A certain Tandy Walker was born about 1760-1761, apparently in Virginia. He is said to have been the son of an earlier Tandy Walker, born about 1742, who married Sarah Cargill. That Tandy Walker was said to have been a son of an earlier Tandy Walker, born about 1714, who married Judith Langford.
John Phips or Fips appears with Tandy Walker in tax lists in Lunenburg County, Virginia in 1748 and 1750. If the birth years for these 3 successive men named Tandy Walker were at least approximately correct, then obviously the Tandy Walker associated with John Phips or Fips would have been the earliest one. This is the one who was born about 1714 and who married Judith, said to have been Judith Langford.
That Tandy Walker was still living in 1747. That is when he and his wife Judith sold 460 acres in Goochland County to Edmund Epes (Eppes or Epps) in 1747. We’ve discussed Eppes connections and Goochland County connections on numerous occasions.
The oldest Tandy Walker died by 1752. That’s when Judith, who called herself the widow of Tandy Walker, deceased, wrote a will. In that will, she names her son Tandy Walker, Jr.
Judith is said to have then remarried, to Cornelius Cargill. In 1745, Cornelius Cargill and John “Phelps” (as abstracted) were among those who took the oath of justice of the peace in Lunenburg County. Then again, in 1749, Cornelius Cargill and John “Phelps” were among those who took the same oath in the same county. This time they were joined by Peter Fontaine and Liddal Bacon (names we’ve discussed), along with a Stokes and a Bolling (surnames we’ve discussed). John Fips or Phips was apparently an overseer for Peter Fontaine.
The Langford surname, as is claimed for Judith, the wife of Tandy Walker, also appears in Warren County, North Carolina. In 1781 in that county, Thomas Poythress served as a bondsman for the marriage of a George Langford to Pattsy Mallary. Poythress is the name we’ve discussed which has been closely associated with both the Phips and Eppes families. Warren County is the county that absorbed the records of the now extinct Bute County, where records of a Joseph Phips from Brunswick County, Virginia were found.
The oldest of the men named Tandy Walker is assumed to have been the brother of Sylvanus Walker. Both appear in Lunenburg County, Virginia records. As abstracted, a 1760 deed shows that Sylvanus Walker, Jr. bought land in Lunenburg County from James Burton (note the Burton surname). Note that the older Tandy Walker appears to have been living in Henrico County, Virginia in 1737 when he bought land in Goochland County. Then in 1747, while living in Lunenburg County, he and his wife Judith sold land in Goochland County to an Eppes – Edmund “Epes.”
As we’ve discussed recently, Goochland was formed from Henrico. In 1742, Joseph and Benjamin Fipps were minor orphans bound to Josiah Burton (the Burton name again) in Goochland County. In 1760, Sylvanus Walker, Jr. bought land from James Burton. The George Reeves who was the father in law of Samuel Phips, Jr. of Ashe County, North Carolina (both men were earlier in Wilkes County) was an Eppes heir who married a Burton. Again, Tandy Walker appears with John Phips or Fips on the same property in Lunenburg County in 1748 and 1750.
Then there was a Tandy Walker FITTS, son of Robert Walker Fitts (whose name appears as FITZ on his tombstone). Tandy Walker Fitts was born 22 August 1788. That’s according to his tombstone, which appears to be a modern rather than period tombstone. That Tandy Walker Fitts married, as his 2nd wife, Sarah BURTON, born 24 June 1797. They’re buried in the FITTS Cemetery (not Fips) in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
That Sarah Burton is said to have been a daughter of Hutchins Burton of Halifax County, Virginia. As noted in a recent post, Hutchins Burton was supposedly the father of Richard Burton who married Mary Pleasants, with Richard having lived in Wilkes County, North Carolina, where George Reeves and Samuel Phips or Fips were also living.
That Richard Burton is supposed to have been the father of John Pleasants Burton who lived in Ashe County, North Carolina and who then moved to Lawrence County, Indiana, as did some of the descendants of Samuel Phips.
That Richard is also supposed to have been the father of Jane Burton who married George Reeves of Wilkes County, North Carolina and later Grayson County, Virginia as his 2nd wife. Samuel Phips of Wilkes and then Ashe County then shows up as George’s heir when the latter died in Grayson County in 1811.
