An 1826 Ashe County, North Carolina Deed

An Ashe County, North Carolina deed is transcribed below, dated 17 September 1826. This deed should be of interest to Ashe County, North Carolina Phips or Phipps family researchers, although that surname never appears in the document.

The deed serves as yet more evidence which appears to connect the family of Samuel Phips, Jr. who died in 1854 in Ashe County, North Carolina with that of John Fips or Phips who died about 1769 in Charlotte County, Virginia. As discussed in various earlier posts, based on groundbreaking research by the “A Witcher Family Genealogy” website, John Fips or Phips’s daughter Betsey married Ephraim Witcher, and they were the parents of Taliaferro Witcher. John Fips or Phips bore clear connections to the Brunswick County, Virginia Phips or Phipps family, which is abundantly evident in records pertaining to his widow after he died.

Although surprising to some, “Taliaferro” is pronounced identically to “Toliver.” The Samuel Phips family of Ashe County maintained a close relationship to the family of Jesse Toliver, sometimes Taliaferro, in that county. Ephraim and Betsey moved into Surry County, North Carolina around 1769, where Ephraim died in 1819.

In 1777, part of Surry County became Wilkes County, and this is where Samuel Phips appears in records before showing up in Ashe County beginning with the 1800 census. That change was evidently due to part of Wilkes County becoming Ashe County in 1799. Jordan Phipps, from the Sussex County, Virginia Phipps family which appears probably connected to the Brunswick County, Virginia Phipps or Phips family, bought land in Wilkes County while living in Surry County, North Carolina in 1799.

The deed transcribed below is from Rankin Cox to “Tolifire” (Taliaferro) Witcher. Rankin Cox is said to have married women named Phipps as his second and third wives, according to unsourced claims. Rankin Cox is supposed to have died in Lawrence County, Indiana, the same place where close relatives of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina also moved. Potter and Roy relatives of the John Fips or Phips family also moved there, as did John Witcher Phipps.

The land which was sold in Ashe County, North Carolina was adjacent to Andrew Cox. As discussed in an earlier post, John Landreth complained in court in Ashe County on 13 April 1816 that he was “beaten and abused” by several people, without provocation. Those people were all members of the Phips and Reeves families – plus Andrew Cox.

The deed was witnessed by A.B. McMillan. He, along with George Reeves, signed an 1845 Ashe County administrator’s bond pertaining to the estate of John Phips, as discussed in an earlier post. John McMillan’s daughter Nancy married Joseph Phips, as discussed in an earlier post.

The land in the deed was on the waters of Rock Creek. Samuel Phips lived on Rock Creek.

From Ashe County, North Carolina Deed Record Book C, p. 153:

A deed from Rankin Cox to Tolifire Witcher 384 Acres.

This Indenture made this Seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and twenty Six by and between Rankin Cox of the one part and Tolifire Witcher of the other Witnesseth that he the Said Rankin Cox for and in consideration of the Sum of Six hundred Dollars to him in hand paid by the Said Tolifire Witcher the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and himself fully Satisfied and paid, hath bargained, Sold, and conveyed unto him the Said Witcher a certain tract or parcel of land containing three hundred & Eighty four acres be the Same more or less in the County of Ashe and State of North Carolina lying on the waters of Rock Creek Beginning at a white oak where a conditional line Joins under Coxes old line, runing [sic; running] East one hundred and forty three poles with Said line to a Whit oak, thence South one hundred and forty Poles to a White oak, then west fifty Poles to a Stake near the Wagon Road, then west ten Degrees South forty Poles to a White oak on the top of [“a” missing] hill, thence South twenty five degrees west Seventy Poles to a Chestnut, thence west nine degrees South one hundred and eleven Poles to a white oak, then North fifty four Poles to a line, then west to a path, then North with the path and Osborns line two hundred and Sixty Poles to Andrew Coxes corner, then South to said conditional line, thence to the first Station, Together with every right, title & privilege and emolument to the said land belonging or in any wise appertaining, and he the said Rankin do bind himself, his heirs, executors and Administrators to warrant and forever defend the aforesaid primises [sic; premises] to him the [“said” missing] Tolifire Witcher with all other appertainancies [sic; appurtenances] free and clear of all claims and incumberancies [sic; encumbrances] of any person or persons whatsoever. In witness there hereunto [something like “whereof I hereunto” would be expected] Set my hand and affix my Seal, Signed [“in” missing] the presents [sic; presence] of,
A.B. McMillan
]Jesse Osborn

[signed:] Rankin Cox (Seal)

North Carolina
Ashe County
Feby term 1828 The within deed [“was” missing] duly proven in open court and ordered to be Registered.
Test T. Calloway C.C.C.
by Richard Gentry D.C.


Will of Jesse Phipps, 1834, Adams County, Mississippi

The 1834 will of Jesse Phipps of Adams County, Mississippi refers to land that he owned in Adams County and in adjacent “Wilkson” (Wilkerson) County. The proving of the will mentions that one of the witnesses, William Phipps, had died between the time of the will (25 October 1834) and the time it was proven (27 April 1835). More about these individuals appears in past posts which are linked below.

From Adams County, Mississippi Will Records Vol. 2:

[p. 95:]

Copy of the last Will & Testament of Jesse Phipps

In the name of God Amen, I Jesse Phipps being Weak in boddy of sound & perfect mind & memory; I do make & publish this my last Will & testament in manner & form following I. E. first, I give & bequeathe unto my belovid wife mary twenty Dollars. Second & lastly my personal property Viz 9 negros matt a man of 36 years of age his wife Hannah same age & towe [sic; two] children one boy named Edmand aged 2 years the other a girl name Caroline aged 2 months Mary aged 24 years & one boy child named John age 4 years Rachel a girl about 12 years of age Ben a boy nine years of age Isaac a boy age 5 years my Horses 4 head in adams county where now resid[e] & thar in wilkson county on Buffalow my cattle Hogs Hous Hold furntur Kitchin & all the monys that is due me by act not[e] or other wise afer all my lawfull debts is paid It is my will and true desire that the above Property be kept to gether while my youngest child is of age & there there [sic; word repeated] must be & Equal divission made be between myself blood children Viz My Daughter Caroline mtilda the Eldist my son Routh Henry 2nd Oldist my Daughter Elizbeth Jane 3 the oldst my Son Obid Jesse 4th oldist my son Thomos Hutching 5th Eldist – my Daughter Sarah ann, as touching on my wife and her child Sarah and the little effects that she brought into the family if it is her will & wish to remain in the family and Act and do the part of a mother It is my will but she has no power whatever over the little property to make way with it, without privilege from my Administrator which I hereby name appoint and Constitute T. G. Ellis & my son R. H. Phipps as my Administrators, I furthermore will and order that my daughter Caroline Matilda is to be provided for and kept in the family as I know she has been a faithful child, and though not capable of protecting and taking care of herself, furthermore my two guns is to be managed as above, this being my last Will and Testament revoking all others by me made in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this 25 Oct 1834

[signed:] Jesse Phipps

Signed, Sealed, published & declared by the above Jesse Phipps to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and at his presence have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses to the same

James Hornsby
Wm Phipps
Henry Phipps

[p. 96:]

