Lewis Phipps: An 1812 Georgia Marriage License

The following marriage license is a loose (unbound) document found in a “marriage box” covering 1809-1812 in Elbert County, Georgia:

Elbert County

THESE are to authorize and permit you to join in the Honorable State of MATRIMONY Lewis Phipps of the one part, and Miss Patcy Faulkner of the other part, according to the rites of your Church, provided there be no lawful cause to obstruct the same, and this shall be your authority for so doing. Given under my hand as Clerk of the Court of Ordinary of the County aforesaid, this 22nd of Decr. 1812
A Pope C. C. O. [i.e. Clerk of Court of Ordinary]

To any Minister of the Gospel, Judge, Justice of the Inferior Court, or Justice of the Peace to celebrate.

I DO hereby certify that Lewis Phipps and Patcey Faulkner were joined together in the Holy Bonds of Matrimony by me on the [?] 22nd day of Decr. 1812
Thos Cook JP [i.e. Justice of the Peace]

Take Notice that you return this Licence Certifying the date of its Execution [which was completed above]

The back reads as follows:

Lewis Phipps
Patsey Faulkner
M L [i.e. Marriage License] 1812


More About Lewis Phipps in Elbert County, Georgia

From Elbert County, Georgia Will Book, 1812-1816:

p. 32:

Marriages viz, (Recorded the 26th March 1813) . . .
Lewis Phipps & Patsey Faulkner were Married on the 22d. Decr. 1812 By Thos. Cook J.P. [i.e. Justice of the Peace]
Wm. Woods C.C.C. [i.e. County Court Clerk, presumably]

p. 59:

Return of Lewis Phipps Guardn. for John & Jas. Faulkner Orphans of James Faulkner decd. Dr.
To the Hire of a Negroe Girl for the Year 1814 – 36.25
To the rent of a plantation for the Same Year – 6.06 1/4
[Total:] $42.31 1/4
Elbert County
Court of Ordinary Jany. Term 1814 –
Lewis Phipps being duly Sworn Saith the above is a Just & true return of his Guardianship for the Orphans of James Faulkner decd. Sworn to in Open Court this 4th Jany. 1814 & Ordered to be recorded
Lewis Phipps
Test [witnessed by] Wm. Woods C.C.C. Recorded the 6th Jany. 1814 Wm. Woods C.C.C.

p. 147:

Return of John Faulkner Excr. [or Exer.? for Executor] of the last Will and Testament of James Faulkner decd. for 1814 – Dr.
1811 – To Said Estate for the Hire of Negro Girl Hannah for yr. 1811 – 36.–
1812 – Recd. of R[n?]. Brown for the Hire of Negro Girl Hannah for yr. 1812 – 25.–
1813 – To Lewis Phipps Note for the Hire of Hannah for yr. 1813 – 30.–
[Total:] $91.– . . .

p. 258:

Return of Lewis Phipps Guardn. for John & Jas. Faulkner minors of James Faulkner decd. –
viz, – The Said Guardn. Dr. for the hire of one Negroe Girl for the yr. 1815 – $40.00
Do – to the Rent of the plantation for the year 1815 – 10.00
By Cash paid tax for year 1814 pr. [i.e. as per] Recpt. .68 cts
” do do Wm. Woods C.C.O. [i.e. County Court officer?] recording Return pr. Rect. .50 cts
[Total:] $1.18
Copy of Recpt.
Recd. of Lewis Phipps for the Heirs of James Faulkner Tax for 1814 $0.68 cts. Signd. John Willis T.C. [i.e. Tax Clerk?]

Recd. of Lewis Phipps Guardian of Jo[n?]o. & James Faulkner minors of Jas. Faulkner, decd. fifty Cents for recording his return this 4th Jany. 1814 Signd. Wm. Woods C.C.O.

Elbert County
Court of Ordinary Jany. Term 1816
Personally appeard. in open Court Lewis Phipps and after Being duly Sworn Saith that the within return is Just and true. Sworn to this 22nd Jany. 1816, Lewis Phipps
Ordered to be Recorded
Job Weston C.C.O. Recorded the 15th Feby. 1816 Job Weston C.C.O.

p. 292:

Return of Lewis Phipps Guardian for John & James Faulkner Minors of James Faulkner dcd. [i.e. deceased]
Lewis Phipps to hire one Negroe – $40.00
Ths. [or Tho.?] I [or J?] Gregory rent Land – $10.00
Credits [total:] $50.00
Recd. of Lewis Phipps four dollars fee for Obtaing [sic] Letters of Guardianship for John Faulkner & James Faulkner Minors of James Faulkner decd. 1st March 1813 (signd.) Geo. Cook
Court of Ordinary July Term 1816
Lewis Phipps being duly Sworn Saith that the Within Return is Just & true to the best of my Knowledge & belief Sworn in open Court
Ordered to be Recorded
Job Weston C.C.O. Recorded the 5th July 1816 Job Weston C.C.O.

James Phipps, Born About 1790, North Carolina to Georgia

James Phipps was born about 1790 in North Carolina, according to the 1850 census. His wife Sarah was also born in North Carolina, but around 1800, according to the same source. The family moved into Madison County, Georgia by the time of the 1840 census.

