Copies of deeds involving Andrew Hampton of Granville County, North Carolina were recently sent by Tim Phipps. One of those deeds, dated 16 Aug 1760, directly involves Isaiah Phipps of Granville County as the grantee.
It would appear that both Isaiah Phipps and Andrew Hampton were getting their houses in order, so to speak, in 1760. Andrew Hampton deeded property to his sons Ephraim and Ezekiel on the 4th of August and the 10th of August, respectively, and then deeded property to Isaiah Phipps on the 16th of August.
The day after Isaiah Phipps received this land from Andrew Hampton, he wrote his will, dated the 17th of August, in Granville County. In that 1760 will, he mentions what he terms “my Plantation where I now live on lying On Both Sides of mill Creek Containing two hundred Acres of Land, that I bought of Andrew Hampton lying in Granville County & Province of north Carolina.”
This land is referred to, again, as “where I now live on” (grammar as is), and it would appear to be the land that he had purchased from Andrew Hampton the day before. Why this would be the case might seem odd, but the discussion below might clear up at least part of the mystery.
In his will, Isaiah Phipps gave this land to his “Loving wife Ann Phipps,” along with what he termed “my plantation Lying in Hamshire County in Virginia.” Specifically, this was a 248-acre plantation located “on Both Sides of Little C[?] Capon.”
She was given this Hampshire County, Virginia plantation along with his 200-acre plantation “where I now live on” which he had purchased from Andrew Hampton and which was on both sides of Mill Creek in Granville County.
Isaiah’s son Isaiah (both names are spelled Esaiah in the will) was to receive another Hampshire County, Virginia plantation which Isaiah Phipps, Sr. also owned at the time. This one consisted of 249 acres “on the South Side of the South Branch.”
Whether these two Hampshire County, Virginia plantations were entirely separate, or two parts of one whole, is not entirely clear. The will’s wording doesn’t indicate that they were adjacent, but the fact that one was 248 acres and other 249 acres suggests a high likelihood that it was a matter of dividing an approximately 500-acre tract in half.
The Hampshire County plantation willed to Ann was referred to as being on both sides of what evidently was the “Cape Capehon,” a name frequently given to what today is called the Cacapon River. That river was referred to by a number of variants. The Hampshire County plantation willed to son Esaiah (Isaiah), on the other hand, is described as being on the south side of the South Branch. Without extensive study of geography, it’s not clear whether these could have been adjacent tracts of land.
The south branch of what?
A Wikipedia article on the Little Cacapon River refers to that river as being a tributary of the Potomac River “in the center of Hampshire County, West Virginia.” (Hampshire County, Virginia later became Hampshire County, West Virginia.) Over the decades (and centuries), place names change. The article contains a section headed “North Fork Little Cacapon River,” which contains a mention of “South Branch Mountain.”
No other reference to South Branch appears in the article. Is this referring, however, to the general area? And could the “South Fork,” described in the section which follows, amount to the same thing as the South Branch? And is the Little Cacapon what the deed was referring to?
One would think that surely the Cacapon itself, not the Little Cacapon, was being referred to in the deed. And yet here is a reference to “South Branch” Mountain. The online West Virginia Encyclopedia, in its article on Hampshire County, refers to the South Branch of the Potomac, as well as the Cacapon and Little Cacapon Rivers, but not the South Branch of the Cacapon.
Without taking the time to extensively study maps of this area, is there any possibility that the South Branch of the Cacapon could today be considered the South Branch of the Potomac? The only reference to the phrase “south branch of the cacapon” which seems to appear on the entire Internet is in this blog.
That refers to an earlier post titled “From Hampshire/Frederick Cos., VA to North Carolina.” Although the author of that post and the present post are one and the same, the discussion there about the South Branch doesn’t at the moment seem entirely clear. The post refers to Benjamin Phipps in Orange County, Virginia on the South Branch of the Potomac, with the notation that the mouth of that branch is in Hampshire County, West Virginia.
Then the post continues to refer to land purchased on Little Cacapehon from Isaiah Phips on 18 Apr 1761. (Is this still Orange County, Virginia?) Reference is also made to a survey dated 14 Jul 1761 mentioning land near the South Branch, evidently of the Cacapon, near the “Hanging rocks” and adjacent to “Fipps.” (Was this Frederick County?)
Hanging Rock is then mentioned as apparently connected with the North Branch of the Great “Cacapehon” and adjacent to land Samuel Pritchard bought from “Phiphs.” (Then, also in 1760, we have a record abstract in which Benjamin Phipps “of North Carolina” sold land to Samuel Pritchard of Frederick County, Virginia.)