State of Mississippi
Adams County
Probate Court
April Term 1835

Personally Came into open court James Hornsby and Henry Phipps two of the subscribing Witnesses to the annexed instrument of writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Jesse Phipps deceased who being duly Sworn deposith and saith that the Said Testator was over the age of twenty one years at the time of his de cease [sic; decease] that he this affiant Saw the Said Testator and that he was of Sound and disposing mind at the time of his Signing the Same that he the affiant Subscribed his name as a witness to Said instrument in the presence and at the request of said Testator as well as in the presence of the other tow [sic; two] subscribing witness [sic] & that Wm Phipps one of Said witnesses is now dead – Sworn to & Subscribed before me this 27 day of April A. D 1835

James Hornsby
Henry Phipps

F Wood Clk

Relationships suggested by the above:

Father: Jesse Phipps, died between 25 October 1834 and 27 April 1835, presumably in Adams County, Mississippi
Mother: Mary
Children, apparently in birth order:

  • Caroline Matilda Phipps
  • Routh Henry Phipps
  • Elizabeth Jane Phipps
  • Obid Jesse Phipps
  • Thomas Hutching Phipps
  • Sarah Ann Phipps

See also:

John and Benjamin Phipps: 1820s Virginia Surveyor Connections

A Greensburg County, Virginia chancery case had to do with a complaint from John Wyche, living in Brunswick County, Virginia, in the 1820s. Wyche claimed that in 1816, several “executions” against him, in the name of Barney Stewart, had been given to Robert Wallace, who was Brunswick County’s deputy sheriff.

Wyche insisted that he had complied with all the demands of those executions some time ago, but that another execution was issued against him. It was issued by, as he put it, “some person wishing to harrass & disturb” him. The identity of this person was unknown to John Wyche.

That execution, according to Wyche, was in the hands of Thomas Gibbon, Brunswick County coroner. Wyche said that Barney Stewart had moved to Tennessee, and that there was reason to believe that he was no longer living. John Wyche swore to his statements on 6 August 1821, but settling the matter took several years.

The case was being tried in the chancery court in Greensville County, Virginia, which is adjacent to Brunswick County. This was because the judgement against Wyche, who was living in Brunswick County, was bought by Barney Stewart, who was evidently living in Greensville County. Wyche claimed that the injunction had been dissolved, and that there was no basis for a new execution issued against him to the benefit of a certain Charles Cordle. Cordle was the defendant in the chancery case.

It was also alleged that testimony on Wyche’s behalf by three men, one of whom was John Phipps, had not earlier been filed or even received by the court. John Phipps supplied new testimony in 1823. Testimony was also supplied by Randolph Price, who referred to Wyche as “Capt. Wych.” Another record in the chancery case file refers to him as “Capt. John Wyche.”

Testimony from Benjamin Hobbs, also dated 1823 in Brunswick County, referred to the “Westwardmill” (Westward Mill), the “Tools & Profits” of which were divided by Joseph Saunders and Robert Wallace in 1814. Hobbs said that, in the same year, Wyche “had nothing from the Mill but what he bought of said Wallace or Saunders.” Others testified essentially the same thing, using more or less the same words.

Hobbs said that “the Blacksmiths work necessary to be done for or about Westwardmill when he lived there was done by Wyches Smiths at his shop at the spot & that Wyche found the Iron & steel.” Although a bit unclear, this seems to suggest that John Wyche had been running some sort of blacksmith shop in which he hired multiple blacksmiths.

William Saunders, also testifying from Brunswick County, noted that from 1808 or 9 until the fall of 1815, “the Blacksmiths Work necessary to be done for & about Westwardmill was done by said John Wyches Smiths in his shop at said Mill.”

We’ve discussed the Wyche family on various occasions, and have noted speculation that it’s the same family represented as Witcher. The latter family had direct Phipps, Phips, or Fips family connections, as discussed in previous posts. The Wyche family in Brunswick County appear in records as associated with the Reeves family, which appears to be the same Reeves family from which George Reeves was derived. He was the father in law of Samuel Phips or Phipps who died in 1854 in Ashe County, North Carolina.

John Phipps, who testified on behalf of John Wyche, said that he was, in his own words, “well acquainted” with the Hartwell family, including Littlebury S. Hartwell. The Hartwells maintained a very close relationship with the Cocke (Cook) family, which we’ve discussed on various occasions. From there, connections can be shown to the Pleasants family, with a close association with the Burton family which was also associated with George Reeves. (He married a Burton.)

Regarding John Phipps who supplied testimony on behalf of John Wyche, John Phipps also mentioned Benjamin Phipps as having given a note to Wyche which had been executed by Robert Wallace. Note that in an earlier post, we examined an 1821 Brunswick County “tripartite” mortgage deed which involved Lucy Jackson as well as Charles Merritt and his wife Fortune, of the first part, Benjamin Phipps and John P. Malone of the second part, and John Phipps of the third part. All were of Brunswick County. This deed was witnessed by John Wyche.

Then another Brunswick County deed, dated 1825, was transcribed in yet another earlier post. This was a deed from John Phipps and his wife Nancy of Brunswick County to Joshua Clark, also of Brunswick County. Again, the deed was witnessed by John Wyche, but this time by Winfield Phipps as well. This would seem to place this John Phipps as the one who was a brother of Winfield, both being sons of Benjamin Phipps who married Lucy Tuberfield, that Benjamin being a son of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County who married Sarah Williams. (See also here.)

Earlier, in 1803 in Brunswick County, John Wyche acted as surety for a marriage bond involving the marriage of George Woodruff to Sarah (“Sally”) Manning. This Sally would appear to be the one whose mother was a Phipps, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Williams) Phipps of Brunswick County, who married Joel Manning as is evident from Joseph’s will.

Mrs. Howard Woodruff, who wrote the book on Joseph Phipps and his family, noted in her 1985 book on the Woodruff family that John Wyche was “most likely a relative.” She noted that the Wyche family was closely associated with the Woodruffs “over several generations.” Mrs. Woodruff also noted an 1807 deed in which George Woodrough takes up an option on property one boundary of which “follows along westward mill road.”

That land, she said, adjoined land owned by Edward Williams. He was very likely related to Sarah Williams of that county, who married Joseph Phipps. Mrs. Woodruff also noted a land deal involving George Woodruff and a certain William Wyche Wilkins. Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County was involved in land deals in Bute County, North Carolina involving two Wilkins men from Brunswick County, one of whom had married a Wyche.

The name Woodruff appears among itemized expenses in the chancery case records. One curious item in the expenses is for “amt. of Surveyors tickets vs. T. Powell” followed by other names. The settling of the 1769 estate of John Fips, earlier Phips, of Charlotte County, Virginia, who clearly is derived from the Brunswick County family, refers to a Powell lawsuit. The same expenses also include other Powell references, in addition to a Jas Rawlings. We’ve discussed direct Rawlings connections in prior posts.

The name Harris also appears in the records, and we’ve discussed the Harris surveyor connections in various posts. Hardaway is another name which appears, and we’ve also discussed Hardaway connections. George Hardaway, for instance, entered into a mortgage deed with Benjamin Phipps in Brunswick County, in 1822. The same name, George Hardaway, appears in the chancery case file.

