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.


Doug Phelps said...

I have corrected the VA Phelps map at Phelps Research Blog, omitting the locations of William Phelps, son of John of Goochland d. 1747. William moved around a lot beform moving to KY. (See Galgan's notes.) I did this because the map is to show only those who stayed in VA. Hopefully another map can show the locations where the other moved.

Anonymous said...

I am of the john lewis phelps family...okttibeha grandmother is mother is vashti....any family contact

phloating phelps said...

It's new email is have questions on the whole john and elinor phelps at flowerdew hundred and John and sarah and James Creek massacre.thomas is only one listed and there is a 75 year gap between john and sarah to John of halifax .who is missing and is zacharia phelps of fleming Kentucky verified.trying to finish grandmother ina was the sister of Melvin phelps on your dna list

Doug Phelps said...

Susie, it would be good to email with you on all you wrote. The Halifax Co, VA Phelps line is now considered to be related to the James of Caswell NC line based on very extensive yDNA testing. You may want to review the details of the Halifax line (and others) at

The Phelps ydna project members did the work. In particuilar a major part of Halifax work is by Walter Phelps with whom you can work.

I am not familiar with John and Elinor . some dates and locations?? Also more about the James Creek massacre.?

Unknown said...

Trying to find information about William Phelps b1725 in Virginia, died 1814 in kentucky, father of Nicholas Phelps, seems to be a lot of confusion as to which line William belongs.