Or, Subtitled: Interrelated Families, Same Migration Patterns, DNA Surprises
As a follow-up to my previous posting about Dennis Lindsey’s daughter Margaret and her husband Robert Phillips, I want to post some notes about another Phillips family living in Granville (and later Orange) County, North Carolina, when Robert and Margaret lived there. This is the family of David Phillips, who was born about 1700 in North Farnham parish in Richmond County, Virginia.
As my previous posting noted, there are many connections between David Phillips and families associated with Dennis Lindsey in Granville County. As with many of these folks, David came down to the Granville-Orange County area from Orange County, Virginia, with prior roots in Richmond County, where Dennis was indentured in 1718. In December 1747, he was a witness when John Thornton, brother of Dennis Lindsey’s son-in-law Roger Thornton, sold land to John Gant in Granville. In March 1749, when John and Roger’s brother Henry Thornton received a land grant in Granville, the grant states that the land joined that of David Phillips.
These Thornton men were, as we’ll see in a moment, actually cousins of David Phillips. David’s mother Susannah Williams had a sister Anne Williams who married Henry Thornton, Roger, John, and Henry’s grandfather. I also noted in the posting linked above that in 1751, Robert Phillips was taxed along with his brother-in-law Roger Thornton and Roger’s brother John Thornton in David Phillips’ tax district in Granville.
As I explained at the end of that previous posting, these and many other pieces of information have long made me think that Robert Phillips was likely related to David Phillips, and so I’m surprised to learn that the DNA of known descendants of the Dennis Phillips who died in Chatham County, North Carolina, in 1831 is not a match to the DNA of known descendants of David Phillips and his brothers. I do, however, have reservations about concluding that the Dennis Phillips of Chatham County is the son of Robert and Margaret Lindsey Phillips, as I also stated in that posting — and I explained my reasons for doubting this conclusion. I could be quite wrong in doubting this connection, and this might be one of those genealogical cases in which lots of plausible clues simply point in the wrong direction….
Here’s what I know of David Phillips — and let me state from the outset of this discussion that a great deal of what I know about David, his roots, and his siblings, comes from research done over many years by Nancy Kiser, administrator of the Phillips DNA Project and One-Name study, which she has generously shared with me and others. Any mistakes or wrong conclusions here are mine, and not Nancy’s, and I have asked her to tell me if anything I report here about her research or about David Phillips is incorrect, and I will correct it.
Roots of David Phillips in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia
David Phillips was the son of William Phillips and Susannah Williams of North Farnham parish in Richmond County, Virginia. Susannah’s will, made in Richmond County on 17 January 1726 and proven there on 6 April 1726, names David as her son and makes him her executor.
William Phillips appears to have been born about 1660. He and Susannah seem to have married in 1684 or in 1685, after Susannah witnessed a deed in Essex County, Virginia, on 16 February 1683/4, using her maiden name, Susan Williams, as she did so. The couple seems definitely to have married by 11 April 1685 when Susannah’s mother Joan, who had married Lewis Lloyd after the death of her husband Roger Williams (prior to marrying Lewis Lloyd, she had married Samuel Wills — see below), deeded land with Lewis Lloyd to William Phillips in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, a county that became extinct in 1692 when it was divided into Essex and Richmond Counties.
William Phillips died testate in Richmond County, Virginia, with a will dated 1 December 1725. The will is, unfortunately, no longer extant. Various documents show that William Phillips was a neighbor of Henry Thornton (1660/1665-1695/1703) and his son Roger (1686-1730) — this Roger being father of the Roger Thornton who married Catherine Lindsey. Henry Thornton married Anne Williams (1667-1741), a sister to Susannah Williams who married William Phillips. So these families were not merely neighbors in North Farnham parish in Richmond County, but were related to each other.
When, on 5 September 1716, Roger Thornton of North Farnham parish in Richmond County sold to Charles Wilkinson of the same 50 acres out of a patent of 150 acres to his father Henry, the deed notes that the land adjoined William Phillips and Henry Hawford. A survey made for William Garland on 2 December 1723 in North Farnham parish notes that the 101 acres surveyed were part of a patent to Henry Thornton on 5 July 1695 and that the tract joined land of Garland himself, Joseph Russell, Angell Jacobus, William Phillips, the honorable proprietors of the Northern Neck, Burdit, and Thornton.
The following day, Roger Thornton of North Farnham parish in Richmond County sold to William Garling [sic] of Copley parish in Westmoreland County 63 acres and a rood from a tract patented by Roger’s late father Henry Thornton in North Farnham parish, with the deed noting that the land Roger was selling was adjacent to land owned by William Phillips. On 1 February 1726, Roger Thornton of Richmond County again sold land to William Garland, this time with the deed noting that the land joined land of David Phillips. William Phillips had died by this date, and David had inherited the land from his father.
