Martha Phipps, Wife of Lazarus Vann

A comment posted in response to a previous post made some interesting points about the Phipps family from out of Brunswick County, Virginia:

Thank you so very much for posting this. Not sure how I missed it earlier. I posted a few weeks ago, questioning whether Martha was a daughter or daughter-in-law to Benjamin. Seeing these documents convinces me that the Martha who married Lazarus Vann in Madison County, Alabama is the daughter of Benjamin Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia. In her will that was accepted into probate in 1855, she speaks of both “Reuben and his wife Amey,” and her desire for them to choose who they want to live with, her son Robert or her daughter Lucy. She states that she wants them well cared for and that she wants them to live in comfort. These two people are surely the same Reuben and Amey from the documents above.

But here is my question…, who was the father of Martha’s children? Here is the timeline:

  • Martha was born around 1795 in Virginia.
  • Her daughter Emily Lancaster Phipps was born around 1819 in Virginia.
  • Her son Robert Stanfield Phipps was born around 1820 in Virginia.
  • Her daughter Lucy Tuberville Phipps was born around 1834 in Virginia.

I have found a document from 1836 that is signed by Martha G. Phipps in Madison county, Alabama, so she was in Alabama some time before 1836. Presumably between 1834 and 1836, if Lucy was definitely born in Virginia and not Alabama.

In 1837, she married John Richie Inman in Madison county. Her name on the marriage record is Martha G. Phipps. He died within weeks of their marriage.

In 1839, she married Lazarus Vann. Again, her name on the record is Martha G. Phipps. I have not found an actual divorce record (although one may exist). Lazarus moved to Texas with some of his children around 1848. Martha stayed in Alabama. In her will, she uses the name Martha Vann. If she and Lazarus divorced, she did not take back her maiden name. Incidentally, she and Lazarus had a prenuptial agreement, and her property was divided between Robert and Lucy. Emily was excluded for reasons I do not know.

At any rate, all of her children had the last name Phipps. I would love to figure out who their father is.

Thanks again for posting this information! Your site has been so helpful, and I appreciate you sharing your information.


One thought on “Martha Phipps, Wife of Lazarus Vann

  1. I wasn’t sure which post to reply to with this comment, because the information from this record has information that applies to this post, “Martha Phipps, Wife of Lazarus Vann”, and also to “Slaves of Benjamin Phipps, 1824-1826”, “More About Lucy Tuberville (Phipps) Cross”, and “Response to Last Post”. This record is from Madison County, Alabama, Deed Book S, pg 495. I’ve tried to to transcribed exactly as is, including misspellings, punctuation, etc.:

    Lazarus Vann &
    Martha G Phipps
    Marriage Contract
    Whereas a marriage is about to take place between Lazarus Vann & Martha G Phipps both of the County of Madison & State of Alabama & whereas Martha G. Phipps is now possessed of the following negroe slaves Reuben a man aged about twenty five years, Aney a woman aged about twenty years & he children Dick aged about eleven years, Calvin aged about six years, Macklin aged about four years & Robert aged about 2 years & Edinbo rough aged about one month & said Vann is also possessed of property both real & personal. And whereas it is mutually agreed beween said parties that said Phipps shall retain her said property exempt from the controul & free from all claim of the said Vann after said Marriage. & that the same shall be kept by her for her sole & seperate use free from all debts of said Vann now or hereafter to be contracted and that her said property shall at her death ascend to be divided amongst the children of said Martha G Phipps now in life & said Vann doth bind himself to let her during her life dispose of said property in all or parts as she nay choose free from his contract & interference, and said Martha G Phipps for herself doth covenant that in the event of her surviving said Vann to relinquish & she doth hereby relinquish all right & title in & to the property of which he is now possessed or of wich he may die possessed by way of Dower in said property In witness whereof in have hereunto set our hands & seals this 23 day of December 1839
    Witness Lazarus (his x mark) Vann
    James Robinson Martha G Phipps
    Before me Richard B Purdom Clerk of the County Court of Madison County in the state of Alabama this day personally appeared James Robinson the subscribing witness to the foregoing deed of Marriage contract and made oath that he saw Lazarus Vann and Martha G Phipps sign seal and deliver the same on the day of its date and that he said witness subscribed his name thereto as witness in their presence. Given my hand and seal at office in Huntsville this fifth day of October Eighteen Hundred and forty one.
    Richd. B. Purdom seal
    The foregoing Marriage Contract was delivered into the office of the Clerk of the County Court of Madison County in the state of Alabama for registration on the fifth day of October Eighteen Hundred and forty one and was duly registered on the seventh day of October Eighteen Hundred and forty one
    Richd. B. Purdom, clk, c, c

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