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.

Some Brunswick County, Virginia Deeds

Copies of 4 very interesting deed records from Brunswick County, Virginia were sent by the webmaster of the excellent Witcher Genealogy blog.

A while back, we reported that he had found highly significant records pertaining to a John Fips or Phips who died about 1768. Records pertaining to his estate and to his family members then showed up in several counties of Virginia. In particular, records pertaining to his widow Tabitha have been found in Charlotte, Halifax, Pittsylvania, and Brunswick Counties in Virginia. In addition, John was living in Lunenburg County a bit earlier.

In addition, that family clearly links to Joseph Phipps or Phips of Brunswick County, who appears to have been the patriarch who was the focus of Mrs. Howard Woodruff’s 1972 book on his family. Speculation that Joseph may have been a son of John and Tabitha.

Members of the family of John and Tabitha migrated into Surry and Wilkes Counties in North Carolina and into Lawrence County, Indiana (where members of the family of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina also moved); members of Joseph’s family migrated into Wake and Wilkes Counties in North Carolina and likely Lawrence County, Indiana.

In addition, Joseph himself had land dealings in Bute County, North Carolina, which later became Warren County, while living in Brunswick County, Virginia. Various bits of strong circumstantial evidence seem to very likely link this family to the two orphans of Goochland County, Virginia who we’ve mentioned on various occasions before.

Circumstantial factors appear to likely link them also to a John Phips of Warren County (that same county which was formed from Bute County), North Carolina, who bought land in 1785 in Amelia County, Virginia, with other apparent Amelia County connections.

Through much of all of this, Brunswick County appears to have served as a sort of almost “headquarters” for the family, with the phrase “of Brunswick County” appearing in various records pertaining to family members in other counties and even in other colonies or states. There was also a James in the Pigg River area referred to as being of Brunswick County.

As already noted, in 1972 Mrs. Howard Woodruff wrote a book on Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County and his descendants and apparent siblings. This book can be downloaded from the “Books” area of Family Search, accessible from the “Search” drop-down menu which might not be visible on a mobile device in portrait rather than landscape position. She saw Benjamin Phipps or Phips of Albemarle Parish as probably being Joseph’s brother. Albemarle Parish should not be confused with Albemarle County, but was located in Surry and then in Sussex County.

We should never lose sight of the fact that countless – literally countless – circumstantial factors show this family as interacting within a social framework which involved a number of interrelated surnames over and over again. These were names like Reeves or Rives, Cocke or Cook, Eppes or Epes or Epps, and Poythress, and the like.

In particular, the Reeves connection seems to have begun in England and to have persisted in Virginia and was later seen in the relationship of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina to his father in law George Reeves of adjacent Grayson County, Virginia, who was in turn an Eppes or Epps heir.

One unanswered question is why various family members were involved in so many locations at once or nearly at once. What were they up to?

In the context just described, the 4 Brunswick County, Virginia deeds mentioned above, as recently received, should be of particular interest. These deeds are discussed below. First, they will be summarized, then some of the names appearing in those deeds will be identified to the extent possible at this point. Finally, transcriptions will be presented.


(1) 25 January 1768, Joseph Phips to Thomas Clanton

Joseph Phips of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick County mortgaged a variety of personal property – a slave, furniture, livestock, and “working tools,” all for £100 to Thomas Clanton of Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County. The condition was that Joseph Phips had until 16 January 1773 to redeem this property by paying the £100 with interest.

One of the witnesses to this document was Absm. (Absalom) Bennett and a couple men named Clark. The surname Clark is a name which comes up in various records in connection with the closely associated Wytch, Wyche, etc. family, as well as the Rives or Reeves family and Absalom Bennett, who is discussed below.

(2) 23 October 1769, William Ray and wife Anne, and Baker Ray and wife Lucy, to Joseph Phipps

Two couples named Ray (the surname appears as “Wray” in some records), of Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County, deeded land in Meherrin Parish to Joseph Phipps of St. Andrews Parish in Brunswick County. This land amounted to 250 acres, and the land description mentions the north side of “Cold Water Run” (Coldwater Creek).

This document was witnessed by Briggs Goodrich, Edward Tatum, and Yerby Stroud.

(3) 28 November 1771, William Ray, Jr. to Tabitha Fips

In this deed, William Ray, Jr. of Johnson County, North Carolina sold 100 acres in Brunswick County, Virginia to Tabitha Fips of Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County. The land description refers to the north side of “Great Cold Water.”

Note that the 2nd deed, dated 23 October 1769, mentioned the north side of “Cold Water Run.” Note also, however, that although this deed refers to Tabitha Fips as being of Meherrin Parish, the previous deed referred to Joseph Phipps as being of St. Andrews Parish. Where was the dividing line between these two parishes?

This deed was witnessed by John Randle, Barnett Randle, Benja. Whealer, William Ray, and Joseph Fips. This Joseph Fips is presumably the Joseph “Phips” of the 1st deed, above, and the Joseph “Phipps” of the 2nd deed.

(4) 12 December 1776, Tabitha Phips to Joseph Phips

In this deed, Tabitha Phips of Brunswick County sold 100 acres in Brunswick County to Joseph Phips, who was also of Brunswick County. No parish was mentioned, but this was late in 1776. Sentiment was shifting away from recognition of the old Church of England parishes, and a bill to dissolve both Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County and the parish of St. Anne in Albemarle County was introduced on 16 December 1777.

The land was sold for only £17, which of course suggests a relationship. The land description refers to “Joseph Phips’s line,” as well as “Powell’s line,” in addition to the line of Jeremiah Mire or Mixe or Mize, apparently Mize.

This deed was witnessed by Briggs Goodrich (who had also witnessed the 2nd deed above, from Ray to Joseph Phipps), John Steed, Randle Woolsey, and Martha Bennett. Martha Bennett can be assumed to have been related to Absalom Bennett, and Randle Woolsey was presumably related to Abner Woolsey who married Mary Phipps.

The Powell name frequently comes into play, sometimes in direct association with the Epps and Reeves families. John Steed may very well have been related to the later Steed family who surface in the same Warren County, North Carolina which has already been mentioned, with direct connections from him and his wife to the Brunswick County, Virginia estates of Jedathan Steed and Benjamin Phipps. This is discussed in the Steed and Phipps Family Papers at the University of North Carolina.

Of course, there were other relevant Brunswick County deeds as well as records of other types in that county. For now, however, let’s concentrate on these 4 deeds. Who, then, were the various individuals referred to in these documents?


Absalom Bennett

A key figure in the deeds as well as other records was Absalom Bennett. He was the father of Julius D. Bennett, who names his father in his 1807 Wake County, North Carolina will.

Absolom or Absolum or Absolem Bennett is the man who witnessed the following:

  • A 1781 Brunswick County deed which was also witnessed by 4 men named “Wyche” (the significance of this name is discussed in previous posts)
  • A 1781 Brunswick County deed from James Fips of Brunswick County (witnessed by his wife Elizabeth) to James Upchurch, Sr.
  • A 1784 Brunswick County deed from Randle Woolsey and wife Elizabeth and Joell Woolsey (the significance of the Woolsey name was discussed in past posts)
  • A 1784 will of James Upchurch, presumably the James Upchurch Sr. of the 1781 deed; the will refers to land “called Phipp’s land”

Then, in 1790, Absolem Bennett sued Benjamin Phipps, Robert Westmoreland, and Joseph Phipps with depositions taken from women in North Carolina including one in Wake County, North Carolina. Then in 1807 in Wake County, the will of Julius D. Bennett mentions his father Absalom Bennett, Elizabeth Phipps (relationship not stated), and Polley Phipps (relationship not stated).

For more on Absalom and Julius Bennett:

Thomas Clanton

The 1768 deed by Joseph Phips to Thomas Clanton, transcribed below, seems a bit strange. This was 1768, the year in which the John Fips estate becomes an issue in Charlotte County, but in this record Joseph appears to be virtually mortgaging his life away for a measly £100.

Another thing which seems odd is that the horse brand mentioned consists of a capital letter “M,” with a sort of 3/4 circle beside it. Joseph appears to have been illiterate, but was there some significance to the letter “M,” or was the horse earlier branded by someone else?

This document reads very much like a chancery case in Bedford County, Virginia in 1759, filed as Thomas Yuille v. John Phelps. The Phelps family appears to probably tie in, somehow, although at least some of them were clearly mulatto, as specifically stated in records.

Yuille, who was a Chesterfield County merchant, extended credit to John Phelps of Bedford County, who had been buying “great Quantitys” of “good Wares of Merchindizes” from Yuille. Phelps gained the trust of Yuille, but eventually needed to pay, and didn’t have the money.

As a result, John Phelps entered into a mortgage similar to this one, in which he essentially deeded everything he owned, both real estate and personal property, to Yuille, with the caveat that the agreement would be voided if John would come up with the money.

John appears to have a few token payments, then lost interest. He would then come up with excuse after excuse why he could not pay and could not turn over his property either.

The implication in the Brunswick County document seems to be that Joseph Phips is in tight financial circumstances and is essentially receiving a loan, in a document which evidently operated much the same as a modern pawn shop agreement. This was earlier the same year that the estate of John Fips, with Tabitha as apparently widow, surfaces in Charlotte County, with Tabitha later showing up in several other counties including Brunswick. Was there some connection?

Regarding Thomas Clanton, the Virginia Gazette on 26 November 1767 (Purdie & Dixon edition) ran an ad pertaining to the sale of “likely negroes” from the estate of Edward Clanton, deceased.

Briggs Goodrich

Briggs Goodrich is said to have been born in 1728 in Brunswick County, a son of Edward Goodrich, Jr. and Anne Briggs, and to have died in 1755 in Greensville County, Virginia. He is said to have married Mary Camp.

Briggs Goodrich was supposedly of St. Andrews Parish in Brunswick County, the same parish which Joseph Phipps is noted as being “of” in one of the deeds. A daughter of Briggs Goodrich was supposedly Mary, born about 1756, who married Howell Harris, which gives us yet another Harris reference. Of course, as noted numerous times, the immigrant surveyor John Phips of Jamestown arrived in 1621 with his fellow surveyor who was a Harris.

More significantly, a transcription of a deed found in Deed Book 14, Brunswick County, dated “eighty” (according to a transcription) November 1779 was witnessed by several people. The first two of them are transcribed as Absolum Bennett, discussed above, and Briggs Goodrich. This was a deed involving land on the south side of Fountains Creek in Brunswick County.

Jeremiah Mire or Mixe or Mize

The name has elsewhere been transcribed as Jeremiah Mize, although at one point in one of the deeds carefully examined here, it seems to look more like Mire. A genealogist’s post in a RootsWeb discussion board refers to Jeremiah Mize as an uncle of Anderson Wray (see the Wray or Ray family below), son of Nathaniel Wray, Sr. and his wife Mourning.