On 6 August 1728, David Phillips sold to George Thomson (the deed stating that both were of North Farnham parish in Richmond County) land out of a tract granted to Joan Lloyd (Jone Loyd in the original), David’s grandmother. The deed states that the land joined Roger Thornton, William Garland, Joseph Russell Jr., Henry Harford, James Deboard, and John Webb. George Thomson was David’s brother-in-law; he married David Phillips’ sister Catherine in North Farnham parish on 21 February 1725/6. James Deboard/Debord married Henry Thornton’s widow Anne Williams Thornton following Henry’s death. This 1728 deed shows that David had married a wife Mary by August 1728; she released her dower right in this land.
Substantial documentation exists to document the Williams ancestry of Susannah Williams Phillips and Anne Williams Thornton. Their father Roger Williams died testate in Old Rappahannock County before 6 June 1677, when his will, dated 2 February 1675, named his wife Joane and other children without naming daughters Susannah and Anne.
However, when Roger’s widow Joan remarried to Samuel Wills of North Farnham parish in Old Rappahannock County in November 1677, a marriage agreement filed by Wills on 2 November states that, in contemplation of his marriage to Joan, relict of Roger Williams, he was deeding property to Joan’s children Roger, Sydrach, Susanna, and Anne, and that these Williams children would receive the property when they attained the age of sixteen years. This deed proves that these Williams children were born after 1661.
The will of Joan’s third husband Lewis Lloyd (Loyd in the original) in Old Rappahannock County, dated 24 April 1687 and probated 5 November 1690, also names, in addition to his loving wife Joane Loyd, his grandchildren Ann and Elizabeth Phillips along with Henry Thornton son of Roger Thornton. When Joan died in 1704 (her will is dated 8 January 1703/4 and was proven 2 February 1703/4), her will named among other heirs her daughters Susannah, wife of William Phillips, and Anne, wife of James Debord.
Researchers of this Williams family of North Farnham parish have concluded that Roger Williams, father of Susanna Williams Phillips and Anne Williams Thornton, was a nephew of Roger Williams, founder of the Rhode Island colony. The father of the Roger Williams who founded Rhode Island was Sydrach Williams, a merchant tailor of London, born 10 January 1598/9 in St. Sepulchre, Newgate parish, London. He died in 1647. Sydrach married Anne Tiller/Tyler, who was born about 1604 and died in 1637 in Putney, Surrey, England. Sydrach’s father was James Williams, merchant tailor of London, whose will was proven 19 November 1621. James married Alice Pemberton, who was baptized 10 February 1564/5, and who left a will proven 26 January 1634/5.
David Phillips in Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia
After his sale of land to George Thomson in Richmond County in August 1728, David Phillips begins to appear in records of Spotsylvania and then Orange County, Virginia. (Note: this is exactly the same migration pattern followed by Dennis Linchey/Lindsey in the same time frame: as my previous posting tracking Dennis’ life in Virginia after he was indentured in Richmond County in 1718 and then freed from indenture around 1725 showed, he was in Spotsylvania by 1728 seeking to patent land in the fork of the Rapidan that later fell into Orange and then Madison County).
In a December 2008 email to another Phillips researcher that Nancy Kiser has kindly shared with me, she states, the following (she’s speaking of David Phillips’ family):
I think my Phillips migrated from Richmond Co VA to the part of Spotsylvania Co that became Orange Co in 1734, and then became Culpeper Co in 1749, and then became Madison Co in 1793. I don’t think they moved around; I think the county name just kept changing. They lived in the area of the Rapid Anne River, also known as the Rappadan and Rapidan River.
David appears in Spotsylvania court minutes on 2 February 1730 as overseer of a road crew. When Zachary Taylor of Drysdale parish in Caroline County deeded land to William Phillips of St. George’s parish in Spotsylvania on 10 February 1729/1730, David witnessed the deed. William was one of David’s brothers. On 3 March 1730, William deeded land to David, the deed noting that both were planters in St. George’s parish, Spotsylvania.
David Phillips appears again in Spotsylvania court minutes on 4 May 1731 charged with having failed to maintain the road he was ordered to maintain in February 1730, and then on 5 October 1731, when this court presentment was dismissed. On 3 August 1732, David is again mentioned in court minutes in connection with the road, which would be identified in court minutes on 6 March 1733/4 as Rucker’s road. Nancy Kiser’s notes state that Rucker’s Mountain road is now in Madison County, and that it ran in the 1730s from Francis Kirtley’s Mountain down the ridge between Beautiful Run and the Rapidan into Benjamin Cave’s road.
In November 1734 David Phillips appears on the first grand jury impaneled in Orange County. Other members of this first jury included Abraham Bledsoe, whose daughter Catherine married Henry Thornton (1709-aft. 1785), brother of Roger Thornton who married Catherine Lindsey, and Robert Cave. Abraham Bledsoe moved with Roger, Henry, and John Thornton to Granville County, North Carolina, in the 1740s. The Cave and Bledsoe families were much intermarried in Virginia, and members of the Cave family followed the Bledsoes and Thorntons to Granville County.
