A Witcher Family Genealogy 

From a significant collection of estate records, we know with certainty that John Fips died in Charlotte County, Virginia, sometime between May 12, 1768, and March of 1769. For clarity (there were many John Fips/Phips), in this essay, I will refer to this John Fips as Overseer John Fips. The title overseer refers to a period of John’s employment in Lunenburg County, Virginia, where tithe records indicate he was employed as an overseer for two different plantations (the Barnes and Fontaine plantations) between 1753 and 1764.

The primary objective of this essay is to provide a linear description of legal actions taken by those who had claim to the estate of Overseer John Fips. At the end of this essay, I have provided transcriptions, ordered by date of occurrence, of every estate record I have located for the Fips estate. These records include rare clerk notes, order book entries, judgment records, receipts, warrants, summons, and deed records. The information is tedious but may provide an avenue for the determined researcher.

Also, I will chronicle the inter-county migration of Tabitha Fips (the widow of Overseer John Fips), as well as present evidence I believe could help confirm the identity of some of the children of Overseer John Fips. 

This essay will at times stray from its central theme (the overview of the Fips estate), but the subject matter presents a perfect opportunity to intertwine off-topic, family details. Perhaps one of these divergent clues could help solve a family mystery.

Who were the children of Overseer John Fips?

I believe Overseer John Fips was born between 1700 and 1710. Click here to understand how I arrived at this conclusion. At the time of his death, John was married to Tabitha Fips, but I do not believe Tabitha Fips was Overseer John Fips’ first wife. I have reasons for suspecting John may have had another wife, who died by 1742. We will discuss this later in the essay. 

From a 1778, Pittsylvania County, Virginia court document, we know with certainty Overseer John Fips had a daughter named Betsey Fips. Around 1778 this woman married Ephraim Witcher. In the fall of 1793, both Ephraim and Betsey migrated to Surry County, North Carolina, where they established a plantation on the banks of the Mitchell River. Click here to learn more about Betsey Fips and her husband Ephraim Witcher.

The colonial practice of primogeniture supplies confidence that Overseer John Fips had a son named James Fips, who a 1779, Pittsylvania County deed record refers to as “James Fips of Brunswick County.” This deed indicates James Fips sold his two-third interest in Tabitha Fips’ land on the Pigg River. This land transaction, and its significance, will be discussed more extensively later in this essay.

As will be proven, around 1771, Tabitha Fips migrated from Charlotte County, Virginia to Brunswick County, Virginia, where she purchased land adjoining property owned by Joseph Phipps. Based upon her relationship with Joseph Phipps, I assume Joseph to be a son of Overseer John Fips. I am far from certain Tabitha Fips was Joseph’s mother. I suspect Joseph Phipps may have been Tabitha’s stepson.  

At least one notable Phipps researcher (Howard W. Woodruff) strongly asserts that Overseer John Fips had a son named Benjamin Phipps. To quote their 1972 booklet, Woodruff stated, “It is fairly certain that Joseph [of Brunswick County, Virginia] had a brother, Benjamin Phipps, living in Sussex County in 1782.” Based upon a 1742, Goochland County, Virginia, guardianship record, that assumption may prove to be valid. I will elaborate this point later in the essay.

From the testimony of a certain Gideon Potter (click here to read his fascinating, firsthand story), one could infer that Betsey Fips had a sister named Martha Fips, who married Steven Potter. From the will of Ephraim Witcher, we know the father of Gideon Potter (Steven Potter) was a close friend of Betsey’s husband, Ephraim Witcher. Some has theorized that Betsey and Martha were sisters. As we will see, interestingly, a couple of Overseer John Fips’ estate records inadvertently listed the name “Martha Fips.” 

Finally, through forensics (careful examination of early, colonial tax records), one could wonder if Overseer John Fips had a son named John “Phips,” a man who (in the early 1750s) was residing in the same south-central region of Virginia as Overseer John Fips. Based on corollary family relationships, I suspect these two men were father and son.

For a more thorough analysis of who the children of Overseer John Fips may have been, click here.  

I have just listed known and potential children of Overseer John Fips, in their order, beginning with the verified child (Betsey Fips), and then descending the list according to the strength of evidence. Since Overseer John Fips died without a will, it appears his estate records and the inter-county, family connections to Tabitha Fips may be the only verifiable evidence one has to determine who Overseer John Fips’ children were. This is the compelling reason why I included on this webpage the complete transcription of his estates’ court actions and subsequent rulings.

John’s estate was settled by two administrators. One was the executrix, Tabitha Fips, who was the apparent widow of Overseer John Fips. The other individual was a man named Francis Barnes.

The connection between the Barnes and Fips family is noteworthy. 

Beginning in 1751, and for the next several years, the Lunenburg County, Virginia tithe records indicate John “Phips” was under the tax-umbrella of the household of Mary Barnes, evidently a widow by 1751. In at least one year (1753) John was identified as an overseer for that plantation. Based on my limited research of this Barnes family, it appears Francis Barnes (the co-executor of John’s estate) was closely related Mary Barnes, the individual Overseer John Fips worked for in the early 1750s. 

It seems remarkable to me that Francis Barnes would ever volunteer as executor for John’s estate. Apparently, executors were exposed to at least some financial liability, should a shortfall exist after an estate’s assets were liquidated. I presume this because of rulings such as the 1769 case, “James Hudson against Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes, Administrators.” In this case, the Fips estate was ordered to pay judgment and court costs to the estate of James Hudson. The court ordered that the assets of the Fips’ estate be, “levied of the goods and chattels of the said intestate in the hand of the said administrators… if so much they have[,] if not then the costs to [be] levied of the goods and chattels of the said administrators.” 

Francis Barnes must’ve known Overseer John Fips’ estate was in financial distress (as we too will see). Therefore, I believe what compelled Francis Barnes to expose his personal estate to such financial liability (not to mention the personal inconvenience) was some sort of close bond between the two families. Perhaps Tabitha Fips was related to the Barnes family, or perhaps the Barnes family felt indebted to John because of his earlier service to the family. Perhaps there existed a strong friendship between Francis and John. Whatever the reason for volunteering as executor, the Charlotte County, Accounts Current record indicate, from 1769 till the estate’s accounts were finally settled in 1777, Francis Barnes did not receive one pence of compensation. On the other hand, after the estate’s liabilities were settled, Tabitha Fips was paid well over 56 pounds, money she no doubt used to fund her re-settlement in Brunswick County, Virginia. 

I know nothing of Overseer John Fips’ earliest years. The first verifiable record I’ve seen which documents John’s life is a 1748, Lunenburg County tax manuscript, in which “John Phips” is listed in the household of Tandy Walker. Five years later (1753), tax records indicate Overseer John Fips was living in the household of Mary Barnes, employed as an overseer. 

Depending on the region, household, and time-period, an overseer’s status ranged from an individual performing the necessary task of managing the labor assets of a plantation to that person generally being referred to as a vile, under-educated, lower-class individual.

One rather harsh definition of an overseer states, “Overseers were usually white, badly educated lower class, totally different from the refined plantation owners. The overseers were under considerable pressure from the plantation owners to maximize profits. In order to meet the requirements of the owners the overseers used fear to motivate the slaves and increase productivity. The punishments used by the overseers against slaves included the use of the cart-whip. The role of the overseer in the Slave Plantations gain scant respect-they were looked down upon by the owners and slaves alike.”

I feel it unnecessary and needlessly specific to state that Overseer John Fips was such a vile example of humanity, and I’ll not adopt this assumption only because he was employed as an overseer. However, it is undeniable he was employed for at least ten years in that profession. Since we know these early overseers were often assigned to live in a shack among the even more rickety shacks housing the slaves, I feel certain the environment of the occupation was totally unsuitable for a widower to raise little children in.   

Just to the north of the original boundaries of Lunenburg County, Virginia, is the land contained within the original boundaries of Goochland County, Virginia. In October of 1742, a Goochland County court order book entry states, “Church Wardens of St. James Parish do bind Joseph and Benjamin Fipps unto Josiah Burton a carpenter according to law.”   

It’s quite possible Overseer John Fips’ wife died in 1742, and because of the domestic conditions the children could have been exposed to, the Church felt compelled to remove John’s youngest sons, Joseph and Benjamin, from his guardianship. If John was an overseer in 1742, the plausibility of my argument is strengthened considerably. 

Many Phipps family researchers maintain the Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County, Virginia (who married Sarah Williams) was born ca. 1735. I have not researched these claims, but if they’re accurate, Joseph would have been seven years old, if he was the child bound out in 1742 to Josiah Burton. Also, later in this essay we will see that Tabitha Fips (Overseer John Fips’ widow) apparently moved onto Joseph Phipps’ property before herself buying land bordering Joseph’s property. In my mind this establishes a close family connection to Joseph Phipps. Finally, the estate records of Overseer John Fips indicate John was in relationship with the Burton family (recall that Joseph and Benjamin Fipps were bound out to Josiah Burton, a carpenter by trade). Perhaps of significance is the inventory of Overseer John Fips’ estate, which included “carpenter tools.”

By the early 1760s, Lunenburg County records indicate Overseer John Fips had moved up in social rank; he was by then participating in various civic activities. For example, in 1761, he was appointed to appraise slaves in the estate of Duncan Smith, and by 1767, Overseer John Fips even sat as a juryman with fellow citizen, Matthew Marable, who was a prominent gentleman, influential politician, a money-lender, and a landholder. As he sat in that jury-box, I’m sure John had no way of knowing that within months his associate juryman, Matthew Marable, would swear out his arrest warrant over an unpaid debt, and thus land John in the county jail, only months before his death.