The person posting this information then refers to a family lineage from here which “goes on into” a Barnes, that being John A. Barnes, son of John Barnes, with John Barnes having a brother Richard Barnes who married Polly Wray.

Sources for the discussion board information are not indicated, at least not at that point. If this is so, however, then it suggests a somewhat indirect connection to the Barnes family. The Barnes name, you’ll recall, comes into play in connection with John and Tabitha Fips in various records.

Another factor which might be only coincidental is that, according to unconfirmed information, a Jeremiah Mize, son of one of that name born in 1698 in Lunenburg County, Virginia, was born in North Carolina and went to Pulaski County, Kentucky.

This is the same county which was discussed in the last post in connection with Littleberry Phipps and possibly, in a conjectural sense, with Daniel F. Phipps.

A later Joshua Mize (son of the same Jeremiah?) is said to have moved into Wilkes County, North Carolina, where he died in 1790. This is the same county where Samuel Phips was living, presumably the same place which by 1800 had been redefined as Ashe County.

In addition, one web page cites the claim that a Benjamin Ray (see the Ray/Wray family below) was an illegitimate son of an Edy Wray who married Jeremiah Mize.

For more on Jeremiah Mize:

The Powell family

A transcription of a deed dated 29 March 1791 (Deed Book 15), concerns 200 acres in Brunswick County which changed hands from John Powell to James Powell, who were both of Brunswick County. The land description in that deed refers to Reedy Branch and “Phipps line” (mentioned twice) as well as “Phipps path.” Also mentioned is “Camps line;” Briggs Goodrich, referred to above, is supposed to have married a Camp.

The Ray or Wray family

Although they are referred to as “Ray” in Deeds 2 and 3 (above), in other records members of this family sometimes appear as “Wray.” A web page titled “Fun Facts About Those Rays from Brunswick County, Virginia” refers to another deed which is of interest. This deed is dated 28 June 1779 and comes from Brunswick County Deed Book 13, p. 289.

In that deed, Nathaniel Wray and his wife Mourney of Meherrin Parish in Brunswick County sold 150 acres to John Jones, Benjamin Hicks, Beverly Brown, and John or Joseph Greenhill. The land is referred to as having been, as abstracted, “purchased by Joseph Philips of the said Nathaniel Ray.”

The obvious first question is whether this Joseph Philips was the same individual as Joseph Phipps AKA Phips. The second question is why Nathaniel Wray would be selling this land if he had sold it to Phips or Philips.

Both questions are answered further into the abstract. There it is said that Joseph “Philips” “departed this life” without having received a deed, so it couldn’t be the Joseph Phipps we’ve been discussing. In that will, according to the abstract, he went ahead anyway and “devised the same” to his wife Elizabeth, even though he evidently didn’t have a deed.

It sounds, then, as though the “Philips” family believed that the land was theirs, but the Wray family believed otherwise. Since the land was being sold, evidently it was ultimately determined to belong to Wray, and yet evidently they believed there was enough of a caveat involved that the matter should be specified in the deed.

For more information on the Ray or Wray family:

Yerby Stroud

Regarding Yerby Stroud, someone of that name and of a somewhat later generation (born about 1761), is said to have settled in South Carolina and then in Georgia. He is said to have had a brother, William, who supposedly killed more Tories than any other soldier in South Carolina.

Edward Tatum

The Tatum family shows up in various records as associated with the families of Reeves or Rives, Epps or Eppes, Wych or Wyche, and Bolling. Unsourced genealogists’s web pages seem to suggest that at least a couple individuals named Edward Tatum were in Brunswick County during this period, one of whom supposedly moved to Guilford County, North Carolina.

We’ve discussed the “Phripp” family of Norfolk on various occasions, with that family sometimes going by several variant forms of what looks more like “Phip” or the like. The 1734 Norfolk County will of Richard Joell was witnessed by J. Phripp and refers to Capt. Nathaniel Tatum as Joell’s friend. In addition, we’ve run into an awful lot of surveyors, and one of the Edward Tatums was a Brunswick County surveyor in 1732.

Benjamin Whealer

Regarding Benja. “Wheale[r?],”, an abstract of a 1773 Brunswick County deed has Barnett Randle selling land to Benj. “Whealther,” Sr. Barnett Randle and John Randle are referred to as sons of William Randle, Sr. in his Brunswick County will, which was proved 22 April 1771.

The will was proved by the oaths of 3 men, one of whom was Benjamine “Whealer,” and the other being “Rendle Woolsey.” (We’ve discussed the Woolsey connection in past posts, and also see below.) A 1784 Brunswick deed abstract has Randle Woolsey and his wife Elizabeth and Joell Woolsey, all of Brunswick County, selling hand as witnessed by Absalom Bennett, who is discussed above.

The Woolsey family

As noted in past posts, the 1803 Brunswick County will of Joseph Phipps (as transcribed in A. Maxim Coppage, Virginia Settlers, Vol. 3, refers to his daughter Mary Woolsey. That will was proven in 1809. Children of Joseph are identified in the will as John, Benjamin, and Mary (Phipps) Woolsey.

Mary Phipps is supposed to have married Abner Woolsey, born in Brunswick County about 1770.

A 1785 Brunswick County deed from Joel Woolsey to Randle Woolsey mentions “John Powell’s line” (see the Powell references above). A 1786 Brunswick County document pertaining to the inability of a certain Jane Atkinson to come to court to acknowledge a deed is from Paul Tatum (see Edward Tatum above) and others to Thomas Stith, John Powell, and Thomas Claiborne, “gentlemen.”

Claiborne is another of those recurring names discussed in past posts, and this Thomas Stith was presumably related to Drury Stith, the well-known surveyor.


(1) 25 January 1768, from Deed Book 9, p. 177

[in margin, at upper left, page number:]
176 . . .

[In margin:]

[body of text:]
Know all Men by these Presents that I Joseph Phips of the County of Brunswick & Parish of Saint Andrews for and in Consideration of the Sum of One Hundred Pounds Current Money of Virginia to me in hand paid by Thomas Clanton of the same County & Parish of Meherin whereof I do hereby Acknowledge the Receipt and myself therewith intirely [sic] Satisfy’d & Contented have Bargained Sold [Set?] Over and Delivered and by these Presents in Plain & Open [Market? or Marker?] According to due form of Law do Bargain Sell & Deliver unto the said Thomas Clanton One Negro Girl Named Patt with her Increase [their?] feather bed [or beds?] & furniture one Bay Mare & horse

[in margin at upper left, page number:]

[body of text:]
Colt the Mare Branded on the Near Buttock with three Dotts [word obscured by ink blot or shadow] Colt not [Deckt? or Dockt?] nor Branded One Sorrell Horse Branded on Each thigh Resembling th[us?] [(a capital “M” with a sort of half circle appearing to the upper left from the “M;” see photo] Thirteen Head of Cattle two of them mark’d with a swallow fork in the Right Ear & Crop of two Slits in the left the other part of the said Cattle markd [sic] with a small Crop in the Right year [sic; presumably “ear” was intended] & an underkeel [or underheel?] in the left Ear Four head of Sheep of the said mark of Crop & underheel [or underkeel?] thirty Head Hogs Mark’d a Crop & Underheel [or Underkeel?] as in aforesaid & all my hous hold Furniture whatsoever and working Tools of all Sorts To have and to Hold the said Bargained Premises Unto the said Thomas Clanton his Heirs Executors Admors [sic; abbreviation for administrators] and assigns to the only proper use & behoof of him the said Thomas Clanton his Heirs &c. forever and I the said Joseph Phips for myself my heirs [Exors?[ & Admors [sic; presumably executors and administrators] the said Bargaind [sic] Premises unto the said Thomas Clanton his Heirs Exors & Admors or Assigns against all and all Manner of Persons shall & will warrant and forever Defend by these Presents Provided Nevertheless that if the said Joseph Phips his Heirs Exors Admors One or either of them do or shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the sd. [i.e. said] Thomas Thomas [sic; word repeated] Clanton his Heirs &c. the full and Just Sum of One Hundred Pounds Current Money of Virginia with Lawfull Interest thereon from the Date hereof on or before the 16th Day of January 1773 for the Redemption of the said Premises above Mentioned then this Present Bill of Sale to be Void otherwise to stand in full force and Virtue In Witness whereof I the said Joseph Phips have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 25th Day of January 1768.

Joseph his + mark Phips (L S)

[signed by witnesses:]
Absm. Bennett
George Clark Jun
Elisha Clark
John Roberts –

(2) 23 October 1769, from deed book p. 558

[in margin:]


Ray[s?] [?]rs.
Phips –

[main body of text:]

This Indenture made this twenty third day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine Between William Ray Senr. and Anne his wife and Baker Ray and Lucy his wife of the County of Brunswick and parish of Meherin and Joseph Phipps of the said County and parish of Saint Andrews Witnesseth that the said Wm Ray & Anne his wife and Baker Ray & Lucy his wife for and in consideration of the Sum of eighty pounds Current money of Virginia to them in hand paid by the said Joseph Phips the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge hath granted Bargained & Sold Aliened enfeoffed and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain and Sell Alien enfeoffe and confirme [sic] unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and assigns for ever a certain Tract or parcel of Land in the County aforesaid and parish of Meherin containing two hundred and fifty Acres more or less and is Bounded as followeth to wit, Beginning at a white oak on the North side of Cold Water Run thence west to a corner white oak thence east to a black oak thence west to a white oak thence South to a white oak a corner tree thence west to a hickory thence east to a pine on cold water thence east to a white oak thence east to a hickory – from thence down to the Beginning also all woods underwoods profits commodities advantages hereditiments [sic] and appurtenances whatsoever to the said land belonging or in any wise appurtaining and also the reversion & reversions remainder and remainders rents and Services of the said premises and of every part and parcel thereof and all Right title Interest property Impertenances claim and demand whatsoever of them the said William Ray Senr. and Anne his wife and Baker Ray and Lucy his wife their Heirs or assigns of in or to the said premises or any part thereof – To have and to hold all and singular the premises above mentioned and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and assigns for ever and the said William Ray Senr. and Anne his wife and Baker Ray and Lucy his wife and their Heirs the said premises and every part thereof unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and assigns shall and will warrant and for ever Defend by these presents In Witness whereof the said William Ray and Anne his wife and Baker Ray & Lucy his wife hath hereunto set their hands and affixed their Seals the day and year first above Written –

William his X mark Ray (LS)
Anne her X mark Ray (LS)
Baker his R mark Ray (LS)
Lucy her X mark Ray (LS)

Signed Sealed & Delivered
In the presence of [signed:]
Briggs Goodrich
Edward Tatum
Yerby Stroud

(3) 28 November 1771, from Deed Book 10, pp. 371-372

[in margin:]

Ray & Wife
Phips –

[body of text:]

