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The George "Papa" Gipson of Tuscaloosa, Alabama ("T. Town")

Updated June 17, 2012

Larry K. Gipson
901 Lakeshore Dr.
Cincinnati, OHIO 45231-2570
United States
Fax: 513-931-0759

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George Gipson was put on an auction block and sold as a slave in North Carolina. The last time he saw his father, "he was rollin' in the sand crying cause his babies was gone." He was sold to plantation owner Tate Evans at seven years old, and after he was freed he went back to his parent's last name, Gipson. Sometimes slaves had to carry their slave master's last name. He and his sister Bertha Dixon were the only two of their family brought to Alabama. We are told that when he left home his mother gave him a needle and a strand of thread. She told him when his clothes get worn and torn, to "take this needle and thread and mend them together." To us today, that wouldn't be very much of a consolation, but to him leaving home never to return, it was very precious.

He was brought to Hale County, Alabama where he worked on a plantation in the Herns community. There he served as a slave and grew up into manhood. As times fulfilled and brought about changes and freedom for slaves, he married Violet Herns, another slave who had taken her owner's last name (Herns). After marriage, he came to Tuscaloosa (named after Indian Chief Tuskaloosa), Alabama to establish a home. This slave, on becoming free, purchased ninety acres of land to establish a home for his family. Today, that same ninety acres of land and surrounding area is known as "GIPSON TOWN." George and Violet would go on to have 6 children, which produced 29 Grand-Children who would carry on the Gipson legacy. He died with concern for his kids and unaware of the soon to be legend of a family that would endure for hundreds of years that he began. George Gipson was called "Papa" by his kids, he died at the age of 90 years old. His descendants are blessed to be a member of a family who came into being as only "a little spark of fire with a zeal to illuminate the community."


The 2012, 23rd biennial Gipson Family Reunion will be hosted by Jannifer Jones & Edgar Bork in Detroit, Michigan, Thursday, June 28 thru Sunday, 1 July 2012.

Host Hotel: Crowne Plaza-Novi, Detroit-Novi 27000 Sheraton Drive, Novi, Michigan.

For reservationa call 1-877-270-1393 or 248-348-5000 and make sure you refer to Block Code: "GFR" Gibson Family Reunion / IATA 99801505)

Reunion fee: $86.00 per person, $44.00 child 3 to 12, free for 2 years of age and younger. Tee Shirts are available for order.

Tentative Itinerary:

Thursday, June 28th
- Registration, gathering in hospitality suite and pick-up packet 4:00 p.m. 10 p.m.

Friday, June 29th
- Cookout 11:00 a.m. @ Kensington Metro Park
- Bo Gipson Annual Card Tournament (Spades and Bid Whist) 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 30th
- Activities of your choosing
- Banquet 6:30 pm 12am

Sunday, July 1st
- Church Services
- Departures

*****More detail to follow when available.

My Family History


Family Photos

  • George "Papa" Gipson of Tuskaloosa, Alabama (50 KB)
    George "Papa" Gipson was born January 6, 1839 on the Gipson Plantation, in North Carolina. He was put on the auction block and sold as a slave when he was just seven years old. He died as a free man January 5, 1929 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama the day before his birth day. His descendant legacy today is over 1,300 strong (so far).
  • Gipson Family Logo/Seal (28 KB)
    The first official Gipson Family Logo/Seal. The seal was designed to depict George "Papa" Gipson, the Gipson family home state of Alabama, the Gipson family bond, and the needle and thread which is the symbol of a loving mothers' gift to the slave child leaving home for the first and last time.

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