Altho they don't pop up easily on Ancestry, after a page by page search of the Lewis Twp., Northumberland Co. Census records, I HAVE found Gideon & Catherine in the 1860 & 1870 Census! Trying desperately to solve this mystery!
1860 finds Gideon & Catherine (nee Menges)in Lewis Township, Turbotville Post office, with no children, but 4 adults living with them as farm hands. This record is very hard to read, but they appear to be a Robert (maybe Beaver?), 26, a Henry _____, 26,a Catherine Hurst?, 17, and a Henry Burger?, 20.
Gideon & Catherine's last name is so hard to read but the scrawl may be spelling out "Beaver". They are neighbors with Amos & Mary Beaver.
1870 is helpful! It finds Gideon and Catherine as "Beaver" in Lewis Twp., Watsontown post office, with Stephen P., aged 2, and an "infant", aged 2 months, which would be my gg grandfather William H. These two boys along with the 3rd son are named as sons of Rebecca Shook in every thing I've ever seen written, but this clearly shows that they likely are not, especially since Gideon doesn't marry Rebecca until 1877 after Catherine dies earlier that same year. But two quesions still remain - how could Catherine possibly be having these children herself when she is way to old to be doing so, and two... in the 1870 census, Gideon & Catherine have a 23 year old Henry Shook living with them as a farm hand... Now I'm feeling that perhaps Rebecca is not the daughter of Philip & Susannah Shook also of Lewis Twp. - who don't seem to have a son Henry as well as a Rebecca of the same age, but rather, a daughter of Jacob & Mary Shook of Danville, Montour Co., who have a Rebecca AND a Henry of the right age. Could this Henry be a brother to Rebecca, and if so, how does this help with the mystery of the mother of Gideon's first three sons? Another thing to look into..