Wilson Phipps, Son of Benjamin Phipps

Mrs. Howard Woodruff, in her book on Joseph Phipps and family, refers to two different early Virginia individuals both named Benjamin Phipps. One was of Brunswick County, Virginia, a son of Joseph of Brunswick County, Virginia, while the other was of nearby Sussex County, Virginia.

She believed that the latter Benjamin was a brother of Joseph. In other words, one Benjamin was a son of Joseph, while the other, she thought, was probably a brother of Joseph.

The information in Mrs. Woodruff’s manuscript or book regarding the Benjamin who was a son of Joseph seems a bit unclear: She seems to have him migrating from Brunswick County, Virginia to Madison County, Alabama, leaving a will in Madison County, Alabama, but then dying in Brunswick County, Virginia. Is that what really happened? If so, did he move to Alabama and then move back shortly before he died?

BENJAMIN PHIPPS, SON OF JOSEPH PHIPPS

About 1762

According to Mrs. Howard Woodruff, Benjamin was born about 1762. She points out that he was 21 or older in 1783, citing a personal property tax list (presumably in Brunswick County, Virginia) where, she says, he was living in the household of Joseph Phipps. If so, was he actually named in that record?

1791

Benjamin Phipps married Lucy Tuberfield 16 February 1791 in Brunswick County, Virginia, according to Mrs. Woodruff and other sources, with Richardson Phipps as a witness.

1820

He would appear to be the Benjamin listed below in the 1820 census in Brunswick County, Virginia. Also listed on the same page was John Phipps, who would have been of the right age to have been the one who was Benjamin’s brother, and William Phipps. William would have been of the right age to have been the one who was Benjamin’s son, as listed by Mrs. Woodruff.

From the 1820 census, Brunswick County, Virginia:

(Note: The following all appear on the same page, but not in immediate succession. The census is partly alphabetized, in that “P” surnames appear together.)

Benjamin Phipps . . .
Free white males:
1 under 10
1 10-16
2 16-18
4 16-26
1 45+ [born about 1775 or earlier]
Free white females:
3 16-26
1 45+ [born about 1775 or earlier]

William Phipps . . .
Free white males:
1 16-26 [born about 1794-1804]
Free white females:
[None listed]

John Phipps
Free white males:
1 16-26
1 45+ [born about 1775 or earlier]
Free white females:
1 under 10
1 45+ [born about 1775 or earlier]

Mrs. Woodruff says that after marrying Lucy, Benjamin appears in early tax lists and the 1810 and 1820 censuses in Brunswick County. She says that he then moved to Madison County, Alabama, where he appears in records by 1824.

1824

Mrs. Woodruff refers to a lawsuit brought by Benjamin Phipps in Madison County, Alabama against Claxton Lightfoot. The Lightfoot name is one which has been noted in Phipps or Fips, etc. research at other times in Virginia.

The synopsis of the case as presented by Mrs. Woodruff doesn’t seem entirely clear. She referred to “Original File #5017,” without elaborating. She said that Benjamin Phipps sued Lightfoot in July 1822 in Brunswick County, Virginia, but then refers to what she calls a “transcript of action brought” on 12 April 1824.

She does not state whether the 1824 record refers to a continuance or an appeal. Mrs. Woodruff then states that what she calls a “fine” of $631 was “paid in full.” Perhaps checking original records would make this clearer.

According to unsourced online claims, Claxton Lightfoot was a son of a Lightfoot who married Mary (“Polly”) Harris. Various Harris connections have been noted in past blog posts involving the Phipps or Phips etc. family in early Virginia.

1844-1845

The death of this Benjamin Phipps is discussed in Mrs. Howard Woodruff’s book but, again, doesn’t seem entirely clear. She refers to him as a “citizen” of Brunswick County, Virginia when he died, “leaving a will.” Earlier, however, she said that the will was left not in Brunswick County, Virginia, but in Madison County, Alabama.

She refers to this will as having been probated in February of 1845 and naming several children:

  • Marsha G. Phipps (Mrs. Woodruff consistently called her Marsha, but the name was clearly Martha)
  • William Phipps
  • Williamson Phipps
  • Elizabeth Cabaness
  • Mary Houk
  • James N. Phipps
  • Winfield Phipps

These are named, she said, in addition to his granddaughters who were children of Wilson Phipps. (Presumably Wilson had died by this time.)

Why he died as a “citizen,” whatever that means, of Brunswick County, Virginia after migrating to Madison County, Alabama is unclear. So is the matter of why he would have died in Brunswick County, Virginia if he had already moved to Madison County, Alabama.

Nevertheless, he would seem likely to have been the Benjamin Phipps whose death was reported in a Virginia newspaper, with the important note that Alabama newspapers should “please copy.”

