Fraud Involving David Phipps, 1859-1867

The following is yet another issue involving fraud in connection with a sale of land, as well as debt, involving a descendant of Samuel Phipps of Ashe County, North Carolina. This issue arose in 1859, when David Phipps, son of Jesse Phipps (died 1865 in Putnam County, Missouri) and grandson of Samuel Phipps (died 1854 in Ashe County, North Carolina), found himself greatly in debt in Putnam County, Missouri.

David Phipps, who had earlier lived in Owen County, Indiana (as did Jesse) is said to have fraudulently tried to deceive creditors by transferring ownership of land in Putnam County to his son Matthew P. Phipps. Matthew was a minor at the time, and did not have any money of his own by which he could have bought the land.

This situation is reminiscent of the fraudulent land sale which William Phipps was accused of when he moved from Ashe County, North Carolina to Owen County, Indiana. William was a brother of Samuel Phipps and was therefore an uncle of David Phipps.

From Putnam County, Missouri Court Records Vol. B, 19 March 1867, p. 783:

[p. 783:] 1399
Peter Thompson plaintiff
Against
David Phipps and Matthew P. Phipps defendants
Petition for title.

Now at this day come the said parties by their respective attorneys, and this cause coming up for trial, the defendants by leave of Court withdraw their answer, And the defendants failing to plead, the trial of this cause is submitted to the Court upon the plaintiff’s petition, and the testimony of witnesses and the court after hearing the petition and evidence doth find for the plaintiff as follows: That on the 15th day of August 1859 the defendant David Phipps was the owner in fee of the following described real estate situate in Putnam County Missouri to wit: The South half of the north West quarter of Section No. 7 seven – And the North half of the South East quarter of Section No. five – 5 – in township No. sixty five of Range No nineteen – 19 – described in the plaintiffs petition and that on the 16th day of December 1859 the defendant David Phipps, being indebted in a large sum, did, fraudulently and without any consideration whatever, for the purpose of defrauding, hindering and delaying his creditors, convey by his deed, the said real estate above described to Matthew P. Phipps, defendant, who is the son of defendant David Phipps and who was at the time a minor under the age of twenty one years, having no means of his own with which to purchase such lands, that on the 23d day of June 1860 a judgment was rendered in this Court in favor of Putnam County and against said defendant David Phipps upon which an Execution was issued on 21st day of August 1863, by virtue of which Execution the Sheriff of said County did on the 23rd day of September 1863 sell all the right title & interest of the defendant David Phipps in & to said real Estate, and that Drury Smith became the purchaser there of, And that on the said 23rd day of September 1863 the said Sheriff Conveyed by his deed of that date to the said Drury Smith the said land, that on the 28th day of January 1865 & on the 11th day of December 1865, the said Drury Smith & his wife Conveyed by their deeds of said last mentioned dates all of the said real estate to the plaintiff Peter Thompson. The Court doth further find that the said deed from defendant David Phipps & defendant Matthew P Phipps having been fraudulently made without Consideration & that at the date of and judgment and at the sale of said land by said Sheriff to said Drury Smith the defendant David Phipps had the title to said land. It is therefore Considered and decreed by the Court that the said deed from the defendant David Phipps to the defendant be cancelled, annulled, and revoked & made void & for naught held & esteemed, And that all the right, title & interest which the said defendant David Phipps had in & to said real estate prior to and at the time of making said deed to defendant Matthew P. Phipps be & is hereby decreed to and vested in the plaintiff Peter Thompson his heirs and assigns forever. It is further considered by the court that the plaintiff do have and recover against the said defendants his costs in this suit Expended and that he have Execution therefor –

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John Phips, Early Barbados Mariner, 1694

From handwritten record book referred to as Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, Vol. 1, St. Michael Parish, Barbados, p. 493 (also numbered 492, but indexed as 493), 1694, under “Burialls,” dated 30 October 1694:

Richard Lewis Gent, Mrs. Susannah Strang in Church, & Mr. Manwarings boy, Peter Parker & John Brook & Jno. Phips marriners

John Phipps: England to Jamaica to South Carolina

A few records have been noted in earlier posts which concern a certain John Phipps of South Carolina who left a 1750 will. In that will, he names his father, John Phipps of “Brails” (Brailes, often “Brayles” in old records) in Warwickshire in England. Certainly not all records pertaining to this family have been located, but a few more have been found (outlined below), which help to place this family in context.

Father: John Phipps, Sr.
Mother: Not named

Children (not in birth order):

  1. John Phipps, Jr.
  2. William Phipps
  3. James Phipps
  4. Martha Phipps
  5. Mary Phipps
  6. Helena Phipps

Regarding John Phipps, Sr.:

John Phipps, Sr. resided in Brailes, Warwickshire, England in 1746, where he was a stonecutter.

Regarding John Phipps, Jr.:

John Phipps, Jr. resided in the province of South Carolina in 1746, when he wrote his will. At that time, he referred to himself as a planter of South Carolina, although a 1743 deed discussed below says that earlier he had been a mason (stonecutter) in Kingston, Jamaica.

His will was proven 22 September 1746. His father was named in his will as beneficiary, as well as siblings in the event of the death of his father. The 1743 deed refers to him as being in South Carolina, however, while his wife was still in Kingston, Jamaica. Perhaps she died by the time of the 1746 will, or perhaps they divorced. No children are mentioned in the will, only his father and his siblings.

A death notice in the Weekly Magazine, or Edinburgh Amusement noted that “lady Phipps, relict of Sir John Phipps,” had died in Kingston on 20 February 1773. “Relict” means widow. None of the other records referenced below refer to John Phipps, Jr. as knighted or his wife as dame, but the 1743 deed associates him with people who were of that status. There was clearly another John Phipps in Jamaica who died later in Jamaica, in 1798, but he could not have been Sir John Phipps. This is because that John wasn’t born until about 1769, about four years before Lady Phipps died.

This John Phipps, Jr. could possibly have been the John Phipps who, along with a Jacob Phipps, had witnessed an earlier Port Royal, Jamaica will in 1732, which names Rebecca Shute as recipient of a plantation in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. That will was also recorded in North Carolina.

An extremely lengthy but often redundant 1743 deed from Jamaica, which is also recorded in South Carolina, refers to John Phipps selling town lots in Kingston, Jamaica to Lettice Hackett, daughter of Daniel Hackett of Kingston. This appears to be the same John as the John Phipps, Jr. of our discussion. First, he is referred to in the deed as a planter in South Carolina who had been a mason in Jamaica. We know from his 1750 will that his father was a stonecutter. By definition, a mason is a stonecutter, someone who works and builds with stone. Secondly, in the 1743 deed he is referred to as “late of Kingston.” In both this deed and the 1746 will, then, he is referred to as a planter.

The deed is incredibly complex and convoluted, but refers to town lots in Jamaica around the corner of Rosemary Lane and Tower Street. These thoroughfares still exist and are still called by those same names. The corner of Tower and Rosemary is roughly a couple blocks or so north of Port Royal Street. Port Royal Street, as in Port Royal of the 1732 deed, runs along the beach on the south coast of Jamaica.

Various records (some of which have been indexed or abstracted but not yet located) associate this family with the Wragg family, This is especially clear from John Phipps, Jr.’s 1746 will. By extension, this also connects the John Phipps, Jr. family in some way with Benjamin Phipps, the slave-trading sea captain who was discussed in an earlier post. In that post, we discussed bonds which associated ship captain Benjamin Phipps with both Charles Town, South Carolina and with the Wragg family.

Of course, we have also noted in various earlier posts the tendency for various Phipps family members in Virginia and England to have been involved in the lucrative Caribbean trade, including trade in slaves, sugar, and rum. At one point this Benjamin Phipps, aa noted in the earlier post, carried 106 slaves from Barbados to Virginia. He also sailed to South Carolina, where he lived for at least a time. Most of his activities we discussed earlier predate records associated with John Phipps, Jr., which might explain why no record has yet been found which directly associates the two men.

Still, John Phipps, Jr. referred to Joseph Wragg, Jr. and Samuel Wragg, Jr. of Charles Town (Charleston), South Carolina as his “good friends” in his 1746 will. Benjamin Phipps entered into bonds in Charles Town in 1720 which name Joseph Wragg of Charles Town and Samuel Wragg of London.