From the 1840 census, Madison County, Georgia:

  • Free white males
    • 1 5-10
    • 1 10-15
    • 1 50-60 [born about 1780-1790]
  • Free white females
    • 1 5-10
    • 1 15-20
    • 1 40-50 [born about 1790-1800]

This same family then appears in the 1850 census in the same county. Relationships are not stated in the 1850 census, but Morrison, as listed below, was 21, and it can be assumed that the older couple he was living with, James and Sarah Phipps, were his parents.

From the 1850 census, 25 November 1850, 56th subdivision, Madison County, Georgia, #629/629:

  • James Phipps, 60 [born about 1790], male, farmer, born North Carolina
  • Sarah Phipps, 50 [born about 1800], female, [occupation blank], born North Carolina, could not read and write
  • Morrison M Phipps, 21 [born about 1829], male, farmer, born North Carolina

In 1857 in Madison County, Georgia, Berry M. Thompson applied for letters of administration as to the estate of Morrison Phipps. Morrison Phipps had been living in Madison County but was deceased by 25 December 1856, which is when a legal notice pertaining to Thompson’s application appeared in an Athens, Georgia newspaper, The Southern Banner.

Thompson was made administrator of the estate, as noted in another legal notice in the same paper, dated 4 August 1859 but published 4 August 1859. In that notice, Phipps is called Morrison M. Phipps. Thompson was applying for a final discharge as administrator of the estate.

We don’t know why Morrison died at such an early age. If he died in 1856, he would only have been about 27 years old. Perhaps probate data in Madison County could clear up the mystery.

Who was his father James Phipps? Because Madison County, Georgia is adjacent to Elbert County, Georgia, it can be assumed that some connection likely existed between this family and others named Phipps who were in Elbert County early on.

We’ve discussed a Lewis Phipps, for example, who was in Elbert County, Georgia by 1799, and who was directly involved with Ambrose Witcher, who seems to have been related to Ephraim Witcher. You will recall from other posts that Betsy Phips or Fips, the daughter of John Phips or Fips who died about 1769 in Charlotte County, Virginia, married Ephraim.

Ephraim moved into Surry County, North Carolina, and his son Taliaferro Witcher lived in Ashe County for a time.  The Taliaferro name is pronounced like Toliver, and is probably derived from the Toliver/Taliaferro family with whom descendants of Samuel Phips of Ashe County intermarried. Samuel Phips himself testified on behalf of the Revolutionary War pension application file of his friend Jesse Toliver, and Jesse’s granddaughter Mathursa Toliver married Samuel’s grandson Mathew Phips, who disappeared from Clay and Owen Counties, Indiana in 1841.

Much more research is needed in order to precisely identify the relationship between Lewis Phipps of Elbert County, Georgia, on the one hand, and his apparent connections through his associate William Bradley into Wreck Island Creek in Campbell County, Virginia and the “Phelps” family, on the other. Past posts have noted Wreck Island Creek “Phelps” records which look likely to connect to “Phipps” or “Phips.”

More research could also perhaps answer the question of whether it was simply coincidence that two men were named Lewis Phipps, each one married to a woman named Tabitha, one in Elbert County, Georgia and the other in Cumberland County, Virginia.

Presumably the Lewis who was in Elbert County, Georgia was the same individual who later surfaces in Lawrence County, Indiana, where descendants of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina also settled.

A web page about the Higginbotham family, linked below, refers to a 1798 Elbert County, Georgia deed from “Phipps” (without given name stated) to Francis Higginbotham, adjoining William “Brandley.” This was doubtless the William Bradley who is mentioned above and who was discussed in past posts linked below. A past post noted that earlier, in 1797, Lewis Phipps bought land in Elbert County, Georgia from John Staples adjoining Francis Higginbotham.

Lewis Phipps witnessed the 1799 will of William Bradley. The will names a grandson named George Stovall. Stovalls were closely associated with the Learwoods, and Dorothy Learwood is named in the 1747 of John “Phelps,” Sr. of Goochland County, Virginia. That will was dated, again, 1747, and 5 years earlier in the same county two orphans referred to as “ffipps” were bound out as apprentices there, without the parents being identified. They were bound to a Burton (Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina married a Reeves whose father married, apparently secondly, a Burton).

Although unconfirmed online material from various genealogists make conflicting claims, it appears that William Bradley may have come from Bedford County, Virginia. This is a place we’ve associated with the Phipps family and which was created from Lunenburg County. It also appears that William Bradley may have bought land on Wreck Island Creek in Campbell County, Virginia in 1800 from a James “Phelps” and wife Elizabeth. Not only is there the Phelps name again, but this James “Phelps,” who was selling this land in Virginia, was of Elbert County, Georgia.

See also:

Epps, Evans, and Reeves Connections

John Epps AKA John Evans was born perhaps, as a guesstimate, around 1735, according to secondary sources. He is said to have been “apparently the illegitimate son of a member of the Epps and Evans families.”