This Indenture made this twenty eighty day of November in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and Seventy one Between William Ray junior of Johnson County in the province of North Carolina and Tabitha Fips of the County of Brunswick and Parish of Meherrin Witnesseth That the said William Ray for and in Consideration of the Sum of twenty Pounds Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Tabitha Fips before the Signing and Sealing of These Presents the Receipt whereof the said William Ray doth hereby Confess and acknowledge, and the said Tabitha Fips before the Signing and Sealing of these presents and the said William Ray his Heirs Executors, and Administrations of and from all and every part of the said Sum doth hereby [acquit?] and for ever defend by these presents discharge Hath Bargained Sold Aliened made over and Confirmed and doth by these presents Bargain Sell make over and Confirm unto the said Tabitha Fips and to her Heirs and Assigns for ever one certain Tract or parcel of Land with the Appurtenances – Situate lying and being on the North side of Great Cold Water on the Branches of the said Cold Water in the County of Brunswick containing one hundred Acres more or less the said Land being Granted by Patent to William Ray Senr. and made over by Deed to his said abovementioned Son William Ray junior andBounded as followeth, to wit, Beginning at a Corner White Oak on Jeremiah Mize’s line, thence North to a black Oak on the [page break]

[next page, headed “372” in original text in margin:]

R[eed?]y Branch a Corner tree between John Powell and the said William Ray thence down the said Branch East to a Corner Pine between the said Ray and John Powell, thence South East to a Corner White Oak on Smith’s line thence along the said line to a Corner black Jack made by the said William Ray Senior and Son William Ray junior thence West along the dividing line to the said beginning White Oak. To have and to hold the said One hundred Acres of Land with all and every the Rights Privileges Improvements and Appurtenances of all and every kind whatsoever unto the said Tabitha Fips and to her Heirs and Assigns free from the [? (looks like “latt”)], Hindrance, Molestation of him the said William Ray his Heirs and Assigns unto the only proper Use and [?]f of her the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns forever And the said William Ray for himself and his Heirs doth Covenant and Agree to and with the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns that the Right and Title of the said Land and premises and of every part thereof against every person he and they will Warrant and forever by these presents defend and Maintain unto the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns forever In Witness whereof the said William Ray hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his Seal the Day and Year herein first above Written –

William Ray – (Seal)
Mary her + mark Ray – (Seal)

Signed Sealed & Delivered in the presence of [signed:]
John Randle
Barnett Randle
Benja. Wheale[r?]
William Ray
Joseph Fips –

At a Court held for Brunswick County the 23d. Day of March 1772

This Indenture was proved by the Oaths of John Randle, Barnett Randle, and Joseph Fips Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded –

[signature unclear, obscured by scratch on microfilm, apparently Peter Pelham [see next record]] junr. Ct. C[ur?].

(4) 12 December 1776, from Deed Book 12, pp. 247-248

[in margin at top left, page number:]
247 . . .

[in margin:]
to Phips

[body of text:]
This Indenture made this twelfth Day [“of” missing] December in the Year of our Lord Christ One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy six Between Tabitha Phips of the County of Brunswick of the one part and Joseph Phips of the said County of the other Part Witnesseth that for and in Consideration of the Sum of Seventeen Pounds Current Money of Virginia unto me the Said Tabitha Phips in hand paid by the said Joseph Phips the Receipt whereof she the said Tabitha Phips doth hereby Acknowledge and herself therewith entirely Satisfied and contented Hath Bargained Sold Aliened Released and Confirmed and by these presents for herself and Heirs doth Grant Bargain Sell Alien Release and Confirm unto the said Joseph Phips 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 County of Brunswick and Bounded as followeth to wit. Beginning at a black Jack a Corner in Joseph Phips’s line Thence to a Pine Corner in John Powell’s line Thence along said [page break]

[in margin at upper left, page number:]

[body of text:]
Powell’s line to a black Jack a corner in Jeremiah Mi[r? or x?]e’s [Note: The name has elsewhere been transcribed as “Mize”] line, Thence along said [Mire?]’s line to a Corner white Oak in Joseph Phips’s Thence along said Phips’s line to his Corner black [sic] to the Beginning With all the Houses Orchards Gardens Fences Woods and Underwoods Water and Wate [sic; water] courses with all Profits Commodities and Advantages To have and to hold the said Granted Land and Premises with their and every of their Appurtenances unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and Assigns forever And she the said Tabitha Phips for herself and her Heirs doth hereby Covenant Grant and to and with the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and Assigns shall and may at all Times hereafter peaceably and quietly hold possess and enjoy the said Granted Land and Premises with every of its Appurtenances free from all former Sales Gifts Mortgages Rights of Dower and every other incumbrance whatsoever and the said Tabitha Phips and her Heirs shall and will warrant and forever defend the said Granted Land with every of its Appurtenances unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs against all and every Person or Persons laying any Claim thereunto In Witness whereof the said Tabitha Phips hath here unto set her Hand and Seal the Day and Year first above Written

Tabitha her | mark Phips (L. S.)

Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the Presence of [signed:]
Briggs Goodrich Randle Woolsey
John Steed Martha Bennett

At a Court held for Brunswick County the 2[8?] day of July 1777.
This Indenture was proved by the Oaths of Briggs Goodrich Randle Woolsey and Martha Bennett Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded

Peter Pelham junr. C[t.?] C[ur.?]

A KY/IN/IA Family Called Phipps, Fipps, Philipps, and Phelps

Thanks to Tim Phipps, who wrote an article which appears at the end of this post. That article is titled “Daniel and Willis Phipps – Breckinridge County, Kentucky, & Clay County, Indiana.” That article concerns several individuals, the data regarding whom can be summarized as follows:

Daniel Phipps
Born about 1800 Kentucky
Resided 1824 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Resided 1840 Clay County, Indiana
Resided 1850 Cedar County, Iowa
Died 1880 Guthrie County, Iowa
John Phipps
Born about 1803 or earlier
Resided 1824 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Reason Redman Phipps
Born 1824 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Samuel Phipps/Fipps
Born about 1801-1810
Resided 1825-1830, 1840 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Willis Phips/Phipps
Born about 1803 or earlier
Resided 1824, 1825 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Resided 1830 Meade County, Kentucky
Resided 1840 Clay County, Indiana (if him)

Several Phips or Phipps individuals have appeared in Clay County, Indiana, including some who appear to have been related to the family of Isaiah and Eve (Kennedy) Phips. Isaiah was a son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina. Isaiah and Eve settled early in the 19th century in Lawrence County, Indiana.

Isaiah and his family to have arrived in Indiana a bit earlier than the family of Isaiah’s brother Jesse, who came into Owen County around 1832. Jesse’s son Mathew lived in Owen County while maintaining a store in adjacent Clay County.

Additional relatives who came into these same areas of Indiana – certainly Lawrence County – appear to have derived from the family of John and (Tabitha) Phips/Fips of Virginia, who first migrated into Surry, Wilkes, and Ashe Counties in North Carolina.

It could also be highly significant that a Benjamin Phipps, married to Lethe Williams, was also in Clay County, Indiana. Blanchard’s 1884 history of Clay and Owen Counties names his place of birth as North Carolina. He came into Lawrence County, Indiana by the time of an 1818 land entry, but moved to Clay County in 1834 according to Blanchard.

This was maybe a year or two after the family of Jesse Phips or Phipps, son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, moved into Clay and Owen Counties. Jesse’s brother Isaiah had already moved to Lawrence County, Indiana, where individuals apparently related to John and Tabitha Fips or Phips of several counties simultaneously in southeast Virginia had also migrated.

Benjamin and Lethe (Williams) Phipps were the parents of Sampson and William of Clay County, who had a Clay County business of sawing lumber for boats used in the then-lucrative White River trade, according to Blanchard. The 1880 census says that Sampson’s father, who would have been Benjamin, was born in North Carolina.

Also coming into Clay County, Indiana by 1831 was Ambrose D. Phipps (his name looks like perhaps “Anubrus” Phips in the 1850 census and “Ambers” in the 1870 census in that county), born about 1805 in Kentucky, with a wife born in Virginia. This uncommon given name may possibly suggest a connection to the family of John and Tabitha again, with their relatives via Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia, who may have been their son, coming into the area of Wake County, North Carolina, one of whom was named Ambrose.

Note that this Ambrose was supposedly born in Kentucky very roughly around the same time as Daniel F. Phipps. Daniel was also said to have been in Kentucky, although at least a couple records say Indiana.

With Ambrose in the 1850 census in Clay County, Indiana is 24-year-old Henry “Bolock,” a laborer born in North Carolina. This was the Henry “Bolick” mentioned in Blanchard’s 1884 history of Clay County (p. 417) as bound to “Ambress” D. Phipps when he was “quite young.” Henry was still in Ambrose’s household as late as 1870. The North Carolina origins of Bolick might suggest North Carolina origins for the family of Ambrose, although that appears probable anyway.

Note that the middle initial of that Ambrose was D. Another later Ambrose D. shows up in Union Township, Putnam County, Missouri in the 1870 census. He is believed to have been born in Clay County, Indiana, and was living in the same county (Putnam in Missouri) where Jesse Phips or Phipps, son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, had died just 5 years previously.

Putnam County is not only the same county where Jesse was living, but the 1860 census (he died of smallpox in 1865) shows him in the same township: Union Township.

This later Ambrose looks as though he was likely a son of yet another Jesse Phipps, who was born in Virginia in 1811 and who died in 1885 in Sullivan County, Missouri. This Jesse appears to fit into the same family, but the presence of more than 2 Jesses in the same area has caused a huge amount of confusion, with, of course, highly confused unsourced information posted on the Internet.

That Jesse, according to the 1880 census, had a brother, Alford, born about 1805 in Kentucky. Again, the earlier Ambrose was also born about 1805 in Kentucky. Here, then, we have yet another Phipps or Phips born around roughly the same period as Daniel and Ambrose and, again, somewhere in Kentucky.

Can Breckinridge County be assumed? When Jesse migrated with his family from Ashe County, North Carolina to Owen County, Indiana about 1832, family stories have the family navigating through the Cumberland Gap, then taking their time and evidently resting for a while somewhere in Kentucky on the way. Were they following in the footsteps of family members who made the same trip earlier?

Descendants of Samuel of Ashe County, North Carolina eventually migrated into parts of northern Missouri and into Iowa. Previously unaccounted for “Phips” individuals in these areas would seem to have perhaps stemmed from Samuel or from John and Tabitha in Virginia. Reason Phipps died in the same county in Iowa where descendants of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina were living.

Quite a lot of information regarding the Reason Phipps who is mentioned by Tim in his article and who is summarized above was posted in this blog in a previous post. (An error in that previous post was spotted, by the way: “Family” Phipps in the 1900 census should have been “Emily” Phipps.) Was his middle name actually Redman or Redmon, or is this just something claimed by genealogists?

He is referred to as a deceased Mexican War veteran in the Evening Times-Republican, published in Marshalltown, Iowa, on 12 September 1902:

Iowa at Washington.

Washington, Sept. 12. – . . . The following pensions were granted to Iowans: . . .