One of the records is signed by George Hardaway and bears the names D.B. Stith and J.P. Malone among the witnesses. John P. Malone was one of the parties of the “tripartite” mortgage deed which was mentioned above. D.B. Stith was presumably one of the successive Drury Stiths, at least one of whom was a well-known Virginia surveyor from Brunswick County. The Stith family intermarried at least once with the Hardaway family. There was even one early Virginia surveyor named Stith Hardaway.

As noted above, John Wyche was heavily involved with “Westwardmill” (Westward Mill). Today, Westward Mill Road appears on maps in the area of Lawrenceville in Brunswick County. The Wyche connection with Westward Mill becomes even more evident when all pages of the 76-page chancery file, which is digitized in the Library of Virginia website, are examined.

The connection with Westwardmill would seem to identify this John Wyche as the one who wrote to Thomas Jefferson on 19 March 1809 from that location. Past posts have noted indirect ties to Thomas Jefferson through the Epps family, a surveyor family with direct connections to, once again, George Reeves, and through the “Jeaffreson” family of the Caribbean, with direct connections from that family to the Phipps family.

John Wyche wrote to Jefferson, both being literate men, about Wyche’s desire to form a “Westwardmill Library Society.” In his letter, some names appear which also appear in the chancery case, including Hobbs, Gholson, and even Joseph Saunders, who was specifically mentioned as important to Westwardmill and to the chancery case.

And – this is the kicker, if you’ve been following this blog – this John Wyche was a surveyor. We’ve encountered numerous surveyor relationships at seemingly every turn, and always in an unexpected manner. John Wyche was also a justice of the peace, the Brunswick County coroner, the sheriff, and a county militia lieutenant, at various times in his career. He died in 1848.

Another individual providing testimony in the chancery case was John Lightfoot, with his testimony taken at Powellton in Brunswick County. John Lightfoot, perhaps the same one (or perhaps an earlier generation), witnessed a deed dated 28 August 1777 in Brunswick County from Joseph Phips and his wife Sarah and Robert Davis, Jr. This would be the Joseph and Sarah (Williams) Phipps or Phips who were discussed above. For more about John Lightfoot and the Phipps family, see here and here.

The final document in the chancery file is signed by John Wyche, John P. Malone (as mentioned above), and James Wyche. In the online chancery case file, depositions from John Phipps appear as pages 30 and 36. He is mentioned at a couple other points in the text as having provided testimony. Why such a big deal was made regarding this matter for several years is unclear. John Wyche was well respected, and the evidence seemed overwhelmingly in his favor.

Document at p. 30:

Brunswick County Scts,

This Day John Phipps of lawfull age personally appeared before me the subscriber a Justice of the peace for the said County and made Oath on the holy Evangelist of Almighty God that the assignment by Benjamin Phipps to John Wyche of a Note Executed by Robert Wallace to Said Benjamin was made in the Life time of the said Wallace and as well as the said John Recollects [but?] at any rate as long before Wallaces death as from Brunswick Superior September Court till the following February early in which last mentioned month Wallace died – The Note alluded to is dated on the twentyeth day of March Eighteen hundred & Eleven and is given for One hundred & fifty five Dollars due the first day of October next ensueing the date – Signed by Robert Wallace & Witnessed by [Hernchea?] Parham

The said John Phipps on his Oath further saith that he has many times for a Series of years seen Littlebury S Heartwell Write and been well acquainted with his the said Hartwells hand Writing and that he belies [sic; presumably error for “believes”] the three papers marked H1. H2. H3. are in the proper hand Writing of said Littlebury J Heartwell who was for Several years in the employment of the said Robert Wallace probably from sometime in the year 1814 till the fall of 1817 that he acted as a Deputy sheriff with Wallace and as far as the said Phipps remembers or believes It was Generally thought and understood that Heartwell in the discharge of his Official Conduct in the Service of Writs – Exxecutions &c was governed or controverted almost entirely by Wallace Given under my hand this 31- day of May 1823. –

[signed:] John Phipps

Sighned [sic; Signed] & sworn by John Phipps this 31- day of May. 1823 –

[signed:] A Powell J. P

Document at page 36:

The deposition of John Phipps of lawful age taken at Powellton [in Brunswick County] on Friday 17th day of July 1829 agreeably to notice and entered to read as evidence in the trial of a suit in chancery depending in Greensville County Court, between John Wyche complainant, and Charles Cordle, admr. of Robert Wallace decd., defendant This deponent, being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangelist, of Almighty God, deposeth and saith, that the assignment by Benjamin Phipps to John Wyche of a note which note is in the following words, letters and figures, to wit, 155 [which is circled] I owe and promise to pay or cause to be paid unto Benjamin Phipps the just and full sum of one hundred and fifty five dollars on or before the first day of October next, for value received of him as witness my hand and seal this twentieth day of March eighteen hundred and eleven Robert Wallace (seal) Teste [Hinchea?] Parham and on the back of the same the following endorsement, I assign the within to John Wyche Given under my hand, Benjamin Phipps Teste John Phipps, was made in the lifetime of said Wallace and as well as the said John recollects, at any rate, as long before Wallace’s death, as from Brunswick September Superior Court, till the following February early in which last mentioned month, Wallace died, the said John Phipps in his oath, further saith that he has many times for a series of years seen Littlebury S. Heartwell with and been well acquainted with his the said Heartwells hand writing and that, he believes the three papers, marked, H1. H2. H3. are in the proper hand writing of said Littleburry S Heartwell, who was for several years in the employment of said Wallace, probably from sometime in the year 1814, till the fall of 1817. that he acted as a deputy Sheriff with Wallace and as far as the deponent remembers or believes it was generally thought, and understood that Heartwell in the discharge of his official duty in the service of writs Executions &c, was governed or controverted almost entirely by Wallace and this deponent further saith that the three minor a[?]s or receipts one marked W and dated the 7th Decr. 1813. purporting to be a receipt from Wallace to Wyche for $134.59. was signed by the said Robert Wallace in his own proper hand writing in [?] also the other two memorandums or receipts, marked E & F, one dated 1 May1817 and the other 18th October 1817. and further the deponent saith not

[signed:] John Phipps

[p. 37, back side:]

The foregoing deposition of John Phipps sworn to and solemnly before us this 178th July 1829 Given under our hands and seals this 17th

