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Abigail Bumgarner

Female 1904 - 1972  (67 years)


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  • Name Abigail Bumgarner  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Born 18 May 1904  , Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
    Gender Female 
    Died 24 Jan 1972  1370 West D Street, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
    Buried 26 Jan 1972  Mountlawn Memorial Park, Fairplains, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12, 14
    Person ID I200  Main
    Last Modified 13 Feb 2011 

    Father James "Linville" Bumgarner, Jr.,   b. 7 Jul 1867, , Millers Creek, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Nov 1941, 1370 West D Street, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Bessie Ryan McNeil,   b. 15 Feb 1870, , , Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1938, , Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 20 Jan 1889  home of Martha J. McNeil, Millers Creek, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
    Family ID F131  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jennings "Bryan" Gilreath,   b. 10 Oct 1896, , Gilreath, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jan 1964, 1370 West D Street, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 19 Nov 1933  Woodland Boulevard, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9, 13, 22, 23, 24, 25
    Children 
     1. Martha Jane Gilreath
     2. Rebecca Gail Gilreath,   b. 28 Jul 1940, 1370 West D Street, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown  [natural]
    Last Modified 13 Feb 2011 
    Family ID F87  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Abigail Bumgarner was born and raised in the small town of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the ninth child in a family of fourteen, two of whom died as babies. Abigail attended public school in WIlkes County and was fond of writing and giving speeches. Some of her old papers, letters, and speeches exist today and were handed down through her children. She also wrote some songs, one of which was called "Gasoline Gus and His Gitney Bus."

      After school, Abigail followed in her father's footsteps and became a Deputy Register of Deeds and a Justice of the Peace. According to a letter from the North Carolina Archives, she was one of the first female justices and was among a very small minority at the time. Her services must have been popular because she was eventually dubbed "The Marrying Magistrate." She performed over 482 ceremonies in just under eight years. Her fee was typically $0.50 to $1.00, as evidenced in her stenographic record book.

      Her future husband, Bryan, had dated her two older sisters, Ruth and Mary at various times, but it was Abigail who eventually caught his eye. Being the prankster that he was, Bryan once brought a fake pile of dog mess with him as he came to pick up Gail for a date. Just before he walked in the door, he also scooped up a handful of snow, which quickly melted as he laid it on the floor beside the dog mess. When Abigail looked down, she saw the mess and yelled, "Mama! Come quick, someone let the dog in!" As soon as she turned her back, Bryan snatched up his "gag" and jammed it in his pocket!

      When Abigail went on a date, her mama would not let her go out without taking her older single sister Pearl. This irked Abigail greatly. Pearl would spend hours primping for "her" date. She then sat out on the front porch swing to wait for the date to arrive. This was done to ensure Abigail would not forget (or slip away without) her.

      Some time after Abigail became an adult, she shortened her name to "Gail." She and Bryan were both married relatively late in life. After marriage, Gail left her job and stayed at home to raise their two daughters. She enjoyed sunbathing, collecting antiques, and visiting her many siblings and their families. She and Bryan also enjoyed having bridge and poker parties from time to time.
    • (Research):Social Security Number: 238-60-9877

  • Sources 
    1. [S806] Vital: North Carolina Vital Records, Births: 1913-Present, Deaths: 1930-Present, (Vital Records, Raleigh, North Carolina), certificate of birth for Rebecca Gail Gilreath, registration district 97-60, certificate 118, vol. 26, page 558 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Tyre Bumgarner, 10 Jun 1957, page 1 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Pedie Bumgarner Poplin, 10 Sep 1962, page 5 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Plato S. Bumgarner, 31 Jan 1952, page 1 (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Rom L. Bumgarner, 30 Aug 1962, page 2 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Mary Bumgarner Hart, 21 Dec 1970, page 2 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S312] Book: North Carolina-Wilkes - Heritage of Wilkes County North Carolina, Volume I, 1982, Mrs. W. O. Absher, editor, (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: The Wilkes Genealogical Society, Inc. in cooperation with Hunter Publishing Company, 1982), page 129 (Reliability: 3).
      "Abagail Bumgarner, born May 18, died January 24, 1972, was a Deputy Register of Deeds for Wilkes County, Justice of the Peace, and married over five hundred couples. She married Bryan Gilreath who was a freight agent for Southern Railway Company. They had two daughters, Martha Jane and Rebecca Gail Gilreath. Martha Jane married Walter Bishop and had two sons and a daughter. Rebecca's second marriage was to Jack Rich and they had two daughters."

      by Donnie Bumgarner

    8. [S2] Book: North Carolina-Genealogy - Genealogy of Stephen Bumgarner 1811-1901, Flora B. Friend, (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter Publishing Company, 1983), 144 (Reliability: 3).
      "ABIGAIL BUMGARNER (18 May 1904/24 Jan 1972) the ninth child of Linville and Bessie Bumgarner, was born and reared in Wilkesboro. She was for many years a Justice of the peace in the Wilkes Courthouse, and set a record for the number of marriages she performed. She was married on 19 Dec 1933 to JENNINGS BRYAN GILREATH (10 Oct 1896/10 Jan 1964). They lived in North Wilkesboro and were members of the First Baptist Church there. Gail loved music, and was a collector of antiques. She was very creative, and passed her talents on to her two daughters."