This individual has been traced to Lunenburg County, Virginia where, in 1751 and 1752, he was referred to as John Evans. According to the web page just cited, which seems to come from Heinegg’s book, John Evans was called John Epps when he testified in a trial in 1752, but John Evans when he was paid in January of the following year for his participation in that trial.

John Fips or Phips, who appears to have been related in some way to Samuel Phips of Montgomery County, Virginia, Wilkes County, North Carolina, and eventually Ashe County, North Carolina, was in Lunenburg County, Virginia before showing up in Charlotte County, Virginia records, apparently because of a county boundary change. Descendants of this John Phips then show up in Surry and Ashe Counties in North Carolina (Samuel lived in Ashe County) and later in Lawrence County, Indiana (descendants of Samuel lived there as well).

Numerous past posts have noted the close relationship between Samuel Phips and George Reeves. Both men show up in Montgomery County, Virginia and Wilkes County, North Carolina before 1800. From that point Samuel appears in Ashe County, North Carolina records and George Reeves in adjacent Grayson County, Virginia, except when Samuel Phips is discussed for a time as an heir of George Reeves in Grayson County, Virginia records.

Numerous posts have also noted various indirect connections from this Phips or Phipps family to the Epps (Epes, Eppes, etc.) family. Samuel Phips married Elizabeth (“Betty”) Reeves, daughter of George Reeves. George Reeves, in turn, was noted as living in Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1793, but while living there was an heir of John Epps in Halifax County, Virginia. Halifax County was, according to Wikipedia, “established in 1752 by English colonists from Lunenburg County.”

Again, John Epps (was it the same John Epps?) was also known as John Evans. A web page about the Evans family mentions several important Wilkes County, North Carolina records. The page focuses in particular on Theophilus Evans. He shows up in records in Montgomery County, Virginia, Wilkes County, North Carolina, and eventually Ashe County, North Carolina as does Samuel Phips.

Records show Theophilus Evans as involved with some of the same people as was the Samuel Phips family, such as Enoch Osborn, Wells Ward, the Landreths, the Baldwins, and the Maxwells. In 1795, Theophilus Evans sold land to Jesse “Reves” (Reeves), whose land was adjacent to that of one of the Maxwells. The deed was witnessed by Samuel Phips. (Theophilus Evans sold more land to Jesse “Reves” in 1796).

Then in 1799, some sort of case arose in which Jesse “Reaves” (Reeves) sued Theophilus Evans. This Jesse Reeves was likely the individual of that name who was a son of George Reeves, Samuel Phips’s father in law.

Theophilus Evans is believed to have been the father of Barnabas Evans. As noted in a past post, a sale of property from the estate of Barnabas Evans was held in Ashe County in 1855. Among the buyers were Enoch and George “Reaves” (Reeves), this being a later George, along with Wilborn Phipps, grandson of Samuel Phips.

A.B. Cox, in his 1900 regional history Foot Prints on the Sands of Time, refers to David Edwards as having married “Mrs. Jane Reeves, widow of George Reeves.” This was apparently George Reeves, Jr., son of the George Reeves who was Samuel Phips’s father in law. That Jane was supposedly a daughter of Enoch Osborn and Jane Hash, both of whom were closely affiliated with the Samuel Phips family. Apparently Theophilus Evans acted as security when David Edwards was appointed constable in 1795 in Wilkes County (see here).

A point which will only bear significance if examined in the context of a number of past posts is the fact that an Evans, a certain Thomas Evans, was suspected of horse stealing. According to an ad placed on 28 January 1778 by William Michell in the Virginia Gazette, Michell had a horse stolen from his plantation in Goochland County. (We’ve noted numerous Goochland County connections in past posts.)

Michell noted, “I suspect one Thomas Evans, a [small?] Man, and much pockpitted, who I understand lived as Miller for one Bird Pruit, either in Bedford, Pittsylvania, or Halifax, last summer.” Bedford and Pittsylvania are both counties we’ve encountered a number of times, and Halifax was the county where the Epps/Evans family was located at the time that George Reeves was an heir.

One has to wonder whether this William “Michell” of Goochland County in 1778 could have been the William “Mitchell” who was in York County, on the coast, earlier. On 28 October 1773 in the Virginia Gazette, a notice appeared from John Dixon in York County which refers to William Mitchell, “under sheriff” for York County.

The notice itself is dated 16 October 1773. The notice is a bit confusingly worded, but seems to say that while Mitchell was sheriff there, a certain William Evans escaped from jail in April 1770 and again on 16 October 1773. Why he was in jail is not stated, but other mentions in the Virginia Gazette make it clear he was from Brunswick County. (We’ve noted a number of Phips connections involving Brunswick County and several counties to the west, with movement back and forth.)

Phipps Reunion, July 16, Independence, Virginia

Thanks to Carole Conrad for the following information about an upcoming reunion. Although not all of the historical information below is correct, many readers may genealogically connect to those ancestors who are mentioned. You may find this a good opportunity to meet and network with other family members.

Dear Phipps Family, Cousins and Friends:

You are invited to the 2017 PHIPPS Reunion!

Sunday, July 16, 2017
11 am – 3 pm
Meeting Room
115 Klondike Road
Independence, Virginia 24348
The VFW, with lots of parking space, is near the NC state line and 15 minutes from Sparta. RVs can be parked there.

