Thursday, October 26, 2006

(REVISION) Locating Three John Phelps Lines of Central VA & Others Who Remained

(REVISION, map revised 11/3/06) Locating Three John Phelps Lines of Central VA & Others Who Remained

(Map is revised and text includes property detail of John of Goochland family) Double click on the map for an enlargement.

This article and the map are posted at the Phelps Family Research blog . I encourage you to take a look at the articles posted there by clicking this blogspot.

Information for this article was supplied by Mary Galgan and JC Rogers for the VA Phelps; and Mark Phelps of Snow Camp, NC and Doug Phelps for comments on the Caswell, NC and Halifax Co, VA Phelps. Please send corrections to Doug Phelps.

The early John Phelps lines in central VA were: John Phelps d. 1772 Bedford; John Phelps d. 1794 Halifax; John Phelps d 1747 Goochland. Another major Phelps line was Thomas Phelps d 1751 Albemarle.

As JC commented, "The easiest way to distinguish the Johns is to use land records." As you look at the VA map showing the approximate locations of these lines, you may want to see the VA county formation maps over the years clicking this

John of Goochland (d. 1747) was located in present Cumberland Co. His lands and patents are centralized in that area. One can follow his sons William and Samuel into the Lunenburg records.

The John of Bedford d. 1772 first appears in Henrico records (present Buckingham Co.) patenting in 1725. In 1736 he sold to Thomas Sr. He sold the balance of his lands in that area to the Babers. He can be proven to be the same John as we refer to as John of Bedford due to his wife's mark on land transactions from Goochland records as well as Brunswick. His area of Bedford was first Brunswick Co. at his arrival and then became Lunenburg from 1746-1754. It is possible that this John was either the father, cousin or brother of Thomas of Albemarle. This John had a son, John, d. 1801.

The John of Halifax d. 1794 had sons John and William who lived in Halifax and Pittsylvania counties.

Also, to the knowledge of JC - confirmed by others - no documentation exists to date to show that any of these different lines even knew the other people existed except for records concerning the John of Bedford and Thomas lines.

Further, even though the James Phelps line of Caswell, NC lived rather close to the John Phelps line of Halifax, no records found to date show any relationship between the two lines. Yet the will of James included a mysterious witness, John Phelps.

Property trail of John of Goochland and sons
by Mary Galgan

I have a document proving my John of Goochland owned land on the North side of the James River in Henrico Co., VA prior to 1732. From what I understand, his land was in present day City of Richmond, very near the Capital. I haven't found documentation for how or when he acquired this land, but below you will see the proof of him selling it:

1732 - 5 Feb 1732 - John FELPS of St. James Parish, Goochland Co., sells to James COCKE of County and Parish of Henrico, for 4000 lbs. tobacoo, land on the north side of Shockoe Creek at the mouth of Bacon branch, 60 acres, which the said FELPS bought of Thomas WOOD, Jr. Wit.: Wm. COCKE, Joseph BINGLEY. Signed: John (F) FELPS, recorded 1st Monday in Feb. 1732. Margaret, wife of John, relinquished her dower right. Henrico Co., Virginia Deeds 1706-1737, p. 381.
*Note - 1735 - James COCK of Henrico Co., Gent., 88 acres in said County on N. side of James River & Shockoe Creek, on E side of Cannon's Branch, up W. side of Johnston Branch; adj. Luke SMITH, John GUN, Thomas WOOD, within 39 foot of said COCK's Dwelling House; 1 Aug. 1735, p.99. 10 Shillings. Cavaliers and Pioneers, Patent Bk. No. 16. Also in 1691 a James COCKE married Mrs. Eliza PLEASANTS, in Henrico Co., VA on Jan. 11th., Capt. Thomas COCKE, surety. Source - MARRIAGES - St. John’s Church, Henrico Co.,Virginia. I wonder if this is the same James COCK. And, James COCKE married Mary, daughter of John PLEASANTS, Quaker, in 1700, Henrico CO., VA. Joseph PLEASANTS married Martha COCKE, on May 15, 1699, in Henrico Co.,Virginia. Same source.

Four and a half months earlier, on 17 Sept. 1731, John purchased his first land (known to me) on the South side of the James River. It was still in Henrico Co., at that time, but later became Goochland, then Cumberland, then Powhatan. (see below)

1731 - Henrico Co. Patent Book 14, p. 340. John PHELPS purchased 800 acres (N.L.) in Henrico Co., VA on the South side of James River, on West side of WATSON's branch. 17 Sept. 1731. 4 lbs. Money. - from Early VA Families. (*N.L. means New Lands.) (see 1732) Also found in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. III, p. 408.

So John started out in Richmond area in 1731.

As for his sons William & Samuel, they moved a lot. Every decade of so.:
1731-1755 in Goochland/Cumberland Co., VA.

1755-1763 in Lunenburg Co., present day Mecklenburg Co. - Boydton. Wm. & Samuel owned the plot of land that the first Courthouse of Mecklenburg County was built on. Also is the site of the Old Boyd Tavern, an Historical Landmark today. (see below)

1763-1768 "my" William was living in Amherst Co., VA while Sam moved back to Cumberland Co. and lived along the Appomattox River. (see 2nd entry below)

1768-1778 William lived in Buckingham Co., VA, present-day Appomattox Co., near or on the James River near Wreck Island Creek. (see below 3rd entry)
William moved to Kentucky where his sons were stationed as Rev. War soldiers and never went back to VA.

1778 on Samuel remained in Cumberland and died there in 1790.

1760 - 1 July 1760 - Lunenburg Co. Deed Bk. 6, p.132, 133, 134, 135. William PHELPS of Lunenberg County and the Parish of Cumberland sold 531 acres of land in the afore said County and Parish to John JEFFRIES of the same County and Parish for the consideration of Two hundred and fifty (250) Pounds Current Money. Land on the west side of the Horsepen Branch to the largest fork of the south fork of Allen's Creek meandering down to the mouth of the Horsepen Branch. Signed in the presents of William JONES, Samuel PHELPS, Christopher COLEMAN. On the same day Sarah PHELPS, wife of William PHELPS relinquished her right of Dower.
*Note - On the same day, 1 July 1760, William's brother, Samuel Phelps, sold his 580 acres in Lunenburg Co., VA, located on the south folk of Allen Creek (adjacent to William's) to Richard SWEPSON. In 1764/5 when Mecklenburg County was carved out of Lunenburg County, the meeting concerning that formation was held in the home of Richard SWEPSON on that property on the south folk of Allen's Creek, previously owned by Samuel PHELPS. The first Courthouse of Mecklenburg County was built on his property. Richard SWEPSON sold this property to his son, Richard SWEPSON, Jr., on April 12, 1779. On Sept. 8, 1794 Richard SWEPSON, Jr. sold it to Alexander BOYD and it became the site of the Old Boyd Tavern, an Historical Landmark today.

1763 - 17 Jan. 1763 - Cumberland Co., VA Deed Bk. 3, p.361- from Patrick CORNER, of the county of Buckingham, to Samuel PHELPS, of Cumberland Co. Samuel bought 143 acres with the Plantation, being part of the Patent granted to John WATKINS and bound by the Appomattox River, Richard RANDOLPH's line northeast across MABRY's Branch....... (unclear)... Signed (Marked) by Patrick CORNER and Ellenner CORNER. Witnessed by William WALKER, Susanns TERRY, John WOODSON, Wm. JOHNS. [Copy in file]

1771 - This is a Platt of 378 acres of Land in Buckingham County on the branches of Wreck Island Creek and joining the lines of Christian WHITNEY and Jeremiah WHITNEY (Gent.). Surveyed for William PHELPS, noted as (mulatto), the 21st August 1771. By Henry Bell, Surveyor. Plat Bk., p20. Copy of Plat in file.

All that to say, ...John of Goochland started (so far) in Henrico Co., VA. His sons lived as far south in VA as 10 miles from the NC boarder (which we know was fluid) across the John H. Kerr Reservoir. And they lived as far west as Amherst Co., VA.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Phelps Family (of Anne Arundel, MD)

To view these scanned pages go to the Phelps Research Blog Double click these images to enlarge them.

"The Phelps Family", by professional genealogist Robert Barnes, details the early Phelps of Anne Arundel, MD. One of the more important items to the James Phelps line of Caswell, NC is the list of "Unplaced Phelps" beginning on page 371. On page 373 there is a James Phelps in the 1766 All Hallows Parrish listing 1 white male, 1 white female, and 5 white children. This would fit the James Phelps who died in 1786 Caswell Co, NC.

This and a later document, "Further Notes on Phelps" by Louis Giles, never identifies this James Phelps.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last Will of John Phelps-1798 Madison Co,Ky.