Mrs. Woodruff believed that he had died in 1844, based on his will. The newspaper death notice, however, states that he died 28 January 1845, assuming this is the same individual.

From the Richmond Enquirer, Richmond, Virginia, 11 February 1845, p. 3:

DIED.

Died, at his residence in the county of Brunswick, Va., on the 28th of January 1845, Mr. BENJAMIN PHIPPS, aged 83 years, 11 months, and 3 days, leaving eight children and many friends and acquaintances to lament their loss. Mr. Phipps was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and always manifested a lively interest for the perpetuation of the liberties which his patriotism and valor aided to establish. Peace to his ashes!

The Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama papers will please copy.

WILSON PHIPPS AS SON OF BENJAMIN PHIPPS

According to Mrs. Howard Woodruff, Wilson Phipps is mentioned in the will of his father Joseph Phipps as deceased. According to the family Bible, he was born 29 March 1792.

1818

Wilson Phipps is the subject of yet another Brunswick County, Virginia “tripartite” indenture, dated 1818. The agreement also names William Phipps and John Phipps.

These would seem likely to be the William Phipps and John Phipps who appeared with Benjamin Phipps on the same page in the 1820 census in Brunswick County, Virginia, as noted above. Again, William would appear to have been the one who was Benjamin’s son, and John the one who was Benjamin’s brother, based on their ages as represented in the census.

The following record was found by the webmaster of “A Witcher Genealogy.” Thanks again to him for sharing this with us. In the record below, John Wyche (apparently a form of the same surname) recurs once again.

George B. Woodruff as referred to below would presumably be the person of that name who married Sally Manning. Sally Manning was a daughter of Joel Manning and his wife who, as Mrs. Howard Woodruff points out in her book on Joseph Phipps, was a Phipps alluded to indirectly in Joseph Phipps’s will but not named in that source, who left Manning grandchildren.

The document below also refers to R.D. Woolsey. Abner Woolsey married Mary Phipps, daughter of Joseph Phipps. Mary (Phipps) Woolsey was a sister of Benjamin Phipps, Wilson Phipps’ father. So who was R.D. Woolsey?

It would seem likely that R.D. Woolsey was the Richard D. Woolsey referred to in a past post.

There he was mentioned as one of the administrators of the estate of Abner Woolsey in an 1845 Brunswick County summons. The summons also refers to various other close family members (it would make this post too long to identify all of them), as well as Richard H.H. Wallon (or Walton?), executor.

This last individual is also named in the record below, and he appears in other Phippscentric records. His identity is unknown at this point, however. The name recurs in handwritten records in such a way that it’s not clear whether the surname is Walton, Wallon, or Wallton.

Evidently the name is Richard H.H. Walton, however. That’s based on an article which includes his name in print in connection with a political meeting held in Brunswick County in 1842. The article is titled “The Ball Moving – Proceedings of Brunswick,” and it appeared in the Weekly Globe, published by Blair and Rives, 5 November 1842, p. 759.

Similarly, the name is purported to appear somewhere in page 3 of the Richmond Enquirer, 28 January 1841, according to OCRed text in Virginia Chronicle at the Library of Virginia. Evidently the interface is insufficient to verify this, however, without reading the entire page.

The following is the text of the record referred to earlier, dated 1818 in Brunswick County, Virginia:

[in margin:]

Phipps
to
Phipps

[body of text:]

This Indenture Tripartite made & entered into this sixth day of July Eighteen hundred & eighteen between Wilson Phipps of the first part John Phipps of the second part & William Phipps of the third part all of the County of Brunswick Witnesseth that whereas the said John Phipps has become and is now security for the said Wilson Phipps to William Woolsey in a joint bond or note Conditioned for the payment of eighty dollars or thereabouts in or about the year 1816 and the said Wilson Phipps being willing and desirous to secure & save free from

[page break – in margin: “321”]