1660

A post in an online genealogical forum which appears to quote from a 1660 Warwickshire County Quarter Sessions record, dated 1660 at Brayles (Brailes), lists William Phipps one of various inhabitants of Brayles who neglected to pay their levies for church and school repair. He would presumably be related in some way to John Phipps, Jr.’s father John Phipps, Sr. of Brailes in Warwickshire.

1732

From J. Bryan Grimes, Abstract of North Carolina Wills: Compiled from Original and Recorded Wills in the Office of the Secretary of State, Raleigh, North Carolina: E.M. Uzzell & Co., 1910, p. 337:

SHUTE, REBECCA.
May 28, 1732. August 12, 1732. Port Royall, in the Island of Jamaica. Daughter: REBECCA SHUTE (plantation in Cape Fear with negroes, etc.). Mother: MARY EARLE. Friend: JNO. EARLE. Executors: MARY and JOHN EARLE. Witnesses: GEORGE CAVANISS, JOHN PHIPPS, JACOB PHIPPS, JOSIAH EASON. Clerk of the Court at Port Royall: LOUIS GALDY. Justice of the Peace, North Carolina: W. BADHAM. Coat of arms on seal.

1743

From Deed Book Z (which appears to be an official handwritten county record book but one copied by hand from another earlier book), Charles Town District, South Carolina:

[original p. 227:]

Phipps John
et Uxor
to
Hackett Jane
Release

Jamaica, Sst.

This Indenture made the Twenty Second day of September in the Seventeenth year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord King George by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King of Jamaica Lord, Defender of the ffaith [sic; as written] & t. [for etc.?] [annog.?] Domini One Thousand Seven hundred & Forty Three Between John Phipps late of Kingston in Jamacia [sic; as written] aforesaid mason now in Santa [or Sauta?] in the province of South Carolina Planter and Margaret his Wife now in Kingston and Island of Jamacia [sic; as written] aforesaid of the One part and Lettice Hackett daughter and Heiress of Daniel Hackett late of Kingston aforesaid Butcher deced [for deceased?] of the same Place Spinster of the other Part Whereas Our Late Sovereign Charles the Second of Blessed Memory by his Letters Pattents under the broad Seal of this Island bearing date the fourth day of May in the seventeenth Year of his Reign for the Consideration therein mentioned did give and grant unto Saml. Barry late of this Island Esqr. & his heirs one parcell [sic; as spelled] of Land containing Five & Thirty hundred acres Scituate [sic; as spelled] in the Parish of St. Andrews and Island aforesaid commonly called the Crawle bounding Southwest on the harbour [sic; British spelling] northwest on Sevannah [sic; as spelled] East on Major Richard Hope & West on Lieutt. [sic; as abbreviated] Henry Archbold, And Whereas the said Samuel Barry by his deed of Sale bearing date of February in the twenty Second year of his said late Maty’s [as written; abbreviation for “Majesty’s”] Reign did give grant bargain Sell assign & Sett [sic; as spelled] over unto William Bee- [original p. 228:] Beeston Esqr. afterwards Sr. William Beeston Knight his heirs & assigns for Ever all that the above said parcell of Land containing five hundred & Thirty acres, in the said recited Letters pattent [sic; as spelled] mentioned & deed of Sale severally Enrolled in the Office of Enrollments of this Island relation being thereunto Respectively and more fully & plain will appear on which parcell [sic; as spelled] of Land or part thereof (laid out into distinct Lotts [sic; as spelled]) the Town of Kingston hath been since built and now Stands And Whereas Several of these Lotts besides those called Front Lotts which formerly where [sic; “were” obviously intended] in Controversy between Sr. [sic; for “Sir”] Charles Orby and Dame Ann Hopegood his Wife and the Town or the Inhabitants of the Town of Kingston aforesaid and the fee Simple & Inheritance of theirs are Since the death of Dame Jane Moddiford alias Long the only daughter of the said Sr. William Beeston Knight by good and Sufficient Title in the Law become [sic; perhaps miscopied from “became”?] actually & legally Invested in Charles Long the son and heir of the said Dame Jane And Whereas the said Charles Long by his certain Deed or Instrument in Writing purporting a Letter of Attorney dated the ffifteenth [sic; as written] day of May in the 4th year of the Reign of his Maty [sic; abbreviation for “Majesty”] that now is reciteing [sic; as spelled] as therein recited did constitute and appoint his Brother Saml. Long Esqr. The honble. [abbreviation for “honorable”] [Appears to read “Collo;” perhaps an abbreviation for “Colonel”?] George Bennet and Mr. James Knight his true and Lawfull [sic; as spelled] attorneys for him & in his name place & Stead but to his use to bargain Sell or dispose of his several Lotts of Land in or near the Town of Kingston in this Island which then remained unsold or undisposed of either together or in parcells unto such person or persons and for Such Rates and prices as his said attorneys or any Two of them should think fitt [sic; as spelled] and could gett [sic; as spelled] for the same and when Sold for him & in his place & Stead and as his act and deed to bargain Sell remise release convey and assure the Lott or Lotts parcell or parcells of Land to the person or persons who should buy the same by such good lawfull Conveyances and assurances in the Law as his said Attorneys should think fitt and be advised And Whereas the said Charles Long by his deed of Sale bearing date the fourth day of October in the year of our [original p. 229:] Our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Thirty for the Consideration therein mentioned and to the Intent to [barr?] all Estates in [Tail?] and remainder in [Tail?] thereon depending in the herein after [sic; hereinafter] granted bargained and Sold or meant mentioned or Intended to be granted bargained and Sold Lotts of Land did grant bargain Sell alien enfeoffe and confirm unto the said John Phipps his heirs and assigns for Ever all those two Lotts or parcells of Land of him the said Charles Long scituate lying & being in the Town and parish of Kingston aforesaid laid out in one parcell Each of said Lotts being in length from East to West One hundred & fifty feet and in breadth from North to South Fifty feet bounding north on Tower Street South on Land not Sold East on Land of the said Charles Long next to the hospital land and West on Rosemary Lane and are the 283d & 284th Lotts from the Court house in Kingston aforesaid neither of them being part or parcell of the Lands lately in Controversy between Sr. Charles Orby Baronet & Dame Ann Hopegood his wife Relict of Sr. William Beeston deceased and the Town or Inhabitants of the Town of Kingston aforesaid nor any part of the Lands and Tenements in the power of Attorney aforesaid by the said Charles Long executed excepted or Excluded from being Sold as in and by the said deed of Sale & Letter of Attorney duly enrolled in the Office of Enrollments of this Island relation being thereunto had may [sic; as written], plainly & more fully appear Now This Indenture Witnesseth that the said John Phipps and Margaret his Wife Relict of the said Daniel Hackett as well for the natural Natural [sic; as written] affection as the Consideration of the Sume [sic; as spelled] of Thirty Pounds Jamaica Currency to them in hand well & truly paid by the said Lettice Hackett or her assigns at or on the Endealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof the said John Phipps and Margaret his Wife do hereby acknowledge and thereof and of every part and parcell thereof doth hereby clearly and absolutely acquitt [sic; as spelled] Exonerate and and [sic; word repeated] discharge the [original p. 230:] the said Lettice Hackett her heirs & Exors [i.e. executors] and administrators for ever by these presents hath Granted Bargained Sold Aliened enfeoffed and Confirmed and by these presents Do clearly and absolutely grant bargain sell Alien enfeoffe and Confirm unto the said Lettice Hackett her heirs and Assigns for ever All the above mentioned Two Lotts of Land together with all the Edifices thereon Erected or to be erected ways watercourses, Wells, of Water, Emoluments and appurtenances Thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and all the Estate right Title Interest use property & Possession trust Claim and demand whatsoever of them the said John Phipps & Margaret his wife of in and to the above mentioned Two Lotts of Land and premises hereby granted bargained and Sold or meant mentioned so to be together with their and every of their appurtenances with the reversion & reversions remainder and remainders thereof To have and To hold the said Two Lotts of Land and premisses [sic; as spelled] being in Length from East to West One hundred and Fifty feet and in breadth from North to South Fifty feet bounding north on Tower Street South on Land not Sold East on Land of the said Charles Long next to the hospital Land & West on Rosemary Lane and are the 283th Lotts of Land East from the Court house in Kingstone [sic; as spelled] aforesaid, with all Edifices thereon Erected or to be Erected, ways, watercourses wells of Water and all the other premises hereby granted bargained & Sold & every part & parcel thereof unto the said Lettice Haskett [sic; as spelled] her heirs and assigns for Ever to the absolute use and behoofe [sic; as spelled] of her the said Lettice Jackett her heirs and assigns for Evermore without any manner of Condition or revocation in any wise, And the said John Phipps & Margaret his Wife for themselves their heirs Executors & assigns & for every of them do Covenant promise grant & agree to and with the said Lettice Hackett (at & Immediate of before the Ensealing and delivery of these presents Indenture of Sale) are [original p. 231:] are the sole Owners & Proprietors of the said two Lotts of Land with the messuages & appurtenances thereof and are Solely rightfully & absolutely Seized thereof of a good pure absolute & Indefeazible [sic; as spelled] Estate of Inheritance in ffee [sic; as written] Simple and that without any Condition contingent provisoe [sic; as spelled] or Limitation of use or uses or other restraint or any matter or thing to determine alter or Change the same & that shall Continue so Seized thereof & of every part thereof untill [sic; as spelled] a good perfect & absolute Estate thereof be Vested in the said Lettice Hackett her heirs and assigns for Ever according to the true Intent & meaning of these presents And also that the said Two Lotts of Land hereby granted or mentioned or Intended to be granted as aforesaid now are and from henceforth for ever hereafter shall remain & be unto the said Lettice Hackett her heirs and assigns for Ever clear and free & freely & clearly & absolutely acquitted freed Exonerated & discharged of and from all & all manner of former and other Gifts grants bargains Sales titles charges & Incumbrances [sic; as spelled] whatsoever (The Quitt [sic; as spelled] Rents from henceforth to become due & Payable to our Sovereign Lord the King His Heirs & Successors only Excepted and Foreprized [sic]) In Witness whereof the party to this Indenture first nominate have Sett [sic; as spelled] their hands & Seals for the further Security of this Conveyance) [2nd closing parenthesis]
[signed:] John Phipps (L.S.)
Signed sealed & [at?] delivered as his act & Deed by John Phipps above named party to these presents In presence of [signed:]
John Fry[?]
John Dart
Geo[H?]. Smith
At [Quigston? Miscopied from Kingston?] Jamacia [sic; as spelled]
Signed Sealed & delivered as her act & Deed by Margaret Phipps above named party to these presents
In presence of [signed:] [blank] (L.S.)
South Carolina
Berkley County Before Jacob Motte Esqr. One of his Majesties Justices assigned [original p. 232:] assigned to keep the Peace in said County Personally appeared John Dart one of the Witnesses to the Within Deed who being duly Sworn declareth that he was present and Saw the within party John Phipps Sign Seal and as his act and Deed Deliver the within Deed and also saw John Fry and George Smith the other Witnesses Sign thereto Sworne [sic; as spelled] to the 27th day of March 1744 Before [signed:] Jacob Motte
So Carolina
Registers Office 30th March 1744
Recorded in This Office in Book Z From Page 227 To Page 232:
[pr?] James Mickie Dep Pub Reg [i.e. Deputy Public Register or Registrar?]

