1840 Infiltration of Local Government

A meeting of the Democrat party of Owen County, Indiana was held on the 28th of September 1840 in Seminary Hall in Spencer, the county seat. The reason was to nominate delegates to attend a convention in Bloomfield on 10 October.

The Wabash Enquirer, published in Terre Haute, Vigo County, reported on 6 October 1840 (p. 3) which delegates were chosen for “Gracen” Township. This was actually Grayson Township, named after Grayson County, Virginia.

Many of the residents came from Grayson County, Virginia or adjacent Ashe County, North Carolina. It’s said after some of them were forced out, the township name was changed to rid the county of their memory.

Blanchard, in his 1884 county history, confesses ignorance on the subject except to say that it was originally known as Grayson Township, but then the name was changed to Marion Township. He says that this was done “on petition of divers citizens, for what reason was not learned.”

Those chosen as delegates to the “Bloomfield Convention” were “Owen Long, John Fiscus, Windel Crouse, Jesse Phipps, and William Sparks.” This was almost certainly further indication of the extent to which the outlaw gang had infiltrated local politics.

We quoted from a 19th century history of Owen County (Blanchard’s 1884 history of Clay and Owen Counties, p. 742) several posts back. That history referred specifically to Jesse Phipps and Owen Long, and did not mince words. Blanchard referred to the outlaw gang of which some of the Long and Phips or Phipps families were members.

Jesse Phipps was referred to as one “whose reputation was none of the best.” He “kept a house” (which may refer to an inn or tavern, although it’s hard to tell). This place was described by Blanchard as “the general resort of a class of roughs who set at defiance the laws of both God and man..”

Owen Long, another of the delegates, is mentioned by Blanchard as being “of the same ilk.” Blanchard notes how Owen Long’s sons John and Aaron were “noted desperadoes” and were hung for murder.

John Fiscus was another of the nominated delegates. The Fiscus and Fulk families appear to have been related to the Condor or Conder family.

Serena Elizabeth Conder lived with an Owen County Firebaugh family and was sometimes called Betty Firebaugh. She married John Andrew Phipps of Owen County (after both families moved into Missouri). He was a grandson of Jesse Phipps or Phips, and her mother was a Fulk.

Another delegate was Windel Crouse. Crouse appears to be another Ashe County, North Carolina family which intermarried with the Spurlin family. Jesse Phipps’s first wife was a Spurlin.

Windell (Wendell) Crouse) would appear to be the person discussed by secondary sources as born in Ashe County, North Carolina. Oddly, however, one source calls him a “staunch” Republican, so why was he nominated as a Democrat delegate?

Blanchard says that Wendell Crouse planted one of the first vineyards in Marion Township (Grayson Township at the time) in Owen County. This is the same township where the Phips/Long outlaw gang was centered.

William Sparks, the other delegate, was one of the first blacksmiths in Grayson Township, later Marion Township.


John Phips and the Early Jamestown Surveyor Team

William Claiborne (also Clayborne or Clayburne) was a British surveyor who came to the early Virginia settlement of Jamestown in 1621. There he became surveyor general of the Virginia colony.

In that capacity, he led a small team of early surveyors. These surveyors, who were imported to Jamestown around the same time as Claiborne’s arrival in 1621, were John Phips, William Harris, and William Morris.

Portraits of William Claiborne appears here and here. Another portrait of Claiborne appears as the frontispiece in a genealogical account of Claiborne and his family, published in 1917.

Claiborne is believed to have been born in Crayford Parish in Kent. This is where he is said to have been baptized in 1600. It’s also believed that Sir Roger James, who was a shareholder in the Virginia Company, which backed the Jamestown settlement, may have been his half brother.

The Virginia Company of London (sometimes referred to as the Virginia Company and sometimes as the London Company) wanted to see a quick return on its investment in the new colony which had been planted in Virginia. Part of that process was to bring surveyors into Jamestown in order to facilitate the settlement of Virginia.

The 4 young men who made up the first team of surveyors all arrived in Jamestown at about the same time. The ship which John Phips was on, however, known as the Tyger or Tiger, was delayed due to issues. The ship was blown off course, they were attacked by a Turkish ship, and they lost most of their rigging. These adventures were discussed in a past post.

As a result, two of the men, William Claiborne and William Harris, arrived in October. The other two, John Phips and William Morris, did not arrive until November. (Some sources give slightly different times of arrival.)

William Claiborne is called in his 1917 genealogical account “the foremost genius of early Virginia.” At age 19, John Phips was a major part of Claiborne’s fledgling surveying team. He also appears to have became a prominent landowner and resident of the “New Towne” community at Jamestown, although the interpretation of some records is obfuscated by an eventual presence of two men, apparently, named John Phips.

Prior posts have speculated that circumstances suggest that some members of the Phips or Phipps family may have engaged in Indian trading. William Claiborne was clearly “trading with the Indians, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers” by 1627, according to the 1917 account.

This was just about 6 years after Claiborne and the other surveyors arrived. If Claiborne was involved in such trading, can we say that John Phips did not?

The Jamestown surveying team who arrived there ini 1621 consisted of the following men:

  • William Claiborne, age 21, who arrived with Governor Francis Wyatt and William Harris on the George in October of 1621
  • William Harris, age 25, who arrived on the George in October of 1621
  • John Phips or Phipps, age 19, who arrived on the Tyger in 1621
  • William Morris or Morryce or Morrys, age 18, who arrived with John Phips on the Tyger in 1621

In 1624, William “Clayborne” received 150 acres for transporting the surveyors William Harris, John Phips, and William Morris.

Wikipedia and other sources claim that members of the Harris family are among the descendants of William Claiborne. In addition, we’ve discussed the enigmatic and somewhat later Elizabeth Harris of Surry County, near Jamestown, with her orphan son named John Phips, who was bound out in 1657.

The surveyor team arrived in Jamestown in 1621 under the auspices of the London-based Virginia Company. Around that time, a member of the Virginia Company was Col. John Jeaffreson.

Jeaffreson was a London merchant with heavy involvement in the Caribbean trade. His widow later married Francis Phipps or Phips of Reading, Berkshire, England. In addition, a daughter of Francis Phipps married a George Reeves who died in Virginia.

We’ve mentioned various Reeves connections on various occasions, including another later George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia, who was the father in law of Samuel Phips of adjacent Ashe County, North Carolina.

John Phips or Phipps is said to have apparently been from Hornechurch (Hornchurch) in Essex, which is now a suburb of London. His parents are believed to have been Alexander and Agnes (Bright) Phipps.

The marriage of Alexander Phipps to Agnes Bright is alluded to in the Family Search collection known as “English Marriages.” This is, unfortunately, however, one of those collections which is “not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records.” This means that some of the information it contains is  unproven and can even be conjectural.

There, the marriage of Alexander Fipps or Phipps to Agnes Bright is referred to as taking place in Hornchurch in January 1599.

On the other hand, however, another Family Search collection, titled “England, Essex Parish Registers,” actually indexes actual parish registers. That collection refers to the marriage of “Alexandr Fipps” to Agnes Bright in Hornchurch on 4 February 1599, but with the notation “No image available.”

Were these really the parents of John Phips, the Jamestown surveyor? Evidently no research has been done to confirm or deny this. The christening of John Phipps on 16 January 1602 as a son of Alexander Phipps in Hornchurch appears in yet another data collection, “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.”

Unfortunately, however, this is another one of those data collections which is “not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records.” As a result it will take examination of actual records to determine the validity of this. It will also take additional research to determine whether this really does refer to the same John Phips or Phipps.

The William Harris who came to Jamestown as a surveyor may have been related to an earlier William Harris. The earlier one died in 1616 and played a major role in the Virginia Company. He was from Essex, as was apparently John Phips. A photo of the earlier Harris’s sword appears in Wikipedia here.

Circumstances as noted above would suggest a likelihood of some sort of connection to Francis Phipps or Phips of Reading, Berkshire. What that relationship might have been is unclear.

Over the last several years, this blog has reported findings of connections involving John Phips, the Jamestown surveyor, Francis Phipps of Reading, Berkshire and various members of his family, the Caribbean trade, and the Reeves and Epps families and related families. The Reeves family, by the way, has also been suspected of having engaged in early Indian trading.

Up to this point, such connections do not appear to have been considered by genealogists anxious to discover the origins of the Phips or Phipps family of the Ashe County, North Carolina area. Instead, efforts appear to have traditionally focused on attempting to find some sort of mythical leap to Joseph Phipps, the Quaker of Pennsylvania.  He did not arrive there until 1682, some 61 years after John Phips or Phipps came to Virginia.

Still, it would seem as though some sort of relationship, however distant, between the later Quaker immigrant and the earlier surveyor immigrant is likely. The Quaker came from Reading, the same Reading as Francis Phipps. We know (as reported in various earlier blog posts) that various segments of the family in England became splintered, stigmatized, and ostracized for probably political and certainly religious reasons.

Various posts have hinted that such factors as political and religious stances may have accounted for at least some of the divergent locations for the family in the both England and Ireland, and may also account for the extremely enigmatic and evidently largely invented origins of Sir William Phips of Massachusetts. They could also account for multiple persons named Phipps or Phips residing in Reading and yet evidently not associating with each other.

Concerted efforts by genealogists over the decades have focused on desperately trying to connect Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, who died there in 1854, and his assumed brothers, with the Quaker Joseph Phipps who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682.

This has resulted in the creative invention of lineages and even of individuals to populate those lineages. In addition, the assumption that others living in the general vicinity and of around the same age were brothers was probably unfounded.

Perhaps such research focus was because, in past decades, the Quaker of Pennsylvania and the governor of Massachusetts (Sir William Phips) seemed to be the only early Phips or Phipps individuals appearing prominently in readily accessible general survey-type genealogy reference books. Joseph seemed like a good genealogical catch: He was somewhat prominent and was associated with William Penn.

Arguably, however, John Phips of Jamestown is an even better genealogical “catch:” As an immigrant, he predated Joseph of Pennsylvania by 6 decades, he was a prominent part of the early settlement of Jamestown (“New Towne,” anyway), he was one of the first surveyors of Virginia, and his family appears to have integrated itself with some of the most prominent families of early Virginia.

John Phips or Phipps appears to have owned a large area of the “New Towne” settlement at Jamestown, and at one time owned the glass factory known as “the glass house.” (A replica stands today.) He figures prominently in archaeological literature pertaining to Jamestown, and in historical references to Jamestown.

Many, many, circumstantial factors and criss-crossing interrelationships point from Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina back to the immigrant surveyor John Phips of Jamestown. If he was Samuel’s direct-line ancestor, which seems highly likely, the specific lineage remains to be found, however. In addition, there were other early Phips or Phipps Virginia immigrants who may have been related to John and from whom Samuel could have descended.

While maintaining an open mind and just looking to see where the evidence would seem to lead, countless factors have pointed in this direction. In addition, indirect links seem to possibly point in the direction of Pocahontas and Thomas Jefferson. If what genealogists want is connection to the prominent, that sure seems to beat the Joseph Phipps/Mary Romal myth.

For more, see the following:

Washington and Hampshire Counties in Virginia

A pdf document titled “Documented Marriages or Marriages from Various Sources Not contained in the 1850 Census Washington Co. VA Annotated (and Some Other Additional or Related Information)” contains 44 Phipps references, in addition to references to variant spellings.

Part of the information contained there has to do with an Eliza, whose name is given variously as Phipis, Phipps and, with a question mark, Phillips. She married John Longley, and they are referred to as a mulatto couple.

Evidently at least John was in the 1849 personal property tax list for Washington County, Virginia. He would also presumably be the John Longley listed there in 1852, as abstracted in New River Notes and in an 1871 list for Saltville Township.

Reference is also made to Elijah Phipps as marrying Susan Rush, who were evidently of Washington County, and to Isaac Phipps who married Elizabeth Booher. Other Phipps or Phips references can be found.

Isaac Phipps was discussed in a past post, titled “A Sullivan County, Tennessee Line.” There it as noted that the 1937 death certificate of Alfred Augustus Phipps, who was born about 1854 in Tennessee, lists Isaac Phipps and (unknown) Booher as his parents. Isaac was born about 1818-1819 in Virginia according to the 1860 and 1900 censuses.

Regarding the John Longley who married a Phipis/Phipps/Phillips?: Is there any possible connection to the John Longley who witnessed a Hampshire County, Virginia deed in 1769 along with Sam Pritchard? We’ve discussed a 1760 Hampshire County, Virginia deed from Benjamin Phipps of some unknown place in North Carolina to Samuel Pritchard of Frederick County, Virginia.

We’ve also discussed land near the North Branch of the Cacapon which was adjacent to land which Samuel Pritchard bought from someone named “Phiphs.” (See also here.) Much earlier, in 1758, he voted against George Washington for burgess. A 1782 summons was issued in Hampshire County, Virginia to Samuel Pritchard and two others, as found in the Marietta College Library.



Knox County, Kentucky and the Phipps Family

Another excellent article by Tim Phipps, titled “Phipps on Tax Lists for Knox County, Kentucky,” appears below.

As noted below, a Stephen Teague appears living with the Phipps family in Knox County, Kentucky in the 1850 census. Past posts have noted the marriage of Isaac Phipps to Elender Teague in Clay County, Kentucky on 24 November 1845. The marriage license appears in her Civil War widow’s pension application. (See “Phipps & Teague Connections,” and “Another Clay County, Kentucky Family.”)

Additionally, one might wonder whether the comparatively early Phipps family members in Knox County, Kentucky, as discussed below, could have been related to the much later singing group known as the Phipps Family. The Phipps Family were a true legend of the American folk/country/gospel music tradition. Their music was seen as so similar to that of the renowned Carter family that they were called Carter clones.

