Wake County, North Carolina Connections

Ambrose Phipps appears as the first person enumerated in the 1840 census in Wake County, North Carolina. There, his name appears as “Ambrose Phipps.” The census entry contains the following data about him and his family:

Free white males:

  • 1 under 5
  • 1 5-10
  • 1 30-40

Free white females:

  • 1 under 5
  • 1 5-10
  • 1 20-30

“Free colored” males:

  • 1 10-24

“Free colored” females:

  • None

Number of persons employed in agriculture:

  • None

The above would suggest that, evidently, Ambrose was born about 1800 to 1810, and his wife was born about 1810 to 1820. The 1830 census, where he is also listed as Ambrose Phipps in Wake County, suggests the same birthdate range for him.

The censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870 say that he was born about 1805 in North Carolina. A cemetery transcription says that he was born 14 January 1805.

A Wake County deed dated 17 November 1828 is from the sheriff to Ambrose Phipps. This involved lands which John Reeves, spelled Reves in this instance, owned when he died, according to transcriptions. This appears to be evidence of yet another Phipps/Reeves connection.

“Ambros” Phipps was bondsman in a Wake County bastardy bond dated 12 March 1834. The mother was Dicy Standley. On 26 December 1843, he witnessed a deed in Durham County from Martin Glenn to William Glenn, Jr. Both Martin Glenn and William Glenn were of Orange County, North Carolina.

(Another similar Durham County deed involving the Glenns is dated 1843 and was witnessed by “N. Phipps,” as transcribed. Who was this “N. Phipps”? As another parenthetical aside, the Glenns appear to have been closely interrelated with the Carringtons. For what it’s worth, Carrington is a name which appeared in connection with past posts having to do with the Fips family of Charlotte and Lunenburg Counties in Virginia. In fact, the 1777 estate inventory of John Fips in Charlotte County contains 3 Carrington references.)

Dicy “Standley” (Stanley) was, according to secondary sources, born about 1820 in Wake County. Her parents were supposed to have Wright Stanley and his wife Elizabeth Allen. An online discussion post says that although proof has not been found, it appears that Elizabeth Allen was a daughter of Bartlett Allen and his wife Mary Reeves – yet another Reeves connection.

In fact, another online discussion post refers to estate records of William Reeves in Madison County, Kentucky. There, “Bartlett Allen and Mary Allen his wife,” of Wake County, North Carolina, are called heirs of William Reeves. The Reeves connections can be viewed as further evidence that the family of Ambrose Phipps had southeast Virginia roots, although online claims about this William Reeves seem buried in confusion, including mish-mosh evidently resulting from attempting to connect DNA data with genealogists’ pedigree claims.

Ambrose Phipps then shows up in Orange County, North Carolina records, beginning with the 1850 census. He is listed as Ambrose Phipps in 1850, and as Ambros Phipps in 1860. A marriage transcription notes that on 4 December 1867 he either married or entered into a marriage bond to Martha J. Wilson in Orange County.

He then appears in the 1870 census as Ambrose Phipps, but by this time he had moved into Granville County, North Carolina. There he is listed in Tally Ho Township. He died 16 May 1879 according to a cemetery transcription which indicates that he is buried at Mt. Zion Church in Granville County.

From his will and from marriage transcriptions, we know that his parents were Dudley and Mary (Edwards) Phipps. Dudley Phipps was born about 1780 to 1790 according to the 1830 census, and about 1781 in North Carolina according to the 1850 census.

An 1830 Wake County tax lists shows both Dudley and Ambrose Phipps living at Lick Creek. Ambrose is listed with no land, 1 poll, and 1 slave. Perhaps this slave is the same person who is listed in the 1840 census as a “free colored” person. Dudley is listed with 500 acres, 0 polls, and 1 slave.

Dudley Phipps married or entered into a marriage bond to marry Polly Edwards on 2 February 1804 in Orange County, North Carolina. Polly was an extremely common period nickname for Mary.