Increase, reissue, etc. – . . . Reason Phipps (dead), Bagley, $12 (Mexican war). . . .

Widows, minors and dependent relatives – . . . Emily Phipps, Bagley, $8.

Long after he had moved away and had died, Reason Phipps appeared in a list of Clay County, Indiana veterans of the Mexican War in the Brazil Daily Times, Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, 18 September 1924, p. 4.

From that earlier post and from a photo of the tombstone of Reason R. Phipps, which is posted in Find A Grave, we can derive summary information about him which appears below.

Also, it’s significant to note that others Phipps individuals are buried in the same cemetery with Reason. Certainly not everything posted without sources in Find A Grave can be believed, but tombstone photos, of course, are credible evidence. Reference is made to a Ben Phipps as buried in the same cemetery, but with no dates, no tombstone photo, and no sources indicated. The claim is made that an Eliza (Phipps) Lane, born 1 June 1827 and died 16 September 1899, is also buried there, but again no photo is posted and no sources are indicated.

On the other hand, a photo is posted of a tombstone for a Catharine Phipps, although the photo is small, poor quality, and not clearly readable. (The actual stone itself might not be any more readable.) The approximate birthdate could be derived from the age on the stone, but that is unclear.

The stone for Daniel is recumbent and not entirely readable. Again, the photo is very small, but the name appears to read “DANIEL F. PHIPPS,” followed by “DIED.” Nothing else appears to be readable, except that “OUR FATHER” appears above his name. Dates and other claims are posted in his Find A Grave page, but without sources being indicated. The page does claim that the inscription indicates that he was aged 80, but this is not at all clear from the photo. (Also see this reference to the WPA Cemetery Index.)

Also buried in the same cemetery is a later Willis, who lived from 1863 to 1950. From the 1880 and 1900 federal censuses, as well as the 1885 and 1895 Iowa state censuses, it’s clear that he was a son of Reason. Presumably this individual was named for the earlier Willis.

An online copy of his obituary in the Jefferson Bee, Jefferson, Iowa, is dated 11 July 1950, but is of such poor resolution that it’s difficult to read. That obituary does, however, refer to him as Willis O.L. Phipps of Cedar County, Iowa, and states that he wrote a biographical sketch for the Iowa State Historical Society, of which he was a member. From that life story, the newspaper derived the information that he was Willis Oliver Phipps, son of Reason R. and Emily Phipps.

The following is information regarding Reason R. Phipps:

Born 27 November 1824 Kentucky, his father born Kentucky, his mother born Virginia
Served in Co. D, 2nd Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Mexican War
Married Mary Murphy (1830-?) 1849 Cedar County, Iowa
Married Emily Burchett (1835-1913) 1858 Cedar County, Iowa
Resided 1880 Dodge [Township? City?], Guthrie County, Iowa
Resided 1885 Dodge [Township? City?], Guthrie County, Iowa
Resided 1895 Guthrie County, Iowa
Resided 1900 Dodge Township, Boone County, Iowa
Died 2 October 1901
Buried Dodge Center Cemetery, Guthrie (The WPA 1930s Graves Registration Survey says Guthrie, while Find A Grave says Bagley), Guthrie County, Iowa

Regarding Breckinridge County, Kentucky, the location associated with this family, it could also be noted that this is adjacent to Indiana, specifically Perry County. Only two small counties intervene between Peryr County and Lawrence County, to the north.

One research question left by the information in the article below concerns what happened to Daniel Phipps between the 1850 census and his death in 1880. Since he appears in the federal census in 1850 in Cedar County, Iowa and was buried in 1880 in Guthrie County, Iowa, one would expect to find him in Iowa state and federal census records in the intervening period.

Such records seemed well hidden, however, with suspicions that a spelling variant could have been involved. Some clues as to his whereabouts were then derived from Willis Phipps’s obituary.

Again, that obit is hard to read, but seems to suggest the following chronology, which would also pertain to his father Reason. Perhaps the migrations of Daniel might have paralleled those of Reason, at least for a while. Again, keep in mind that the text is difficult to read, especially year dates:

  • Born 26 January 1862 (tombstone says 1863) Cedar County, Iowa
  • Moved Spring 1857 (or 1867?) to Benton County, near Blairstown, with his parents and “the rest of the family,” whatever that means
  • Lived in Benton and Iowa Counties from Spring 18[5?]7 until arrived by covered wagon on 22 May 1874 at 5 p.m. (!) in Dodge Township, Guthrie County.

By combining these clues and comparing one known census record for Daniel Phipps, that being the 1850 census, it becomes possible to find the seemingly missing 1870 census entry for him. First, here he is in the 1850 census:

From the 1850 census, Rochester Township, Cedar County, Iowa, 5 September 1850, 204/204:

  • Daniel Phipps, 50 [born about 1800], M, farmer, born Kentucky
  • Catherine Phipps, 46 [born about 1804], F, Kentucky, could not read and write
  • Mary J. Phipps, 20 [born about 1830], F, Illinois
  • Nancy Phipps, 17 [born about 1833], F, Indiana
  • John W. Phipps, 14 [born about 1836], M, Indiana
  • Harriet Phipps, 12 [born about 1838], F, Indiana
  • Willis O. Phipps, 8 [born about 1842], M, Indiana
  • Louisa Phipps, 22 [born about 1828], F, Kentucky

(Note that the above also suggests that the family was living in Illinois about 1830, then moved to Indiana by about 1833. This is about the same time that Jesse Phips came into Indiana from Ashe County, North Carolina and Benjamin Phipps (and wife Lethe Williams) came into Clay County, Indiana.)

Now compare the 1850 listing with the following, noting that Willis said that the family lived in Benton and Iowa Counties between 18(57?) and 1874. Keep in mind that errors (but oftentimes good guesses, based on a past residence) were extremely, outrageously, common in census records.

Sometimes ages in censuses (compare Harriet’s) were approximations, based on asking a neighbor or a family member who wasn’t sure. Occasionally individuals were unsure themselves when they were born. Household 84/85 was recorded as “Phelps,” while the next house following was recorded as “Phipps.”

From the 1870 census, Honey Creek Township, Iowa County, Iowa, post office at Koszta, Iowa, 30 July 1870, p. 12:


  • Daniel Phelps, 70 [born about 1800], MW, farming, real estate blank, personal estate $500, born Indiana
  • Catharine Phelps, 68 [born about 1802], FW, keeping house, Kentucky
  • Harriet Phelps, 27 [born about 1843], FW, house keeper, Indiana


  • John Phipps, 33 [born about 1837], MW, farming, Indiana
  • Mary Phipps, 23 [born about 1847], FW, keeping house, Iowa

Note that these are adjacent households, one referred to as that of “Phelps,” the other of “Phipps.”

Clearly, John Phipps in the 1870 census was John W. Phipps in the 1870 census, Harriet “Phelps” in the 1870 census was Harriet Phipps in the 1850 census, and Daniel and Catharine “Phelps” in the 1870 census were Daniel and Catherine Phipps in the 1850 census.

So then where was this Daniel in 1860? Armed with this same information, now it becomes possible to easily make a determination as to a probable culprit, and that hunch proves correct. Daniel “Philipps” appears in the 1860 census in the same county, Cedar County, on the same page as the family of Reason, here called “Reeson Philips:”

From the 1860 census, Sugar Creek Township, Cedar County, Iowa, post office at Pleasant Hill, 2 July 1860, p. 103:


  • Reeson Philips, 35 [born about 1825], M, farmer, real estate blank, personal estate $365, born Kentucky
  • Emily Philips, 25 [born about 1835], F, Ohio
  • Daniel [T?] Philips, 9 [born about 1851], M, Iowa, attended school
  • Levi D Phillips, 3/12 [born 1860] M, Iowa

(3 intervening households, then:)

  • Daniel Philipps, 56 [born about 1804], M, farmer, real estate blank, personal estate $300, Indiana
  • Catharine Philipps, 53 [born about 1807], F, Kentucky, could not read and write
  • Harriet Philipps, 20 [born about 1840], F, Indiana
  • Willis O Philipps, 17 [born about 1843], M, Indiana, attended school
  • Eliza Arnett, 33 [born about 1827], F, Kentucky

Clearly this is the same family.

This demonstrates something which has been a bane to “Phipps” genealogists, and something which, understandably, all of us have been reluctant to confront, that being the presence of radically variant surname forms and spellings in early records. Here is the same family, referred to as Phipps, Phelps, Philips, Philipps, and Phillips. This same family has also been referred to as Fipps.

Armed with this information, it now becomes possible to locate 2 obituaries of Levi D. Phipps. He was listed above, in the 1860 census, as Levi D. Phillips (with 2 L’s in the surname), a son of “Reeson Philips” (with 1 L). Those obits say that Levi D. “Phipps” died at Tekamah, (Burt County), Nebraska, which is where he had been living, at 9 am on 31 December 1916.

He is there identified as having been born 3 February 1860 in Cedar County, Iowa. Note that, as Levi D. “Phillips,” the 1860 census shows him as living in Cedar County and as 3 months old on 2 July 1860. The obits provide information similar to that found for one of the Willises: Levi was born in Cedar County, then moved to Benton County where he resided for 7 years.

Then he moved to Guthrie County. He married Hannah Davis in 1881 and moved to Burt County, Nebraska in 1886. In 1903 he became Burt County, Nebraska Sheriff. In fact, he is mentioned in that capacity and a photograph of him appears, captioned “L. D. Phipps,” in this GenWeb page.

There it is said that he was born in Cedar County, but moved with his parents to Benton County, and then to Guthrie County, and finally, in 1886, to Burt County, Nebraska. This appears to have been taken from a 19th century county history.

Note that one of the obituaries also mentions siblings and tells where they were living when he died at the end of 1916:

  • John in Wayne, (Wayne County), Nebraska
  • Willis in Bagley, (Guthrie County), Iowa
  • Mrs. Artie Schoonover in Charleston, (county unknown), North Dakota
  • Hannah who married a Johnson and who lived in “Carrol” (presumably Carroll, Carroll County), Iowa
  • Benjamin in Zeona, (Perkins County), South Dakota
  • Eli in Bagley, (Guthrie County), Iowa

From Cedar County, Iowa marriage abstracts, it’s evident that Eliza Phipps married John Arnett on 19 December 1850. This would explain the presence of an Eliza Arnett in the Daniel “Philipps” household in 1860:

She was not a boarder or a household servant. Instead, she was a daughter. Since her husband is not present, had they divorced or had he died by this time? (That same marriage page also notes the marriage of Reason Phipps to Mary Murphy on 20 December 1849.)