In Halifax County, in the month of February, 1768, one of the last things Overseer John Fips did was serve twelve days as an expert witness in the civil trial of Joshua Powell vs. Champness Terry. Because he was a witness in that trial, the court ordered Champness Terry to pay John for, “twelve days attendance and twice traveling thirty miles and eight times traveling eighteen miles according to law.” This court order is very significant in our understanding of Overseer John Fips’ regional footprint, because in July of 1770, his Charlotte County, Virginia estate would resort to suing Champness Terry for non-performance of this 1768 court order. 

Two months after testifying in the Halifax County courtroom for Champness Terry, on April 8, 1768, Matthew Marable complains to the Charlotte County court about a debt of 40 pounds, owed to Matthew by Overseer John Fips. The ensuing order read as follows, “We command You take John Fips if he be found within your Bailiwick, and him safely keep, so that You have his Body before the Justices of our Said County-Court, at the Court-House of the Said County, on the first Monday in May to answer Mathew Marable of a Plea of Trespass on the Cau Damage L40 and have then there this Writ.   Witness Samuel Cobb Clerk of our said Court at the Said Court-House, the 8th Day of April 1768. in the 8th Year of our Reign. Saml Cobbs.” 

Within five weeks, after John was arrested, a security agreement was finalized before the Charlotte County court. On May the 12th, 1768, it was agreed that John would pay thirty-five pounds, eleven shillings, and six pence unto Matthew Marable. The agreement specified that three feather beds and a “negro girl” be taken from John’s household, to be returned if John paid Matthew within three months (by August, 1768) the sum of seventeen pounds, fifteen shillings, and nine pence, with lawful interest.

I have included in this essay an image of this agreement, as found in the loose judgment papers of Charlotte County, Virginia. One will note that John’s signature appears to have been made by a very frail individual, one who could barely manage the quill in his hand. The nervous, circular scribble indicates to me the serious condition of Overseer John Fips’ health. Within a few months of that agreement, John would be dead.

In March of 1769, a Charlotte County order book recorded, “On the motion of Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes /who made oath according to law/ Administration of the Estate of John Fips Deceased is granted them /they giving Security/ whereupon they together with Edward Elam & Jamie Christopher their securities entered into and Acknowledged their bond for the due and faithful Administration of the said Estate.”

The next entry in the record states, “Ordered that Peter Hamblin Francis Lindsy William Willis and John Hight or any three of them being first sworn before a magistrate do appraise in Current money the slaves and Personal estate of John Fips Deceased and return an account of such appraisement here to this court.”

Within days of Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes being granted authority as executors of Overseer John Fips’ estate, Matthew Marable presented the court with his Writ of Complaint, a rambling, convoluted diatribe against the estate of “John Fips.” The Writ (dated March 10, 1769) recalls that Matthew Marable was in court the first Monday in May of 1768 and John Fips was then under arrest in the Charlotte County jail. The document labors to explain how and what John was ordered to pay, but that he failed to do so, and since John Fips had died intestate, Matthew Marable then sought remedy at the hands of the estates’ executors. As such, it was pleaded that Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes should appear at the court house on the, “first Monday in April,” to show why they should not be compelled to honor the previous court agreement. I have provided an image of this document, below this essay. Since the 1769 inventory of Overseer John Fips’ estate included three feather beds and a slave girl (along with her presumed mother), I am left to believe that John never relinquished the collateral demanded in the May of 1768 agreement. 

In June of 1769, Executrix Tabitha Fips was back in court, because the estate of James Hudson was suing Overseer John Fips’ estate for two pounds, two shillings, and ten pence. The executor of the Hudson estate was James Burton, and as such the case was known as “Burton vs. Fips.”

The case between the Hudson and Fips estates is especially fascinating, as a receipt was presented as evidence which indicated what and how much Overseer John Fips had agreed to pay for certain services and items, including a pair of men’s shoes. Apparently John had died without paying his bill to the local merchant James Hudson, a man who also died by June of 1769. The receipt was dated 1768 and contained the following items and charges: 

 John fips to James Hudson             Dr

To smiths work…………………..      0.19.10
To one side of leather ……………   0.5.0
To one pair of womans shoes…….  0.5.0
To one pair of mens shoes………..  0.6.0
                                                     L 1.15.10
------------------
[Receipt date] 1768

Tabitha Fips to me James Burton jr     Dr
To one side of Leather                        0.7.0
                                                            2.2.10

Another interesting aspect about this particular case (Burton vs Fips) is the fact the originators of the initial case summons sought to compel a certain “Martha Fips” of “Lunenburg County” to appear in court. The name and county was eventually corrected, and in subsequent case paperwork the name Tabitha Fips was used. However, the initial orders perhaps indicate there was a woman named Martha Fips living in Lunenburg County, Virginia. Could this have been Overseer John Fips’ daughter, Martha, who was then living in the area? Some believe Martha Fips married Steven Potter, a close friend of Ephraim Witcher, who himself was married to a Betsey Fips. Were Martha and Betsey Fips sisters?

Two months later, in August Court of 1769, the court ruled as follows, “On fully hearing the arguments & Diatribes of the parties on both sides by their attorneys it is considered by the court that the said petition be dismissed and that the plaintif pay unto the Defendants their costs by him about their Defence in his behalf Expended.” In other words, John’s estate did not pay the amount on the receipt to the estate of James Hudson; perhaps because it was stated in court the bill had already been paid. However, within another two months (in October, 1769) the estate of James Hudson would be back in Charlotte County court, this time pleading before the justices that the estate of John Fips owed over thirty-six pounds to the estate of James Hudson. 

In August Court of 1769, Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes were in court again, this time facing Matthew Marable’s attorney, Paul Carrington. A jury was empanelled, which consisted of, “Edmund Brewer, Lackville Brewer, Joel Townes, Samuel Johnson, Bartlet Eatis, Thomas Marshall, David Hutcheson, William Hutcheson, George Pattello, Peter Young, John Roach, & Perrin Allday.” A detailed list of expenses was presented to the jury, as well as cause for why the Fips estate was liable to Matthew Marable. The May of 1768 settlement was invoked, and the fact the man John Fips was “now dead.”  The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff (Matthew Marable), and as such, a judgment was levied against the estate of “John Fips,” with the standard stipulation, that should John’s estate have insufficient funds to cover the settlement, the estates of the executors would be levied. However, the Accounts Current for John’s estate indicates this settlement was paid in full, thirty-one pounds, eleven shillings, and three pence.    

In September of 1769, Executrix Tabitha Fips had herself retained the services of attorney Paul Carrington, to travel to neighboring Halifax County, in order to sue Harris Wilson. The order book for that court states, “This day came the plaintifs by Paul Carrington their attorney and the said Defendant being summoned and not appearing altho solemnly called/ and the plaintifs account for Four pounds Eight shillings being duly proved to be just Therefore it is considered by the court that the plaintifs recover against this defendant their debt aforesaid together with their costs by them [?] in their behalf expended.” The information this civil suit provides is a genealogical treasure. Because of his non-performance, in January of 1775, Tabitha Fips would again compel Harris Wilson to appear before county magistrates. However, the 1775, civil suit was adjudicated in Brunswick County, Virginia. Thus we have a hard connection between the estate of Overseer John Fips, Tabitha Fips, Charlotte County, Halifax County, and Brunswick County. The importance of these connections will be expounded later in this essay.

Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes were again subpoenaed by James Burton, executor of the estate of James Hudson. Two separate Charlotte County order book entries register the court’s rulings for this case, Burton vs Fips. In Charlotte County, Order Book 2, pages 292 and 293, it is stated that the case was heard in October Court of 1769, where the defendants, “relinquishing their former plea saith they cannot gainsay the action of the said Plainif thereof against them….” The case papers specify two agreements in which the Fips estate promises to pay two reduced settlements. Unfortunately no further details are provided to identify why Tabitha and Francis had to “relinquish their former plea.” Perhaps evidence or more receipts were located and presented before the court. The Accounts Current for the estate of Overseer John Fips indicate the estate did pay the estate of James Hudson over twenty-one pounds in three separate disbursements. 

In Charlotte County court, in April of 1770, Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes sued Wright Bond and Richard Blanks, on a Writ of Scire Facias (a writ requiring a person to show why a judgment should not be enforced or annulled). The order book records this judgment, “The Sheriff having returned the Second writ the Defendants are not found within the Baliwick and the said Defendants failing to appear. It is Considered by the Court that the plaintifs have Execution against the said Defendants for the sum of Fifty two pounds one shilling & eight pence current money [?] three hundred & ninety six pounds of [?] Tobacco & Fifteen shillings [?] hundred & fifty pounds of Tobacco Costs in the writ aforesaid specified & also that they Recover against the said Defendants their Costs by them about their writ in this behalf Expended.” It took over three years, but apparently the Fips executors did receive money from Wright Bond, as the estate’s Accounts Current record indicates a payment from Wright Bond of over sixty pounds. 

Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes petitioned the Charlotte County court in April of 1770 over the matter of non-payment concerning the sale of a cow and calf. The price was two pounds and ten shillings, and the individuals accused of not paying for the livestock were Christopher and Matthew Marable. You will recall the Fips estate had only months previous been sued by Matthew Marable, he winning a substantial judgment.  The order book records the settlement as follows, “On fully hearing the Testamony of the witnesses It is considered by the court that the plaintif recover against the said Defendant Matthew the sum of two pounds ten shillings current money Together with his Costs by him about his Suit in this behalf Expended. For Reasons appearing to the Court this suit ordered to be dismissed as to the Defendant Christopher Marable.” 