Various children of Arthur Leeroy (“A.L.”) Phipps and his wife Kathleen sang and recorded with the family. Arthur Leeroy Phipps was born 12 August 1916 in Knox County, Kentucky. The Phipps Family performed with the likes of Joan Baez at the Newport Folk Festival, and were recorded by the legendary Folkways label, later re-released by the Smithsonian.

According to a genealogist’s post, A.L. Phipps was a son of Rev. James Franklin Phipps, born 1883/4. His father is said to have been a John Phipps who was born in Kentucky about 1852 and who married Marthie Woods. His father is said to have been a Jacob Phipps who was born in Virginia in 1812.

Is that Jacob the Jacob Phipps referred to below, in Tim Phipps’s article? He cites the 1850 census as showing a Jacob, born about 1814 in Virginia, living in Knox County, Kentucky in 1850. The genealogist’s post says he was married to “either” Edy McGowan or Tildie Thompson; that census listing shows him as married to Jane. The John cited above as Jacob’s son would not have been born until about 1852.

A previous post in this blog mentioned a 1930 census listing which appears to show A.L. Phipps living with his parents, listed as James F. and Lizzie B. Phipps. This James F., born about 1884 in Kentucky, would be the person the genealogist’s post refers to as James Franklin Phipps.

For more on the Phipps Family singers, see the following:

Other sources with potential relevance to the Phipps family of Knox County, Kentucky and which might be of interest:

Phipps on Tax Lists for Knox County, Kentucky
by Tim Phipps

The Phipps individuals who settled into Knox County, Kentucky, have been a challenge to unravel for many family researchers over the years. A few previous posts from 2012 and 2015 addressed some of the early Phipps in Knox County. See the following links:

Three Phipps households appear in the Federal Census for Knox County for the first time in 1840, indicating a settlement in that county at some point in the 1830s. Turning to the annual county tax lists, we find more clues about these early Phipps individuals and their arrival into Knox County, Kentucky. With these lists, we are even able to confirm that there was a fourth Phipps household captured on the 1840 census under the recorded surname of Phitts.

The original tax lists for this county have been preserved and are available on microfilm for every year from 1800 to 1859 with only three years missing: 1813, 1814, and 1832. From 1800-1811, no one with the Phipps surname or any of its various spellings (Phips, Fipps, Fips, etc.) can be found living in Knox County, Kentucky.

In 1812, a Stephen Phipps appears on the county tax list with no land and one horse. In all likelihood, this is the same Stephen Phipps related to the family of James Phipps of Virginia who moved from Washington Co. to Russell Co. in 1806. James was one of the original petitioners to request the Virginia Legislature for the formation of a new county from parts of Washington, Russell, and Lee counties, resulting in the creation of Scott County at the end of 1814.

Stephen can be found in the Russell County tax lists before and after 1812, and the question of his disappearance may be answered by his listing on the Knox Co. tax list. As previously noted, the tax lists for 1813 and 1814 did not survive, if they were even recorded during those tumultuous years when the U.S. was defending itself from the invasions and attacks of the British and its Indian allies. Stephen Phipps is not in Knox County in 1815 or afterwards, which further suggests that he was probably the same individual from the Russell/Scott Co. Phipps family.

A thorough review of the tax lists from 1815 through 1833 finds no one with the Phipps/Fipps surname living in Knox County, Kentucky. Starting in 1834, one or more Phipps families begin to appear in the annual tax records for the county. Before attempting to analyze these lists, below is a transcription of what can be found related to individuals named Phipps. There are no “Blacks” recorded with any of these specific individuals.

Abbreviations used in this transcript include:

  • “a” = Acres
  • “WM” = White Males 21 years of age or older
  • “H.” = Horses, Mules, Colts
  • “C.” = Cattle
  • “Ch.” = Children
  • “T.V.” = Total Value of Property (Real Estate and Personal Estate)

1834 Tax List:

  • Page 21 – Phipps, Isaiah – 80 a of 3rd Rate Land; Water Course = Stinking C.; Original Land Entry by J. Crawford; 1 WM; 1 H.; Land Value = $1.50/a; $250 T.V.

1835 Tax List:

  • Page 22 – Phipps, Isaiah – 80 a of 3rd Rate Land; Water Course = Stinking C.; Original Land Entry by J. Howell; 1 WM; no H.; Land Value = $1.20/a; $100 T.V.
  • Page 22 – Phipps, Jesse – 200 a of 3rd Rate Land; Water Course = Lynn Camp; Original Land Entry by Wm Bledsoe; 1 WM; 1 H.; Land Value = $0.50/a; $130 T.V.

1836 Tax List:

  • Page 23 – Phipps, Jacob – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 T.V.
  • Page 23 – Phipps, James – no Land; 1 WM; no H.; $25 T.V.
  • Page 23 – Phipps, John – no Land; 1 WM; no H.; $30 T.V.
  • Page 24 – Phipps, Jesse – 200 a of 3rd Rate Land; Water Course = Lynn Camp; Original Land Entry by –; 1 WM; 1 H.; Land Value = $1.00/a; $250 T.V.

Additional marks appear to the right (just left of the Total Value) on the same lines for James and John; but since they appear to be a different writing style, I did not try to transcribe those markings. (NOTE: Jacob, James & John are on adjacent lines next to each other.)

1837 Tax List:

  • Page 7 – Fipps, John – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; $50 T.V.
  • Page 7 – Fipps, James – no Land; 1 WM; 2 H.; $50 H. Value; $50 T.V.
  • Page 7 – Fipps, Jesse – 222½ a of Land; Water Course = Lynn Camp; $111 Land Value; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; $161 T.V.

(NOTE: James & John are on adjacent lines next to each other.)

1838 Tax List:

  • Page12 – Phipps, Jacob – no Land; 1 WM; no H.; $0 H. Value; no C.; 1 Voter; $0 T.V.
  • Page 12 – Phipps, Jesse – 200 a of Land; Water Course = Richland; $200 Land Value; 1 WM; no H.; $0 H. Value; 2 C.; 1 Voter; $200 T.V.
  • Page 12 – Phipps, John – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; no C.; 1 Voter; $50 T.V.
  • Page 13 – Phipps, James – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; 4 C.; 1 Voter; $50 T.V.

1839 Tax List:

  • Page 9 – Fipps, Jacob – no Land; 1 Voter; 1 WM; 1 H.; $20 H. Value; $20 T.V.
  • Page 9 – Fipps, Jesse – 222½ a of Land; $200 Land Value; Water Course = Lynn Camp; 1 Voter; 1 WM; no H.; $0 H. Value; $200 T.V.
  • Page 9 – Fipps, Benjamin – no Land; 1 Voter; 1 WM; 2 H.; $55 H. Value; $55 T.V.
  • Page 9 – Fipps, John – no Land; 1 Voter; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; $50 T.V.
  • Page 9 – Fipps, James – no Land; 1 Voter; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; $50 T.V.

(NOTE: Jesse & Benjamin appear on adjacent lines next to each other. James & John are on adjacent lines to one another.)

1840 Tax List:

  • Page 4 – Fipps, James – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; 5 C.; 1 Ch. 7-17yrs old; $50 T.V.
  • Page 5 – Fipps, Jacob – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $40 H. Value; 4 C.; no Ch. 7-17yrs old; $40 T.V.
  • Page 10 – Phipps, Jesse – 222 a of Land; Water Course = Lynn Camp; $200 Land Value; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; no C.; 2 Ch. 7-17yrs old; $250 T.V.
  • Page 10 – Phipps, Benjamin – no Land; 1 WM; 1 H.; $50 H. Value; 2 C.; no Ch. 7-17yrs old; $50 T.V.

(NOTE: Jesse & Benjamin appear on adjacent lines next to each other.)

From these tax lists, we see that an Isaiah Phipps resided on Stinking Creek in 1834 and 1835 and then seems to have moved out of Knox County. Although a search of the 1830 Census did not reveal anyone who would be a likely match to this Isaiah. There is an Isaiah Phipps in Grayson County, Virginia, and an Isiah Phipps in Ashe County, North Carolina, in the 1830 Census [Editor’s note: These are indexed by Heritage Quest as Isaiah Phips and Isiah Fips, respectively], but both of them can be found in those same counties in the 1840 Census. [Editor’s note: In that year, Heritage Quest indexes them as Isaiah Phipps and Isaiah Phips, respectively.] A separate study of tax lists for Clay County, Kentucky revealed that an Isaiah Phipps settled there in the late 1830’s and can also be found there in the 1840 Census. [Editor’s note: He is indexed by Heritage Quest as Isah Phipps.] Very likely, this is the same Isaiah, but the question remains as to from where this individual originated before coming to Knox County, Kentucky.

The only other Phipps in Knox County at the same time as Isaiah was Jesse Phipps who appeared in 1835 and then remained in the county and be found there in the Federal Census records for 1840, 1850 and 1860. Whether there was any relationship or association between Isaiah and Jesse cannot be determined from the 1835 tax list.

Lynn Camp Creek, where Jesse had land, and Stinking Creek, where Isaiah had land, are nearly 30 miles apart and on opposite sides of Knox County. Benjamin Phipps, who shows up next to Jesse in 1839 and 1840, likely was related to Jesse. One claim is that Benjamin was a son of Jesse. This Jesse has been linked to the Jesse Phipps living in Russell County, Virginia, from about 1823 until 1832. The departure from Russell County after 1832 aligns with the 1835 appearance of Jesse in Knox County. See the following blog post:

The James, John and Jacob Phipps, who all appeared together in the 1836 tax list, were all likely related to each other in some way. James and John remained adjacent to each on the tax lists for 1837 and 1839, but John seems to disappear by 1840. Others have noted that Jacob Phipps was the son of Gasper Phipps, who was in turn the son of William Phipps of Wythe County, Virginia. In the 1814 will for this William the following children are named in this order: George Phipps, Catharine Miller, Mary Phipps, William Phipps, Jacob Phipps, James Phipps, John Phipps, Jasper Phipps, and Isaac Phipps.

Not surprisingly, the 1840 Census reflects the same four Phipps households in Knox County as the 1840 Tax List. Jesse Phipps is listed with three males (one age 50-59 and two age 5-9) and one female (age 20-29), and Benjamin Phipps is adjacent to Jesse with one male (age 20-29) and two females (one age 20-29 and one under age 5). Per the tax list, Jesse had two children age 7-17, which aligns with the two males age 5-9 recorded on the census and implying that those boys were between 7 and 9 years old. Jacob Phipps had two males (one age 20-29 and one under age 5) and two females (one age 20-29 and one under age 5) in his household.

Recorded under the surname of Phitts, James Phipps had a rather large household with four males (one age 50-59, one age 20-29, one age 15-19, and one under age 5) and seven females (one age 50-59, three age 20-29, one age 15-19, one age 10-14, and one under age 5). With so many in his household, it appears that the one female age 10-14 must have been the one child age 7-17 listed with James on the tax list. The male and female age 15-19 on the census would likely be of 18 or 19 years old to not have been included in the count on the tax listing of children age 7-17.

By the 1850 Census, Jacob and Jesse were still living in Knox County, Kentucky. Listed first was Jacob Phipps:

Dwelling #765, Family #780:

  • Jacob Phipps (age 36, b. VA), occupation = Farmer
  • Jane Phipps (age 33, b. VA)
  • Joseph Phipps (age 13, b. KY)
  • Catharine Phipps (age 12, b. KY)
  • Mary A. Phipps (age 10, b. KY)
  • Margaret Phipps (age 8, b. KY)
  • William Phipps (age 7, b. KY)
  • Luke Phipps (age 4, b. KY)
  • Jacob Phipps (age 1, b. KY)

The four individuals in Jacob’s 1840 household all line with the first four names in his 1850 household. We can also see that Jacob and his wife Jane were both born in Virginia. Next listed in 1850 was Jesse Phipps:

Dwelling #797, Family #812:

  • Jesse Phipps (age 55, b. N.C.), occupation = Farmer
  • Margaret Phipps (age 55, b. VA)
  • Franklin Phipps (mulatto, age 18, b. N.C.), occupation = Laborer
  • John Phipps (age 18, b. N.C.), occupation = Laborer

In general the individuals in the 1840 and 1850 households for Jesse appear to align with the exception of Margaret’s age of 55 in 1850 and the female listed as age 20-29 in 1840. If the same woman is listed in both census households, then the listed age for one of the census years was incorrect. If the ages were both recorded correctly, then this suggests a possible different female living with Jesse in 1840.

A third Phipps household appeared in the 1850 Census for Knox County. This one was headed by Isaac Phipps:

Dwelling #978, Family #1001:

  • Isaac Phipps (age 27, b. Tenn), occupation = Laborer
  • Eleanor Phipps (age 27, b. Tenn)
  • Priscilla Phipps (age 6, b. KY)
  • Samuel Phipps (age 3, b. KY)
  • Esther Phipps (age 5/12, b. KY)
  • Stephen Teague (age 22, b. Tenn), Occupation = Laborer

As will be seen with my next analysis of the Clay County, Kentucky tax lists, this Isaac and family moved from Clay County to Knox County in 1850 and were actually recorded in both counties. The Knox County listing above was recorded on September 28, while the Clay County listing below was recorded on August 5:

Dwelling #144, Family #144:

  • Isaac Phipps (age 27, b. Tenn), occupation = Farmer
  • Elender Phipps (age 22, b. Tenn)
  • Priscilla Phipps (age 5, b. KY)
  • Samuel Phipps (age 2, b. KY)
  • Manervar Phipps (age 8/12, b. KY)
  • Stephen Teague (age 22, b. Tenn)

Despite a couple differences in age and a difference with the name of the infant female, all of the remaining names and approximate ages confirm that this is one and the same family listed in both counties. Isaac and his household clearly migrated from Clay County to Knox County after August 5th and before September 28th.