Putting all this together with the addition of information from the 1880 census listing “R.R. Phipps,” as well as other census records and additional records not described above, we appear to have the following:

  • I. Daniel F. Phipps, born about 1800 Kentucky (2 sources say Indiana, 3 if the Daniel T. Phipps record mentioned below is the same Daniel T.), married Catharine/Catherine (born about 1802-4 Kentucky), resided 1824 Breckinridge County, Kentucky, resided 1840 Clay County, Indiana, resided 1850 Cedar County, Iowa, resided 1870 Iowa County, Iowa, died 1880 Guthrie County, Iowa
    • A. Reason R. Phipps, born 27 November 1824 Kentucky, married (1) Mary Murphy, married (2) Emily Burchett (one source claims she was Emily Reeves; if so, perhaps one or the other was a married name; we’ve noted Phipps or Phips and Reeves or Rives connections going from Ashe County, North Carolina back into 17th century England), resided 1880-1895 Guthrie County, Iowa, resided 1900 Boone County, Iowa, died 2 October 1901, children:
      1. Daniel (T.?) Phipps, born about 1851 Iowa, possibly the Daniel Phipps whose middle initial looks like O but which has been transcribed as T, born about 1851 in Iowa, whose father was born in Indiana, residing in Monona County in the 1915 Iowa state census; if this is him, then he was apparently Daniel Taylor Phipps, according to the 1898 Monona County birth record of daughter Edith Odele Phipps; other records show that Daniel as having married Nancy Holliday
      2. Levi D. Phipps, born 3 February 1860 Cedar County, Iowa, married Hannah Davis, died 31 December 1916 Tekamah, Burt County, Nebraska, buried Burt County, Nebraska; his tombstone is pictured in Nebraska Gravestones
      3. John Phipps, born about 1861 Iowa, resided 1916 Wayne County, Nebraska; a claim in Find A Grave, without any tombstone photo and without any sources indicated, is that a John R. Phipps, born 1861 and died 1940, is buried in Wayne County, Nebraska in Greenwood Cemetery.
      4. Willis Phipps, born about 1862 Iowa, resided 1916 Guthrie County, Iowa, buried Guthrie County, Iowa
      5. Ortie Phipps (daughter), born about 1864 Iowa; Ortie may have been a nickname for who knows what
      6. Hannah Phipps, born about 1866 Iowa, married a Johnson, resided 1916 Carroll County, Iowa, resided 1940 Guthrie County, Iowa as widowed with brothers Ela and Willis
      7. Benjamin Phipps, born 1868 Iowa. apparently married Elizabeth Thompson, resided 1900 Burt County, Nebraska, resided 1910 Hamlin County, South Dakota, resided 1916 Perkins County, South Dakota; one unsourced Find A Grave claim is that he was Benjamin Grant Phipps but with no source indicated and no such middle name on his tombstone in Lawrence County, South Dakota
      8. Ela C. Phipps (son), born about 1869 Iowa, resided 1916 Guthrie County, Iowa where he’s mentioned as “Eli,” resided 1940 Guthrie County, Iowa as single with brother Willis Phipps and sister Hannah Johnson, died 1950, buried Guthrie County, Iowa
      9. Julia Phipps, born about 1872 Iowa, apparently the person said to have been Julia Ellen Phipps who, it is claimed, married Elbert (“E.W.”) Ramey in 1871 in Guthrie County, Iowa; see here; if this is her she died 24 October 1901 at age 30 and was buried in Carroll County, Iowa; other claims appear in Find A Grave but without sources indicated
    • B. Eliza Phipps (presumably daughter of Daniel), born about 1827 Kentucky, married John Arnett 1850, resided 1860 Cedar County, Iowa (in Daniel F. Phipps household without husband), died 29 January 1896 at age 69, buried Tama County, Iowa; see WPA Graves Registration Survey regarding husband
    • C. Mary J. Phipps, born about 1830 Illinois
    • D. Nancy Phipps, born about 1833-1834 Indiana, married William Triplet or Triplett (said to have been William Greenleaf Triplett, said to have married 1859 Cedar County, Iowa), resided 1880 Guthrie County, Iowa; significantly, he is said (unconfirmed) to have been born near Bowling Green, Clay County, Indiana in 1837; this is the same tiny town where Mathew Phips, son of Jesse Phips and grandson of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina, was running a store at the time; Travis’s 1909 history of Clay County, Indiana refers to the Triplett family there with a patriarch named French Lewis Triplett (born 1806) who appears to have married a Baumgartner; perhaps only coincidentally Jesse Phipps settled on the Baumgartner estate in adjacent Owen County, the county where Mathew lived on a farm while keeping his store in Clay County; A William G. Triplett of Iowa appears to have been a Civil War veteran, later residing in Muscatine County, Iowa
    • E. John W. Phipps, born about 1836-1837 Indiana, married Mary E., resided 1870 Iowa County, Iowa, resided 1880 Guthrie County, Iowa, children:
      1. Daniel J. (or I.?] Phipps, born about 1872 Iowa
    • F. Harriet Phipps, born about 1838-1843 Indiana, resided 1880 Guthrie County, Iowa as single 40-year-old sister in law and “House maid” in household of William Triplet and his wife Nancy
    • G. Willis O. Phipps, born about 1842-1843 Indiana; is he the “W.O. Phipps” who is buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery with a tombstone which reads simply “4562 | W. O. PHIPPS | CORP. | IOWA”?; a Find A Grave page claims that this was a son of Daniel, born 1842 Clay County, Indiana, died 17l June 1863 Walnut Hills, Warren County, Mississippi, etc., but without any sources indicated

The above is in addition to an unplaced Louisa, born about 1828 in Kentucky, who appears in the older Daniel’s household in the 1850 census in such a way that perhaps she was not a daughter.

The article by Tim Phipps, below, mentions some other individuals in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. He shows Daniel, Willis, and John living there in 1824, and each born about 1803 or earlier. Obviously, several persons named Willis were in this family; we’ve already noted one born about 1842-1843, and another born 1862.

Tim also notes a Samuel in Breckinridge County by 1825, who was born about 1804 or earlier. We’ve already noted a Samuel Phips who declined to be guardian and administrator of the estate of Mrs. Angeline Tanner in Breckinridge County much later, in 1868. The same source notes that some of the Tanners were living in the household of one Nicolas Phips in the 1870 census.

Further research concerns seem to center around identifying the parentage of the Daniel F. Phipps who appears as the patriarch discussed above. Research challenges have appeared to center around the fact that he is represented as having been born about 1800 in Kentucky, with Breckinridge County presumed to be a likely location, but with no census records or tax lists available, apparently, for that location in that period.

Perhaps alternative records might crack this, such as deed or will records somewhere else, or a previously undiscovered obituary or biography pertaining to this Daniel or a descendant. The difficulty has been the lack of a record specifically associating him with parents.

Any relevant record might be hidden away under a surname variation. Such a record, such as a deed record suggesting a relationship, might be found in another county in either Kentucky or Indiana, or even in another state.

It should also be noted that this Daniel appears in later census records as follows, with two different birthplaces (although adjacent) and 3 radically different surname variations. These are not just spelling variations, but they represent completely different surname forms.

  • 1850: Daniel Phipps, born in Kentucky
  • 1860: Daniel Philipps, born in Indiana
  • 1870: Daniel Phelps, born in Indiana

Before this family shows up in Breckinridge County, Kentucky records in the 1820s, could they possibly have been in a different area of Kentucky? Could they possibly have been in Pulaski County, farther to the southeast?

That may sound illogical, since it doesn’t follow any sensible migration path, and since it’s adjacent to Wayne County, which has been associated with the family of Joshua Phipps. Joshua (whether justifiably or not) has been treated as a different family or radically different family branch.

Consider the following, however, regarding Pulaski County, Kentucky:

  • An Ambrose “Felps” appears there in the 1810 census, along with a Jno. “Felps,” a “Larcin” (Larkin) “Felps,” and a George “Fips”
  • Littleberry (“Berry”) Fips/Phipps, clearly related to the Ashe County, North Carolina family, is SAID to have lived in Pulaski County, Kentucky between residing in Surry County, North Carolina and Lawrence County, Indiana, the same location which has been discussed above

If what is said about Littleberry is true, this could be strong evidence that some additional Fips, Phips, Phipps, etc. family members MAY have passed through Pulaski County, Kentucky at some point. Also note the recurrence of the uncommon name Ambrose, in Phipps family members who apparently came from Brunswick County, Virginia into Wake County, North Carolina, in Clay County, Indiana, in Putnam County, Missouri, and with what we’ve already seen with Daniel “Phipps” being represented as Phelps and as “Philipps.”

With that being said, could the Ambrose “Felps” of Pulaski County have possibly been a “Phipps”? Again, we know that a George “Fips” was there at the same time.

This Littleberry has been something of an enigma, and was discussed in a previous post. Since the connection to Pulaski County, Kentucky comes from unsourced Internet claims, it’s possible that he never was there at all.

He shows up in Surry County, North Carolina in the 1820 census as Littlebury Fipps. (Also appearing is what looks like yet another George “Fips.”) Surry County is the same location where the family of Betsy Fips or Phips, daughter of John and Tabitha Phips or Fips of Virginia, moved with her husband Ephraim Witcher.

According to that census, “Littlebury” was born about 1794 to 1804, George Fips was born about 1775 or earlier, and a James “Fipps,” in the same county at the same time, was born about 1775 or earlier.

Again, unsourced claims place Littleberry in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He was called Berry, and might have been the Berry Phelps or Philps who appears in the 1830 census there as having been born about 1780 to 1790.

He then appears in the 1840 census in Lawrence County, Indiana as Berry, born about 1781-1790. Again, Lawrence County, in addition to Clay and Owen County, was a destination for descendants of Samuel Phips of Owen County, Indiana as well as, apparently, John and Tabitha Phips of Virginia.

In 1842 in Lawrence County, Berry Phipps married Sally Perry. The 1850 census shows him there as Berry Phipps, born about 1800 in North Carolina. If he did indeed come through Pulaski County, Kentucky, for some reason, could the family of Daniel Phipps have possibly done the same? That may seem like a long shot, but at this point any lead might seem like a long shot.

Speculation about the name Littleberry makes one wonder if it could be connected to the recurrence of the name among various early Virginia families, including perhaps most noticeably the Epps or Eppes family. “Littleberry,” as a given name, appears with such frequency among various families of various surnames which we’ve been discussing as associated with the Phips or Phipps family, that some genealogists have wondered, over the years, whether there was some family with the surname of Littleberry, regarding which records have not survived. Typically, 18th century Virginia families often derived given names for their children from surnames of relatives, friends, and associates.

The following, then, is Tim’s article:

Daniel and Willis Phipps – Breckinridge County, Kentucky, & Clay County, Indiana
by Tim Phipps

A certain Daniel F. Phipps, who was born about 1800 in Kentucky and died in April of 1880 in Guthrie County, Iowa, has been a researcher’s brick wall for his descendants wishing to trace their Phipps line back to their 18th century origins. This Daniel was living in Clay County, Indiana, per the 1840 Census and later moved to Cedar County, Iowa, by the time of the 1850 Census. Per descendants of this Phipps family, Daniel’s oldest son Reason Redman Phipps was born in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, in 1824. While Daniel’s origins may remain a mystery, a review of county tax lists for Breckinridge Co. sheds some insight into the early movement of this family.