Of interest is a subsequent entry in the Charlotte County order book, “On the motion of James Barnes a Witness for Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes administrator & administratix of John Fips Decd in their suit against Mathew and Christopher Marable It is ordered that the said Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes pay him for one day’s attendance according to Law.” Loose judgment papers pertaining to this case (Fips vs Christopher and Matthew Marable) show this James Barnes had been summoned to testify on behalf of the Fips estate. I am not aware of any relationship between the executor, Francis Barnes and the witness, James Barnes, but it wouldn’t take a leap of imagination to assume these two men were close family. This assumption would help explain how James Barnes would have been aware of the particulars relating to the sales transaction regarding the cow and calf.

Astonishingly, the Marables refused payment, and as such Tabitha and Francis had to pursue the matter in August, September, and November courts of 1770. As in the previous rulings, the Charlotte County order book for November court of 1770 again stated, “The Defendant Christopher not appearing altho duly Summoned, Therefore It is considered by the court that the plaintifs recover against the sd Defendant Christopher Marable the sum of two pounds ten shillings Current money. Together with their costs by them about their suit in their half Expended. Memorandum that in May Court Last Judgment was entered against the Defendant Matthew for the same Debt.” From the court’s memorandum, we know this debt was not settled for at least six months after the initial judgment was awarded. Perhaps it was a matter of revenge for the late-payment of Overseer John Fips’ 1768 debt. However, the Accounts Current for the Fips estate does indicate Christopher Marable did pay something by 1773, that being fourteen shillings and six pence, which was quite a shortfall from the original award of two pounds, ten shillings, plus costs.

Another extremely important estate document is found in Halifax County, Virginia, Order Book 6, page 527. In this record for July court of 1770, we discover that Francis Barnes and Tabitha Fips had again hired Paul Carrington to represent them in their suit against Champness Terry. You may recall that a few months before Overseer John Fips died, he testified on behalf of Champness Terry. As payment for his time and travel, the court ordered Champness Terry to pay John Fips for his trouble. We know John died shortly thereafter, and from this July of 1770 court proceeding, we also know that Terry had not bothered to paid John or his estate. Here is a transcript of the order books record of that hearing, “This day came the Plaintifs by Paul Carrington their Attorney and the said Deft being duly warned and not appearing altho solemnly called/ therefore it is considered by the Court that the Plts have execution against the sd Deft for six hundred and six pounds of Tobacco According to a former Order of this Court together with their Costs by them in this behalf expended.” This 1770 suit absolutely identifies Overseer John Fips of Charlotte County as the “John Phips” in the 1768, Halifax County civil suit. From the Accounts Current of the Fips estate, we know Champness Terry did eventually get around to paying something to the Fips estate. The court record indicates that by 1773, Terry had paid the estate four pounds and six shillings.

Loose clerk notes from Pittsylvania County, Virginia reveal that beginning in early January of 1771, John Ward was petitioning the court to attach the estates of John Phipps or William Colyer [Collier], or both, for money John Ward alleged was owed to him. 

This court battle was initiated in January, 1771, and was apparently concluded in August Court of 1771. It is with hesitation that I include these documents in our list of court actions relating to the estate of Overseer John Fips, as I am not certain of the identity of the John Phipps in the, “John Ward against John Phipps and William Collier,” case. 

I do feel sure the Pittsylvania County, Ward vs Phipps and Collier court documents are in one way or another relevant to Overseer John Fips or his close family. 

I suppose the John Phipps in the 1771, court documents could have been the same individual whose nearby Charlotte County estate was then being probated by his widow, Tabitha Fips. Consider that the original Ward complaint requested that the, “estate of the above named John Phipps,” be levied. However, John Phipps’ name was afterwards crossed out, and William Collier’s name was at some point penned in. Also, John Phipps was apparently never presented before the court, but William Collier was subsequently captured and thrown in the “Gaol.” 

Seven years later (in 1778), Overseer John Fips’ widow, Tabitha Fips, sold her interest in a track of land in Pittsylvania County to (curiously) a member of the Ward family. The land had apparently been purchased by Overseer John Fips before his death, since his widow had to release her dower rights to the buyer, a certain Jeremiah Ward. Later in this essay, I will further discuss this real estate transaction and it’s relevance to the Fips estate. 

In August of 1771 the Pittsylvania County suit was settled in favor of the defendants (John Phipps and William Collier). In August Court of 1771, the order book reads, “For reasons appearing to the court ordered that this suit be dismiss’d at the cost of the Plaintif.” I will always wonder if that lawsuit had anything to do with the Pigg River property, which was eventually sold to a Ward by Tabitha Fips. Unfortunately, as so often is with these old records, the details of the civil suit are lacking, so we may never know why John Ward was suing John Phipps and William Collier.

However, since Overseer John Fips’ estate owned property in Pittsylvania County, I suppose a second option to consider would be that the John Phipps in the 1771, civil suit could have been a son of Overseer John Fips, one who was making use of his father’s property on the Pigg River. Or perhaps the John Phipps being sued by John Ward was the John Phipps found in an 1780, Warren County, North Carolina deed record, who in that record indicated his wife was Tabitha, and that in 1780 he was living in Amelia County, Virginia. I suspect the John Phipps of the 1780, Warren County record could have been a son of “James Fips, of Brunswick County,” thus making this John Phipps a grandson of Overseer John Fips.  Whatever the case, I feel confident in my assertion that any member of the Fips family located in the earliest Pittsylvania County records was directly related to Overseer John Fips, but for time’s sake, I cannot elaborate that claim in this essay. However, one can click here to read a more thorough break-down of this point. 

One more point. It is very interesting to note the names Collier and Phipps together in this 1771, Pittsylvania County civil suit. William Collier may well have been connected to Brunswick County, Virginia, where both the Phipps and Collier family had a significant presence. However, I will not elaborate this assertion either, but I will provide a full transcript of the 1771, Pittsylvania County case, “John Ward against John Phipps and William Collier,” at the end of this essay, as well as images of the actual 1771 complaints. 

In Charlotte County court, in August of 1772, the executors of the Fips estate sued the estate of William Christopher. The executor of the Christopher estate was John May. The reason for the suit is not given, but a few details are located in Order Book 3, page 129, of Charlotte County, Virginia records; “The Defendant not appearing altho duly summoned, Therefore, It is considered by the Court that the Plaintif Recover against the said Defendant the sum of three pounds Current money. Together with their Costs by them in this behalf Expended to be levied of the goods and Chattels of the said Testator is so much the said John May hath in his hands to be administered if not then the Costs to be Levied of the goods and Chattels of the said Administrator.” The Accounts Current for the Fips estate indicates the Christopher estate paid one pound, eleven shillings, and two pence, an obvious shortfall of the court’s award of three pounds, plus expenses. 

In January of 1775, Tabitha “Phips” again sued Harris Wilson, but this time the lawsuit against Wilson was registered in Brunswick County, Virginia. 

From a Brunswick County land deed dated November 28, 1771, we know Overseer John Fips’ widow, Tabitha Fips, moved away from Charlotte County, Virginia to her new home in Brunswick County, Virginia, where Joseph Phipps resided. We can reasonably assume this because of the connection Tabitha Fips had to Harris Wilson.

We may recall the Fips estate had previously sued Harris Wilson in Charlotte County, in 1769. In that September of 1769 court, Harris Wilson was a no-show, “and the said defendant being duly summoned and not appearing,” was found liable to pay the Fips estate. The Fips estate, Accounts Current record indicates Harris Wilson paid “by attachment” three pounds and five shillings. This amount is one pound, two shillings (plus court costs) short of the total judgment awarded to the estate. It appears Tabitha Fips discovered Harris Wilson was located in her new home county (Brunswick County), and thusly petitioned that county’s court to force Wilson to honor in full (plus interest and costs) the 1769, Charlotte County judgment. 

Here is a transcription of the Brunswick County ruling located in Order Book 13, page 64, of Brunswick County, Virginia. “January Court, 1775, Tabitha Phips having obtained an attachment against the Estate of Harris Wilson who hath privately removed himself or so absconds that the ordinary process of Law cannot be served upon him for five Pounds seventeen Shillings and ten Pence, and the same being returned Levied on a Horse, Saddle, and Bell, and the said Defendant not appearing to [??] the same tho. Solemnly called Therefore It is Considered by the Court that the Plaintif recover against the said Deft the said five Pounds seventeen Shillings and ten Pence and It is ordered that the Sherif make Sale of the said Horse Saddle and Bell and out of the Money arising from such Sale pay and Satisfy to the Plt. this Judgment and return an Account thereof to the Court.” 

We may never know if Harris Wilson’s horse and tack was sold out from under him. However, the more important conclusion made from this court order is that Executrix Tabitha Fips of Charlotte County is almost certainly the Tabitha Fips of Brunswick County, who in a deed dated November 28, 1771, is stated to have then been living in “the county of Brunswick and Parish of Meherrin.” Later in this essay, I will more adequately address Tabitha’s purchase of the tract of land which connected to the property owned by Joseph Phipps. 

Charlotte County order books indicate that in November Court of 1775, the accounts relating to the Fips estate were to be settled. That 1775 record is transcripted as follows, “Langston Bacon, James Boulden and Silvanus Stokes gentlemen are appointed to settle and account current of the Estate of John Fips decd whereof Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes are Administrators and that they return their Account thereof to the next court.” 

Eventually, in June court of 1777, the Charlotte County estate of Overseer John Fips finally was settled. As the record for that day notes, “An account current of the Estate of John Fips was this day returned and ordered be recorded.” The Accounts Current sheet indicates the account was balanced May 5th, 1777, with four pounds, three shillings, and one pence due the administrators. The individuals who signed off the on the settlement were, James Boulden, Silvanus Stokes, and Langston Bacon. I will not elaborate the relevance of the names Silvanus Stokes and Langston Bacon, but by clicking here you can see how intimately involved Overseer John Fips was with these two men.

