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The Gailbraith/Gailbreaths of Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

I was able to find very little about Rebecca Miller Gailbraith/Gailbreath, the fourth daughter of Robert and Agnes Miller but count myself lucky to find what I did.  Hopefully, someone who finds my website over the internet will be able to add more information about this family.  I was able to uncover the family on the 1820, 1830, and 1840 Census records from Jefferson Twp., Jefferson Co., Kentucky which is in the same county as Louisville, Kentucky. Since this is so close to where Rebecca's two sisters (Jane Miller Biggs and Mary Miller Cairns) lived just across the Ohio River in Indiana, I am betting they had family get-togethers at times. 


On the 1820 Census only Joseph Gailbreath is found with his family.  There is a male and female who fit the ages of Joseph and Rebecca.   The 1830 Census taken in that same area shows Joseph, and 3 of their son's families all living next to each other. Robert (named after Rebecca's father), Alexander H. and George L. Gailbreath. I do not know what has happened to their oldest son, William, but there is a William Gailbreath who matches his age and who dies in 1851 in Jackson Co., Tennessee.  Joseph Gailbreath dies in 1834 so he no longer shows up on any census record after 1830.  I could not find Rebecca again for surety, who is said to have died in 1854, but she may have lived with one of her sons or daughters who have married again under a different name.

I also believe that Joseph Gailbreath was born in Pennsylvania (However, it is impossible for me to prove that ) as I found a William Gailbraith living in Washington Co., Pennsylvania on the 1790 Census.  Washington County is just 15 miles west of Sewickley Twp. in Westmoreland County, PA where Rebecca Miller lived.  It is not too far-fetched to imagine how they could have become acquainted. Both came from reformed Presbyterian families. Another clue is that they name their first born son William, a common custom those days.  Looking at the names of their own children on the former page you can see a daughter named Nancy which is the English diminutive for Agnes.  Until I found that out, I have long wondered why none of Robert and Agnes' children named any of their daughters, "Agnes".   But several name one of their daughters, "Nancy".

I did find the following story about one of their sons,
Robert.  It is an odd story but has a but true ring.   Robert and his wife Mary, carry on the family tradition by naming their first born son Joseph (after his father) and their first born daughter, Rebecca (after his mother). I also found Robert listed on the 1850 and 1860 census living in the suburban area of Louisville. Their son Joseph is listed in 1860 as an "Attorney" and living with what looks like is own family in the same household as his father, Robert . 

A History of Kentucky Baptists From 1769 to 1885, Including More Than 800 Biographical Sketches,

J. H. Spencer, Manuscript Revised and Corrected by Mrs. Burilla B. Spencer, In Two Volumes.

Printed For the Author.  1886.

Republished By Church History Research & Archives 1976 Lafayette, Tennessee. Vol. 2, pages 180-181.


ROBERT GAILBREATH was of Irish extraction, and was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., 1791.  His parents moved to Kentucky when he was about eight years old.  Being fond of study, he acquired, with few advantages from schools, a very fair English education.  He was raised up in a Presbyterian church, but when he obtained evidence of his conversion, a candid examination of the subject of baptism led him to accept Baptist views.  He united with old Beargrass Church, not from 1817.  He was licensed to exercise his preaching gift, in 1819, and having been sufficiently proved, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Little Flock church in Bullitt County, by Moses Pierson, George Waller, Ben. Allen and Z. Carpenter, April 24, 1824. 


    In 1827, Mr. Gailbreath gathered a small church called Fishpool, some four miles North of Little Flock.  Of this new organization, also, he was chosen pastor, having, for the sake of convenience, given his membership to it.  He was also pastor of the church at Shepherdsville, for a time.


     In 1851, he resigned the charge of Little Flock and Fishpool, and moved to Louisville.  This move was unwise.  It took him from a field of labor in which he was appreciated and loved, and where he had spent the prime of his life, usefully, and might still have been useful, for years to come.  In the city, he was comparatively a stranger, he was a country preacher, and there was no demand for his ministrations.  The move virtually closed his labors, and he spent about thirteen years in idleness, as far as his holy calling was concerned.  He died at his home in Louisville, August 23, 1864.


       Mr. Gailbreath was above medium, as a preacher.  He had considerable poetical genius, which he indulged, for recreation.  He was a man of unblemished morals, and of faultless Christian deportment.


                               Allen,  Carpenter,  Gailbreath,  Pierson,  Waller

                                        Bullitt, KY, Westmoreland, PA

I also was able to unearth some information about another son, George L. Gailbreath.  George married a Cynthia Rogers who was born 6 Aug. 1792 in Bullitt Co., Kentucky and dies 5 Mar 1868 in Jefferson Co., KY.  George became a some what well-to-do farmer and was also a slave owner in the 1850s (1850 US Slave Schedule)  He has one slave who is age 35 with five children so it appears to be somewhat of a "charitable" situation. There are photos of George and his wife on the internet which I share with you here.

Although George probably would not like to hear me say so, he reminds me (because of that same fierce look on his face) of John Brown, the famous Kansas Abolitionist.  Both Cynthia and George are buried at Ferring Cemetery in Kentucky along with their daughter Elizabeth's family who married a Ferring.  I could not locate this cemetery so am assuming it is a small family cemetery.