F. [M?] Green J P (seal)
James Rice (seal)

Some Tennessee Land Grants

Index to land grants, Tennessee, 1775-1905, 1911

  • James S. Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 23981, 13 acres, 25 September 1841, Book 25, p. 180
  • Jordan Phipps, Williamson County, grant 7517, 100 acres, 2 February 1828, Book 9, p. 355, notation: “7163 to 7980 MIDDLE TENN.”
  • Jordan Phipps, Williamson County, grant 12212, 45 acres, 13 January 1834, Book 14, p. 785, notation: “MIDDLE TENN.-11427-12232”
  • Jordon Phipps, Williamson County, grant 12859, 10 acres, 7 December 1818, Book P, p. 457, notation: “General Grants” [image 233 of 474]
  • Josiah and Nancy Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 25913, 1,350 acres, 8 October 1847, Book 27, p. 243, notation: “EAST TENNESSEE DISTRICT”
  • Nancy and Josiah Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 25913, 1,350 acres, 8 October 1847, Book 27, p. 243, notation: “EAST TENNESSEE DISTRICT”
  • Penelopy Phipps, Williamson County, grant 9649, 54 1/4 acres, 5 August 1829, Book 11, p. 894, notation: “8754 to 9665 MIDDLE TENN.”
  • William Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 5342, 6 acres, 19 September 1817, Book 4, p. 702, notation: “EAST TENNESSEE DISTRICT”
  • William Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 5343, 40 acres, 19 September 1817, Book 4, p. 703, notation: “EAST TENNESSEE DISTRICT”
  • William Phipps, Hawkins County, grant 5346, 30 acres, 17 September 1817, Book 4, p. 704, notation: “EAST TENNESSEE DISTRICT”
  • Wm. R. D. Phipps, Wilson County, grant 14619, 200 acres, 22 August 1837, Book 17, p. 597, notation: “MIDDLE TENN.-14020-14932”
  • dWilliam Phips, Jr., heirs of, Sumner County, grant 1884, 100 acres, 22 January 1810, Book E, p. 287, notation: “General Grants”

More About Jordan Phipps of Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee

Past posts have noted Jordan Phipps who resided in Sussex County, Virginia, then Surry County, North Carolina, then Wilkes County, North Carolina, then Williamson County, Tennessee. Here are more records regarding Jordan Phipps as found in Williamson County, Tennessee. Jordan appears to have come out of the Benjamin Phipps family of Sussex County, Virginia, with that Benjamin having been assumed to have been a brother of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.

Although the following are Tennessee records, it should be noted that before Jordan’s arrival in that location, when he was still in Wilkes County, North Carolina, he was sued in 1807 by a certain Ann “Donahoe.” The 1837 Wilkes County will of Ann “Donahue” refers to John Witcher, son of John Witcher deceased, and Israel Witcher (described as “Uncle of the said John,” but without specifying which John) as heirs.

As noted previously, John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg County, Virginia who left an estate in Charlotte County, Virginia in 1769 had a daughter Betsey who married Ephraim Witcher. The couple moved into Surry County, North Carolina as did Jordan Phipps. Ephraim’s son Taliaferro Witcher moved into Ashe County, North Carolina where he became associated with the family of Samuel Phips or Phipps of Ashe County. The name “Taliaferro” is pronounced identically to that of “Toliver,” and the family of Jesse Toliver (Taliaferro) was very closely associated with Samuel Phips in Ashe County.

Jordon Phipps, Williamson County, Tennessee, grant 12859, 10 acres, 7 December 1818, Book P, p. 457, notation: “General Grants:”

[Note: The following uses a vertical line followed by what looks like the word “Oaks.” This expression appears several times in calls from the survey. Its meaning is unclear.]

Recorded June 26th 1819 [page:] 457
KNOW YE That By Virtue of part of Certificate No. 1574 dated the 20th day of August 1813 issued by the Register of West Tennessee to James Davis for 315 1/4 Acres & entered on the 7th day of February 1818 by No. 165 [or 145?] [A A? or H O?]
There is granted by the said state of Tennessee, unto Jordon Phipps Assignee of the Said James Davis a certain tract of Parcel of Land, containing Ten Acres by Survey bearing date the 26th day of March lying in the first District in Williamson County & bounded as follows towit [sic; to wit] Begining [sic; beginning] where the lower line of said Phipps ten Acre [? (looks something like “Es tey”)] Crosses a Branch of Turnbull Creek Thence meet fifty [vertical line followed by “Oaks”] to a Stake thence North thirty two Poles to a stake thence East fifty [vertical line followed by “Oaks” again] to a Stake thence South thirty two [vertical line followed by “Oaks” again] to the Begining [sic beginning]
With the heraditaments [sic; hereditaments] and appurtenances. To have and to hold the said tract or Parcel of Land, with its appurtenances to the said Jordon Phipps and his heirs forever. In witness whereof, Joseph McMinn Governor of the state of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand, & caused the great Seal of the state to be affixed, at Murfreesborough on 7th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Eighteen and of the Independence of the United States, the forty third
Daniel Graham SECRETARY. Jos McMinn

Jordan Phipps, Williamson County, Tennessee, grant 7517, 100 acres, 2 February 1828, Book 9, p. 355, notation: “7163 to 7980 MIDDLE TENN.:”

Recorded 23d. February 1828 [page:] 355
To all to whom these presents shall come – GREETING:
KNOW YE, That, for and in consideration of the sum of One cent per acre, paid into the office of the Entry-Taker of Williamson county, and entered on the 4th day of February 1826 pursuant to the provisions of an Act of the General Assembly of said state, passed on the twentysecond [sic] day of November, one thousand eight hundred and twentythree [sic], and the acts Supplemental thereto by No. 318.
there is granted by the said State of Tennessee, unto Jordan Phipps
a certain Tract or Parcel of LAND, containing one hundred acres by survey bearing date the 17. day of May 1827 lying in said county, On the waters of Turnbull Creek and bounded as follows to Wit Beginning at a post oak near his Tobacco Barn Running thence South one hundred and twelve poles to a post oak on Hendrick’s line. Thence West with said line one hundred and fourteen poles to a black oak on McGees line Thence North with said line two poles to an oak his corner. thence West with said line twenty poles to a post oak Martins Corner Thence North with said line one hundred and Sixteen poles to a post oak thence East one hundred and thirty four poles to a stake Thence South to the Beginning
With the hereditaments and appurtenances. To Have and to Hold the said Tract or Parcel of LAND, with its appurtenances, to the said Jordan Phipps and his heirs forever.
In Witness Whereof, Samuel Houston Governor of the State of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand, and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed, at Nashville, on the Second day of February in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight and of the independence of the Untied States, the fiftysecond [sic].
Daniel Graham Secretary. Sam Houston

Jordan Phipps, Williamson County, Tennessee, grant 12212, 45 acres, 13 January 1834, Book 14, p. 785, notation: “MIDDLE TENN.-11427-12232:”

[page:] 786 Recorded 15th Feby 1834.
The State of Tennessee – No. 12212.
KNOW YE, That for 7 in Consideration of the Sum of one Cent per acre paid into the Office of the Entry Taken of Williamson County and Entered on the 13th day of March 1827, pursuant to the provisions of an act of the General Assembly of said State passed on the 22nd day of November 1833, and the act Supplemental thereto by No. 543,
there is granted by the State of Tennessee, unto Jordan Phipps
a certain Tract or Parcel of LAND, containing Forty five acres by survey bearing date the 2nd day of may [sic; May] – 1832 lying in said county, On Turnbull Creek [quotation marks without a corresponding 2nd set] and bounded as follows to wit, Beginning at a stake Dawdys Corner and on said Phipps line. Running south with said Phipps line Sixty poles to a Walnut in Hendricks line, then East with said line One hundred and twenty poles to two Black Jacks, then north with John Hendricks line Sixty poles to an Oak in Dawdys line, then West with said line One hundred and twenty poles to the Beginning
With the hereditaments and appertenances [sic; appurtenances]. To Have and to Hold the said Tract or Parcel of LAND, with its appertenances [sic; appurtenances], to the said Jordan Phipps – and his heirs forever.