A thorough search of both the 1820 Census and the Tax Lists for 1821, 1822, and 1823 indicates that no one with the Phipps/Fipps surname was living in Breckinridge County. However, the tax list for 1824 reveals three Phipps individuals who had moved into the county after the recording of the 1823 tax list. Details pertaining to them are found on page 42 of the 1824 Tax List and are as follows:

  • Phipps, John – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $35
  • Phipps, Willis – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $100
  • Phipps, Daniel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $50

Although the names on the tax list are grouped alphabetically by the first letter of each tax payer’s surname, the names are not further arranged in alphabetical order within each surname grouping. Therefore it is significant that Willis and Daniel Phipps are listed adjacent to each other with only a single line separating them from John. Willis Phipps may have been a brother to Daniel, who named one of his sons Willis (b. about 1842 in Indiana). John could have also been related to Daniel and Willis.

Within a year of recording this tax list, Daniel and John Phipps moved out of the county. When the 1825 tax list was created, Willis Phipps along with a Samuel Phipps can be found living in Breckinridge County:

  • Page 35 – Phipps, Willis – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $50
  • Page 36 – Phipps, Samuel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 2 horses, with total value of $80

Like Daniel and John before him, Willis Phipps also moved out of Breckinridge County before the compilation on the next tax list in 1826. For the next few years, only Samuel Phipps remained in the county and can be found on the following tax lists:

  • 1826, Page 37 – Phipps, Samuel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 2 horses, with total value of $60
  • 1827, Page 44 – Phipps, Samuel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $60
  • 1828, Page 41 – Phipps, Samuel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, with total value of $30
  • 1829, Page 15 – Fipps, Samuel – no land, 1 white male 21+ yrs old, 1 horse, 1 children 4-15yrs old, with total value of $40

While it is possible that this Samuel Phipps may be related to Daniel, Willis, and John, he may also have not been associated with them in any way. Samuel continued as a resident of Breckinridge County for the next decade or so and can be found recorded there in both the 1830 and 1840 census. In 1830, the household of Samuel Phips included two males (one aged 20-29 and one aged 5-9) and five females (one aged 60-69, one aged 20-29, and three aged 5-9). From the age of the oldest male, Samuel would have been born sometime between 1801 and 1810, which puts him close in age to but a little younger than Daniel Phipps who was born about 1800. The much older female living with Samuel may likely have been his mother or the mother of his wife.

By the 1840 Census, Samuel’s family had grown significantly as seen in the size of his Breckinridge Co. household, including four males (one age 30-39, one age 15-19, one age 5-9, and one under the age of 5) and five females (one age 30-39, two age 10-14, one age 5-9, and one under the age of 5). At this point, more research is required on this Samuel Phipps, but a cursory search of the 1850 Census did not yield any further leads for Samuel if he was still living in that year.

As previously noted, Daniel and John Phipps only appeared in Breckinridge County in 1824, and no leads for Daniel have been found in the 1830 Census for Kentucky or Indiana. Willis, on the other hand, appears to have settled briefly in neighboring Meade County, Kentucky, just to the northeast of Breckinridge County. The 1830 household for Willis Phips included three males (one age 30-39, one age 5-9, and one under the age of 5) and one female (age 20-29). This could be the same Willis, who appears in Clay County, Indiana, per the 1840 Census. The household for Willis R. Phipps included two males (one age 30-39 and one age 15-19) and two females (one age 30-39 and one age 5-9). If this is the same Willis in both census records, then his birth within a year or so of 1800. This puts Willis at about the same age as Daniel.

The 1840 household listing for Daniel Phipps in Clay County, Indiana, contained three males (one age 30-39, one age 15-19, and one under age 5) and five females (one age 20-29, one age 10-14, two age 5-9, and one under age 5). More questions remained unanswered regarding this Daniel F. Phipps and his origins. Perhaps a search of Kentucky tax lists for Meade County will provide additional clues related to this Daniel and to Willis Phipps.

The Phipps Family in the Annals of Berkshire

The Phips or Phipps family made a mark on Reading, Berkshire, England through the family of Francis Phips or Phipps. This patriarch appears to have married Anne Sharpe, but later remarried to Sarah, the widow of a Col. Jeaffreson of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. In what appears to be an unlikely path, Jeaffreson likely had ties to the Jefferson family of Virginia, with ties from that family to the Eppes family of Virginia, with ties from that family to the Rives or Reeves family of Virginia and North Carolina, with ties from there to, again, the Phips or Phipps family, this time of Ashe County, North Carolina.

Other Phips or Phipps family members were noted in various Berkshire records, at least as early as the 16th century. That is when John Phipps appears in Reading in Berkshire.

John Phipps was a mayor of Reading. He is listed as such in 1564, during the reign of Elizabeth I, in J. Doran, The History and Antiquities of the Town and Borough of Reading in Berkshire (Reading: Samuel Reader, 1835), p. 59.

Some fairly early records associate the Phipps family with Swallowfield. Swallowfield is located about 5 miles south of Reading in Berkshire, and about a mile from the Hampshire county line.

The John Phipps who was Reading mayor in 1564 seems likely to have been the same one who acquired the manor of Sheepbridge in Swallowfield in the 1580s. Today, Sheepbridge is in Berkshire, but until 1844 it was considered a part of Wiltshire. (See here, in British History Online.)

Four manors were to be found in Swallowfield, one of them being Sheepbridge. This estate was sold to John Phipps by the Unton family in the mid-1580s. That’s according to Hindle, “Hierarchy and Community in the Elizabethan Parish: The Swallowfield Articls of 1596,” in The Historical Journal, Volume 42, No. 3, 1999, at p. 837.

Then in 1629, we encounter records which show that a John Phipps, apparently of Wiltshire or Berkshire, ran afoul of the infamous Star Chamber. Was this still the same John Phipps?

This is mentioned in Hamilton and Lomas, eds., Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Charles I, XXIII, Addenda: March 1625 to January 1649, Preserved in the Public Record Office (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1897), p. 731, under 11 December 1629.

The charge against him is not given. Because this is a research calendar, the reference is to a 1-page record:

60. Sir Thomas Trevor and Sir George Vernon, Barons of Exchequer, to John West, Remembrancer of Exchequer. Several writs of extent have lately been issued to the sheriffs of Wilts and Berks, against John Phipps, upon a fine of £500 imposed on him by the Star Chamber in 19 James. But, as Phipp’s lands have been already extended upon this fine, and one of £40, on Mary his wife, and a lease thereto granted to John Hollyland, at £20 rent, whereof £10 was paid in on 9th of this December, let writs of supersedeas be issued for discharge of the said writs (1 p.)

This was a very few years before William Laud was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. When he came to power, he used the Star Chamber as a tool to suppress nonconformity and Puritanism. Earlier, while Bishop John Longland was Dean of Salisbury from from 1514 to 1522 and Bishop of Lincoln from 1521 to 1547, he came down hard and heavy on the religious nonconformist movement known as the Lollards.

Individuals with a surname spelled “Phyppe” or “Phyppes” or “Phip” or “Phippes” and the like were among his targets. They appear to have been centered around Hughenden in southern Buckinghamshire, but this was close to the county line with Berkshire.

In fact, one of those individuals was John “Phippes.” According the Actes and Monuments account by John Foxe, which formed the basis for the later abridgment now widely known as Fox’s Book of Martyrs, “Hee was very rype in Scriptures.”

So what was going on in 1629 with John Phipps, just about 4 years before Laud was made Archbishop of Canterbury? That was the year when Charles dissolved Parliament. Various  enemies of Charles made peace with him, once they realized that he had gained the upper hand. Does this indicate that John Phipps was among his enemies who were more reticent to acquiesce to the king’s rule?

Before Charles, who reigned beginning in 1625, James I used the Star Chamber to prosecute Puritan dissenters. Was John a Puritan?

The record above noted that John had already been fined by the Star Chamber in 19 James. The regnal year of 19 James (the 19th year of the reign of James I) would have been 1621 or 1622. The Star Chamber sat at the Palace of Westminster. Ostensibly, much of the purpose for their activity was to make sure that those who were prominent in society were given fair treatment, the idea being that other courts might treat them preferentially.

So does this suggest that John Phipps was somehow prominent, either socially or politically? If so, how so? And what were the charges? He was fined, then, in 1621 or 1622. Now in 1629, the writs of debt were being discharged, but apparently only because he was deemed as having already paid them.

Charles I came to power in 1625. In 1629 the period known as “Personal Rule” began. This was when Charles ruled without Parliament. The period, which lasted from 1629 to 1640, was also called the “Eleven Years’ Tyranny.”

Light on this record pertaining to a John Phipps of Wiltshire or Berkshire may be found in a record index listing in the National Archives website, dated May of 1622, assuming it connects. There, a case is referred to which was termed Backhouse v. Phipps. The plaintiff was John Backhouse, Esquire, of Swallowfield in Berkshire. The defendants were John Phipps, Esquire, his son John Phipps, gentleman of Sheppridge in Hampshire, and Mary, the wife of the younger John.

One thing that this index listing makes clear is that there were 2 Johns, a John Sr. and a John Jr., which is what one would already have suspected. Perhaps John Sr. was Reading mayor in 1564, but perhaps some of the later dealings involved the younger man. Still, it’s also apparent that both men were still living in 1622.

The subject of this record is described as having to do with what was termed a “conspiracy” to have land undervalued which belonged to John, Jr. in Hampshire and Wiltshire, Note from what we’ve already discussed that this does not necessarily refer to far-flung territories. Again, Swallowfield in Berkshire is just a mile from Hampshire, and the manor Sheepbridge in Swallowfield was considered a part of Wiltshire at the time, although today it’s a part of Berkshire.

This undervaluation on the part of John Phipps represented an attempt to weasel his way out of paying damages which had been already awarded. A note appears which indicates that there was another action, brought before the Star Chamber. This was a “cross suit or shoring action.”

The original record is housed at the National Archives in Kew. It associates the Phipps family with someone in Swallowfield, just 5 miles from Reading in Berkshire. Was there a  relationship between this person and the Phipps family?

The individual who brought suit against the Phipps family was John Backhouse. He is pictured in Wikipedia with a biography, here. It isn’t clear from the index listing, however, whether there was an actual relationship with Backhouse, or whether he was simply acting on the part of the government. Some other materials provide clues, however.

Hindle, in the article on Swallowfield cited above, refers to another Backhouse, that being Samuel Backhouse. He says that Samuel was lord of the manor of Swallowfield Court. This was one of the four manors of Swallowfield referred to earlier, another being Sheepbridge which John Phipps bought in the 1580s.

Yet another manor house was Wyfords, bought around 1500 by George Miller. Presumably this was George Miller, Sr., father of a later George Miller who squabbled with the Phipps family at Swallowfield a bit later, as will be discussed below.