Part of this deed might be more understandable by inclusion of the following.

From “Jamaica” section in J.H. Lawrence-Archer, Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies, London: Chatto and Windus, 1875, p. 60-61:

Sir Thomas Modyford, like his brother, Sir James Modyford, Bart., was also Governor of Jamaica. He was created a baronet March 1st, 1663-4; married Elizabeth, daughter of Lewin Palmer, Esq., of Devonshire; and died in Jamaica, according to his epitaph, in 1679.

His successors matched with the families of Sir Thomas Norton, Bart., Guy of Barbados, Hathenstall of London, and lastly, of Sir William Beeston, Knt., Governor of Jamaica, whose daughter and heiress, Jane, married Sir Thomas Modyford, fifth and last Baronet, and on the death of the latter she married Charles Long, Esq., of Jamaica.

1746

From Charles Town District, South Carolina Record of Wills, 1740-1746:

[p. 340:]

John Phipps

In the Name of God, Amen.

I John Phipps of the Province of South Carolina Planter being Weak in Body but of sound and disposing mind (thanks be to God) do make and ordain this to be my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say my Will and desire is that my whole Estate both Real and personal be sold and disposed of by my Executors hereafter mentioned, so soon after my decease as in their discretion they shall think most proper and advantagious [sic; advantagneous] and I do give and devise unto my Father John Phipps of Brails in Warwickshire in the Kingdom of Great Brittain [sic; Britain] stone Cutter the whole Clear Produce of my Estate both real and Personal after my Funeral Charges just Debts and the Legacies hereinafter mentioned are fully discharged and paid and my Will and desire is in Case of the Death of my Father John Phipps aforesaid that the whole produce of my Estate as above devised unto him be equally divided between my Brothers William Phipps James Phipps my sisters Martha Phipps, Mary Phipps and Helena Phipps to each and every one of them an equall [sic; equal] dividend, the whole being into five equal parts divided

I also Give and devise unto my good freinds [sic; friends] Robert Austin Esqr. Joseph Wragg Junr. and Samuel Wragg Junr. of Charles Town Merchants to each of them the Sum of fifty pounds Current money of South Carolina to be paid them by my Executors

I nominate Constitute and appoint the Hon. Joseph Wragg Esqr. and Robert Austin Esqr. to be the Executors of this my last Will and Testament, whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this 17 Day of August in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Forty Six.

[signed:] John Phipps (SEAL)
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the Testator to be his last Will and Testament in presence of us the [p. 341:] underwritten Witnesses who in his presence and at his Request have Subscribed our names as witnesses hereunto.

[signed:]
Joseph Murray.
Samuel Newman.
Joseph his R mark Rodos.

This will was proved by Virtue of a Dedimus before Thomas Monck To him directed the 22d. day September 1746 and also qualified Robert Austin one of the Executors therein named.
Recorded 26 Sepr. 1746.

1750

Not mentioned in the 1746 will of John Phipps, Jr., above, is anyone named Joseph Phipps, yet someone of that name left a will not very far away in Colleton County, in 1750. That will is discussed, with a transcription, in an earlier post.

In that will, Joseph refers to his wife Ann and his son William, who was under 14 years old. He also mentions his two daughters in law, Susannah (Phipps) Stanyarne and Ann (Phipps) Stanyarne, as well as his brother in law William Steads.

Regarding the Stanyarnes, the 1752 Colleton County will of William Hext, discussed below, was witnessed by Sarah Stanyarne and Anna Phipps. This Anna would seem likely to have been Joseph’s wife Anna. One would think it likely that this Joseph Phipps family of Colleton County was related in some way to John Phipps of Charles Town, but if so, we have no direct evidence.

1752

From A.S. Salley, Jr., “Hugh Hext and Some of his Descendants,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1905, p. 34:

Will of William Hext, of John’s Island, Colleton County, planter, made April 24, 1752, and recorded May 24, 1754, gave wife, Mary, seventeen negroes, two riding horses, his whole stock of cattle, sheep and hogs and his canoe, together with the tract of land whereon he then lived, with his household goods and furniture and his carbine and silver watch, but in case of her death without heirs, the said property to go to his mother, Sarah Hext, his “two brothers,” Alexander and David Hext, and sister, Sarah Buchanan; gave brother, Alexander, his saddle holsters and pistols; appointed friend, Edward Fenwick, executor, and wife executrix. Witnesses: Benj. Walls, Sarah Stanyarne and Anna Phipps. In a postscript he gave his wife two new suits of clothes and all of his linen. Witnesses: John Williams, Alexander and David Hext. (P. C. R., C. Co., Book 1752-56, pp. 189-190.)

1773

From The Weekly Magazine, or Edinburgh Amusement, Edinburgh, Scotland, 4 March 1773, p. 320:

DEATHS. . . .

Jan. 9, 1773. . . .

Feb. 25. . . .

20. At Kingston, lady Phipps, relict of Sir John Phipps, Bart. [Baronet]

1793 and 1798

From “Parish of St. Andrew’s, St. Andrew’s Parish Church” in Jamaica section in J.H. Lawrence-Archer, Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies, London: Chatto and Windus, 1875, p. 254:

[Inscription number] 109.