Six months previous to the final settlement of the Fips estate, Tabitha Fips sold her land holdings in Brunswick County, Virginia to Joseph Phipps. Before I post a transcription of Tabitha’s deed of sale to Joseph Phipps, I will first provide a transcription of Tabitha’s 1771 purchase of the land from the “Ray” family. I would like to thank the well-researched, Phipps Genealogy blog for transcribing these two important deed records. 

From a deed dated October 23, 1769, we know Joseph Phipps had purchased land in Brunswick County, Virginia from Baker Ray and his wife Lucy. This land was located on the, “North side of Cold Water Run….[in the] parish of Meherin.” From other county documents we know Joseph Phipps had been residing in Brunswick County previous to his purchase of land on the Cold Water Run. Click here, here, and here to better understand Joseph Phipps’ presence in Brunswick County.   

On November 28, 1771, Tabitha Fips agreed to purchase 100 acres of land on the, “North Side of the Great Cold Water,” from William “Ray,” Junior. Careful examination of Tabitha’s subsequent sale for this 100 acre tract will reveal it was bordered, at least partly, by the land bought from the Ray family by Joseph Phipps. Note: In these early Brunswick County deed records, Joseph Phipps’ name is alternately spelled, Phips, Phipps, and Fips.

Here is a transcription of the 1771 purchase of land by Tabitha Fips from William Ray, Junior.

“Ray & wife to Phips”

“This Indenture made this twenty eighty day of November in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and Seventy one [11-28-1771] Between William Ray junior of Johnson County in the province of North Carolina and Tabitha Fips of the County of Brunswick and Parish of Meherrin Witnesseth That the said William Ray for and in Consideration of the Sum of twenty Pounds Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Tabitha Fips before the Signing and Sealing of These Presents the Receipt whereof the said William Ray doth hereby Confess and acknowledge, and the said Tabitha Fips before the Signing and Sealing of these presents and the said William Ray his Heirs Executors, and Administrations of and from all and every part of the said Sum doth hereby [acquit?] and for ever defend by these presents discharge Hath Bargained Sold Aliened made over and Confirmed and doth by these presents Bargain Sell make over and Confirm unto the said Tabitha Fips and to her Heirs and Assigns for ever one certain Tract or parcel of Land with the Appurtenances – Situate lying and being on the North side of Great Cold Water on the Branches of the said Cold Water in the County of Brunswick containing one hundred Acres more or less the said Land being Granted by Patent to William Ray Senr. and made over by Deed to his said abovementioned Son William Ray junior and Bounded as followeth, to wit, Beginning at a Corner White Oak on Jeremiah Mize’s line, thence North to a black Oak on the R[eed?]y Branch a Corner tree between John Powell and the said William Ray thence down the said Branch East to a Corner Pine between the said Ray and John Powell, thence South East to a Corner White Oak on Smith’s line thence along the said line to a Corner black Jack made by the said William Ray Senior and Son William Ray junior thence West along the dividing line to the said beginning White Oak. To have and to hold the said One hundred Acres of Land with all and every the Rights Privileges Improvements and Appurtenances of all and every kind whatsoever unto the said Tabitha Fips and to her Heirs and Assigns free from the [? (looks like “latt”)], Hindrance, Molestation of him the said William Ray his Heirs and Assigns unto the only proper Use and [?]f of her the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns forever And the said William Ray for himself and his Heirs doth Covenant and Agree to and with the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns that the Right and Title of the said Land and premises and of every part thereof against every person he and they will Warrant and forever by these presents defend and Maintain unto the said Tabitha Fips her Heirs and Assigns forever In Witness whereof the said William Ray hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his Seal the Day and Year herein first above Written….At a Court held for Brunswick County the 23d. Day of March 1772 This Indenture was proved by the Oaths of John Randle, Barnett Randle, and Joseph Fips Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded”

Tabitha Fips owned this land on the “North side of Great Cold Water” for just over five years, before she sold it [at a loss of three pounds] to Joseph Phipps. I have provided a transcription of this deed.

“Phips to Phips”

“This Indenture made this twelfth Day [“of” missing] December in the Year of our Lord Christ One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy six [12-12-1776] Between Tabitha Phips of the County of Brunswick of the one part and Joseph Phips of the said County of the other Part Witnesseth that for and in Consideration of the Sum of Seventeen Pounds Current Money of Virginia unto me the Said Tabitha Phips in hand paid by the said Joseph Phips the Receipt whereof she the said Tabitha Phips doth hereby Acknowledge and herself therewith entirely Satisfied and contented Hath Bargained Sold Aliened Released and Confirmed and by these presents for herself and Heirs doth Grant Bargain Sell Alien Release and Confirm unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and Assigns forever One certain Tract or parcel of Land containing One Hundred Acres be the same more or less lying and being in the County of Brunswick and Bounded as followeth to wit. Beginning at a black Jack a Corner in Joseph Phips’s line Thence to a Pine Corner in John Powell’s line Thence along said Powell’s line to a black Jack a corner in Jeremiah Mi[r? or x?]e’s [Note: The name has elsewhere been transcribed as “Mize”] line, Thence along said [Mire?]’s line to a Corner white Oak in Joseph Phips’s Thence along said Phips’s line to his Corner black [sic] to the Beginning With all the Houses Orchards Gardens Fences Woods and Underwoods Water and Wate [sic; water] courses with all Profits Commodities and Advantages To have and to hold the said Granted Land and Premises with their and every of their Appurtenances unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and Assigns forever And she the said Tabitha Phips for herself and her Heirs doth hereby Covenant Grant and to and with the said Joseph Phips his Heirs and Assigns shall and may at all Times hereafter peaceably and quietly hold possess and enjoy the said Granted Land and Premises with every of its Appurtenances free from all former Sales Gifts Mortgages Rights of Dower and every other incumbrance whatsoever and the said Tabitha Phips and her Heirs shall and will warrant and forever defend the said Granted Land with every of its Appurtenances unto the said Joseph Phips his Heirs against all and every Person or Persons laying any Claim thereunto In Witness whereof the said Tabitha Phips hath here unto set her Hand and Seal the Day and Year first above Written
[signed:]
Tabitha her | mark Phips (L. S.)
Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the Presence of [signed:]
Briggs Goodrich Randle Woolsey
John Steed Martha Bennett”

“At a Court held for Brunswick County the 2[8?] day of July 1777.
This Indenture was proved by the Oaths of Briggs Goodrich Randle Woolsey and Martha Bennett Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded”

From a Pittsylvania County, Virginia deed of sale, dated November 26, 1778, it becomes apparent around the time Tabitha Fips had sold her Brunswick County property, she had moved to Pittsylvania County, to property her deceased husband had apparently owned on the Pigg River. Before I delve into the particulars of Tabitha’s real estate on the Pigg River, I want to first turn our attention to an extraordinary 1778 court hearing in Pittsylvania County, one which absolutely establishes Betsey Fips as a daughter of Overseer John Fips, and as such indicates Betsey Fips was almost certainly being raised by her mother, Tabitha Fips. 

In Pittsylvania County, in November Court of 1778, Betsey Fips’ husband, Ephraim Witcher, was representing her in a case in which Betsey was petitioning the court to have a certain slave named Sall returned to her. The court heard testimony from Sylvanus Stokes, who testified he heard John Fips “in his lifetime” give his young daughter, Betsey Fips, a young slave girl named Sall. You may recall the name Sylvanus Stokes as one of three who, some months earlier, signed off on the settlement of the Fips estate in Charlotte County. You may also recall that John’s estate records specified that, immediately preceding his death, a young slave girl was owned by Overseer John Fips. This was no doubt the child of the slave woman inventoried in 1769, just after John died. That inventory specified that a “negro wench and child,” valued at sixty-five pounds, was part of the Fips estate.

Careful reading of the record found in Pittsylvania County, Order Book 4, pages 182-183, will indicate that, “the heir at law of the said John Fips hath had legal notice of this motion.” I am convinced this “heir at law” was one of Overseer John Fips’ sons, perhaps the one who had Sall in his possession. By researching a complete set of county tax records for this period, I believe it took several years before Betsey retrieved her slave. Pittsylvania County tax records indicate Ephraim Witcher’s household did not have possession of any slave from 1778-1781. However, 1782 tax records indicate one slave in that household, and in a 1785 tax record, a slave Sall, was listed by name. 

In the next Pittsylvania County court, which was held in January of 1779, further testimony was heard, relating to the young slave girl. James Burton told the court that he too heard John Fips give a slave named Sall “in his lifetime” to “Elizabeth Fips.” The name James Burton is important, as it was James Burton who sued the estate of Overseer John Fips in 1769, he winning a substantial settlement as executor for the estate of James Hudson. 

It is very evident from these two Pittsylvania County records that Overseer John Fips had a daughter named Betsey (Elizabeth) Fips, and his daughter was married by 1778 to Ephraim Witcher. I have provided transcripts of these extraordinary court documents, as well as images from the county order books. 

“November Court, 1778”

“On the motion of Ephraim Witcher who intermarried with Betsey Fips daughter of John Fips deceased to have a verbal gift of a negro proved according to an active assembly in that case made and provided, it appearing to the court that the heir at law of the said John Fips hath had legal notice of this motion and it also appearing to the court by the oath of Sylvanus Stokes that he saw the said John Fips in his lifetime take a negro girl by the name of Sall by the hand and put it in the hand of his said daughter Betsey then about 6 years of age, and called on him the said Sylvanus Stokes and sundry other persons to take notice that he gave the aforesaid negro to her forever and for reasons appearing this motion is continued until the next court”

“January Court, 1779”

“The verbal of a negro girl named Sall from John Fips deceased in his lifetime to his daughter Elizabeth Fips, was further proved by the oath of James Burton and ordered to be recorded”

From another 1778, Pittsylvania County record, we know that Betsey Fips’ mother, Tabitha Fips, was living in the county, on her late husband’s property on the Pigg River.