While Hindle’s article refers to Samuel Backhouse as lord of the manner of Swallowfield Court (p. 841), John Phipps is referred to in the same sentence as lord of the manor of Sheepbridge. This was the case although John resided in Hampshire until the 1610s.

In that context, John Phipps is quoted (p. 846) as assessing Backhouse’s Swallowfield Court as a place where there was “great show” of religion, while in reality there was nothing more than “popes cardinals and whoremasters.”

This sort of lashing out will sound familiar if you have been reading past posts in this blog. An obvious question it raises is this: Why did so many Phips or Phipps family members tend to fight with others?

If they disagreed with others, why couldn’t they have simply disagreed but not in a manner which seemed to invite trouble? Is this a part of the odd phenomenon which various individuals of modern times who have never met each other have referred to as “the Phipps temper”?

This outburst also sounds remarkably in sync with some of the comments associated with the “Phyppes” family who were accused of being “Lollards” – a vague term applied to those who dissented from the official state church. As noted in an earlier post, Henry “Phip” spoke out in 1515 against the use of candles and statues in the church.

Since he had been made keeper of the roodloft, he quipped, “I must needs go and tend a candle before my Block Almighty.” Another of the Lollards, John “Phip,” was accused of saying that “Images are not be worshipped, because they are made and carved with man’s hand,” and that “such ought not be worshipped.”

This was likely around the mid-16th century, since Bishop John Longland went against them. His heyday was around 1514 to 1547. How closely related was this John “Phip” to the later John “Phipps,” Sr. and Jr.?

Then in 1637, another record surfaces which pertains to a John Phipps in Berkshire, and again the record appears in the Calendar of State Papers (John Bruce, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Charles I, 1637-1638, Preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office, London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1869, p. 240. The record is dated 9 February 1637/8. Note that this time Archbishop Laud, mentioned earlier as opposing religious nonconformity and Puritanism, is specifically mentioned:

62. Petition of Thomas Sheylor, clerk, curate of Swallowfield, Berks, to Archbishop Laud. George Miller and Mary Phipps, wife of John Phipps, having a long time lived scandalously together, she apart from her husband in the house of Miller, petitioner and the churchwardens presented them at the visitation of the archdeacon of Berks on 5th October 1636, whereupon Miller and Mrs. Phipps were enjoined a purgation. They appealed to the Court of Audience, and made petitioner and the churchwardens parties, where the cause still depends, and they have not only proceeded in that vexatious course, but Miller has abused petitioner in violent assaults and vile language, the particulars of which are detailed. Prays relief. (3/4 p.) Underwritten,

62. I. Reference to Sir John Lambe to award letters missive or on attachment for the party here mentioned to answer these misdemeanours in the High Commission Court. 9th February 1637-8. (1/4 p.)

Sir John Lambe (1566?-1647) was a jurist who strongly supported Archbishop Laud and his agenda. This was still during the reign of Charles I.

This record is alluded to and, to some extent, elaborated on in Ditchfield and Page, eds., The Victoria History of Berkshire, Volume 2 (London: Archibald Constable, 1907, p. 41:

In February, 1637, Thomas Sheylor, curate of Swallowfield, petitioned Archbishop laud to provide some timely remedy and relief out of his “tender favour to the poor distressed clergie.” George Miller and Mary Phipps, wife of John Phipps, having for a long time lived scandalously together at Miller’s house, Sheylor and the churchwardens presented them at the visitation of the archdeacon of Berkshire in October, 1636. Whereupon Miller and Mary Phipps were injoined a purgation. They appealed to the Court of Audience, and made Sheylor and the wardens parties, where the cause still depends to their great cost and affliction. Moreover Miller abused the petitioner in violent assaults and vile language. Instances of both are set forth, including the following utterance: – “That a boy that goeth to plough and dounge [i.e. dung] cart every day his callinge is better and honester than myne of the Ministrie.” The petition is endorsed in Laud’s hand, to be referred to Sir John Lambe, and to award an attachment for the party here mentioned to answer these misdemeanours in the High Commission Court.

Hindle’s article, as cited earlier, also mentions (p. 846) the battle which pitted George Miller, Jr. against the Phipps family. The article also refers to “hostility” in the neighborhood in general toward the religious views of Samuel Backhouse, and the article seems to relate this hostility to a violent outburst in church involving John Backhouse and the Phipps family.

This outburst is mentioned in a chapter which presents a biography of Thomas Morton in Fortin and Meuwese, editors, Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World (Leiden: Brill, 2014). The chapter focuses on Thomas Morton, who founded what eventually became Quincy, Massachusetts. Morton, a barrister who was born about 1576 in Devon, is presented as a thorn in the side of the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England.

Morton, according to the account, married Alice Miller in 1621, who was from Swallowfield. She was the widow of an earlier George Miller whose will is dated 1616. Then problems arose which centered around George Jr., who wanted to ensure that he, and not his stepfather, would end up with the large Miller estate.

The book discusses in detail how a major act of violence developed right in church and during a service. This was when the Phipps family, who had let the Miller family occupy their pew in the local church, then asked that they once again have use of the pew. George Miller, Jr. threw a fit, to say the least.

The book does not appear to identify the relationship between these two families. The record cited above from the Calendar of State Papers, however, implies the relationship.

That record refers to John Phipps whose wife’s name was Mary. Note that the 1629 record cited above from the Calendar of State Papers refers to John Phipps whose wife’s name was Mary. This was presumably John Jr. Mary, John Phipps’s wife, was living “scandalously” with George Miller, presumably George Miller, Jr.

Both the Morton biography (p. 37) and the Hindle article refer to the fight over a church pew involving the Miller and Phipps families. When the Phipps family asked that George Miller return use of the pew to the Phipps family, George Miller is said to have broken up the pew door and to have pick up John Phipps’s wife and to have thrown her over a railing and out into the aisle.

Was the basic issue not the church pew itself, but rather their disparate views on religion?

Religious views did not constitute the only area in which the Phipps or Phips family sometimes found themselves on one side or another in a battle of some sort. Politics, and where the family stood in relationship to major questions of the day – Parliament vs. monarchy, British rule vs. independence, and eventually such issues as the slave trade vs. its abolishment – all served to divide members of the family from other families and even from each other.

Posts in this blog in the past have discussed the role of the Phipps or Phips family in England’s bloody Civil War, which took place from 1642 to 1651. This was a struggle between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists, in other words those who supported the power of the monarchy versus the power of Parliament. Behind this struggle was an ideological conflict which later influenced struggles in America between those who supported British rule and those who supported independence.

In America, various family members found themselves on side of the fence or the other on the question of independence from Britain. Earlier, during the Civil War, various family members found themselves in a similar position as they chose sides: either the side of the “Roundheads,” or Parliamentarians, or the “Cavaliers,” or Royalists.

Francis Phips or Phipps appears in a heraldic visitation published as W. Harry Rylands, ed., The Four Visitations of Berkshire, 1532, 1566, 1623, 1665-6, Volume II: Additional Pedigrees and Notes (London: The Harleian Society, 1908), p. 195. There he is referred to as “Francis Phipps of Reading in Com. Berke aet: 54 annorum 11 Mar: 1664,” with a tilde over the “m” in “Com” to indicate that there was another “m.” The abbreviation “aet.” indicated age, and “annorum” is the plural of “annus,” which means “year.”

He was a son, according to the pedigree provided there, of George Phipps “of Walton hall neere Nottingha,” with the final “a” overlined, which indicates that it is abbreviated. George is, in turn, shown as a son of Robert Phipps “of Nottingham.”

Due to new political events, Francis Phipps or Phips, the ancestral patriarch of Reading, Berkshire, appears to have found himself redefined as a Cavalier – or at least he was suspected of being one. As a result, H.R. Phipps (see here, beginning at page 14) says that Francis had to pay out money to avoid imprisonment. In addition, a Roundhead seized a substantial amount of wine from the inn in Reading which Francis Phipps operated.

Col. John Venn was a Parliamentarian who headed a regiment at Windsor Castle. First, in 1643, he demanded payment from Francis Phipps. According to a State Papers calendar, Francis then paid “for himself and others, then imprisoned at Windsor Castle, £7 15s., . . . ” The ambiguous manner in which this is worded leaves it unclear whether Francis himself was imprisoned there, or whether he was paying for himself – not imprisoned – and also for others who were, themselves, imprisoned.

H.R. Phipps’s account treats of this in largely garbled terms. The man who seized wine from Francis Phipps’s inn, for instance, is referred to by him as “Commissary Blunder,” when in fact it was Blunden. This was presumably William Blunden. H.R. Phipps does, however, refer to Francis Phipps as owner of the Beare Inn in Reading at the time. H.R. Phipps adds the note that Francis had bought this inn, as he put it, “from Mr. Payne Cantrell – who was this?”

Who indeed? A marriage license dated 1632-3 refers to him, or someone of that name, as the father of Judith Cantrell, who was marrying John Yorke of Marlborough in Wiltshire. There, Payne Cantrell is only referred to as “of Reading, Berks, Gent.”

A Payne Cantrell married Elizabeth Foster in St. Mary’s Reading on 31 January 1629, according to a published abstract of the register. The 1629/1630 will of Humfrey Cantrell of Woodley, Sonning Parish in Berkshire, refers to Payne Cantrell as the eldest son, according to an abstract.

Yet another record appears in the Calendar of State Papers. From William Douglas Hamilton and Sophia Crawford Lomas, eds., Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Charles I, XXIII, Addenda: March 1625 to January 1649, Preserved in the Public Record Office (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1897):

[pp. 698-699, under 16 September 1648:]

[p. 698:] 399. Deposition by Andrew Vivers of Reading, Berks, that Colonel Venn and Lieutenant-Colonel Bradley each demanded and received of £5, in July 1643. Also, Deposition of Francis Phipps, innholder of Reading, that in August 1643 Colonel Venn demanded and received of him £20. He also paid for himself and others, then imprisoned at Windsor Castle, £7 15s., and to procure his enlargement as forced to give a bond for £60 more. for non-payment [p. 699:] thereof Commissary Blunden came to Reading, and seized winds, value £60. (1 p.)

From J. Doran, The History and Antiquities of the Town and Borough of Reading in Berkshire (Reading: Samuel Reader, 1835), pp. 19-20, it appears that at one time (the late 16th and early 17th centuries, around 1575 to 1603 or so), Bear Inn was also known as “Serjeant’s Inn in Fleet-street.” This is where “most of the Judges took up their abode.” (There was another inn in Chancery Lane, which was termed “Serjeant’s Inn, in Chancery-lane.”)

This appears to mean that this is where judges heard cases. Sidney Lee, ed., in The Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 46 (New York: Macmillan, 1896), p. 150, mentions a case which “was adjourned to 7 Dec. at the Bear Inn, Reading.” This was in 1654.