Posted By:

Marilyn Phelps

--Thank for Marilyn for making your first post on the Phelps Reasearch Site

LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF JOHN PHELPS, JR. will proven August 7, 1798 in Madison County, Kentucky


The last will and testament of John Phelps, Senior, dec'd verbelly expres in presents of us, John STAPP, Carey PHELPS and Stephen SALLY, first it is my will and desire that my daughter Nancy PHELPS, Rody PHELPS, & Patsy PHELPS should have as much of my personal estate as the rest of my children whom have come of age have received at their coming of age or marriage 7 likewise my son Cary PHELPS, John PHELPS, Sarah SALLY, Molly, PHELPS, Betsey WILLIS, Tho. PHELPS, Shadrach PHELPS, Magdalin STAPP & Phillip PHELPS all to be made equal one with another out of my personal estate, with what they have already had & the residue of my estate both real and personal to continue in the hands of my wife Mary PHELPS until her death and then to be equally divided amongst the whole of my children & it is my will and desire that the same may be directed by my son Cary PHELPS and Stephen Salley Executors


Stephen SALLE


At a Court held for Madison County on Tuesday the 7th of August 1798. This noncupative will of John PHELPS Sen'r was proved by the oath of John STAPP & Stephen SALLE witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.


Will Irvine clerk

Bk. "A" p 178 'ordered at August Court, 1798 directing us John GOGGIN, James Alberson and John Seclf(?) to appraise personal property of estate of John Phelps, dec'd ---stock, tools, household goods, etc. Returned this 2 October 1798.'

(Have not found copy of inventory)


Following is the Settlement of said John PHELPS, Senior dated December 4, 1814.

First line cut off and hard to decipher........................

Book "B" p 116

Agreeable to an order of the ???? County Court of Madison County to us directly setle with Stephen SALLE and adjust the account of said sale as Executor to the estate of John PHELPS dec'd after being first sworn to make the following report

Stephen SALLE


To the Estate of John Phillips ???

To the amount of sale bill rendered ............. $223.

To cash ....................................................................................................... 14



By part of an execution paid John Phelps, Jr. per rec't assine of brigten and ???? 21.66 2/3

By cash paid Mrs. Heard for attending to Mary Phelps during cancer......... .........20.00

By cash paid Dr. Bainbridge for medical services...............................................28.00

By cash paid Crier at the sale.......................................................................... 2.00

By cash paid Dr. Ridgely for Medical Services................................................... 3.00

Cash 3 clerks for bills..................................................................4.00

1 do ___,,_____do.......................................................................1.00

Cash rec'd Sheriff for land tax........................................................1.00

By cash paid for ordering Land sold for direct? tax.................................................0.00

By cash registry fee bills.....................................................................................2.00

By cash Bullites clerks for bills.(??)....................................................................15.00

By cash Sherriffs Commision on the same............................................................0.00

By cash for Polly Phelps burying clothing.............................................................2.00

Paid for pailing in graves......................................................................................6.00

By his ervices rendered.......................................................................................3.00

By paid 3 Commissioners of Settlements..............................................................4.00

By Jacob Coonez rec it being the balance of his wife's legacy of 20 pounds..............6.00

By Drury Willis, rec for $7.67 being the balance of his wifes legacy of 20 pounds.......7.67

By Thomas Phelps rec't fir the balance of his legacy of 20 pounds..........................11.00

By Jas Allegry rec't for the balance of his wife's legacy of 20 pounds....................... 2.00

By a balance of his wife Sarah Sallys legacy of 20 pounds..........2 or 20 ??..............2.00

Given with our hands this 4th day of December 1814

Nicholas Hawkins

Jas Stone

Can't read this one.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Phelps Family of Kentucky by Irene & M.D. Phelps

My father, Wilford Latham Phelps, received a copy of the following research by Irene K. Phelps and M. D. Phelps, from Tamra Phelps of Somerset, Kentucky, in September, 2006. There has been much discussion about this "Pamphlet" among Phelps researchers lately. In the interest of sharing family, I am making this available as a text file for all to see.

Posted by,
Latham "Mark" Phelps --October 2006

By: Irene K. Phelps and M. D. Phelps Jr.
28 Walnut St.
Milton, Massachussets 02186

JOHN Phelps was the name of our Revolutionary War ancestor. He was born about: 1730 in Goochland (later Albermarle) County, Virginia. He was at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone and did his Revolutionary War service as Defender of the Fort. The principal battle here was the Great Siege of 1778 and JOHN and Thomas Phelps,* Junior were both involved in this, as were many of Thomas' children (more about this later).

Shadrach Phelps our great great grandfather, was born Feb. 3, 1775. He was probably still in Virginia during .:the Great Siege, but came to Boonesborough with his father and mother at a later date. He was still at Boonesborough (with Daniel Boone) in 1795. We know this because in December of that year he witnessed a deed from Daniel Boon (sic) to Catrine Sherly for 409 acres of land in Madison County. His father, JOHN (who was also at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone), died some time before 1798, when his will was accepted for probate in Madison County Court.

JOHN and his brother Thomas, Jr. and their 'wives and children were actively involved in the settlement and early defense of the area that was later to become the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Shadrach (son of JOHN Phelps) was married by Rev. Thomas I. Chilton on 8 Dec 1796 to Celia Stapp (Seley Step).They settled in what is now Russell County,, Kentucky, in about 1798. They built their first log cabin a few feet from an excellent "boiling spring" which has been tapped and still furnishes pure drinking water, almost two hundred years later, to many of their decendents. Their farm, "on the waters of Greasy Creek", is still home to their great great grandson, Carl Phelps (my Brother); his wife., Elizabeth Phelps, his son John Phelps, his daughter-in-law Judy Phelps and their son John (John Carl) Phelps.

Now known as "Phelps Acres"., the farm on Greasy Creek,originally in Greene (later Green) County, was in Adair County when Adair was formed from Green in 1801. It has been part of Russell County since 1825, when Russell was cut from Adair, Cumberland and Wayne Counties. (Thomas Lincoln, father of the 16th
President, was appointed Constable of Cumberland County in 1802 and again in 1804). Phelps Acres is in the Esto Community, near Jamestown. Esto Postoffice was established Aug. 1, 1877, and discontinued Oct. 2, 1935.

Celia and Shadrach had six children (Elizabeth, Polly, John M.(OurGreat Grandfather), Martha, Joseph Shadrach and William P.(Patteson?). Celia was born Oct. 29, 1772 and died April 29, 1855. Shadrach was born Feb. 3, 1775 and died Sept. 21, 1855. They are buried, (along with three of their children and many other decendents and close neighbors) in the Phelps Family Cemetery. The Cemetery is located on the farm, on high ground some three hundred yards northeast of the boiling spring and the site of their original log cabin. Also near the site of the present farmhouse, built in the late?eighteen hundreds by their grandson John Quincy Phelps (our grandfather).

Shadrach's grandfather, Thomas Phelps, Sr. died in Albermarle County, Virginia in 1751. He and his wife Elizabeth (Patteson) Phelps had at least five children. One son, William Phelps, preceded them in death in 1749. His will is recorded in Will Book I, Page 1 (Albermarle County Court Records). There were two other sons, Thomas Phelps, Jr. and JOHN Phelps (our John, Shadrach's father) and two daughters; Mary Phelps Patteson and Mrs.Richard (Mildred Phelps) Given. In his 1751 Will (preserved in Will Book Is, page 20) Thomas Phelps, Sr. left to Thomas, Jr. three hundred acres of land, on Bridle Creek "Joining' his own lines". To his son JOHN Phelps (Shadrach's father and our immediate ancestor) he left "The Plantation whereon I now dwell and the Islan (sic) I now tend in'' and three hundred acres of land on both sides of Hunt's Creek "JOINING NICHOLAS' LINE".

He bequethed unto his loving daughter Mary Patteson one shilling sterling (i.e. he "cut her off with a shilling"). However, he left to her daughter Joyce Patteson and her son Peter Patteson "betwixt them both one child's part'. He wished all his personal estate to be equally divided among all his children (except his daughter Mary Patteson), and named as executors of his last will and testament his son Thomas Phelps Jr. and his son-in-law Richard Given. The will was witnessed by John Fearn, Theodoric C. Webb and Chiceley Crisp.

Albermarle County Will Book I Page 20

In the name of God amen I Thomas Phelps of Albermarle County being weak in body but in sound and perfect memory do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth. Item I give my Soul to God as gave it & my body to the Earth to be buried in Decent Christian like manner as my Executors shall think fit. Item I lend unto my Loving Wife Elizabeth Phelps During her Widowhood all my whole Estate Real and personal Item I Give and Bequeath unto my Loving Son Thomas Phelps Three hundred acres of land Lying on Both sides of Bridle Creek Joining his own Lines to him and his heirs forever. Item I Give and Bequeath unto my loving son John Phelps the Plantation whereon I now Dwell & the Islan I now tend in and three hundred acres of Land on both' sides of' Hunt's Creek Joining
Nicholas' Line to him and his heirs forever Item I Give and Bequeath to my loving Daughter Mary Patteson one Shilling Sterling. Item I Give and Bequeath unto my GrandDaughter Joyce Patteson and my Grandson Peter Patteson Betwixt them both one Childs part. It is my will & Desire that all my Personal Estate shall be Equally Divided among all my Children Except my Daughter Mary Patteson & my Will and Desires that my Estate Shall not be appraised enduring my Wifes time & I do appoint and ordain my Son Thomas Phelps & my Son in Law Richard Givin to be executors of this my last Will and I do by these presents Revoke all other Wills heretofore by me made.