An estray record indicates Tabitha was living in the county, on the Pigg River, as of the 4th day of April, 1778. On that date, she appeared before Justice of the Peace William Witcher, where she presented three witnesses, Jeremiah Ward, Richard Bennett, and Ephraim Witcher to validate her claim to a pig she had captured on her property. By the end of that year, other Pittsylvania County court records would validate to us that Ephraim Witcher was Tabitha’s son-in-law, and that she had sold her “dower” interest in the Pigg River property to Jeremiah Ward, her neighbor, and one of the three witnesses in her claim to the pig. I have transcribed this estray record, and at the bottom of this essay, I also provide an image of this important court record.

“Taken up by Tabitha Phipps Living on Pigg River Near the mouth of Cedar Creek one sandy barrow [a castrated male pig] with some black spots and marked with a crop in the left ear and a swallow fork in the right certified under my hand this 4th Day of April 1778” “This day Jememiah Ward, Richard Bennet & Ephraim Witcher were sworn to [?] and appraised to above stray hogg…”

On November 26, 1778, Jeremiah Ward entered into an agreement with Tabitha Fips. She agreed to sell her “right of dowry to one third of a certain tract of land whereon I now live,” in Pittsylvania County, on the Pigg River, on both sides Cedar Creek. This sale to Ward was Tabitha’s final action relating to the estate of Overseer John Fips. I can only venture a wild guess as to where Tabitha moved. She may have relocated back to the property of Joseph Phipps, in Brunswick County. Perhaps she moved back to Charlotte County, to the Barnes household. However, I suspect she may well have moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, Betsey and Ephraim Witcher.

Unfortunately the Pigg River property’s chain-of-custody is missing a link or two. We know Tabitha Fips’ property was originally surveyed for John Goad, Jr., in 1753. However, at this time it is unknown how or when Overseer John Fips took possession of the property. My careful search of the early Halifax and Pittsylvania County deed books have failed to produce a deed to either John or Tabitha Fips. I suspect the deed was never registered (as sometimes was the case). Perhaps John Goad sold the property to someone other than Overseer John Fips, then a third party agreement with Fips ensued. As I noted earlier in this essay, since the land was eventually sold to a Ward, and a certain “John Phipps” was named in a 1771, Pittsylvania County suit by John Ward (who subsequently lost his case against Phips and Collier), I do wonder if the Pigg River property was somehow entangled with that lawsuit. 

I have provided a transcript of the 1778 deed to Jeremiah Ward by Tabitha Fips. At the bottom of this essay, I have also provided an image of the deed record. 

Pittsylvania County, VA, Deed Book 5, page 43

“Know all men by these presents that I Tabitha Fips of Pittsylvania County Virginia for & in consideration of the sum of seventy three pounds six shillings & eight pence current money of Virginia, paid to me in hand by Jeremiah Ward of said county have dismissed released and forever quitted claim and by these presents do dismiss release & forever quit claim to said Jeremiah Ward his heirs executors and administrators all my right of dowry to one third of a certain tract of land whereon I now live lying on both sides of Cedar Creek and county aforesaid adjoining Pigg River witness my hand and seal this twentieth & sixth day of November one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight Sealed & delivered in presence of Tabitha Fips 

At a court held for Pittsylvania county the 26th day of Nov 1778 the within release was acknowledged by the within named Tabitha Phips to be [?] & ordered to be recorded by the court”   

Interestingly, in the Pittsylvania County order book which recorded the outcome of the November, 1778, hearing concerning the slave named Sall, only a few lines below that entry, a certain woman named Parthetha Fips gave a release to Jeremiah Ward. Here is a transcription of that order book entry, “A release from Parthetha Fips to Jeremiah Ward was by the said Parthetha acknowledged to her act and deed and the same is ordered to be recorded.” In November of 1778, in Pittsylvania County, three simultaneous transactions occurred. Betsey Witcher, formerly a Fips, argued her rights to a slave named Sall, Tabitha Fips signed away her dower rights to Jeremiah Ward, and Parthetha Fips signed a release to Jeremiah Ward, no monetary or other specifics provided.

It is my firm belief that Parthetha Fips was the wife of “James Fips of Brunswick County,” who in the next year would sell his two-third interest in the land on Pigg River to Jeremiah Ward. Knowing that James Fips would sell his interest in the property to Jeremiah Ward, by law the wife of James Fips would be required to relinquish her dower rights to the Pigg River property. This is almost certainly why Parthetha Fips signed the release. 

The next year, on October 16, 1779, James Fips sold his interest in the Pigg River property, land upon which Tabitha Fips once lived. The deed to Jeremiah Ward specifies this James Fips as being “of Brunswick County.” As we’ve discussed in this essay, Brunswick County is the county Joseph Phipps owned property in, and is the county from which Tabitha Fips moved, when she relocated to the property on Pigg River. I am certain this James Fips of Brunswick County was the eldest son of Overseer John Fips, who, as John’s eldest son, was exercising his primogenitor rights of inheritance in his sale of the property to Jeremiah Ward. 

From the Library of Virginia’s research center, the following explanation is offered about the English system of primogeniture (inheritance law employed before the Revolution). “Under primogeniture, Virginia wills may not always name the wife or the eldest son of the testator. Their inheritance of real estate was set by law, the widow receiving her dower, or one-third, for her lifetime and the eldest son, as heir at law, receiving the remaining two-thirds unless otherwise specified in the father’s will.” 

We know that Overseer John Fips died without a will.

So, it is clear from the definition of the English system of primogeniture that Tabitha Fips received her one-third dower, and James Fips, as eldest son, received his two-third rights. However, under the law, the wife of James Fips had to release her dower rights to her husband’s land holding before everything was square with Jeremiah Ward. I will not elaborate here, but my research of Pittsylvania County records has revealed Jeremiah Ward was mired in a lawsuit in the early 1770s over this very issue. He had failed to properly obtain a dower release when he purchased a piece of property, and as such, that land holding was clouded until the matter was resolved in court. I’m suspecting Jeremiah Ward learned his lesson and ensured that the wife of James Fips released her dower rights in the Pigg River property, before he (Ward) was to purchase the remaining two-third interest in that land from her husband, “James Fips of Brunswick County.” 

I have provided a transcript of this deed from James Fips to Jeremiah Ward.
 
Pittsylvania County, VA, Deed Book 5, page 305

“This indenture made this sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine [10-16-1779] between James Fips of Brunswick County of the one part and Jeremiah Ward of the county of Pittsylvania of the other part witnesseth the said James Fips for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and twenty pounds current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Jeremiah Ward the receipt ??? of the said Fips does hereby acknowledge hath granted bargained sold …. and confirmed and does by these presents grant bargain sell alien .. confirm and deliver unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns one certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in Pittsylvania country aforesaid lying on Pigg River and on both sides of Ceday Creek being the tract of land that was surveyed for John Goad Jr on Cedar Creek in the year one thousand six hundred and fifty-three containing two hundred and thirty acres more or less and the revision and revisions remainder or and remainders thereof and all the estate right title interest claim or demand whatsoever of the said James Fips of in and to the said land and premises and every part and parcel thereof to have and to hold the said land and preemies with the appertenances  unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns forever and the said James Fips does hereby for himself his heirs ??? and adm.s covenant promise and agree to and with the said Jeremiah Ward and heirs and assigns that he the said James Fips the aforementioned land and premises with the appertenances unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns against all persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend in witnesses whereof the said James Fips has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first within written Signed sealed and delivered James Fips in presence of James Mitchell Robt. Dalton Bryanward Nowlin”

“Memorandum It was acknowledged in open court at a court held for Pittsylvania county the 19th day of October 1779”

Tabitha Fips was a scrappy woman, to be sure. I suspect she was married to a strong natured, perhaps overbearing and violent man, the Overseer John Fips.  As such, this woman mustered what it took to survive the marriage, her widowhood, raise a child as a single mother, and the hardships of pioneer life in the Virginia wilderness.

With her compatriot Francis Barnes, she battled in the Charlotte, Halifax, and Brunswick County courts, against both sketchy and powerful men. Tabitha Fips fought against men such as Matthew Marable, whom court order book records indicate was a ruthless money-lender, although contemporary monuments memorialize Matthew as an important, distinguished element in the foundation of our country. 

Tabitha seemed genuinely undaunted by her gender or lot in life, as she speculated in at least one tract of real estate (unusual for any woman in those days) and farmed at least one other tract of land. The rugged property on the banks of the Pigg River is where she captured a domesticated male hog, and thus presented before the Pittsylvania County court evidence why the pig should be hers to keep.     

I will always wonder why Tabitha Fips chose to leave her Brunswick County property, to resettle on the Pigg River. Was it because her daughter, Betsey, had met and married Ephraim Witcher, and thus Tabitha left Brunswick County to be closer to the Witchers, or did Ephraim Witcher meet his young bride after Tabitha entertained a wild notion to move to and farm her Pittsylvania County property? 

Those questions will probably never be answered until that day. For now, we are left with remnants of these lives, footprints left behind in the pages of Virginia court documents. However, from those few records we can be reasonably sure of at least some things. First, it’s probable the Joseph Phipps of Brunswick County was a son of Overseer John Fips. Secondly, it seems certain John had a son named James, who was married to Parthetha, and was living in 1779 in Brunswick County, Virginia. Finally, we have complete assurance that Overseer John Fips had a daughter named Betsey (Elizabeth) Fips, a little girl that John apparently was very fond of. It was from John’s daughter that so many of us descend, through her marriage to Ephraim Witcher, of Pittsylvania County, Virginia.    