Our PHIPPS REUNION is for ALL descendants of the three Phipps “Brothers”: Benjamin, Isaiah and Samuel, who moved to the Grayson County, Virginia / Ashe County, North Carolina / Alleghany County, North Carolina / Wilkes County, North Carolina area around the time of the American Revolution, for their brother John who also moved to the area for a short while and then went West, and for the other Phipps brothers: Joseph Jr., James Sr. and Aaron, who stayed in Alamance/Guilford County, North Carolina for that generation.

Schedule of Events

  • 11 am Out of towners and others may arrive to meet and greet
  • 12 pm – 1 pm Register, food set up, meet and greet
  • 1 pm – 2 pm lunch
  • 1 pm – 3 pm Latest Family Updates, discussion of Phipps veterans, Latest Phipps DNA results, Memorial to those we lost.
  • Prizes and games.
  • Hosts: Carole Conrad, Donald Conrad, Jane Phipps-Frazier plus many more


  • As you arrive please sign in, pick up your family packet, offer yearly donation (we suggest $3 per adult) and update your emailing/mailing information.
  • Please bring a covered main dish and/or veggie and/or dessert.
  • All beverages, plates, napkins, cups and silverware are supplied.
  • Introduction of all attendees and their families.
  • Please bring your pictures and stories for this past year.
  • New babies, grads, marriages, big birthdays, big anniversaries.
  • Phipps family history discussion.
  • Veterans: Phipps and cousins.
  • Please bring your pictures and stories.
  • History game/contest for children with prizes.
  • Missing cousins/relatives found. Please bring your stories and photos.
  • In Memoriam. Please bring us the memories of your loved ones who have left us.
  • Faraway cousins: Please bring their stories and pictures.
  • Poster boards of family lines and pictures on display. Bring your own, too!
  • Phipps authors and their books! Please bring yours.
  • Prizes for oldest, youngest, furthest travel, most family members attending in one family, cousins who are a Phipps the most times (our record is 3 so far!).
  • Please join us for the fun and honoring our ancestors!

Phipps Cemetery/old Phipps home sites visits

  • We can arrange a free tour for your family.
  • Please call Carole with any questions at 336-372-4454 or 336-572-0051 or email casuco@yahoo.com


  • We suggest the Grayson Inn, Independence, Virginia 276-773-3313 or 877-467-7144

Judith (Phypps) Faylor of North Carolina and Indiana

Christopher C. Faylor was born in 1818 (tombstone inscription), about 1818 in Ohio (1950 census), or about 1819 in Ohio (1880 census). He married Judith Phypps (inscription on their tombstone). She was born 1826 (tombstone inscription), about 1826 North Carolina (1850 and 1880 censuses). They married in 1842 at Germantown, Darke County, Ohio, according to web claims without any mention of any source or sources. A later Christopher Faylor does show up in census records in Darke County, Ohio.

Christopher appears as Christopher Faylor in the 1850 and 1880 censuses, but Judith appears as Judah Faylor in 1850 and as Judith Faylor in 1880. The family was living in German Township, Darke County, Ohio on 30 November 1850, where Christopher was a farmer. They were living in Kirkland Township, Adams County, Indiana on 3 June 1880, where Christopher was again a farmer. Adams County, Indiana is situated along the Ohio state line.

Christopher’s parents were born in Maryland according to the 1880 census. According to the same census, Judith’s parents were born in North Carolina. Christopher’s mother was likely the 75-year-old “Cathine” (presumably Catherine or Catharine) Faylor who was living with the family in the 1850 census. She was born about 1775 in Pennsylvania. Web posts without any mention of sources claim that she was Catherine Margaret, married to Michael “Failer.”

The 1880 census shows the family in Adams County, Indiana, with this “Cathine” Faylor. In April 1902, apparently in the circuit court in Decatur in that county, Peter Faylor brought a suit to have her declared of unsound mind. The case was dismissed in 1903 (“Divorce Day in the Court: Three Cases . . . ,” Bluffton Banner, Bluffton, Indiana, 7 October 1903, p. 2).

Then in 1909, however, Jake Stout and Peter Faylor assumed ownership of the “Katy Faylor” farm northwest of Decatur, Adams County, on the Wabash River. The two men were described as heirs who had been involved in “the long hard seven year fight for the farm” (“They Took Farm,” Decatur Democrat, 30 August 1909, pp. 1-2; see also “Big Case Up Again,” Decatur Democrat, 28 May 1909, p. 1; ; various other articles in area papers; State ex. rel. Mock et al. v. Bleeke et al., 116 N.E. 2, 1917).

Christopher died in 1887 and Judith in 1905, according to the inscription on their tombstone. They are buried in Prater Cemetery at Rensselaer, Jasper County, Indiana, according to a Billion Graves page which includes a photo of their tombstone. The tombstone refers to him as Christopher C. Faylor and to her as Judith Phypps.

Jasper County, Indiana, where they are buried, is in northwest Indiana, not far from Chicago.