Although this analysis of the Knox County tax records stopped at 1840, other questions could addressed from the county tax lists for the 1840’s and 1850’s, such as: How long did Benjamin Phipps remain in the county before his disappearance from the 1850 Census for Knox County? For those wanting to further research the Phipps and other families of Knox County, I would strongly recommend consulting these tax lists on microfilm.

Phips, Phipps, Fips, or Fipps: Lawrence County, Indiana

The following article could be far, far longer. Numerous additional records and specifics could be added. Even then, more records still are needed to adequately sort out and confirm all the details. In particular, not all family relationships are entirely clear.

For whatever reason, a number of families who were in association with each other and who were from the general area of Ashe County, North Carolina migrated into two areas of Indiana. Those two areas were very near to each other, with a great amount of interaction and some moving back and forth between them. Those areas were the adjacent counties of Clay and Owen and the adjacent counties of Lawrence and Washington.

Intertwined into some of this was outlaw gang activity that involved some members of the Phips or Phipps family as well as some of their relatives. This became a major issue especially in Owen County, where it appears that the outlaws had, to some extent, found their way into local government.

Edward Bonney, in his well known 19th century account of the gang which he infiltrated by posing as a gang member, even refers to an individual who evidently was a court judge in cahoots with the outlaws. Earlier, back in North Carolina, a relative was Alexander (“A.B.”) McMillan, who also was a local politician. Back there, records seldom suggest any untoward activity. It was only once the family reached Indiana that the true nature of the activities of some of them becomes apparent.

That outlaw involvement may account for some of the difficulty in researching the Phips family in Virginia and later in North Carolina and then in Indiana. Numerous records not discussed here suggest that various family members changed residences at times because they were either literally or more or less forced by law-abiding residents to move out.

In addition, indications that they had in some instances and to some extent infiltrated local government in Indiana might account for some of the sparse nature of details in some records. They often kept a low profile and were reticent to divulge much about themselves, yet sometimes records hinted at things going on which were not on the level.

Some evidence suggests a possibility that the family might have earlier been a part of a horse stealing and counterfeiting network known to operate in Virginia before and perhaps even after the Revolutionary War. That network appears to have used the nefarious realms of the Watauga Settlement, just west of northwestern North Carolina, for some of its activities. That network appears to have perhaps included some which might have been, essentially, gentlemen outlaws.

Motivation for such activity may have stemmed in part from several factors: the demise of trade with the Caribbean and with England, the seizure of property of suspected Loyalists, and increased restrictions and public sentiments against the slave trade.

This covert low profile stance, which they may have adopted for decades, more or less explodes once some of them reach Indiana. The pivotal event was the murder of Col. George Davenport (who Davenport, Iowa is named after) by members of an extremely widespread outlaw gang which operated all over the Mississippi Valley. Detective Edward Bonney “ferreted out” (as he put it) the perpetrators, and that led him directly to the home of John Meshack Phips, who he calls Shack Phips, in Owen County, Indiana.

Shack was a son of Jesse Phips, also living in Owen County, who was a son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina. Bonney devoted an entire chapter in his book about the outlaws to “Shack Phips.” Those directly responsible for the murder of Davenport were found to be two Long brothers, close relatives of John. They were hung in 1845 in Rock Island, Illinois, and John and other family members appear to have been forced out of Indiana due to the controversy.

John went to Iowa, where he became known as John Phipps. Newspapers at times wondered aloud whether he could have been the notorious Shack Phips earlier in life. They reported that he refused to discuss the portion of his life which would have involved the years of his outlaw activity.

Some relatives appear to have hid out for a time. John’s father Jesse Phips or Phipps went to northern Missouri. Other Phips or Phipps and Long relatives went to Iowa. Individuals show up in these places who can’t be placed yet, at least not with certainty, but who seem to have had connections to those earlier days in Indiana.

Past posts have discussed the fact that some family members appear to have posed as Mormons in order to hide out at the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, probably resulting in Mormons being blamed for outlaw activity which the LDS had nothing to do with.

It would seem very possible that these outlaws, with the Phips family prominent among them, might very well have been largely responsible for crimes blamed on the Mormons, which became a major factor in their eventual ouster from Nauvoo. We’ve also discussed how the gang had an underground stable for stolen horses in Missouri.

It would appear that not all family members were involved in such subterfuge, and it isn’t always clear which ones were. This post will pursue several interrelated rabbit trails, more or less organized by focusing on several specific individuals.

Littleberry Phipps, for example, was mentioned in a recent post. Some apparently unsourced claims connect him through a James Phipps to John and Tabitha Phips or Fips of Virginia, the couple we’ve discussed in various posts as the subject of the 1768 Charlotte County, Virginia estate.

Another unsourced claim, however, has Littleberry as a son of a John Phipps and his wife whose name is given as Parthetha. A Parthetha appears in records pertaining to the John and Tabitha estate, but there she appears to have been a daughter.

One question which could be raised by the data regarding Littleberry centers around the identity of the Lewis Phipps who lived next door to him in the 1850 census. This was in Lawrence County, Indiana. Relatives of both Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina and, apparently, John and Tabitha ended up in Lawrence and adjacent Washington Counties in Indiana, along with various associated families from Ashe County, North Carolina. Others settled in Clay or adjacent Owen County. Some even moved from Lawrence to Clay.

This Lewis shows up in Lawrence County by 1822. Another closely related question concerns whether this Lewis is the same one who was living earlier in Elbert County, Georgia. Elbert County, Georgia was home, for a time, to some Phipps and Witcher individuals who were obviously related and who have been discussed in previous posts.

Lewis was of about the same age as Littleberry. Both men were born in North Carolina. One might suspect that they were brothers.

A factor which potentially negates that, however, is that if it was the same Lewis who was in Elbert County, Georgia and then in Lawrence County, Indiana, an older individual also appears in Elbert County, Georgia at the same time, who appears as though he could possibly have been his father, and who was also named Lewis. In any case, who was the older Lewis, who would have been born around 1775 or earlier?

According to the 1884 Lawrence County history by Goodspeed, Lewis Phipps was married to Margaret Rector. According to an unsourced claim, he was also married (probably earlier, if true) to Tabitha Rowzie, born about 1782 in Virginia. Or is this a matter of confusion involving the two Lewises?

A Lewis Phipps or Phips shows up before 1830 in Elbert County, Georgia. In 1810, purchasers at the sale of the estate of James “Rawsey,” a variant of the same name as “Rowzie,” was a Lewis Phipps.

Two men show up in the 1820 census in Elbert County, Georgia, one listed as Lewis Phips and the other as Lewis “Phipps.” Lewis “Phipps” was 26-45 in 1820. This means he was born about 1775 to 1794. (No other adult male was in the household.)

Lewis “Phips,” on the other hand, was 45 or older, with again no other adult males in the household. This would mean he was born about 1775 or earlier. One source which claims that the Lewis of Lawrence County, Indiana married a Rowzie also claims that he was descended from Benjamin Phipps and Jean/Jane Hash, Could he instead have been a son of this earlier Lewis Phips or Phipps?

Why would Elbert County, Georgia be significant? We’ve already dealt in a past post with an odd situation involving Tabitha Phipps, daughter of John “Rowsey,” Sr., as mentioned in his 1815 Elbert County, Georgia will. Was she named Tabitha Rowsey because of an earlier connection with the older Tabitha Fips or Phips of Virginia? The Witchers (discussed below) also show up in Elbert County, Georgia records.

Did Lewis Phips or Phipps migrate from the Surry/Wilkes/Ashe area of North Carolina down into Elbert County, Georgia, and from there to Lawrence County, Indiana? We’ve recently discussed the multiple individuals named Ambrose Phips or Phipps. An Ambrose Witcher witnessed a deed recorded in Mississippi Territory in 1811 in which a man sold his land in Elbert County, Georgia to Benjamin Witcher of Elbert County, Georgia.

Then that same Ambrose – or at least someone of that name – shows up in Cherokee land lottery records in Georgia, as does Williamson Phipps. According to the research of Mrs. Howard Woodruff which we’ve been discussing in recent posts, the Joseph Phipps or Phips of Brunswick County, Virginia who appears to have probably been a son of John and Tabitha Fips or Phips had a son Benjamin who, in turn, had a son Williamson Phipps who appears to have moved to Georgia.

That Williamson’s grandfather Joseph Phipps was believed by Mrs. Woodruff to be the brother of another Benjamin, whose son Jordan came through Wilkes County, North Carolina, near the Surry and Ashe Counties in North Carolina which we’ve been discussing, before he headed into Tennessee, where he died.

Incidentally, another Elbert County, Georgia marriage which can’t be placed at the moment but which might be good to mention before it is forgotten occurred in 1838. The license and record of the marriage of Mary Ann Matilda Phipps read as follows:

Elbert County

To any Minister of the Gospel, Judge, Justice of the Inferior Court, or Justice of the Peace to Celebrate. These are to authorize and permit you to join in the Honorable state of Matrimony Isham Smith of the one part and Miss Mary A. M. Phipps of the other part, according to the rites of your Church, provided there be no lawful cause to obstruct the same; and this shall be your authority for so doing. Given under my hand as Clerk of the Court of ordinary for the County aforesaid this 24th day of october 1838

[signed:] Wm. B. Nelms C. C. C. [probably County Court Clerk]

I do hereby certify that Isham Smith and Mary Ann Matilda Phipps were joined together in the Holy Bands of Matrimony by me, on the 25th day of october 1838. Benjamin Winn J. P. [Justice of the Peace]
Recorded the 14th of March 1839 Wm. B. Nelms C. C. [A.?]

Let’s take a look at several individuals associated with Lawrence County, but as we do so, we’ll need to veer off into other but related directions from time to time.


1783, North Carolina:

The 1884 Goodspeed History of Lawrence County claims (p. 267) that Lewis was born 19 July 1783 in North Carolina. According to the 1850 census, he was about 1783 in Virginia.

A number of records pertaining to Ashe County, North Carolina folks have given conflicting data as to whether they were born in North Carolina or born in Virginia. The fact of the matter is, however, that boundaries were debatable for some years, and some family members lived within walking distance of what eventually became the state line. We don’t know whether this Lewis was from Ashe County, but he might have been, and the tendency seems to have been for various family members to have lived in extreme southern Virginia or extreme northern, North Carolina.

1810, Elbert County, Georgia:

Lewis Phipps was a purchaser at the sale of the estate of James “Rawsey,” a variant form of “Rowzie” or “Rowsey,” in Elbert County, Georgia. The identity of this Lewis isn’t clear, since there were two of them in Elbert County in the 1820 census, one listed as Phips and the other as Phipps.

1812, Elbert County, Georgia:

An 1812 marriage record appears in a book of wills of marriages in Elbert County, Georgia. The marriage is found in a list headed “Marriages viz, (Recorded the 26th March 1813).” Among those listed is the following:

Lewis Phipps & Patsey Faulkner were Married on the 22d. Decr. 1812 By Thos. Cook J.P. [signed:] Wm. Woods C.C.C. [probably County Court Clerk]

1822, Lawrence County, Indiana:

The Lewis who was born in 1783 settled near Bedford in Lawrence County in the winter of 1822 according to the same Lawrence County history. Others from Ashe County, North Carolina also settled around there, including Phipps or Phips and Burton family members.

Benjamin Phipps, who we discussed recently, received land grants or patents in Lawrence County in 1828 and was presumably the one who settled there in 1818 in Perry Township (see the 1884 county history).

Additional patents or grants were awarded in Lawrence County to John W. Phipps in 1838 and George Phipps in 1848. A George Phipps had an unclaimed letter remaining in the post office in Bedford in Lawrence County, as listed in the Salem Annotator, published in Salem in adjacent Washington County on 6 October 1832.

The Potters, also related, were acquiring land grants or patents in Lawrence County from 1835 to 1840. These included Benjamin, Gideon, Lewis, Stephen, and William C. Potter. As we’ve already noted, Gideon Potter said that his mother was Martha Phipps. He had earlier lived in Surry County, North Carolina. A later Lawrence County resident was Potter Phipps, who a local newspaper said had built an addition to his home in 1889 (The Lawrence Mail, Bedford, Lawrence County, 12 April 1889, p. 3).

In addition, Littleberry had a son named Benjamin Potter Phipps. According to the latter’s obituary (The Bedford Mail, Bedford, Lawrence County, 4 March 1892, p. 2), he was born 13 January 1825 in Pulaski County, Kentucky and came to Indiana in 1836.

These individuals appear to have ties to John and Tabitha Phips or Fips who we’ve been discussing. Their daughter Betsey married Ephraim Witcher, and a John Witcher Phipps was living in Lawrence County, Indiana, with genealogists later claiming that he was a son of Littleberry Phipps or Phips.

A large number of patents or grants were obtained in Lawrence County in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s by members of the Burton family, presumably all of them being of the family which came there from Ashe County, North Carolina. We’ve discussed Burton connections in Virginia and North Carolina on numerous occasions.

A very lengthy section headed “Burton Family” appears in Goodspeed’s 1884 history of Lawrence County, on pp. 277-286. That section discusses their arrival in Virginia and mentions factors and even specific individuals we’ve discussed before.

One of those individuals was Hutchins Burton. A recent post noted how it was frequently the case that early Virginia families derived given names for their children from surnames of associated families, and various connections between the Phips or Phipps family and the Hutchins or Hutchens family have been noted. Col. Hutchins Burton, according to Goodspeed’s 1884 county history, “served on Gen. Washington’s staff in the war of the Revolution,” along with Col. Robert Burton, and after the war became governor of South Carolina.

