Elizabeth (Fips) Witcher: 1843 Surry Co., NC Deeds

Thanks to Wayne Witcher for sending copies of deed records pertaining to the estate of Elizabeth Witcher, from which the following transcriptions were derived. Elizabeth, known as Betsey, was a “Fips” (Phipps) of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, born about 1760 and a daughter of John Fips, as discussed in recent posts.

John Fips received a land grant in 1760 in Lunenburg County, Virginia, then generated probate records in Charlotte County, Virginia in 1769 and 1770. His gift of a slave girl to Betsey was proven in 1779 in Pittsylvania County, after his death.

Elizabeth (Fips) Witcher, as the widow of her husband Ephraim Witcher, later appears in the Surry County, North Carolina deed records transcribed below, which are dated 1843. She had appeared in Surry County a bit earlier, in the 1840 census.

One of those records refers to a certain Shadrach Franklin. This name seems familiar. There was a Shadrach Franklin who supposedly was born about 1810 in North Carolina and who died in 1890 in Letcher County, Kentucky. Isaiah and Eve (Kennedy) Phipps (he was born about 1790) were in Letcher County for the 1850 census before moving in 1852 to Lawrence County, Indiana. Isaiah, presumably the same one, is referred to in the 1837 will of Samuel Phipps in Ashe County, North Carolina. Other Phipps family members moved from Ashe County, North Carolina to Owen County, Indiana, and the name Shadrach Franklin then appears in Owen County.

We’ve noted how the Littleberry (“Berry”) Phipps family, with a son named John Witcher Phipps, also migrated to Lawrence County, Indiana. Berry was born in North Carolina about 1800 in North Carolina according to the 1850 census. In that year, he was living in Lawrence County, Indiana next to Lewis Phipps.

This Lewis Phipps, by the way, would appear to be the one who was born about 1793 in North Carolina and married Margaret Rector, who was born about 1793 in Grayson County, Virginia, and who had a son named Jesse Franklin Phipps, born 1823 – yet another Jesse.

Taliaferro or Talliaferro Witcher, also mentioned in the deed records, is referred to as one of the heirs of Ephraim Witcher. He is discussed in a previous post. He would appear to be the same Taliaferro Witcher who signed the 1840 Ashe County, North Carolina administrator’s bond involving the estate of Joseph “Phips,” evidently the youngest son of Samuel Phipps, father of the Isaiah mentioned above.

From Surry County, North Carolina Deed Book 2, pp. 201-202:

[p. 201:]

“Witchers Heirs Division of Negroes

“To the worshipful the Court of pleas and quarter Sessions held for the County of Surry on the second monday of May next. In the case of Elizabeth vs William J Witcher and others petition for division of Slaves your commissioners beg leave to report that they met at the house of the said Elizabeth Witcher on the 20th day of Feb. 1843 after being duly Sworn did examine & value Said Negro Slaves mentioned in petition to Wit, Martin Lucy Trim Ambrose Pelly [or Polly?] Lucinda Hardin Haywood Chaffin Jackson Clemmons Carolina [or Caroline?] Crofford Judy Joel Jennet [or Jinnit?] Mary Ginny Martha Samuel & Edmond find that Benjamin Witcher have received $2.16 more than his proportional part we therefore made them in 11 lots which were drawn as follows to Talliaferro Witcher Lot No. 1 Martin Lucy & Haywood With the additional Sum of Six Dollars twenty cents from Lot No 10 it being 1/12 part Lot No. 2 to Daniel [or David?] Witcher Clemmons with the additional Sum of ninety Seven dollars and eighty Six cents due from Benjamin Witcher it making 1 1/12 part Lot No. 3 to Lacy Witcher Crofford with the additional Sum of ninety Seven dollars & eighty Six cents from lots No. 6 & 7 it making 1/12 Lot No. 4 to John Witcher Hardin & Samuel with the additional Sum of Six dollars and twenty cents from Lot No. 10 it making 1/12 part Lot No. 5 to Winston Witcher Trim & Mary with the additional Sum of fourteen dollars and fifty three and [page break – p. 202:] from Lot No. 10 it making 1/12 part Lot No, 6 to James Witcher Jackson & Marth [sic] pay to lot No. 3 thirty five dollars & forty Seven cents leaves him 1/12 part Lot 7 William Witcher Ambrose & Caroline paid to lot No. 3 fifty two [dollars] & fourteen cents which leaves him 1/12 part Lot No. 8 to Daniel Roberts and wife Elizabeth Edmund & Jiny pay to lot No. 2 Sixty eight dollars and forty Seven cents which leaves them 1/2 part Lot No. 9 to Milton H Hayner admr. [i.e. administrator] of Tob[i?]th Hayner decd. [i.e. deceased] Lucinda & Chaffin with the additional Sum of Six dollars and fifty three Cents from lot No. 10 which makes 1/2 part Lot No. 10 to Asa Pryor admr. of Sally Pryor decd. Judy and Joel pay to lots No. 1 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 9 forty three dollars and three cents which have 1/2 part Lot No. 11 to Nancy Witcher Pelly and Jennett [or Jinnitt?] pay to lot No. 2 twenty Seven dollars and fourteen Cents which leaves her 1/2 part given under our hands and Seals this the 26th April 1843

E Thompson (seal)
Richd. Gwyn (seal)
Shadrach Franklin (seal)

“North Carolina Surry County May Term 1843
The within Report was returned into open court and Confirmed by the court and ordered to be registered

F. K. Armstrong clk [i.e. Clerk]
By H C Hampt[on?] DC [i.e. Deputy Clerk?]”

From Surry County, North Carolina Deed Book 3, p. 53:

“T Witcher & others from E Witcher quit claim
State of North Carolina Surry County

“I Elizabeth Witcher for Value received do by these presents relinquish release quit claim transfer and assign to the Tenants in remainder or to their assigns when the original tenants in remainder have assigned all my interest & Estate in & to the following negro Slaves Martin Lucy Trim Ambrose Patty [or Polly?] Lucinda Hardin Haywood Chafin Jackson Clemmons Caroline Crawford Judy Joel Jinnitt [or Jennett?] Mary Gincy [or Giney?] Martha Samuel and Edmund & do hereby agree that the Said Negroes may now be divided among those who will be and are the proper owners at my death free and clear of the incumbrances [sic; encumbrances] of my life Estate on the above named negro Slaves In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this the 13th day of February A D 1843 Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of
[signed:] E Thompson

Elizabeth her X mark Witcher (seal)

“Surry County Feby Term 1843

“The execution of within relinquishment was duly proven in open court by the oath of Elijah Thompson the Subscribing witness thereto & ordered to be registered

“Test [i.e. witnessed] F K Armstrong Clk [i.e. Clerk]”


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