Signed Sealed & Delivered to be his last will and Testament In presence of us

Thomas Phelps (Ss)
John Fearn
Theodoric (his mark) C. Webb
Chicely Crisp

At a Court held for Albermarle County the 14th day of May 1751 This last Will and Testament of Thomas Phelps decd was proved by the Oaths of John Fearn Theodorick Webb & Chicely Crisp the witnesses thereto & ordered to be?recorded & on the motion of Thomas Phelps & Richard Giviu the Executors therein named who made Oath according to Law Certificate is Granted them for obtaining a probat thereof in due Form Giving security on which they with Theoderick Webb and Joseph Thomas their Securities entered Into and acknowledged their Bond accordingly.

John Nicholas C1k.

Albermarle County Will Book I, p.1

In the name of God amen. I William Phelps being weak in body but in sound and Perfect Memory do make this my last will and Testament In Manner a?ad Form as Followeth. First I give and Bequeth to my Loving Brother in Law William Baber Two hundred acres of Land on Nell Moores Creek of Slate River Joining John Sharps Line to him and his heirs forever on Condition he pay to my Executors hereinAfter named or their order the value of the Rights Surveyors & Secretarys Fees of the same. I give and bequeath to my Loving Father Thomas Phelps and to my loving Brother Thomas Phelps Jun.r all the Rest and residue of my Estate of what nature and kind so ever in trust nevertheless to be Equally Devided by them between my two sons James Phelps and William Phelps and their heirs forever and for no other Intent or Purpose whatever and do ordain and appoint my said Father and Brother to be Executors of this my last Will and do by these Presents' Revoke all other Wills by me heretofore made.

Signed Sealed Published and Declared to be his last will and Testament in Presence of us,
William Cabell
Thomas (his mark) Makdanal,
John Dunken,
John Blackle.
William Phelps S s

Albermarle Cty. May Court MDCCXliX This Writing was produced in Court & by the, oaths of William Cabell & Thomas McDaniel Proved to be the last will and Testament of William Phelps Decd & ordered to be Recorded.

Jnot Henning DCSCr.

In the summer of 1984, Irene and I were able to locate the exact site of Thomas Phelps' Plantation south of the James River (called the Fluvanna River in this area before the Revolution). We were unable to find Bridle Creek, but Hunt's Creek of Slate River and Bear Garden Creek still bear the same names. Also "Phelps island" (so designated on an 1818 map of Virginia), while no longer an island, is easily identified. It encompasses nine acres and was surveyed for Thomas Phelps in 1746 by Thomas Turpin. (Thomas Turpin was an uncle, by marriage to Thomas Jefferson.) In July of 1985, we obtained a copy of the original land patent for the Island, dated 1746. Still intact is the Plantation of John Nicholas (See "Nicholas', Line" in Thomas Phelps Will). It is currently known as "Seven Islands Farm". ("Seven Islands" and "Nicholas"' are both identified on the map of Virginia published by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1751).

John Nicholas became County Court Clerk of Albermarle County between 1749 and 1751, and was succeeded by his son, also named John. As Clerk, he knew most of the people in the county and was very helpful in promoting the early political career of his friend Thomas Jefferson. The last will and testament and the inventory of the estate of Thomas Phelps, Sr. are both preserved in Albermarle County Will Book I, inscribed and attested to by "John Nicholas, Clerk". During the Revolution, the Nicholas Plantation was the "breadbasket" of the Continental Army, and was slated for destruction by the British. Execution of this mission was foiled by, a sudden flood tide that prevented fording of the Fluvanna (James) by Tarleton's forces as they marched (fortunately north of the river) to Yorktown. During the Civil War, almost a hundred years later, General Dalghren, was similarly frustrated by flooding of the James. His. primary mission, which he accomplished, was to disable the Kanawha Canal, a vital avenue of supply for the Confederacy. His secondary assignment, was to destroy the Nicholas Plantation., which was again spared because flooding prevented Dalghren's troops (also advancing NORTH of the James) from, fording the river to carry out their mission of destruction.

This area north of the James (opposite Nicholas' Plantation and, the site of Thomas Phelps' Plantation), is still known as BREMO. The highway bridge there; where US-15 crosses the river; is "The John Hartwell Cocke Memorial? Bridge". Cocke was the builder of BREMO MANSION, visible today from the site of Thomas Phelps' Plantation on the other side of the river. "Bremo" was designed, in part, by Thomas Jefferson, who was Cocke's friend. While not as elaborate as Jefferson's Monticello, it is an excellent example of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century plantation architecture of Virginia.

We have found no direct connection between Thomas Phelps and John Hartwell Cocke or Thomas Jefferson. However, during the first day of Court in the new County of Albermarle (February 28, 1744), while Peter Jefferson . (Thomas father) , and Joshua Fry were busy swearing each other in as officials of the new County, Thomas Phelps was named as one of the appraisers of the estate of Wentworth Webb, deceased. As will be pointed out later, Wentworth Webb was witness to deed from John Phelps (Shadrach's Great Grandfather) and Mary, his wife, dated 1736, to Thomas Phelps. This was for two hundred fifty acres of land on "Rockie Branch" (now known as "Rocky Creek"). Rocky Creek empties into Slate River just upstream from Hunt's Creek. We also have a copy of a land patent, dated 1725, in which John Phelphs Acquired, from King George (later known as George I), 1OO acres of "New Land" in Henrico County "on the south side of the Fluvanna (James) River "at the mouth of Bear Garden Creek". (Land Patent Book #12, p. 406). The listed purchase price was ten shillings .

Bear Garden Creek empties into the James east of the mouth of Slate River and also eastward from "Phelps Island", acquired by Thomas Phelps in 1746. This area, south of the James and on the waters of Bear Garden Creek, Hunt's Creek, Slate River and the phantom "Brydle Creek" (the name no longer exists) was settled. by John Phelps (Phelphs) in 1725. This John Phelps is thought to be the father of Thomas Phelps, Sr.; the grandfather of JOHN Phelps (our John) and., as mentioned above, The Great Grandfather of Shadrach Phelps. This "Phelps" area south of the Fluvanna (James), was part of Henrico County in 1725. Later it was part of Goochland County (when John and Mary Phelps deeded laud here to Thomas Phelps (1736; deed witnessed by Wentworth Webb). In 1744, it became part of Albermarle County and in 1761, it was in Buckingham County, when Buckingham was cut from Albermarle. William Phelps, Thomas' son and brother to Thomas, Jr. and JOHN (our John), received 400 acres of land "on the East Branch of Bear Garden Creek" June 5, 1746.

We have as yet., found no connection between Thomas Phelps of Albermarle County (died 1751) and the "Thomas Phelps, Artisan" listed by Captain John Smith as a member of the "Second Supply" of immigrants to James Towne, arriving in 1608. It was the opinion of the late Dr. Ransom B. True, Director of Historical Research for THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF VIRGINIA ANTIQUITIES (APVA), that this Thomas Phelps, the first Phelps known to have arrived in America, probably perished during the "starving time" (1609-1610). In any event there is no record of his marrying or having decendents, and there is no record of any connection with the Thomas Phelps whose will was proved in Albermarle County in 1751.

Speculation can be disastrous, but it is interesting to note that Sir Edward Phelips, builder of Montacute House in the County of Somerset, Speaker of the House of Commons and prosecuter of Guy Fawkes, was the youngest son of Thomas Phelips, who was the son of John Phelips. Even more interesting is the fact that Sir Edward Phelips: `Master of the Rolls" was one of the investors in The Virginia Company of London. "The Virginia Company of London" consisted of a group of "Adventurers", who, by subscribing 12 Pounds 10 Shillings each, subsidized the initial, voyage to James Towne in 1606 and provided all financial support to the Colony until control was assumed by the Crown in 1624.

Speculation aside, we know that Thomas Phelps, Artisan, arrived with the Second Supply in 1608. Many of the 26 "'Gentlemen" in this Supply were accompanied by sons, nephews or cousins that were designated as "Laborers". A son, brother or nephew of Sir Edward Phelips, Adventurer, could well have been listed by Captain Smith as an Artisan,, since this ?social class ?included Yoemen and Merchants and laborers with special skills. Others listed among the 200 persons in this "Supply" were Mistresse Forest and Anne Burras "her maide" (who later contracted the first marriage in English America) and "8 Dutchmen and Poles". We don't know the names of the Dutchmen, But the 5 Poles are listed on a bronze plaque at Jamestown Village as (1) Michal Lowicki (2) Zbigniew Stefanski, (3) Jan Bogdan (4) Jan Mata and (5) Stanislaw Sadowski. With characteristic incongruity "Michaelle Lowicke" is also listed as one of the 26 "Gentlemen" arriving I Oct 1608 on the same British Sailer as the others, the "MARY AND MARGARET"., The aforementioned plaque was donated in 1958 (commemorating the 350th anniversary of the event) by THE POLISH FALCONS OF AMERICA.

