Virginia land grant:
- Grantee: Benjamin Phipp (as written)
- Survey date: 15 December 1774
- Grant date: 2 July 1792
- Acreage: 104 acres
- Land description: In Wythe County on waters of Bridle Creek, a branch of New River
[body of text:]
Henry Lee Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. to all to whom these presents shall come Greeting Know ye that in consideration of the ancient composition of ten Shillings sterling paid by Benjamin Phipp into the Treasury of this Commonwealth, There is granted by the said Commonwealth unto the said Benjamin Phipp, a certain tract or parcel of Land containing one hundred and four Acres by Survey bearing date the fifteenth day of December one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, lying and being in the County of Wythe on the waters of Bridle Creek, a branch of New River and being part of an order of Councel granted to the Loyal Company to take up and Survey eight hundred thousand Acres which Order of Councel was established and confirmed by a Decree of the Court of Appeals made in the City of Richmond on the second day of May one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and bounded as followeth, to wit, Beginning at a black oak and white oak on a ridge and running thence South twenty degrees West thirty [four?] poles to two white oaks at the foot of a spur; South eighty eight degrees West two hundred and seventy six poles crossing four Branches to a crooked white oak and hickory sapling north forty degrees West ninety seven poles to a Black oak, white oak and hickory sapling by a path on the side of a Ridge, thence South eighty five degrees East three hundred and fifty one poles along said Ridge to the Beginning With its appurtenances to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of Land; With its Appurtenances to the said Benjamin Phipp and his Heirs for ever. In Witness whereof the said
[line cut off in digital copy] Henry Lee Esquire Governor 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 second day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, and of the Commonwealth the Sixteenth.
[signed:] Henry Lee
The land was described as being on the waters of Bridle Creek of New River, in what was then Wythe County, Virginia. Bridle Creek joins New River in what is today Grayson County, more or less between Mouth of Wilson and Independence. The Benjamin “Phipp” of the grant was presumably the person more commonly known as Benjamin Phipps.
His land was a very small distance upstream from the location where Samuel Phipps or Phips located on the New River. Eventually, Benjamin’s land would be defined as being in Grayson County, Virginia and Samuel’s in Ashe County, North Carolina, although one could walk the distance between them.
Wythe was created in 1790 from Montgomery County. From looking at various early records, it would appear that county boundaries in this general area were relatively undefined for some time. Genealogical reference works do not appear to always document all of the changes in what were considered at various times to be the actual colony line or state line, as well as county boundaries.
“Sammuwill Phips” and “Sammuell Phips Sen.” appear on an undated (about 1781) Montgomery County, Virginia militia list. Assuming that they were father and son, then the Samuel Phips who later lived in what was defined from 1800 on as Ashe County, North Carolina would have to be the younger man. That’s because in 1781 the Samuel who later shows up in Ashe County would have been too young to have a grown son.
Records, as detailed in past posts, show Samuel Phips Sr. or Jr. as entering land in what was then termed Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1779. Samuel Jr. was born about 1760-1763, according to his own somewhat wavering testimony. If 1763, he would only have been 16 in 1779. More than likely, the land which was entered was entered by his apparent father, Samuel Sr.
Then about 1781 the two show up in Montgomery County, Virginia. Samuel (presumably Samuel Jr. by this time) then appears in Wilkes County again, in the 1780s and 1790s. This was, of course, prior to 1799, which was when Ashe County, North Carolina became an official county for the first time, after being a part of the State of Franklin.
From that time on, beginning with the 1800 census, Samuel Jr. appears in the census as living in Ashe County, North Carolina. Presumably his father Samuel Phipps, Sr. died sometime between about 1781 and 1800, probably closer to the earlier date, and seems likely to have been buried somewhere in what later became Ashe County, North Carolina but which is currently Alleghany County, North Carolina, although no one knows for sure.
George Reeves or Reaves, father in law of Samuel Phips or Phipps, Jr., seemed to have followed a similar course in that he appeared in Montgomery County, Virginia for a short time, but otherwise shows up in Wilkes County, North Carolina records. Unlike Samuel, however, who later consistently appeared in Ashe County, North Carolina until his death in 1854, George Reeves later appears across the county/state line in Grayson County, Virginia. Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina at one point is referred to in Grayson County, Virginia records, however, as an heir of George Reeves.
Like Samuel Phipps, Jr. and Samuel Phipps, Sr., there appear to have been a Benjamin Phipps, Sr. and a Benjamin Phipps, Jr. The older Benjamin Phipps told in 1832, when he testified for a pension, that tories captured him about 1779 or 1780. This was while he was living in what he termed in his pension testimony “Montgomery County Virginia, now Grayson County Va.”
A 1786 Montgomery County, Virginia road order refers to the home of “Little Benjamin Phipps.” This suggests that there was a Benjamin Sr. and a Benjamin Jr. at the time, despite claims that Benjamin, son of the Benjamin who was captured by tories, wasn’t born until about 1803. Of course, perhaps the Benjamin who was captured by tories could have been, in turn, a son of an even earlier Benjamin.
Relationships among the Phipps or Fips or Fipps or Phips individuals in this area have been difficult to sort out, primarily due to decades of undocumented claims. Some of those claims are untenable, some even bizarre.