At the moment, references to these locations appear to be a tangled mess, and it might take time to sort it all out. Look for more in this blog later, if time permits, or if one of our readers with more time and energy would like to tackle this, that would be even better.
The 1760 deed from Andrew Hampton to Isaiah Phipps refers to the 200 acres purchased from Andrew Hampton as being located in Granville County. It was, according to the deed, “part of a larger tract granted to the sd. [i.e. said] Andrew Hampton by deed dated 11th day of March 1760,” with that year somewhat in question because the digital copy of the document is not entirely clear, “from Earl Granville.”
The question of whether the date really was 11 Mar 1760 seems confirmed, however, by the separate deed from Andrew Hampton to his son Ephraim. That deed refers to 11 Mar 1760 as being the date on which Andrew Hampton received a deed which proved ownership via a grant to Andrew.
This would seem to make some sense. If Hampton had settled on the land, and Phipps had later or around the same time settled on at least part of it, but Hampton had not yet received a grant to that land, that would explain why it was then necessary for Phipps to receive a clear title to the land by means of a deed from Hampton. The purchase amount is low: £30, which suggests family or friendship considerations.
Isaiah Phipps said in his will that he had purchased land on Mill Creek from Andrew Hampton. Mill Creek is not specifically mentioned in the deed, but presumably this is the same land which is referred to in the will.
The theory that the purpose of the deeds was to establish clear title once the Granville grant was in place is borne out by the fact that the deed from Andrew Hampton to son Ephraim states that the 400 acres he was receiving was “part of a larger tract granted unto the sd. Andrew Hampton as may more fully appear by a deed bearing date 11th March 1760.”
These various transactions provide us with the following timeline:
- 11 Mar 1760: Andrew Hampton receives deed documenting grant of land in Granville Co., NC
- 4 Aug 1760: Andrew Hampton deeds 400 acres to son Ephraim, that land being a part of the grant which Andrew had received on 11 Mar 1760
- 10 Aug 1760: Andrew Hampton deeds 200 acres to son Ezekiel, that land being a part of a grant to John “Adcocks” (Adcock) as documented by a deed dated 29 Apr 175[2? (overwritten)] and from Adcock to Andrew Hampton (date isn’t stated)
- 16 Aug 1760: Andrew Hampton deeds 200 acres in Granville Co. to Isaiah Phipps
- 17 Aug 1760: Isaiah Phipps, not wasting any time, writes a will in which he leaves the 200 acres he had purchased from Andrew Hampton to his wife Ann
- Aug 1766: The will of Isaiah Phipps is proved, he having died by this time
Because Hampton and Phipps were so closely associated, and since both seem to have been recently planted in North Carolina, one must wonder whether they had an earlier association in Virginia.
A bibliographic reference to a book titled The Hampton Family in Colonial Granville County, N.C. in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City says that “Andrew Hampton came to Granville, probably from what was then Lunenberg County, Virginia, a little before 1752.”
Lunenberg County, sometimes called the “mother of counties,” was formed in 1746 from Brunswick County. Numerous posts in this blog have referred to the Phipps connection to Brunswick County, Virginia.
That bibliographic reference then mentions Ephraim and Ezekiel, Andrew Hampton’s sons who were the subjects of the 1760 deeds mentioned above. Ephraim was probably born about 1737, according to this source, and Ezekiel was born about 1739.
Also mentioned in the same source is a daughter, Mrs. Joseph King, a son John born about 1745, and a son Zachariah. Son John, according to the same source, served in a British loyalist military unit as a lieutenant colonel.
The presence of the King name is here, especially considering Andrew Hampton’s apparent connection to Lunenberg County, formed from Brunswick County. Winfield Phipps was born about 1801 in Virginia according to the 1850 census. He married Julia Ann King on 28 Sep 1837 according to a catalog description of the Julia Ann King papers at the Library of Virginia.
Winfield and Julia then show up in the 1850 census in Brunswick County, Virginia. Winfield’s father appears to have been a Benjamin Phipps, born 25 Feb 1761 according to a Phipps family Bible record at the Library of Virginia.
A record in the Phipps and Steed manuscripts at the University of North Carolina refers to a Winfield Phipps, but whether it could be the same individual is not clear. That’s a Brunswick County, Virginia record which refers to “children of Jas N Phipps,” not of Benjamin, but whether this pertains to Winfield is unclear due to a lack of punctuation.
A chancery record in Brunswick County concerns the 1848 case of Winfield Phipps v. Littleton Phipps. Again, whether it was the same Winfield is unclear.