In the summer of 1985, Irene and I spent a week in the Village of Montacute. We spent several days exploring Moutacute House (Sir Edward Phelips' historic Elizabethan mansion "of glowing Hamstone", completed in 1599). We climbed the "steep hill' for which Montacute("monsacutus") was named., We stayed at "The Kings Arms Hotel" on Bishipton Street, where we learned from the DOMESDAY BOOK that the village of Montacute, then known as BISHIPSTONE, was a going concern for centuries before the arrival, in 1066, of William the Conqueror. his half brother, the Count de Mortain, William gave the Village of Bishopstone and other properties in the area, including "Steep Hill" (Mons Acutus) whereon the Count built his castle,''naming it MONTACUTE. We found no trace of the castle, but the site is marked by a FOLLY TOWER, erected in 1760. We also had a few pints in THE PHELIPS ARMS, the village pub,, and had dinner at The Milk House Restaurant. Some of the buildings' date back to the eighth and ninth century (and probably farther).

Assuming that Thomas Phelps 'of Albermarle County (died 1751) lived out his Biblical fourscore years and ten (as have most of his decendents), he must have been born about, 1690-1710. He purchased land from his father, John Phelps and his mother Mary Phelps, in what was then Goochland County, in 1736. The deed, dated March 15, 1736, from John Phelps and Mary (??Burgess) Phelps, his wife, to Thomas Phelps, is preserved in Goochland County Will Book 1, witnessed by Arthur Hopkins, David Duncan and Wentworth (his X mark) Webb. Wentworth Webb (brother of Theodorick C. Webb, witness to the Will of Thomas Phelps, Sr.), had died prior to the first day of Court in the new County of Albermarle(Feb. 28, 1744) and one of those named on that date as assessors of the estate of Wentworth Webb, deceased, was Thomas Phelps.

Robert Calvin Phelps-Son of Isham Phelps

The above photos are: Top Left--Robert Calvin Phelps (1830-1884) and his wife Anne Foster Phelps. Top Right--Ollie and Lula Phelps, Daughters of Robert and Anne.

Bottom Right--The family of Linzey Green Phelps, Son of Robert and Anne. Linzey Green Phelps (1870-1946) is at the far left in the back row. Front Row-L to R-Helen Marie Talley Phelps (2nd wife of Linzey Green Phelps),--Lee G.-- Robert Calvin.
Back Row-L to R--Linzey--Emmie--Elwood--Mary Leigh. Picture taken August 27th, 1939.

Robert Calvin Phelps (1830-1884) was the son of Isham Phelps, grandson of Reuben Phelps and great-grandson of James Phelps.

Posted By: Latham "Mark" Phelps

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Map of Phelps in Caswell, Person & Virginia

A map showing the locations of James Phelps and his Sons and Grandsons, not including Larking, Obediah and Ambrose who went to Pulaski Co, Ky. The Ambrose shown on the Map is the Son of Thomas Phelps Sr. In addition Thomas Phelps Sr.'s Son, James A. Phelps although not listed on the map, lived in the same area in Person Co. as Thomas Phelps Sr.

There are 2 pointers for Thomas Phelps Sr., as he first owned land directly adjacent to his father James in Caswell County, before moving to Person Co. around 1826. In 1831 and 1832 he sold his Caswell Co. land to his nephew, Isham Phelps, son of Thomas' brother Reuben Phelps. Reuben moved to Halifax Co., Va. and remained there until his death. Isham moved to Caswell County from Halifax Co., Va., after purchasing the property from his uncle Thomas Sr. and lived there till his death.

Thomas Phelps Sr.'s sons all lived in the same area of Person Co., although Ambrose lived just over the Caswell Co. line. His sons John, Hiram, Ambrose, Thomas H., Richard and James A Phelps all lived and died in this area with the exception of Hiram, who moved to Blount Co., Tn.

My father, Wilford Latham Phelps, was born in a log cabin in 1928 on the same property that was the farm of Thomas H. Phelps, Son of Thomas Sr. and Grandson of James Phelps.

"Click" on the map to enlarge it, then you may "Click" on the enlarged map to enlarge it further

Posted By,

Latham "Mark" Phelps-- (Son of Wilford Latham Phelps, of Log Cabin Fame)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

NC Phelps - Rev War Bounty Land Grants

As reported by Margaret Swanson, Phelps researcher

Lloyd DeWitt Backstruck, Baltimore: GPC Co., Inc. 1996

p. 417 [all Phelps awards from southern states-none from northern
states] These awards represent militia service -not continental army-mps

Phelps, Benjamin. Md. Private. _____. 50 acres.
Phelps, David, Ga. Sergeant. 20 Feb 1784. 250 acres.
Phelps, Garrett. N.C. Private. 20 Oct. 1787. 640 acres to heirs.
Phelps, George. Va. Private. 23 Jun. 1783. 200 acres.
Phelps, James. N.C. Fifer. 2 Feb. 1784. 1000 acres.
Phelps. Jesse. N.C. Drummer. 22 Dec. 1796. 1000 acres.
Phelps, Josiah. Va-Ind*. Private. 108 acres. [*land granted was in
Phelps, Kedar. N. C. Drummer. 2 Feb 1784. 1000 acres.
Phelps, Stephen. N.C. Private. 30 Sept. 1785. 640 acres to heirs.

Note: Privates received 640 acres.
Non-commissioned officers 1000.
Required two years of service. NC issued land warrants from 1783-1841
in two series.
The first included numbers 1-5312, issued from 1783-1797. located in
military district of Tennessee. Second series of warrants numbered 1
to 1242 issued 1799 to 1841 by NC but Tennessee officials located and
granted these patents. There is more information from the introduction
if anyone is interested.
Most heirs names are unlisted. Land warrants were frequently sold, so
the warrant does not necessarily refer to military service for that


Monday, August 28, 2006

Thomas Phelps Sr.'s, Person County, N.C. Lands

The following is based on research into the location of Thomas Phelps Sr. property in Person County, N.C., After his move from Caswell County, N.C. This will also shed some light on his oldest child, John Phelps, son from 1st wife Mary Pass (named as a grandson in Nathaniel Pass Sr.'s Will), and his two yougest children by his 2nd wife, Mary (Polly) McKissack, Martha Anne Phelps and James A. Phelps

I would like to wholeheartly thank Bruce Whitfield, who owns and lives today at the old homeplace and farm of James A. Phelps. He graciously has shared his knowledge of the old homeplace and the surrounding area, and with great patience has allowed me to use him as a sounding board, to answer numerous questions about his and adjoining properties. Bruce Whitfield purchased the farm from two daughters of James A. Phelps, Pearl Phelps Britt and Jewel Phelps Fuller.

The Photos are Property Plats and Maps showing location of Thomas Phelps Sr. and his descendants locations in Person County, N.C., from 1826 thru 1975.

We begin with Thomas Phelps Sr.'s first recorded deed in Person County, N.C. I am provided only abstracts from most deeds so as not to "bore" the reader with the continously repeated legalese that these old documents contain.

John Crisp to Thomas Phelps with James Terrell as Trustee John Crisp to Thomas
Phelps with James Terrell as Trustee
Person County, North Carolina
Land Deed November 1826
Book H Page 220

One tract or parcel of Land situate lying and being in the said County of Person
on the waters of the Double Creeks of South Hico, containing three hundred acres
and eighty five hundredths of an acre it being the Tract of Land conveyed by the
said John Crisp to the said Phelps by deed bearing even date herewith to which
deed reference is hereby made for a full description of the Tract of Land hereby
intended to be Conveyed.

Thomas Phelps---his mark
James Terrell---{Seal}
John Crisp---{Seal}

Thompson McKissack
Nicholas Hester


Alexander Gray to John Phelps and Judith Phelps his wife.

John Phelps, Eldest son of Thomas Phelps Sr. and Mary Pass, married Judith Gray, daughter of Alexander Gray, July 10, 1828 in Person County, North Carolina, with Bondsman and Witness: John Pass (probably maternal uncle of John Phelps).

Person County, North Carolina
Deed Book K--Pages 354-355
April 4th, 1832

For and in consideration of one dollar to me in hand paid by the said John Phelps and his wife Judith---but more especially for the natural love and affection that I the said Alexander Gray doth bear to my daughter Judith Phelps--a certain tract of land---on the Waters of the Double Creeks and bounded as follows:

Beginning at an Ashe where I the said Alexander Gray & Drury Jones corner, thence West along said Jones line to a Maple, thence South to the line of a tract I have given this date to my son Bentley Gray, thence East to Moses Chambers line, thence North to a Black Oak, the beginning of the tract of land I have given to my son Laurence Gray, thence on Open line to the beginning. Containing One Hundred & Seventy-One Acres.