A 10 May 1735 patent to David Phillips and Robert Cave in Orange County makes me think even harder about possible connections between the Robert Phillips who married Dennis Lindsey’s daughter Margaret, and the Phillips family to which David belongs: the 400 acres that David and Robert patented joined land owned by William Eddings. This is the same William Eddings with whom Dennis Lindsey had sought unsuccessfully to patent land in the fork of the Rapidan in Spotsylvania (later Orange and then Madison) in May 1728. Nancy Kiser’s notes also indicate that David Phillips had a land grant on 5 June 1736 in Orange County at the fork of the Rapidan (so this land would now be in Madison County). On the same date, David’s brother William Phillips also had a grant for land in the fork of the Rapidan joining David’s land.
In 1736-7, David served as a constable in Orange County. In 1739, he is on a tithables list in Orange County with two tithables, along with brothers Leonard (two tithables) and William (five tithables). A John Phillips is in a separate list in Orange with three tithables; it is not clear to me exactly who this John is. Is he one of the John Phillips listed on David’s 1751 tax list in Granville County near Robert Phillips (see the next posting), and is he the John Phillips to whom David sold land on Little Shocco in Granville in May 1746 (see the next posting)? How is John Phillips related to David and his brothers Leonard and William?
On 22 March 1738/9 and 24 February 1741/2, David Phillips and wife Mary began selling their land in Orange County as it appears they were making plans to move to North Carolina. The first land sale was to Darby Quin of Drysdale parish in King and Queen County, and states that David and Mary were of St. Paul’s Parish in Orange and were selling 200 acres in the fork of the Rapidan. Robert Cave was among the three witnesses to this transaction.
The February 1741/2 deed was made by David and Mary to William Broughton, all of Orange County, and was for 72 acres on the branch side of Beautiful Run. The 1738/9 deed to Quin stated that their land on the fork of the Rapidan was at Beautiful Run branch.
As Nancy Kiser’s notes indicate, it appears that David and Mary Philips left Orange County following the sale of these pieces of land. A 28 June 1750 survey to John Zachary in what had how become Culpeper County, Virginia, notes that the land being surveyed bordered what was formerly David Phillips’ land, but now belonged to Robert Cave, and a 29 December 1750 Culpeper deed by Robert Cave to William Cave states that the land being sold had been patented by David Phillips in 1733.
In a February 2008 email to a fellow Phillips researcher that she has shared with me, Nancy Kiser states,
I think that David and William might have migrated from VA down to NC with each other around 1745. Perhaps David liked Orange Co NC and decided to stay there, but William went further south to Anson County NC. I suspect the David Phillips Sr on the 1755 Orange Co NC tax list was the brother of William Phillips of Anson Co NC. David was probably born in Richmond Co VA around 1700. The David Phillips Jr on the 1755 Orange Co NC tax list is probably his son born around 1725-1730. The William Phillips who appears on the 1755 tax list is probably another son, since William appears to have named a son David. One of the John Phillips is probably also a son. And Jesse Phillips who was supposedly born around 1745 is probably either the youngest son or possibly a grandson of David Phillips Sr.
In the same email chain, Nancy Kiser says that after David sold his land in Orange County, Virginia, in 1742, he may have spent time in Granville County before moving to Orange County, North Carolina. Nancy states that she is certain that the David Phillips who appears as a constable and head of a tax district in Granville in 1751 is the David who moved to North Carolina from Orange County, Virginia, for the following reason:
If there was a David Phillips on the 1751 tax lists in Granville Co with sons William and Jesse, this must be my David Phillips Sr who was born around 1700, because he had sons named William and Jesse. I knew that Jesse showed up on the 1755 tax list in Orange Co NC with David Sr and David Jr, but I did not realize Jesse was also on the 1751 tax list in Granville Co. I would have guessed Jesse to be too young in 1751 to appear by name on a tax list.
In my next posting about David Phillips, I’ll survey records of his life in Granville (and, previously, Edgecombe) and Orange Counties, North Carolina, from 1742 forward.
 Both of these documents are discussed in the posting linked at the head of this posting.
 Please note that, because I’m relying on research I haven’t done myself, I sometimes do not have complete documentation of some of the citations I’ll be sharing with you — though Nancy does impeccable research and I am very confident of the accuracy of her citations.
 Richmond County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, p. 1. Richmond County Deed Bk. 8, p. 341, shows David Phillips giving bond with Roger Williams on 6 April 1726 for execution of the will.
 See Essex County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 6, p. 23.
 Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 7, part 2, pp. [374-5?].
 Richmond County, Virginia, Deed Bk 7, p. 164.
 Ibid., Deed Bk. 8, pp. 228-230.
 Ibid. pp. 375-6.
 Ibid., pp. 466-8.
 Essex County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 6, p. 36.
 Richmond County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories 1699-1709, p. 65. On 14 December 1692, Joan had a grant of 159 acres in North Farnham parish, with the grant document noting that the land joined land of Roger Williams, deceased, and taken up by Joan’s deceased husband Lewis Lloyd by survey on 6 February 1681, with the land passing to Joan by the will of Lewis Lloyd. On 1 August 1695, Joan assigned her interest in this land to William Phillips and his heirs.
 Nancy Kiser’s notes state that on 28 April 1738, Robert Cave, William Phillips, and David Phillips were ordered by Orange court to assess improvements on property belonging to John Lightfoot.