From the 1850 census, German Township, Darke County, Ohio, 30 November 1850:

  • Christopher Faylor, 32 [born about 1818], male, farmer, real estate $1,500, born Ohio
  • Judah Faylor, 24 [born about 1826], female, born North Carolina, could not read and write
  • Sarah E Faylor, 7 [born about 1843], female, born Ohio
  • George R Faylor, 4 [born about 1846], male, born Ohio
  • [W. C.?] Faylor, 2 [born about 1848], male, born Ohio
  • Harvey N Faylor, 1 [born about 1849], male, born Ohio
  • Cathine [sic; as written] Faylor, 75 [born about 1775],. female, born Pennsylvania

From the 1880 census, Kirkland Township, Adams County, Indiana, 3 June 1880:

  • Christian Faylor, white male, 61 [born about 1819], married, farmer, born Ohio, his parents born Maryland
  • Judith Faylor, white female, 54 [born about 1826], wife, married, keeping house, born North Carolina, her parents born North Carolina
  • George Faylor, white male, 34 [born about 1846], son, single, farmer, born Ohio, his father born Ohio, his mother born North Carolina
  • William Faylor, white male, 32 [born about 1848], daughter, single, farmer, born Ohio, his father born Ohio, his mother born North Carolina
  • Susan Faylor, white female, 26 [born about 1854], daughter, single, born Ohio, her father born Ohio, her mother born North Carolina
  • Jarome Faylor, white male, 20 [born about 1860], son, single, farmer, born Ohio, his father born Ohio, his mother born North Carolina
  • John W Faylor, white male, 12 [born about 1868], son, single, attended school, born Ohio, his father born Ohio, his mother born North Carolina

More South Central Virginia Connections

Land survey, patent, and deed records appear to clearly associate two individuals. One is James Phips of Brunswick County, Virginia, with land in Halifax, later Henry, County. The other is John Fips or Phips of Charlotte County, Virginia, who left a 1769 estate there after having shown up earlier in Lunenburg County records, and who had clearly documented Brunswick County connections. (Lunenburg was formed from Brunswick, and in 1764 part of Lunenburg became Charlotte.)

A unifying factor regarding both men is the presence of a certain William Cook. He was probably of the same family we’ve discussed earlier whose name was often spelled Cocke, but pronounced Cook. (See Lunenburg County road orders, for instance.)

In 1767 in Charlotte County, John Fips or Phips sold William Cook land for £10, an amount which is low enough to suggest a possible family relationship. Then in 1784, James Phips sold land to David Barton, in a deed transcribed below. (We’ve discussed the deed earlier,l but based on an abstract.)

David Barton appears to have exercised power of attorney to distribute land to heirs of William Cook in 1784. This might have been not because of Cook’s death, but because he had moved out of the area.

Just before William Cook moved to “the Western Waters,” he received a letter of recommendation signed by Swinfield Hill. Swinfield Hill was one of the witnesses of the 1784 deed from James Phips to David Barton.

Around the time that John Phips or Fips was living in Lunenburg County (before the formation of Charlotte County) and listed with Tandy Walker, William Cook was in Lunenburg County and listed with Matthew Talbot. Talbot was a very close friend of John Phelps of Lunenburg County, who we’ve discussed earlier.

Various circumstantial factors suggest that this John Phelps could have been a relative of the Phips or Fips family. Matthew Talbot was, in turn, a close friend of Clement Read, who was involved with the settlement of the estate of John Fips or Phips in Charlotte County in 1769.

Again, in 1767, this John Fips or Phips had sold land in Charlotte County to William Cook. Then in 1784, William Cook was selling the rest of his land, including land he had bought from John Fips or Phips.

In that same year, James Phips of Brunswick County was getting rid of his land in what had been Halifax County but which was now Henry. He sold land to David Barton, as already noted. Then David Barton distributed land to heirs of William Cook, presumably Cook had moved west.

Matthew Talbot was actively involved in the Watauga Settlement, where it was suggested (as discussed in earlier posts) that the outlaw gang had hidden stolen slaves and horses, with one of the outlaws said to be a Cocke or Cooke.

Matthew Talbot later moved to Wilkes County, Georgia, adjacent to Elbert County. We’ve discussed the Phips or Phipps family in regard to these two locations in past posts. Tabitha Phipps, wife of Lewis, shows up in John Rowsey’s 1815 will in Wilkes County.

As has so often been the case, the Reeves family (as in George Reeves, father in law of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina) fits into all of this. George Reeves and Samuel Phips were associated together in Montgomery County, Virginia, then in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and then, from 1800 on, in adjacent Grayson County, Virginia and Ashe County, North Carolina, respectively.

Significantly, this George Reaves (Reeves) was named as an Epps heir in a 1793 deed in Halifax County, Virginia, which brings into connection with a family with various interrelationships with the Phips family earlier.

This Halifax County was, of course, the same county part of which became the Henry County of James Phips’ land. Frederick Reeves was associated with William Cook in Henry County, with the Potter family, which married into this same Phips family, and with Brunswick County (this Phips family’s apparent origin point) .

