Paul, I am familiar with the story that Gilbert was part of the group of East Tennesseeans who were Unionists during the war. It split his family and did lead to him and his youngest son, your ancestor, John H., migrating to Arkansas. My GGGG grandfather, Maxwell Lewis Seagraves, a grandson of Gilbert, fought with the Confederate side.
I have always hoped to find a descendant who had some information on Gilbert since he is as far back as we can find documented proof of ancestry on the Seagraves line. If you would be willing to share some of the information you have and perhaps even an emailed copy of the photo of Gilbert, I would be very grateful.
I was passing through Clay Co., AR last spring and wanted to find Gilbert and Sarah's grave sites, but was told by another descendant there that the cemetery is completely overgrown and that the stones have been destoyed or removed. It was a sad turn of events, but I will keep looking to find the more important information: where and when he was born and to whom.
I think his father was possibly the William Segraves listed on the 1800 census in Wake Co., NC with a male child in the age range of 0 to 9. If, as I suspect Gilbert was born in about 1797, he would fit in that group. This William was in the age group 26 to 44 and Gilbert did name his first son William. Not enough on which to base any conclusion, but it's my working hypothesis for now.
All of the Segraves in Wake Co. in 1800 lived near each other. The seven male heads of household with the Segraves name are all listed on pages 763 and 764 of that census, making me suspect that they are all directly related. It is clear to me that these people are all likely descendants of Francis and Lucretia Segraves of Isle of Wight Co., VA. Francis died about 1726 in Isle of Wight Co. leaving several sons including a William born about 1695 and a grandson John Segraves born to his daughter Susannah.
No one has yet published any documentation that traces this family through the 1700s in North Carolina that allows us to sort out those seven families in Wake County in 1800 or any of the other Segraves who moved on from there during the settling of the early American southwest.
Perhaps some of your family stories will give us a hint as to where to look for reference material relating to the family in NC. I can only continue to hope.
Thanks for your help and interest,