That section also refers to Richard Burton (believed to have been the father of the 2nd wife of George Reeves, father in law of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina). Goodspeed says he moved into Ashe County from Virginia shortly after the Revolutionary War. Then some of the Burtons came into Lawrence County, Indiana in 1826.

Also mentioned is Richard’s son John P. Burton, born in Virginia 8 July 1758, who seems to have married a Reeves, then a Stamper in Ashe County. The Stamper family was closely associated with the Phips family back in Ashe County, as was the Reeves family, and we’ve noted various Reeves and Burton connections.

This John P. Burton’s full name has been assumed to have been John Pleasant or Pleasants Burton, although the claim has recently been made that there’s no proof that this was his middle name. That is how he is referred to, however, in an 1899 article about a family reunion, apparently using information taken from the family at the time.

We’ve noted an apparent connection to the Burtons and to an individual named John Pleasant (with Pleasant as his surname) on multiple occasions. Two of John P. Burton’s sons were Eli and Isom Burton, twins who were well known in Lawrence County, Indiana. A great photo of the Burton twins appears in Edwards (1916) in the links at the end of this post. Another son was William, who married Obedience Reeves in Ashe County, North Carolina.

One of the twins, Isom Burton, wrote a lengthy article titled “History of the Burtons,” which was published in The Mitchell Commercial, Mitchell, Lawrence County, 28 August 1913, p. 1. There he says that John P. Burton was born in 1758 and moved about 1806 from North Carolina to Greene County, Indiana and died in 1844.

Isom Burton, in his article, provides a tremendous amount of specifics, including many names and dates. He provides names of descendants and gives their places of residence around the country.

He says that his father Alfred Burton, son of John P. Burton, was born in North Carolina in 1811 and that his mother was Hettie Burch. The Burch AKA Birch name appears something like 182 times in detective Edward Bonney’s account of infiltrating the outlaw gang which involved members of the Phips and Long families and other relatives in Clay, Owen, and Lawrence Counties. When it appears, it’s always in reference to a gang member of that name.

This would have been John Birch, who lived in Clark County, Illinois, but Isom Burton discussed family members very near Clark County in Jasper and Clay Counties, Illinois. This area is close to the Indiana state line.

Isom specifically referred to Spice Valley, located in Lawrence County. When Bonney posed as an outlaw in order to infiltrate the outlaw gang, one of the gang’s members, Granville Young, provided Bonney with a number of names and locations of gang members. One of them, in Young’s words, was “Jack Burton, in Spice Valley, Indiana.”

Then when Bonney spoke with John Meshack Phips in Owen County, again posing as an outlaw, they discussed the matter of where to get help in order to affect a jail break. Phips said that “it would not do to take any of my friends around here, but I can get lots of them down in Spice Valley.”

In addition, another article titled “The Burton Family” details a family reunion and was published in The Bedford Mail, Bedford Lawrence County, 8 September 1899, p. 3. There, John P. Burton is referred to as “John Pleasant Burton,” who was “the founder in this state.” This 1899 article states that he was born 8 July 1758 in Virginia and came “early” to Lawrence County with his wife Susannah Stamper.

We’ve already noted that the names Hutchins Burton and John Pleasant or Pleasants appear in records in Cumberland County, Virginia as involved with the Eppes (Epps) and Harris families, and with a mysterious family called “Phelps.” That family included a Samuel and Elizabeth Phelps.

A 1777 record in Cumberland County, Virginia refers to a Parthena “Phelps,” orphan of John “Phelps,” and this same name, Parthena, also surfaces as the name of a daughter of Jesse Phipps, son of Lewis Phipps of Lawrence County, Indiana as discussed below.

We’ve also discussed how the name Parthena – whether this is of significance or not – is remarkably similar to the name “Parthetha,” which appears in connection with John and Tabitha in Virginia, apparently as a daughter.

Members of the Toliver or Tolliver family also made the move to Lawrence County from the Ashe County, North Carolina area, and quite a few Toliver or Tolliver land grants or patents are in evidence in Lawrence County from 1821 to 1853.

Various other associated families from Ashe County, North Carolina also made the move to Lawrence County, Indiana, including members of the Longs, the Tolivers, the Reeves family, the Baldwins, the Maxwells, the Blevins family, and the Fender family, and various other families. The late Eleanor Tolliver Waters, who many of us looked to as an authority on these families, stressed the importance of studying all of these families in association, not just one of them in isolation from the others.

We know that close ties were in operation between family members from Ashe County who were living in Lawrence County and those who settled not that far away in Clay and Owen Counties in Indiana. We know that from the testimony of John Meshack Phipps or Phips, grandson of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, which has already been mentioned.

A confused and confusing account in William Travis, A History of Clay County, Indiana (New York: Lewis Publishing, 1909) cites an event which, as told there, could not have been completely accurate. As he tells it, John Meshack Phips (“Shack”) and his brother Eli Shadrack (“Shade”) Phips were members of the outlaw gang. Their brother Jesse had lived at a place which Travis said “is now and for nearly fifty years past has been known as the Moody place, adjoining the town of Middlebury.”

There, according to Travis, Eli was visiting his brother Jesse around 1850 when a mob attacked the house and lynched Jesse. Then Eli Shadrack Phips, according to Travis, left the area as a result and moved to Boone County, Iowa. The veracity of the lynching account seems negated by probate data pertaining to the brothers’ father, Jesse, Sr., when he died in 1865 in Putnam County, Missouri. Although the account is garbled, something must have happened, and it is true that there were several Jesses in the family.

One must wonder whether there was any connection between Travis’s reference to “the Moody place” in Clay County and references in Goodspeed’s 1884 history of Lawrence County to an 1875 event in Orange County, Indiana which involved a certain Thomas Moody and a member of the Toliver family, related to the Phipps family, living in Lawrence County. The gist is as follows:

An old man named Toliver was a widower with grown children. He then married an elderly woman who was a sister of Thomas Moody. Toliver was then killed in an accident, and at the estate sale, a relative named Burt Jones (we’ve noted various Jones connections back in Virginia and North Carolina) got into a fight with Moody. Toliver’s widow, whose maiden name was Moody, was accused of theft.

Then a mob attacked the Moody home and Thomas Moody was shot dead. A couple Tolivers were jailed after the sensational trial which followed. This was certainly not the only time that the home of a Phips or Phipps or of an associated family was attacked by locals.

Of course, Jesse Phipps or Phips, son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, moved into Owen County, Indiana and was the father of Mathew Phips, who owned a store in Clay County and who lived in adjacent Owen County. (That’s clear from the sale flyer pertaining to his estate sale.)

Blanchard’s 1884 history of Owen and Clay Counties (p. 742) doesn’t exactly refer to this family in glowing terms:

Mr. Hulet was elected Justice of the Peace in an early day, and discharged the duties of his office in such a manner as to incur the ill will of a gang of outlaws, who for years made this part of the country a kind of rendezvous. . . .

These banditti, for such they really were, gave this part of the country a very unsavory reputation . . . .

Hulet, however, was not a man to be intimidated . . . and in time effectually ridded the country of the presence of the last blackleg. An early comer, whose reputation was none of the best, was Jesse Phipps, who settled on . . . land he entered as early as 1833. He was a man of considerable property, and kept a house which for a number of years was the general resort of a class of roughs who set at defiance the laws of both God and man. He had three grown sons, i. e. Mashach or “Shack,” Shadrach and Troy [Troy was actually his nephew], all three of whom gained considerable notoriety on account of their many daring acts of lawlessness. Another man of the same ilk was Owen Long . . . . His sons, Aaron and John, were noted desperadoes, and were afterward hung for the murder of Col. Davenport, a prominent citizen of Rock Island, Ill.

Jefferson Long, a relative of the preceding, and S. G. Taylor, a son-in-law of Jesse Phipps, became residents in an early day, and outside of their immediate associates were but little respected in the community. . . .

S.G. Taylor married Jesse’s daughter Nancy. Troy was actually a son of Jesse’s brother William. The Longs were relatives from Ashe County, North Carolina. While detective Edward Bonney devoted an entire chapter to John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips in his account of infiltrating the outlaw gang, the bulk of his essay focuses on bringing John’s close Long relatives to justice. That resulted in the Long brothers being hung for murder in 1845.

Jesse’s son John Meshack Phips married Mary (“Polly”) Long in Owen County, Indiana, who was born in Ashe County, North Carolina. Her mother was a Stamper, and note the Stamper references above in that John Pleasant Burton appears to have married both a Reeves and a Stamper. Mary’s father Jesse Long was a brother of Owen Long, whose sons were hung for the murder of Col. Davenport.

1820, Elbert County, Georgia:

Two Lewises are listed in the 1820 census in Elbert County, Georgia: Lewis “Phipps,” who was born about 1775 to 1794, and Lewis “Phips,” who was born about 1775 or earlier.

1823, Lawrence County, Indiana:

Jesse T. Phipps, son of Lewis and Margaret (Rector) Phipps was born 1 May 1823 in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana. That’s according to his biography which appeared in the Shawswick Township section of The History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana (Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers, 1884), on p. 267:

JESSE T. PHIPPS was born in Shawswick Township May 1, 1823, the fourth of nine children of Lewis and Margaret (Rector) Phipps, the father a native of North Carolina born July 19, 1783, the mother a native of Grayson County, Va., born February 17, 1793. In the winter of 1822 the parents located near Bedford where the father became prominent and well known, and owned at his death November 22, 1858, a farm of 146 acres. The father was a consistent member of the Baptist Church. Our subject’s youth was passed without event, and at the age of twenty-six he married (March 29, 1849,) Nancy M. Dothitt, who bore him six children, of whom four are living: Henry C., Sarah M., Oliver M., Parthena A. Henry is in Kansas; the others are with their parents. Mr. Phipps was followed farming principally through life though for four years he was a merchant in Daviess County. He owns 150 acres of land, is a Republican, takes an earnest interest in all public enterprises, and is universally respected.

One thing which seems interesting in this bio is the fact that Lewis named a child Parthena. This is not an extremely common name, but it is a name which is very close to the “Parthetha” who figures prominently in records associated with the estate of John and Tabitha Fips/Phips in Virginia as what appears to have been a probable daughter of that couple.

1830, Lawrence County, Indiana:

A census index lists Lewis Phipps in 1830 in Lawrence County, Indiana.

1832, Lawrence County, Indiana:

An unclaimed letter was sitting in the Bedford, Lawrence County post office waiting for Lewis “Phipps,” as the name was spelled, to pick it up. This was according to a list of unclaimed letters appearing in the Western Annotator, Salem, Washington County, Indiana, on 18 April 1832 (p. 3).

1840, Lawrence County, Indiana:

The 1840 census lists Lewis Phipps in Lawrence County.

1850, Lawrence County, Indiana:

The federal census on 21 November 1850 listed Littleberry (“Berry”) Phipps (who is discussed below) living next door to Lewis Phipps. This was in Shawswick Township in Lawrence County, Indiana:

Berry Phipps 50 [b. abt 1800] M farmer, real estate $1600, NC, could not read and write
Sarah A. ” 37 [b. abt 1813] F, KY
Francis I. [or J.?] ” 22 [b. abt 1828] F KY
Martha A. ” 20 [b. abt 1830] F KY
Milford C. ” 17 [b. abt 1833] M farmer KY
Matilda E. 6 [b. abt 1844] F IN
Nancy M. 4 [b. abt 1846] F IN

Lewis Phipps 67 [b. abt 1783] M farmer, real estate $2300, VA
Margaret ” 57 [b. abt 1793] F, VA, could not read and write
Joseph ” 23 [b. abt 1827] M farmer, IN
Elizabeth ” 20 [b. abt 1830 F IN
Polly ” 18 [b. abt 1832] F IN
Julius ” 16 [b. abt 1834] M farmer, IN

1858, Lawrence County, Indiana:

He died in that county on 22 November 1858. He owned a 146-acre farm when he died.

A later Lewis A. Phipps in Clay County, Indiana, by the way, left a widow, Rilda or Rilla Mae, who died in Clay City in 1951. She was born 8 December 1879 in Owen County as a daughter of Armer E. and Rebecca (Landis) Needy, according to her obituary (The Brazil Daily Times, Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, 24 December 1951, p. 1).

She was the mother of Edgar Phipps of Clay City and Estella of Champaign, Illinois, who married a Fiscus. The Fiscus ties in, indirectly, with the Phipps family in Owen County.

Her husband had died earlier the same year, at age 81 (so born about 1870), according to his obituary (The Terre Haute Star, Terre Haute, Indiana, 4 January 1951, p. 3). He died in Clay City at the home of his son Edgar. This later Lewis had a brother, George Phipps, who lived near Linton, Greene County (adjacent to Clay and Owen Counties), Indiana, and a brother Grover C. Phipps, who lived at Terre Haute.

Again, since the earlier Lewis and Littleberry were of around the same age, were both born in North Carolina, and were living next door in 1850, one would think they were likely to have been brothers.

Here is information about Littleberry, possibly Lewis’s brother:


About 1790:

Littleberry or Littlebury Fips, Fipps, Phips, or Phipps, was born about 1794-1804 according to the 1820 census, about 1780-1790 according to the 1830 census (if him), about 1781-90 according to the 1840 census, about 1800 in North Carolina according to the 1850 census, and about 1790 in North Carolina according to the 1860 census.

1818, Surry County, North Carolina:

According to a marriage reference (Linn, Surry County, North Carolina Wills, p. 136), Littleberry “Fips” was bondsman to the marriage of Leonard Roy to Anne Fips. This was in Surry County, North Carolina in 1818.

