Virginia and North Carolina Linkages

Startling connections are evident in records obtained by the webmaster of “A Witcher Genealogy,” which is a site pertaining to that family. Once again, many thanks are in order to him for sharing with us records transcribed and referred to below.

Those connections appear to demonstrate links tying together Fips or Phips or Phipps individuals in Amelia and Brunswick Counties in Virginia with Bute and Warren Counties in North Carolina.

One reason why genealogists have never “cracked” the secret of the origins of at least some of the southwest Virginia and northeast North Carolina Phips or Phipps families is likely because they appear to connect to people who seemed to be more or less all over the place. They often appeared to live and/or buy and sell land in two or more locations at once – perhaps not just multiple counties, but multiple states or colonies as well.

This is not based on conjecture, but is often directly stated in deed records. Why that was the case is not yet clear, but it certainly was often the case.

We’ve noted in past posts how various Phips or Fips or Phipps individuals outside of Brunswick County, Virginia were specifically referred to as being “of” Brunswick County, Virginia when they were involved in land dealings elsewhere. One of those individuals was Joseph Fipps or Phipps of Brunswick County, who dealt with land in Bute County, North Carolina in the 1770s while being “of” Brunswick County.

Bute County was formed in 1764 from part of Granville County. Bute County, North Carolina, which was adjacent to Brunswick County, Virginia, became extinct in 1779, and part became Warren County, North Carolina. Then in the 1780s, a John Phipps became involved in land dealings in Warren County, North Carolina, while maintaining undefined ties to, plus involvement in, Amelia County, Virginia.

Circumstances and clear connections appear to link this John of Amelia County, Virginia and Warren County, North Carolina, formed from Bute County, with the Phipps or Phips family of Brunswick County, Virginia.

The Phipps or Phips family from Brunswick County, Virginia made other inroads into North Carolina. One of these was pecifically into Wake County, North Carolina, in connection with the family of Absalom Bennett and his son Julius, as we’ve discussed earlier.

The family of Benjamin Phipps from Sussex County, Virginia, adjacent to Brunswick County, made additional inroads into North Carolina. Benjamin’s son Jordan resided briefly in Wilkes County, North Carolina on his way into Tennessee. Jordan’s brother Richardson resided briefly in Wake County, North Carolina before similarly moving into Tennessee.

Benjamin of Sussex County, Virginia appears to have been closely related to Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia. Mrs. Howard Woodruff, in her book on Joseph, thought they were probably brothers.

Additional inroads into North Carolina came from the family of John Fips or Phipps who appears to have migrated west into Lunenburg County, Virginia (still adjacent to Brunswick County) and then still further west into Charlotte County. Descendants entered into Wilkes and Surry Counties in North Carolina.

Two important deeds from Warren County, North Carolina are transcribed below. Before those are presented, it might be good to review just a few of the previously noted events regarding the counties of Amelia and Brunswick in Virginia and the counties of Bute and Warren, derived from Bute, in North Carolina.

We could list far more events, and far more details associated with these events, which would clearly demonstrate linkages and relationships to a much higher degree, but which would also introduce extreme complexity. Instead, just a few highlights are presented here in order to provide some context.

One of the primary points to note in the following timeline is the presence of a John and Tabitha Phipps as witnesses of the 1786 will of Frederick Ford in Amelia County, Virginia. These same two individuals, John and Tabitha Phipps, also surface in connection with land transactions in Warren County, North Carolina, with clear connections to Amelia County, Virginia.

