James Phipps in Surry County, North Carolina, 1812

The webmaster of the A Witcher Genealogy website has found a deed which is highly significant to those researching the Phipps or Phips or Fips etc. family in northwest North Carolina. We’ve already known from other records that some sort of relationship involving the family of Samuel Phips of Wilkes and later Ashe County, North Carolina, on the one hand, and that of John Phips or Fips who died about 1769 in Charlotte County, Virginia, on the other hand, appeared highly probable. That has appeared to be the case for a variety of reasons, some of them having to do with interactions between the family of John’s daughter Elizabeth Phips or Fips (who married Ephraim Witcher) with the family of Samuel Phips. Ephraim and Elizabeth moved into Surry County, North Carolina, where the deed transcribed below was written.

The newly found deed appears to point to these relationships in an even stronger way. In 1812 in Surry County, North Carolina, James Phipps bought 100 acres of land on Christian’s Creek. The deed was witnessed by two of the Witchers – John and James. The webmaster believes that James is probably the brother of Elizabeth Fips or Phips who married Ephraim Witcher. The deed was also witnessed by Lewis Phipps.

In past posts, we’ve noted a James Phipps, perhaps the one who bought the land in Surry County, who was born about 1790 in North Carolina. In the 1840 and 1850 censuses he was living in Madison County, Georgia, which is adjacent to Elbert County. A Lewis Phipps was living in Elbert County by 1799.

Lewis Phipps was directly involved with Ambrose Witcher, who appears to have been related to Ephraim Witcher, son in law of John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg and later Charlotte County, Virginia. We know from various other documents that this John Phips or Fips had ties to Brunswick County, Virginia. Another individual who came through Surry County, North Carolina was Jordan Phipps,son of Benjamin Phipps of Sussex County, Virginia, who is believed to have been the brother of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.

The Lewis Phips or Phipps who was in Madison County, Georgia was presumably the same one who later surfaces in Lawrence County, Indiana. The latter location is where various close relatives of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina migrated. The Lawrence County connections show even more evidence pointing back to John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg/Charlotte Counties, Virginia through his family’s relationships with the Potter and Roy families. You can explore this further through various previous posts.

In the deed transcribed below, James Phipps purchased land from a certain Wilson Davis. Who was he? Searches have not turned up much about him, but there was a Mary Ann Davis, called Polly, who according to unconfirmed secondary sources married Jonathan Stamper, Jr. Presumably this Mary was related to the Wilson Davis of the deed.

The Jonathan Stamper, Sr. family was closely associated with the Phips family and their relatives in the Surry, Wilkes, and Ashe Counties area of North Carolina. Jonathan Stamper – either Sr. or Jr. or both, but usually not indicated – appears in various records in that area. Jonathan Stamper, apparently Sr., was Surry County constable at one time.

The sister of this Jonathan Stamper, Jr. who married Mary Davis was Martha Frances Stamper, called Frankie. She married Jesse Toliver, of the family from whom Taliaferro Witcher, son of Ephraim Witcher, presumably derived his name. (Taliaferro is pronounced “Toliver.”) Samuel Phips of Wilkes and later Ashe County, North Carolina submitted testimony on behalf of this same Jesse Toliver when he applied for a Revolutionary War pension.

Jesse Toliver’s son John married Anna Long, and descendants of John Toliver were a part of the Long-Phips outlaw gang, as was Samuel Phips’ grandson John Meshack Phips, who married one of the Longs. John and Anna (Long) Toliver’s daughter Mathursa Toliver married Mathew Phips, son of Jesse Phips and grandson of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina.

As for the Mary Davis who married Jonathan Stamper, Jr., multiple website refer to a story that asserts that she was killed for her gold by men named Hart, Cox, and Bledsoe. Various records demonstrate an extremely close connection between the Phips family in the area and the families of Cox and Hart. More Stamper connections to the Long and Phipps families are evident in the “Lineage of Jonathan Stamper and Mary ‘Polly’ Davis” web page linked below.

Further, another secondary source links the Stamper family to the Mayo family. We’ve discussed the Mayo surveyor connection earlier. Yet another secondary source refers to one of the Stampers in the area, a John Stamper, as owning and using a surveying instrument of some kind. Also, we’ve found unexpected Burton connections over and over and over, ad nauseam, and John Pleasants Burton, another individual who made the trek from the Ashe County area to Lawrence County, Indiana, married Susannah Stamper.

From Surry County, North Carolina Deeds Book M, pp. 549-550:

[p. 549:] Wilson Davis to James Phipps, a Deed.

This Indenture made this fourteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve between Wilson Davis of the one part of the County of Surry and State of North Carolina and James Phipps of the County and State aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred Dollars to me in hand paid by the said James Phipps the receipt I hereby acknowledge and myself fully satisfied and paid and have bargained sold and do now convey to the said James Phipps a certain tract or parcel of land containing one hundred acres lying on both sides of Christians Creek in the said County of Surry, beginning at a white oak and red oak running East twenty five chains crossing the Creek to a State [presumably error for “stake”] then North forty chains to a pine then West twenty five chains to the beginning including one hundred acres be the same more or less, with all the conveniences of ways waters watercourses [p. 550:] minerals hereditaments and appurtenances to the said land belonging or in any wise appertaining to have and to hold to the said James Phipps and his heirs forever, and the said Wilson Davis doth for his part warrant and defend the said land forever to him the said James Phipps and his heirs free and clear from the claim of claims [presumably error for “claim or claims”] of any person or persons whatsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal the day and date above written.
[Signed:] Wilson his X mark Davis (seal)
Assigned [presumably error for “Signed”] sealed & deliver’d in the presence of us
[Signed by witnesses:]
John Witcher
James Witcher
Lewis Phipps
Surry County May term 1813 The execution of the within Deed was duly proven in open Court by the Oath of John Witcher & ordered to be registered.
Test Jo Williams CC [for Court Clerk?]
By Jo Williams Jun. D.C. [for Deputy Clerk?]

Some related web pages (there are lots more):


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