1820, Surry County, North Carolina:

Littleberry then appears in North Carolina land grant number 2838, file number 2880, entered 15 February 1820, issued 22 December 1820, Book 134, p. 415:

State of North Carolina

No. 2838 [stamped in margin 2880]: Know ye that we have granted unto Littleberry Phipps forty acres of land in Surry County; Beginning at a white oak in James Kings line runs North seventeen chains and fifty links to a spanish oak, west Crossing Robinsons Creek twenty five chains to a spanish oak South seventeen chains and fifty links to a small hickory, and thence East to the Beginning: Entered the 15th February 1820: To Hold to the said Littleberry Phipps his heirs and assigns forever Dated the 20th day of December 1820

[signature uncleared, perhaps J. Brandan or something similar]

[signature in witness area:] Wm. Hill Secretary

Also, the same person, listed as “Littlebury Fipps,” appeared the same year (1820) in the federal census in the same county, Surry County, North Carolina. He was living in Potter’s District, aged 16-26 (so born about 1794-1804).

1823, Pulaski County, Kentucky:

Then an unconfirmed and unsourced claim asserts that he moved to Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1823 with his sisters Mary Ann (Fips) Roy, who would be the women of the marriage just mentioned, and Frances (Fips) Roy. He clearly did move to Pulaski County, Kentucky at least by 1825 (see below).

Another unconfirmed and unsourced claim is that he resided in Pulaski County, Kentucky from 1827 to 1837, but this appears to be negated by the obituary of his son Benjamin Potter Phipps (discussed below), if it’s the same person.

1825, Pulaski County, Kentucky:

The obituary of Benjamin Potter Phipps calls him simply Benjamin P. Phipps and does not state that his father was Littleberry Phipps. That obituary, however, says that Benjamin was born 13 January 1825 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, which of course would place him there at the time.

1830, Pulaski County, Kentucky:

He appears as Berry Philps or Phelps, if him, born about 1780-1790, in the census in 1830 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. It is claimed that he lived in Pulaski County from 1827 to 1837, but this seems partly negated by the 1836 notation below.

1836, Lawrence County, Indiana:

According to the obituary of one of his sons (Benjamin Potter Phipps), the family came into Indiana in 1836. This was presumably Lawrence County, where descendants of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina were also living.

1840, Lawrence County, Indiana:

He appears in the federal census in 1840, according to an abstract, as Berry Phipps in Lawrence County, Indiana. The oldest male in the household was 50-59 (so born about 1781-1790).

1842, Lawrence County, Indiana:

Berry Phipps married Sally Perry in Lawrence County, Indiana 1 December 1842 (Lawrence County Marriage Book 8, p. 365). Sally was a common period nickname for Sarah.

1850, Lawrence County, Indiana:

He is listed in the 1850 census as Berry Phipps, farmer, on 21 November 1850 in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana. His real estate was worth $1,600, and he could not read and write.

As noted above, he was living next door to Lewis Phipps, born about 1783 in Virginia:

Berry Phipps 50 [b. abt 1800] M farmer, real estate $1600, NC, could not read and write
Sarah A. ” 37 [b. abt 1813] F, KY
Francis I. [or J.?] ” 22 [b. abt 1828] F KY
Martha A. ” 20 [b. abt 1830] F KY
Milford C. ” 17 [b. abt 1833] M farmer KY
Matilda E. 6 [b. abt 1844] F IN
Nancy M. 4 [b. abt 1846] F IN

Lewis Phipps 67 [b. abt 1783] M farmer, real estate $2300, VA
Margaret ” 57 [b. abt 1793] F, VA, could not read and write
Joseph ” 23 [b. abt 1827] M farmer, IN
Elizabeth ” 20 [b. abt 1830 F IN
Polly ” 18 [b. abt 1832] F IN
Julius ” 16 [b. abt 1834] M farmer, IN

1860, Lawrence County, Indiana:

Berry appears in the federal census on 31 July 1860 in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana. He was a farmer with real estate worth $3,000 and personal estate worth $570. He still could not read and write.

1861, Lawrence County, Indiana:

According to unconfirmed reports, Littleberry (“Berry”) and his wife Sally both died in 1861, but some probate records are dated 1863. According to an online posting citing Lawrence County Probate Book F, p. 107, John Potter was the administrator of the Berry Phipps estate in a record dated 8 May 1863. John Potter also became the guardian of Nancy M. Phipps and Sarah R. Phipps, according to the same record.

Unless a quirky coincidence, this would seem to suggest a connection between the Potter family in Lawrence County and the family of Littleberry Phips or Phipps. Gideon Potter wrote an autobiography which we’ve already referred to in at least one past post. There he refers to his mother as Martha Phipps.

Gideon appears to have been a son of Stephen and Martha (Phipps) Potter. We’ve already mentioned Potter land grants (above). Stephen lived in Surry County, North Carolina, the location associated with descendants of John and Tabitha Fips of Charlotte County, North Carolina, according to record abstracts.

Stephen Potter witnessed the will of Samuel Riggs in August 1800 in Surry County, North Carolina. That will was also witnessed by Ephraim Witcher. He was the husband of Betsey Fips or Phips, daughter of John and Tabitha Fips or Phips.


Isaiah Phips or Phipps also came into Lawrence County, Indiana from Ashe County, North Carolina, and was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (“Betty”) (Reeves) Phips of Ashe County. A biography of his son, also named Isaiah, appeared on pp. 299-300 of The History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana (Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers, 1884), in the Marion Township section:

ISAIAH PHIPPS is a native of Ashe County, N. C., born July 10, 1839, and came with his parents to this county in 1852, and here was reared and educated. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served honorably three years. He was at Pittsburg Landing, Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg and other engagements. He married Mary C. Roby in 1861. This lady was born near Bardstown, Ky., in 1842, and bore her husband two children – Benjamin and Eve. Mr. Phipps was again married in 1867 to Mrs. Mary A. Parks, who was born in Madison County, Ky., in 1841, and whose maiden name was Hart. After coming from the army, Mr. Phipps farmed in Orange County till 1879, then came to Juliet and engaged in merchandising. He is a Republican, is Postmaster and storekeeper, is a Baptist, and owns eighty acres of land and property in Juliet. His eyes are very weak from exposure while serving his country. His parents were Isaiah and Eve (Kennedy) Phipps, natives of North Carolina, and of English and Scotch descent. They were married in their native State, and reared seven sons and seven daughters. The father was a farmer and an honest man.

One son of Isaiah appears to have been George Phipps or Phips, born 1818 in North Carolina, who married a Maxwell and a Baldwin. He would appear to have been the one who was the subject of rape and bastardy charges in 1883 in Lawrence County, Indiana, as mentioned in an earlier post. Then he later appears to have been arrested on counterfeiting charges. As late as this was, could the event have had any connection to the earlier outlaw gang activities, which involved horse stealing and counterfeiting?

Just before Edward Bonney caught up with outlaw gang members John Meshack Phips and the Longs, resulting in the 1845 hangings, a newspaper article appeared in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on 3 July 1841. That article refers to theft from a store in Bowling Green, Clay County, Indiana, which operated in competition to Mathew Phips’s store there, just before he was declared dead with, apparently, no evidence.

That article, which was titled “Gang of Counterfeiters and Robbers Taken Up,” referred to “an individual by the name of Long, who lives just on the line of Owen and Clay Co., and who had long been suspected of horse stealing, robbing, counterfeiting and the like villanies.”


He must have been related, but how? This Benjamin was born in North Carolina, according to Blanchard’s 1884 history of Clay and Owen Counties in Indiana. He married Lethe Williams according to Blanchard, and was the father of Sampson and William.

The brothers Sampson and William Phips or Phipps were Clay County lumbermen. They were responsible for providing lumber for the lucrative boat-building business at Brunswick which, in turn, supplied the lucrative trade which used the Eel and White Rivers in Clay and Owen Counties to eventually reach New Orleans.

It may just be coincidence but this Benjamin married a Williams, Lethe Williams, and Joseph Phips or Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia, probably a son of John and Tabitha, married a Williams, Sarah Williams.

Records pertaining to Benjamin’s sons William and Sampson quickly get confusing. William is supposed to have been born in 1824. It would appear that either that date is wrong, or that there were multiple people in the area named William and Sampson. More work will be needed in order to sort it out.

The following is found in Charles Blanchard, History of Clay and Owen Counties, Indiana (1884), p. 544, under Lewis Township in the Clay County section. Note that this bio suggests that William’s father Benjamin died about 1840:

WILLIAM PHIPPS, farmer, is the youngest son of Benjamin and Lethe (Williams) Phipps, natives of North Carolina, whence, in 1834, Benjamin Phipps removed to Harrison Township. [Note: This is clearly Harrison Township in Clay County (there is no Harrison Township in Lawrence County), although why son William Phipps was stated by this same source to have been born in Lawrence County is unclear] William was born in Lawrence County, Ind., August 1, 1824, and resided at home in Harrison Township until 1863, when he came into this township [Note: This would be Lewis Township, Clay County] and located at what is now known as Phipps’ Ferry.  When he was sixteen years old, he was orphaned and compelled to act for himself with but a very spare education. He went to work on the canal and on a farm. September 26, 1843, he married Sarah Griffith, who died about 1851, leaving four children who quickly followed her. About 1856 [Note: This makes it sound as though William himself was unsure of the date.], he wedded his present wife, Mrs. Angeline (Huff) Dayton, by which marriage were brought into being eight children, two of whom only – Mary Jane and Sarah Angeline – are living. Mr. Phipps has attained his present state of independence by careful proceeding and continued industry, the precious fruits of which he may now enjoy. In March, 1878, he purchased and occupied his farm of eighty acres on Eel River bottom, which place is well cultivated and improved, stocked with horses, cattle and hogs, and furnished with necessary implements. Mr. Phipps is a radical Democrat, having given his first Presidential vote for James K. Polk.

Since he married a Griffith, it might be worthwhile to point out that Eli Shadrach Phipps, twin brother of the John Meshack Phipps or Phips we’ve been discussing (both sons of Jesse of Owen County) also married a Griffith. This was later on while the family was living in northern Missouri, however.

1818, Lawrence County, Indiana:

According to Blanchard’s 1884 history of Clay and Owen Counties in Indiana, Benjamin entered land in Perry Township in Lawrence County.

1822, Lawrence County, Indiana:

Benjamin Fipps was listed among those who paid the poll tax in Lawrence County in 1822 (Lawrence County, Indiana Records, a typescript book with publication data unclear; some parts appear to have been compiled by the DAR in Bedford, Lawrence County in 1956, said to be copied from pre-1935 newspaper clippings).

1828, Washington and Lawrence Counties, Indiana:

He was presumably the Benjamin Phipps who was referred to as being of Washington County, Indiana  but acquiring land in Lawrence County, Indiana. This was in a land patent or grant dated 19 January 1828.

1834, Clay County, Indiana:

Benjamin moved to Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana in 1834, according to Blanchard’s 1884 Clay and Owen Counties history.

About 1840, presumably Lawrence County, Indiana:

Benjamin died about 1840, according to the biography of his son William. His son Sampson is presumably the one who appears in the 1840 census in Washington County. Note that when Benjamin acquired land in Lawrence County in 1828, he was said to be of Washington County. Since Washington and Lawrence are adjacent counties, perhaps he owned land near the county line in both counties.

In fact, no Benjamin seems to be listed in Washington or Lawrence County in the 1840 census, so presumably he had died by that time. Other Phipps family members do appear in that census, however, in Brown Township in Washington County.

Brown Township is situated along the western edge of Washington County. adjacent to Lawrence County. Listed in the 1840 census in Brown Township, Washington County, is a Sampson Phipps, but also Aaron and “Charety.”

In addition, a Jesse Phipps is listed in Jackson Township in Washington County. Could he have been the Jesse who was born in 1823, a son of Lewis? (Already this is getting ridiculously complex.) Jesse was 20-30 years old (and no other adult male was in the household), so born about 1810 to 1820, and censuses were often a bit off.

Aaron Phipps was 30-40 (there were no other adult males in the household), so was born about 1800-1810. “Charety” Phipps (as transcribed; it could be Charity without a visible dot) was 50-60, so would have been born about 1780-1790.

Has anyone ever mentioned these people before? If not, why not?

Information about Sampson Phipps or Phips becomes confusing, because evidently there were at least 2 individuals of this name in the area, maybe eventually 3. Clearly one of the Sampsons was the brother of William, both sons of Benjamin (see the 19th century bio of William, above), and both supplied lumber for local boat building, having moved into Clay County from Lawrence County.

When that Sampson died, his death was noted in the Brazil Democrat, published in Brazil, Clay County, 20 December 1894, p. 4 as having occurred on the preceding Tuesday. The obit says that he worked as a contractor with his brother William when he was a young man. Together they provided lumber for the manufacture of flatboats for use on the Eel River “for the Mississippi and New Orleans trade.”

We’ve discussed in other posts how locals loaded goods onto flatboats and traveled down the Eel and White Rivers to the Mississippi and down to New Orleans. There they unloaded their cargo as they engaged in the highly lucrative New Orleans trade. Oftentimes, it is said, they would then walk back. The trade was so lucrative that they saw the journey as worth it and did not want to cut into profits by paying for transportation back home.

We’ve discussed how Mathew Phips of Clay County, Indiana, a grandson of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, operated a store in Bowling Green in Clay County. Close relatives of his robbed his competitor’s store. Then shortly afterward, Mathew was suddenly. within a few days, declared dead in 1841, supposedly the result of an undefined murder during a flatboat trip to New Orleans.

This was during a time when members of the outlaw gang had evidently wormed their way into local politics. Evidently no one could supply any details of the supposed death. Apparently no evidence was ever offered, and no questions were asked. It is said by a late family member that when a man who supposedly accompanied Mathew on this supposed trip was asked what happened, he wouldn’t reply.