JOSEPH BARTON PHIPPS, OB. 30th JUNE, 1793, AET. 30 Y., 1 M., 29 D.
JOHN PHIPPS, DIED 9th MARCH, 1798, AGED 29 Y., 8 M., 5 D.

The abbreviation “aet.” indicates age at death. From the above, it becomes evident that Joseph Barton Phipps was born about 1763, and that John Phipps was born about 1769. Note that the Naitonal Archives, in its index of wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, also refers to the will of John Phipps of St. George Island of Tobago in the West Indies, dated 1796. No will for John Phipps, Sr. at Brailes in Warwickshire seems to turn up in their index, by the way.

Past posts, for more reading:

 

A Slice from the Life of John Meshack Phipps: 1850-1870

A number of earlier posts have documented the life of John Meshack Phipps or Phips, twin brother of Eli Shadrack Phips or Phipps. The twins were born in 1812 in Virginia, and were sons of Jesse and Jane (“Jennie”) Spurlin Phips, with that Jesse having been a son of Samuel Phips who died in Ashe County, North Carolina in 1854. Jesse died in 1865 in Putnam County, Missouri.

A recent post included records from the 1840s involving the twins in the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, where they were evidently hiding out while masquerading as Mormons. The following is an incomplete collection of records presenting a slice out of the life of John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps, covering the later period from 1850 to 1870.

Census records during that period, as transcribed below, give some clues as to John’s ever-changing whereabouts both earlier and later, because of notations listing birthplaces of his children. Based on that data, if it can be trusted, the following residences for John can be assumed:

  • About 1842: Indiana (1850 census) or Illinois (1860 census): Birth of son Mathew
  • About 1848-1849: Iowa (1850, 1860 censuses): Birth of daughter Margaret
  • About 1851-1853: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of son Hiram/Hiraim
  • About 1853-1854: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of son John/Preston (John Preston)
  • About 1855-1856: Iowa (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of daughter Mary
  • About 1858: Missouri (1860, 1870 censuses): Birth of daughter Malina/Melvina
  • About 1860-1864: Kansas (1860 census) or Iowa (1870 census): Birth of son S.A./Albert (Albert Simpson)
  • About 1862: Kansas (1870 census): Birth of daughter Laura

Also listed out of turn is a Hattie, born in Missouri about 1855 according to the 1870 census.

1850

In the 1850 census, he appears as John M. Phipps, farmer, in the household of Hiram Long. Both Hiram Long and John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps are discussed at length in Edward Bonney’s period account of the outlaw gang. In the copy just linked, a separate chapter headed “Shack Phips,” Chapter 11, begins on page 91. Hiram Long is pictured facing page 104. While his likeness could have been based on an artist’s fancy, the book’s portrait of outlaw gang member John Long, the Phips brother’s relative (John’s wife was a Long), was copied from a daguerreotype.

The hanging of Granville Young, John Long, and Aaron Long (a different Aaron from the one listed below) in Rock Island, Illinois for the murder of Col. George Davenport, for whom Davenport, Iowa was named, occurred in 1845. By 1850, apparently, Edward Bonney’s book was in circulation, which presumably prompted some family members to flee to Iowa.

From the 1850 census, Monroe County, Iowa, 10 December 1850:

330/330:

  • Hiram Long, 27 [born about 1823], male, farmer, real est. $600, North Carolina
  • John M. Phipps, 33 [born about 1817], male, farmer, Virginia
  • Mary Phipps, 26 [born about 1824], female, North Carolina
  • Mathew Phipps, 8 [born about 1842], male, Indiana, attended school
  • Margaret Phipps, 2 [born about 1848], female, Iowa

331/331:

  • Aaron B. Long, 28 [born about 1822], male, merchant, real est. $250, North Carolina
  • Mary C. [or O.?] Long, 17 [born about 1833], female, Indiana

1855

By the mid-1850s, John Meshack (“Shack”) Phips or Phipps began showing up in records in Nodaway County, Missouri, a county which sits along the Iowa state line. This was near Putnam County, Missouri, also on the Iowa line, where John’s father Jesse Phips or Phipps was living.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 3, p. 59:

Know all men by these presents that I John M Phipps of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri have this day for and in consideration of the sum of eight hundred dollars to me in hand paid by Alexander Clelland of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri have this day bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain and sell unto the said Alexander Clelland and to his heirs and assigns forever three certain tracts pieces or parcels of land situate lying and being in Nodaway county and State of Missouri to wit The North East quarter of section No two (2) and the West half of lot No one of the North West quarter of section No one and also the North half of the south East quarter of section No four (4) all in Township No sixty three (63) of Range No thirty five (35) Containing in all two hundred and sixty four acres and [4?]8/100 of an acre more or less. To have and to hold the said tracts pieces or parcels of land with all and singular the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto him the said Alexander Clelland and his heirs and assigns forever.

But these presents and every thing herein contained are upon this express condition and understanding towit That the said John M Phipps has this day made executed and delivered unto the said Alexander Clelland his bond or promissory note bearing even date herewith for eight hundred dollars.

Now if the said John M Phipps shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid the said bond or promissory note at or before the time the same shall become payable then and in that case these presents and every thing herein contained as well as said bond or promisory Note shall be null and void Else to be and remain in full force and effect.

Witness my hand and seal this 8th day of November A D 1855

[signed:] John M Phipps (Seal)

State of Missouri
County of Nodaway
SS
Be it remembered that on this 8th day of November in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and fifty five personally appeared before me Amos Graham clerk of the circuit court within and for the county aforesaid John M Phipps who is personally Known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within and foregoing instrument of writing as party thereto and acknowledged the same to be his act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned

L S In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at office this 8th day of November A D 1855

[signed:]
Amos Graham [clerk.?]
By Solomon West D C

The last foregoing instrument of writing and certificate of acknowledgement were received for record the 8th day of November 1855

[signed:]
Amos Graham Recorder
By S West D C

[In margin:]

Know all men by these presents that I Alexander Clelland of Nodaway County Missouri have this day recd. of John M Phipps Eight hundred dollars and hereby release him, and the real estate herein mentioned from the obligations of the same, forever. Given under my hand and seal this 8th day of November AD 1856
[signed:] Alexr. Cleland (Seal)
Test Amos Graham clerk By A. D. Graham D.C.

1856

From Nodaway County, Missouri Deed Book 3, pp. 307-308:

This Deed made and entered into this fourth day of August in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty six by and between John M Phipps and Mary Phipps his wife of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri of the first part and William M Cook of the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri of the second part Witnesseth: that the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and Thirty dollars to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged have given granted bargained and sold and by these presents do give grant bargain sell convey and confirm unto the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Nodaway and State of missouri towit: The South west quarter of the south East quarter of section No. Twenty three (23) in Township No. Sixty four (64) of Range No Thirty five (35) containing forty acres more or less. To have and to hold the said tract piece or parcel of land with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto him the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever and the said parties of the first part for themselves their heirs executors and administrators, do covenant and agree that they will warrant and forever defend the title to the said tract piece or parcel of land and every part thereof unto him the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns against the lawful claim or claims of all persons what soever claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof. In witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first herein written.

[signed:]
John M Phipps (seal)
Mary Phipps (Seal)

State of Missouri
County of Nodaway

Be it remembered that on this first day of September in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty six before me Amos Graham clerk of the circuit court within and for the county aforesaid personally appeared John M Phipps and Mary his wife who are personally known to me to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the within foregoing deed as parties thereto and severally acknowledged the same to be their act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned: And she the said Mary Phipp [sic] being by me first made acquainted with the contents of said deed and examined separate and apart from her said husband, acknowledged on such examination that she executed the same and relinquishes her dower in the real estate therein mentioned freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband.

L S In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at office the date last aforesaid

[signed:]
Amos Graham Clerk
By A. D. Graham D. C.

[p. 398:]

The last foregoing deed was received for record on the 1st day of September 1856

[signed:]
Amos Graham Recorder
By A D Graham Dept

It was presumably as a part of their outlaw gang activities that the twins appear to have visited Virginia in 1856. This next record would seem unlikely to pertain to John Meshack Phipps and his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phipps. After all, why would a man living in the Midwest in 1856 suddenly show up in Virginia? The record specifically refers, however, to two twin brothers “named Fipps” from Indiana, and they had originally come from the area right on the Virginia/North Carolina state line.