In witness whereof, William Carroll Governor of the State of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand, and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed, at Nashville, on the 13th day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty four and of the Independence of the United States the fifty-Eighth
Wm. Carroll

From Williamson County, Tennessee Will Book, pp. 234-235:

Jordan Phipps Deceased Will July Term 1827.
I Jordan Phipps of Williamson County State of Tennessee being Weak in body [page break, p. 235:] but of sound and perfect mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner and form following (that is to ay) First I wish my funeral expences and all just debts to be paid out of my personal property if I leave not money sufficient on hand at my death to do it. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy McCullock Perry the horse Cattle sheep and house hold furniture that she has already received. I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Patcy Edney the horses Cattle sheep and household furniture that she has already received. I also give and bequeath unto my Son Claibourn McCullock Phipps one bay mare saddle & bridle that he has already received. I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy my daughter Patcy and my Son Claibourn five Dollars each to be paid in twelve months after my death I also give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Penelope Phipps one black mare named Jim, one black woman named Silva, One other black woman named Tilda, also one black boy named William Davy together with all the increase if any they should [? (looks like 2 letters)] – Also One tract of land whereon I now live – also all my personal estate that I have at my death to dispose of as she may think proper whoom [sic; whom] I hereby appoint Sole Executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former will [sic] by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal 28th day of May in the Year of our Lord 1826.
Jordan his X mark Phipps (Seal)
Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named Jordan Phipps to be his last Will and testament in the Presance [sic; presence] of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses In the presence of the testator [Simeon?] [U.? or V.?] Adm. [Simeon?] West. Samuel Mays
The State of Tennessee Williamson County Court July Term 1827.
The last will and testament of Jordan Phipps deceased is produced in Court for probate, and the execution thereof proven thus [Simeon?] [V.? or U.?] Adm, and Samuel Mays Subscribing Witnesses thereto being [summon?] say they became such in the presence and at the request of the testator, and that they believe he was of sound and disposing mind at the making and publication of said will and under no undue influence. Ordered that said will be recorded. Whereupon Penelope Phipps the Executrix nominated in said will, appears in Open Court, gives bond of four thousand Dollars Conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in her, with Thomas Ja. [sic] Perkins and Samuel Mays her securities and is duly sworn according to law. Ordered that letters testamentary issue to her accordingly.

From Williamson County, Tennessee Will Book 4, pp. 260-261:

Qutater? (probably misspelling of “Quarter” as in “Quarter Sessions”)] Sessions 1827.
An Inventory of the estate of Jordan Phipps dec’d late of Williamson County Tennessee as follows 125 Acres of Land, five negroes towit [sic; to wit], James aged 36 years, Silva aged 30 years, Tilda aged 15 years, Wm. David aged 19 months, Mary Jane aged 5 months – four head of horses, twenty head of Cattle, twenty four head of sheep, twenty Six head of hogs 23 head of geese 1 waggon [sic; wagon] & 3 pr. geers [sic; gears], 2 plows 1 mattock, 1 grubbing hoe & 2 weeding hoes, 2 axes, 1 [? (looks a bit like “draw”)] wedge, 1 [? (looks a bit like “Terrist” or “Tennet”)] Saw, 2 augers 3 Beds and furniture & 3 bedsteads, 20 lb. of feathers, 2 Tables, 1 Sugar Chest, 1 Cupboard, 1 chest 6 chairs, 1 flax wheel, 1 cotton wheale [sic; wheel], 2 pr. Cards 1 weavin [sic; weaving] loom, 2 stays, 2 pr. harness, 1 [Oven?], 2 pots, 1 skillet, 1 stew pot, 1 brass kettle, 1 Tea Kettle, 2 Copper pots, 1 pr fire dogs [another name for andirons] 1 fire shovel & tongs, 1 spade, 2 Candle sticks, 1 pr. Candle moles [sic; molds], 1 Candle stand, 1 pr. Smoothing Irons, 1 pr. [stalyards? or stulyards?], 3 dishes, 8 plates, Set Cups and Saucers, 1 Tea pot, 1 Set Silver Tea spoons, 4 glass tumblers, 2 [Bales? or Bobs?], 2 Waiters, 1 Set Knives & forks, 1 [? (looks a bit like “staw lug”)], 3 Bottles, 1 pr. Sheep shears, 1 Trunk, 1 Water Can, 1 pail, 1 piggin [small wooden pail], 2 washing tubs, 1 half bushel, 2 hogsheads [type of cask for wine, etc.] 1 Vingeger [sic; vinegar] barrel, 1 Keg, 2 Side Saddles. – notes of hand as follows, viz. 1 note payable by Nicholas P. Smith due 26th Nov. 1825. Amount $105.65 – 1 note payable by Ivy Burnham [page break, p. 261:]
[Note: It is ASSUMED that the following connects to the above, and not to an unrelated document which follows:]
Given under our hands this 18th day of April 1827.
George Kinnard
Wm. Rucker
Richard Tanner

The Rebecca Shute Will Reexamined

In the past, we’ve honed in on an enigmatic will from 1732 which was crafted in Jamaica, yet recorded in North Carolina. The reason for the multiple locations? The will mentions multiple estates, including a wealthy plantation in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. The document was written by Rebecca Shute. She knew she was dying, yet she was young enough to refer to her mother, Mary Earle, as an heir.

The will was first recorded in Port Royal, Jamaica, a city once termed the “wickedest city on earth.” At one time, a quarter of the town’s buildings were devoted to alcohol or prostitution, or both. Jamaica and other nearby locations in the Caribbean were home to a lucrative trade in rum, molasses, sugar, and slaves.

Much of that trade saw the thriving British colony of Virginia as one of its primary targets. Phipps or Phips family members were heavily engaged in that trade, probably from the beginning. They wove a spidery mercantile web which connected England, the Caribbean, and Virginia. Family members were involved as merchants, as ship captains, and as politicians.

The Rebecca Shute will refers to her mother Mary Earle and to a certain John Earle, who Rebecca calls her “friend.” A likely scenario, although it will require more research to tell for sure, would be that Mary had remarried, and that John was Rebecca’s stepfather. Rebecca’s maiden name was not Shute. She calls herself a “widdow,” and indicates that she had a daughter, also named Rebecca Shute.

The copy of the will which Rebecca Shute wrote and which is preserved in North Carolina might just be part of a longer will also referring to her property in Jamaica. That is suggested by the fact that the North Carolina document refers to largely formulaic preliminaries before beginning a section with “Item.” Customarily, wills of this era which were characterized by any degree of complexity listed various pieces of property or specific stipulations in separate sections, with each section beginning with the word “Item.”

In this will only one “item” appears, making one wonder whether other items appeared in the Jamaican original. This is further suggested by a couple references to Rebecca Shute’s “estates,” in the plural, in addition to her various “Effects and Chatelles.”