loss damage & injury the said John Phipps for having become his security as aforesaid For that purpose & for & in the further consideration of one dollar by the said William Phipps to the said Wilson Phipps before the sealing & delivery of these presents in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby Acknowled [sic; acknowledged] he the said Wilson Phipps hath & by these presents doth give grant bargain sell alien make over & confirm unto the said William Phipps the following property to wit two feather beds with all their furniture & apparatus one gun two painted pine Chest [sic; said two, but Chest in the singular] one walnut Table two pine Tables one Cupboard with all tea & Table furnature & [Wants?] of the kitchen furniture consisting of one pot & an [Oven?] Gridiron [? (looks like “bread”)] [hoe?] a set of shoe Makers Tools One Cow and Calf & ten head of hogs four seting [sic] chairs one Press now in the said John’s Possession one [?] watch one saddle & Bridle by the said William Phipps his heirs or Assigns to be taken and sold & disposed of as his own & sole property free from the Claim or demand of him the Wilson Phipps & of all & any other person or persons whatsoever & the [said?] Wilson Phipps for himself & his heirs doth by these presents covenant & Agree with the said William Phipps his heirs Executors his heirs Executors [sic; words repeated] Administrators or Assigns that he will forever warrant & defend the legal & equitable right title use & [possession?] to of & in the whole & any of the said described & above mentioned property to him the said William Phipps his heirs or assigns upon Trust however & it is fully understood & Agreed by and between every & all of the above contracting parties that at any time hereafter & whenever the [said?] William Woolsey or John Phipps or the said Wilson Phipps or either of them or either of their heirs Exors. [i.e. executors] Admrs. [i.e. administrators] shall require the payment of the debt first above described or shall require the said William Phipps his heirs Exors. Admrs. or Assigns he the said William Phipps his heirs Executors Administrators or assigns when thereto required by either the said William Woolsey John Phipps or Wilson Phipps shall advertise at three of the most convenient public places in the neighbourhood of Powelton [may be written as “Powilton”] at least two days previous a day & place when& where he shall & may proceed to sell to the highest bidder for ready Money so much or the whole of the said Mentioned property as shall be sufficient to pay the said debt interest & Cost & out of the proceeds of such sale proceed in the first place to pay & satisfy all costs which may attend the said sale or be consequent on the executing this Indenture & in the second place pay to the said William Woolsey his CertainAttorney his heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns the debt Interest & Costs if any now or at that time may be due on the

[page break – in margin: “322”]

bond or note of the said Wilson & John Phipps to the said William Woolsey And in the third place should any surplus remain after paying Woolsey & debt proceed to pay a debt due from the said Wilson Phipps & George B Woodruff as the said Wilson security to John Harrison which said debt at this time amounts to between thirty & forty dollars & the balance of the property or of the proceeds of the sale after paying first the debt to Woolsey & secondly the debt to Harrison he the said William Phipps is to pay or deliver over to the said Wilson Phipps his Certain Attorney his heirs Exors [i.e. executors] Administrators or assigns The whole & sole interest of this indenture being [to?] [said?] first the said John Phipps & secondly the said George B Woodruff from loss damage or injury for being security as aforesaid & soon as that is done this Indenture & all righs [sic; rights] interest matters & things by it Conveyed or in it contained or intended to be conveyed shall cease determine & be utterly null & Void to all intents & purposes the same as if it had never been executed made or entered into In witness whereof they the said Wilson Phipps John Phipps & William Phipps have hereunto set their hands & affixed their seals the day & year first above written

[signed:]
Wilson Phipps (Seal)
John Phipps (Seal)
George B Woodruff (Seal)
William his X mark Phipps (Seal)

Signed sealed & Acknowledged before [signed:]
John Wyche (as to John & Wilson)
R H H [Walton? or Wallon?]
R D Woolsey

Brunswick County Court June 23″ 1819
This Indenture Tripartite was proved by the Oath of Richard H H [Walton? or Wallon?] a witness thereto & having been before proved by the oath of John Wyche (as to Wilson & John Phipps) & by Richard [D?] Woolsey on the 25″ day of January 1819 also Witnesses thereto the same is Ordered to be Recorded

Teste [signed:]
R Turnbull C B C [i.e. Clerk Brunswick Court or something similar]

Examd [i.e. Examined]

CHILDREN OF WILSON PHIPPS

1. Mary J. Phipps

She married Nick Kidd September 1836 in Brunswick County, Virginia, and was a granddaughter of Benjamin Phipps, according to Mrs. Howard Woodruff who cites Brunswick County marriage records.

According to the 1840 census, assuming that Mary was the adult female in the household, it would appear that she was born about 1820-1825 and that Nicholas C. Kidd was born about 1800-1810.

From the 1840 census, Brunswick County, Virginia:

[The following appear on the same page:]

Winfield Phipps [son of Benjamin3]
Free white males:
1 5-10
1 30-40 [born about 1800-1810]
Free white females:
1 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

Gilliam Pearson [married Adelaid W. Phipps, daughter of Wilson Phipps]
Free white males:
1 20-30 [born about 1810-1820]
Free white females:
1 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

John Wyche [who is named in Phipps deed records] . . .
Free white males:
1 5-10
2 20-30 [born about 1810-1820]
2 60-70 [born about 1770-1780]
Free white females:
1 40-50 [born about 1790-1800]

Nicholas C. Kidd [married Mary J. Phipps, daughter of Wilson Phipps]
Free white males:
2 30-40 [born about 1800-1810]
Free white females:
2 under 5
2 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

The following would appear to probably be this couple in the 1850 census. This would suggest that the family must have moved from Virginia into Tennessee, where they were living or at least visiting about 1845, and that they moved on into Arkansas by around 1848.

