Jesse Phips in Ashe County, North Carolina, 1815

The following comes from a tax record sent to the State of North Carolina from Ashe County regarding settling of accounts between local officials and the state in 1815. Spelling of individual words in the heading of the final column varies from page to page. The heading on various pages appears to read, essentially, “Local Situations [or Situation] or [possibly “of”] Persons names Whose [or Whoes] Lands is Supposed to be Agaiant,” or “Agasent,” or “Agaent,” etc.

One page contains the name of Jesse Phips in close proximity to Tolliver or Tollever names. The Phips and Toliver families were closely associated, with multiple intermarriages. The name Ezra Philips (for what it’s worth) appears right above those of Chas. Tolliver and William Tolliver.

Capt. Williams District:

  • Name: Jesse Phips
  • No. of Acres of Land: 50
  • Valuation [I?] Dollars: 60
  • White Poles [sic; polls]: 1
  • Black Poles [sic; polls]: –
  • Local Situation or Persons names, Whose Lands is Supposed to be [Against?]: Do [for “ditto,” referring to “Little River”]

Note the reference to Little River. In 1859, part of Ashe County became Alleghany County. The part of Ashe County in which Jesse’s father Samuel was living when he died in 1854 was included in what became Alleghany County in 1859. The very helpful Cheek Family of Alleghany County, North Carolina site refers to Alleghany County as being home to Peach Bottom Mountain, which was associated with Samuel Phips’s friend Jesse Toliver, and the valley of Little River.

In the tax record, the name Zachariah Spurling Jnr. appears further down on the same page. According to strong family tradition, Jesse Phips married Jane (“Jennie”) Spurlin (as it seems to have been often spelled). This marriage claim is confirmed by an 1853 legal notice in which Jesse “Phipps” and his wife Jane are named as heirs of Zachariah Spurlin.

It’s not clear from these two records alone, however, whether Jesse’s father in law was Zachariah Sr. or Zachariah Jr. From the 1810 census, it would appear that the person listed in Ashe County as “Z. Spurling” in that year must have been Zachariah, Jr., since he appears from that record to have been born about 1784-1794. Zachariah, Sr., on the other hand, appears to have been born about 1755 or earlier according to the 1800 census in Ashe County (about 1775 or earlier according to the 1820 census).

The following advertisement appeared in the Raleigh Register, Raleigh, North Carolina, on 20 Apr 1853. This record refers to “Jesse Phipps and wife Jane” as heirs of Zachariah Spurlin.

They are referred to as living “beyond the limits” of North Carolina. Jesse Phips appears to have moved from Owen County, Indiana to Putnam County, Missouri right around 1853 to 1854. He had moved to Owen County, Indiana in 1833 from Ashe County, North Carolina.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, – ASHE COUNTY, – Court of Pleas and Quarter Session, February Term, A. D. 1853.

Petition for partition of Land.

John Spurlin and others vs. Jesse Phipps and wife Jane, Jesse Hill and wife Patsy, and the heirs of Zachariah Spurlin deceased, whose names are unknown.

It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court, that Jesse Phipps and his wife Jane, Jesse Hill and his wife Patsy, and the heirs at Law of Zachariah Spurlin deceased, whose names are unknown, live beyond the limits of the State of North Carolina, it is ordered by the Court, that publication be made for six weeks in the Raleigh Register, notifying and requiring the said absent defendants to be and appear to the next term of our Court, to be held for the County of Ashe, at the Court House in Jefferson, on the 4th Monday in May next, and then and there plead, answer or demur, to the petition filed against them, or the same will be taken pro confesso as to them.

Witness John Ray, Clerk of our said Court, at office, the 4th Monday of February, A. D. 1853.
JOHN RAY, C. C. C. [County Court Clerk?]
April 20, 1853.


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