Here is a basic timeline of some important dates:

  • 1740s-1760s: John Phips or Fips appeared in tax lists in Lunenburg County, Virginia
  • 1753: 335 acres were surveyed, presumably by James Phips, in Halifax County
  • 1764: Charlotte County, Virginia was formed from Lunenburg County
  • 1767: John Phips of Charlotte County, Virginia sold land to William Cook of Halifax County, 210 acres on both sides of Pigg River at the mouth of Hatchet Run
  • 1769: John Fips, deceased, left an estate in Charlotte County
  • 1777: William Cook was associated with Frederick Reeves in Henry County (part of Halifax eventually became Henry), as both were recommended to be on the Commission of Peace for Henry County
  • 1777: William Cook of Henry County sold 20 acres to Peter Vardeman of Henry County, said by a researcher to be part of the 210 acres that William Cook bought from John Phips in 1767
  • 1778: William Cook of Henry County sold another 50 acres, this time to his son in law John Bohannon of Henry County, with the deed witnessed by Frederick Reeves
  • 1783: The 335 acres in Halifax County, surveyed in 1753, was now in Henry County (as explained in the land patent) and was patented to James Phips
  • 1784: James Phips of Brunswick County, Virginia sold the 335 acres in Henry (formerly Halifax) County to David Barton, with the deed witnessed by Swinfield Hill, on Meadow Creek, north branch of Pigg River
  • 1791: David Barton, brother in law of Swinfield Hill, conveyed land to the heirs of William Cook, deceased, presumably the same William Cook who John Phips sold land to in 1767


  • Hatchet Run (see 1767) was a north branch of Pigg River in what is now Franklin County.  Could this possibly have been what was earlier known as Meadow Creek, which appears to no longer exist as such? Evidence suggests that the 335 acres on Meadow Creek would likely now be in Franklin County.
  • Frederick Reeves appears to have been in Brunswick County in 1760, then was involved in Amelia County in 1761 (as were Phips family members we’ve discussed previously), then moved to the Blue Ridge area by 1767. In 1770 he bought land on the Pigg River. In 1783 he sold land on Pigg River to a Potter, Thomas Potter. In past posts, we’ve discussed Potter connections involving this same Phips family.
  • Then in 1787, land near Pigg River was sold by Thomas & Susannah Potter and by Frederick & Mary “Rives” (Reeves). A Young, Samuel Young, witnessed gifts of slaves made by Frederick Rives to his daughters before he died. (We’ve discussed Young connections in previous posts. See here for more about this Reeves family.)

So all this suggests the following:

  • John Fips/Phips of Charlotte County had ties to William Cook
  • William Cook had ties to John Phips/Fips of Charlotte County and to Frederick Reeves
    Frederick Reeves had ties to the Potters and to Amelia & Brunswick Counties
  • James Phips had ties to David Barton and Swinfield Hill
  • Swinfield Hill had ties to David Barton and to James Phips
  • David Barton had ties to Swinfield Hill and to William Cook

James Phips’ land was originally a part of Halifax County, but was later considered part of Henry County. Parts of Halifax became both Henry and Pittsylvania Counties. The David Barton of our discussion is presumably the person of that name in Pittsylvania County who earlier, in 1770, appears in an estray notice in the Virginia Gazette:

TAKEN up in Pittsylvania, on Little Otter creek, a brown mare about 4 feet 5 inches high, and branded on the near buttock : I° ; also a black mare colt about two years old, about 4 feet 5 inches high, neither dockt nor branded. Posted and appraised, the mare to 5l [£5]. the colt to 3l. 10s [£3, 10 shillings].

A copy of the 1784 deed from James Phips to David Barton in Henry County, Virginia was sent by the webmaster of the fine A Witcher Family website, and is transcribed below. This deed, dated 13 December 1784, was discussed in a previous post, but then based on an abstract.

This deed connects James Phips with both Brunswick County, Virginia and Henry County, where his land was located. As with various other Virginia and North Carolina Phipps or Phips etc. records, he’s referred to as “of” Brunswick County, although involved with land elsewhere.

Henry County, Virginia was formed in 1777 from Pittsylvania County, and was originally called Patrick Henry County. In addition, as stated specifically in the 1784 land patent to James Phips, his land was formerly in Halifax County but had become, by the time of the patent, a part of Henry County. (Parts of Halifax became Patrick Henry and Pittsylvania Counties, with Patrick Henry later becoming Patrick and Henry.) The northern part of Patrick Henry County, plus part of Bedford County, became Franklin County in 1785. Then in 1790, Patrick Henry County was divided into Patrick County and Henry County.

So where, exactly, was the land? That might be difficult to determine without extensive study of maps and other sources. Modern-day maps do not seem to show a Meadow Creek as a branch of the Pigg River, but the creek name might have changed.

Today, apparently, the Pigg River only flows through the counties of Pittsylvania and Franklin, but where does Meadow Creek flow? The name “Meadow Creek” appears in topo maps for the counties of Albemarle, Bedford, Buckingham, Caroline, Craig, Floyd, Grayson, Montgomery, and Nelson, but not for Franklin, Patrick, or Henry Counties.

