The Gibson Family Papers encompass materials relating to six family members: Audrey
Gibson Robinson; Charles Nelson Gibson; Lucinda Ray Gibson; Lois Gibson; Maude E. Gibson; and Frederick D. Robinson. Papers
consist of clippings, biographical information, a scrapbook, photographs and assorted items such as postcards and poems collected
by members of the Gibson family. Arranged by name of family member and thereafter by format and date.
The Gibson family can trace its roots back to the pioneering days of California. Charles Nelson
Gibson was bom in Sacramento in 1879. His parents, William Henry Gibson and Lucinda Ray
Gibson, became part of the the African American community of West Oakland in the late nineteenth
century. William Gibson obtained a position as a dining and club car waiter on the Southern Pacific
Railroad in 1898 and worked for the railroad for thirty years. Lucinda Ray was a descendent of
Nelson Ray, a slave who obtained his freedom in 1864 and came out to California to mine for gold.
Through his profits, Ray acquired enough money to pay for his wife and childrens freedom and
settled in Placerville, where he worked as a carpenter and blacksmith. The Ray family
moved to Sacramento sometime prior to 1877.
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Permission to publish from the Gibson Family Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.