Alexander Gray---{Seal}

John Douglas
Benjamin M. Davies
Nathaniel Norfleet

This property boundary is refered to the deed from Robert H. Hester to Thomas Phelps Sr. in 1837--- "thence South along said Phelps line twenty four chains and 80 links to a Red Oak Stump, thence East on yet his line forty two chains and fifty links to a White Oak, thence North on Jno. Phelps twenty chains and thirty links to a Maple". This 1847 deed also references---"Beginning at an Ash running thence North Seventeen chains and sixty links along Laurence Gray’s line". Laurence Gray was a son of Alexander Gray and the brother of Judith Gray. Another brother of Judith Gray was Bentley Gray, who witnessed the Marraige Bond of Thomas Phelps Sr. and Mary (Polly) McKissack on July 29, 1845.


Robert H. Hester to Thomas Phelps Sr.
Person County, North Carolina
Land Deed April 8th 1837
Deed Book N Page 407

For and in consideration of the Sum of One hundred thirty five dollars 62 cents---Confirm unto the said Thomas Phelps a certain tract or parcel of Land, Situate lying and being in the County and State aforesaid on the waters of the Double Creeks of Hyco and bounded as follows.

Beginning at an Ash running thence North Seventeen chains and sixty links along Lawrence Gray’s line to Pointers, thence along the division line which is Robert H. Hester’s line, thence West forty six chains and fifty links to Pointers, Thence up said as it meanders to a White Oak on the West side, thence West on
Elg. Jones line seventeen chains twenty five links to blazed Pointers, thence South along said Phelps line twenty four chains and 80 links to a Red Oak Stump, thence East on yet his line forty two chains and fifty links to a White Oak, thence North on Jno. Phelps twenty chains and thirty links to a Maple, thence East yet his line thirty chains and fifty links to the beginning. Containing by Estimation One hundred Eighty four and ½ acres be the same more or less to have and to hold the aforesaid bargained & sold premises.

Robert H. Hester---{Seal}

Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the presence of:

Nathan Oakley
Wm. Evans
P.M. McMurray

Robert H. Hester, (1811-1880) married Mary Collins and was a prominent citizen of the Bushy Fork area of Person County, N.C. He was was a son of Nicholas Hester (1786- ) and Elizabeth Hines and a grandson of Robert Hester (ca.1745- ). The Hester's Store area is named for this family.

Person County Heritage Book
Story# 559

The Hesters; have been in the Person County area since well before the county was formed. Robert Hester, born circa 1745, in addition to his land holdings was a miller. He had eight children of which Nicholas Hester was the line through which the Person County Hesters descended.Nicholas Hester, born in 1786, married Elizabeth Hines in the early eighteen hundreds. He moved from Person County to Caswell County after selling his oldest son, Robert H. Hester, 63 acres of land in Person County for the token sum of one dollar. The Nicholas Hester home place is located in Orange County near the intersection of highway 49 and 86, near the Caswell County line. He was a member of Wheeley's Primitive Baptist Church, having joined in 1824. He was appointed deacon in 1833. Some of Nicholas' personality can be seen in the church minutes which are available. He left the church in 1855 over a minor dispute and remained away for eighteen years. He asked to be restored to full fellowship in 1873.

Robert H. Hester remained in Person County. He was born in 1811. In 1834, at the age of 23 and already a land owner, he married his seventeen year old bride, Mary Collins. He became a successful merchant, farmer and statesman. He was elected as a senator from the county to the State Legislature four times. He later served as a Representative to the same body from 1856 to 1860. Robert Hester was a successful farmer. A measure of his success can be seen in his will. Even after living through the devastation of the Civil War, he was still a man of means at his death on May 17, 1880. Some insight into the man can be seen in a short character sketch written by Alexander A. Foushee in his Reminisencences Letter to the Courier, June 28, 1916:

"Robert H. Hester was a merchant, mill owner and one of our largest farmers and land owners. He was elected to the State Legisla­ture several sessions, though he was not an office seeker. His was a case where the office sought the man and he was never defeated when he consented to accept a nomination, as he had the cor1fidence of the people, and I think, gave entire satisfaction to his consti­tuents as a legislator. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years, a wise counsellor whose advice was often sought by his neigh­bors when in trouble. He raised a large and sterling family of children. He was a popular, highly esteemed and useful man."


Thomas Phelps Sr. deeded 147--3/10 Acres to Richard and Thomas H. Phelps

Richard and Thomas H. Phelps were his sons by 1st Wife, Mary Pass). He was now married to Mary (Polly) McKissack and they had daughter Martha Ann Phelps b. June 19, 1846, Martha's brother James A. Phelps was not born until February 20, 1848.

Person County, North Carolina
Deed Book Q--Pages 527-528
November 26, 1847

The sum of Two-Hundred & Seventy-Five dollars to him in hand paid by the said Richard & Thomas H. Phelps---a certain tract or parcel of land on the Waters of Double Creeks--adjoining Hester, Thompson, Jones--one boundary being--Up the Creek as it meanders.

Thomas Phelps---his mark

Robert H. Hester
G. W. Brown

In the Will of Thomas Phelps Sr., he leaves 50 Acres to son Richard (son from 1st wife Mary Pass) and the rest of his estate to 2nd wife Mary (Polly) Phelps and their children, Martha Ann Phelps and James A. Phelps. This remaining property in my opinion is the property refered to as the 80-some acres that is mentioned in the Deed of Trust of Mary (Polly)Phelps to Robert H. Hester, the Will of Martha Anne Phelps, The Will of James A. Phelps who left this property to his son Ralph P. Phelps, along with his sister Martha's interest in the property, as she was to have a home and provided for for life.

1880 Census, Person County,North Carolina, Bushy Fork Township

James A. PHELPS Self M Male W 32 NC Farming
Susan PHELPS Wife M Female W 40 NC Keeping House
Allice Y. PHELPS Dau S Female W 7 NC
Emma J. PHELPS Dau S Female W 4 NC
Daisey W. PHELPS Dau S Female W 2 NC


Mary PHELPS Self W Female W 75 NC Keeping House
Martha PHELPS Dau S Female W 30 NC
Mary J. PHELPS Dau S Female W 33 NC
Willie J. PHELPS GDau Female W 14 NC At School
Lucy MCKISSACK Sister S Female W 75 NC

James A. Phelps was still married to his 1st wife at this time, Susan C. Malone (b. July 20, 1848--d. February 17, 1890) daughter of Pomfrey Malone and Hettie Malone. His second wife mentioned in his Will was Mary (Mollie) J. Malone (b. June 26, 1857--d. October 2, 1936), daughter of John Malone and Elizabeth Malone.

Based on the close proximity of the two households and the other Wills and land records contained here, I conclude that this was part of the original lands of Thomas Phelps Sr. when he made his move from Caswell County to Person County, N.C. in the 1820's.

The above referenced documents will follow after the Last Will of Thomas Phelps Sr.

Thomas Phelps Sr.-Last Will and Testament
Person County Court June Term 1849
Will Book

I Thomas Phelps of the County of Person and state of North Carolina do make
and publish this my last Will and Testament,hereby revoking all others...

In the first place I desire that all my just debts shall be paid by my
executor as soon as may be convenient after my decease.

I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Phelps the sum of one hundred
dollars to her and her heirs forever.

I will and bequeath to my son Richard A. Phelps fifty acres of land with the improvements to be laid off in
the northwest corner of my land so as to include the dwelling house where the said Richard A. Phelps now resides and to adjoin the tract of land deeded by me to Thomas H. Phelps and Richard A. Phelps to hold to him and his heirs forever

And the rest and and residue of my estate both real and personal, I desire and so will that it shall remain in the possession of my wife Polly Phelps to be used and employed by her under the advice and discretion of my executor, herein after named, for her own support and maintenance and also to enable her to raise, educate, and support, free of charge, my two youngest children--To Wit, Martha Phelps and James Phelps until the shall arrive at lawful ages.

Then my will and desire is that all my property mentioned in this bequest as such first an shall be remaining shall be equally divided between my wife Polly Phelps, and to my two children Martha Phelps and James
Phelps, and in case my wife should marry before my said children shall arrive at the age of twenty one years,Then I direct that the desire above named shall take place immediately.

I hereby nominate and appoint my son Richard Phelps executor of this my last Will and Testament. An Witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this ninth of December 1848.

Thomas Phelps---his mark

In Presence of :
Wm. Whitfield James O. Bradsher


Mary (Polly) McKissack--(b. Aug. 19 1806 - d. Nov. 17 1892)--2nd Wife of Thomas Phelps Sr., Son of James Phelps, who moved from Caswell County to Person County in the late 1820's.

Person County, North Carolina
Deed Book S--Pages 359-360

Deed of Trust--Mary Phelps indebted to Robert H. Hester & Son and Berdnard Russell, with Robert O. Toryan as surety, March 20th, 1858

Whereas the said Mary Phelps is justly indebted to R. H. Hester & son in the sum of Ninety-Two dollars & sixteen cents due by note and account, also to Berdnard Russell in the sum of Fifty-Five dollars, as security due by note, which said debts due as aforesaid from the said Mary Phelps---In consideration of the sum of One dollar paid to the said Mary Phelps by Robert O. Toryan, the said Mary Phelps hath sold to Robert A. Torian the following named property.