Abstract of the 1732 Rebecca Shute will copy, as extant in North Carolina

  • Date: 20 June 1732
  • Devisor: Rebecca Shute of the parish of Port Royall (Port Royal) on the island of Jamaica
  • Her status: A widow, “weak in body”
  • Heir: Rebecca Shute’s daughter, also named Rebecca Shute, to receive all her “estates,” including all real and personal property and in particular a plantation in Cape Fear in North Carolina along with its negroes, when Rebecca would reach 21
  • Heir: Rebecca Shute’s mother Mary Earle and Rebecca’s “friend” John Earle (perhaps a stepfather?) to receive the North Carolina plantation if daughter Rebecca would die before reaching 21; Mary Earle or John Earle (or a survivor of them) to receive half of the profits from the North Carolina plantation’s operation while daughter Rebecca was still under age 21 as long as they would agree to care for Rebecca and for the plantation, with the other half of the profits to go to daughter Rebecca’s education while under 21
  • Executors: Mother Mary Earle, “friend” John Earle
  • Witnesses: George Cabaniss, Jacob Phipps, John Phipps
  • Proven in the Court of Common Pleas for the Precinct of Port Royall (Port Royal) in the island of Jamaica by Josias Eason, Jacob Phipps, and John Phipps

Cape Fear is a region of North Carolina found in the southernmost section of the state around the present-day city of Wilmington. This includes the present-day North Carolina counties of Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender. The presence of a Brunswick County here, bearing the same name of Brunswick County in Virginia, a location with a strong early Phipps presence, appears to have created some genealogical confusion. Sometimes the North Carolina counties of Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Onslow, and Sampson are also included in defining the Cape Fear region. The southernmost county involved is Brunswick, which is adjacent to Horry County, South Carolina.

Horry County, South Carolina is where Elijah Phipps was living in the 1850 and 1860 censuses. He supposedly was a son of Thomas Fipps, who some think was born about 1765-1775, who supposedly died about 1820, and who married Sarah Guy. A grandson of Thomas was supposedly Thomas P. Fipps who is buried in Columbus County, North Carolina. He supposedly was born in 1838 in Horry County. Sarah Guy who supposedly married Thomas Fipps was a daughter of Samuel Guy of Duplin County, North Carolina. His 1794 will refers to his daughter as Sarah Phips. Duplin is at the northern edge of the Cape Fear region.

It should be stressed that at least part of the Phips or Phipps family was not your average family. Members of this Phipps or Phips or Fipps or Phypps or Fips etc. family in America did not tend to simply procure 150 acres and a cow, living in the same eastern county for a century or so, until some adventurous descendants decided to move to the Midwest in search of 300 acres and two cows.

Instead, some family members maintained numerous web-like ties connecting the Caribbean, the East Coast, and England, with involvement in shipping, real estate investment, surveying, and merchandising. It would only make sense, in that context, to find family members on the North Carolina coast in close proximity to the lucrative West Indies trade and the early South Carolina trading hub. It would only make sense to find that Rebecca Shute owned estates in North Carolina and, presumably, in Jamaica.

Individuals involved:

John and Jacob Phipps

The identity of John and Jacob Phipps, who are named in Rebecca Shute’s will, is not clear. We’ve discussed a certain John Phipps who was in Kingston, Jamaica in 1743. Kingston and Port Royal are so close to each other that, arguably, they could be viewed as essentially the same location, especially for 1730s-1740s genealogical purposes. Port Royal is located at the western end of the extremely narrow Palisadoes Peninsula, and is only separated from the Kingston waterfront by a tiny arm of the Caribbean. Much of Port Royal, which had been considered a major pirate haven, sank in an earthquake in 1692. More sank in another earthquake in 1907.

By 1746, John Phipps of Kingston had moved to South Carolina, where he then wrote a will. At that time, his father John was living in Brailes, Warwickshire, where he was a stonecutter. Whether the John Jr. of this family could have been the John Phipps of the 1732 Rebecca Shute will is not clear. If he was, then the identity of Jacob Phipps is still left unsettled. The John whose father was a stonecutter had brothers William and James, but he was not known at this point to have had a brother named Jacob.

Searches have, so far, not turned up a Jacob Phipps associated with the Caribbean. A lengthy section on the Phipps family appears in one volume of Caribbeana, but is focused on St. Kitts. The period of Rebecca Shute’s will, 1732, is so early that little to nothing in terms of primary documents appears to be available via the Internet in digitized form.

Baptismal records are digitized and online for the Kingston parish from around 1722, but that would be too late for John and Jacob Phipps (except as parents), and Rebecca Shute specifically stated that she was of the parish of Port Royal. According to confusingly worded text in the Family Search Catalog, it appears that the parish of Port Royal may have been absorbed into the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew at some undisclosed point in time. The Family Search reference makes it sound as though this occurred in 1723, but evidently not, if Rebecca Shute referred to Port Royal as a functioning parish in 1732.

If John and Jacob were christened on the island, that would probably be too early for readily available records. Christening (baptismal) records are readily available from around 1722 on, but presumably John and Jacob were older than that, and no Jacob appears early anyway.

The Shute family

One must wonder whether Rebecca Shute and her late husband’s family had some connection with Gyles Shute of Bath County, North Carolina, who left a will just about two or three years before Rebecca. Bath County no longer exists. This was a very early county, having been formed in 1696 and having been already done away with by 1739. Again, Rebecca Shute’s will is dated 1732. Bath County was home to the town of Bath. Today, that town is located in Beaufort County, North Carolina. Beaufort County is further up the coast from Cape Fear, in the east central coastal region, northeast of Cape Fear.

Beaufort County is the location where William Fips AKA Phipps appears in records dated from 1726/7 to 1753. This William keeps showing up as associated with a certain William Carruthers. At one point he was a road commissioner. A 1769 record refers to the estate of William “Pheps,” deceased. Supposedly his widow then became Mary Tingle. Mary left a will in Craven County, North Carolina, adjacent to Beaufort County, in 1767 in which she refers to her sons William Phipps, Nathaniel Phipps, and Josias Phipps. A bit earlier than the William Phips or Phipps or Fips records in Beaufort County, a John “Fippe,” as abstracted but with a question mark, proved the 1725 will of Thomas Boyd in Beaufort and Hyde Precincts in North Carolina. Could he have been the John Phipps who witnessed the Rebecca Shute will in Jamaica in 1732?

Getting back to Gyles Shute of Bath County, he left a will which could be abstracted as follows:

Abstract of the North Carolina provincial will of Gyles Shute of Bath County, North Carolina

  • Date: 11 February 1729/30
  • Devisor: Gyles Shute of Bath County, “Sick & weak of Body”
  • Heirs: Wife Charity Shute, sons Philip Shute, Samuel Shute, Joseph Shute, and unnamed daughter (probably the same person also referred to as Penelope Shute)
  • Property: His “wareing Apparill both Wollon & Linning” (woolen and linen), “My plaintation whereon I now Live Lying on the Mouth of Towne Creek,” a negro man named Stepney, “Stock” (presumably livestock) and “househould goods”
  • Witnesses: Isaac Attiwell, Esq., John Mattock, John Lawson (who signed with a mark)

Another provincial North Carolina will, the 1717 will of John Drinkwater of Bath County, names Gyles and Charity Shute as executors. They, in addition to their son Phillip, were also heirs. One of the witnesses was abstracted as Patrick Cavan, which leads one to wonder whether this name could have actually been Cavaniss. Some sources suggest that the Shutes moved to Bath County, North Carolina from Cecil County, Maryland. A 1719 record refers to a Boston mariner giving power of attorney to Giles Shute, who was described as a merchant in the town of Bath.

