Sarah Gibbons


Personal and Family Information

Sarah was born on 5 MAY 1742 in Winchester, Frederick County, VA, the daughter of James Gibbons and Mary .

She died on 16 SEP 1832 in Winchester, Frederick County, VA.

She had two marriages/partners. Her first husband was Son of an Indian chief, who she married in ABT 1760. The place has not been found. Their only known child was Abraham (c1757-?).

Her second husband was Cornelius Lister, who she married in 1762. The place has not been found. Their six known children were Lydia (?-?), John (1763-?), William (1767-?), Mary "Molly" (1768-?), Rachel (1770-1800) and Cornelius (1775-1885).

Pedigree Chart (3 generations)


Sarah Gibbons


James Gibbons





Birth5 MAY 1742
Place: Winchester, Frederick County, VA
Death16 SEP 1832
Place: Winchester, Frederick County, VA


Note 1

Sarah Gibbons was born May 5, 1742 Winchester, Frederick Co. Va. died September 16, 1832 Winchester, Frederick Co. Va.

In the spring of 1756 (probably April) Indians attacked at North River Mill. It is believed that Sarah's father, James Gibbons, was killed in this attack. Sarah was captured by the Indians and lived with them for about 9 yrs, during which time she reportedly was the wife of the son of a chief and gave birth to a half-Indian son whom she named Abraham Gibbons.

Sarah and her son were returned to her family in 1765.

On Oct 9, 1774, Sarah's son, Abraham aged 10 years, was bound to Daniel Sowers. A few months later Sarah filed a suit against Sowers for mistreating her son. Abraham rejoined his fathers people and nothing more is known of him.

Sarah was known as an "Indian Doctor" because of the healing skills, using herbs, which she learned from the Indians.

Sarah Married Cornelious Lister born 1740 in Ireland (believed to have been a runaway priest) died May 6, 1805 Frederick Co. Va.

children: John b abt 1763 Frederick Co. m 1797 Mary Grove

Cornelius b abt 1765 Frederick Co m Mary ?

Lydia d abt 1809 m Stephen Powell

Rachel b May 5, 1770 d Sept 16, 1800 m Geo Shiner

William b abt 1767 Frederick Co. m Juliet Dawson

Source: Hal Gibbens

Note 2

Source: Vickie McCracken

In addition to othe r families, Ind ians also assaulted and pillaged the property and family of J ames Gibbons, During 1756 raid at North River Mills his daughter, Sarah Gibbons, born May 5, 1742, was taken prisoner, along with a neighbor Mrs. George Horner, and held for eight Or nine years. Presumably Sarah was returned to Old Frederick County In 1764/5. Family history states that while being held Sarah was the wife of the son of a chief! When she was returned to her family she was accompanied by her Indian son, Abraham Gibbons.

Abraham,listed as age 10 years on October 9, 1774, when he was bound to Daniel Sowers, to learn the blacksmith trade. A few months later Sarah filed a suit against Sowers for mistreating her s on, Abraham. Abraham later joined his father's people. Sarah was known by occupation as an 'Indian Doctor' - use of herbs.

After her marriage to Cornelius Lister, Sarah became known her locality as a "Doctor for Children" because of the medical property of herbs she had learned while being an Indian wife. This was written from research of Harry L. Shiner and filmed for the SLC Gen. Lib. (reported by Betty Hawley

Sarah married Cornelius Lister. She and Cornelius had 6 children. George Huse Shiner and his sister Cynthia were left orphans at an early age and raised by their maternal grandmother, Sarah. They lived on a little farm on the Opequen Creek, about four miles east of Winchester. Sarah a North Dakota Cynthia lived with him until they died. Cynthia Washington was crippled from rheumatism.

Sarah passed away at the age of 90 at the home of her daughter Rachel and her husband George Shiner .(reported by Betty Hawle y,

Note 3

The Story of Sarah Gibbons

    The Gibbons family was living near Fort Thomas Parker. When Sarah Gibbons  was 13 years old she was kidnapped by Indians . She was taken to an Indian  village and was raised by the Indians. Sarah married one of the braves and  had a child. The child was named Abraham Gibbons.

    In 1765 or 1767 Sarah left the Indian village to find her natural parents.  Her home place had been sold to Dr. James Craik. (This was George  Washington's personal physician.) Her father, James Gibbons, had died in  1760. Her mother had married Durret Covey. Mr. Covey was a member of  Lewis's militia who came to the rescue when the Indians had kidnapped Sarah.  Sarah's brother, Jacob, was now living along Opequon Creek, near Winchester. 

    Sarah gave up her son to Daniel Sowers as an indentured servant. In 1774,  Sarah filled charges against Sowers for child abuse. The child was returned  to her. Sarah married Cornelius Lister and lived three miles south of  Winchester next to her brother's home.

From an article by Stephanie Bailes' articles on North River Mills