Her lifetime interest in Eighty-Four Acres of land, lying on the Waters of Double Creek, adjoining the lands of R. H. Hester and others, Two Cows & Calves, One Sow and Nine Shoats, One Clock, One Beaureau,
Two Beds & Furniture, One Bay Horse, One Loom. My interest in what tobacco we now have on hand.

That if the said Mary Phelps shall fail or omit to pay and satisfy fully the aforesaid named debts---on or before the Second day of April next---the said Robert A. Torian shall proceed to sell the before named property for ready money, after giving at least ten days notice of the time and place of the sale at three or more public places in the County aforesaid and the proceeds arising from the sale---the said Robert A. Torian shall first apply to the payments of the debts due---and the residue or surplus, if any there should be, after making such payments, the said Robert A. Torian shall pay over to the aforesaid Mary Phelps, her heirs or assigns.

Mary Phelps---{Seal}
R. A. Torian---{Seal}

Witness: Albert Yarborough

Person County, North Carolina
Clerk's Office March 22, 1858

Th Execution of the foregoing Deed in Trust was duly proven before me by the oath of Albert Yarborough, a Subscribing Witness thereto. Let the same be Registered.

Charles Mason--Clerk
By James Wright--Dep. Clk


Martha A. Phelps -- (b. 19 Jun 1846 - d. 15 Feb 1926)--Last Will and Testament--Daughter of Thomas Phelps Sr. and 2nd Wife, Mary (Polly) McKissack

Person County, North Carolina
Will Book 21 Page 132

North Carolina, Person County. I, Martha A. Phelps, of said state and county, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence, do Make and declare this my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all other heretofore made by me:

1. My executor, hereinafter named, shall give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my family and friends, and pay all funeral expenses, together with all my just debts, out of the first money that may come into his hands belonging to my estate.

2. 1 give and devise to my nephew, Ralph P. Phelps, in fee simple all of my interest, right and title in and to the following tract of land in said state and county, Bushy Fork Township, adjoining the lands of the estate of Q.A. Morton on the North, Charlie Vernon on the East, Walter Bradsher on the South, J. A. Phelps on the South also, and the lands of the estate of Q A. Morton on the West, containing 87-1/2 acres, more, or less, the other interest in said tract of land being owned by my brother, Jas. A. Phelps.

3. I give and devise to my niece, Willie J. Pettigrew, wife of J. R. Pettigrew, for the term of her life and no longer, ?the house and lot which own in the Town of Roxboro, N. C., on Morgan Street, said lot having been conveyed to me by W. J. Pettigrew and others by deed dated May 14th, 1912, and registered of Deeds office for Person county in Book 21 page 289, and at the death the said Willie J. Pettigrew said house and lot shall go to Bessie Pettigrew Cushwa, wife of G. J. Cushwa, and John Schaub Pettigrew, children of Willie J. Pettigrew in fee simple, each to have an undivided one?half interest in same.

4. 1 hereby constitute and appoint my nephew, Ralph P. Phelps, executor to this my last will and testament.

In Winess whereof, I the said Martha A. Phelps, do hereunto'my hand and seal this the 11th day of December, 1920.

Martha A. Phelps {Seal}

Witnesses: E. G. Long
G. S. Brooks

James A. Phelps-- (b. 20 Feb 1848 - d. 31 Mar 1926)-- Last Will and Testament, Son of Thomas Phelps Sr. and 2nd Wife, Mary (Polly) McKissack.

Person County, North Carolina
Will Book 21 Page 183-184

I, James A. Phelps of the aforesaid County and State, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence, do make and declare this my last will and testament:

1. My executrix and executor, hereinafter named, shall give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my family and friends, and pay all funeral expenses together with all my just debts out of the first money which may come their hands belonging to my estate.

2. 1 give and devise to my beloved wife Mollie J. Phelps for the natural life, and no longer, my tract of land in Bushy Fork Township, Person County, North Carolina, containing two hundred (200) acres more or less being the place where John Clayton now lives, and the dwelling house and lot and the vacant lots owned by me in the Town of Mebane, North Carolina, upon which we now live. I also give to her for her use and enjoyment for the term of her life all of my household and kitchen furniture. But it Is hereby expressly stipulated and provided that my three children, Ralph P. Phelps, Jewel E. M. Phelps and Pearl Phelps Britt, shall have a home with my said wife so long as they may desire to do so.

3. I give and devise in fee to my three children, Ralph P. Phelps, helps and Pearl Phelps Britt, at the expiration of the life estate of my wife Mollie J. Phelps therein, my dwelling house and lot and all my vacant lots in the Town of Mebane, North Carolina, share and share alike.

4. 1 give and devise in fee to my two daughters, Jewel E. M. Phelps Britt, at the expiration of the life estate of my wife Mollie J. Phelps therein, the tract of land in Bushy Fork Township, Person County, North containing 200 acres more or less. I give also to said two daughters all of the personal property mentioned in item 2 hereof given to my wife for the term of her life, or so much thereof as may be remaining at the time of her death.

5. 1 further give and devise in fee to my two daughters, Jewel E. M. Phelps and Pearl Phelps Britt, the one acre tract of land, with three houses thereon, located in Reamstown in the Town of Roxboro, N. C.

6. 1 give and devise in fee to my son, Ralph P. Phelps, the tract of land in Bushy Fork Township, Person County, North Carolina, containing sixty-nine (69) acres, more or less, which I purchased from J. O. Bradsher, and also the tract of land in said township, county and state, containing eighty-eight and one-half (88-1/2) acres, more or less, which is owned equally by my sister, Martha Phelps, and myself. 1 am devising the one-half interest of my said sister in this tract of land for the reason that she has made her home with me for many years, and in consideration of the further fact that I am providing for her a home with my wife as long as she may live. And it is hereby expressly stipulated and provided that my said son.Ralph P. Phelps, shall support and maintain my said sister, Martha Phelps in a comfortable manner as long as she lives.

7. 1 give and devise in fee to my three daughters, Alice Warren, Emma Burch and Daisy Bradsher, my Malone Tract of land, lying and being in Bushy Township, Person County, North Carolina, containing fifty-seven and one half (57-1/2) acres more or less.

8. It is my will that the insurance money to be received at my death under the policy on my life shall be divided equally among my wife and six children, each to receive one seventh.

9. 1 give and devise the residue of my personal property and money after the payment of my debts and the special devises made herein, to my son, Ralph P. Phelps, and my two daughters, Jewel E. M. Phelps and Pearl Phelps Britt, one third to each. I exclude my three daughters, Alice Warren, Emma Burch and Daissy Bradsher from participating in the residue of my personal property and money for the reason that I have already given Nine Hundred ($900.00) Dollars to Alice Warren, One Thousand ($1000.00) Dollars to Emma Burch, and One Thousand ($1000.00) Dollars to Daisy Bradsher.

10. It is my will, and It is hereby expressly provided, that my sister, Martha Phelps, shall have a home with my wife, Mollie J. Phelps, as long as she may live.

11. 1 hereby constitute and appoint my wife, Mollie J. Phelps, executrix, and my son, Ralph P. Phelps, executor to this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and declaring void any and all wills heretofore made by me, and my said executrix and executor shall not be required to give bond.

In Witness Whereof, I, the said James A. Phelps, do hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 24th day of September, 1925.

J. A. Phelps---{Seal}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said James A. Phelps to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us, who, at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.

Thomas C. Carter
Joseph H. Hurdle


I, D. J. Walker, Clerk of the Superior Court in and for the aforesaid County and State do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and accurate copy of the last Will and Testament of James A. Phelps as same is taken from and compared with the original this day duly admitted to probate and filed in this office in accordance with law.

Witness my hand and official seal, done in office at Graham, this April 15, 1926.

D. J. Walker, C.S.C. {Seal}


James A. Phelps---Land Deeds, Person County, N.C.

December 2nd, 1872
Deed Book CC--Pages 536-537

George A. Broach and wife Mary A. Broach and Calvin Brown and wife Elizaberth Brown----To James A. Phelps, for $256.00, 64 Acres, on the Waters of South Hyco.

Beginning at the Meeting house and on J. O. Bradshers line, Lucy Woods corner, thence running North with J. O Bradsher's corner, in Mary Phelps line, thence West with Mary Phelps line to and old pine stump, James O. Bradsher's corner, thence South with James O. Bradsher's line to James O. Bradsher's corner, thence South with James O. Bradsher's line to the Meeting house line, to the Meeting house road, thence East with the said road to the beginning.


