More on the 1784 James Phips Deed

Regarding the James Phips deed in Henry County, Virginia which was discussed in recent posts: Here are notes from a published abstract of the deed as abstracted in Adams, Abstracts of Henry County, Virginia Deed Books III and IV August 1784-June 1792 (1978), p. 20, original pp. 140-141. Again, the land description also appears in the original land grant:

  • Date of deed: 13 Dec 1784
  • Date deed proved: 28 Jul 1785, Henry County, Virginia
  • Grantor: James Phips of Brunswick County, Virginia
  • Grantee: David Barton of Henry County, Virginia
  • Consideration: £1800
  • Land: 335 acres on both sides of Meadow Creek, a north branch of the Pigg River, as granted to Phips on 16 Jun 1783
  • Signed: John Feps [Note: Could it have been Fips?]
  • Witnesses: Swinfield Hill, John (x) Gremet, Milley (x) Menefee, Sr., Milley (x) Menefee, Jr.

One factor which seems odd is the amount paid for the land. Isn’t £1800 a bit steep for 335 acres in 1784? Is this an accurate abstract in that regard?

From unconfirmed sources, a David Barton who might be the same one was born in 1744 in Frederick County, Maryland and married Hannah Hill in 1771 in Pittsylvania County (in the same general area as Henry County). He is said to have been a Revolutionary War veteran, although no Revolutionary War pension file for a David Barton from Virginia appears to be extant. His father is said to have been killed by Shawnee Indians near the Yadkin River in Kentucky.

A loyalty oath dated 31 Oct 1777 in Henry County lists David Barton as one of the signers. In addition, David Barton was appointed 1st Lieutenant in a 1780 Henry County court record. (Source for both: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 9, 1893.)

The Menefees, according to unconfirmed secondary sources, appeared in Culpeper County, Virginia by 1762. That’s when Jonas Manifee (Menefee) was supposed to have received a land grant for 333 acres on Maple Branch of “N.R.,” whatever N.R. means, of the Cacapehon River in Hampshire County.

Of course, that is only circumstantial and is not directly Phipps related. It’s interesting to note, however, that the 1760 will of Esiah (Isaiah) Phipps of Granville County, North Carolina refers to his plantation in “Hamshire” (Hampshire) County, Virginia. Furthermore, Granville County, North Carolina is currently located adjacent (to the south-southeast) to Halifax County, Virginia; a bit of research with historical maps might show a very close proximity to James Phips in Henry County.

James Phips (or perhaps David Barton, the purchaser) chose two Menefees as witnesses, and it appears that the Menefees had some sort of Hampshire County, Virginia connection. Does that mean anything?


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