Robert Walker FITZ, the father of Tandy Walker FITTS, was born in 1755 according to his tombstone. (Again, it looks like a later tombstone.) He is buried in the same cemetery in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He is said to have been born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia and to have died in 1840 in Pittsylvania County.
Robert W. Fitz, according to his Revolutionary War pension application (see transcription of part of it, here), was living in Mecklenburg County, Virginia in 1832. He was asked when and where he was born. He answered, “In Dinwidie [i.e. Dinwiddie] County Virginia In or about the year 1755 or 56.” Dinwiddie was formed from Prince George, and Prince George from Charles City County.
When asked where he lived after the war, he replied that he was currently living in Mecklenburg County, but that he had also been living in Halifax County. In addition, fellow soldiers testified on his behalf and said that “he was Borned in the County of Dinwidie [Dinwiddie] Virginia and partly raised there – from thence moved to Lunenburg on the Maherring [Meherrin] river, from thence to the County of Mecklenburg from thence to the County of Halifax Va. from thence to Mecklenburg Va. again and is now living in said county.”
Note that although Fitz himself didn’t mention living in Lunenburg County, testimony by others make it clear that he did live there. A Lunenburg County deed from 1750 shows a later Fitz as apparently still living in Lunenburg County. That was a deed from Richard Witton to Henry Isbell which, as abstracted, refers to the north fork of “Twitty’s Creek,” land bounded by “Fitz’s line on the main creek.” A witness was yet another Harris.
A query from about 3 years ago refers to the Fitts family in the Virginia counties of Halifax, Lunenbug, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania. Specific interest was expressed in Tandy Fitts and Walker Fitts who are said to have moved from Halifax County, Virginia to Georgia prior to 1800. They are said to have then lived in the Georgia counties of Oglethorpe, Madison, and Elbert.
A forum post from 2003 focuses on a George Hampton, said to be a mulatto son of John Adams Hampton/Peggy Fitz from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in the “Cascade area.” Cascade is the location of the Fitts Cemetery where Tandy Walker Fitts and his father Robert Walker Fitz are buried. This is rather late, however. Apparently a sister of this George was born in the 1880s.
The Tandy Walker Fitts who was a son of Robert Walker Fitz would appear to be the man who is listed in the 1850 census as Tandy Fitts. The family was living in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
1850 Census, the Southern District, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 25 October 1850, with a page break after Sarah:
- Tandy Fitts, 63 [b. abt 1787], M, race W, farmer, real est. $4800, b. VA
- Sarah H. Fitts, 50 [b. abt 1800], F, VA
- Tandy W. Fitts, 23 [b. abt 1827], M, NC
- Landford Fitts, 15 [b. abt 1835], M, VA, attended school
- Edyth J. [or I.?] Fitts, 15 [b. abt 1835], M, NC, attended school
- Allen H. Fitts, 25 [b. abt 1825], M, farmer, $1000, NC
- Harriett A. Fitts, 25 [b. abt 1825], M, VA
- John H. Fitts, 3 [b. abt 1847], M, VA
- Tandy R. Fitts, 1 [b. abt 1849], M, VA
Note that the family appears to have been living in North Carolina sometime around 1825-1827, when sons Tandy W. and Allen H. Fitts were born. Note also the appearance of the name Landford, presumably an error or variant for Langford (or vice versa).
It would seem likely that this Fitts or Fitz family must have been related, and perhaps was the same family as the Fips, Phips, Phipps, Fipps, etc. family. Note the references to Halifax County, Virginia. (This county also figures prominently in Reeves/Reaves and Eppes/Epps connections.) We noted earlier a Phillips family there which looks as though it could have been of the same family as Fips, Phips, etc.
Secondary/unconfirmed sources refer to a Phillips family which appears to have emanated from Prince George County, Virginia. This is the same county mentioned above as the predecessor to Dinwiddie County, where Robert W. Fitz was born, with Prince George having come from Charles City County, a county we’ve mentioned earlier with Phips/Fips etc. connections.
Those sources also refer to this Phillips family as being related to other family members in Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties, locations closely associated with the Phipps, Phips, Fips, etc. family, with earlier ancestors in Charles City County. This Phillips family also had dealings with the Poythress family, the same family we’ve discussed as having had direct involvement with the Phips or Phipps family as well as the Eppes or Epps family.