The 1784 James Phips to David Barton deed was witnessed by Milley Menefee Jr. and Sr. Unconfirmed sources suggest that the two Milleys may have been named Mildred. According to unsourced secondary claims, Gabriel Tutt married a Milly Menefee 31 March 1812 in Culpepper County. Also, Birkette Garland Yancey, born about 1776 in Culpepper County, is said to have married a Milley Menefee 1 November 1803 in Culpepper County. Culpepper County is in northern Virginia.

And where was the Meadow Creek, described as a “North Branch of Pigg River,” associated with this land? As noted in a much earlier post, in the summer of 1758 the Halifax County militia conducted an expedition into the frontier to check for unfriendly Indians.

One night the militia were at the Blue Ridge, which they called the “Blew Ledge.” Then the next day they marched to another spot where they camped for the night. Then the following day they reached a plantation on Meadow Creek. This seems to imply that it took two days of hiking to reach Meadow Creek from the Blue Ridge.

The 1784 deed was also witnessed by “Swenfield” Hill. A will abstract for a Swinfield Hill is dated 1835 in Franklin County (see also discussion posts here). This may suggest that the land owned by James Phips may possibly have been in what became Franklin County in 1785, the year after the deed was signed.

Various attempts to pinpoint the land have repeatedly suggested the general area (highly general, that is) of Rocky Mount, Virginia. A discussion post here discusses Swinfield Hill and relatives and mentions Rocky Mount. Perhaps most interestingly, that page ties the Hill family into the Barton family. Of course, in the deed, James Phips sold land to David Barton, with the deed having been witnessed by Swinfield (Swenfield) Hill.

Another discussion forum page refers to Robert Hill, who is said to have left a will in Franklin County, as the father of a Swinfield Hill, born in the 1740s or 1750s, whose sister Hannah supposedly married David Barton. Is this the connection? As already noted, Swinfield Hill was one of those who signed the letter of recommendation of William Cook just before he moved to “the Western Waters.”

Then a court record in Franklin County, dated 8 March 1791, mentions as present both Swinfield Hill and David Barton, gentlemen. More appears in the book Leaves of a Stunted Shrub, in the section headed “William Cook, Jr.” There, David Barton appears as being of Franklin County in a 1791 record, which is more evidence that the land may have been in what later became Franklin County.

David Barton is mentioned conveying land to the heirs of William Cook, deceased. The book refers to this David Barton as having married Hannah Hill, sister of Swinfield Hill. Page numbers in this book are discontinuous, but earlier, in the same section but on page 6, a deed is abstracted in which John Phips of Charlotte County, Virginia sells land to William Cook of Halifax County, Virginia. This deed is dated 21 May 1767.

This John Phips of Charlotte County, Virginia was presumably the John Fips or Phips who shows up in Lunenburg County, Virginia records and who then left a Charlotte County estate in 1769. Charlotte County was formed from Lunenburg County in 1764.

The 1784 deed contains the following information:

  • Date: 13 December 1784
  • Seller: James Phips of Brunswick County, Virginia
  • Buyer: David Barton of Henry County, Virginia
  • Consideration: £1,800
  • Land: 335 acres in Henry County patented earlier to James Phips on 16 June 1783, both sides of Meadow Creek, a north branch of the Pigg River
  • Adjacent landowner(s): Waldraven
  • Witnesses:
    • Swenfield Hill
    • John [?]
    • Milley Menefee, Sr.
    • Milley Menefee, Jr.

From the survey (as referenced in the land patent), the land patent, and the deed, we know the following history of the 335 acres which James Phips sold in 1784 to David Barton:

  • 5 May 1753: The land was surveyed, presumably by James Phips, and at the time was considered a part of Halifax County
  • 16 June 1783: The land was patented to James Phips, and at the time was considered a part of Henry County
  • 13 December 1784: The land was sold by James Phips to David Barton, and at the time was still considered a part of Henry County

Who was Waldraven, the adjacent landowner? That doesn’t seem clear, although some Waldravens show up a few years later in Stokes County, North Carolina. Stokes County, North Carolina, which is adjacent to Henry County, Virginia, was formed in 1789 from Surry County, North Carolina. Surry County, North Carolina is where descendants of John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg and Charlotte Counties, Virginia, who died about 1769, eventually appear.

The Waldraven family seem to also appear at times in records as “Walraven,” according to secondary sources. A John Waldraven is said to appear in an Orange County, North Carolina tax list in 1775. We’ve discussed Phips or Phipps individuals in Orange County around very roughly the same general time period.