As Edward Bonney discussed at length in his period book about the Long/Phips outlaw gang, the members were incredibly mobile. Bonney’s account refers to gang members constantly traveling from state to state throughout the Upper Mississippi Valley. A bit earlier than the record below, John showed up in records in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, just after living in Owen County, Indiana with, according to Bonney, associates traveling very extensively.

From the New Albany Daily Ledger, New Albany, Indiana, Mon., 11 February 1856, p. 2:

FATAL AFFRAY. – A fatal affray occurred a short time since, in Rich Valley, Smythe county, Va., at the house of one Allison, in which a man named Clear was killed. Two young men, twin bothers [sic; brothers], named Fipps, from Indiana, have been arrested and committed upon the following circumstantial evidence:

There were several men at Allison’s house frolicking, when a fight took place between one of the Fipps and another man, which at length became a general fight, the two Fipps having no friends were considerably worsted. They got out of the house and were followed by Clear into the yard, who shortly after returned, and said “he was killed;” and laid himself down on a bed and died in a few minutes.

1856-1857

John resided in Nodaway County, Missouri in 1856 and 1857, according to a newspaper article. Other family members were in the same general area.

1857-1875

Several land patents refer to John M. Phipps, presumably him, in connection with land in Nodaway County, Missouri from 1857 to 1875. Four dated 1857, 1858, 1863, and 1875 were based on military land warrants and were reassigned to him. One dated 1859 was written to John M. Phipps of Nodaway County.

1859

By 1859, a series of court records begin to appear which seem to revolve around the types of squabbles and debts which have been noted elsewhere as involving some members of this family. At one point, however, an issue of forgery arises, which appears to have involved grand larceny.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 351:

November Term 1858.

A Mozingo
vs
John Phipps
appeal

On defendants motion this cause is continued till the next term of this Court.

David Kinder
vs
John Phipps
same

On application of the defendant this cause is continued till the next term of this court.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 407:

May Term 1859. . . .

Allen Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps
Civil action

On Plaintiff motion put at the foot of the Dockett

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 412:

May Term A D 1859. . . .

John M Phipps
vs
Silas Muzingo
Same [Civil Action]

Defendant by his attorneys files Demurrer herein

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 416:

May Term 1859. . . .

John M Phipps
vs
Lewis Perkins
Civil action

Now at this day the plaintiff dismissess [sic] his suit herein.

It is therefore considered by the Court here that said defendant, recover of said plaintiff the costs and charges in this behalf expended, for which execution may issue. –

David Kinder
v.s.
John M Phipps
Civil action

Now at this day came the said plaintiff and likewise the said defendant, and both parties being ready for trial, the Came [sic] a Jury – Towit: Barnard Thomas, W H Davis, H Markwell, G H Holbrook, E Brogan, and W C [Orear?], who after hearing the evidence return the following verdict, Viz:

“We the Jury find for the plaintiff Thirty eight dollars and eighty cents, after allowing all credits. – W C [Orear?], foreman.”

It is therefore considered by the Court, that said plaintiff recover of said defendant, said sum of Thirty eight dollars and eighty cents so found to be due, and the costs and charges in the justices Court, as in this Court, for which an execution may issue.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 419:

May Term A D 1859.

Allen Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps

Now at this day this cause came on to be heard both parties being ready for trial by agreement Submitted to a jury of four to wit B F Ross J Pennington [J? or I?] A Lanning & William Blackman who being duly sworn and empannelled, the Plaintiff dismisses his suit, with leave to withdraw note Sued upon by leaving copy –

It is therefore considered by the court here that the Defendant recover of the said Allen Muznego [sic] the cost and charges in this behalf expended and that he have execution therefor

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 421:

May Term A D 1859

Wednesday Morning, May 4th A. D. 1859
Court met pursuant to adjournment – . . .

State of Missouri
vs
John M Phipps
Transcript

Grand jury fail to find a bill of Indictment herein Dft [i.e. defendant] discharged

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 449:

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant has leave to answer within sixty days of the next term of this Court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book A, p. 451:

May Term A. D. 1859.

John M Phipps
vs
Silas M[u?]zingo
Civil action

Now at this day came the Said plaintiff and dismisses his suit herein.

It is therefore Considered by the Court here that said defendant recover of said plaintiff the costs and charges in this behalf expended, and it is ordered that execution issue therefor.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 14:

November 1st October Term 1859 Second Day . . .

Silas Muzingo
vs
John M. Phips
Civil Action

On plaintiff’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the docket

Henry Elsworth
vs
Silas Muzingo
Civil Action

On the motion of the plaintiff this cause is continued to the next term of this court. It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said Silas Muzingo recover of the Said Henry Elsworth the costs and charges in this behalf expended at this term of the court for which execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 18-19:

[p. 18:]

November 1st October 1859 Second Day . . .

Silas Muzingo
vs
John M Phipps

This cause is continued until the next term of this court on the application of the Defendant

[p. 19:]

It is therefore considered by the court here that the said Silas Muzingo recover of the Said John M. Phipps the costs and charges in this behalf expended at this term of the court

And it is further ordered that an attachment be issued against Mrs [blank] Griffith as witness in this cause returnable to the next term of this court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 28-29:

[p. 28:]

November 3rd October Term 1859 Third Day . . .

W. C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Attachment

Order of Publication of Notice

[p. 29:]

and it is further ordered that an alias writ of attachment be issued in favor of the Said W. C. Barnes and against the said John M. Phipps directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway county returnable to the next term of this court . . .

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 31:

November 2nd October Term 1859 Third day . . .

F. Hall to use of
W. P. Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant has leave to file answer within 60 days of the next term of this court

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 33:

November 2nd October 1859 Third day . . .

W. C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Now comes the defendant, John M. Phipps, in the above entitled cause and enters his appearance

1860

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 70:

April 30th April Term 1860 First day . . .

Franklin Hall to use
W. P. Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

On defendant’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the Docket

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 71:

April 30th April Term First day . . .

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

On Plaintiff’s motion this cause is put at the foot of the docket

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 77:

May 1st April Term 1860 Second day . . .

William C. Barnes
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Now at this day comes the Plaintiff by his attorney and the defendant and by agreement of the parties judgment is rendered against the defendant for thirty five dollars and 3 cents

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said William C. Barnes recover of the Said John M. Phipps the Said Sum of Thirty five dollars and 3 cents together with the costs and charges in this behalf expended. For which execution may issue

The following record not only introduces the matter of forgery, but indicates a change of venue to another county, that being Holt County, Missouri. Changes of venue tend to be granted when the locals are so worked up about a matter that it is believed that the defendant is not likely to receive a fair trial otherwise. The records below, unfortunately, do not explain the particulars of the indictments, but by the time the matter continues in records in April 1862, records seem to indicate a connection to grand larceny.

As we’ve seen at other points and in other places with some members of this family, a tactic appears to have been to delay and prolong legal issues until the individual involved finally disappears. In this matter, court actions are seen to drag on and on, from 1860 into 1862(!).

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 84:

May 2nd April Term 1860 third day

State of Missouri
against
John M Phipps
Forgery – Indictment No. 1.

Now comes the circuit attorney who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State and likewise said John M.Phipps, and on motion and the petition of the said John M. Phipps praying for a change of Venue hereof it is ordered that a change be awarded to Holt County Missouri and that the costs be also changed to said Holt County

State of Missouri
vs
John M Phipps
Forgery – Indictment No. 2.

Now comes the circuit attorney who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State and likewise Said John M Phipps, and on motion and the petition of the Said John M Phipps praying for a change of Venue hereof it is ordered that a change be awarded to Holt county Missouri and that the costs be also changed to Holt County

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 86:

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P Cowles
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action

Defendant by his attorney files motion to [rule? or sue?] plaintiff to security for the costs . . .

Silas Mozingo
vs
John M. Phipps
Civil Action for Slander

Now comes the plaintiff and likewise the defendant and both parties being ready for trial there came a jury To Wit: E. King, G. Edwards, James Alexander, Alfred Jones, Sanford Smith, Hiram Markwell, W Emergon, L Martin Nicholas Owens, C Engle, Thos Parker and James T. Smith who were duly empannelled and and [sic; word repeated] after hearing the evidence return into court their verdict To wit: “We the jury find for the plaintiff and assess the damage at $41.70 9/12
Williams Emerson Foreman”

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the said Silas Mozingo recover of the Said John M. Phipps the Said Sum of forty one dollars and 70 & 9/12 cents Together with the costs and charges in this Suit expended And it is ordered by the court here that execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 89:

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day

Thomas Thoroughman
vs
John M. Phipps
Confession of Judgment

Now comes the Said defendant and acknowledges himself to owe and be indebted to the plaintiff in the Sum of one hundred and seventy five dollars

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that the Said Thomas Thoroughman recover of the said John M. Phipps the said sum of one hundred and seventy five dollars, together with the Costs and charges in this suit expended with stay of Execution for Six months, after which time execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 91-92:

[p. 91:]

May 2nd April Term 1860 Third day . . .

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P. Cowles
against
John M. Phipps
Civil action

Plaintiff files his bond for costs herein

Franklin Hall to the use of
William P. Cowles
against
John M Phipps
Civil action

Defendant withdraws his answer herein

And the court here being satisfied, by a transcript, of a judgment from a court of record, from the State of Iowa that the said defendant is justly indebted to the plaintiff in the Sum of two hundred and seventy five dollars and 27 cents

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court here that the Said Franklin Hall to the use of William P. Cowles recover of

[p. 92:]

the Said John M. Phipps the said sum of Two hundred and Seventy five dollars and 27 cents Together with the costs and charges in this suit expended. And it is ordered that execution may issue

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 130:

John Elsworth Plaintiff
against
John M Phipps Defendant
Attachment in a civil action
June 1st, AD 1860

Now at this day comes John Elsworth, the plaintiff in the above entitled cause, before the undersigned clerk of the circuit Court of Nodaway County, in vacation, and files his petition and affidavit, Stating among other things that the above named defendant John M. Phipps, is a non resident of this State. It is therefore ordered by the clerk aforesaid, in Vacation that publication be made notifying him that an action has been commenced against him by petition and attachment, in the circuit Court of Nodaway County in the State of Missouri, founded on an account and damages claimed by the plaintiff against the defendant for non performance of a contract, both amounting to the Sum of Three hundred and Eighty one dollars and 40 cents, that his property is about to be attached, and that unless he be and appear at the next term of said court at the court House in Maryville in Said County of Nodaway, and on or before the third day of Said Term (if the term Shall So long continue, and if not then before the end of the term) judgment will be rendered against him, and his property Sold to Satisfy the Same. It is further ordered that a copy hereof be published in the Maryville Reporter a newspaper published in Said county of Nodaway, for four weeks Successively, the last insertion to be at least four weeks before the commencement of the next term of this court
Jas B. Prather Clerk

In the 1860 census on 6 July 1860, John appears as a farmer in Dodge Township, Boone County, Iowa. Note that his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phipps was living a short distance away. The ages of both John and Eli are in error in this census.

From the 1860 census, Dodge Township, Boone County, Iowa, with post office at Ridgeport, 6 July 1860:

354/288:

  • John M. Phipps, 42 [born about 1818] male, farmer, real estate [blank], personal estate $500, born Virginia
  • Mary [looks like “May”] Phipps, 35 [born about 1825], female, born North Carolina
  • Mathew Phipps, 18 [born about 1842], male, born Illinois
  • Margret Phipps, 11 [born about 1849], female, born Iowa
  • Hiram J. Phipps, 9 [born about 1851], male, born Iowa
  • John P. Phipps, 7 [born about 1853], male, born Iowa
  • Mary Phipps, 5 [born about 1855], female, born Iowa
  • Malina Phipps, 2 [born about 1858], female, born Missouri
  • S.A. Phipps, 3 months [born 1860], female, born Kansas

357/290:

  • G. W. Conner, 23, male, farmer, -/$200, born born Indiana
  • Caroline Conner, 23, female, born Indiana
  • Columbus Conner, 4, male, born Iowa
  • Mary J. Conner, 1, female, born Iowa
  • Eli Phipps, 42 [born about 1818], male, farmer, real estate $2000, personal estate $1000, born Virginia

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C p. 269:

[Note: Regarding this record, see the change of venue from Nodaway County was noted above, from 2 May 1860, which was considered still part of the April Term, Nodaway County Book B, p. 84.]

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery Note

On Motion of Circuit Attorney this Cause is placed at the foot of the Docket –

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 271:

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M Phipps
Forgery No 1 –

On Defendants application this cause is continued until court in c[?]

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

On Defendants application this cause is continued until court in c[?]

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 272:

October Term 1860 –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 1 –

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney and the Defendant being solemnly called to come into Court in discharge of his Recognizance, came not, but made Default and A [T?] Jenkins, [A.? or 
W.?] [T.?] Walker, Caleb S. [Burns? or Burrus?] and Redman Wilfley his cognizors, though solemnly called to come into court and bring with them the body of the said John M. Phipps, in discharge of their Recognizance, came not but made Default thereupon it is considered that the said Recognizance be and the Same is hereby forfeited – with leave to set the same aside by the appearance of the parties in this court on the first day of the next term thereof

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney, and the Defendant though Solemnly Called to come into court in Discharge of his Recognizance came not but made Default, and A. [T.?] Jenkins and Samuel A. Trowen [or Trower?], his cognizors though Solemnly called to come into Court and bring with them the body of the Said John M. Phipps in discharge of their Recognizance came not but made Default, whereupon it is considered that the said recognizance be and the same is hereby forfeited – with leave to set the same aside by the appearance of the parties in this court on the first day of the next term thereof

[Note: For more regarding the above, see Holt County Book C, p. 338, April Term 1861, below.]

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, pp. 178-179:

[p. 178:]

October 30th October Term 1860 Second day . . .

H Griffey
against
John M Phipps
Attachment

Now comes the plaintiff and dismisses his suit herein

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that defendant recover of plaintiff the Costs and charges in this Suit expended: for which execution may issue

[p. 179:]

John Elsworth
Against
John M. Phipps
Attachment

Now comes the plaintiff by his attorney, and dismisses his Suit herein

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court here that defendant recover of plaintiff and D L Elsworth & D B Morlan his Security the Costs and Charges in this suit expended; for which execution may issue

1861

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, pp. 338-339:

[p. 338:]

April Term 1861 –

State of Missouri
County of Holt SS

At a circuit Court begun and held at the Court House in Oregon in Holt County within the 12th judicial Circuit Court Missouri Monday April 12th present
Hon. Silas Woodson Judge
R.G. Emerson Sheriff
E. Van Buskirk, Clerk
when the following Proceedings were had and done to wit . . .

Ordered that Alexander Davis be and he is hereby appointed Circuit Attorney pro. tem to prosecute the Indictment of the State against J. M. Phipps.

State of Missouri
Against
John M Phipps
Forgery No 1

Now here comes the Circuit Attorney Pro Tem who prosecutes for and on behalf of the State, and the Defendant being Solemnly called to Come into Court in discharge of his recognizance came not but makes default, and [A. T.?] Jenkins, and Saml. A. Trower his cognizers being duly called to come into court and bring with them the body of John M. Phipps in discharge of their recognizance came not but make default. It is therefore considered and adjudged that [Said?] Recognizance of the said John M. Phipps, and of the said A. [T.?] Jenkins and Saml A Trower his Recognisors be and they are hereby forfeited, And it is hereby Ordered that a [? (presumably Scire)] Facias Issue made returnable at the next term of this Court. –

State of Missouri
Against
John M. Phipps
Forgery No 2 –

Now here comes the circuit Attorney Pro Tem who prosecutes for and on behalf of the state and the Defendant being Solemnly called to come into court in discharge of his Recognizance comes not but makes default And A [T?] Jenkins and Samuel A. Trower his cognizors, being duly called to come into court And bring with them the body of John M. Phips [sic] in discharge of their Recognizance came not but made default. It is therefore considered and

[p. 339:]

adjudges that Said Recognizance of the Said John M. Phipps and the said A [T.?] Jenkins and Saml. A. Trower be and the same are hereby forfeited, and that Scire Facias Issue made Returnable at the next Term of this court.

From Nodaway County, Missouri Court Records Book B, p. 233:

May 2nd April Term 1861 Fourth Day . . .

John Elsworth
vs
John M Phipps

Plaintiff has leave to withdraw papers Sued over

1862

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 397:

April Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Grand Larceny

Now [here?] on motion of circuit Attorney Aliases are hereby ordered to Issue, and cause continued until court in cause

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, p. 398:

April Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Grand Larceny –

Now here Comes the Circuit Attorney who prosecutes for And on behalf of the state, and on his motion it is Ordered that Aliases Issue herein, and cause continued until next court –

From Holt County, Missouri Court Records Book C, pp. 462-463

[p. 462:]

October Term 1862 – . . .

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Forgery No 1 –

On motion of Circuit Attorney it is hereby Ordered that An Alias Scire Facias be Issued against Defendants John M. Phipps and A. J. Jenkins and Samuel A. Trower directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway County, made Returnable at the next term of this Court until which time this cause is continued –

State of Missouri
Against
J. M. Phipps & others
Forgery No 2.

On motion of Circuit Attorney it is hereby ordered that an alias Scire Facias be Issued against Defendants John M. Phipps and A. J. Jenkins

[p. 463:]

and Samuel A. Trower directed to the Sheriff of Nodaway County made Returnable at the next term of this court, until which time this cause is continued –

Note: Samuel A. Trower was presumably the Samuel Trower who is listed in the 1860 census in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri on 2 June 1860. Trower was a merchant who was born in Virginia about 1820. His real estate was worth $1,000, and his personal estate $2,000. A.J. Jenkins was likely Andrew Jenkins, another Maryville merchant. He appears in the same census on 14 June 1860, and was born about 1816 in Kentucky. At the time, he had real estate worth $20,000 and personal estate worth $10,000. Why these men were, evidently, willing to go out on a limb for John Meshack Phipps is unclear.

Further research may turn up later information about the forgery issue. Whether John was able to evade the issue by his delaying tactics and by moving is, at this point, unclear.

1864

On 2 February 1864, John M. Phipps was presumably living at Independence, Missouri. That’s the date on which the death certificate of his son Albert S. Phipps indicates that he was born at Independence. John’s name appears on that certificate as John N. Phipps, an error for John M. Phipps. Independence is in Jackson County.

1865

In 1865, John’s siblings evidently believed he was in Iowa. The following is an affidavit in the probate packet (packet 642) of his father Jesse in Putnam County, Missouri:

In the matter of Jesse Phipps Estate,

State of Missouri,
County of Putnam,
ss.

Michael Creamer says that to the best of his Knowledge and belief, the names of the heirs of the said Jesse Phipps are respectively as follows: – George Phipps, residence unknown; Jesse Phipps, who resides in Illinois, Shadrach Phipps, in Iowa, John M. Phipps, in Iowa, David Phipps, in Oregon, that the said Jesse Phipps, died without a will, that he will make a perfect inventory of, and faithfully administer said estate, & pay the debts as far as the assets will extend and the law direct, and account for and pay all assets which shall come to his [? (looks like “paeseion,” presumably possession)] or Knowledge.

[signed] Michl. Creamer

1870

John appears in the 1870 census in Ft. Osage Township, Jackson County, Missouri. He was listed on 15 August 1870 as John “Philips,” with his occupation left blank. This might have been around the time when underground stables for stolen horses were being operated by the gang in the area and when he was personally acquainted with Jesse James. The misspelling in his name may have been deliberate on John’s part.

From the 1870 census, Fort Osage Township, Jackson County, Missouri, with post office at Napoleon City, Missouri, 15 August 1870, p. 33, #231/231:

  • John Philips, 54 [born about 1816], male, white, real estate [blank], personal estate [blank], born Virginia
  • Mary Philips, 46 [born about 1824], female, white, born North Carolina
  • [page break – p. 34 – same date]
  • Hiraim [J?[ Philips, 17 [born about 1853], male, white, farm laborer, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Preston Philips, 16 [born about 1854], male, white, farm laborer, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Mary Philips, 14 [born about 1856], female, white, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Melvina Philips, 12 [born about 1858], female, white, born Missouri, attended school
  • Laura B Philips, 8 [born about 1862], female, white, born Kansas, attended school
  • Albert Philips, 6 [born about 1864], male, white, born “Ioway,” attended school
  • Hattie Philips, 15 [born about 1855], female, white, born Missouri

From the Funeral of Eli Shadrack Phipps

Sources refer to John Meshack Phipps and his twin brother Eli Shadrack Phipps, sons of Jesse and Jennie (Spurlin) Phips or Phipps, as outlaws in their younger days. Later in life, however, this had changed radically. According to their extensive newspaper coverage, John experienced what was termed a “Methodist conversion,” and Eli was said to be a regular church-goer. The following was read at the funeral of Eli Shadrack Phipps in 1911:

From the Press-Democrat, Hennessey, Oklahoma, 10 March 1911, p. 4:

From John Phipps Age 108 Years

The following was received from John the twin brother of Eli Phipps and read at his funeral, the brother not being able to be present.

Since we have had to part dear brother
I recollect you giving me your hand,
May the Heavens protect you wherever you stand.
May the Heavens protect you wherever you be.
And that you with your wife you so longed to see.
And your mother, father, sister and brothers that’s gone before,
May you meet them on that beautiful shore.

Now dear children I’ll give you good advise [sic; advice]
Step out of self and step into Christ
And His will all the rest of your life
And when you’r[e] dieing [sic; dying] I’m sure you can say,
I’ll be with my Savior this very day.

Phibbs: Ireland and Virginia

More regarding the last post: A couple years ago, we noted an investigation on 17 November 1652 in Surry County, Virginia into a dead man’s body which was found in John Bishop’s Creek. One of the men on what must have been the equivalent of a coroner’s jury was “Mr. John Phibbs.”

Surry County, where this occurred, was adjacent to James City County, with the latter having been named for Jamestown. Jamestown is where John “Phips” and William Harris immigrated as surveyors in 1621. Surry County is where Elizabeth Harris then appeared with a son named John Phips in 1657.

Brunswick County, a place we’ve returned to in posts again and again, was then formed part of Surry County in 1732. This is the location where we find the Joseph Phipps who was researched by Mrs. Howard Woodruff in 1972. She believed that he was probably the brother of Benjamin Phipps, found in Albemarle Parish (formed in Sussex County in 1738), and in records in Sussex County (formed from part of Surry County in 1753-1754).

So who is this John “Phibbs” who was in Surry County in 1652? Is this just a quirk of the pen, or a different family, or was it considered a legitimate spelling of the surname of the same family? If so, could it connect in any way to the family detailed in the 1899 edition of Burke’s A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland?

There, the family of Owen Phibbs of Corradoo, County Roscommon, with connections to County Sligo, is discussed. His family appears in that volume with the SAME coat of arms pictured as that attested to much earlier by Francis Phips during the visitations of Berkshire.

Burke traces the Irish Phibbs line back to a list pertaining to a loan to Queen Elizabeth in 1589, when the name was given as “Phillips.” Then the following year, two brothers left England for Ireland, where they arrived as soldiers. In 1616 and 1619, these two brothers are listed in records as “Phipps.”

These two brothers, according to Burke, were William and Richard. William Phipps moved to County Cork. Burke noted that in southwest Cork, the name could still be found in 1899, then written as “ffibbs.”

Richard, on the other hand, lived at Kilmainham, Dublin. He is said by Burke to have served under Sir Tobias Caulfield and to have received a pension in 1619 as a maimed soldier. Richard died in 1629 and is buried at St. James’ Church in Dublin.

Then around 1765, it is said by Burke, some family members, apparently younger members of the family as descended from both of those brothers (although that’s not entirely clear), resumed using the “Phipps” spelling.

Earlier, however, the Richard Phipps who we just mentioned above was the father of Edward Phipps. According to Burke, he was the ancestor of Rev. Joshua Phipps, born 1711, who married Mary Mercer and who died in 1750 at Carlow.

This Joshua was likely related in some way, it would seem, to Rev. John Phipps who attended Trinity College in Dublin, where he received a degree in 1730. In 1746 he came to America. He was ministering in Virginia by 1747, which was when he performed a christening in Overwharton Parish, which was in Stafford and King George Counties.