A tentative working hypothesis, that perhaps additional research could either affirm or overturn, is that these Phillips, Fitts, and Fitz families were simply parts of the same whole – that composite known as Phipps, Fips, Phips, Phripp, Fipps, Fipp, Phyps, (not to mention the Phreep and Streep that are also claimed), etc. That’s not what everyone wants to hear, necessarily, because for decades genealogists haven’t wanted to even glance at records associated with such spellings. This may well be the crucial factor, however, that has precluded solving the mystery of the “Phipps” origins in previous decades.
On another note, and back to the oldest of the 3 men named Tandy Walker at the start of this post: He could be assumed to have been a solid citizen, but we don’t actually know that. It’s been remarked in earlier posts that some members of the Phips or Fipps or Phipps family of Ashe County, North Carolina seem to have exhibited criminal elements about as soon as they appeared in Owen County, Indiana.
That suggests that such activities must have gone on earlier, back in North Carolina, although they don’t clearly surface in the records (except for some vague “trespass” and assault records and the like). In Owen County, Phips/Fipps family members and associates seem to have even infiltrated local government to a certain extent.
All of this is noted as a sort of preface to an excerpt from the Revolutionary War pension application for the last of the 3 Tandy Walkers, as noted above. Even today that later Tandy Walker is referred to as the black sheep of the family. Was his behavior really an anomaly in his family, or could his grandfather have exhibited shady behavior as well, with it just not mentioned in the records? If so, then – who knows? – perhaps the following could have some relevance to understanding John Phips or Fips, who was associated with this Tandy’s grandfather.
Tysons 26th [or 25th?] June 1823
In answer to your Letter of the 16th Inst. [i.e. instant] I think I can safely say that I am sufficiently acquainted with the condition of Tandy Walker to give you pretty full information. He came to this Country about 1785 or 6 and I have known him very well for more than 20 years past.
Soon after he came from Virginia he took up with a Sally Hinton a daughter of the Mr. Hinton who lived on the road near where Mrs. McLean now lives. They lived together & had children. They could not marry for he had a wife living in Virginia. Sally Hinton at the death of her father got one or two Negroes or perhaps some other property. Walker who never had much property & who was always involved in Law on both the civil and criminal sides of the dockets of Chatham & Moore [Counties], after the death of his wife thought it safest for many years not to marry the woman he lived with, fearing that her property would have to go to satisfy the demands against him. Some five or six years ago, however, they were married, but previous to the marriage some sort of marriage settlement (or conveyance to Trustees) of her property was made. This conveyance it was said was hastily or unskilfully drawn, but still no one called it in question, all believed the property was secured against claims that might come [page break] against Walker, and last winter Executions were taken out against his body and he took the benefit, of the act of insolvency in this County & was discharged from prison. Philip Atston [or Alston?] the Admr. of John A Ramsey had at that time a Judgment against Walker for several hundred Dollars and took out an Execution against his goods, and directed the sheriff of Moore to levy on the above mentioned Negroes and to sell, & agreed to indemnify the sheriff. Walker or some one forbade the sale on the [day?], but they were sold & purchased by Mr. J. B. Kelly the Lawyer, who I understand has them in possession. Since that a small Execution went out against him for state fees only, & no property [? (looks like “unto”)] found, & the County has had to pay it out of the county funds. So that I fully believe Walker is at this time really insolvent, and I also fully believe that the attempt made to cover the property, was solely to guard him against the sheriff & Constables, and with no eye to the pension Law. Indeed I think it probable that the conveyance I have spoken of, was made before the passage of the act of Congress under which he claims, but can say nothing with any certainty on this point.
I intended to have wrote you about this time [page break] to enquire if you had heard any thing from Messrs. John Taylor and sons of N. York on the subject of Mrs. McNairs Legacy. The poor woman is needy and often calling on me for information. I am somewhat surprised that they never [answered?] my Letter. If you have not heard from them I may jogg their memory and tell them I hoped to hear from them. I hope they will write to you if not to me
I am Dear sir most respectfully your s[e? (for servant?)]
A. M. Bry[de?]
The following is apparently from the back of this letter:
John [Hasken? or Huske?] Esquire
President of the U.S. Bank