plan a meaningful service activity on October 11, a date designated as a National DAR Day of Service. The President General noted that DAR Daughters have recorded over 10 million hours of community service in the past two years; she hopes we can soon reach 12.5 million hours. The Maj. George Gibson Chapter has already logged several hours.

The National Defense Minute, presented by Burchett, was about World War II “escape and evasion maps.” These maps, made of silk, were hidden in Monopoly or other game boards; items such as compasses or tools were either inside the boards or disguised as game pieces. Allied troops were told, if captured, to look for games marked in an unusual way; for example, a Monopoly game with a map inside had a red dot in the “free parking” space. The Monopoly manufacturer produced six different versions of the games based on locations of POW camps. DAR was one of the humanitarian organizations that distributed these games during World War II.

For the Flag Minute, Ramsey read “The Meaning of Our Flag” by Henry Ward Beecher. Britton showed a tiny casserole dish from a childhood tea set for the American Heritage Minute. She also gave the Conservation Minute by reminding us of ways to make our homes more energy efficient. The Sunshine Minute included the July and August birthdays and some get well wishes. The Women’s Issues Minute related to the dangers of sunburn and some methods of prevention and treatment. Members were asked to continue their community service hours for the Celebrating Good Women Minute and to remember their best friend on Best Friend’s Day, Aug. 15.

Marcum provided the Indian Minute by reading about the Native Americans of Virginia. As of 2014, Virginia recognized eleven tribes containing about five thousand members, which is a considerable decrease from the time of colonization. The Pamunkey and Mattaponi are the only tribes with reservation land by treaty. Only the Pamunkey are recognized by the Federal Government; however, Federal legislation is being considered to recognize another six of Virginia’s non-reservation tribes.

Marcum also gave the DAR School Minute. Applicants for DAR school scholarships must be citizens of the United States and must attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university in the United States. DAR chapter sponsorship is not required; however, a chapter or state committee may assist an individual in assembling information for use in applying for a DAR scholarship. Information about scholarships to DAR Schools is contained on the DAR website

Britton recognized Dolores Ham for authoring a book, entitled “Class Rolls of Thomas Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Mulberry Gap Community, Hancock County, Tennessee.” Ham stated that this book contains records from 1855 to about 1889/90. The church likely began in the home of William Smith Thomas and his wife, Minerva Ewing Thomas. This family is well represented in the listings of the members of the church. Other family names included Hatfield, Ramsey, Baker, Hopkins, Greer, Fleenor, Williams and many others.

Ham stated she received these church records from Mary Evelyn Parkey sometime in the 1980’s. Parkey had obtained them from Macon “Make” and Lavinia “Viney” Chambers who lived near the church. Publication of these class rolls has finally been realized. Copies of the book have been donated to area historical societies. Copies may also be obtained from Dolores R. Ham, 1969 Locarno Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914. Please send check or money order for $12 plus $2 shipping and handling. You may also email for further information.

Registrar Cheak nominated Anders to be a member of the Major George Gibson Chapter of NSDAR. Members voted unanimously in favor of acceptance. Regent Britton thanked Cheak for her work as Registrar and welcomed Anders to the Maj. George Gibson Chapter.

The next chapter meeting is the Freedom Picnic. Members were reminded to bring previously designated items for donation to the upcoming Veterans Stand-Down in Knoxville and the DAR Fall Forum in Roanoke, Virginia.

By Augusta Sinon

Special to Civitas Media

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