Your can read more about the early days of Overseer John Fips by clicking here

For your research convenience, I have provided a complete transcript of the court records from which I quoted in this essay. I have also provided a few images of these records, but you will need to scroll down quite a bit to see them, depending on your browser.

Researched and written by Wayne Witcher, 5x grandson of Overseer John Fips and his wife Tabitha.  2-18-17 


IMPORTANT: Based on your brower, you may need to scroll down a bit to see both the estate transcriptions and the provided images.

                          You may contact me at wwawitcher @ windstream. net, or facebook me at Witcher Genealogy.  

The estate of John Fips -d- 1769

and wife

Tabitha Fips


Below is a transcription of my collection of estate records relating to Overseer John Fips of Charlotte County. 


Order Book—February Court, 1768
Order Book 6, page 48, Halifax County, VA

February Court, 1768

On a motion of John Phips a witness for Champness Terry at the suit of Powell it is ordered that the said Champness pay him for twelve days attendance and twice traveling thirty miles and eight times traveling Eighteen miles according to Law


Arrest Warrant—dated 4-8-1768
[Backside]

George the Third, by the Grace of GOD, of Great-Britian, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.   To the Sheriff of Charlotte County, Greetings. 

We command You take John Fips if he be found within your Bailiwick, and him safely keep, so that You have his Body before the Justices of our Said County-Court, at the Court-House of the Said County, on the first Monday in May to answer Mathew Marable of a Plea of Trespass on the Cau Damage L40 and have then there this Writ. 

Witness Samuel Cobb Clerk of our said Court at the Said Court-House, the 8th Day of April 1768. in the 8th Year of our Reign. Saml Cobbs.

Debt agreement---dated 5-12-1768
[Cover]  

We John Fips and Mat Marable are held and firmly Bound unto Jas Taylor sheriff of Charlotte County in the sum of thirty five pounds eleven shillings and six pence

To which payment to be made we bind our selves our heirs executors administrators jointly firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 12 day of May 1768

The condition of this obligation such that where as the above sd Jas Taylor hath by virtue of an execution  issued by Thos Read  late sheriff of Charlotte of [Charlotte crossed out] and its then directed taken of the Estate of the above bound John Fips three feather Beds an a Negro girl. 

Now if the abound Fips shall pay to the above sd Jas Taylor the sum of seventeen pounds fifteen shillings nine pence to replacing his Effects with Lawful Interest within three months from this date then the above obligation to be void or Else to remain in full force.

Sealed and delivered in present of Lewis Speed

John his [mark] Fips   Seal    [John’s mark looks like a very weak scribble on the paper]

MaTMarable  Seal

Order Book—March Court, 1769
Order Book 2, page 224, Charlotte County, VA

March Court, 1796

On the motion of Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes /who made oath according to law/ Administration of the Estate of John Fips Deceased is granted them /they giving Security/ whereupon they together with Edward Elam & Jamie Christopher their securities entered into and Acknowledged their bond for the due and faithful Administration of the said -Estate.

Ordered that Peter Hamblin Francis Lindsy William Willis and John Hight or any three of them being first sworn before a magistrate do appraise in Current money the slaves and Personal estate of John Fips Deceased and return an account of such appraisement her to this court 

Writ of Complaint—dated 3-10-1769
[Cover] 

Marable 
Vs
Fips Admn.

Made known to
Tabitha Fips before
Francis Lindsey &
Peter Hamblin
also made known 
to Francis Barnes
before Isaac Munday
& Peter Hamblin

Apl. W. E.
June Contd.
Augt. Judgm. [Column of numbers on page]

[Backside]
[Written in block paragraph, but I have inserted paragraphs for ease of read]

George the third by the grace of god of great Britain France and Ireland king Defender of the faith 


& whereas Mathew Marable lately in our court of our said county before us at the court House towit, the first Monday in May 1768 

had Impleaded John Fips then in custody of the Sherif of the sd county of a plea of Trespass on the case and it was in our said court before us [“so far” crossed out] at ye court house aforsd. so far procuded that by our said court is was considered that the said Mathew Marable his damages which he had sustained by occasion of the promises against the said John Fips should recover 

and because it was not known what Damages the sd. Mathew Marable had sustained by occasion of the [??]  It was ordered that a Writ of Enquire of the Damages aforsd. should should be executed at the court to be held for the sd county the first Monday in July [date written in above sentence] then next following as by the Record & Proceedings therein in our sd. Court remaining manifestly doth appear  Nevertheless enquire of the Damages aforsd. remains yet to be made and the said John Fips after the sd. Judgment aforsd. in form aforsd. given departed this life Intestate and Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes have taken upon themselves the [two unknown words crossed out] Administration of the sd. Estate as by the sd. Mathew Marable [??]informed and because we would have those things which in our said court are rightly done. 

duly put in Execution [??] command you that by good and lawfull men of your Bailiwick you make known to the sd. Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes that they be before the Justices of our sd. County at the court house the first Monday in April next to shew if any thing they can say why the sd. Mathew Marable his damages aforsd. by the occasion aforsd. against them ought not to [“have” crossed out] recover according to the form and Effect of the Statue in cases of this nature lately made and provided it to him it sums expedient and have them there the names of those by whom to them you you shall make know, And this writ, Witness Samuel Cobb of our sd. Court at the Court house the 10th day March 1769 in the 9th year of our reign Saml Cobbs

Petition—dated 6-8-1769
[Cover]

Burton vs Fips Adms
Petition
Executed
Augt Dismd
Plaintif Costs

[Back side]

To the Worshipful the Court of [Lunenburg is marked through] Charlotte County 

James Burton  j Exec of James Hudson decd  humbly sheweth that [Martha was crossed out] Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Admins of Jno Fips stands indebted to him the sum of Two pounds Two Shillings & Ten pence by decd & refuseth payment wherefore your petitioner Prays judgment against them for the same with Costs & shall Pray Jc.

george the second by the grace of god of great Britain france & Ireland King defender of the faith Jc. To the sheriff of Charlotte [Lunenburg is marked through] County Greeting we command you that you summons Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Adm of Jno Fips to appear before our justices of our said county on the first Monday [Tuesday is marked through] on [next month is marked through] July next. then & there to answer the petition of Jas Burton Exc of Jas Hudson [???] against them and have them [???] this writ 

Witness Saml Cobbs clerk of our said county at the [first Tuesday is marked out] court house the 8th day of June 1769 in the ninth year of our Rign   Saml Cobbs

Receipt—on petition presumed to be around June of 1769
[On cover]

Js. Burton admd. of Js. Hudson
Vs Francis Barnes & [Margaret crossed out] Martha Fips
[various clerk shorthand notes]

[Back side] 

John fips to James Hudson             Dr

To smiths work…………………..     0.19.10
To one side of leather ……………  0.5.0
To one pair of womans shoes……. 0.5.0
To one pair of mens shoes……….. 0.6.0
                                                    L 1.15.10
------------------
[Receipt date] 1768

Tabitha Fips to me James Burton jr     Dr
To one side of Leather                        0.7.0
                                                           2.2.10

Petition for judgment—presumed June of 1769
[On cover]

To the Worshipful the Court of [Lunenburg is marked through] Charlotte County 

James Burton  Exec of James Hudson decd humbly sheweth that [something was crossed out] Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Admins of [??] indebted to your petitioner in the sum of  L 2.2.10 by Au and refuseth payment wherefore your petitioner Prays judgment against them for the same with Costs & shall Pray
Saml Cobbs

 [Back side]

John fips to James Hudson      D

To smiths work…………………..                                        0.19.10
To 1 side of leather ……………                                              5
To 1 P. of womans shoes……                                                 5  
To 1 P. of mens shoes……….                                                 6
To 1 side of leather had of Jas Burton by Mrs Phips               7
                                                          
                                                                                          L 2.2.10  Tho Read
                                                         
Order Book—August Court, 1769
Order Book 2, page 278, Charlotte County, VA

August Court, 1769

Matthew Marable                            Plaintif

Against                                           In Case

John Fips                                       Defendant

This day came the planinfif by his Attorney and Francis Barnes & Tabitha Fips Administrators of the said Defendant John /who is now dead/ were Duly warned by Writ of Scire Facias [a writ requiring a person to show why a judgment should not be enforced or annulled] to defend this suit and not appearing         Therefore came also a Jury to wit, Edmund Brewer, Lackville Brewer, Joel Townes, Samuel Johnson, Bartlet Eatis, Thomas Marshall, David Hutcheson, William Hutcheson, George Pattello, Peter Young, John Roach, & Perrin Allday, who being Elected tryed & sworn will & truly to Enquire of Damages on their oaths do say

that the said Intestate in his lifetime did assume upon himself to the said plaintif in manner and form as the Plaintif above against him hath alledged. And that the plaintif hath sustained Damage by occasion of the nonperformance of that promise and assumption besides his Costs to the sum of Twenty Eight pound Eleven shillings & the expense Current money, 

Therefore it is Considered by the court that the plaintif recover against the Defendant his Damages aforesaid by the Jurors in form aforesaid assessed Together with his costs by him about his suit in this behalf Expended to be levied of the goods and chattels of the said intestate in the hands of the said Administrators if so much they have if not the chattels of said Adminstrators 

August Court, 1769—jury ruling and list of expenses in judgment 
[Cover]

Marable
Vs
Phipps

We of the Jury Do find for the Plaintif        L28..11..3 Damages   [?] Brewer
[various clerk notes]

[Backside]

The estate of John Phipp Decd. To Mathew Marable…Dr

1768 May [?] % Balance Settlement …………………………….L 7.19.5
% Interest pd. Promise and Agreement from
This day until paid. [?]  July 3d 1769……………………………[0].9.2 ½
                                                                                                L 8.8.8
                        Errors and Omissions are
                        all excepted per M Marable