According to a cached version of a web page listing “lost pubs” of Reading, Bear Inn (if the same one) was located at 22 Bridge Street, but has been demolished. A Berkshire directory (Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire, Bucks, and Oxon, London: Kelly & Co., 1883, p. 244) lists the Bear under “Public Houses, Including Hotels, Inns & Taverns,” at 22 Bridge Street in Reading. The publican at the time was John Edward Wallace. A pub history site seems to trace pubs at this location as far back as 1796.

That location is about a block north of the River Kennet near what is now the Oracle Shopping Centre.

Because of the remarriage of Francis Phipps to Sarah, the widow of Col. John Jeaffreson, he is discussed in the “Phipps of St. Kitts” section of the first volume of Vere Langford Oliver, ed.,  Caribbeana (London: Mitchell Hughes and Clarke, 1910; see beginning on p. 67). There, he is referred to as Francis Phipps, Sr. of Reading. His will is mentioned as dated 28 January 1667, and the will is noted as mentioning land which adjoined “the Bear Inn.” His son Constantine, discussed below, is named in the will.

Another will is also mentioned in the same article, that being the will of Thomas Phipps of Staple Inn, which was proved in 1671 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. He refers to his “late father” Francis of Reading and his share of “the Beare Inn at Reading.”

The remarriage of Francis Phipps, Sr. of Reading to Sarah, widow of Col. John Jeaffreson of St. Kitts, is included in the detailed pedigree in the same article on p. 68. Was this the first time the Phips or Phipps family of Reading came into contact with the realm of lucrative trade with the Caribbean, or was there such a connection earlier?

A son of Francis Phipps by his earlier marriage, to Anne Sharp, was Constantine Phipps. Constantine Phipps, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, is discussed in a brief biography which appears in the source already cited as  J. Doran, The History and Antiquities of the Town and Borough of Reading in Berkshire (Reading: Samuel Reader, 1835), p. 273.

There he is referred to as “of an Irish family,” but this might be simply due to confusion over his title as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In that post, he was far from popular with all of those he served:

SIR CONSTANTINE PHIPPS was of an Irish family, but it is said was born in Reading. He was made Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1710, from which office the Commons of Ireland petitioned the queen in 1713 that he might be removed; while the House of Lords and the Convocation addressed her majesty in his behalf. He however resigned the seals the following year, on the change of ministry attending the accession of George I., and retired into private life. He died at London in 1723, aged 68, and was buried at White Waltham in the county of Berks.

A much better and far more thorough biography of Constantine appears here, in the excellent Royal Berkshire History site. That site discusses White Waltham, which was associated with Constantine Phipps, in a separate page here.

Newly Released Missouri Death Certificates

Missouri death certificates for 1965 have just been released. Digital copies can be accessed in the Missouri Digital Heritage website of the Missouri State Archives.

Among the newly released listings for 1965 are the following. Of course, the record itself will contain more information:

  • Baby Bettie Jean Phipps, born 30 July 1959, died 4 May 1965 City of St. Louis, daughter of Jake Phipps/Hattie
  • Clyde Orlen Phipps, born 14 December 1908 Green Castle, Missouri, died 24 May 1965 Elm Township, Putnam County, Missouri, son of Elmore W. Phipps/Cora Stewart
  • Dee Granville Phipps, born 11 October 1875 Randolph County, Missouri, died 2 March 1965 Springfield, Greene County, Missouri, son of Silas Phipps/Amanda Drennan
  • Homer Phipps, born 15 June 1893 Missouri, died 30 April 1965 City of St. Louis, parents unknown
  • Ida May Phipps, born 6 October 1877 Clay County, Indiana, died 20 June 1965 Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, resided Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, wife of Dan Phipps, daughter of William Kitch/Martha Stevens
  • Maude Leila Phipps, born 10 February 1874 Harrison, Arkansas, died 28 June 1965 West Plains, Howell County, Missouri, wife of Arthur N. Phipps, daughter of Jackson Eoff/Mary Potts

Brunswick Co., VA to Wake Co., NC to TN

A Brunswick County, Virginia court record abstract with an estimated date of 1781 to 1783 involves the case of Douglas Wilkins v. Thomas Poythress et al. This Thomas Poythress is presumably the same one who sold land to James Phipps between 1782 and 1787 in Brunswick County, although a Poythress web page says that the deed has not been found. The sale is evident, however, from tax records.

Thomas Poythress also deeded land in Brunswick County to William Rives, son of George Rives, deceased, on 13 May 1773. “Rives” is, of course, a variant spelling of Reeves. This is the family which intermarried with Samuel Phips or Phipps of Wilkes County and later Ashe County, North Carolina. George Reeves or Reaves of Wilkes County, North Carolina and later Grayson County, Virginia was his father in law. Thomas Poythress also sold land to William Rives on 13 May 1777.

Regarding Douglas Wilkins, the person who brought suit against Thomas Poythress, he has been discussed in past posts concerning land sales in now-extinct Bute County, North Carolina. On 9 August 1772, Joseph Fips or Fipps and his wife Sarah of Brunswick County, Virginia sold land in Bute County, North Carolina to “Douglass” Wilkins and Edmund Wilkins. Other records show Douglas and Edmund Wilkins as being situated in Brunswick County, Virginia.

An earlier deed appeared in Bute County, with the date only identified as 12 February, but appearing between two deeds both of which were dated 1770. In that deed, James Ransom, Jr. sold land to Joseph Fips or Fipps of Brunswick County, Virginia. This deed was acknowledged by Ransom in 1771.

Both Douglas Wilkins and Edmund Wilkins are named in the 1770 Brunswick County, Virginia will of Adam Sims. Named as a granddaughter was Winny Wyche, with Wyche apparently being a variant form of Witcher. That’s the surname which was involved in a Fips or Phips intermarriage with a daughter of John Fips or Phipps who died about 1768 leaving a Charlotte County, Virginia estate. Winny is called Winney in a 1773 deed involving Douglas Wilkins and Edmund Wilkins.

A glance at Find A Grave web pages (with only secondary sources, and without tombstone photos) refers to a William Wyche Wilkins, born 1768 in Brunswick County.

As far as Adam Sims is concerned, there are various Sims direct associations in Brunswick County, showing them interacting with the families of Rives (Reeves) and Taliaferro (Toliver), both families which intermarried with the Phips family of Ashe County, North Carolina.

Secondary sources claim that Adam Sims had a daughter Rebecca who married Edmund Wilkins, and another daughter, Tabitha, who married Douglas Wilkins. Another daughter, Winny, supposedly was not married until after her father’s death, but then married a Wyche.

A Sims family in Brunswick County owned property which adjoined land owned by Absalom Bennett. Absalom Bennett is the man who witnessed a Brunswick County deed dated 7 October 1781 from James Fips to James Upchurch, according to online abstracts.

Absalom Bennett also sued Benjamin Phipps and Joseph Phipps in Brunswick County in 1790. Depositions were taken from two women living in North Carolina, at least one of whom was in Wake County. Then the 1807 Wake County, North Carolina will of Julius Bennett names both Polly Phipps and Elizabeth Phipps as heirs.

This would seem to suggest that there possibly might have been two men named Phipps living in Wake County, North Carolina, at least earlier, who were married to Polly (common nickname for Mary) and Elizabeth. If so, who were they?

A few years later (which is no direct help), a Dudley Phipps complained that “a negro man, called Abram, a noted Villain,” stole “Cash, Bacon, Clothing, Honey, Sugar, &c” from him in Wake County. This resulted in a legal notice published in the Raleigh Register on 2 October 1812.

Later still, “Ambros” Phipps was involved in a bastardy bond in Wake County, North Carolina on 12 March 1834. The mother was Dicy Standly. The 1830 census shows Ambrose Phipps as born about 1800-1810. the 1870 census shows him as born about 1805 in North Carolina and living in Granville County.

Dudley, on the other hand, was born about 1780-1790 according to the 1830 census, assuming he was the oldest of four males in the household. He was probably the Dudley Phipps, born about 1781 in North Carolina, who then shows up in the 1850 census in Carroll County, Tennessee.

Dudley had married Polly (nickname for Mary) Edwards on 2 February 1804 in Orange County, North Carolina. Edwards is a surname which appears frequently in Virginia records. The Edwards name appears in records in Brunswick County in connection with the Sims family, the Rives also Reeves family, the Phipps family, the Poythress family, the Wyche family, the Harris family, etc.

Richardson Phipps shows up in Wake County, North Carolina even a bit earlier than Dudley. He appears there in the 1800 census, with the oldest male born about 1756-1774. Then he had an unclaimed letter waiting for him at the Raleigh post office in Wake County on 30 June 1802, which suggests that he might have moved on by that time.

Richardson then appears in Capt. R. Boyd’s militia company in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1812. The 1820 census shows him there, with the oldest male in the house having been born about  1775 or earlier. The 1830 census there shows him as the only male in the household, born about 1760-1770.

Richardson Phipps then wrote his will in Davidson County on 7 October 1842. Richardson’s brother Jordan, as has been discussed in prior posts, chose to enter North Carolina through Wilkes County rather than Wake County, before he also ended up in Tennessee.

Both were sons of Benjamin Phipps, apparently, who is said in Mrs. Howard Woodruff’s research (which we discussed recently in this blog) to have married first a Richardson and then Ruth Hayes. Certainly one could assume that Richardson Phipps was named for the woman who was Benjamin Phipps’s first wife.

This Benjamin is believed to have been a brother of Joseph, the one who left a will in Brunswick County dated 1803. Joseph married Sarah Williams about 1760, according to Mrs. Woodruff.

This Joseph, then, was presumably the one who was involved in land deals, along with his wife Sarah, in Bute County, North Carolina in the 1770s.

Joseph had a son who was another Benjamin, who is the one who married Lucy Tuberfield, as discussed in various earlier posts. At least a couple of his sons appear to have moved to Georgia. Another son, James, appears to have left descendants with later ties to Vance County, North Carolina. This is very close to Wake County.

Additional inroads into North Carolina were achieved by descendants of John Fips or Phips who moved into Surry County, North Carolina. His death around 1768 resulted in probate-related and estate-related records in Charlotte, Pittsylvania, and Halifax Counties in Virginia.

There were others who certainly tie in, but only further research can show how they all connect. Clark is a name which has recurred in recent research, for instance, and an Ann Clark is supposed to have married Thomas Phipps of Brunswick County in 1737.

The estate of a Samuel Clark was appraised in the 1730s in Brunswick County by men named Wych (Wyche), Reaves (Reeves), and Harris. When Peter Wytch received a 1745 Brunswick County land grant, this involved land next to two men named Clark.

A 1777 Brunswick County deed to a Clarke was witnessed by not just one, but four men named Wyche and by Absalom Bennett. This was presumably the same Absalom Bennett discussed above.

Certainly this Thomas Phipps fits in, but how? And he is just one example. There were others as well who clearly connect, but it might take time to connect the dots.