In the case of William and Sampson in Clay County, they operated a sawmill where it was said by a local newspaper that “muscle was the motive power” and “the old whip-saw” was “the sole machinery.” The brothers supplied lumber for the boatyards near Brunswick. This forgotten town and this forgotten industry were both highly important in the 1830s and 1840s. Sampson’s obituary notes that “Many boats were launched at that point for the New Orleans market.”

The name Sampson Phipps appears in a newspaper ad in the Salem Annotator, published in Salem, Washington County, on 6 October 1832, p. 3. There, it was advertised that a stray horse was taken up by James Fleming of Brown Township. The horse was appraised by Abraham Hamersly, Sampson Phipps, and David Legg, and the ad was placed by William Richards, a justice of the peace.

In the household of Sampson Phipps in the 1840 census in Brown Township, Washington County, two adult males appear, one who was 20-30 and one who was 40-50. (There were also 3 other males, 1 5-10, 1 10-15, and 1 15-20). This would mean that one adult male was born about 1810-1820, and the other about 1790-1800.

Since William, brother of Sampson, is said to have been born in 1824, it could be postulated that Sampson was the younger adult in this household, and that the older man was someone else, perhaps his father Benjamin. On the other hand, however, it would appear that there two men in the area named Sampson and two men named William.

The Aaron just mentioned above who was born about 1800-1810 must have been the person of the same approximate birth date who appears in the previous federal census, in 1830, in Lawrence County. There he is listed as Aaron Phipps, age 20-30, in Lawrence County, with no township stated.

The 1820 census for Lawrence County lists both William “Fipps” and Sampson “Phipps” on the same page. Again, they (or people of the same name) were brothers. William was 26-45 (born about 1775-1794), so this could not have been the William who was Sampson’s brother, if he really was born in 1824. Sampson was also 26-45 (born about 1775-1794) so this could not have been the same Sampson.

The Sampson who was a son of Benjamin was born about 1815 to 1820 Indiana, according to the federal censuses of 1850-1880. The 1850 census shows him as Samson Phips, a farmer living in Harrison Township, Clay County, Indiana.

A marriage record shows him as Sampson Phipps and as marrying Amanda E. Denny on 8 October 1857 in Clay County. The 1860 census shows him as married within the year, where he is listed as Sampson Phipps, a farmer still living in Harrison Township.

Another Clay County marriage record then shows him as Sampson Phipps marrying Catharine Downs on 29 July 1869. The 1870 and 1880 censuses then shows him as Sampson Phipps, farmer, still in Harrison Township.

There is supposed to have been another Sampson, Sampson C. Phipps, born about 1857 somewhere in Indiana, who later lived in Modesto, California. He appears to have graduated from Indiana University in 1893 and then again, with a master’s degree, in 1894.

William, brother of the older Sampson, appears to be the one who is listed in the 1860 and 1880 censuses in Lewis Township, Clay County, Indiana as a farmer. He bought an 80-acre farm on the Eel River bottom in March of 1878 in Lewis Township, according to Blanchard’s 1884 county history.



More About Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia

Joseph Phips, Phipps, or Fips is also discussed in an old article which appeared in The Phipps Quarterly in 1990 titled “Lineage from Brunswick County, Virginia.” Information there largely dovetails with information presented by Mrs. Howard Woodruff in her 1972 book, The Descendants of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.

The basic genealogical structure in this book appears to be the same as one presented in an earlier post, before Mrs. Woodruff’s book was found. There, the following apparent pedigree was presented:

Generation 1: Joseph Phipps m. unknown
Generation 2: Siblings John Phipps, Mary Phipps (m. Woolsey), Benjamin Phipps
Generation 3: Benjamin Phipps (1761-1845, m. Lucy Turbeyfield or other spellings)
Generation 4: Siblings Winfield Phipps (1801-1860), James N. Phipps (1806- ), others

Mrs. Woodruff says that this Joseph Phipps married Sarah Williams about 1760, using her repeated phrase “relation to known dates” as the source. This would seem to indicate that the date is a very rough estimation.

Sarah Williams, she notes, was born 22 December 1736 and died 14 March 1826, at age 89. For this information, she cites a family Bible which, when Mrs. Woodruff wrote her manuscript in 1972, was owned by a specific individual who she cites.

This would appear to be a different family Bible from the one which also pertains to this family and which is housed at the Library of Virginia. That one pertains specifically to the family of Joseph’s apparent grandson Benjamin.

Mrs. Woodruff said that Sarah’s father was one William Williams of Meherrin District (presumably referring to Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County). She says that he wrote a will dated 16 January 1773 which was probated in 1775.

That will, she says, names a daughter of William Williams as Sarah Phipps. She cited Brunswick County, Virginia Will Book 4, p. 473.

The earliest record that Mrs. Woodruff was able to locate regarding Joseph was his name on a Brunswick County jury list. This list appears, she said, in Order Book, Volume 10, p. 100.

That volume covered the years 1765 to 1768, she noted, which presumably indicates that either the specific record was undated or that she did not find the specific date. (Sometimes in old court records, this involves paging through page after seemingly countless page until a date appears.)

A record she does not mention is where the name Joseph Phips appears in a list of Brunswick County, Virginia men who were polls and voters in 1768. This list appeared in a back issue of The Southside Virginian. The list is dated 2 December 1768 and was submitted 10 January 1769.

Mrs. Woodruff then notes a deed (apparently in Brunswick County) dated sometime in August 1777. At that time, Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County sold 100 acres to Robert Davis. (The Davis name recurs, and is referred to below.) She notes that Joseph signed with “his mark,” but that his wife Sarah wrote her name. Mrs. Woodruff cited Deed Book 12, p. 263.

Perhaps this is the same Joseph Phips who is the subject of a Brunswick County deed dated 16 September 1779. This deed was from Jesse Tatum to Joseph “Phips,” both of Brunswick County. Tatum is a name which recurs in connection with the Reeves and Epps families. Joseph’s name appears as Phips, Phippes, and Fips in the deed.

This was for land described as being “on the North side of cold water.” This would be Coldwater Creek. (There is also a Little Coldwater Creek.) At one point in the land description, Cold Water is referred to as “the said run.” The deed was signed by Jesse and Elizabeth Tatum and was both witnessed and proven by James “Fips.”

Interestingly, much later, an 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners shows John Phipps on Coldwater Creek, living 7 miles southeast of the courthouse. Benjamin Phipps was living on Great Coldwater a bit further in the same direction, according to the same source. The county seat has been Lawrenceville since 1784.

Another witness was Robert Davis. Davis is a common name, but the name does recur at various points. The 1777 sale of land in Brunswick County by Joseph Phipps to Robert Davis was noted above. Other instances of the name occur.

Sarah Davis, for example, was a godparent of Amy Eps when she was christened in 1739 in Albemarle Parish (Surry and Sussex Counties). Benjamin Phipps or Phips of Albemarle Parish was believed by Mrs. Woodruff to be a brother of Joseph, and clear connections occur.

John Davis sold land in Brunswick County in 1750, witnessed by William Wyche. Joshua Poythress (James Phipps bought land from a Poythress in Brunswick County) advertised in 1763 regarding a runaway slave which had been bought in Brunswick County from Matthew Davis.

A Brunswick County, Virginia case, evidently a chancery case found in Order Book 15, p. 432, was dated 25 October 1790. (One source appears to date the same record as 25 November 1790, however.) This involved “Absolem” (Absalom) Bennett (discussed in the last two posts) against Benjamin Phipps, Robert Westmoreland, and Joseph Phipps.

In connection with that case, depositions were taken from Martha Duncan of North Carolina and Mary Wright of Wake County, North Carolina. (It isn’t clear from an abstract whether Martha Duncan was also of Wake County.)

The issue, whatever it was, was supposedly left to the determination of Thomas Edmunds and Joseph Mason “and their umpire,” whoever “their” refers to. An abstract further reads, “former order of court set aside, referred to Joseph Mason and Thomas Claiberne for judgment.”

This name transcribed as Claiberne was probably Claiborne, which name was associated with the Phips family since the days when the immigrant surveyor John Phips first entered Jamestown in 1621.

A bit later the same year, on 20 November 1790, a Brunswick County deed appeared in which Samuel Frances sold land to Owen Myrick. Myrick was of Brunswick County, but Samuel Frances was of Southampton County, Virginia. Witnesses included Joseph Phipps, Lazarus Williams, a man named Jesse Edwards, and a woman named “Dinna” Edwards.

The Williams family ties into the Joseph Phipps family in that Joseph married a Williams, as discussed by Mrs. Howard Woodruff. In fact, she devotes two full pages to this family in her Descendants of Joseph Phipps book. The Edwards name has come up repeatedly in Phips or Phipps research.

A Brunswick deed dated 29 March 1791 was from John Powell to James Powell, both of Brunswick County. This was land adjacent to Claiborne Lightfoot, someone named Mason, and someone named Phipps. The Lightfoot name recurs elsewhere (as does Claiborne as a surname), in addition to Mason.

Then on 24 August 1791 in Brunswick County, the “Absolem” Bennett matter is mentioned in court records, as abstracted, with the earlier court order set aside. Again, the matter being referred to Joseph Mason and Thomas “Claiberne” for judgment is mentioned.

Mrs. Woodruff said that she searched what she calls “Fothergill’s Taxlists 1782-85” for mentions of Joseph Phipps and didn’t find him. She did, however, examine what she terms was “the original tax book of Brunswick County” at the Virginia State Library, where she found his name “very much in evidence.” She doesn’t elaborate, unless her words which follow constitute the “much in evidence.”

She then refers to him having 230 acres in the 1782 land tax list. Then in the 1783 personal property tax list, she found him in District 4, which she said was present-day Powellton District. There he was shown with 2 tithables, who she said were himself and his son Benjamin. He also owned 7 horses and 16 head of cattle, according to her notes.

Then, in 1784, she found 3 tithables in his household. The 1787 list, according to Mrs. Woodruff, shows Joseph, Benjamin, and James Phipps as “white males above twenty one” as recorded on 19 April 1787. She said that the land tax for 1787 only showed that Joseph owned 230 acres.

Mrs. Woodruff then notes the addition of the name Jordon Phipps (as she spells it) to the list in what may have been 1794. (The date appears to have been struck over in the typed copy.) Jordan is discussed more fully below. She found John Phipps added in 1797.

Mrs. Woodruff then refers to “the above James Phipps,” who she believed was a younger brother of Joseph. The “above James Phipps” would refer, apparently, to the James she found listed in the 1787 tax list. She bases this, she said, on the fact that James is not listed as a son in the will of Joseph.

She noted with a tone of certainty that Joseph “had a brother” named Benjamin, who was living in Sussex County in 1782. She discusses him in a separate section, and he is discussed below. She relegated James to the section headed “???????? PHIPPS” at the very end of her book. Evidently she was far more certain about the place of Benjamin as a brother than that of James.

Joseph, assumed by Mrs. Woodruff as the same individual, received a receipt on 27 February 1796, she says, for 300 pounds of beef. This was meat that he had contributed toward the Revolutionary War effort.

She said that he was “listed as Revolutionary War patriot of Brunswick County,” although it’s not clear what exactly that means, adding that he is listed in “the records” of the Virginia State Library. She claimed that descendants were eligible for DAR membership, and referred to an unidentified photostat.

Mrs. Woodruff also noted that Joseph Phipps and Caleb Manning were appointed to appraise the estate of Joel Manning in 1783 in Brunswick County. Caleb Manning was identified by her as a son of an unidentified daughter of Joseph Phipps who, Mrs. Woodruff said, married Joel Manning.

A 1744 will abstract of Margret Manning was filed in Dorchester County, Maryland. Perhaps just coincidentally, she named Arthur Phipps and John Phipps, neither of whom were identified.

The will of Joseph Phipps is dated 1 July 1803, and was transcribed by Mrs. Woodruff (or at least she provided a transcript in her manuscript). Items mentioned in his will sound very reminiscent of items referred to in the 1768 Clanton mortgage discussed two posts back.

There, he referred to a slave named “Patt,” livestock, furniture, and “working Tools of all Sorts.” In his will, he refers to a slave named Peter, livestock, furniture, and “plantation tools.”

The will reads as follows:


IN THE NAME OF GOD MAN, I, Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County being in reasonable health and of sound mind and memory calling to mind the uncertainty of life do make and ordain this my last will and testament. First, I commend my soul into the hands of God and my body to the dust to be buried at the discretion of my friends; and to my worldly estate my will and desire is as follows, VIZ; I give and bequeath to my son John Phipps the plantation whereon I now live, one negro man named Peter, two beds and furniture, four heads of hogs, two cows and calves, two heiffers [sic], and one yolk of oxen, all my plantation tools and all my household and kitchen furniture that is not hereafter otherwise disposed of to have and his heirs [sic; to him and his heirs?] forever. I give and bequeath to my Grand daughter Sally Manning one feather bed and furniture and one cow to her and her heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Woolsey twenty five pounds cash to be paid by Executor for her and her heirs forever. My will and desire is that out of the remainder of my estate my just debts be paid, and the balance of them be equally divided between my two sons, Benjamin Phipps and John Phipps. Lastly I appoint my son John Phipps my sole Executor to this my last will and testament. Given under my hand and seal this twenty first day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three.

Signed and acknowledged

Joseph his X mark Phipps

In presence of:
Ira Ellis, Mittinton Simms, James Wyche


This last will and Testament of Joseph Phipps deceased was proven by the oath of Mittinton Simms a witness thereto and having been proven on the 27th day of February by the oath of James Wyche another witness thereto the same is ordered to be recorded.