% Cash pd. P. Carrington Ths Read on expc                        L 19.17.7
% Interest [?]  to July 1769………………..[0].5………               20.2.7
                                                                                                 28.11.3
July 1769  Sworn in Court.   Ths Read DC


Order book, August Court, 1769
Order Book 2, Page 269, Charlotte County, Va

August Court, 1769

James Burton Junr. Executor of James Hudson Decd                                                      Plantif 

Against                                                                                                                            On a petition

Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes administrators & administrative of John Fips Decd          Plaintif

On fully hearing the arguments & Diatribes of the parties on both sides by their attorneys it is considered by the court that the said petition be dismissed and that the plaintif pay unto the Defendants their costs by him about their Defence in his behalf Expended

Order Book—September Court, 1769
Order Book 6, page 469, Halifax County, VA

September Court, 1769

Tabitha Fips administratix & Francis Barnes Administrator of John Fips deceased         Plaintifs

Against                                                                                                                            On a Petition 

Harris Wilson                                                                                                                   Defendant

This day came the plaintifs by Paul Carrington their attorney and the said Defendant being summoned and not appearing altho solemnly called/ and the plaintifs account for Four pounds Eight shillings being duly proved to be just Therefore it is considered by the court that the plaintifs recover against this defendant their debt aforesaid together with their costs by them [???] in their behalf expended—

Order book, October Court, 1769
Order Book 2, pages 292-293 Charlotte County, VA

October Court, 1769

James Burton Executor of James Hudson Desd                                                  Plantif

Against                                                                                                                In Debt

Tabitha Fips &Francis Barnes administrators of John Fips Decd                        Defendants

This day came as well the Plaintif by his attorney an the said defendants in their proper person and the said defendants relinquishing their former plea saith they cannot gainsay the action of the said Plaintif thereof against them nor but their intestate in his lifetime died **************** owe  to the said plaintif the sum of twenty pounds current money in manner an form as the said Plaintif above against them hath alledged; 

Therefore it is considered by the court that the plaintif recover against the defendants his debt aforesaid by the defendants in form aforesaid confessed. Together with his costs by him about his suit in this behalf expended & the said defendants in mercy [?] 

But this judgment except as to the costs is to be discharged by the payment of ten pounds current money with lawful interest thereon to be computed after the rate of five per cent annum from the first day of January one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine till payment deducting seven pounds, five shillings and six pence, paid the seventeenth day of August one thousand seven hundred & sixty nine 

to be levied of the goods and chattels of the said intestate in the hand of the [next page] Said administrators to be administered if so much they have if not then the costs to levied of the goods and chattels of the said administrators 

Order Book, October Court, 1769
Order Book 2, page 293, Charlotte County, VA

October Court, 1769

James Burton, junr. Executor of James Hudson decd                                   Plaintif

Judgement against                                                                                       In debt

Tabitha Fips  and   Francis Barnes Admins.   of John Fips   Decd                Defendants

This day came as well the Plaintif by their attorney as the said defendants in their proper persons and the Said Defendants in their proper persons and the Said Defendants relinquishing their former plea, saith they cannot gainsay the action of the plaintifs thereof against them nor but that their Intestate in his lifetime did owe to the Said Plaintifs the sum of sixteen pounds fifteen shillings current money in manner and form as the plaintif above against them hath alleged; 

Therefore it is considered by the court that the plaintif recover against the said defendants his debt aforesaid by the defendants in form aforesaid confessed together with his costs by him about this suit in this behalf Expended and the said Defendants in mercy [?]

But this judgment except as to the costs is to be discharged by the payment of Eight pounds seven shillings and six pence current money with lawful interest thereof from the Eighth day of June one thousand seven hundred and sixty eight till payment deducting seven pounds paid the sixth day of March one thousand seven hundred & sixty nine 

to be levied of the goods & chattels of the Said Intestate in the hands of the said administrators if so much they have in their hands to be administered If not then the costs to be levied of the goods and chattels of the said administrators

Order Book—April Court, 1770
Order Book 2, page 360, Charlotte County, VA

April Court, 1770 

Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Administrators of John Fips Decd                      Planitifs

Against                                                                                                               On a Writ of Scire Facias

Wright Bond & Richard Blanks                                                                           Defendants

The Sheriff having returned the Second writ the Defendants are not found within the Baliwick and the said Defendants failing to appear. It is Considered by the Court that the plaintifs have Execution against the said Defendants for the sum of Fifty two pounds one shilling & eight pence current money [?] three hundred & ninety six pounds of [?] Tobacco & Fifteen shillings [?] hundred & fifty pounds of Tobacco Costs in the writ aforesaid specified & also that they Recover against the said Defendants their Costs by them about their writ in this behalf Expended

Complaint entered—presumed date of this record  is 4-1770 
[On Cover]

To the Worshipful  Court of Charlotte County, Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes Administrator and Administratix of John Fips Deceased
That Christopher Marable & Mathew Marable stands indebted to them the Sum of               L2..10..0 by acct,
and refuseth Payment: Wherefore you petitioner prays Judgment against them for the same, with Costs.    And shall pray, &c

[Backside]

Christopher Marable. Matw Marable, to the Admn. Of Jno. Fipps Dr
To one Cow and Calf……      L2..10..0
[?] Js. Barns

Summons issued—4-9-1770
[On cover]

Christopher Marable Matw Marable to the Admrs of John Fips Decd

To 1 Cow & Calf……………………………………L2.10.0
[various clerk notations]

[Backside]

George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of Faith, &c.   To the Sheriff of Charlotte County, greetings: 

We command you that you summon Christopher Marable & Matthew Marable to appear before our Justices of our Said County Court, at the Courthouse of the said County, on the first Monday in [April crossed out] May then and there to answer the Petition of Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Administrator and Administratix of John Fips decd exhibited against them and have then there this Writ. 

Witness Saml Cobbs Clerk of our Said Court, at the Courthouse, the 9th  Day of April 1770 in the 10th year of our Reign. Saml Cobbs cl

Summons issued—4-9-1770
[On cover]

Fips Adm
V
Marable
Ja Barnes
A Copy Left
Geo Gwin
& Thos Bedford Shf.
May Judgment

[Backside]

George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of Faith, &c.   

To the Sheriff of Charlotte County, greetings: We command you that you summon James Barnes to appear before our Justices of our Said County Court, at the Courthouse of the said County, on the first Monday in May next To testify, and the Truth to say, in Behalf of Jno. Fips Admr in a certain Matter of Controversy in our said Court, before our said Justices depending and undetermined, between the sd Administrators Pl. and Christopher Marable & Mathew Marable Defd. 

and this you shall in no wise omit, under Penalty of L100 WITNESS Samuel Cobbs Clerk of our said Court, at the Court house, the 9th Day of Apl 1770. in the 10th year of our Reign. Saml Cobbs cl

Order Book—May Court, 1770
Order Book 2, page 365, Charlotte County, VA

May Court, 1770

Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Administrator & Administratix of John Fips Decd                Plaintif

Against                                                                                                                               On a Petition

Matthew Marable & Christopher Marable ………                                                                Defendant

On fully hearing the Testamony of the witnesses It is considered by the court that the plaintif recover against the said Defendant Matthew the sum of two pounds ten shillings current money Together with his Costs by him about his Suit in this behalf Expended. 

For Reasons appearing to the Court this suit ordered to be dismissed as to the Defendant Christopher Marable

On the motion of James Barnes a Witness for Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes administrator & administratix of John Fips Decd in their suit against Mathew and Christopher Marable It is ordered that the said Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes pay him for one day’s attendance according to Law

Order Book—July Court, 1770
Order Book 6, page 527, Halifax County, VA

July Court, 1770

Francis Barnes and Tabitha Phips Administrators & of John Phips deceased …              Plaintifs 

Against                                                                                                                             On a Scire Facias

Champness Terry                                                                                                             Defendant

This day came the Plaintifs by Paul Carrington their Attorney and the said Deft being duly warned and not appearing altho solemnly called/ therefore it is considered by the Court that the Plts have execution against the sd Deft for six hundred and six pounds of Tobacco According to a former Order of this Court together with their Costs by them in this behalf expended.     

Complaint entered—8-8-1770
[On Cover]

Fips adm
V
C. Marable
Pets & sums
[Various clerk notations]
Sep. [?]
Nov. Judgment

[On backside]

To the Worshipful  Court of Charlotte County, Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes Administrators & of Jno Fips decd.
That Christopher Marable & Mathew Marable stands indebted to them the Sum of       L2..10..0 by acct,
and refuseth Payment: Wherefore you petitioner prays Judgment against them for the same, with Costs.    And shall pray, &c

George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of Faith, &c.   

To the Sheriff of Charlotte County, greetings: We command you that you summon Christopher Marable to appear before our Justices of our Said County Court, at the Courthouse of the said County, on the first Monday in September then and there to answer the Petition of Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Admn & of Jno Fips decd. exhibited against them and have then there this Writ. 

Witness Thomas Read Clerk of our Said Court, at the Courthouse, the 8th Day of Augt1770 in the 10th year of our Reign. Thomas Read


Complaint entered—9-6-1770
[On Cover]

Fips adm
V
C. Marable
[Various clerk notations]
Tho Bedford shff

[On backside]

To the Worshipful  Court of Charlotte County, Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes Administrators & of Jno Fips decd.
That Christopher Marable & Mathew Marable stands indebted to them the Sum of L2..10..0 by acct,
and refuseth Payment: Wherefore you petitioner prays Judgment against him for the same, with Costs.    And shall pray, &c

George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of Faith, &c.   