John and Mary Earle

John Earle is referred to in Rebecca Shute’s will as her friend, and is mentioned alongside her mother Mary Earle. The fact that Rebecca names her mother as heir suggests that Rebecca was in poor health, expecting to die at an early age. Rebecca’s maiden name was not given. We can assume it was not Shute, since she names a daughter with the same name as herself, Rebecca Shute. The fact that John Earle is referred to as “friend” rather than father suggests that perhaps her mother, Mary Earle, was earlier married to some unnamed husband but had later remarried to John Earle.

Rebecca Shute said that she “earnestly request[ed]” that her mother Mary Earle and her “friend” John Earle would take care of Rebecca’s daughter Rebecca, as well as the North Carolina plantation. This would seem to suggest that the daughter and the Earles were probably residing in North Carolina.

In fact, a John Earle signed a 1754 Cape Fear area petition for better roads. New Hanover County, North Carolina is in the Cape Fear area. That petition complained that the government of New Hanover County, North Carolina had authorized a couple ferries, one from Wilmington to “the Point of Marshe at the Mouth of the Thoroughfaire,” and the other “at a Place called Mount Misery on the North West branch of Cape Fear River.” The New Hanover County government had “neglected and Refused,” however, to build roads to these ferries.

A 1759 New Hanover County deed transferred 640 acres from a John Earle, described as a planter of New Hanover County, to Samuel Swann, Esquire. This land was located on Topsail Sound. In those days, “esquire” actually meant something. The term referred to someone of an elevated social rank, above a gentleman (which also had a specific meaning) but below a knight. A 1762 New Hanover County will was proven by a John Earle.

George Cabaniss

George Cabaniss was one of the witnesses to the will of Rebecca Shute. According to unconfirmed secondary sources, he was born about 1714 in Prince George County, Virginia and died in 1744 in Amelia County, Virginia. He and his brother Matthew received land patents in Amelia County, Virginia in 1737 adjacent to Francis Epps. We’ve noted various Epps connections and surveyor connections, and this may have been the Francis Epps who was a prominent surveyor. In his 1720 will, George Cabaniss’ father Henry Cabanis (as spelled) of Prince George County, Virginia appointed Francis Epes (Epps) as administrator.

The Epps family has kept reappearing at unexpected junctures, as have surveyor connections and Amelia County, Virginia connections. One of the most significant of the multiple Amelia County connections is that involving Revolutionary War veteran John Phipps, who lived in Amelia County, Virginia before entering Orange County, North Carolina.

We’ve also noted the 1786 Amelia County, Virginia will of Frederick Ford, which was witnessed by John and Tabitha Phipps. We’ve also noted the John Phips listed just above Tandy Walker in a 1748 Lunenburg County, Virginia tax list, with a John Phips listed the following year just under a James Walker in Amelia County. The latter Walker was evidently a surveyor. A John Phips appeared the same year in Lunenburg County.

Returning to George Cabaniss, he appears to have been the mate on a ship sailing from Jamaica to Williamsburg, which would seem to probably connect him with the Caribbean sea trade associated with the Phipps or Phips family in the Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown area. William Phips resided in Williamsburg in 1767, and James Phipps, a Yorktown merchant, was regularly engaged in trade between Virginia and the West Indies, importing rum and sugar, around 1767-1768.

George Cabaniss, according to unverified reports, owned land in both Amelia County, Virginia and Brunswick County, Virginia simultaneously. Brunswick County is, of course, the county we’ve returned to over and over as a sort of place of origin for Phips or Phipps or Fips individuals in various far-flung locations in Virginia and North Carolina. William C. “Caviniss” or Cavaness, with the surname probably simply a variation of Cabaniss, appears in an 1845 Brunswick County summons involving various members of the Phipps family.

According to one secondary source, George Cabaniss had a son George who, in 1757, chose James Hall as guardian, evidently in Amelia County, Virginia. Perhaps there’s no connection, but Sarah Hall, daughter of William Hall, married Joshua Roy in 1823 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, with surety provided by George Woolsey. The same Brunswick County, Virginia summons which was just mentioned also names Woolsey family members in connection with the Phipps family, as do other Brunswick County records, and the Roys in Pulaski County, Kentucky intermarried with members of the Phips family who appear descended from Brunswick County roots.

In addition, the 1773 Halifax County, Virginia will of John “Phillips,” with various reasons to suspect that he may have been a “Phipps,” mentions a “Cabbiness.”

Transcription of the Rebecca Shute will

Jamaica ss

In the Name of God Amen I Rebecca Shute of the Parish of Port Royall in the Island of Jamaica Widdow [sic; widow] Being weak in Body but of Sound and Disposing Mind and Memory do make and Declare this my last Will and Testament in Manner and form following, First and above all I recommend my Soul to Almighty God, hopeing [sic; hoping] for a full and free pardon of all my Sins through the Merits and Satisfaction of my Saviour Jesus Christ. My Body I commit to Corruption till the General Day of Resurrection. My Worldly Goods I give devise and Bequeath as followeth (Viz) after my Just debts and funeral Expences are paid and Defray’d, I give Devise and Bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca Shute and her Heirs for Ever all my Estates either real or personal Effects and Chatelles [sic; chattels] whatsoever and wheresoever particularly a Plantation in Cape Fear in North Carolina with the Negroes and all o[th]er Appurtenances thereto belonging when she shall arrive to the age of Twenty one Yeares, or Day of Marriage [which?] shall firest [sic; first] happen. But in Case my Said Daughter Rebecca Shoud [sic; should] Dye [sic; die] before she arrives to the Age aforesaid, [then? (for “then”)] I give devise and do Bequeath the Said Plantation in Cape Fear in North Carolina with the Negroes and all Appurtenances thereto belonging and all my Estates Effects and Chatelles [sic; chattels] whatsoever and wheresoever unto my Loveing [sic; loving] Mother Mary Earle and my friend John Earle dureing [sic; during] their Natural Lives and to the Survivor of the [(unclear, looks perhaps something like “mand to”)] the Heirs of the Survivor of them for Ever –

Item my Will is that the said Mary Earle and John Earle or the Survivor of them have one half of the profits which have been or hereafter shall be made from the Said Plantation dureing [sic; during] the time of my Said Daughters Minority for their own Use and Benefit if they think fit to take on them the care of my Said Daughter and the Plantation which I Earnestly request them to doe [sic; do] and that the other half of the profits be Expended for the Maintenance and Education of my said Daughter till she Arrives to the Age aforesaid. And lastly I hereby Nominate Constitute and appoint my Loveing [sic; loving] Mother Mary Earle and my friend John Earle, Executors of this my last Will and Testament; giveing [sic; giving] to my Executor John Earle and (in Case of his Death) to my Mother Mary Earle full power to Rent Sell or otherwise dispose of the Said Plantation, Negroes and all or any Appurtenances thereto Belonging as they shall see proper for the Benefit of my Said Daughter dureing [sic; during] the time of her Minority to be Accountable to her at the Age aforesaid, hereby Revokeing [sic; revoking] all other and former Willes [sic; wills] by me made In Witness [sic; witness] is hereof I the Testatrix to this my last will and testament have Set my hand and Affix’d my Seal this Eighth Twentieth [sic] Day of May in the Year of our Lord God – (According to the Kallender [sic; calendar] of the Church of England) one thousand Seven hundred and Thirty two –

