The following sums up, in general terms, some of the connections found which involve, primarily, three locations: (1) Brunswick and nearby Sussex Counties, Virginia, (2) Amelia County, Virginia, and (3) Bute County, later Warren County, North Carolina. In addition, connections will be drawn from these locations to additional locations, especially the North Carolina counties of Wake, Orange, Wilkes, Surry, and Ashe.
We have discussed the importance of Warren County, North Carolina in previous posts. Warren County was formed from a short-lived earlier county, Bute County. Bute County was formed from part of Granville County in 1764.
That part of Granville County, North Carolina was adjacent to Brunswick County, Virginia. Already by 1779, Bute County, North Carolina had disappeared and a big chunk of it became Warren County, North Carolina.
Bute County deed records refer to Joseph “Fips” or “Fipps” and his wife Sarah of Brunswick County, Virginia, who were involved there in land transactions in the early 1770s. In one Bute County deed, James Ransom, Jr. sold land in Bute County to Joseph Fips or Fipps who is specifically referred to as being of Brunswick County, Virginia. This deed is dated 12 February with the year missing, but appears in Deed Book 3 between two deeds both dated 1770.
Then in 1771, James Ransom, Jr. acknowledged a deed to Joseph Fips in Bute County, presumably the same deed. The following year, 1772, was when Joseph Fips or Fipps and his wife Sarah sold Bute County land to Douglas Wilkins and Edmund Wilkins, who we know from other records to have been of Brunswick County, Virginia. Joseph and Sarah Fips or Fipps are specifically referred to as being of Brunswick County, Virginia.
Bute County, North Carolina was so short-lived, and its future was so closely tied to Warren County, that genealogical records of the two counties are often found to be intertwined. The Bute and Warren County, North Carolina records can be highly significant for Phipps or Fips etc. research for several reasons. Some of those reasons have been discussed at length in previous posts, and won’t be recounted here.
Clear connections exist, as discussed in past posts, which link the following family groups:
- The Brunswick County, Virginia Phipps family with Bute and Warren Counties in North Carolina
- The Amelia County, Virginia Phipps family with Bute and Warren Counties in North Carolina and with Brunswick County, Virginia
- The family of Joseph Phipps in Brunswick County, Virginia and that of Benjamin Phipps in Albemarle Parish in Sussex County, Virginia
- The Brunswick and Sussex Counties, Virginia Phipps family with Wake County, North Carolina, just south of Granville County, and from there to Orange County, North Carolina
- The Brunswick and Sussex Counties, Virginia Phipps family and intermarried families with Lunenburg, Pittsylvania, and Charlotte Counties, Virginia, and from there into the Surry, Wilkes, and Ashe Counties area of North Carolina
- The Brunswick and Sussex Counties, Virginia Phipps family directly with the Surry and Wilkes Counties area of North Carolina
A tentative but apparently well-founded hypothesis is that the Samuel Phips who died in Ashe County, North Carolina in 1854 and who was a son in law of George Reeves of adjacent Grayson County, Virginia was somehow connected to this Phips or Fips or Phipps grouping which appears to have more or less emanated from the epicenter of Brunswick and Sussex Counties in Virginia. There is just too much circumstantial evidence to suggest otherwise. What exactly this connection would be, in specific terms, is not yet clear.
We have records of some odd and interesting facts, such as the following (and we could add substantially to this brief synopsis):
In Amelia County, Virginia, Frederick Ford was a surveyor, at least in the 1740s. He was involved during that period with the Amelia County estate of George “Cabaness,” with connection to the family of Capt. Francis Eppes. Various Eppes or Epes or Epps connections have been noted previously, with the father in law of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina having been an Epes heir.
Again, Frederick Ford was associated with the estate of George “Cabaness.” The 1732 Jamaica will of Rebecca Shute mentions land at Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was witnessed by George “Cavaniss,” along with John Phipps and Jacob Phipps.
From unconfirmed secondary sources, this George was a mariner also known as “Cabaniss,” and who patented land in Amelia County, Virginia. A “Cabiness” married a daughter of Benjamin Phipps, son of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County.
The 1786 Amelia County, Virginia will of the Frederick Ford just mentioned was witnessed by John and Tabitha Phipps. In 1780, John Phipps of “Melia County,” evidently a clerk’s error for Amelia County, Virginia, bought 100 acres in Warren County, North Carolina.
The man and wife he bought the land from are also named in an Amelia County, Virginia deed involving the Coleman family, a family associated, in turn, with John Phips or Phipps in an Amelia County, Virginia deed which refers to John as being of Warren County, North Carolina.
Five years after John Phipps bought the 100 acres in Warren County, North Carolina, John Phipps and his wife Tabitha, now described as being of Warren County, North Carolina, sold 100 acres in Warren County to Zachariah Hastings of Amelia County, Virginia.