To the Sheriff of Charlotte County, greetings: We command you that you summon as before and many [?] Christopher Marable Matthew Marable  to appear before our Justices of our Said County Court, at the Courthouse of the said County, on the first Monday in October then and there to answer the Petition of Tabitha Fips & Francis Barnes Admn & of John Fips decd. exhibited against them and have then there this Writ. 

Witness Thomas Read Clerk of our Said Court, at the Courthouse, the 6th Day of  Sept. 1770 in the tenth  year of our Reign. Thomas Read

Order Book—November Court, 1770
Order Book 2, page 404, Charlotte County, VA

November Court, 1770

Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes  Admin John Fips    Decd                                     Plaintifs

Against                                                                                                                    On a Petition

Christopher Marable & Matthew Marable                                                                 Defendants

The Defendant Christopher not appearing altho duly Summoned, 

Therefore It is considered by the court that the plaintifs recover against the sd Defendant Christopher Marable the sum of two pounds ten shillings Current money. Together with their costs by them about their suit in their half Expended. 

Memorandum that in May Court Last Judgment was entered against the Defendant Matthew for the same Debt.

Loose Judgment Paper—Pittsylvania County, VA—dated January 1, 1771
[This case may or may not have anything to do with the estate of the late John Fips, but his name is in the judgment, though then crossed out. Since the John Fips land on Pigg River was sold in 1778-79 to a Ward, I felt compelled to include these court actions] 

[Cover]

Ward 
V
Collier
Mar 1771 dismd.

Ward 
Vs
Colyer

[Four lines blotted out]

Expected on 6 head of sheep on a Black horse colt and on 4 yearlings
pr
Edward Dillon

Pittsylvania [?]  Whereas John Ward Complains to me that William Colyer is justly indebted to him the sum of five pound nineteen shilling current money and that the said William Colyer is Private removing him self out of this county or so obsconds that ordinary Processes of Law cannot be served upon him these are therefore in his Magistrates name to Require you to attach as much of the said Colyer Estate as shall be value sufficient to satisfy the said Debt and Cost. and such Estate So attachd in your hands to secure or so to Provide that the same may be Liable to further Proceedings thereupon to be had at the next court to be Held for this County and that [blot] then and there make due Returned how you have executed this Warrant given under my hand this 1st of January 1771

To the Sheriff of [Pittsylvania blotted over]                       Richard Walden
[Three lines blotted out here]

[Backside] 

Know all men by these presents that we John Ward William Ward and John Cleveland of the county of Pitsylvania am held and stands Firmly bound unto [John Phipps is scribble through] William Colyer Late of the county in the full of Eleven pound Eighteen Shillings Current money of Virginia to which Payment well and Truly to be made we bind our selves and Each of our Heirs Executors administrators and Every of them joyntly severally firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seal and Dated this 1st day of January 1771

The Condition of the above obligation is Such that whereas the above Bound John Ward hath this present day Prayed and attachment against the Estate of the above named [John Phipps is blotted out] William Colyer for Five pound and nineteen shillings Current money and Hath obtained the Same Returnable to our next court in Pitsylvania Now if so be the Said John Ward Shall indemnify the Said [Phipps is blotted out] and his Heirs from all costs that shall accure by means of this Suite in case he the said Ward shall [blotted] in this attachment then the above obligation to be void [blotted ] in force and virtue

John Ward  seal
William Ward seal
John Cleveland seal      [two lines scribbled out]

Loose Judgment Paper—Pittsylvania County, VA—dated March 29, 1771
[Cover]

Ward  v Phips & Collier

Executed on Collier & in Goal

Abra. Shelton
June 1771. C.O.
Aug disd [?] Costs

[Backside]

George the third by the grace of god great britian france and Ireland King Defender of the Faith [?] To the sheriff of Pittsylvania County Greetings we Command you you take John Phips & Wm Collier 

if they be found within your Bailiwick and there safely keep so that you have their bodies before our Justices said county court at the Courthouse on the last Thursday in next month so ansr. John Ward of a plea of debt for forty pounds damage forty shillings and have [?] there this Writ witness will. 

Tunstall clerk of County Court at the Courthouse the 29th Day of March in the 11th year of our Reign Wm Tunstall  

Order Book—August Court, 1771
Page 326, Pittsylvania County, VA

August Court, 1771

John Ward                                                     Plaintif 

Against                                                          In Debt

John Phips and William Collier                      Defendant

For reasons appearing to the court ordered that this suit be dismiss’d at the cost of the Plaintif.

Order Book—August 3, 1772
Order Book 3, page 129, Charlotte County

August Court, 1772

Tabitha Fips and Frances Barnes Administrators of John Fips Decd                Plaintifs

Against                                                                                                              On a Petition

John May Administrator with the Will annexed of William Christopher decd       Defendant

The Defendant not appearing altho duly summoned, Therefore, It is considered by the Court that the Plaintif Recover against the said Defendant the sum of three pounds Current money. Together with their Costs by them in this behalf Expended to be levied of the goods and Chattels of the said Testator is so much the said John May hath in his hands to be administered if not then the Costs to be Levied of the goods and Chattels of the said Administrator. 

Order Book—January Court, 1775
Order Book 13, page 64, Brunswick County, VA

January Court, 1775

Tabitha Phips having obtained an attachment against the Estate of Harris Wilson who hath privately removed himself or so absconds that the ordinary process of Law cannot be served upon him for five Pounds seventeen Shillings and ten Pence, and the same being returned Levied on a Horse, Saddle, and Bell, and the said Defendant not appearing to [??] the same tho. Solemnly called 

Therefore It is Considered by the Court that the Plaintif recover against the said Deft the said five Pounds seventeen Shillings and ten Pence and It is ordered that the Sherif make Sale of the said Horse Saddle and Bell and out of the Money arising from such Sale pay and Satisfy to the Plt. this Judgment and return an Account thereof to the Court. 


Order Book—November Court, 1775
Order Book, page 74, Charlotte County, VA

November Court, 1775 

Langston Bacon, James Boulden and Silvanus Stokes gentlemen are appointed to settle and account current of the Estate of John Fips decd whereof Tabitha Fips and Francis Barnes are Administrators and that they return their Account thereof to the next court.

Order Book—June Court, 1777
Order Book, page 95, Charlotte County, VA

An account current of the Estate of John Fips decd was this day returned and ordered be recorded

Order Book--November Court, 1778 
Order Book 4, pages 182-183, Pittsylvania County, VA

November Court, 1778

On the motion of Ephraim Witcher who intermarried with Betsey Fips daughter of John Fips deceased to have a verbal gift of a negro proved according to an active assembly in that case made and provided, it appearing to the court that the heir at law of the said John Fips hath had legal notice of this motion and it also appearing to the court by the oath of Sylvanus Stokes that he saw the said John Fips in his lifetime take a negro girl by the name of Sall by the hand and put it in the hand of his said daughter Betsey then about 6 years of age, and called on him the said Sylvanus Stokes and sundry other persons to take notice that he gave the aforesaid negro to her forever and for reasons appearing this motion is continued until the next court.

Order Book--November Court, 1778

Order Book 4, page 183, Pittsylvania County, VA


November Court, 1778


A release from Parthetha Fips to Jeremiah Ward was by the said Parthetha acknowledged to her act and deed and the same is ordered to be recorded.

Pittsylvania County, VA, deed book—11-26-1778
Deed Book 5, page 43

Know all men by these presents that I Tabitha Fips of Pittsylvania County Virginia for & in consideration of the sum of seventy three pounds six shillings & eight pence current money of Virginia, paid to me in hand by Jeremiah Ward of said county have dismissed released and forever quitted claim and by these presents do dismiss release & forever quit claim to said Jeremiah Ward his heirs executors and administrators all my right of dowry to one third of a certain tract of land whereon I now live lying on both sides of Cedar Creek and county aforesaid adjoining Pigg River witness my hand and seal this twentieth & sixth day of November one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight Sealed & delivered in presence of Tabitha Fips 

At a court held for Pittsylvania county the 26th day of Nov 1778 the within release was acknowledged by the within named Tabitha Phips to be [?] & ordered to be recorded by the court 
                            Will Tunstall 

Order Book—January Court, 1779 
Order Book 4, pages 188, Pittsylvania County, VA

January Court, 1779

The verbal of a negro girl named Sall from John Fips deceased in his lifetime to his daughter Elizabeth Fips, was further proved by the oath of James Burton and ordered to be recorded

Pittsylvania County, VA,  Deed book—10-16-1779
Deed Book 5,  page 305

This indenture made this sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine between James Fips of Brunswick County of the one part and Jeremiah Ward of the county of Pittsylvania of the other part witnesseth the said James Fips for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and twenty pounds current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Jeremiah Ward the receipt ??? of the said Fips does hereby acknowledge hath granted bargained sold …. and confirmed and does by these presents grant bargain sell alien .. confirm and deliver unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns one certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in Pittsylvania country aforesaid lying on Pigg River and on both sides of Ceday Creek being the tract of land that was surveyed for John Goad Jr on Cedar Creek in the year one thousand six hundred and fifty-three containing two hundred and thirty acres more or less and the revision and revisions remainder or and remainders thereof and all the estate right title interest claim or demand whatsoever of the said James Fips of in and to the said land and premises and every part and parcel thereof to have and to hold the said land and preemies with the appertenances  unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns forever and the said James Fips does hereby for himself his heirs ??? and adm.s covenant promise and agree to and with the said Jeremiah Ward and heirs and assigns that he the said James Fips the aforementioned land and premises with the appertenances unto the said Jeremiah Ward his heirs and assigns against all persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend in witnesses whereof the said James Fips has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first within written Signed sealed and delivered James Fips in presence of James Mitchell Robt. Dalton Bryanward Nowlin

Memorandum It was acknowledged in open court at a court held for Pittsylvania county the 19th day of October 1779


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