The last name of the Gibson family only appears once in The Sound and the Fury, the novel where they first appear: when Dilsey is addressed as "Sis Gibson" by other black members of the church she attends on Easter (290). Gibsons from three generations appear in a total of five Yoknapatawpha fictions, but like the Strothers family in Faulkner's various accounts of the Sartorises, this black African American family is almost exclusively defined in the context of the white family whom they serve. For the Gibsons, that's the Compsons. Dilsey is old enough to have been born a slave, and the cabin behind the Compsons' big house where she and her children live in four of those five fictions most probably was originally part of the Compson plantation slave quarters. However, except for one reference to a story she told her son Versh about how Grandfather Compson changed the name of a slave back in the "old time" (69), Faulkner does not trace the Gibson's lineage further back than the childhood of the four Compson children who are at the center of The Sound and the Fury. Dilsey's three children - Versh, Frony and T.P. - are about the same age as those Compsons. In various groupings, all of them reappear under their first names in at least one more text. Note: our chart assumes that the man Dilsey refers to in the 1929 novel when she threatens Luster - "You just wait till your pappy come home" (59) - is not the same man that Faulkner refers to in the 1946 "Appendix Compson" when he updates Luster's mother's biography with the fact that Frony "married a pullman porter and went to St Louis to live" (343). But this is an assumption. Faulkner may have been thinking of these two men as one character.

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Gibson Family Biography