Tracking John Goble Of North Carolina

By Corban Goble

John Goble of North Carolina lived his adult life in the latter part of the 1700s and early into the 19th century. And because he's on record as acquiring several land grants in Lincoln County, it's safe to assume that he was a farmer, an occupation followed by many of his descendants.

This John and his wife Peggy have become the subject of growing genealogical research by descendants and others of the Goble name. We're all looking for the clues that will prove John's origins as well as fleshing out the lines of his descendants. The earliest known facts about John and Peggy come from a small, ornately penned genealogy of 1814 that listed the eleven children of John's son Corban and his wife, Elisabeth Robinson. It said only that Corban was born April 22, 1761, in Wake County, NC, as the son of John and Peggy Goble. Elisabeth, the genealogy noted, was born in Maryland in 1775 and was the daughter of Jesse and Lydia Robinson. Corban and Elisabeth were married in 1793 in Lincoln County, and evidence indicates that the Robinsons also lived in that county. Corban's children are recorded as all being born between 1794 and 1813 "on & near Catawba River North Carolina State."

John Goble's first known land grant in Lincoln County was entered in 1778, and that and subsequent grants mostly lay along the Catawba River's south side. Corban and some of his descendants received grants for land across the Catawba River (north side) in Iredell County (now Alexander).

Present-day descendants of this first Corban have tracked the lines of four of his sons: first-born John, then Andrew, Corban and Lewis, but only a little is known about son Absalom and daughters Sally Warren and Susanna Yount, and nothing is known about sons Martin and William or daughters Peggy and Martha. Many descendants continue to live today in North Carolina (especially Alexander County) but others reside from Michigan to Florida and Maine to California.

Unfortunately, that 1814 genealogy did not record any other children that John and Peggy Goble might have had. But descendants are perhaps 99 percent sure that Cornelius Goble was a younger son. (In an 1802 Lincoln County deed, John transferred 100 acres of his land-grant property to his son Cornelius "for services done to me.") Census records show that Cornelius lived in Lincoln and Iredell counties and then in Rabun and Gilmer counties of Georgia. He and some of his sons were winners in the 1830s Georgia lottery of former Cherokee Indian lands, and Cornelius's tract straddled Talona Creek in Gilmer County. His descendants, too, have spread out from their earlier homes in or near that county. Cornelius' sons were Corbin, Cornelius, John and William, and perhaps an Alexander. Daughters were Malinda Steel/Steed, Peggy Gentry, Nellie Barnes, Libby and/or Ibby (Isabella), and maybe a Lydia who married a Henderson.

John Goble apparently died in Lincoln County about 1813, but neither will nor tombstone has been located. (He might have been buried in a Goble family cemetery in what is now Alexander County and where, legend has it, most tombstones were removed at the time of the Great Depression to serve as a foundation for a moonshine still erected on a hard-to-reach island in the nearby Catawba River.)

John's origins are not known with any certainty. Several descendants of the present day have said they were told years earlier that the family was of German lineage, and that's a possibility. However, researchers of the Goble name in the 1930-50s period speculated that John might have been a descendant of Thomas Goble, the Englishman who settled in Massachusetts in 1634. Norma Goble Boykiw consolidated the work of these researchers in her much-used 1976 volume, "Goble Families." Her book proposes on page 208 that John might have been a son or grandson of a third-generation John who was known to have gone from Massachusetts to South Carolina in 1699 and never returned. Or the John might have been a fifth-generation John who lived in New Jersey before moving southward. Mrs. Boykiw and the earlier family genealogists tentatively included in John's family three other children born in New Jersey: Jane, Jared and Jonathan. No records found so far in North Carolina, however, support the inclusion of those children into "our" John's family. Deeds and records from Lincoln County, NC, though, provide evidence that John likely had two or three daughters: Sara Crider, Polly Stroud (wife of Eccles Stroud) and Rachel Brown.

North Carolina records raise more questions. There is that 1788 marriage bond of John Goble and Shusanah Cook in Lincoln County; is that "our" John in a later marriage, or perhaps a son by that name, or another family altogether? Who were the Johns involved in a 1778 Burke County land grant application in which John had his son John Jr. appear because he was "aged and infirmed"? Who was the Jno. Goble listed in 1790 in the nearby Burke County census, and which John was granted 100 acres in 1795 in Burke County? ("Our" John is likely the John "Gobb" that should probably read "Goble" in Lincoln County's 1790 census.) Research challenges still await!

South Carolina, though, did have several early Gobles, including a John Goble, who is mentioned in an index of deeds for Colleton and Berkley counties in 1697 and 1707. But there are also South Carolina deed references to an Abigail Goble, Daniel Goble and Thomas Goble about the same time. Was the named John "our" John, or maybe his father? And who were the other Gobles? Were they related, and do they link with Thomas Goble of Massachusetts?

Colonial records of North Carolina mention several Gobles: George Goble, John Goble and Nicholas Goble, who all signed an Orange County petition (circa 1768) protesting to the governor that they and others were being overcharged on fees to record deeds. Another source lists a John Goble as an insolvent in the 1762 list of taxables for Granville County, which was not so very far from the area where the first Corban was born in 1761. (That old genealogy said Corban was born in Wake County; Wake, however, was not formed until 10 years later-1771.) A Johnston County deed lists a John Goble as a witness in 1770. So did "our" John live in the Orange-Granville-Wake-Johnston region in the central part of the state before moving westward in the 1770s? Was there more than one John Goble? More research might give us a blessed breakthrough.

Other Goble family groups are known. One lives in Caldwell County, NC, which is adjacent to Alexander, where many of "our" John's descendants live. In 1900 there were two older William Gobles, one born in 1837, the other in 1848. The younger William was the son of Joe and Katy Goble, names that do not show up on "our" John's list yet. And in Iredell County, just east of Alexander, John Goble (1863-1941) raised a large family; his father was a John Goble of Alexander, but which one?

Actually, there is no shortage of Gobles in North Carolina in the 1990s. One computerized directory lists 176 names. Some are surely part of "our" John's clan, but whose are the others? That directory also records 17 Gobles in South Carolina, 115 in Georgia, 190 in Kentucky and 173 in Florida, to name a few states in the South.

Then there are those names with close spellings: Gable, Gobbel, Coble, Cobble, Goebel, Gobble and Gobbell--all names that sound very much alike even though spelling varies widely (and maddeningly, we might add, for family researchers).

A future article is being prepared about the Gobbel family of Rowan County, NC, where a John Gobbel was the patriarch who settled there in about 1784.

The Goble Family Association seeks, to the best of its ability, to assist in connecting the varied lines together and backwards at least to the first immigrant to the American colonies or states (or even, perhaps, to the "old country" of maybe England or Germany or whatever). It's the hope of the association that people named Goble (or having a variant spelling) will "reach out and touch" the association so that family heritages and data can be shared and possible connections made. Some may very well be added to John Goble's descendancy database that now includes 2407 names.

Thanks to James R. Goble of Charlotte, NC, Cathy Snow of Macon, GA, Janet Walsted of Japan, Barbara Sharkey of Satellite Beach, FL, and Earl Gilliam of Wetumpka, AL, for their significant research relating to John, Corban and Cornelius Goble and families; and to Evelyn Goble Steen for her encouragement, enthusiasm and desire to expand our families through the association's e-mail, newsletter and homepage facilities.

If you have questions or comments please contact Corban Goble, Bowling Green, KY

Return to Southern Goble Features

This page last updated May 2016
Send Feedback to