Who is baby Gideon P? Port Charlotte man finds Civil War era headstone in his yard

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia
Published: Updated:
Headstone discovered at Charlotte County home.

A man in Port Charlotte made a shocking discovery after he found a piece of history dating back to the Civil War in his own backyard.

Homeowner Thomas Dipaolo uncovered a headstone in his yard seven months after purchasing the home.

The big question, who is baby Gideon P.?

Dipaolo went to Home Depot and bought some plants for his new home, but when he broke ground Tuesday, he uncovered a mystery dating back to the Civil War.

“As I was clearing this spot out the headstone was facing down and I wasn’t exactly sure what it was,” Dipaolo said. “I kept brushing off more dirt and then when I picked it up that’s when I found out that it was a real tombstone.”

The full inscription reads:

Gideon P. Son of J. H. & B. E. Brubaker. 
Died Sep. 11, 1863
Aged 21 days

When we arrived at Dipaolo’s house this afternoon we saw several sheriff’s deputies. Dipaolo called them to show them this tombstone belonging to “Gideon P.” a 21-day old baby boy who died on September 11, 1863.

“The first thing that came to my mind was that it was a Halloween thing … but then when I was looking at it closer I was saying that this is too heavy and it’s too well-made and unfortunately it belonged to someone and it’s real,” he added.

Could the baby’s remains be underground?

A check of the property records shows no cemetery or church, and the house dates back to the 1970s.

Dipalo told said he did a little detective work on his own and believes he may have found the child’s family in Virginia. Incredibly, that family has a historian.

“She had looked it up and found out that it was the exact same date and the people that are on here the J. H. and the B. E. Brubaker.”

The Brubaker family dates back 300 years ago in Pennsylvania.

But how did the headstone of a baby who died more than 150 years ago end up in Charlotte County? The mystery continues.

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