Wilson Fipps or Phipps in the Mason Family Papers

A very recent post concerned Wilson Phipps, son of Benjamin Phipps. What isn’t clear is whether this Wilson Phipps is the same individual as the Wilson Fipps who is the subject of an 1823 receipt found at the Virginia Historical Society by the webmaster of the “A Witcher Genealogy” website. Thanks to him for providing a copy of the record.

This document contains few identifying factors. The document appears to be an ordinary rThe handwritten text is faint.

After digital manipulation, the the text appears to read as follows. The “Dr.” reference is often found in old records and does not mean “doctor,” but rather debit, as opposed to credit. Expenses are listed for sugar, “Shewthread” (presumably shoe thread), “sault” (salt), coffee, and what looks like the balance of an old account.

Mr. Wilson Fipps To William Moody Dr.

  • 1823 D[ecr?] 20    to [b1a?] Sugar 15c – $9..15c
  •                                   to ballanc [sic] of old [acct?] – ..41
  •                                   to 1 ball Shewthread 25c – ..25
  •                          24    to 1 bushell Sault $1.25c – 1..25
  •                                   to 10[m?] Coffee 40c – 4..[0?]
  •                                  [horizontal line for total]
  •                                  $15..06

[notation unclear, looks like “[?]al 176” or something similar]

The library catalog at the Virginia Historical Society refers to the Mason family papers, with mention in those papers of Wilson Fipps. The papers are described as including accounts dated 1805-1863 of several individuals, including Wilson Fipps.

The Mason family collection primarily concerns correspondence from 1817-1859 and accounts dated 1819-1855 associated with John Young Mason (Wikipedia biography), his wife Mary Ann, whose maiden name was Fort, and other family members.

John Young Mason was the US Attorney General, Secretary of the Navy, and minister to France. During the time periods represented, he was living at a place called “Fortsville” (placed in quotes in the catalog description because it’s an estate name); Southampton County, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Paris, France.

Fortsville (Wikipedia link) still stands, and is an historic home in Sussex County. The name sounds as though it might have come from his wife’s family, the Fort family. Papers also concern John Young Mason’s father, Edmunds Mason. He lived from 1770 to 1849 and was of “Homestead” (again, presumably an estate name) in Greensville County, Virginia.

Both Sussex County and Greensville County are in extremely close proximity to the Brunswick County which was associated with Wilson Phipps of our previous discussions. Greensville County is adjacent to Brunswick County, and was formed in 1781 from Brunswick County.

Sussex County was formed in 1754 from Surry County. Wilson was a son of Benjamin Phipps, who was a son of Joseph Phipps, but another Benjamin lived in nearby Sussex County and was believed by Mrs. Howard Woodruff, in her book on this family, to have been Joseph’s brother.

It would seem likely that the Wilson Fipps of the document in the Mason family collection was the Wilson Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia who we’ve discussed in past posts.


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