The original patent reads as follows:

[p. 258, in margin:]
James Phips
335 Acres

[the patent per se:]
Benjamin Harrison Esquire Governour of the Commonwealth of Virginia To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting Know ye that in consideration of the ancient Composition of one pound fifteen shillings sterling paid by James Phips into into [sic; word repeated] the Treasury of the Commonwealth there is granted by the said [page break, p. 259:] Commonwealth unto the said James Phips a certain Tract or parcel of land containing three Hundred and thirty five acres by survey bearing date the 5th day of May 1753 lying and being in the County of Halifax now Henry on both sides of the meadow Creek a North Branch of Pigg River, and bounded as followeth to wit, Beginning at pointers in Waldravens line, thence on his line south seven Degrees east one Hundred and sixteen Poles to a white oak thence new lines South forty four degrees East forty four p;oles to a white oak near a branch north seventy three Degrees East a[?] two Hundred and sixty poles Crossing a branch to a white oak South eighty seven degrees East seventy Poles to a Hickory in Waldravens line thence on his line north thirty degrees East fifty four poles Crossing a branch to a hickory, thence the same Course Continued sixty poles to Pointers thence new lines north eighty nine degrees West one Hundred and fifty six poles to a red oak North sixty two degrees West seventy six poles to a white oak south seventy two Degrees west two Hundred and eight poles Crossing the Creek to the Beginning with its appurtenances To have and to hold the said Tract or parcel [page break, p. 260:] of Land, with its appurtenances unto the said James Phips and his Heirs forever. In Witness whereof the said Benjamin Harrison Esquire Governour of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his hand and caused the lesser seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond on the sixteenth day of June in the year of [“our” missing] Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and eighty three and of the Commonwealth the seventh —
Benjamin Harrison

The deed reads as follows:

This Indenture Made this thirteenth day of December one thousand Seven hundred & Eighty fore, Between James Phips of the County of Brunswick of the one part & David Barton of the County of Henry of the the [sic; word repeated] Other part Witnesseth that the said James Phips for & in Consideration of the Sum of Eighteen Hundred Pounds to him paid in hand by the said David Barton the Receipt whereof he hearby Acknowledge have Bargain’d & Sold & by these Prasants [sic; as spelled] do Grant bargain Sell Alien Enfeoff Release Deliver & Confirm unto the sd. David Barton his heirs & assigns for ever on a Certain Parcel of Land Being the hole Tract Contain[ed?] in a patent granted to the said James Phips the Sixteenth Day of June in the year one thousand Seven hundred & Eighty tree [sic; as spelled] Containing Three hundred & [thirty?] five Acres Lying & being in the sd. County of Henry on both Sids [sic; sides] of Meadow Chreek a North Branch of Pigg River & Bounded as followeth (to Wit) Beginning at Pointers in Waldravens Line thence on his Line, South Seven Degrees East, one [line completely wiped out by a microfilm scratch] East forty four poles to a white oak near a branch North Seventy three Degrees East, two hundred & Sixty poles Crossing a Branch to a white Oak South Eighty seven Degrees, East Saventy [sic; as spelled] Poles to a Hickory in [Whalterravens?] Line then[ce?] on his line North thirty Degrees East fifty fore Pols [sic; as spelled] Crossing a branch to a Hickory thence the Same Course Contin [superscripted l?] [bad? or cad?] Sixty Poles to Pointers, thence New lines North eighty Nine Degrees West one hundred & [fifty?] six Poles to a Red oak North sixty two Degrees West Seventy six poles to a White Oak South Seventy two Degrees west two hundred & Eighty Pols [sic; as spelled] Crossing the Creek to the Beginning, To have & to hold the above Granted Land & Premises unto the said David Barton his Heirs & assigns for ever with Every part & [Parsel?] thareof Raversion & Reversions, Remainder & Remainders unto the said David Barton his heirs & assigns in an [Indefa[?]able?] fee Simple Estate & the sd. James Phips further Covenant & agree to [giveth?] the sd. David Barton for himself & his heirs to & Against the Claim or Demand of any Person or Persons [page break] Whatsoever shall & will by these Presents Warrant and for ever Defend in Witness whareof the said James Phips [heath?] hereunto Set his hand & Affixed his Seal the Day and year first Above Written

[signed:] James Fips L S
In Prasence [sic; as spelled] of Us
Swenfield Hill
[another bad microfilm scratch] John his X mark [?] [unreadable]
Milley his X Mark Mennefee Snr.
Milley X Mennefee Jnr.

Memorandum, that on the Day & Year first Within Written Lavery [sic; livery] [of? (should be and] Se[?]zen of the Within Granted Land & Premises was by the within Named James Phips Quietly & Peaceably maid [don?] & Delivered to the Within Named David Barton According to the Tener [sic; tenor] form & Effect of the Within written

[signed:] James Feps L S
In Prasence [sic; as spelled] of us
Swinfield Hill
John his X mark Grenet [or Grenel?]
Milley his X mark Mennefee Senr.
Milley his X [anaother bad microfilm scratch] Mennefee Jnr.
[text unreadable due to microfilm scratch]

At a Court held for Henry County on the 26th Day of April 1785
This Indenture together with the Memorandum of Livery & Seizen hereon indorsed Were Proved by the Oaths of two of the Witnesses thereto to be the Respective Acts & Deed of the within named James Phips & the same were Ordered to be Certified & afterwards to Wit At a Court held for the said County on the 28th day of July 1785, the same was further Proved by the Oaths of one Other Witness, all which were Ordered to be Recorded By the Court Test
[signed:] John Cox C.H.C. [i.e. Court House Clerk?]

Then from Henry County, Virginia Order Book 2:

The Court held for Henry County on the 28th Day of April 1785 . . .

Also James Fipps to David Barton Prov’d by 2 Witns. O. [R.] [i.e. ordered to be recorded]