    9. [S815] North Carolina, Wilkes - Delayed Birth Certificates, (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Courthouse), delayed certificate of birth for Jennings Bryan Gilreath (1896), certificate no. 474, issued 20 Jul 1944 (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S181] North Carolina, Wilkes - 1968 - Gail Bumgarner Gilreath driver's license, North Carolina Driver's License Bureau, (license #397662, issued 7 May 1968, expired 18 May 1972), Gail Bumgarner Gilreath, Rt 2 Box 146, Wilkesboro, NC, birth date: 05 18 04 (Reliability: 3).

    11. [S806] Vital: North Carolina Vital Records, Births: 1913-Present, Deaths: 1930-Present, (Vital Records, Raleigh, North Carolina), certificate of death for Gail Bumgarner Gilreath, registration district no. 97-60, local no. 21, certificate 3992, vol. 72, page 003992 (Reliability: 3).

    12. [S799] Church: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro, funeral program for Gail Bumgarner Gilreath (1972), Reins - Sturdivant, Inc., Funeral Directors (Reliability: 3).

    13. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Gail Bumgarner Gilreath, vol. 65, no. 68, Monday, 24 Jan 1972, page 1 (Reliability: 3).

    14. [S171] Cemetery: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro Township - Mountlawn Memorial Park, grave marker for Gail Bumgarner Gilreath, section H, lot 18, space 8, photographed by Gail Rich Nestor, 13 Jan 2004 (Reliability: 3).
      Inscription:
      GAIL BUMGARNER
      GILREATH
      MAY 18, 1904
      JAN. 24, 1972

    15. [S9] Vital: North Carolina Death Collection 1908-1996 [Ancestry.com database], (www.ancestry.com), Gail Gilreath entry (Reliability: 3).
      "GILREATH, GAIL: Place of Death: No. Wilkesboro, Wilkes; Place of Residence: Wilkes; Institution: General Hospital 100 Beds & Over; Death Date: January 24, 1972; Gender: Female; Race: White; Age: 67 Years; Autopsy: No; Marital Status: Widowed; Attendant:"

    16. [S799] Church: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro, membership record no. 720 (Reliability: 3).
      720
      Gilreath, J. B. (Gail), Mrs.
      507 E St., N. W.
      received by letter
      4-28-42 R. F. Smith, Jr. Pastor W. O. Absher Clerk
      1-24-72 Deceased

    17. [S72] Marriage: Family Data Collection - Marriages [Ancestry.com database], (www.ancestry.com), married by the Rev. Milton McNiel at the home of her mother, Mrs. Jane McNiel. Witnesses were W. G. McNiel, A. McNiel, and I. B. Wilborn. (Reliability: 3).
      Bumgarner, Linville, Spouse: Mcneill, Bessie Rhyne, Marriage Date: 20 January 1888

    18. [S806] Vital: North Carolina Vital Records, Births: 1913-Present, Deaths: 1930-Present, (Vital Records, Raleigh, North Carolina), certificate of death for Bessie Ryan Bumgarner, registration district no. 97-50, certificate no. 4, vol. 2071, page 363 (Reliability: 3).

    19. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Bessie R. Bumgarner, vol. XXXII, no. 11, Monday, 28 Nov 1938, page 1 (Reliability: 3).

    20. [S172] Cemetery: North Carolina, Wilkes, Wilkesboro - Mountain Park Cemetery, grave marker for Bessie Ryan McNeil Bumgarner, photographed by Gail Rich Nestor, 13 Jan 2004 (Reliability: 3).
      Inscription:
      BESSIE RYAN McNEIL
      WIFE OF
      L. BUMGARNER
      FEB. 15, 1870
      NOV. 27, 1938

    21. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Linville Bumgarner, vol. XXXIV, no. 64, Monday, 3 Nov 1941, pages 1 and 5 (Reliability: 3).

    22. [S805] North Carolina, Wilkes - Marriage Record Books, Register of Deeds, (County Courthouse, Wilkesboro, North Carolina), certificate of marriage for Bryan Gilreath and Gail Bumgarner, 19 Nov 1933 (Reliability: 3).
      I, T. H. Settle, Register of Deeds of Wilkes County, State of North Carolina, hereby certify that I have this day issued License for the marriage of. J. Bryan Gilreath, age 35, address North Wilkesboro, N.C., to Gail Bumgarner, age 29, address Wilkesboro, N.C. This 19th day of November A.D. 1933
      T. H. Settle, Register of Deeds
      CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE
      This Certifies that:
      J. Bryan Gilreath of N. Wilkesboro, N.C. and Gail Bumgarner of Wilkesboro, N.C. were by me united in Holy Matrimony at The Home of Linville Bumgarner According to the Ordinances of God and the Laws of the State of North Carolina, on the 19th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1933.
      Witnesses:
      J.V. Jennings of Statesville, N.C.
      R. O. Poplin of Ronda, N.C.
      Linville Bumgarner of Wilkesboro, N.C.
      S.S. Jennings, Baptist Minister

    23. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., marriage announcement for Bryan and Gail Gilreath, vol. XXVI, no. 103, Monday, 20 Nov 1933, page 5 (Reliability: 3).

    24. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., birth announcement for Rebecca Gail Gilreath, Monday, 29 Jul 1940, Local News section (Reliability: 3).

    25. [S142] Newspaper: North Carolina, Wilkes, North Wilkesboro - The Journal-Patriot [microfilm], (Wilkesboro, North Carolina: Wilkes County Community College Library), M 071.756 Jou., obituary for Bryan Gilreath, vol. 57, no. 77, Thursday, 23 Jan 1964, page 1 (Reliability: 3).