This 2nd Warren County, North Carolina deed was dated 1785. Tabitha signed with an X. The next year, 1786, John and Tabitha Phipps witnessed the will of Frederick Ford in Amelia County, Virginia, and Tabitha signed with an X. When John first bought the 100 acres in Warren County, North Carolina, he bought it from a man who had been involved with a Coleman, the family just mentioned, in Amelia County, Virginia.
Again, in the early 1770s, Joseph Fips or Fipps and his wife Sarah were specifically referred to as being of Brunswick County, Virginia when they were involved in land transactions in the short-lived Bute County, North Carolina, which soon became Warren County.
Two men involved with Joseph Fipps in these land transactions in Bute County, North Carolina are known from other records as being from Brunswick County, Virginia. One of those two men, Douglas Wilkins, sued Thomas Poythress in Brunswick County in the early 1780s. Thomas Poythress sold land to James Phipps in Brunswick County sometime between 1782 and 1787, based on tax records, although the deed was not found. Thomas Poythress also sold land to a Rives (Reeves); more on the Reeves connection below.
We also have Revolutionary War pension records of a John Phipps who was born in Charles City County, Virginia but who later lived in Amelia County, Virginia. He later came into Orange County, North Carolina, which was formed, in part, from the same Granville County, North Carolina which gave rise to Bute and later Warren Counties.
Perhaps there’s a connection to the fact that then in the late 1760s in the same Orange County, North Carolina, a Regulator petition was signed by John, James, and Joseph Phipps. The exact same 3 names then show up in estate sale records in 1774 in Guilford County, with Guilford having been created in part from Orange in the interim.
Back in the 1740s, there was evidence of a John Fips, Fipps, Phips, etc. in Amelia County, Virginia. A survey was done in Amelia County during the period 1746 to 1751 for John Fipps, and additional Amelia County records involve John Phips or Fips in 1747. In several 1747 Amelia County deeds, John Fips is associated with Robert Gresham.
A certain Ambrose Gresham was a joint Eppes or Epps heir with George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia, with George Reeves being the father in law of Samuel Phips in adjacent Ashe County, North Carolina. (Before the 1800 census, Samuel Phips and George Reeves were both in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and before that in Montgomery County, Virginia.)
Again, John Fips, Phips, etc. appears in 1747 records in Amelia County, Virginia. Then in 1748, the name John Phips appears in Lunenburg County, Virginia, listed in a tax record with Tandey (Tandy) Walker. Just the year before, in 1747, Tandy Walker, Sr. sold land to an Epes (Epps) in Goochland County, Virginia. Five years before that, orphans Joseph and Benjamin Fipps were bound to Josiah Burton in that same Goochland County.
This Josiah Burton just mentioned appears to have been closely related to the same Burton family into which George Reeves intermarried. George Reeves was the father in law of Samuel Phips who died in 1854 in Ashe County, North Carolina. Samuel Phips and his wife Elizabeth (Reeves) Phips were heirs of George Reeves in adjacent Grayson County, Virginia.
We’ve discussed at length in various posts how members of the John Phips or Fips family of Lunenburg, Pittsylvania, and Charlotte Counties in Virginia, which we’ve just mentioned, with clear connections to Brunswick County, Virginia, ended up in Surry, Wilkes, and Ashe Counties in North Carolina. The Samuel Phips we just mentioned appears from various bits of circumstantial evidence to have been related in some way to the Phips family which emerged from Brunswick and Sussex Counties in Virginia, with some sort of probable connection to the John Fips or Phips who was associated with Tandy Walker.
As far as the Orange County, North Carolina mentioned above is concerned, Ambrose Phipps shows up there by the time of the 1850 census, having earlier been in Wake County, North Carolina. From will and marriage record transcriptions, it appears that he was a son of Dudley Phipps, who shows up in Wake County records as early as 1809.
Earlier though, in 1800, a Wake County, North Carolina deed involves a land sale to John Phipps of Wake County, North Carolina. The mother of the man John bought the land from appears to have been a Gresham, the name referred to above.
Then in 1807, Julius D. Bennett of Wake County wrote a will. In that will, he names his father, Absalom Bennett. He also names two Phipps women without saying how they were related. Absalom Bennett was of Brunswick County, Virginia, with a Brunswick County chancery case involving himself and Phipps individuals and involving both locations.
In 1790, Absalom Bennett sued Benjamin and Joseph Phipps in Brunswick County, Virginia, with testimony taken from two women living in North Carolina, at least one of whom was in Wake County. Without seeing the original records, perhaps these were the two Phipps women named in the will of Julius Bennett of Wake County, North Carolina, son of Absalom Bennett of Brunswick County, Virginia.
Members of the family of Benjamin Phipps of Sussex County, Virginia, believed to have been a brother of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia, also migrated into Wake and Wilkes Counties in North Carolina.
Richardson, son of Benjamin, was in Wake County by the time of the 1800 census. His brother Jordan was in Wilkes County by roughly around 1800.