[signed:] Rebecca Shute (seal)

S[?]ied [sic; presumably odd spelling of “Signed”)] Seal’d and Declar’d by the Testatrix to be her last will and Testament in presence of us who have hereunto Set our hands as Wittnesses [sic; witnesses]
the word /them/ between [ye?] 12th & 18th lines being first Interlin’d

George Cabaniss
Jacob [with no surname]
John Phipps

[page break]

Memorandum This 20th Day of June 1732 [unreadable, smudge] Josias Eason Jacob and John Phipps, [“both” crossed out] Tow [sic; two (although actually three)] of the Subscribing Witnesses to the within Will Personally appear’d before me one of his [? (looks like “Maities;” for Majesty’s] [“assesting”? (for “assisting”)] Judges for the Court of Common Pleas for the Precinct of Port-Royall in the Island of Jamaica and made Oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God that they did See Rebecca Shute Sign Seal publish Voluntary Declare the within Will to be her last Will and Testam’t. at which time she was in her right Sences [sic; senses]
[signed:] Louis Galdy
Jurat [Cort?] [?]

North Carolina ss

On this twelfth day of August 1832 personally appear’d before me Jeremiah Clark who made Oath on the Holy Evangelists that he Saw Josiah Eason Jacob & John Phipps make Oath before the above nam’d Louis Galdy as Witnesses to the Within Will as above is Certifyed at the Island of Jamaica at the time above mention’d Given under my [“hand” missing] the day & year afores’d.
[signed:] [W. Zadham?] Just. Pa[part cut off]


Johns, Johns, and More Johns

The family has certainly shown a penchant for J-names, Christian/given names beginning with J, for several centuries back into at least the early 19th century. This has especially been the case with one J-name in particular, and that is John. Here are just a few of the many significant John references we’ve come across:

  • 1370, Essex, England: John Phyppe established wayside cross
  • 1602, Hornchurch Parish, Essex, England: John Phipps baptized, later Virginia surveyor
  • 1621, Jamestown, Virginia: John Phips arrived as surveyor
  • 1640, Chichahominy Parish, Virginia: John Phipps witnessed deed
  • 1652, Surry County, Virginia: John Phipps and William Harris, presumably the surveyors, appear together
  • 1652 or 1662, Lancaster County, Virginia: Land granted to John Phipps as noted in transfer to Edward Bosewell
  • 1656, Jamestown, Virginia: John Phips land grant
  • 1657, Surry County, Virginia: John Phips, son of Elizabeth Harris, bound out as orphan
  • 1660, Jamestown, Virginia: John Phipps bought the “country house” lot
  • 1661, Jamestown, Virginia: John Phipps sold land
  • 1662, Surry County, Virginia: George Blow became guardian of Elizabeth Harris’s orphan John Phips
  • 1663, Jamestown, Virginia: John Phipps purchased land
  • 1665, Virginia: John Phipps land grant on south side and in freshes of Rappahannock
  • 1674, James City County, Virginia: John Phipps land grant
  • 1679, York County, Virginia: John Phips estate settlement
  • 1692, South Carolina: John Phips witnessed will
  • 1694, Barbados: John Phips, mariner
  • 1699, Westbury, Wiltshire, England: John Phipps item lost
  • 1700, Northumberland County, Virginia: Case against John Phipps
  • 1701, Northumberland County, Virginia: John Phipps arrested
  • 1702, Northumberland County, Virginia: Suit brought by John Phipps
  • 1711, Gloucester County, Virginia: John Phipps, head rights
  • 1719, Anne Arundel County, Maryland: John Phipps mentioned in connection with estate of George Valentine
  • 1730, Dublin, Ireland: Rev. John Phipps received degree from Trinity College
  • 1732, Jamaica/North Carolina: John Phipps in will of Rebecca Shute
  • 1739, Somerset County, Maryland: John Phipps appraised estate of Edward Short
  • 1746, Overwharton Parish, Virginia: Rev. John Phipps performed christening
  • 1746, South Carolina: John Phipps, Jr. wrote will; his father John Sr. was residing in Brailes, Warwickshire, England
  • 1748, Lunenburg County, Virginia: John Phips in tithe list
  • 1750, Amelia County, Virginia: Land surveyed for John Fipps
  • 1751, Amelia County, Virginia: John Phips among those ordered to work on road
  • 1753, Frederick County, Virginia: John Fips as son in law in will of William McLain
  • 1753, Charles City County, Virginia: John Phipps born
  • 1754, Dorchester County, Maryland: John Phips witnessed will
  • 1760, Lunenburg County, Virginia: John Phipps land grant
  • 1767, Halifax County, Virginia: John Phips of Charlotte County in deed
  • 1768, Charlotte County, Virginia: John Fips estate settlement
  • 1775-1776, Amelia County, Virginia: John Phipps enlisted in Revolutionary War service
  • 1778, North Carolina: John Phips enlisted in Capt. Anthony’s Co., 5th Regt., NC Troops
  • 1778-1795, Wilkes County, North Carolina: John Phips/Phipps land entry
  • 1779, Guilford County, North Carolina: John Phips in deed acknowledged
  • 1783, Wilkes County, North Carolina: John Phips/Fipps in deeds
  • 1783-1784, North Carolina: John Phips in Revolutionary War army accounts, Hillsborough Dist.
  • 1785, Amelia County, Virginia: Deed involving John Phipps was acknowledged
  • 1786, Amelia County, Virginia: Will of Frederick Ford witnessed by John Phipps
  • 1787: Amelia County, Virginia: Deed involving John Phipps was acknowledged
  • 1790, Burke County, North Carolina: John Fips in census
  • 1790, Wilkes County, North Carolina: John Phipps in deed
  • 1791, Burke County, North Carolina: John Fips signed road order
  • 1793, Burke County, North Carolina: John Fipps signed road petition
  • 1797, Orange County, North Carolina: John Phips of Wake County in deeds
  • 1800, Orange County, North Carolina: John Phipps of Wake County in deed
  • 1804, Orange County, North Carolina: John Phipps in deed
  • 1808, Ashe County, North Carolina: John Phips on road commission
  • 1812, Orange County, North Carolina: John Phipps in deeds, one calling him a surveyor
  • 1821, Brunswick County, Virginia: John Phipps in deed
  • 1825, Brunswick County, Virginia: John Phipps in deed
  • 1832, Hopkins County, Kentucky: John Phipps made declaration for Revolutionary War pension
  • 1833, Grayson County, Virginia: Land grant to John Phipps and Thomas Young