More on Phipps and Harris

Although some controversy seems to surround who’s who in the Harris family, the sources listed below might be of interest. The “Geer Ancestry” document points out that one “theory” is that John Phips or Phips and William Harris, along with the William Morris who accompanied Phips on the voyage, might have been an “established survey team” even before reaching America.

That document discusses the connection to the Virginia Company. Wikipedia includes an article titled “William Harris (Tudor person)” which is about a William Harris born in 1556. He was described as a “knight, land owner,” and an “incorporator in the third Virginia Company of London.” Is there a relation?

A photo of his sword is included. This Harris was in the same Essex County as were the surveyors William Harris and John Phips/Phipps before they came to America.

The Essex County will of John Camber of East Tilbury, a gentleman of Essex County, dated 6 March 1602, mentions his cousin Isabel Harris (also Harrys) and his godson Thomas Phippes. The will was proved in 1603 and confirmed in a case involving, among others, Edward Phippes, who was next of kin of the deceased.

In yet another page in the well-known source Cavaliers and Pioneers (p. 240), in addition to the page referred to earlier, a reference appears to the Glass House in Jamestown and its joint ownership by John Phipps and William Harris.

Various sources refer to John Phips’s co-surveyor William Harris as “William Harris IV,” and as having been born about 1596. He is believed to have been a son of Sir William Harris III, born 1545, who is also said to have died in Jamestown, although there appears to be some controversy.

One source suggests that once John Phips or Phipps arrived in Jamestown, he lived with Dr. John Potts, the physician who is associated with John Phips or Phipps in deed records. William Harris lived with Potts, and so it’s assumed that Phips likely lived there as well. John Phips ended up owning land that had previously belonged to Potts.

“Many,” it’s said of the patent records involving Phip/Phipps and Harris, have them assigning land to others. Reference is also made to the second generation John Phips or Phipps appearing in “a number” of patents in the Northern Neck.

Where are these patents? Would they be included in those digitized and placed online by the Library of Virginia? If so, it doesn’t appear that there necessarily are “a number.” Are some of them filed some other way, in some other place, such as at the county level?

One source refers to the William Morris who accompanied John Phipps or Phips to America as being also known as William Morryce or Morrys.

Various other details are included in the following:


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