From the 1850 census, Cache Township, St. Francis County, Arkansas, 16 October 1850, #55/55:

  • Nicholas C [or E?] Kidd, 36 [born about 1814], male, farmer, real estate $1,200, born Virginia
  • Mary J [or I?] Kidd, 28 [born about 1822], female, Virginia
  • Ann Kidd, 12 [born about 1838], female, Virginia, attended school
  • Sarah Kidd, 11 [born about 1839], female, Virginia, attended school
  • Charles Kidd, 8 [born about 1842], male, Virginia
  • Virginia Kidd, 5 [born about 1845], female, Tennessee
  • Josephine Kidd, 2 [born about 1848], female, Arkansas
  • James W Kidd, 22 [born about 1828], male, Virginia

2. Adelaid W. Phipps

She married Gillam Pearson in Brunswick County, Virginia, and was a granddaughter of Benjamin Phipps, according to Mrs. Howard Woodruff who cites Brunswick County marriage records.

From the 1840 census, Brunswick County, Virginia:

[The following appear on the same page:]

Winfield Phipps [son of Benjamin3]
Free white males:
1 5-10
1 30-40 [born about 1800-1810]
Free white females:
1 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

Gilliam Pearson [married Adelaid W. Phipps, daughter of Wilson Phipps]
Free white males:
1 20-30 [born about 1810-1820]
Free white females:
1 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

John Wyche [who is named in Phipps deed records] . . .
Free white males:
1 5-10
2 20-30 [born about 1810-1820]
2 60-70 [born about 1770-1780]
Free white females:
1 40-50 [born about 1790-1800]

Nicholas C. Kidd [married Mary J. Phipps, daughter of Wilson Phipps]
Free white males:
2 30-40 [born about 1800-1810]
Free white females:
2 under 5
2 15-20 [born about 1820-1825]

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One thought on “Wilson Phipps, Son of Benjamin Phipps

  1. Per the first part of the above post, I have not read Mrs. Woodruff’s book (although I would like to find a copy and do so), but I really don’t think that Benjamin Phipps lived or died in Madison County, Alabama. There is a lawsuit between Benjamin Phipps and Claxton Lightfoot, and an index shows that it is case number 5017, but from 1827. I’ve ordered this file, and I’ll share my findings. Perhaps Benjamin lived in Madison County for a short time, but he can be found in both the 1830 and 1840 census in Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County, Virginia, which is the same parish as the above mentioned 1820 census. Maybe he lived in Madison county for a short time between 1820 and 1830, but I really don’t think he died there. Perhaps he had business interests there and that is the reason for the lawsuit, and request for the obituary to be published there.
    I feel like his daughter Martha moved there between 1834 and 1836. The 1850 and 1870 census indicate that her daughter Lucy was born in Virginia in 1834. The 1860 census states that she was born in Alabama in 1834. It is possible that Martha moved there sooner than 1834. In 1836, Martha G. Phipps signed a document in Madison County.
    Speaking of which, this is interesting…. The document she signed, she signed in May of 1836. It appears to be a kind of I.O.U. It says:
    “$40.00 on or before the first day of January next we or either of us promise to pay John C Grayson est of John Grayson dec. Forty dollars for the benefit of the legatees to the said decedents estate, for value rcvd as witness our hands and ???, this 20th day of May 1836.”
    Here is the interesting part, it is signed by John R. Inman, who Martha will marry in 6 months later in January of 1837; also signed by Thomas Hungerford (I think that is what the last name is – I don’t know who this is); and also signed by Martha G. Phipps.So, the 3 of them all signed this note separately on their own line.
    I only have a brief idea of how the laws for women worked, but it seems like Martha was financially independent, which I think is somewhat unusual. She married John R. Inman in January 1837. He died just a few weeks later, without a will and in debt, but Martha seems to come through this financially unscathed. When she marries Lazarus Vann just about 2 years later, they had a prenuptial agreement that was mentioned in Martha’s probate record. It appears that Lazarus had no claim on her estate when she died, and her estate was split between her daughter Lucy Tuberville Phipps Cross and son Robert Stanfield Phipps.
    Also, in the deed that is transcribed in the post on this site titled “Slaves of Benjamin Phipps”, 1824-1826″, the second deed indicates that the enslaved person Reuben was “purchased” with Martha’s money by her father Benjamin. Reubin was deeded to Benjamin from Thomas Jones in 1824. By 1824, Martha had two children born in 1819 and 1820, so was likely married by this time, but perhaps widowed or divorced by 1824.

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