Book 7:324 Teste: Herbert Hill CBC

Note that one of the witnesses to the above will was a Wyche – James Wyche. This would appear to be likely a variant form of Witch, Witcher, Wych, etc. which comes into play repeatedly in regard to the Phipps family and associated families in Brunswick County and elsewhere. That, assuming it’s the same family, is the family a member of whom married a daughter of John and Tabitha Fips or Phipps, perhaps the parents of Joseph.

Mrs. Woodruff believed that the reason why Joseph’s wife Sarah is not mentioned in his will is because there was, in her words, “no doubt an understanding” that son John would care for his mother in return for the plantation. Mrs. Woodruff says that Sarah died 14 March 1826 at age 89 according to the family Bible, and that she would have been 67 when the will was written.

More Brunswick County, Virginia Records

The last post featured four Brunswick County, Virginia deeds sent by the webmaster of the Witcher Genealogy blog. Below are additional records from Brunswick County, also sent by the same astute researcher. These records are crucial to our understanding of the Fips or Phips or Phipps family in this county of pivotal importance.

The following will make more sense if studied in connection with the last post. The present post can be viewed as a continuation of that post.

27 May 1767, Order Book 10, p. 368

Ordered that Lazarus Williams pay unto Joseph Phips Eight Hundred Pounds of Tobacco for thirty two Days Attendance as a Witness for him against Richard Johnson

Lazarus Williams was presumably related to the Sarah Williams who Mrs. Howard Woodruff says married Joseph Phipps. Joseph was the focus of her 1972 book.

A Brunswick County deed dated 20 November 1790, from Deed Book 14, p. 636 (according to an online abstract) was from Owen Myrick to Samuel Frances for 180 acres. That deed was witnessed by, among others, Lazarus Williams and Joseph Phipps, and proven later by the oaths of, among others, “Lazarous” Williams and Joseph Edwards. Other persons named Edwards are also mentioned; this is a name which recurs frequently as an associated family.

Lazarus Williams was appointed overseer in 1738 of a road between the Nottoway and Meherrin Rivers.

A 1744 deed of gift in Isle of Wight County, according to an online transcription, is from Nicholas Williams and his wife Anne. Mentioned is “my son” Lazarus Williams,” who was to receive a plantation and land in Brunswick County, along with a negro boy Anthony. The plantation and land were to be shared with Richard, brother of Lazarus.

For more on Lazarus Williams:

September 1768, Order Book 10 

[in margin at upper left, page number?:] 2 . . .

A bill of Sale between [blank] Fipp of the one part Thomas Clanton of the other part was acknowledged by the said Fipp’s & ordered to be recorded.

The clerk responsible for this page appears to have perhaps been a bit lax, since many of the surnames are preceded by blanks for given names which were never filled in. In addition, the person in question was referred to as “Fipp” and as “Fipp’s,” with no indication of who he was.

On the other hand, Thomas Clanton was discussed in the last post, in connection with the 1768 deed to him and from Joseph Phips. That deed was dated 25 January 1768, and Joseph had until 16 January 1773 to pay back Clanton, or else Joseph Phis would lose a substantial number of livestock in addition to a slave, furniture, and “working Tools of all Sorts” – all for just £100.

12 September 1769, Deed Book 12, p. 208

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 208 . . .

An indenture of feoffment between William Ray and Ann his wife Baker Ray and Lucy his wife of the one part and Joseph Phips of the other part was acknowledged by the said Rays and their wifes [sic; or wife?] the said Ann and Lucy being first privily examined as the law directs and ordered to be recorded

The Rays (also Wrays) were discussed in the last post. In addition, the record of 23 October 1769 (below) refers to these same Rays and evidently this same “indenture of feoffment.”

No special knowledge of period real estate law is claimed by this blog. Various sources connect feoffment with the concept known as “livery of seisin,” with “livery” having nothing to do with horses but rather pertaining to “delivery.

If the reader is interested in pursuing this subject, there are plenty of online sources on feoffment accessible by searching with such keywords as “feoffment” or “livery seisin” which might eventually yield an understanding. Many sources, however, appear either to ramble on and on about archaic medieval customs or to discuss the matter in extreme legalese.

One thing which does appear to be immediately clear is that, as one would expect, the use of the feoffment or enfeoffment method of land transfer became gradually less popular and appears to have died out sometime around the time of the Revolution or shortly thereafter. The “bargain and sale” method was the more common method.

10 April 1770, Order Book 10, p. 252

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 252 . . .

Ordered that Matthew Parham William Martin Robert Bailey and John Mitchell or any three of them being first sworn before a justice of the peace do appraise in current money the Slaves if any and personal estate of William Phips decd [sic; deceased] and return the appraisment [sic; appraisement] to the court

See also 23 April 1770, below.

23 April 1770, Order Book 11, p. 252

[in margin, page number:] 252 . . .

[body of text]

On the Motion of Joseph Phips who made oath according to law certificate is granted him for obtaining letters of administration on the estate of William Phips decd [sic; deceased] giving security whereupon the said Joseph together with Elisha Clarke his security entered into [or unto?] and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of Ł100 for the said Josephs due and faithful admin. [“admin” with tilde indicating abbreviation for “administration”] on the said decedents estate

Ordered that Matthew Parham William Martin Robert Bailey and John Mitchell or any three of them being first sworn before a justice of the peace do appraise in current money the Slaves if any and personal estate of William Phips decd [sic; deceased] and return the appraisment [sic; appraisement] to the court

Elisha Clarke or Clark appears to have married Mary Hardaway, a widow, in 1783, and Hardaway is another one of those recurring associated surnames, as is the Clark surname. When Elisha Clark wrote his 1794 will in Brunswick County, he referred to his land in Warren County, North Carolina. This the county which was discussed in the last post, and which was created from Bute County, which then became extinct. Joseph Phips owned land there in the 1770s.

Also mentioned in that will, according to an abstract, are John Williams and Phillips Williams, apparently as adjacent landowners. Joseph Phips is supposed to have married Sarah Williams.

A 1791 Brunswick County deed is to Elisha Clark, and was witnessed by a “Hardiway” (Hardaway) and a Rawlings (also Rollins, etc.). These are associated names which have been discussed in previous posts (especially Rawlings).

Matthew Parham, mentioned above as an appraiser or potential appraiser, was of St. Andrews Parish, later Meherrin, in Brunswick County and shows up in various Brunswick County records. When he died in or shortly before 1756, the administrator of his estate was a family member with a North Carolina connection: James Parham of Northampton County, North Carolina.

Northampton is adjacent to the Warren County we’ve been discussing, and is adjacent to the Virginia line. Estate records pertaining to the Matthew Parham estate (see same link) were witnessed by members of the “Rieves” (Reeves) family: Timothy Reives and George Rieves.

Various past posts have referred to the 2-volume set by Heinegg titled Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. He mentions that a John Sweat, labeled mulatto in at least one record, “other free” in another record, bought some books and a table from the Matthew Parham estate in Brunswick County.

William Martin, also mentioned as a potential appraiser, was presumably the person of that name (or a relative of the same) who left a 1762 will in Brunswick County. That will was witnessed by a Williams (Jonathan Williams). Again, Joseph Phips married a Williams. Another witness was Robert Briggs, and we discussed Briggs Goodrich in the last post.

Early Virginia families frequently used surnames of associated or related families when selecting given names for their children. Further, an orphan named John Martin, Jr. in Chesterfield County, Virginia, who is assumed to be in the same family, chose a Gray Briggs as his guardian.

Children of William Martin are said to have later moved into Orange County, North Carolina.

Robert Bailey, named as another potential appraiser, was another Brunswick County man who appears to have had North Carolina connections. His wife appears to have died in Granville County, North Carolina.

John Mitchell was also named as a potential appraiser. Someone of that name left a will quite a bit earlier – in 1745 – in Brunswick County, referring to himself as a planter of St. Andrew’s Parish. Later, a 1785 deed to John Mitchell mentions Brunswick County land adjoining a Harris (Nathan Harris). Three Harrises witnessed the deed, including Howell Harris. Howell Harris is supposed to have married a daughter of Briggs Goodrich, who was discussed in the last post.

We’ve noted surveyors in records on numerous occasions, and John Mitchell (either this one or an earlier one) was named as surveyor of a Brunswick County road in 1741. (See also here.)

28 May 1770, Order Book 11, p. 255

An inventory and appraisment [sic; appraisement] of the estate of William Phips decd [sic; deceased] was returned and ordered to be recorded

Who this William Phips was is, of course, not stated here. Mrs. Howard Woodruff, in her book on Joseph and his descendants, refers to a William Phipps of Brunswick County who she couldn’t place. She said that he married Nancy James in 1796, however, so obviously this couldn’t be him. Another William was a grandson of Joseph through his son Benjamin, but he would not have been born early enough.

The William here appears to have recently died in 1770. Assuming he was of full age, he could possibly have been a brother of the John Fips or Phips who married Tabitha, who were likely parents of the Joseph whose birthdate was estimated by Mrs. Woodruff to be perhaps around 1735.

Of course, this is conjectural, but the ages suggest the potential and largely hypothetical scenario that could be outlined as follows:

  • I. Unknown Phips or Phipps
    • A. John Fips or Phips, born perhaps around 1700-1710 or so, married Tabitha
      • 1. Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Fips or Phips, married Ephraim Witcher, resided Surry County, North Carolina
      • 2. Samuel Phips, Sr., who appeared with Samuel Phips, Jr. about 1781 in Montgomery County, Virginia
        • a. Samuel Phips, Jr. of Montgomery County, Virginia, then Wilkes County, North Carolina, then Ashe County, North Carolina (probably all the same place, just redefined), married Elizabeth (“Betty”) Reeves
      • 3. Joseph Phips or Phipps, born perhaps about 1735, who appears in Brunswick County records with Tabitha (#A, above) after the death of her husband John
      • 4. Benjamin Phipps or Phips of Albemarle Parish, Sussex County
      • 5. James Fips or Phipps, who shows up in various records as we’ve discussed
    • B. William Phips of Brunswick County, born perhaps around 1700-1710 or so, died about 1770

A close relationship between Joseph and William is implied by the record of 23 April 1770, above.

2 October 1770, Order Book 11, p. 299

[Drury?] Burdge plt
Joseph Phips Deft
In Case

This day came the parties by their attornies and the defendant prays and has leave to Imparte until the next Court and then to plead –

Drury Burge is discussed under 26 February 1772, below.

6 August 1771, Order Book 11, p. 387

An appraisement of the Estate of William Phips being returned is Ordered to be Recorded

An account of Sales of the Estate of William Phips being returned is Ordered to be Recorded

25 February 1772, Order Book 11, p. 470

[in margin at upper left, page number:] [?]70 . . .

Ordered that William Harr[up?] pay unto Joseph Phips eight hundred pounds of Tobacco for thirty two daies Attendance at this and former Courts as a Witness for him against William Boswell & Elizabeth his wife

The “Harr[up?]” name is repeated several times, since he had to pay others as well. Could this be “Harruss,” with a fancy double-S at the end?

On the other hand, someone else in an online discussion forum post referred to a Brunswick County mortgage from William “Harrup” to Elisha Clark, and states that the name is also represented as “Harp.”

This Elisha “Clarke” was security in 1770 when letters of administration were granted to Joseph Phips as administrator of the estate of William Phips in Brunswick County, as discussed above.

26 February 1772, Order Book 11, p. 482

[Drury?] Burdge plf
Joseph Phipps Deft.
In Case –

This day come the parties by their attornies and the Defendant saith that he is [page break] not guilty in manner and form as the Plaintif against him hath complained and of this he putteth himself upon the Country and the plaintif likewise Therefore the Tryal of the Issue is refered til the next Court.

It seems that the name “Burdge” also appears in records as “Burge.” In an article in The Southside Virginian (Vol. 8, No. 1, January 1990, p. 63), the will of Thomas “Burgh” of Prince George County in 1752 is discussed. Notation is there made that the will was found in Amelia County in connection with a lawsuit in which the surname was represented as “Burge.” Perhaps this is the same name.

Drury Burge, or someone of that name, appears in various Virginia records and seems to have been in Charlotte County by 1781. This is the county where the estate of John Fips was first noticed in 1768 records by the webmaster of the Witcher Genealogy blog.

The name Drury Burge also appears as plaintiff in a Lynchburg City chancery case dated 1818. Among the surnames involved was Terry, which name also appears in records connected with the estate of John Fips or Phips who died in 1768 and who left Tabitha as widow.

23 March 1772, Order Book 11, p. 516

An Indenture of bargain and Sale between William Ray Jun. [or Junr.?] of the one part and Tabitha Phips of the other part was proved by the Oaths of John Randle, Barnet Randle and Joseph Phips three of the Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded –

Of course, this demonstrates the relationship between Tabitha and Joseph. The Ray or Wray family was discussed in the last post, which concerned 4 Brunswick County deeds.

As far as the Randle family is concerned, a Josias Randle was ordered in 1733 in Brunswick County to help clear a road, along with a Reeves (William Reaves). We’ve noted Reeves connections numerous times. Clement Read, mentioned in connection with the estate of Tabitha’s late husband John Fips or Phips, was appointed surveyor of the same road.

The 1771 deed we discussed in the previous post was from this same William Ray, Jr. to this same Tabitha “Fips.” In that deed, William Ray, Jr. was referred to as being of Johnson County, North Carolina, and Tabitha was of Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County, Virginia. That deed was witnessed by John Randle, Barnett Randle, Benja. Whealer, William Ray, and Joseph “Fips.”

Then in the 1776 deed we discussed in the last post, from Tabitha “Phips” to Joseph “Phips” in Brunswick County, one of the witnesses was a Randle Woolsey. In this era, it was extremely common for given names to derive from associated surnames. For that reason, Randle Woolsey’s given name can be presumed to have probably come from association with the Woolsey family, with likely an intermarriage somewhere along the line. We discussed the Woolsey in the last post (and other posts).