Rev. John Phipps also was a tutor to the children of John Mercer in Virginia. As already noted, Rev. Joshua Phipps of Ireland married Mary Mercer, presumably in Ireland, and as just stated, Rev. John Phipps left Dublin, Ireland for Virginia, where he served as a tutor for another Mercer, that being John Mercer.

This, by the way, may have brought him into the social circle associated with not only John Mercer, who was a lawyer and land speculator born in Dublin, Ireland, but also George Mason and George Washington. Land speculation, or at least rumors and hints of it, have been noted in the Phips or Phipps family in America, going back to the immigrant surveyor John Phips.

We’ve noted various associations between the Phipps or Phips family of southern Virginia and the Cocke or Cook family. John Mercer was a close friend of a certain Catesby Cocke, clerk of Fairfax County, Virginia in northern Virginia. Regarding the Mercer and Mason connection, some unconfirmed claims connect the Mason family with Matthew Phripp, the enigmatic Norfolk, Virginia merchant we’ve discussed who evidently was sometimes called Phipps (however spelled).

It appears that perhaps his family changed its name from Phipps to Phripp, and that closely associated families changed their name from Taylor to Tayloe and from Walker to Walke. (Huh?)

The Edward Phipps, ancestor of Rev. Joshua Phipps, who was mentioned above, had a brother, Richard Phipps or Ffibs, Jr, of Coote’s Horse. Evidently this refers to a regiment under Richard Coote, who was born in Ireland and who served as a colonial governor. In 1659 Richard received a land grant in County Sligo in which his name is spelled both as Phibbs and as ffibs. He served in Lord Collooney’s Regiment in Capt. ffrancis King’s troop of horse. (One has to wonder whether there could be any connection to Col. William Phipps of Lincolnshire, who is said to have “raised a regiment of horse” for Charles I. Charles reigned from 1625 to 1649.)

Sources:

More About Warlike Proclivities

The last post, titled “Warlike Proclivities,” briefly looked at an early 20th century newspaper article about John Meshack Phipps. John’s direct lineage appears to be as follows:

  • John Meshack Phipps, born 1812, died 1916 Farragut, Fremont County, Iowa
  • Jesse Phipps, born about 1786-1788, died 1865 Putnam County, Missouri
  • Samuel Phips or Phipps, born about 1760-1763, died 1854 Ashe County, North Carolina
  • apparently Samuel Phips or Phipps, Sr., who likely died about 1781-1800 in Wilkes County, North Carolina or Montgomery County, Virginia, however the area was defined at the time
  • likely lineage back to John Phips, immigrant surveyor of Jamestown, who appears likely to have died in York County, Virginia in or just before 1679, or to someone closely related to him

The last post noted the following, from the Daily East Oregonian, Pendleton, Oregon, 4 August 1916, p. 7: “Mr. Phipps sprang from an English ancestry that was noted for longevity, prowess and warlike proclivities.” This suggests that perhaps we should revisit an earlier post, from several years ago, titled “The Warlike Phibbs/Phipps Clan?

That post focused on a family of County Sligo in Ireland usually known as “Phibbs,” but which also identified itself as “Phipps.” As we noted in another earlier post, titled “Phipps/Phibbs Family of County Sligo, Ireland,” the family has used the same coat of arms as the “Phipps” family associated with Francis Phipps of Reading, Berkshire, England, the coat of arms which was attested to by Francis himself during the heraldic visitations of Berkshire.

In spite of claims in some family “crest” advertising, this coat of arms consists of 8 mullets surrounding a trefoil, topped by a crest consisting of a dismembered lion’s leg holding aloft yet another trefoil. The only colors involved are white and silver, with the silver frequently being represented by white.

The earlier “Warlike” post referred to some claims which would require more research to either confirm or deny. That post noted, however, that the Berkshire line is said to derive from Lincolnshire, and the Sligo line is said to also derive from Lincolnshire. We’ve noted (as recounted in that post) the possibility of connections between the Irish family, on the one hand, and a certain Rev. John Phipps who came from Ireland to Stafford County, Virginia in 1746.

We also referred to unconfirmed claims regarding the emigration of three Phibbs brothers from Ireland to America in 1753, plus the factor that the Phibbs family in County Sligo appears to have intentionally called itself Phipps at times. We also noted a vague family legend among descendants of Mathew Phips or Phipps, brother of John Meshack Phips or Phipps, that the immigrant ancestor came from Ireland.

In a garbled form of that legend, the immigrant ancestor landed at Newport News, Virginia, which appears to have been a logical landing spot, near Jamestown, for the migration of the surveyor John Phips in 1621. The garbled version also claims that the immigrant ancestor was Jesse Phips or Phipps, in the list above as son of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina. That is quite impossible, but family stories frequently mix together related but disparate facts.

The earlier post also referred to a Phibbs listing appearing in an online source which calls the Phibbs family a “warrior-like clan originating from Ireland.” Again, John Meshack Phipps was said in 1916 to spring from “an English ancestry . . . noted for . . . warlike proclivities,” and the Irish family is said to derive from England.

Since genealogical reference materials were much harder to access in 1916 than today, especially in a small town in Oregon, can we assume that this claim came from John himself, who received it from his family? In the newspaper article, the claim is immediately followed by one regarding his maternal grandfather, which story must have come from his family. As the earlier post noted, a popular Irish saying supposedly asserts that one should “never cross a Phibbs.”

One must wonder about these three supposed “Phibbs” brothers who are said to have emigrated from Ireland to America in or around 1753. This is said to have resulted from an intense English hatred for the clan, which some being killed, others banished. Is there any truth to any of this? If so, could it connect to any of the following?:

  • The persistent family legend, despite the clear pedigree as listed above back through Samuel Phips, Jr., that an immigrant arrived in the 18th century (1700s)
  • The family legend which connects that individual with a fight in England, in which he supposedly killed someone of prominence, then fled to America
  • The appearance of an earlier Samuel Phips or Phipps (Samuel Sr.) in the Montgomery County, Virginia/Wilkes County, North Carolina area, with no evidence found so far which appears to connect him with any earlier location in America

Perhaps the idea that any of this could connect to an Ireland to America “Phibbs” migration is completely untenable, but who knows? Could Samuel Sr. have been the immigrant ancestor? Could he have come to America because he already had family there? And if he was on the run, to what extent could his emigration have been noted in records? As noted in a recent post, Samuel Phipps, Sr. would appear to have been the man who entered land in Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1779.

Then about 1781, the area appears to have been redefined for a short time as constituting part of Montgomery County, Virginia, where Samuel Sr. and Jr. appear in an undated militia list, probably dated 1781. From then on, Samuel Phipps, Sr. disappears, and Samuel Jr. and his father in law George Reeves appear in records. We also noted in various posts, including a recent one, how various strings of family connections and social connections suggest that this George Reeves was likely at least somewhat related to an earlier George Reeves who married a Phipps in England and then died in Virginia, after deserting her.

We’ve noted various records which suggest that an amazing set of relationships and associations appeared to connect the British Isles, the Caribbean, and Virginia/North Carolina over a long period of time, as far as the Phipps family and associated families, including Reeves and Jeaffreson/Jefferson, are concerned. We also know that the family holds secrets.

Perhaps no one would ever have suspected the secrets that John held, that he was once a prominent member of an outlaw gang, along with his Long relatives and with his extremely well-documented involvement in the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, Illinois (apparently hiding out while masquerading as a Mormon), if unusual events connected with the murder of Col. Davenport in 1845 wouldn’t have revealed this to the world. Even then, apparent connections back to the 18th century (1700s) Virginia counterfeiting and horse stealing network perhaps never became clear until recent research.

Samuel Phips, Sr. appears to have been connected in some way with John Fips of Lunenburg and later Charlotte Counties, Virginia, with connections back to Brunswick County, Virginia. Could some immigrant have entered the picture at some point in the 18th century, however, someone who had maintained family ties in America before his leaving Ireland or England – or even via the Caribbean, due to the intense trade involvement which had Phipps family members and associates sailing back and forth continually?

Perhaps that’s a crazy thought, but this family has been anything but predictable. This family obviously has held secrets. Who knows what other secrets the family may hold?