Dudley was listed as a creditor of Guttridge Burns in a newspaper ad published 22 August 1809 in the Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Advertiser. According to another ad, published in the same newspaper in 1812, a black man called Abram broke into Dudley Phipps’s home and stole several items:

On the 25th September,
A NEGRO MAN, called ABRAM, noted Villain, who says he belongs to Robert Hill of York county, S. Carolina. He is about 22 yars of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, slender made, thin visage and high nose. – Said Negro is charged by Dudley Phipps, and confesses to the fact, with opening the said Phipps’s House, and taking from thence sundry Goods, viz. Cash, Bacon, Clothing, Honey, Sugar, &c. for which he is to take his trial at the ensuing County Court for Wake County. Dudley Phipps and Solomon Williams being bound to appear as evidence against him at said term, in behalf of the State. The owner of said Negro is requested to attend said Court; and if said Negro is acquitted, pay charges and take him away.
WM SCOTT, Jailor.

The comment that the owner would have to pay charges even if Abram was acquitted is an interesting remark.

Dudley Phipps then appears in the 1830 census in Wake County, North Carolina, but in 1840 and in 1850 he is listed in the censuses in Carroll County, Tennessee. The 1851 will of Dudley Phipps in Carroll County, Tennessee refers to his wife Mary and his children James, Jonathan, Ambrose, William, Catharine, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Martha.

The families of Dudley Phipps and his son Ambrose were not the only Phipps families in early Wake County. A sale connected with the estate of Humphrey Davis, as recorded 15 May 1792, includes John Phipps as a buyer. That John Phipps paid for his purchase or purchases on 5 November 1793.

June and September 1793 Wake County records refers to the estate of Humphrey Davis, with a committee of 3 men being established to settle the estate. One of those men was William Reeves – yet another Reeves connection. Was this the same William Reeves associated with Dicy Standley and the bastardy bond?

Then a Wake County deed dated 23 December 1800 conveyed 19 acres on both sides of Dutch Man’s Branch of Elsbey’s Creek from Shadrack Forrest of Orange County, North Carolina to John Phipps of Wake County, North Carolina. The mother of Shadrack Forrest appears to have been a Gresham. (Shadrack Forrest, apparently the same one, is also discussed here. See also here.)

John Fips had dealings with Robert Gresham in Amelia County, Virginia in 1747, with both men being associated with the Harris family, perhaps descended from the first two Harris generations who worked as surveyors with the first two generations of surveyors named John Phips in Virginia. Note that, in addition, Ambrose Gresham was co-heir with George Reaves (George Reeves) in the 1793 Halifax County, Virginia Eppes (Epps) deed which we’ve referred to in the past.

We’ve also discussed in the past the 1807 Wake County will of Julius D. Bennett. Bennett willed his plantation to his parents. His father was Absalom Bennett. That will names “Polley” (Polly, for Mary) Phipps and Elizabeth Phipps without stating their relationship.

We discussed how Absalom Bennett appears to have been of Brunswick County, Virginia. Absalom Bennett brought a lawsuit against Benjamin Phipps, Robert Westmoreland, and Joseph Phipps, with others in the lawsuit being of Wake County, North Carolina. All information about the lawsuit, however, comes from secondary sources, and the original records should be consulted.

We’ve also noted in the past how Ambrose named one of his children Edney. This is not a common name, but is a surname that had been closely identified with Jordan Phipps of Albemarle Parish, Sussex County, Virginia. Jordan’s daughter Patcy married an Edney and is called Patcy Edney in Jordan’s 1826 will. Jordan appears to have been in Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1800.

Sussex County was adjacent to Surry County, Virginia. Surry County is where, earlier, John Phips, the surveyor who arrived in Jamestown in 1621, appeared in records. Part of Surry was added to Brunswick in 1732. Sussex County was created in 1753-1754 from part of Surry County.

Wake County, North Carolina is currently adjacent to Granville County, North Carolina. Wake County was created in 1771 from parts of three counties, one of them being Orange County.


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