November 29th, 1883
Deed Book CC--Pages 549--550

J. S. Merritt, Commissioner---To James A. Phelps, for $550.00, 30 Acres

That whereas an exparte petition was brought in the Superior Court of Person County, N.C. by W. A. Jincey?, Guardian for Laura E, Jesse L. and Sally N. Marshall, infants for the purpose of selling a parcel of land hereinafter described and belonging to said infant Wards, who are residents of the State of Arkansas and whereas by virtue of said petition, J. C. Pass, Clerk of the Superior Court of said County and State, did on the first day of September, 1883, order the Sale of said land to be made at the Courthouse to the highest bidder for cash, when and where J. H. Henry become the purchaser as the last and highest bidder at the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty dollars, and said sale has been in all respects confirmed and letter ordered to be made. And whereas said J. H. Henry has assigned and transferred his said bid to James A. Phelps, the party of the second part to this Indenture,--in consideration of the sum of $550.00.

Adjoining the lands of Thomas Broach on the West, Nathaniel Broach on the North, Miss Zilphia Broach on the East, and the lands of the Widow Wm. Marshall on the South. It being the lot of land alloted Harriet A. Marshall in the estate of Richard Broach, Deceased and situated about 2 miles South of Hester's old Store.

J. S. Merritt, Commissioner---{Seal}

Test: J. H. Henry

North Carolina
Person County

The examination of the foregoing deed was this day duly acknowledged before me by J.S. Merritt, Commissioner, The Grantor. Let the deed with this certificate be registered. Witness my hand this January 7th, 1886

John C. Pass---Clerk of Court

Registered January 8th, 1886
F. P. Satterfield--P.R.

December 29th, 1886
Deed Book EE--Pages 351-352

Elizabeth Malone and Turner Malone---To James A. Phelps, for $350.00 (one hundred and seventy five dollars each), 53 Acres, on the Waters of Hyco.

Adjoining the lands of W. A. Warren, Nathaniel Broach, B.F. Hester and others and known as the Hettie C. Malone Tract--being 2/5 of whole by inheritance Elizabeth Malone and Turner Malone, being lawful heirs of the said Hettie C. Malone

Elizabeth Malone---{Seal}
Turner Malone-----{Seal}

Witnesses: James O. Bradsher
J. S. Coleman


July 2nd, 1888
Deed Book GG--Pages 549 and 552 ---(Pages 550 and 551 out of sequence concerning other individuals deeds)

J. L. Brooks and wife Martha---To James A. Phelps, for $925.00, 100 Acres

Adjoining the lands of Thomas B. Broach on the South, on the West by Widow Marshall, on the North and East by Calvin Hester and others.
Beginning at a small Dogwood on John Crisp's line, thence West a marked line to a Branch, thence down the said Branch as it meanders to a Sourwood and corner on Marshall's line, thence North his line to a Branch formerly known by the name of Moses Branch, thence East of North with said branch McNeal's line, thence McNeal's line East to a Pine corner, thence South, John Crisp's line to the first station.

J. L. Brooks---{Seal}
M. W. Brooks---{Seal}


WRITTEN AND TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps August 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage 1614 – 1775

Peter Wilson Coldham, 1988

(This article lists the English Phelps who were sentenced by legal process to be transported to American colonies. This copied list has been restricted to Virginia primarily. Also included are exerpts from several related books.)


Between 1614 and 1775 some 50,000 Englishmen were sentenced by legal process to be transported to the American colonies. With notably few exceptions their names and the record of their trial have survived in public records together with much other information which enables us to plot the story of their unhappy and unwilling passage to
America. These records are now combined and condensed in this volume to form the largest single collection of transatlantic passenger lists to be found during the earliest period of emigration.

The bitterness and controversy aroused amongst certain American scholars when the nature and scale of convict transportation to the colonies were first hinted at have been forced to yield to the weight of documentary evidence accumulated mainly during the post-war years. Marion and Jack Kaminkow were the first to publish extensive lists of transported felons taken from British Treasury records, and it was that work which encouraged me to undertake further research to determine the existence and location of other records in this area.' The scale on which transportation was regularly practised became clear as the annals of the Old Bailey were slowly unravelled and matched against the Treasury papers unearthed by the Kaminkows. The first fruits of this labour were published in English Convicts in Colonial America, Volume I (1974) covering Middlesex, and Volume 11 (1976) London.2 In order to present a more comprehensive account, the records of the Assize and Palatinate courts- covering all the counties of England were then studied one by one and a further series of volumes incorporating Vols. I and II. of English Convicts in Colonial America was then published as Bonded Passengers to America (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983). Bound in three volumes, it also included a history of transportation from 1615 to 1775. There remained to be examined, however, the scattered records of over fifty Courts of Quarter Session each having the power to impose sentences of transportation, and that work, which has now been largely accomplished, is included in this one comprehensive volume. To facilitate reference to what has grown into a publication of substantial proportions, the,former arrangement by county has been dropped in favour of a completely° alphabetical listing.

The notes and appendices which follow are intended to summarise the history of English criminal transportation and the nature and location of source material used in compiling this book. However, in view of the volume and diversity of the sources used, any who seek more detailed notes and references are advised to consult those which prefaced volumes in the original series of Bonded Passengers to America.

(Several other pages were not copied)

… In addition, many contracts for the transportation of felons, gaolers' accounts, bonds, and lists relating to transportation are to be found in County Record Offices. Further information about most of the felons sentenced to transportation in London and Middlesex may be found in the printed series of Old Bailey Sessions Papers, copies of which are held in the London Guildhall Library and in the British Library at Bloomsbury.

A summary list of references to Public Record Office documents used in the compilation of this volume will be found in Appendix I (pardons issued up to 1717), Appendix II (shipping and passenger lists), and Appendix III (Assize Court records).

Arrangement of this Book

It will be appreciated that the lists presented in this volume are very highly condensed from original records and are intended principally to show the researcher where to look for further information. Each entry is therefore constructed as follows:

a)Surname and Christian name(s) with aliases where given in original documents.

b) Parish of -ongin. (Where none is shown the original bills of indictment should be consulted.)

c) Occupation or status. (Most often shown' as "labourer" in original documents and therefore not transcribed.)

d) Sentencing court, offence, and month and year of sentence.

e) Month, year, and ship (if known) on which transported.

f) Place, month, and year (if known) landed in America.

g) English county in which sentenced.

[The following includes the list of Phelps from the preceding book with possible added information from Bonded Passengers to America, Vol VI]

Edward Phelps Sentenced to Transportation stealing leather breeches Summer, Transportation Bond Sept 1753, Gloucestershire

Hugh Philips of Lyme Regis, Reprieved for transportation for Barbados Feb 1714, Dorset

John Phelps Sentenced to Transportation, March 1745, Devon

John Phelps Sentenced to Transportation, Dec 1756, Middlesex

Mary Phelps Sentenced to Transportation, Lent 1748, Surrey

Thomas Phelps Sentenced to Transportation stealing at Selwick Lent 1752, Herefordshire

Thomas Phelps Sentenced to Transportation stealing lamb & Reprieved for transportation, 14 years Lent 1775, Berkshire

William Phelps, Rebel Transported 1685

William Phelps Sentenced to Transportation Lent Transportation Bond March 1731 Gloustershire

William Phelps Sentenced to Transportation stealing at Bisley Lent Transportation Bond April 1747 Gloustershire


[My initial review of this book shows the same Phelps information as above, but grouped by the circuit]

This volume lists the names of those recorded in official documents as having been sentenced or reprieved for transportation to the Americas between 1663 and 1775 by the Assize Courts for the counties of Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire, which together made up the Oxford Circuit. Some few of the earliest settlers in Virginia have also been included where their names appear in Privy Council Registers of the time of James I.

Those sentenced to transportation by the Courts of Quarter Sessions of the Peace will not be found in this volume save where their names have found their way into State Papers or County Gaolers' lists. Quarter Sessions records are to be found not in London but in County Record Offices.

The documents of the Oxford Circuit, though much ravaged by neglect and decay, are nevertheless remarkably extensive and comprehensive so that it has proved possible for almost the entire period covered to secure from one category of papers the data which has not survived in another. As with previous volumes in this series, the information printed in the following pages is designed as a means of access to fuller trial records and, with a little more effort, to associated documents related to each individual. Some abbreviated examples are given below.

Thomas Ashby (p.1) petitioned is 1743 (SP 36/60/190-191) that the Captain of the transport ship Samuel on which he was embarked for the colonies in 1741 purchased him for his own service. On a subsequent voyage the peti­tioner was captured by a Spanish privateer from which he was later exchanged

with a Spanish prisoner and unavoidably brought back to England before the term of his transportation order had expired."He now lived in fear of discovery.';

Elizabsth Crosbv (p.3.) was the subject of an appeal from Joseph Acres, rector of Newbury, and Joseph Standen, vicar of Speen, in March 1734­36131 /68). They say she was condemned for taking away goods of no great value from the shop of Elizabeth Paradise but that she had previously "behaved herself in so honest and obliging a way to her neighbours and acquaintances as to excite for her and her husband, now almost overcome with grief, a compassionate importunity." A petition which had been made Out on her behalf and signed by many of her friends had, by an unfortunate accident, not been delivered to the Judge at her trial. This appeal fell on deaf ears.