  • 1744 | Amelia County, Virginia: Frederick Ford (see below) was referred to as a surveyor in a road order record; we’ve noted lots of surveyor connections
  • 1744 | Amelia County, Virginia: Frederick Ford was mentioned in connection with the estate of George Cabaness; William C. Cabiness later married Elizabeth Phipps, daughter of Benjamin Phipps, son of Joseph Phipps (see below) of Brunswick County, Virginia
  • 1768 | Bute County, North Carolina: The county was created, adjacent to Brunswick County, Virginia
  • 1771 | Bute County, North Carolina: A deed from James Ransom, Jr. to Joseph Fips was acknowledged (see 1772, below)
  • 1772 | Bute County, North Carolina: Joseph Fipps (also Fips) and his wife Sarah, referred to as “of” Brunswick County, Virginia, sold land to Douglass and Edmond (also Edmund) Wilkins, in a deed as abstracted; various records make it clear that the two Wilkins men were, themselves, also of Brunswick County, Virginia
  • 1779 | Warren County, North Carolina: The county was formed from the now-extinct county of Bute
  • 1780 | Warren County, North Carolina: Jesse and Mary Talley sold land to John Phipps of “the County Mealia” (Amelia County, Virginia)
  • 1781-1783 | Warren County, North Carolina: John Phips/Phipps appears in tax lists
  • 1785 | Amelia County, Virginia: A deed involved Solomon Coleman of Amelia County, Virginia and John Phips, also spelled Phipps, described as being of Warren County, North Carolina; even though he was supposedly “of” Warren County, North Carolina an Amelia County record the next month refers to land adjacent to John Phipps and involved people John (or a related John, anyway) had dealt with
  • 1785 | Warren County, North Carolina: John Phipps and his wife Tabitha, now referred to as being of Warren County, North Carolina, sold land to Zachariah Hastings of Amelia County, Virginia; John signed his name but Tabitha signed with an “X,” exactly as when they witnessed the will of Frederick Ford in Amelia County, Virginia the following year (see below)
  • 1786 | Amelia County, Virginia: Frederick Ford’s will was witnessed by John Phipps and Tabitha Phipps; John signed his name, but Tabitha signed with an “X,” exactly as when they signed a deed in Warren County, North Carolina the previous year (see above)

All sorts of interesting and related issues and recurring associations with those of other surnames could be raised, but they have been discussed in past posts. Various questions related to the above could be asked, such as the following:

  • Since John Fips of Amelia County, Virginia iss clearly associated with Robert Gresham in several 1747 deeds, was there a relationship to Ambrose Gresham, who was a joint heir with George Reeves, father in law of Samuel Phips (died 1854 Ashe County, North Carolina) of an Eppes estate in 1793 in Halifax County, Virginia?
  • Was there a relationship between John Phipps, the Revolutionary War soldier who was born in Charles City County, Virginia about 1753 and who later lived in Amelia County, Virginia, with the John Phipps who married Tabitha, as discussed above?
  • Since part of Granville County, North Carolina became Bute County, was there any relationship to the 1760 will of Esiah or Isaiah Phipps there?
  • Since Granville County was immediately east of Orange County, North Carolina, was there any relationship involving any of the above or below to the John Phipps who received a land grant there in 1762 and who acted as a surveyor’s chain carrier there the same year?
  • Considering that the John who served in the Revolutionary War was born in Charles City County but later lived in Amelia County, who were John and William Phipps, orphans of James Phipps, who surface in records in 1770, 1771, and 1773 in Charles City County, Virginia, with John Dudley as their guardian? Were they related to any of the above?
  • Was there any connection in any of the above to Joseph, John, and James Phipps who first signed a Regulator petition in 1768 in Orange County, North Carolina and who then made purchases in an estate sale in Guilford County in 1774? (Guilford came into being in between the two dates, and was created in part from Orange.)
  • Are these Orange County events associated in any way with the Revolutionary War soldier John Phipps who, as already mentioned, was born in Charles City County, Virginia, then lived in Amelia County, Virginia, and who eventually moved to Orange County, North Carolina?

The two deed transcriptions mentioned earlier appear below. The first is dated 1780 in Warren County, North Carolina, and is from Jesse Talley and his wife Mary to John Phipps. John, who was “of the County Mealia,” was buying 100 acres in Warren County. As already mentioned, “the County Mealia” would appear to have represented the efforts of some befuddled North Carolina clerk to come to grips with the “foreign” lands of Amelia County, Virginia.

In that deed, the land description mentions a corner red oak in Abner Powell’s line, and also mentions Reedy Branch.

The 2nd deed is dated 1785 and is also from Warren County. John Phipps (once as “Phillips”) and his wife Tabitha of Warren County, North Carolina are now selling 100 acres in Warren County to Zachariah Hastings of Amelia County, North Carolina.

Whether this could be the same 100 acres doesn’t seem clear. At least it’s very close or adjacent, as seems indicated from the land description. Once again, a corner red oak in Abner Powell’s line is mentioned. Once again Reedy Branch is mentioned, this time referred to as “Ready” Branch.

Reedy Branch crosses the Virginia-North Carolina state line, and flows into or out of (presumably into) Lake Gaston a short distance north of the Mecklenburg County, Virginia and Warren County, North Carolina line.

In the 2nd deed, John Phipps signed his name and Tabitha Phipps signed with an “X.” The Warren County, North Carolina county deed book does not show the actual signatures, but only recreates them in the clerk’s hand. As a result, we cannot compare these to the signatures which appear the following year, 1786, when John and Tabitha Phipps witnessed the will of Frederick Ford in Amelia County, Virginia. In both cases, John signed as John Phipps, and Tabitha signed with an “X.”

(This might be a good point to interject that the distance from the present-day town of Amelia Court House, Virginia to Warrenton, North Carolina, the county seat of Warren County, is about 79 miles.)

Presumably Tabitha was not mentioned in the 1780 deed because land was being purchased rather than sold. In the 1785 deed, land was being sold and so both John and Tabitha are mentioned and both signed the deed.

Regarding Jesse Talley of Warren County, North Carolina, the seller in the 1780 deed, the Talley family turns up in various Amelia County, Virginia records. There was even a later Lawrence Epps Talley, born about 1810 in North Carolina, which seems striking considering all the Epps connections we’ve found.

A 1785 Amelia County, Virginia deed acknowledgement involves Jesse Talley and his wife Mary (as in the Phipps deed, which also names Jesse and his wife Mary) to Daniel Coleman. Note that a 1785 Amelia County deed associates Solomon Coleman with John Phips/Phipps, with John being referred to as being of Warren County, North Carolina. Burwell Coleman was security for the administrators of the estate of Frederick Ford, whose Amelia County will was witnessed by John and Tabitha Phipps.

The 2nd of the deeds transcribed below, from 1785, was from John and Tabitha Phipps to Zachariah Hastings. This family appears to have been represented as Hasting sometimes in records, at least as transcribed. The estate of William “Hastin,” according to an abstract, was appraised in 1786 in Amelia County by men who also appraised the estate of Frederick Ford.

Zachariah Hastings was born in 1751 in Amelia County, Virginia, according to his Revolutionary War pension testimony. He moved to Mecklenburg County, Virginia (today adjacent to Warren County, North Carolina) when he was 17. He lived there until about 1780-1782, according to the pension testimony, when he moved to Warren County, North Carolina.

One has to wonder whether it was actually 1785, since that’s when he purchased land in Warren County from John and Tabitha Phipps.

Interestingly, in the 2nd deed transcription below, from Warren County, North Carolina, the name of John Phipps is written as “Phillips” in the margin. Then in the body of the text, the name is written as P-something, with the name obliterated and “Phipps” written above it. In an abstract of the Frederick Ford estate appraisal in Amelia County, Virginia, John’s name is again written as John “Phillips.” He is elsewhere referred to in records pertaining to the Frederick Ford estate, as “Phipps.”

Here, then, are the deed transcriptions:

From deed, 1780, from Warren County, North Carolina Deed Book 8, pp. 318-319:

[p. 318, in margin:]


[body of text:]

This Indenture made this twenty fourth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty Between Jessey Talley and Mary Talley his wife of the One part and John Phipps of the County Mealia of the other part Witnesseth that that the said Jessey Talley and his wife for and in Consideration of the sum of five hundred pounds to him in hand paid by the said John Phipps Receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge have Granted bargained Sold Aliened Assigned Released Enfeofed and Confirmed and by these presents do Grant bargain sell Alien Assign Release Enfeof & Confirm fully truly & Absolutely unto the said John phipps [sic; Phipps] his heirs and Assigns one Certain tract or parcell of land & Situate in the County of warren [sic; Warren] in the State of North Carolina & Containing one hundred Acres more or less bounded as followeth begining on a persimon tree in the head

[page break]

[in margin:]

[page] 319

[body of text:]

of a branch on David King line thence A South Course Along the said line to A Corner red Oak on Abner Powell thence west Along the sd. line to a Corner birch on the Reedy branch thence up the sd. branch to A Corner poplar thence west Along the said powell [sic; Powell] line to A Corner Red oak on Wm. H[owell?] line thence North Along the sd. line to A Corner Scrub oak on wood [sic] King line thence an East Corse [sic; course] on the sd. Kings line to A Corner white oak on Reedy branch thence down the sd. branch to the Fork on the sd. Kings line thence and East Course up A branch to the begining also all lands trees woods underwoods profits Commodities Advantages Hereditaments ways waters and Appurtenances whatsoever to the said lands and premises Above Mentioned belonging or in Any wise appertaining and also the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents and Services of the Said premises and of Every part thereof and all the Estate Right Title Interest Claim and Demand whatsoever of him the said Jesse Tally and his wife of in and to the said premises and Every part thereof to have and to hold the said tract of land and all and Singular the said premises Above mentioned and Every part and parcell thereof with the appurtenances unto the said John Phipps his heirs and Assigns to the Only proper use and behoof of the said John Phipps his heirs and Assigns forever and the said Jesse Talley and his wife for him and his heirs the said premises and Every part thereof Against him and his heirs and Against all and Every other person and persons whatsoever to the said John Phipps his heirs and Assigns Shall and will warrent [sic; warrant] and forever Defend by these presents In witness whereof the said Jessy Tally and his wife hath hereunto set there [sic; their] hands and seals the Day and year above written

Jessey his X mark Talley (Seal)

Sealed and Delivered
In presence of [signed:]
H Davis
Benja. Ellis Jurat
William X Ellionton

Warren County August Court 1781
This Deed from Jesse Talley to John Phipps was proved by the Oath Benjamin Ellis one of the witnesses hereto and on Motion the same is Ordered to be Registered
[?]st Thos. Machen C C [i.e. Court Clerk]

[followed by statement that the deed was “truly registered” 4 February 1783]

From deed, 1785, from Warren County, North Carolina Deed Book 8, pp. 342-343:

[in margin:]

[page] 342
Phillips [sic]

[body of text:]

This Indenture maid [sic; made] this first day of February in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred & Eighty five Between John Phipps [another version of the surname has been obliterated and “Phipps” written above; “and” is missing] Tabitha his wife of the County of Warren of the One part & Za[ci?]riah Hastings of Virginia in Amelia County of the other part witnesseth that the said John Phipps & Tabitha his wife for and In consideration of the Sum of Seventy five pounds Virginia Money to them in hand paid [? (looks like “a,” but that doesn’t seem to fit)] or before the Sealing and delivering of these presents the Receipt whereof the said John Phipps [“and” is missing again] Tabitha his wife doth hearby [sic; hereby] acknowledge [have?] Granted Bargained and Sold and by these Presents do grant, bargain and Sell unto the said Za[ci?]riah Hastings and to his Heirs for ever One Certain Tract or Parcel of Land Containing one Hundred Acres more or Less and bounded as followeth Viz Beginning at a Corner Red Oak on Abner Powells line thence along the said line to the Ready branch thence up the said Branch to a Corner Red oak on William M[achins?] line Thence west along the said line to a Corner Black Jack Oak on William Hansels line thence North along the said Line to a Corner on Anthony Kings line a shrub [sic; probably “scrub” was meant] Oak Thence Est [sic; presumably “East” was meant] along the said Kings line to the Ready Branch thence down the said Branch to the [? (one would think “said,” but looks like “sp[?][line break][?]g”)] Branch thence up the Branch to a Corner Persimon on David Kings line thence So. along the said line to the first Station with all appurtenances thereunto

[page break]

belonging To have and To hold the said Tract or parcell of Land to him the said Zachariah Hastings his heirs & assigns forever, and the said Phipps and his wife for them [?] their Heirs Doth Warrent [sic; warrant] the Title of the said Land to the said Hastings his Heirs & Assigns forever Against the Claim of all persons whatsoever by these presents, In witness whereof the said Phipps, & his wife hath hereunto set their hands and Affixed their Seals the Day & Date Above Written

John Phipps (Seal)
Tabitha her X mark Phipps (Seal)

Signed Sealed & Delivered
In presence of [signed:]
John Hastings
William his X mark Brintle
[? (looks like “Cudbud”)] King[s?]

Warren County January Court 178[6?]
This Deed from John Phipps and wife to Zachariah Hastings was proved by the Oath of John Hastings and on Motion was ordered to be Registered

Teste [?] [Duke?] Johnson C C [i.e. Court Clerk]

The Aforegoing Deed was Truly Registered the 25th Day of June 178[6?] by [signed:]
William Johnson P Regr.


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