The Randle name also comes into play in various partial and not entirely clear online abstracts of a 1781 Brunswick County deed in which James Upchurch bought land. That land adjoined the land belonging to Beverly Randle. The deed was witnessed by James Fips and, apparently, Elizabeth Fips, who we know from other records to have been his wife.

The deed was also witnessed by Absolom (Absalom) Bennett, who was discussed in the last post. When James Upchurch made his will in 1784, he mentions land referred to as “Phipp’s land,” and the will was proven by men who included James Phipps and Meredith Poythress.

James bought land from Meredith Poythress the same year, and there are various Poythress connections and associations involving the Phips and Reeves families, and with both the Randle family and with Douglass (Douglas) Wilkins, the man who Joseph Phips was involved with in Bute (later Warren) County, North Carolina land deals.

1 July 1772, Order Book 12, p. 53

Drury Burdge Plt
Joseph Phipps Deft
In Case.
Continued til next Court –

26 June 1773, Order Book 12, p. 308

Drury Burdge Plt
Joseph Phips Deft
In Case

Continued ’til the next Court –

27 July 1773, Order Book 12, p. 344

Drury Burdge Plt
Joseph Phips Deft
In Case

By Consent of the Parties It is Odered that John Clark, William Evans, and Scarborough Penticost do Arbitrate all matters in difference between them in this Suit, and that their Award therein is to be made the Judgment therein and the same is Ordered accordingly.

We’ve mentioned in past posts that George Reeves was the father in law of Samuel Phipps or Phips, and that both men lived in Wilkes County, North Carolina prior to Samuel appearing in Ashe County, North Carolina records with George Reeves then appearing in adjacent Grayson County, Virginia from 1800 on. (The change in place designation was probably only the result of county redefinitions.)

While George Reeves was living in Wilkes County, North Carolina, he was named in a Halifax County, Virginia deed as an Eppes or Epps heir. Heinegg refers to what appears to be this same Epps family as going sometimes by Evans, apparently because of an illegitimacy.

Here is an Evans involved as an arbitrator in this case involving Joseph Phips, along with two other men, John Clark and Scarborough Penticost (Pentecost). We’ve already discussed the Clark or Clarke surname.

Scarborough Pentecost of Brunswick County is said to have been born in 1737 and to have died in 1795. One of his sons, another Scarborough Pentecost, is suspposed to have died in 1803 in Charlotte County, Virginia, the same county associated with the John Fips estate in 1768.

The elder Scarborough is presumably the one who left a Brunswick County will in 1795. As mentioned elsewhere in this post, 18th century Virginia families often derived given names from surnames of associated families. Another record in this post (23 November 1773) refers to a Lewis Scarborough, demonstrating that there was a Scarborough family in the area. As a result, it can be assumed that the given name Scarborough in Scarborough Pentecost very likely came from association or intermarriage with the Scarborough family.

23 August 1773, Order Book 12, p. 383

Ordered that Drury Burdge pay unto William Boswell two hundred pounds of Tobacco for eight Daies attendance at this and former Courts as a Witness for him against Joseph Phips. –

Ordered that Drury Burdge pay unto Elisha Clarke three hundred Pounds of Tobacco for twelve Daies Attendance at this and former Courts as a Witness for him against Joseph Phips. –

Druiry Burdge and Elisha Clarke have already been discussed. The name Drury Burdge also shows up in records of the period in Dinwiddie County. Some Virginia records refer to him as Drury Burdge, but other sources refer to him as Drury Burge.

Genealogical web pages without identifying primary sources say that he was born in 1749 in Virginia, that he married Elizabeth Dunn in Sussex County, and that he died in 1796 in Charlotte County.

After he died, a Virginia legislative act was passed in 1802 to sell land for taxes that he had owned in Charlotte County. Again, this is the same county where probate records regarding John Fips, dated 1768, were found.

The Library of Virginia indexes an 1818 Lynchburg City chancery case in which Drury Burge is referred to as plaintiff. Again, the Drury Burge of our discussion died supposedly in 1796 and certainly by 1802, but the case, as indexed, includes or references a 1796 will of Drury Burge of Charlotte County, Virginia. One of the surnames discussed in the case is Terry, which comes to play in records regarding John and Tabitha Fips or Phips.

The name Elisha Clarke also appears in Goochland County with surnames which also appear in Brunswick County, but it isn’t clear if it’s the same person or even related.

24 August 1773, Order Book 12, p. 386

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 386 . . .

Drury Burdge Plt
Joseph Phips Deft.
In Case [?]

23 November 1773, Order Book 12, p. 480

L[ewis?] Scarborough Plt.
Joseph Phips Defendant
In Debt

John Jones comes into Court and undertakes for the said Deft [i.e. defendant] that in Case he is C[as?]t in the two Actions aforesaid, that he shall pay the Costs and Condemnation of the Court or [shall?] Render his Body to the Prison of our Sovereign Lord the King Execution [possibly another word, faint] for the same as that he the said John will do it for him whereupon the said defendant prays and has leave to imparte untill the next Court and then to pleade –

We’e noted a number of Jones connections in various posts, but of course that’s a common name. A 1911 article in the William and Mary Quarterly refers to “a prominent” Brunswick County family named Jones, with as its patriarch a certain John Jones who was a member of the court in 1765 and a burgess in 1772. One of his daughters married a Claiborne (another of those associated names we’ve been dealing with).

A patent was issued in 1760 in Brunswick County to John Jones, and that land was later owned by a William Cocke of Lunenburg County. Cocke is another of those associated names we’ve discussed on various occasions. Another deed involving him (same link) was witnessed by a Tatum, and the Tatums were closely associated with the Reeves and Epps families.

A cursory glance at Internet records and claims seems to suggest that John Jones may have been the individual known as “Hellfire Jones.”

Lewis Scarborough is presumably the person of that name who wrote a Brunswick County will dated 15 February 1797. He was of St. Andrews Parish.

8 July 1777, Order Book (13?), p. 160

An Indenture of Bargain and Sale between Tabitha Phips of the One part and Joseph Phips of the other Part was proved by the Oaths of Briggs Goodrich Randle Woolsey and Martha Bennett Witnesses hereto and is Ordered to be Recorded –

“Bargain and sale” was another land transfer method which was much more common than the feoffment method discussed elsewhere in this post. Briggs Goodrich was discussed in the last post, along with the Woolsey family. Absalom Bennett was also discussed.

Could Martha Bennett have been the person later referred to as Martha Duncan of North Carolina? She is mentioned as such in the 25 October 1790 case of Absolem Bennett v. Benjamin Phipps, Robert Westmoreland, and Joseph Phipps (Order Book 15, p. 432, according to online abstracts).

23 August 1777, Deed Book 12, pp. 263-264

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 263 . . .

[in margin farther down:]
Phips &[?]
Davis jr.

[body of text:]

This Indenture made the Twenty Third Day of August in the Year of our Lord Christ One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven Between Joseph Phips and Sarah Phips his Wife of the County of Brunswick of the One Part and Robert Davis junior of the other Part Witnesseth that the said Joseph Phips for and in Consideration of the Sum of Fifteen Pounds Current Money of Virginia to him in Hand paid by the said Robert Davis the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge Hath Granted Bargained and Sold Aliened and Confirmed and by these Presents doth grant Bargain and Sell Alien and Confirm unto the said Robert Davis and to his Heirs and Assigns forever One Certain Tract or Parcel of Land containing One Hundred Acres be the same more or less lying and being in the said County of Brunswick and bounded as follows, viz., Beginning at a Poplar on Cold Water Thence along Collier’s line to a white Oak, Thence along Baker Ray’s line to a Pine Thence along the said Ray’s line to a black Gum Thence along Tatum’s line to a black Jack Thence along Jeremiah Mize’s line to a Scrub Oak Thence along Joseph Phips’s line to the Begining [sic] To have and to hold the said Tract or Parcel of land and all and every part thereof with all Houses Out Houses Edificies [sic; edifices] Buildings Yards [page break]

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 264

[body of text:]
Gardens Orchards Woods Underwoods Trees Ways Waters Water courses Profits Commodities Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever to the Tract or parcel of Land and Appurtenances belonging or in any wise appertaining and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Issues and Profits of all and singular the said Premises and every part thereof and also all the Estate Right Title Interest Use Trust Possession Benefit Property Claim and Demand whatsoever of the said Joseph Phips and his Wife of in and to the same to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Robert Davis his Heirs Executors Admtors [sic; administrators] and Assigns forever And the said Joseph Phips and Sarah his Wife for themselves and their Heirs the said Tract or parcel of Land with all and singular the Premises with their and every of their Appurtenances unto him the said Robert Davis his Heirs Executors Admtors [sic; administrators], or Assigns forever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents In Witness whereof the said Joseph Phips and Sarah his Wife hath hereunto set their Hands and affixed their Seals the Day and Year above Written –

Joseph his + mark Phips (L. S.)
Sarah Phips (L.S.)

Signed Sealed & Deliver’d
In Presence of [signed by witnesses:]
Thomas Ware
Barnet Randle. John Lightfoot.

At a Court held for Brunswick County the 25th Day of August 1777. –

This Indenture was acknowledged by Joseph Phips and Sarah his Wife Parties thereto (She having been first privily examined as the Law directs) and Ordered to be Recorded. –

Peter Pelham junr. Ct. Cur.

This deed was, again, dated 23 August 1777. Regarding Robert Davis, Jr. who bought this land from Joseph and Sarah Phips, an online abstract refers to another deed, dated 16 September 1779, in which Jesse Tatum sells land to Joseph Phips also Phipps, and Robert Davis was one of the witnesses.

That deed is found in Deed Book 14, p. 26. The Tatum family shows up in association with the Rives or Reeves and Eppes or Epps families in various records.

The 1779 deed is more fully abstracted (actually, it looks like a transcription) in another web page. There it is noted that Jesse Tatum of Brunswick County sold to Joseph Phips, also of Brunswick County, 76 acres in that county. The land description refers to “Phips’s old corner,” and was, again, witnessed by Robert Davis (and George Morris).

The text, as transcribed, refers to Joseph “Phips,” but the record was signed by James “Fips” as witness. This, of course, demonstrates what we already knew, which is that there was a family relationship between Joseph and James Phips or Fips.

Regarding John Lightfoot, a 1791 deed from Powell to Powell involved land adjacent to Claiborne Lightfoot and “Phipps line.” The Powell family, in this context, was discussed in the last post, and the Lightfoot and the Claiborne families are associated names with multiple connections.

As noted elsewhere in this post, early Virginia families often derived given names for their children from associated families, and this was presumably the case with the name Claiborne Lightfoot.

Barnett Randle was also discussed in the last post. Thomas Ware shows up in various records including one in Northampton County, North Carolina (1772) with a Brunswick County, Virginia connection and witnessed by a Randle.

25 August 1777, Order Book 13, p. 164

An Indenture of Bargain and Sale between Joseph Phipps and Sarah his Wife of the one Part and Robert Davis junr. of the other part was acknowledged by the said Joseph and Sarah (She being first privily examined as the Law directs) and is Ordered to be Recorded

Women during this period were customarily “privily examined” apart from their husbands to make sure they was not being pressured or coerced by their husbands. The concern was that she should not be subject to “fear, threat or compulsion of her husband” in agreeing to the transfer.

As already noted, Mrs. Howard Woodruff, in her book on his family, identifies this Sarah as being Sarah Williams.

22 April 1782, Order Book 13, p. 460

[in margin at upper left, page number:] 460 . . .

An Indenture of bargain & Sale from James Fipps to James Upchurch Se[nr.? (part cut off)] was proved by the oaths of Absolum Bennett, George Walton & Joseph W[alton? (part cut off)] Witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded.

Here’s Absalom Bennett again, who was discussed in the last post.

Online abstracts refer to a 1781 deed from James Fips to James Upchurch, Sr., as witnessed by Elizabeth, wife of James Fips. Then the 1784 will of James Upchurch refers to a certain piece of land as “Phipp’s land.” The land adjoined land belonging to Beverly Randle, and we’ve noted the Randle name elsewhere in this post.

Regarding George and Joseph Walton of this record, the Walton name comes into play into various other records, although it’s not clear whether it’s the same family and, in some cases, to what extent those records connect.

A Thomas Walton witnessed a Goochland County deed involving a “John Witch” (probably a variant form of Wyche or Witcher) and George Carrington (another associated surname). A George Walton (who knows, perhaps the same one) witnessed a 1749 Lunenburg County deed involving a Phelps and a Payne (with Payne being another associated name).

Another witness in that record was a Ben Harris – another associated surname which dates back to the Phips and Harris surveying venture involving the immigrant John Phips. Lunenburg was formed from Brunswick.

A Walton whose given name can’t be read but which appears to begin with an “S” is listed as an assistant of Peter Fontaine, Jr., surveyor, in a 1751 ad from Lunenburg County which was placed in the Virginia Gazette. Peter Fontaine, Jr. was directly associated with John Fips or Phips in Lunenburg County before John died about 1768. The 1764 Lunenburg tax list referred to John “Fipps” as overseer in connection with Peter “Fountain.”

John Walton’s plantation was the scene of an auction in 1775, according to the Virginia Gazette. Slaves were sold which were in the possession of Leonard Claiborne (see Claiborne reference elsewhere in this post) which were from the estate of Francis Poythress.

James Phips or Phipps of Brunswick County bought land from a Poythress, and we’ve noted other Poythress connections in various posts. In fact, the James Upchurch will in 1784 was proen by George Walton, Meredith Poythress, and James Phipps.