William Orowood (p.8), a bargeman, arranged for appeals to 17e lodged by many residents of Reading and by the bargemaster of Abingdon after he had k been c0nvicted on the evidence of John Vickers of receiving stolen goods. The latter had since made a voluntary confession of his own guilt and had then "absented himself, being suspected of other crimes." The petitioners declared that Orpwood had always supported himself by honest industry and had a wife and five small children dependent upon him. The Circuit Judge, to whom the appeal was referred, submitted a full account of the trial and conceded that witnesses on Orpwood's behalf had given him a good character, though one had sworn that he wanted to arrest Orpwood for debt but had been unable to apprehend him. The Judge concluded that Orpwood was not worthy of mercy.

Notes scattered throughout the Assize records indicate the importance attached to the efficient conduct of the business of transportation as a i`maj°r executive arm of justice. At each session the Court appointed a committee of worthies to superintend the business and to contract with a shipping agent: for the Oxford Circuit those appointed usually included senior ecclesiatics and University dons. Only the rather remote county of Monouth reported any problem, and a note from there recorded in the minutes

further pages not copied]

Also see:

Convict Servants in the American Colonies

All Things Considered, July 24, 2004 · The William Brown House, an elegant Georgian brick building built in the 1760s, sits on the banks of the South River in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Now a museum, the house is the last visible structure of London Town, an 18th century tobacco port and one of the Atlantic trading sites where thousands of convicts from England entered the colonies to begin their indentured servitude.

In 1718, the British Parliament passed the Transportation Act, under which England began sending its imprisoned convicts to be sold as indentured servants in the American colonies. While the law provoked outrage among many colonists -- Benjamin Franklin equated it to packing up North American rattlesnakes and sending them all to England -- the influx of ex-convicts provided cheap and immediate labor for many planters and merchants. After 1718, approximately 60,000 convicts, dubbed "the King's passengers," were sent from England to America. Ninety percent of them stayed in Maryland and Virginia. Although some returned to England once their servitude was over, many remained and began their new lives in the colonies.

Amateur genealogist Carol Carman is a descendant of one convict servant who worked in Annapolis and stayed in Maryland. Arrested in London, England, for stealing a silk handkerchief worth two shillings, Carman's ancestor was transported to the colonies and sentenced to servitude.

NPR's Brian Naylor spoke with Carman and Dr. Gregory Stiverson, President of the Historic Annapolis Foundation, about London Town and the indentured labor of the American colonies.

Colonial America: Land of Opportunity for white bonded labor?

Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775 (Clarendon Paperbacks) (Paperback)
by A. Roger Ekirch From 1718 to 1775, British courts banished 50,000 convicts to America--the largest body of immigrants, aside from African slaves, ever sent across the Atlantic--in hopes of restoring social peace at home without posing the threat to traditional freedoms raised by the death penalty or a harsh corrective system. Drawing upon archives in Britain and the United States, Bound for America examines the critical role this punishment played in Britain's criminal justice system. It also assesses the nature of the convict trade, the social origins of the transported felons, and the impact such a large criminal influx had on colonial society.


William Pencak, Penn UNIVERSITY-OGONTZ


BOUND FOR AMERICA: THE TRANSPORTATION OF BRIT­ISH CONVICTS TO THE COLONIES, 1718-1775. By A. Roger Ekirch. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Pp. 277. $45.00.)

"TO SERVE WELL AND FAITHFULLY": LABOR AND INDENTURED SERVANTS IN PENNSYLVANIA, iG82­. 1800. By Sharon V. Salinger. (New Rochelle, New York: Cam­bridge University Press, 1987, Pp. xiii, 192. $29.95.)

As Edmund S. Morgan noted in American Slavery, American Freedom (New York: Norton, 1975), economic and political opportu­nity for white Americans developed along with and in consequence of new and harsher farms of bondage for blacks. These two largely quantitative studies demonstrate that Morgan's thesis can be modified and extended: freedom for some whites (upper- and middle-class) depended, upon harsher farms of bondage far the majority of eighteenth century white immigrants to British North America, if the experiences of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are typical in this respect. A. Roger Ekirch details how Britain only institutionalized penal transpor­tation in 1718 and sent some 50,000 convicts--80 percent to Maryland and Virginia-by the Revolution. Sharon V. Salinger demonstrates the changing nature of indentured servitude. In late seventeenth century Pennsylvania, predominantly English servants worked about four years for masters in a paternalistic setting and had a goad chance to obtain at least a moderate freehold. By the mid-eighteenth century German and

Scotch-Irish servants worked for four to seven years for English masters and once freed frequently became "objects of charity" or were forced to reindenture themselves. Servitude shifted from a mostly rural to an urban institution as Philadelphia merchants and artisans increased their wealth using bound labor and as the gap between the classes widened. Ekirch and Salinger thus criticize the notion of provincial America as a land of opportunity, a land-rich, labor-poor society where servants commanded premium wages and, after their initial bondage, could join society as equals. Instead, they confirm the image stressed in recent work by James Henretta and Gary Nash of a land of increasing inequality as the Revolution approached.

Both Ekirch and Salinger have undertaken prodigious research. If Ekirch has ranged wider-in British as well as Maryland and Virginia sources-Salinger has probed deeper-into the tax, poor relief, and other records of Pennsylvania. Both have combed newspapers for descriptions of runaways and quantified wherever possible. Ekirch's book is somewhat better written: there are fewer lengthy footnotes and several personal vignettes of convicts which grace his text, But both authors do all that could be reasonably expected with the data, given the obvious limitations of human energy.

Ekirch uses both his own research and the superb recent and voluminous literature on crime and society in eighteenth century England to demolish some long-held stereotypes about convict trans­ports. They were not petty thieves but serious larcenists, for the most part. British justice in fact functioned fairly reasonably, notwithstand­ing the barbaric statutes, to make the punishment fit the crime. Persons sentenced to transportation rather than death tended to be non-violent, non-repeat offenders. Judges took into account community opinion and the likelihood someone would continue to be a nuisance. Ekirch also nicely shows the ideology behind transportation: Englishmen institu­tionalized convict servitude abroad because they did not wish to experience visible signs of servitude such as prisons and convict labor at home.

Once the prisoners were out of England, however, concern with justice vanished. The crown contracted with merchants to transport them overseas for a price: some ten percent died on the voyage in the early eighteenth century, in addition to those who perished awaiting shipment. By the 1770s, however, colonial laws against landing diseased convicts and some tolerably humane contractors reduced this rate to two percent. (In the weakest section of her book, Salinger relies on outdated sources and exceptional instances of mortality to argue that about a

quarter of indentured servants, who were generally treated better than convicts, died en route to Pennsylvania.)

Even with large numbers of slaves in the tobacco colonies, Maryland and Virginia proved the best markets for the convicts. They worked as both artisans and field hands. Despite frequent complaints that they were disorderly and rebellious-as were the predominantly young, male servants during the seventeenth century-Ekirch finds little evidence of crime among them. This was neither because work was easy nor because opportunity to rise after servitude was good. Ekirch speculates that small, well-controlled rural communities, absence of tangible goals to steal, and lack of cities to escape to and fence goods accounted for the low crime rate. Convicts did run away in large numbers: many returned to England, where chances of being rediscovered were slim.

Salinger develops a three-stage model to explain the history of indentured servitude in Pennsylvania. The paternal, familial indenture closely linked with apprenticeship developed into a more impersonal, lengthier, cash-for-labor connection over the first century of Pennsylva­nia's history. Salinger's model of the first two stages is interesting yet not thoroughly convincing. She only has a small group of 196 servants for 1681-1687 to serve as a data base for her first stage. Further, an astonishing number of this group died young-over sixty percent before age forty. Does this statistic argue for paternalism or perhaps an unstructured system given the colony's infancy?

' Salinger's description of the decline of indentured servitude is the most interesting and provocative part of her book, which could (and should) be expanded into an account of labor unrest in early national Philadelphia. Indentured servitude decreased because it became more profitable to hire workers temporarily at low wages instead of indentur­ing them for long periods. In consequence, autonomous protests by journeymen and laborers occurred with increasing frequency after the Revolution. Salinger is alert to the irony: the freeing of labor left it free to be exploited. She points out another irony: the anti-slavery movement in Pennsylvania led to a temporary increase in the number of inden­tures-freedom for blacks could mean servitude for whites.

Given the limitations of their data, however, I am basically persuaded by Ekirch's and Salinger's argument. But to make a totally convincing case that America was not a land of opportunity for indentured whites someone, sometime, is going to have to discuss the frontier. Ekirch alludes briefly to hordes of former servants migrating to the backcountry and Carolinas; Salinger does not discuss migration out of Pennsylvania or utilize western Pennsylvania sources. In short, they have shown therewas limited opportunity for former servants in the areas in which they were indentured. It would be unreasonable to ask them to perform for North or South Carolina frontier counties the feats of name-tracing and wealth analysis they have done for the seaboard-assuming the data exist. Nevertheless, until the presence or absence of these people in the west is confirmed, historians will continue to debate the problem of economic mobility in early America.