This Benjamin was just a short distance upriver from Samuel Phips, Jr., and common sense would suggest that they were probably related. A certain Matthew or Mathew Phips or Phipps comes into the picture as well. He entered Wilkes County, North Carolina and acquired land by 1785, but then lost that land as the result of a lawsuit or debt in 1788.
In addition, a planter named John Phipps, along with his wife Elender, was selling his land in Wilkes County in 1790. He was probably the John “Fipps” who bought land there earlier, in 1783.
Jordan Phips or Phipps also came into Wilkes County slightly later. He appears to have been the Jordan or Jourdon who was christened in 1769 in Sussex County, Virginia, a son of Benjamin and Martha Phipps of Albemarle Parish in Sussex County. That Benjamin is sometimes referred to as a probable brother of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.
That Benjamin left a will in 1797, naming Jordan and his brother Richardson. Jordan shows up in Wilkes County in 1799, 1800, and 1805 records before moving on into Tennessee with his brother Richardson. A recent post noted a 1799 Wilkes County, North Carolina deed which refers to Jordan as being “of” Surry County, North Carolina while he was buying land in Wilkes County. Note that Matthew, as already noted, appears to have moved from Wilkes to Surry when he lost his Wilkes County land.
While he was in Wilkes County, Jordan Phipps was bondsman for the marriage of Thomas Davis to Frances Robins. Jesse Toliver was a close friend of Samuel Phips of Wilkes and later Ashe. Samuel testified on behalf of Jesse when the latter applied for a Revolutionary War pension. Descendants of Jesse Toliver intermarried with descendants of Samuel Phips.
Again, Jordan Phipps was bondsman for a marriage of a Robins. Jesse Toliver had a child out of wedlock with Lucy Robins in 1780 in Wilkes County. Moses Toliver was one of the securities on a bastardy bond in 1780 regarding this child.
These and other records which we have been discussing appear to associate Samuel Phips or Phipps of Ashe County, North Carolina and Benjamin Phips or Phipps of adjacent Grayson County, North Carolina with the family of Benjamin Phipps of Albemarle Parish, Sussex County, Virginia and that Benjamin’s apparent brother, Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia.
We already knew from documents transcribed in previous posts that Joseph Phipps’s family in Brunswick County, Virginia clearly connects with that of John Fips or Phips, who lived in Lunenburg County, Virginia before leaving a Charlotte County, Virginia estate in 1769.
We also know from documentation that John’s daughter Betsey married Ephraim Witcher, and that they moved into the same Surry County, North Carolina as was associated with Jordan Phipps and Matthew Phipps, as discussed above.
We also know from documentation that Ephraim and Betsey’s son Taliaferro (pronounced Toliver) Witcher moved into Ashe County, North Carolina, where Samuel Phips was living, where Taliaferro became involved in the estate of Joseph Phips, Samuel’s son.
An administrator’s bond for the Joseph Phips estate is not only signed by Taliaferro, but also by Patcy Phips. Samuel Phips was living with her in the 1850 census, not long before Samuel died in 1854. We also know that Taliaferro Witcher appears to have married into the Reeves family, the family of Samuel Phips’s father in law.
Taliaferro Witcher also evidently was born in Surry County, North Carolina, where Littleberry (“Berry”) Phipps was from. Berry moved to Lawrence County, Indiana, the same location where children and relatives of Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina also located.
Putting all of this together, along with all the other factors which have been discussed in previous posts, makes it clear (barring a large number of extremely unlikely coincidences) that Samuel Phips of Ashe County, North Carolina was connected in some way with the families of Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia and Joseph’s apparent brother, Benjamin Phipps of Albemarle Parish, Sussex County, Virginia.
Further, as a number of other circumstantial factors have demonstrated again and again, a preponderance of family associations suggest a likely connection of some sort between that family and John Phips, the Jamestown surveyor who arrived in 1621. In addition, a preponderance of evidence suggests various connections and associations with the Reeves, Epps, and Burton families, with Samuel Phips’s father in law having been a Reeves who appears to have married an Epps before marrying a Burton.
An argument cited against the latter is that George Reeves was not known to have lived in Halifax County, Virginia, where a deed refers to him as being of Wilkes County, North Carolina and an Epps heir. Of course, no one ever claimed that he did, however, and one does not have to have lived in a certain county in order to be an heir there.
Even without the controversial deed, plenty of other connections and associations to these families abound, with evidence of at least indirect connections to the Jeaffreson and Jefferson family, with ties from them to England, the Caribbean, and Virginia, and with connections from that family back to the Epps family and from there back to the Reeves and Burton families.
Various connections to the Burton family in particular have been noted, including the binding of the Goochland County, Virginia “ffipps” orphans to a Burton. That Burton, apparently, just happened to be related to the wife of George Reeves, Samuel Phips’s father in law.
Looking at huge numbers of records without any particular aim in mind and without attempting to prove or disprove anything has turned up references to these same few families over and over. Never, however, has one record turned up which suggests in any way any connection to Pennsylvania or to some mythical Joseph Phipps (or Daniel Phipps, or Daniel Joseph Phipps, or Joseph Daniel Phipps).
It is claimed that he supposedly made a sudden magical leap from Chester County, Pennsylvania to the New River area of Western Virginia and North Carolina. Nor has any record surfaced which pertains to any Mary Romal, or Mary Fields, or Mary Fields Romal, or Mary Romal Fields, as the supposed wife of this supposed Joseph or Daniel.
Some additional sources: