Sands of Time--The Phelps Family and their Kin in Orange, Caswell, Person, Alamance Co NC

A collection of the history of my ancestors

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Family of Reuben Phelps d. 1837

The Family of Reuben Phelps, Son of James Phelps of Caswell County N.C.

By: Latham Mark Phelps 2006


Based on documents acquired at Halifax, Virginia Courthouse 12-29-2005, and years of prior research on the Phelps family. I would like to thank my father, Wilford Latham Phelps, who accompanied me on this research trip and has been a tenacious and tireless partner when it comes to family history. My thanks to my 4th cousin, Doug Phelps of New Bern, N.C., for providing the first clue as to Records identifying Reuben and his son Isham Phelps in Halifax County, Va. We had tried for years to place Isham Phelps in our Phelps family, as had other researchers and thanks to Doug's clue we now have many of the answers.

Reuben Phelps was a named Son in the Will of James Phelps in 1785. James Phelps was the progenitor of the Phelps family in Caswell and Person Counties, N.C. James and his wife Mary (last name unknown, Bateman has been used by many researchers but we have no documentation for this) had the following children:

William - m.- Jane Warrin (Warren) --Jan. 6th, 1786 Bondsman: Shadrack Hudson

Reuben - m.- unknown

Thomas - m.- Mary Pass --- Dec. 17th, 1791, Bondsman:-Jessie Moore

Larkin - m.- Anna Dye --- Aug. 19th, 1796 Bondsman: Willis Buckingham Smith

Obediah -m - Peggy Dye -- Dec. 28th, 1796 Bondsman: James Randal

Ambrose -m.- Sally Dye --- Aug. 19th, 1796 Bondsman: Larking Phelps

Lucy - m.- Willis Buckingham Smith --Nov. 11th, 1794

Betty - m. – unknown

Patty - m. – unknown

All the above marriages occurred in Caswell County, North Carolina.

Before we begin the story of Reuben Phelps, I feel it necessary to provide some history of the Phelps Family and their neighbors in late 1700's Caswell County.

James Phelps' first recorded appearance in NC was his land entry in 1778: " Land entry #781. James Phelps enters 320 acres of land joining the line of Ann Smith of the Virginia line of the north side of Mill Creek including his improvement. 20th Nov 1778" It was entered by James and Nathaniel Pass (NC Archive Land Entry Book CR020.404.1) --- James Phelps received a Land Grant from the State of North Carolina in 1779 ( the survey was conducted in 1778) for 292 acres, signed by Governor Richard Caswell, for whom Caswell County is named. This property was located on the "waters of Country Line Creek" and adjacent the "Provence Line of Virginia" and Nathaniel Pass' line and Anne Smith's line”. Nathaniel Pass was the father of Mary Pass, who married James Phelps son Thomas (my direct ancestor). Anne Smith was either the mother or grandmother of Willis Buckingham Smith, who married James Phelps daughter Lucy. James Phelps formed a rectangle that was 45 Chains wide and 65 chains long or 2970 feet wide by 4290 feet long. One chain equals 66 feet and each chain contains 100 links. A measurement of 80 chains would equal one mile.






James Phelps Caswell County 1779
Page 404
State of North Carolina No. 277
Know ye that for and in consideration of the sum of fifty shillings for every hundred acres hereby granted paid into our Treasury by James Phelps have given and granted & by these presents do give and grant unto the said James Phelps his heirs and assigns forever a tract of land containing two hundred and ninety two acres lying and being in the County of Caswell. On the waters of Country Line Creek beginning at a white oak on the Provence Line of Virginia, thence south sixty five chains to a red oak on Nathaniel Pass's line, thence his line west forty five chains to a red oak on Ann Smith's line, thence her line north sixty five chains to a pine on the Provence line, thence the Provence line east forty five chains to the first station. As by the plat here unto annsaid doth appear with all the Woods, Waters, Mines, Minerals, hereditaments and appurtenances to the said land belonging or ascertaining. To hold by the said James Phelps, his heirs and assigns forever. Yielding and Paying to us such sum of money yearly To all that these presents shall come greeting:
or otherwise as our General Assembly from time to time may direct. Provised always that the Said James Felps shall cause this Grant to be registered in the Register's Office of our said County of Caswell within twelve months from the said date hereof, otherwise the same shall be void and of no affect. In Testimony hereof we have caused our Grant Seal to be hereby affixed. Witnesses, Richard Caswell Esquire and Governor, Captain General & Commander in Chief at Kingston the Twentyeth day of December in the fourth year of Our Independence & in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Nine.

By His Excellency's Com. R.C. Caswell
J.R. Franck Sec.

Transcribed by: Latham Mark Phelps 2003

James Phelps Land was on the East side of the Country Line Creek in Caswell County just across the Creek from the future Town of Milton, N.C. His property was bordered on the West by the lands of Anne Smith, on the East, by Shadrack Hudson, on the South by Nathaniel Pass Sr. and on the North by the Virginia Line. To the East of Shadrack Hudson were the lands of John Warren, whose daughter Jane married James Phelps' son William. James's son Thomas, married Nathaniel Pass Sr.'s daughter Mary and James Phelps' daughter Lucy married Willis Buckingham Smith, the son or grandson of Anne Smith. Anne Smith acquired her property in the year 1760 from "the Right Honourable John, Earl of Granville by deed bearing date the second day of August in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty & registered in the Registers Office in Caswell County aforesaid in Book E Page( blank)”. This passage is from a Deed from James and Anne Reiley (Anne Smith's daughter and son-in-law) of Caswell County, N.C. to William Thomas Sr. of Pittsylvania County, Va., in 1779 (Caswell Co. Deed Book A--Page 115). Ironically, This Deed was witnessed by my 6th Great-Grandfather Andrew Haddock, as well as by Charles and John Boulton. This property consisted of 50 acres "Beginning at Benjamin Merritt's corner White Oak on the Virginia Line, and on the West side Country Line Creek".

William Thomas Sr. of Pittsylvania County, Va. had a son, Asa Thomas who is widely credited as being the Father of Milton, N.C. Quoted from The Caswell County Historical Association's (CCHA) website. " The town of Milton in northeast Caswell County was incorporated in 1796 as a center for warehousing and inspecting tobacco and flour. It was a natural site with a fine location on the Dan River. The property of Asa Thomas was selected. Because the new town was to have been located near the mill owned by Asa Thomas, it naturally was named Milltown or Milton." This mill was originally built by Benjamin Merrit and later sold to Anne Smith. If Asa Thomas was the Father of Milton, N.C., Then Anne Smith was the Grandmother of the town of Milton as it is situated on the land previously owned by her.







CCHA"S Newsletter VOL.XXVI, Number 2 Pg. 2 April 2003 states: " Mrs. Anne Smith, had written her will Sept. 17, 1783 and grandson AMASA SMITH who had been named an executor failed to bring it into Court until January Court 1792. The CCHA was not aware in 1985 when we published the first HERITAGE that Mrs. Smith was also the grandmother of the town of Milton., founded in 1796, oldest in the County. While investigating the 200th anniversary, we discovered that Milton began with the sale of a mill on Country-Line Creek where the Dan River flows by and separates Caswell from Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties over the line in Virginia. Benjamin Merritt, whose descendants in Person County (cut off from Caswell in 1792) reported in the HERITAGE OF PERSON COUNTY I. "He came down from New York" and secured a Granville Grant of many acres on both sides of the Dan River in two colonies. Benjamin built a mill, which he sold to Mrs. Anne Smith ca.1757 with acreage over 50 in the tract, more than enough to start a flourishing frontier town. From Mrs. Smith's will we gather that in addition to the wheat and corn-grinding and rough-sawn lumber production, she also had a grog-shop. This hostess with the mostest had several daughters whom she remembered fondly and a son Willis Buckingham. We do not know if she remembered that her daughter Anne and husband James Reiley had sold her mill to William Thomas, Sr. in 1779. It was listed by one of the Thomas sons in the 1784 Census. She mentioned that she had two mills and two plantations, so we find grandson MACE STOKES, alias Mason Smith, alias Mase/Massie and several other variations, presiding over a cluster of interesting pioneers about whom we have had too little information. Due to the fact that family members were separated into Person County, their records must be searched in both Caswell, Person and Orange in North Carolina and maybe their descendants can report with the Merritts that they have at last found his home tract (in Halifax County, Va., not too far from Milton). A few stray facts about the cluster could. begin with the PASS family who lived near Milton. Over in Person County, a Merritt descendant owns an old Pass house with a Thomas Day mantelpiece. Milton is famed for its antique commercial row today and for the fact that it was the location of Thomas Day of the famed free-black family of cabinet-makers who came to Milton from Warrenton ca.1824 and started a business, which remains unique in our state's history. Fortunately, the Day residence and shop are being restored by donations and grants."

In 1791 William Thomas Sr. of Pittsylvania County, Va., (Caswell Co.-- Deed Book G--Page 17) sold to his Sons, Phillip Thomas of the County of Caswell and State of N.C. and Asa Thomas of the County of Pittsylvania and State of Virginia, "in consideration of the natural love and affection, which he hath and beareth unto the said Phillip and Asa Thomas, his Sons." The Deed further states "unto the said Phillip and Asa Thomas, one Mill and Millseat on Country Line Creek in Caswell County---which are to be equal Shares of and Partakers in the said Mill---Peaceably and Quietly have, hold and enjoy the said Mill and tenements except the Grinding of my Grain for my own Family use. Toll free during my life and the life of Joyce Thomas, my wife." This Mill was of historical significance to this area of Caswell County and the Town of Milton as it provided a necessary service to the early settlers of Caswell County. Settlers needed Grist Mills to turn their crops into food to feed their families and slaves. It became the nucleous and hub of activity that led to the founding of Milton in 1796. I'm sure the Phelps family and their neighbors brought numerous loads of grain, wheat and corn, to be turned into meal and flour to sustain their families and the survival of future generations of these families to carry their legacies into the future.

Three of James Phelps sons, Larking, Obediah and Ambrose, went to Pulaski County, Kentucky ca.1806. We know much about these three as; they have been researched by their Kentucky descendants. There were many families from Caswell and other counties in N.C. that migrated to the "frontier" lands of Kentucky and Tennessee during this time. Along with the three Phelps brothers there were members of the Dye, Earp, Wesley, and Randolph families that made the arduous trip to Kentucky together. In 1800 there were only two states west of the Appalachians — Kentucky and Tennessee. After several treaties with the Indian tribes, the Federal Government were ready to welcome mass settlement in these Western States. In 1786 My 6th Great-Grandfather, Andrew Haddock of Caswell Co. was given a Land Grant from the State of N.C. in "our County of Davidson" for his service in the Revolutionary War. The County of Davidson at this time stretched from the Piedmont of N.C. to the Mississippi River as Tennessee was not a State until 1796. Kentucky was a Territory of Virginia until becoming a State in 1792.






James' eldest son William, who was named Executor of James' Will, remained in N.C. and died in 1824.William Phelps obituary appeared in the 1824 Raleigh Register and stated that he was a Veteran of the Revolutionary War. James' son Thomas (my 3rd Great-grandfather) remained in Caswell County until moving to neighboring Person County around 1826, where he died in 1849. I will write the story of Thomas Phelps at a later date.

Last Will and Testament of James Phelps
March 5th 1785- Will Book B Page 155
Caswell County, North Carolina

In the Name of God Amen I James Phelps of Caswell County Province of North Carolina being Weak of body but of Perfect Sense and Memory do make and Declare this my last will and Testament in Manner and form following

First I Recommend my Soul to Almighty God Who gave it me, hoping to receive it again at the Last day in a Joyfull Resurrection. My body to be Buried in a Christian like Manner as for What Worldly Estate it has Pleased God to Bless me with after my Funeral Expenses & Just debts are paid I order and dispose of the following manner,

1st-- I Give and bequeath to my Son William Fifty Pounds Currant money to be paid out of my Estate.

2nd-- I lend the Remainder Part of my Estate With my land to my Beloved wife Mary During her natural Life or Widowhood She raising my children out of it as I have heretofore done.

3rd-- I Give and Bequeath after my Wifes decease to my Youngest Son Ambrose that part of my Land Lying on the North side of the Branch being the part whereon I now live.

4th-- I Give and bequeath to my Next youngest son Obadiah the other part of my land to him and his heirs only my mother to have her Lifetime thereon if She Chooses.

5thly-- The Remainder Part of my Estate after my Wifes decease I Give to be Equally divided Among the Rest of my children to wit Reubin, Thomas, Larkin, Lucy, Betty, and Patty. If my Wife should marry then to be Equally divided among my Six Children Reubin, Thomas, Larkin, Lucy, Betty and Patty and my Wife.

6thly-- My Will and desire is that if Either of my Eight youngest children should die Without Lawfull Issue that their part be Equally divided amongst the Survivors
of them.

7thly-- And lastly I appoint my beloved Wife Mary my Executrix and my Son William my Executor to this my last Will and Testament. In witness Whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this fifth of March 1785

{ Seal}




Signed Sealed & Delivered in the presence of }
Shadrack Hudson, Wm Cromwell, James Williamson

Caswell County October Court 1788
This Will is was duly proved in open Court by the Oaths of Shadrack Hudson, John Phelps, William Cromwell and in the manner as entered of Record upon the
Minutes of this Term and Ordered that the said Will be admitted to Record.
Test AE Murphy Clk.
Executors gratified

WILL TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps -- March 2004






Rueben Phelps, Son of, James Phelps and Mary (Unknown), resided in Caswell County, N.C. in the late 1700's. He is listed in the 1st Federal Census in 1790 along with his mother Mary and his brother Thomas. They are listed in the Richmond District of Caswell County, which is located at the northeast corner of Caswell. The Richmond District is bordered by Virginia to the North and the future Person County line to the East. This District also includes the future Town of Milton. His father James had died about five years earlier, so Mary his mother was now head of household. Reuben and his brother Thomas were old enough to be listed in the Census, but perhaps not the younger children. His Brother William was Listed in The St. Lawrence District which was just across the soon to be Person County line. William had already been deeded property by his father-in-law John Warren in 1787. His brother Thomas would marry the very next year to Mary Pass, a daughter of Nathaniel Pass, whose property adjoined the James Phelps tract.


On September 23rd, 1797, his brother Thomas Phelps of Caswell County, N.C., purchased 100 acres of land in Halifax County, Va. from John Connally of Halifax County, Va. (Deed Book 17--Pages--524, 525). This property adjoined the properties of George Connally, William Wesley, William Taylor Sr. and Septimus Taylor and the said Thomas Phelps. This Deed was witnessed by, Benjamin Snead, Nathaniel Pass (Thomas Phelps Father-in-Law) and Septimus Taylor. Many of these family names also appear in Caswell County Records in the Milton area, Richmond District of Caswell County.

On January 22nd, 1803, Thomas Phelps of Caswell County, N.C. sold to Reuben Phelps of Halifax County, Va., 100 acres of land in Halifax County, Va. (Deed Book 19--Page 435). This property adjoined the properties of Robert Lewis, Sarah Wesley, William Taylor Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor. There were no signed witnesses on this deed except for John Wimbish-Clerk of Halifax Co. Although the Deed states that Reuben Phelps is "of Halifax County Va.", this is the first land purchase recorded for Reuben in Halifax County Records. My assumption is that Reuben was probably living with his wife's family or relatives in Halifax until he made this purchase. His wife remains unknown at this time, she had died at the time of his Will in 1837 as he did not mention his wife in said Will. He clearly had children at this point as his son Isham, who we know from Census Records--Caswell County 1850--Isham is shown as 60 years old which would put his birth around 1790. A wife whose family was in Halifax County, Va. would make clear sense as anyone who has researched the area knows that the only thing separating Milton, N.C. and the Halifax County, Va. Line is the Dan River. Our families sometime held properties that were in Caswell Co. and Halifax Co. if the property encompassed both sides of the border. The property line was a little hazy in those days and people paid taxes in N.C. and Va. during these time periods.

On October 20th, 1813, Sarah Wesley, Shadrach Dye and Alinor his wife, William Williams and Elizabeth his wife, Sarah Wesley Jun. and Kitturah Wesley, sold 42 acres of land to Reuben Phelps of Halifax Co., Va. (Deed Book 25--Pages 227,228). This property adjoined the properties of Robert Lewis, Rueben Phelps, Shadrach Taylor, Richals Line formerly Lewis's Line. This Deed is witnessed by:Shadrach Taylor, William Taylor, Alexander Kent and Isham Phelps (Son of Rueben Phelps) The Deed is signed by Sarah Wesley, Shadrach Dye, William Williamson, (spelled Williams in Body of Deed), Elizabeth Williamson, Sarah Wesley Jr. and Kitturah Wesley. All the signers made their marks on the deed, which may explain the misspellings as Wesley is spelled Westley in some places and Williams as Williamson etc. The Wesley's and Dye's families were part of a migration to Pulaski County, Ky. which included three brothers of Rueben Phelps, namely Obediah, Larkin, and Ambrose Phelps who all married Dye sisters in Caswell Co, N.C. in the late 1700's. Again more families associated with both Caswell and Halifax..

On March 30th, 1821 in Person County, N.C., (adjacent to Halifax County Va.) Reuben Phelps is listed as a buyer at at the Estate Sale of James Hamblett. Just above Rueben Phelps' name you will see Martin Phelps. They are listed under the section of "Sums under $5.00" This Martin Phelps has always been a mystery to me which has now been cleared up. In fact he was a Son of Reuben Phelps, which I will cover in greater detail later. Note the other family names that appear at this sale. Again appear Caswell and Halifax families--Hamblett, Stanfield, Oliver, Connally, Williams and Phelps.

To view the Post of this Estate, Copy & Paste the below URL into your browser to go to the list of the sale
http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/person/wills/hamlet03.txt






Reuben Phelps named five children in his Will, Isham, Delpha, Sarah, Martha and Rachel. He in fact had at least six children. Another Son, Martin Phelps died in 1825, twelve years before Reuben made his Will in 1837. Martin Phelps brother Isham Phelps was the executor of the Estate of Martin Phelps as their was no Will to be found in Halifax County Records, yet luckily there was a record of the Estate sale (Halifax Co. Va. Will Book 14 Pages 41-45) which supplies us with information about him. Purchasers at his Estate sale held on October 25th, 1825 were, Reuben Phelps, William Brandon Sr., Daniel McDowell,Thomas Preston, Charles D. Taylor, Spencer Ball, Thomas Phelps, Isham Phelps, Salley Phelps, Thomas L. Brandon, Benjamin Hale, John P. Phelps, Nathaniel G. Kent, Hazdill Butt and Welcome Leonard? His personal property was valued at $115.45 prior to the sale. I could not find or failed to copy the totals from the proceeds of the sale.


Halifax County, Va., Will Book 14-pg.41-43
Martin Phelps Inventory--October 25th, 1825. Acct. of personal property of Martin Phelps deceased, appraised.


1 Black Heifer 6.50 Cotton, Wheat 21.50
five hogs 9.50 Two Plate Irons .75
One Rifle 15.00 five gimletts .25
One Syth and cradle 2.00 five Sitting Chairs 2.50
One Whip Saw 6.00 three guges and bottel .50
One Cross Cut Saw to half of the same 4.50 One Dining Table 1.25
One passell of files .50 Set of nives and forks 1.00
Passell of Chisels and Old Irons 1.00 bread Tray and Sifter .75
Frow .50 Coffey pot and mill .75
ginter and Smuthen plain and bet 1.00 two Decanters 1.00
three seren augers .50 tin weighters, pepper box, and tumbler .37 1/2
ginter and two augers 1.00 Set of Cups and Saucers and Tee Spunes .75
Chop Axe and Drawing nife 1.00 Two Bouls .25
Drawing nife and round shape and chisel .50 One Dish and set of plates .25
passell of plains 1.25 Pair of Cotton Cards .75
futt adds hamer,drawing nife,two chisel 1.25 Set of puter Spoons .25
small tub .50 Bible and three Other Books 1.00
passell of water vessels 1.00 Shaving Glass and Razor .51
Two scillet and lead .87 ½ One Pine Chest 2.00
One pot .75 Rockin Craidel and blanket 1.25
Broad Ax 2.50 One feather Bed and furniture 15.00
Two Pole Ax 1.50 Dressin Table 1.00
han saw and Tennant Saw 2.00 three tre Stands 4.50
Musket Gun 2.00 passell of hoghead stave 1.50
Iron Square 2.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total Personal Property $115.45

At a Court held for Halifax County the 28th day of March 1826, The Within Written Inventory and appraisement of
the Estate of Martin Phelps, Decd. was returned to Court and ordered to be recorded.
Test: Samuel Williams C.H.C.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps 2006





The following people purchased items at Martin Phelps estate sale:

Halifax County, Va., Will Book 14-Page 43-45
A copy of Sales of the property of Martin Phelps estate, deceased October 25th 1825

Reuben Phelps – To one Scythe and Cradle - $1.25, To one lot of Tools - $2.00, To half of one Cross Cut Saw - $5.00.

William Brandon, Sr. – To one Frow - $0.35, To one lot of Augers and D-knife - $0.65

Thomas Preston – To one hand saw - $0.62 ½ , To one lot of Tools - $0.65, To one lot of Tools - $0.40, To one lot of Chisels - $0.30, To one flour Barrel $0.12 ½, To one musket gun - $0.95, To one riffle gun - $15.00.

Daniel McDowell – To one tennant saw - $0.80, To one Small Axe - $0.65m To one lot of Tools - $0.70, To one Jointer - $0.50, To one Jointer - $0.65, To one Bed plane - $1.25, To one Small plane - $1.40, To one pole axe - $1.55, To one Whip saw - $1.50.

Charles D. Taylor – To one lot of Tools - $1.12 ½, To a Parcel of Shaves - $0.20

Spencer Ball – To one lot of Tools - $0.12 ½, To one Hog - $2.10, To one Hog - $2.60, To one Bee Gum - $0.85, To one Sow Hog – $2.50

Thomas Phelps – To one lot of Tools - $0.12 ½, To one broad Axe, To one Iron Square - $0.55, To one lot of Chain at 53 cts each - $2.12

Isham Phelps – To one lot of Tools - &0.60, To two Jugs - $0.25

Welcome Leonard – To one Pole Axe - $.036

Hazdill Butt – To one lot of gimlets - $.025, To one bottle and Jug - $.012 ½

Salley Phelps – To one Small Skillet - $0.10, To one Skillet - $0.50, To one Pot - $0.50, To one lot of Water Vessels - $0.25, To one Water Pail - $0.30, To one Table - $1.00, To one set of knives and forks - $0.80, To one Tray and Sifter - $.060, To one pair of Cotton Cards - $0.60, To two bowls - $0.20, To one set of Cups and Saucers - $0.30, To one set of tea Spoons - $0.20, To one set of Table Spoons - $0.25, To one Water and Pepper box - $0.40, To one Set of Plates and Dishes - $0.25, To one Coffee Mill - $0.50, To one Coffee Pot - $0.25, To one quart Decanter - $.055, To one small Decanter - $0.21, To one set of flat Irons - $0.30, To one Cotton Wheel - $2.30, to one small Table - $0.80, To one Rocking Cradle - $0.25, To one Chest - $2.00, To one Bed and furniture and Stead and Cord - $12.25, To one Bed and furniture and Stead and Cord - $6.00, To one Bee Gum - $1.60. To one Bee Gum - $0.50

Thomas L. Brandon – To one Shaving Glass - $0.50

Benjamin Hale – To one lot of Books - $0.45

John P. Phelps – To one Bible Book - $0.45, To Heifer Cow - $6.97

Nathaniel G. Kent – To one Small Sow Hog - $0.50, To one barrow Hog - $2.00

At a Court held for Halifax County the 29th day of March 1826, The Within Written account of Sales of the Estate of Martin Phelps Decd, was returned to Court and ordered to be recorded.
Test: Samuel Williams—C.H.C.


Key people involved in the Estate sale, His Father Reuben, His Uncle Thomas Phelps, William Brandon Sr--a security with Isham Phelps to Excecute the Estate, His Brother Isham, Thomas Preston--signed Rueben's Will in 1837 and perhaps his Brother-in-Law, Salley Phelps--could be his Sister or Wife as both were named Sarah for which "Sally" was a commonly used nickname during this period. I think probably the Wife.As for John P. Phelps who purchased at the Estate Sale I haven't placed him yet

As to my assumption that Salley Phelps was the Wife and not the Sister, Salley purchased most othe the kitchen items and household goods she might need to maintain the home. I fell that Salley Phelps was in fact Salley Preston Phelps, Sister of Thomas Preston--who signed Rueben's Will in 1837 and was a purchaser at the sale. I believe Salley Preston Phelps was the Daughter of David Preston and Rebeccah Brandon who married in Caswell County, N.C. on August 20th, 1787 (Caswell County Marraige Bonds). Rebeccah Preston in her Will (Will Book 21--Page 614 Halifax Co., Va.) of September 3rd, 1844, named a Daughter--Sally Phelps and a Son--Thomas Preston and her will was signed by Reuben M. Phelps, a named Grandson of Rueben Phelps Will. David Preston was involved in other land transactions with members of our Phelps family in Caswell Co., N.C. as well. The Brandon-Preston-Phelps family connection solves a mystery I have pursued for some time as to early deeds in Caswell County, N.C. between David Preston, Shadrach Hudson (who signed James Phelps Will), and members of Phelps family in Caswell. Brandon marraiges in Caswell show up further connections with this saga in Halifax Co., Va.

Mary Brandon Shadrach Hudson 25 Sep 1784 ----Signed James Phelps Will, among other things.
Elizabeth Brandon Septimus Taylor 1786 --Signed Deed for Thomas Phelps 1797 Halifax


Isham Phelps, Son of Reuben Phelps Sr., served in the War of 1812. In the Book, “When the Past Refused to Die” by William S. Powell, comes the following the following reference about the War of 1812. “Federal pension rolls of 1883 reveal that one Caswell County Veteran of this war and nine widows each received $8.00 a month. The veteran was Jas. P. Foster of Milton, while the widows were Bethsheba Ferguson, Arabella Gee, and Elizabeth Phelps”. The only Elizabeth Phelps living in the Milton area during this time would be Elizabeth “Betsy” Moore Phelps, second wife of Isham Phelps.







From the War of 1812 Service Records is a listing as follows:
Name:                     Isham Phelps
Company                3 Reg't (Dickinson's) Virginia Militia
Rank - Induction      Private
Rank - Discharge     Private
Roll Box:                 164
Roll Exct:                 602


In 1837 Rueben Phelps made his Last Will & Testament. The following is a Transcript of the Will which was not probated until 1841.

Last Will of Reuben Phelps
January 24th 1837
Halifax County, Virginia
Will Book 18 Pages 197,198,199.

In the name of God, Amen, I Reuben Phelps of the County of Halifax State of Virginia being weak in body but of perfect mind and knowing that it is allotted for all men to die & feeling desirous that all my worldly affairs may be secure in peace and tranquility do hereby make this my last will and testament in manner and form following Viz.,

In the first place I will and bequeath my Soul to God who gave it to me, and my body to the grave in decent burial and as concerning my worldly affairs I will and bequeath as follows,

First-- I give to my loving Son, Isham Phelps a certain parcel of land to be taken off my tract of land lying on the North side my Spring branch, beginning at the corner poplar Stump between me and William Ervin and to run up the Spring branch to a large red Oak near my spring, then a straight line to a large Mulberry on the line near Rebecca Preston's. to have and to hold during his natural life, but if he should die without a lawful heir, my will is that said land shall belong to my grand Son, Levi Phelps.

Secondly-- My will is that the balance of my land shall belong to my four daughters Viz., Delpha Phelps, Sarah Phelps, Martha Phelps and Rachel Phelps, to live upon & have during their natural life and if either of them should die without a lawful heir, the rest to have the said land and if they all should die without a lawful heir my will is that said land shall belong to my my grand Son, Reuben M. Phelps.

Thirdly-- My will is that my five children a bed & furniture apiece and that they shall have all the provisions such as Corn Meal & Wheat to live upon and all my stock of Cattle, Hogs and Sheep and two Mares.

Fourthly-- My will is that Delpha Phelps shall have a Negroe boy Hiland, during her natural life and if she should die without a lawful heir said Negroe to belong to the balance of my surviving children.

Fifthly-- My will is that my daughter Sarah Phelps shall have a Negroe girl Fanny to have during her natural life, but if she should die without a lawful heir, said Negroe to go to my surviving children.

Sixthly-- My will is that my daughter Martha Phelps shall have a Negroe boy Dennis, to have during her natural life, but if she should die without a lawful heir, said Negroe to go to my surviving children.

Seventhly-- My will is that my daughter Rachel Phelps shall have a Negroe boy Elijah, to have during her natural life, but if she should die without a lawful heir, said Negroe to go to my surviving children.

Eighthly-- My will is that my other three Negroes Viz., Lucy and her child Henry and Fanny's child Caroline, shall stay with my children on the Plantation during their natural lives.


Ninthly-- My will is that all my Working Tools shall remain on the Plantation for the benefit of my daughters during their natural lives jointly.

Tenthly-- My will is that my grand Son, Levi Phelps shall have a bay Colt that was two years old last Spring.

Eleventhly and Lastly-- my will is that after the death of all my children, that the whole of my Property that I have named in the above Will shall be equally divided between my three grand Children Viz., Nicey M. Oliver, Reuben M. Phelps and Levi Phelps.

I hereby make and appoint my loving and trusty Son, Isham Phelps, my lawful Executor to transact & settle up my estate. In witness of which I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this the 24th day of January, A.D. 1837.
his
Rueben x Phelps {Seal}
mark
Signed Sealed & Delivered In Presence of :

Leighton Tarpley
Thomas Preston
Josiah Oliver

At a Court held for Halifax County the 22nd day of May 1837, the within written last will and testament of Reuben Phelps dec'd., was exhibited in Court & proved by the Oaths of two witnesses and ordered to be recorded.

Test: Wm. Holt CHC

At a Court held for Halifax County the 24th day of July 1841, On the Motion of Isham Phelps the Executor therein named who made Oath there to according to Law and together with John Adams & Lewis Smith, his Securities, entered into and acknowleged a bond in the penalty of $4000, conditioned according to Law certificate is granted him for obtaining Probate of the said Will in due form Examined.

Test: Wm. Holt CHC


TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps
December 31st, 2005

Reuben Phelps named five children, Isham, Delpha, Sarah, Martha, Rachel and three grandchildren, Nicey M. Oliver, Rueben M. Phelps and Levi Phelps in his Will. Two of his children, Isham and Martha are of particular interest as they played significant roles in the aftermath of Rueben's death. Isham Phelps who was appointed the Executor of Reuben's will became embroiled in a lawsuit or Chancery case as estate disputes were called in Virginia, with the grandson of Rueben, Levi Phelps who was the son of Martin Phelps.

Mr. Martin at the Halifax Co., Va. Courthouse discovered a Chancery case while I was gathering documents there, which held numerous "original" documents. I reviewed these documents with great excitement, which contained statements from the parties involved, tax receipts, court opinions and even an old newspaper clipping about the Case. I am having Mr. Martin copy the entire file and will include it at a later date, however I did copy the document where Levi Phelps appealed to the Court and stated his case in 1849.









Halifax County Virginia Chancery Court
Case # 1849-001
Levi Phelps Vs. Isham Phelps etc.

To the honourable William Leigh, Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law & Chancery for the County of Halifax. Humbly complaining, showeth to your honor. your Orator Levi Phelps that his father Martin Phelps departed this life some time in the year 1825 Intestate, leaving a widow Sarah Phelps and your Orator his only child surviving him. That at the August term at the County Court of Halifax in the year aforesaid, Isham Phelps obtained letter of administration on the estate of the said decedent and in that character executed his bond with William Brandon Sen., his security to Isaac Medley, Granville Craddock, Chas. T. Harris & John K. Linn, Justices of the said County Court of Halifax, conditioned according to law for the due and faithful administration of the estate. A copy of said bond certified by the Clerk of the said County Court of Halifax is herewith exhibited as part of this bill. Your Orator charges that the said Isham Phelps has returned no Inventory of the said Estate and has rendered no account thereof ; and when applied to by your Orator (who has recently arrived at the age of twenty one years) refused to make any settlement with him and to pay over his portion of the Estate. To the end therefore that the said Isham Phelps, Adm. of Martin Phelps decd. and William Brandon Sen., his security and the said Sarah Phelps, the widow of Martin Phelps decd., may be made defendants to this bill and required to answer the several allegations thereof, that the said Isham Phelps may be required to render before the Commissioner of this Court, an account of his administration of the Estate of Martin Phelps decd. and that he the said William Brandon Sen., his security may be decreed to pay to your Orator his due proportion of the said Estate ; and that your Orator may have such other & further relief as the case may require and to Equity may seem meet : May it please your Honour to grant the Commonwealth's writ of Subpoena.

Transcribed By: Latham Mark Phelps 2005


It is curious indeed that Levi Phelps claims that Isham has provided no Inventory or Account of Martin Phelps estate, as there was an estate sale held and an inventory of his personal property, both occuring on October 25th, 1825 (Halifax Co. Va. Will Book 14 Pages 41-45). They were recorded, five months later, in Court on March 28th and March 29th of 1826. Levi even names his mother, Sarah, as a defendant in the lawsuit. Levi states that he is the only child surviving Martin Phelps in 1849. Rueben Phelps, Martin's father, named two other grandchildren in his will, Nicey M. Oliver and Reuben M. Phelps. Nicey was recorded in the 1860 Census along with her husband Josiah Oliver. Reuben M. Phelps made a Deed to Martha Phelps, daughter of Rueben Phelps Sr., on May 15th, 1850. ( Halifax Co. Va. Deed Book 53 Pages 518-519). On August 29th, 1857, Martha Phelps names Nicey M.Oliver and Reuben M. Phelps in her Will (Halifax Co.Va. Will Book 30 Pages 353,354). Clearly Nicey and Reuben M. were living in 1849, so if Levi's claim of being the "only child surviving him" is correct then Nicey and Reuben M. were children of another son or sons of the elder Reuben Phelps. Levi Phelps states that he has "recently arrived at the age of twenty one years" which would put his birthdate around 1827-1828, yet the is no date shown or mentioned as to when the deposition was written as clearly he would have to have been born prior to his father Martin Phelps death in 1825. Nicey M. Phelps married Josiah Oliver in Caswell Co. N.C. in 1834 and assuming she was approximately 20 years old at the time of her marraige, this puts her birth date around 1814. She is shown as 42 yrs. old in the 1860 Halifax Va. Census and as 50 yrs. old in the 1870 Halifax Census which gives us a range of birth from 1818-1820. Reuben M. Phelps is shown in the 1860 Census of Halifax as 38 yrs.old, which would give him a birthdate around 1822.


There is one member of the Phelps family in Caswell County, N.C. that remains unidentified. Robert Phelps left records in Caswell County in the late 1700's and then seemed to disappear from Caswell records.








In a Deed on August 15th.,1849 (Halifax Co. Va. Deed Book 53 Pages 248-249) Josiah Oliver (husband of Nicey M. Phelps) deeds to Martha Phelps (daughter of Reuben Phelps Sr.) " all of my right title claim interest and demand in and to the whole of Robert Phelps deceased, which said Robert Phelps willed to my wife Nicey M. Oliver after the death of his children". Martha Phelps (daughter of Reuben Phelps Sr.) made a concentrated effort to consolidate the Estate property from many of the devisees of Reuben Phelps Sr. in the years after his death which I will cover in greater detail later. The name in the deed from Josiah Oliver to Martha Phelps is clearly spelled "Robert" Phelps with a crossed T in both instances. Although it would logically appear that this would be the Estate of "Rueben" Phelps Sr., as in his Will he stated :" Eleventhly and Lastly-- my will is that after the death of all my children, that the whole of my Property that I have named in the above Will shall be equally divided between my three grand Children Viz., Nicey M. Oliver, Reuben M. Phelps and Levi Phelps." Was this a misspelling by the Court Clerk or was it a clue to the father of Nicey M. Phelps ? We have established that Nicey and Reuben M. were certainly living in 1849 when Levi Phelps (son of Martin Phelps) claimed to be the "only child surviving him". This leaves us with the question of who were the parents of Nicey and Reuben M. ? To be named grandchildren of Reuben Phelps Sr. they had to come from a male child of Reuben as they both had Phelps as a surname. The only known male children of Reuben Sr. at this time are Martin Phelps (father of Levi Phelps) and Isham Phelps. Could they have been older children of Isham's that stayed in Halifax Co Va. and weren't mentioned in later census records of Caswell Co, N.C.

Martha Phelps, daughter of Reuben Phelps Sr., must have been a shrewd, business minded woman as she purchased her deceased father's assets from several of the Devisees of her father's Will. As you will see she seems to do this to preserve her father's assets until her death, and then to return these assets to the same people in her Will. Martha and her sister Rachel appear to have never married and are listed in later Census records living together at advanced ages with their surnames still being listed as Phelps. Martha Phelps made purchases of Property and of right, title and interest in her father Reuben Phelps Sr.'s Estate.

August 15th 1849-(Halifax Co., Va. Deed Book 53--Page 248), $1000.00 dollars from Josiah Oliver and Nicey M. Oliver. "right title and interest in Estate of (Deed says Robert Phelps, discussed above)

February 15th 1850-(Halifax Co., Va. Deed Book 53--Page 518) $1000.00 dollars from Reuben M. Phelps "right title and interest in Estate of my grandfather Reuben Phelps"

September 28th 1850-(Halifax Co., Va. Deed Book 54--Page 10) $200.00 dollars from Thomas Preston (brother in law of Martin Phelps) 50 acres of land.

Whatever her motives for preserving these segments of her father, Reuben Phelps Sr.'s estate remain to be seen, however in her Will written August 29th 1857 (Halifax Co., Va. Will Book-30-Page 353), and Probated on January 22nd 1872, She willed these properties back to the original parties except for Thomas Preston. To Josiah Oliver and Nicey M. Oliver she lends "his interest in his brothers Robert and John Oliver's and my father Reuben Phelps estate" and "two tracts of land, one bought of Alexander Kent of 48 acres and one of Thomas Preston of 50 acres". To Reuben M. Phelps she lends " his interest in my father Reuben Phelps estate". She gives to Isham Phelps and Levi Phelps "one dollar each”. To Robert P. Oliver she gives " one feather bed and furniture extra". To Fielding K. Phelps she gives "one feather bed and furniture". Finally she states "the balance of my and effects to remain with my surviving Sisters during their natural lives, and after their deaths, I acquit Josiah Oliver's heirs and Reuben M. Phelps heirs to equally divide among them all". Her will was witnessed by: Bevin M. Oliver and Calvin C. Oliver. I think she was angry with Isham and Levi Phelps over the Court Case between them. Perhaps she thought they were making a public spectacle of her Phelps' family name and is why she only left them "one dollar each"

Thomas Preston, brother in law of Martin Phelps, brother of Salley Preston Phelps, left a will on January 1st, 1866.(Halifax Co., Va.-Will Book-29-Page-234). In his Will he left to his nephew Levi Phelps “ I will and bequeath to Levi Phelps, five dollars to be paid him in Money”. To his sister Seama Hall he leaves “I will and bequeath to Sister, Seama Hall, one half of my Estate afyer my death, during her life time and after her death, my wish and will is that all of the Property willed to her shall be divided equally between Jas. Henderson Hall and his sister Mary T. Hall”.He further leaves “I will and bequeath the other half of my Estate to Thomas Tarpley’s first wife’s children, Betsy Preston, that was and my will and if none of the children should be living at my death, then my wish and will is that their Portion of Property willed to them, Shall go to my Sister, Seama Hall, if she shall be living and if she should not be living at the time, my will is that Jas. Henderson and his Sister, Mary T.Hall to have that Portion of Property”. He named Executors. Thomas L. Brandon and John Foster and the Will was witnessed by John B. Powell and Bevin M. Oliver. James D. Clay, Halifax Co. Clerk probated the Will on June 25th, 1866.

Below are some Census Listings from Halifax Co., Va. with the Phelps and related families shown

Halifax, VA. 1850 Southern District Census Listings

Dwelling #

1125 Levi Phelps 23 carpenter
Sarah 52

1132 Thomas P. Brandon 47 planter 1090
Elizabeth 37
Catharine 16
Parthenia 15
Eliza 10
Sarah 8
Tabitha 5
Mary 2
Samuel 2
Alexander 11

1135 Martha Phelps 40 840
Sarah 42
Rachel 38
Reuben 27
Mary 21

1203 Josiah Oliver 49 planter
Nicey 31
Robert P. 14
Reuben M. 12
Josiah H. 10
Richard W. 8
John M.

1232 Thomas Preston 38 planter
Susan 36
James 10
Elijah 8
Lewis V. 6
John 4
Peter 2
Charles 1

Halifax Co. Va. 1860 Halifax C.H. P.O. District Census Listings

Dwelling#
811 Martha Phelps 61 F Spinner Real Estate $1000.00, Personal Estate $8900.00
Rachel Phelps 59 F Weaver








Halifax Co. Va. 1870 Mt. Carmel Township Census Listings

Dwelling#
248 Martha Phelps 70 F Keeping House Personal Estate $560.00
Rachel Phelps. 68 F At Home Personal Estate $560.00

249 Nicey Oliver 50 F Keeping House
Jennie 17 F At Home
Julia 15
William 21 M Farmer

The value of Martha Phelps holdings had increased significantly after she had consolidated parts of her father’s estate. With her Real and Personal Property combined she was worth nearly $10.000 dollars, which made her the wealthiest Phelps in Halifax Co., Va. in 1860. In 1850 it was $840.00 and after the Civil War she and her sister Rachel showed a combined value of $1120.00.


Now we continue on to Isham Phelps, after his move to Caswell County, N.C.

Below is 1850 record for Isham in Caswell.

Isham Phelps 60 Farmer 2000.00 married that year
Elizabeth 20 (No read or write) married that year
Sallie 13
Robert 15
Martha A. 10
James 8
Mary 7
Elizabeth 5
Thomas 4
John 6

The wife of Isham in this census record clearly could not have the mother of all of Isham's children as she is only 5 years older than the oldest child listed and with a 40 year age difference between Isham and his wife Elizabeth G. Moore, Isham certainly had a previous marraige from which these older children came from. Isham Phelps and Elizabeth G. Moore were married in Person County, N.C. on December 12th, 1849, witnessed by Ambrose and Elizabeth Jones (Person County N.C. Marraige Records). The old Phelps homeplace in Person Co., the home of Thomas H. Phelps, 1st cousin to Isham, was just across the road from the Jones family during this time. The old Phelps homeplace is at the intersection of Jones Road and Ragland Road in present day,although nothing remains of the old house, the Cemetery is cared for, some old barns still stand and the log cabin where my father was born in 1928 stubbornly remains standing.

Isham's second wife Elizabeth G. Moore was a descendant of the Pass Family. She was the daughter of Edward H. Moore and Cessily Pass, grandaughter of Nathaniel Pass Jr. and Milley Tapley, and great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Pass Sr. and Alsey McGinniss. Mary Pass who married Thomas Phelps Sr., was a daughter of Nathaniel Pass Sr. and the Great-Aunt of Elizabeth G. Moore. Because of this my 2nd Great-Grandfather, Thomas H. Phelps, was 1st cousin to both Isham Phelps and his wife Elizabeth G. Moore. In addition to this Elizabeth G. Moore's husband Edward H. Moore's Parents were Jessie Moore and Sallie Pass. Sallie Pass was the sister of Mary Pass, who married Thomas Phelps Sr. Nothing like keeping it in the family !!







In 1831 Isham Phelps of Halifax Co. Va., purchased land from Thomas Phelps Sr. of Person Co. N.C. The land was in Caswell Co. N.C. and was the former home place of Thomas Phelps Sr. as he had moved to Person Co. sometime between 1826 and 1831.

Thomas Phelps to Isham Phelps
Caswell County, North Carolina
Land Deed November 22nd 1831
Page 143

This Indenture made this 22nd day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one between Thomas Phelps of the County of Person and State of North Carolina of the one part and Isham Phelps of the County of Halifax and State of Virginia of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Thomas Phelps for and in consideration of two hundred and four dollars to him in hand paid by the said Isham Phelps the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath give granted bargained and sold and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell and convey to the said Isham Phelps a certain tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the County of Caswell and State aforesaid.




Beginning at a small Black Gum on Brandon’s Road and running thence West twenty three chains and 50 links to pointers near a _____ Red Oak, thence North with an old line thirty four chains and 50 links to a ______ Sour Wood Stump, thence East with William B. Pulliam’s line thirty two chains and 50 links to said Road, thence with the Road as it meanders thirty seven chains and 25 links to the beginning including the said Thomas Phelps old Mansion House and containing one hundred and two acres.

And the said Thomas doth hereby covenant with the said Isham that he will warrant and forever defend the above bargained Land and premises from and against all claims of any nature whatsoever to the proper use and benefit of him the said Isham Phelps his heirs and assigns forever.

In Witness whereof this Thomas Phelps hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year above written.

His

Thomas x Phelps

Mark

Sealed & Delivered in the Presence of:

James Rainey

Jos. Pulliam


Transcribed By: Latham Mark Phelps 2004











In 1832 Thomas Phelps Sr. sold another tract of land in Caswell Co. N.C. To his nephew Isham Phelps, perhaps his last remaining land in Caswell County as he is now living in and acquiring land in Person Co.

Thomas Phelps to Isham Phelps
Caswell County, North Carolina
Land Deed December 20th 1832
Page 367

This Indenture made this 20th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, Between Thomas Phelps of the County of Person and State of North Carolina of the one part, and Isham Phelps of the County of Halifax and State of Virginia of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Thomas Phelps for and in consideration of the sum of Two hundred and sixty four dollars to him in hand paid by the said Isham Phelps, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath given granted bargained and sold, and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell and convey to the said Isham Phelps, A certain tract or parcel of Land situate lying and being in the County of Caswell on the waters of Mill Creek.

Beginning at a Spanish Oak and running thence North 87 chains and 80 links to branch which separates it from Barthus J. Crawley’s land, thence up the said branch about fifty chains to a corner of the said Isham Phelps land, thence with his line south 84 chains and 80 links to pointers by a leaning Oak, thence West 46 chains and 30 links to the beginning, Containing One hundred and thirty two acres more or less.

And the said Thomas Phelps doth hereby covenant with the said Isham Phelps that he will warrant and forever defend the above bargained land and premises from and against all claims whatsoever to the only proper use and of him the said Isham Phelps his heirs and assigns forever.

In Witness whereof the said Thomas Phelps hereunto Set his hand and seal the day and year above written.

His

Thomas x Phelps {Seal}

Mark
Sealed and Delivered In the presence of:

James Rainey

Jno. P. Rainey


Transcribed By: Latham Mark Phelps 2004


With these two land purchases Isham Phelps had established his homestead on the former homeplace of his uncle, Thomas Phelps Sr. This was 10 years before his father, Reuben Phelps, Will was probated in 1841 and 6 years after the death of his brother Martin Phelps in 1825. Isham Phelps was approx. 41 years old at the time of the 1831 Deed. Based on the 1850 Census, none of the children listed in the household had been born at the time of this Deed as the oldest child in the Census was Robert ( Robert Calvin Phelps). With Isham being 41 years old he certainly could have had older children who could have left home, married etc. before the 1850 Census. The name of his first wife remains unknown at this time and perhaps came from Halifax Co. Va. as Isham was living there when he "came of age". Regardless, Isham was now about to or preparing to, make his home in Caswell Co. N.C. and leave Halifax Co. Va. where the rest of his immediate family lived.





Thirty years later, in 1861, Isham Phelps and his wife Elizabeth, sold the remaining property in Halifax Co. Va. to George H. Connally

January Court-1861 Halifax Co, Va.

Isham Phelps and Elizabeth Phelps to George H. Connally
Halifax Co., Va.- Deed Book 59- Page 255
December 27th, 1860




This Deed made the the twenty seventh day of December, one thousand eight hundren and sixty, between Isham Phelps and Elizabeth Phelps his wife of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina of the one part and George H. Connally of the County of Halifax and the State of Virginia of the other part. Witnesseth for and in consideration of the Sum of Three Hundred & Fifty Dollars to them in hand paid by the said George H. Connally, doth grant bargain and sell unto the said George H. Connally, all his right title and interest to a certain Tract of Land which accrues to him by the Will of his Father, Reuben Phelps and supposed to contain One Hundred and Twenty Five Acres more or less lying in the County of Halifax and State of Virginia. The said Isham Phelps and Elizabeth Phelps his wife doth covenant and agree with the said George H. Connally to warrant a peaceful posession to the said tract of land free from the claim of all persons whatever. In witness thereof the said Isham Phelps and Elizabeth Phelps his wife hath hereunto set there hands and affix there seals the day and year above written.

Isham Phelps--{Seal}
her
Elizabeth x Phelps
mark

Halifax County to Wit ;
I, Jno. G. Brandon, a Justice of the Peace for the County aforesaid do certify that Isham Phelps whose name is signed to the writing within bearing date on the 27th day December 1860 has acknowledged the same before me in my County aforesaid. Given under my hand this 27th December 1860. Jno. G. Brandon--J.P.

State of Virginia Halifax County to Wit ;
We, John G. Brandon and Mark M. Stanfield, Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid do certify that Elizabeth Phelps the wife of Isham Phelps, whose names are signed to the writing within bearing date on the 27th day of December 1860 personally appeared before us in the County aforesaid and being examined by us privily and apart from her husband and having the writing aforesaid fully explained to her, She the said Elizabeth Phelps acknowledged the said writing to be her Act & Deed and declared that she had willingly Executed the Same and does not wish to retract it. Given under our hands this 27th day of December 1860.

Jno. G. Brandon--J.P.
Mark M. Stanfield--J.P.

Halifax Clerks Office--January 28th 1861
The within written deed was presented in the Clerks Office and upon certificates thereon endorsed admitted to record According to Law

Teste: Wm. S. Holt--C.H.C.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps—2006





I will continue this saga at a later date with more on the trail of Isham Phelps and his descendants In Caswell County, N.C.

QUESTIONS THAT STILL REMAIN:

1) Who was the wife of Reuben Phelps Sr.?
2) Who was the 1st wife of Isham Phelps?
3) Who was the John P. Phelps who purchased at the Estate Sale of Martin Phelps?
4) Who was Robert Phelps with deed records in Caswell County and Mentioned in Deed From Josiah Oliver to Martha Phelps in Halifax co., Va.?
5) Who were the Parents of Nicey M. Phelps Oliver?
6) Who were the Parents of Reuben M. Phelps?

SOURCES: Caswell County, N.C.—Will Books, Deed Books, Marriage Bonds, Census Records

Halifax County, Va.----- Will Books, Deed Books, Marriage Bonds, Census Records

Personal interviews with my Grandmother, Catherine Walker Phelps and two Great Aunts, Ruth Phelps
Monk and Kathleen Phelps Parker. Interviews with other relatives too numerous to mention

Decades of prior research, on the Phelps and their related families, beginning in the 1970’s.

Caswell County Historical Association Website and selected Newsletters


William S. Powell’s Book “When the Past Refused to Die—A History of Caswell County 1777-1977”

Rediscovering Lucy Phelps of Caswell County, N.C.

Rediscovering Lucy Phelps, daughter of James Phelps d 1786 Caswell CO, NC

by Mark Phelps 2/2008

Lucy Phelps, daughter of James Phelps d.1786, Caswell County, North
Carolina, married Willis Buckingham Smith in Caswell County on
November 11th, 1794. The Phelps and Smith families were adjoining
neighbors in the Richmond District of Caswell County, where the Town
of Milton lies today. Sometime after their marriage Willis Buckingham
Smith became Willis Buckingham having dropped the Smith from his name,
therefore later records of his family would be under the surname
Buckingham and not Smith. I suppose Willis inherited this trait as his
family had used different names before him. For more on this see the"
Last Will of Anne Smith, Grandmother of Milton, N.C." article link
below .

http://www.rootsweb.com/~nccaswel/families/smith-anne.htm

So now Lucy Phelps, through no fault of her own, became Lucy
Buckingham instead of Lucy Smith in Caswell County records. Likewise
all Willis and Lucy's children took on the name Buckingham as well.
This Smith family offers a real challenge to historians who are
researching the descendants, because of their propensity to change
their last name, seemingly at will, with no explanation that I have
discovered as yet. The Smith family began in Caswell County with the
matriarch of the family, Anne Smith, a widow who received a land grant
from Lord Granville on August 2nd, 1760, seventeen years before
Caswell County was formed and was then Orange County. Although I have
not obtained a copy of the deed referred to below it shows an even
earlier presence of Anne Smith in present day Caswell County.

Quoted from Caswell County Historical Association Newsletter VOL.XXVI,
Number 2 Pg. 2 April 2003

Benjamin Merritt, whose descendants in Person County (cut off from
Caswell in 1792) reported in the HERITAGE OF PERSON COUNTY I. "He came
down from New York" and secured a Granville Grant of many acres on
both sides of the Dan River in two colonies. Benjamin built a mill
which he sold to Mrs. Anne Smith ca.1757 with acreage over 50 in the
tract, more than enough to start a flourishing frontier town.

Anne Smith's Grandson, Mason Smith, named in her Will, was later seen
as Amasa Stokes, Mace Stokes, Amasa Smith, Mace Smith. There are two
marriages listed for "Mace Smith" in Caswell County and they are the
second oldest Smith marriages in the County.
Mace Smith Constant Brown 12 Aug 1782
Mace Smith Margaret Coleston 18 Nov 1780

In 1793 James McGinnis deeded 100 acres of land to Amasa Stokes, on
both sides of Merritt's Mill Creek adjacent George Connally, Widow
Phelps(wife of James Phelps d.1786, the Virginia Line. Janes McGinnis
was a brother of Alsey McGinnis Pass, wife of Nathaniel Pass Sr.
Nathaniel and Alsey Pass's daughter Mary, married Lucy Phelps
"Buckingham"'s brother Thomas Phelps. James and Alsey McGinnis were
children of William McGinnis of Halifax County, Virginia. James
McGinnis married Elizabeth Williams, 15 Jan 1790 in Caswell County,


probably the granddaughter "Elizabeth Williams" named in Anne Smith's
Will.

In 1795 Willis Buckingham Smith deeded 50 acres to Amasa Stokes, on
the East side of Merritt's Mill Creek adjacent Charles Connally,
Widow Phelps
Amasa/Mason Smith/Stokes was the Executor of Anne Smith's will along
with Archibald Murphey. Mason Smith alias "Amasa Stokes" was charge
with the care and well being of Willis Buckingham Smith per Anne
Smith's Will, "Also I desire that Willis Buckingham Smith may be put
with Mason Smith with all that he has till he comes of age and the
said Mason Smith to keep him and all I have left to the said Willis
Buckingham Smith till then"

Lucy Phelps Buckingham/Smith, wife of Wills Buckingham Smith, left a
Will In Caswell County in 1843.

Caswell County, North Carolina
October Court 1843
Will Book P-page 21

Lucy Buckingham's Will

In the name of God amen I, Lucy Buckingham of the County of Caswell,
State of North Carolina, being weak in body but of perfect mind, do
hereby this day make ordain and constitute this my last Will and
Testament in manner and form as follows (Viz)

First-I give to my son, Byrd W. Buckingham, a gray Horse Colt.

Secondly-I give to my son, George B. Buckingham, one Feather bed and
Furniture and one Sow and Pigs.

Thirdly-I give to my daughter, Lidia M. Bennett, one Feather bed and
Furniture.

Fourthly-I give to my daughter, Martha B. Buckingham, one Cow and
Calf, one Sow and Pigs and all the balance of my household and kitchen
furniture.

Fifthly-I appoint and wish my son, George B. Buckingham, to act as
Executor to this my last Will and Testament

In Testimony of which I have this day made this, my last Will and
Testament and signed my name, this the 2nd day of August in the year
of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Three.

Lucy Buckingham--{Seal}

Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of :
Josiah Blair
Barzillai Graves
Edward H. Moore


TRANSCRIBED BY: Latham Mark Phelps 2008


There were at least four other children of Willis Buckingham Smith and
Lucy Phelps not mentioned in the Will:


John Thomas Buckingham:
married Susan Merritt (according to Buckingham Family website excerpt
below, probably a descendant of Benjamin Merritt mentioned earlier)


Caswell County Deed Book FF page 532, July 5th 1842. John Buckingham
to Byrd Buckingham and George Buckingham
" all interest in my Father, Willis Buckingham's estate, deceased"


Patsy Buckingham:
married Unknown:


Caswell County Deed Book FF page 625, October 1842. Patsy Buckingham
to Byrd Buckingham and George Buckingham
"tract of land formerly the property of my Father, Willis Buckingham,
dead.


Keziah Buckingham:
married John Nichols:


Caswell County Deed Book GG page 687. George Buckingham to Byrd
Buckingham
"land on which Jon Nichols now lives and resides"--"to the support,
benefit and maintenance of our loving Sister and mutual friend, Keziah
Nichols, wife of John Nichols and the lawful heirs and children of her
body"


James Buckingham married Mary Basdell, 16 Nov 1819 in Caswell Co.


As to the named children in Lucy Buckingham's Will, There marriages in
Caswell County were:


Bird Buckingham Frances Elam 24 Mar 1834
George Buckingham Joicy Tallaw 26 Nov 1833
Elizabeth Buckingham Richard Bennatt 15 Jan 1830
Martha Buckingham James A Taylor 11 Dec 1845


The James Buckingham who married Mary Basdell was probably the "male
child born around 1880(should be 1800) noted on a website that I have
listed an excerpt from on the Buckingham Family below:


http://www.angelfire.com/co3/jillymac/buckingham.html


This is the line of Buckingham's I am from. If you have and additions
or corrections, please let me know.


Willis Buckingham was born around 1775 in Caswell County, North
Carolina and died in 1842 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He
married Lucy?. They had the following children, all born in Caswell
County, North Carolina:



John Thomas, born around 1802. He married Susan MERRITT.
Patsy, born around 1804,
Elizabeth (Lydia), born around 1806. She married Richard BENNETT on
January 15, 1830.
Byrd W. and George B. (twins) born around 1813. Byrd married first
Francis ELAM on March 24, 1834 and second Mary ALLEN on August 10,
1866. George married Joicy TALLOW on November 26, 1833.
Martha, born around 1815. She married James TAYLOR on December 11,
1845.


John Thomas Buckingham married Susan Mary MARRETT. Susan was born
around 1802 in North Carolina and died after 1870. They had the
following children:


Francis Thompson, born around 1826 in Milton, Caswell County, North
Carolina. She married Thomas James MCGEE on December 14, 1843.
Eliza Ann, born on March 6, 1827 in Milton, Caswell County, NC and
died on April 16, 1906. She married James Madison MCGEE on January 2,
1845.
Franklin, born around 1830,
John Thomas, born around 1832. He married Louisa Clark COLLIER.
Mary Jane, born on May 19, 1834 in Caswell County, NC and died on
January 4, 1894. She married George Henry MCGEE on September 30, 1853.
Sidney, born around 1836 in Caswell County, NC. He married Mary E.
RAZZELL around 1860 in Kentucky. They had at least 10 children.
Curry, born around 1838 in Caswell County, NC.
Marmaduke, born aroudn 1840 in Caswell County, NC. He married Emily
around 1860.
Lilly Mary, born around 1842 in William County, TN. She married first
John COLLINS on November 25, 1857 and second, Robert E. BOYD.
Sarah Holland, born on November 9, 1844 in Lafayette, Christian
County, KY and died on July 14, 1928. She died in Provo, Utah and is
buried in the Provo City Cemetery. She married Francis Ashbury
MORTON.


Thus I have now "Rediscovered" Lucy Phelps, daughter of James Phelps d.
1786, wife of Willis Buckingham Smith, living as Lucy Buckingham in
the records of Caswell County till her death in 1843 and so have
uncovered the names of her children as well. I hope this will help any
Phelps,Smith or Buckingham family researchers to untangle these
families in the future.


Latham Mark Phelps---February 2008

Livingston Lafayette Blackwell 1848-1920


                                  Livingston Lafayette Blackwell (1848-1920)

Livingston Lafayette Blackwell was my maternal 2nd Great-Grandfather, Born in Rockingham County, N.C. July 25th, 1848 and died in Alamance County, N.C. June 19th 1920. I recently discovered his grave site in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington, N.C. Livingston Lafayette Blackwell was the oldest son of Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell and Ann E. Cobb, daughter of Henry Cobb and Martha Nunnally. He was the grandson of Thomas Blackwell and Rebecca Watt. He was the great-grandson of Capt. Robert Blackwell and Zillah Rice, daughter of Thomas Rice d.1800 Caswell County, N.C.

Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appeared to have been called "William" by family members and in some records. I suppose this nickname was to avoid confusion with his father Lafayette "Fate" Blackwell and perhaps "Livingston Lafayette" was quite a mouthful to use on an everyday basis. In the Will of Henry Cobb, father of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell's mother, Ann E. Cobb, the following passage appears referring to him as "William L.":

Caswell County. N.C.
October Court, 1861
Will Book S-- Page 441
Will of Henry Cobb, written July 10th, 1861

Item 5th: I bequeath to my grandchildren William L. Blackwell, Joseph H. Blackwell and Martha A. Blackwell, one negro woman named Patience and the two children she now has and all that she may hereafter have together with the property heretofore given, when the oldest of the aforesaid grandchildren shall have arrived to the age of twenty one years. I will that all other property heretofore given and all that may accrue to them hereafter in anyway from my estate by that time, both real and personal, be equally divided between them so as to make them all equal one with the other, and I further will that the grandchildren as aforesaid in the final division of my estate, share equal in proportion with one of my children.

   Livingston "William" Lafayette Blackwell, Joseph H. Blackwell and Martha A. Blackwell were the the 3 children  of Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell and his 1st wife Ann E. Cobb, who were married in Caswell County, N.C. October 16th, 1847 with J. B. Siddle as Bondsman/Witness. Ann E. Cobb Blackwell died "before" June 18th 1859 when Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell Married 2nd in Caswell County, N.C., Martha E. Siddle, with Thomas J. Mills as Bondsman/Witness.

 As the 2nd marriage took place before the writing of Henry Cobb's 1861 Will, this confirms that Ann E. Cobb was deceased prior to the writing of the Will, as Henry Cobb left property to his named grandchildren and made them equal to all his living children in place of their deceased mother. Sadly Henry Cobb does not name his deceased daughter but does name his grandchildren.

Livingston Lafayette Blackwell first appears in the 1850 Rockingham County, N.C. Census, in the Eastern District as follows:

1850 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census
Household #94
N. L. Blackwell  Age 26 Male
A. E. Blackwell  Age 27 Female
L. L. Blackwell  Age  2  (could be age 1 difficult to read)

This is the only Census record that shows his mother Ann E. Cobb Blackwell as she was deceased by   the 1860 Census. In most future official records Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appears simply as L. L. Blackwell.

1860 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census
 Raulensburg & Stacyville area
 Household #42
 N. L. Blackwell              Age 37 Male  Occupation-Officer  Real Estate-$700.00  Personal Estate-$3500.00
 Martha E. Blackwell       Age 23 Female
 Livingston L. Blackwell  Age 11 Male
 Joseph H. Blackwell       Age  7  Male

 1860 Caswell Co. N.C. Census


Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell is now living with his 2nd wife. Martha E. Siddle and two children of  Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell's 1st wife Ann E. Cobb. Martha A. Blackwell, sister of Livingston L. and Joseph H. does not appear here as I feel she was living with her grandparents Henry and Martha Nunnally Cobb. Both Martha and Joseph show up in the 1870 Caswell Census living with their grandmother Martha Cobb.

1870 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
 Locust Hill Township  
 Household #234
 Martha Cobb                  Age 77 Female  Keeping house  Real Estate-$1000.00 Personal Estate-$200.00
 Martha Daley                 Age 38 Female  House Keepng
 George Daley                Age 28 Male      Farmer
 Joseph Blackwell            Age 17 Male      Farm Laborer
 Martha Blackwell     Age 15     Female  At Home

Joseph and Martha's brother, Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appears in  the 1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:

1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:
 Oregonsville Township
 Household #367
 Household of Y. M. Johnston  Dry Goods Merchant
 L. L. Blackwell         Age 21 Male   Clerk in Store

Livingston, Joseph and Martha's father, Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell Is living in the Oregonsville Township in 1870 as well.


 1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:
 Oregonsville Township
 Household #369
 N. L. Blackwell          Age 46 Male   Deputy Sheriff  Real Estate-$1000.00   Personal Estate-$200.00
 Martha Blackwell      Age 36 Female   Keeping House
 Mary Blackwell         Age 9   Female
 John P. Blackwell     Age 7   Male
 Rufus H. Blackwell    Age 4   Male
 Bernard Blackwell    Age 2   Male

 On November 18th, 1877 in Caswell Co. N.C., Livingston L. Blackwell,27 years old resident of Rockingham Co. N.C. married Bettie Ann Willis, 20 years old resident of Caswell Co. N.C., daughter of Benjamin A. and Lucinda Campbell Willis. They were married by F. L. Oakley, Baptist Minister of Primitive Order at the home of Benjamin A. Willis In Anderson Township

 In 1880 we find Livingston Blackwell living with his father-in-law Benjamin A. Willis and Mother-in Law Lucinda Campbell Willis, his wife Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis and their 1 year old son, Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell.

 1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
 Anderson Township June 14th, 1880
 Household #237
 Benjamin Willis                         Age 56 Male   Farmer
 Lucinda Willis          Wife          Age 53 Female  Keeping house
               Willis         Son           Age 13 Male   Farm hand
 Livingston Blackwell Son-in-law Age 32 Male  Farm Hand
 Annie Blackwell        Wife           Age 22 Female At Home
 Benjamin Blackwell   Son           Age   1  Male


 In 1885 Livingston L. Blackwell is listed as Postmaster at Fitch's Store in Caswell County according to the N.C. Postal Museum


 Fitch's Store Postmaster--Livingston L. Blackwell 31 Dec 1885

In the 1900 Caswell Co. N.C. Census on June 7th, 1900, we find Livingston L. Blackwell In Caswell Co. N.C. as a boarder in the home of Laura Siddle, sister-in-law of his stepmother Martha E. Siddle, In Locust Hill Township.

Also in 1900 we find Livingston L. Blackwell's daughter,Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell, living as a boarder in the household of Nat and Hat Willis

1900 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Yanceyville Township June 7th, 1900
Household #82
Nat H. Willis           Head       Age 45 Male Farmer
Hattie L. Willis        Wife        Age 42 Female
Cannie Blackwell    Boarder  Age 12 Female   Born February 1888



Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell is the fourth child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. She married James Monroe Morton May 18th, 1905 in Caswell County.





  Livingston L. Blackwell's wife,  Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis must have died between 1880 and 1900 as their daughter Cannie is now living with her mother's Willis relatives, Nathaniel H. Willis, son of Thomas H. Willis and Harriet Mitchell and his wife, Hattie L. Willis, daughter of Thomas J. Willis and Sophia Lea. Nathaniel H. Willis is the 1st cousin of Cannie Blackwell's mother, Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Thomas H. Willis, father of Nathaniel H. Willis and Thomas J. Willis, father of Hattie L. Willis, were first cousins making Nathaniel H. Willis and his wife Hattie L. Willis cousins as well as husband and wife.

It is apparent that my Grandmother Hattie Belle Morton Lunsford, daughter of Cannie Blackwell and James Monroe Morton, received the name "Hattie" from Hattie L. Willis, who raised her mother Cannie after Cannie's mother died as my Grandmother had told myself and other family members that her mother Cannie was "raised by Nat and Hat Willis".

Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell, daughter of  Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis, married James Monroe Morton, oldest son of Vincent Lea Morton and Isabella F. Oliver, daughter of Reuben Oliver and Nancy Lea and was a  grandson of Elijah Morton and Mary Lea, daughter of Gabriel Lea and Elizabeth Ashburn. Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell and James Monroe Morton had two daughters, Hattie Belle Morton who married William Perry Lunsford and Gladys Elizabeth Morton who married Owen "Dody" Faucette.

James Monroe “Pug” Morton was born September 2nd , 1850 in Caswell County, NC. The firstborn child of Vincent Lea Morton and Isabella Frances Oliver. James married Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell May 18th, 1905 in Caswell County. At the time of the marriage James was 54 years old and Cannie was only 17 years old as stated on their marriage certificate. James and Cannie had two children , Hattie Belle and Gladys Elizabeth.

Cannie was afflicted with what they called in the old days “spells”, which was most probably epilepsy. This was not a very socially acceptable condition to have in those days as it was thought of as being “touched” , “demented” or “possessed” in some way. I have heard family members relate stories of how when Cannie would feel a “spell” coming on she would run into the woods so her children or others wouldn’t see her when she was having a seizure. It was obviously a great source of embarrassment to her and she went to great lengths at these times to conceal her affliction. In those days the medicine of choice for this malady was Laudanum, which was a powerful narcotic and could be very addictive. On one fateful day perhaps after having a “spell” when my grandmother Hattie Belle was perhaps 3 years old and her sister Gladys still a baby, family members found Cannie lying unconscious on the floor with her little girls at her side rubbing her face trying their best to wake her. Sadly she never awoke having taken too much Laudanum, which overpowered her vital functions and caused her death. More than one family member passed down this story to me and I feel it to be an accurate portrayal of the death of my great-grandmother.

This left my great-grandfather James Monroe Morton, now approaching 60 years old with two small children and no mother to raise them. My great-great-grandmother Isabella took in the little girls and after her death their Aunt “ Nannie” Morton Stephens , sister of James Monroe Morton, raised the girls. Tragically their father James Monroe Morton, fifteen years after their mother’s death, was kicked in the head by a horse and lay upon his bed for a couple of months and finally died from the injury. Now the girls were true orphans, having lost both parents. He was apparently was able to make a will before he died t

Ada Elizabeth Blackwell is the second child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Ada Elizabeth Blackwell never married.

I have acquired Ada Elizabeth Blackwell's Death Certificate from Caswell County. Born June 30th 1882 d. Oct 21st 1965.
Never married. Father's name: William "Billy" L. Blackwell.
Mother's name :unknown. Informant: Mrs. Sam Bason, Yanceyville, NC.

Her father's name, William L. Blackwell, could only be Livingston Lafayette Blackwell, referred to as "William L. Blackwell" in the 1861 Will of Henry Cobb, father of Anne E. Cobb, Livingston's mother.

Benjamin, Ada, and Cannie Blackwell are all Boarders in 1900, Willie Media is living with James M. Ward and Talitha Ward in the 1910 Census, after there mother Elizabeth Willis had died.

Caswell County Census Records

1900
Household of Mary Martin
Bennie L. Blackwell 21 Boarder
Ada E. Blackwell 18 Boarder

Ada's Sister, Cannie Blackwell is living in the 1900 Caswell County Census as a Boarder 12 yrs old with Nat and Hat Willis.

1910
House hold of Henry J. Dailey
Ada Blackwell 28
Martha E. Dailey 80 Mother
Russell Hatchett 7 Nephew

1920
House hold of Henry Hatchett
Ada Blackwell 37 Cousin

Ada Elizabeth Blackwell is the elusive daughter of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Willis.

She is living with her brother Bennie L. Blackwell (Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell) in the 1900 record

She is living with her Great-Aunt Martha E. Blackwell Dailey, sister of of Anne E. Cobb, both daughters of Henry Cobb and Martha Nunnally. Martha married George Dailey.

Willie Media Blackwell was the third child of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Willis.    
                                  

She married Charles Henry Philip Isley, 25 December 1912 in Caswell County, son of Edwin Alexander Isley and Julia Anne Clayton. She was born 30 April 1861 in Person County, North Carolina, and died 15 July 1940 in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina.  daughter of Martin Van Clayton and Elizabeth Long

Caswell County 1910 Census

James M. Ward     M     56y
Talitha E. Ward     F     56y
Willie M. Ward     F     26y

Willie Media Blackwell was adopted by James M. & Talitha Elizabeth Ward when she was 12 or 13 years old. She took on the Ward surname and married Charles Henry Philip Isley, 25 December 1912 in Caswell County, North Carolina. She was born 10 July 1884 in Caswell County, North Carolina, and died 10 January 1950 in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina.

They had children:

1. MAURINE WILSON ISLEY, b. 15 February 1914, Caswell County, North Carolina; d. 25 August 2005, Alamance County, North Carolina.

2. HELEN ELIZABETH ISLEY, b. 21 June 1916, North Carolina; d. 14 October 1996, Alamance County, North Carolina

3. MILDRED CHARLINE ISLEY, b. October 6th, 1919, Caswell County, North Carolina. She married WILLIAM BENNETT ATWATER 10 June 1945 in Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina. He was born 29 July 1907, and died 1 March 1984 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia

4. CHARLES HENRY PHILLIP ISLEY, JR., b. 22 December 1921, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina; d. 24 December 1921, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina.

5. MEDIA "POLLY" COBB ISLEY, b. 15 May 1923, Caswell County, North Carolina.

6. RUSSELL EDWIN ISLEY, b. 15 July 1925, Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina; d. 15 December 1994, Alamance County, North Carolina.

7. MAX ISLEY, b. 8 June 1929, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina.

I spoke personally today with Mildred Isley Atwater of Yanceyville, N.C., 91 years old, the daughter of Willie Media Blackwell Ward Isley and she confirmed that she was adopted by the Wards and was in fact a daughter of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Anne Willis and a sister of Ada Elizabeth Blackwell, Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, and Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell.

Charles and Willie Media Isley are buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington, N.C. Their son Charles Henry Philip Isley Jr. is buried at Bethel United Church of Christ in Caswell Co, along with her adopted parents James M. and Talitha Ward.

Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell is the 1st child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. He married Ella Willis Robertson,daughter of Marcellus Robertson and Rebecca Poteat. 


In the 1920 Caswell County Census we find Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, son of Livingston L. Blackwell and his 1st wife,  Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell married Ella Willis Robertson.

             Bennie Blackwell     M     41y
      Ella W Blackwell     F     34y
    Onzo C Blackwell     M     17y
     Annie Blackwell     F     15y
    Harry Blackwell      M     12y
    Howard Blackwell     M     10y
    Carrie Blackwell     F     7y
     Ben L Blackwell     M     4y2m
    Ada R Blackwell     F     1y8m

 There were three other children born to Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell and Ella Willis Robertson.
  Robert Irving Blackwell, Bessie Malloy Blackwell and Geneva Blackwell.

The 10 children of Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell and Ella Willis Robertson were:

 Robert Irving Blackwell. He was born on 04 Jan 1923 in Caswell County, N.C.. He died on 02 Apr 2006 in Wilmington, N C. He married 10 Sept 1949 Barbara Righter Terrell
 Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 13 Page 55

Claude Onza Blackwell b.1903, married 11-11-1922, in Danville Va., Nettie Elna Poteat b. 1902, daughter of Edward Preston Poteat and Nettie Bracken Foster.
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 Reference Number 650, p122

Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, Jr. b1915/16. married Minnie Doss

Harry Adron Blackwell He was born on 20 Apr 1907 [1]. He married Tinnie Walker. They were married on 01 Nov 1930 in Unknown [1]. He died on 18 Jan 1990

Howard Blackwell b.1910


Annie Blackwell b. 1905. married 07-10-1920, in Danville Va., George F. Poteat b. 1894, son of James A. Poteat and Laura Foster
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 Reference Number 440, p14

Bessie Malloy Blackwell. married 08-18-1940  William Henry Thompson.
 Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 10 Page 333

Carrie T. Blackwell b.1913, married Ernest Lea Jeffreys, Son of Eli Cleveland Jeffreys and Emma Camelia Lea.

Geneva Blackwell. married a Haigler

Ada Rebecca Blackwell b.1918 married 04-06-1946 William L. Riggsbee.
Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 11 Page 1805


So the family of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Anne Willis is now complete.



In 1910 Livingston L. Blackwell married his second wife, Sarah Angaline Hunley in Alamance Co. N.C.

Alamance County, N.C.
December 27th, 1910
Marriage License

Livingston L. Blackwell Age 62, son of N. L. Blackwell and Ann Blackwell
Mrs. Sarah Ann Hundley Age 42 daughter of Henry Hundley and Jane Hundley

In the 1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census, Livingston L. Blackwell's 2nd wife, Sarah Angaline Hunley is found in the Caswell County Poorhouse with her Mother, Jane Hundley and her brother, William Yancey Hundley.

1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Yanceyville Township June 2nd, 1880
 Household #38
 Jane Hundley           Age 47  Female
 Angeline Hundley     Age 15  Female  Daughter
 Wm. Y. Hundley        Age 13  Male      Son

In 1920 we find Livingston L. Blackwell listed as "William Blackwell" living in Alamance Co. N.C. in the Household of Nathan "Natt" Hunley, his 2nd wife Sarah Angaline Hunley's son.

1920 Alamance Co. N.C. Census
 Burlington Township, January 21st, 1920
 Household #106
 Nathan Hunley            Head             Age 29         Male             Finisher-Finishing Plant
 Alma Hunley                Wife              Age 18         Female         Operator-Hosiery Mill
 Maxine Hunley             Daughter      Age  1-3/12  Female
 Buddy Hunley              Son               Age  2/12     Male
 Sarah Blackwell           Mother          Age   51       Female             
 William Blackwell          Step-Father  Age   71       Male             Painter-House
 Ode Roberson             Boarder        Age   24       Male             Finisher-Finishing Plant
 Bessie Roberson         Boarder         Age  25       female          Operator-Hosiery Mill 


 Sarah Angaline Hunley had three children prior to marrying Livingston L. Blackwell, Nathan Lee "Natt" Hunley who married Alma Woods, Clem Hunley who married Clara May Robertson, and Ida Hunley who married Wesley Carden.  Livingston L. Blackwell and Sarah Angaline Hunley had a daughter Willa Blanche Blackwell who married a Westermeyer. Based on her tombstone Willa Blanche Blackwell Westermeyer was born November 19th, 1902 and died January 31st, 1978. Blanche Blackwell was born 8 years before Livingston L. Blackwell and Sarah Angaline Hunley were married. Blanche Blackwell married Charlie Westermeyer from New York but Blanche lived and died in Burlington, Alamance Co. N.C. Blanche had two children, Reva May Blackwell Dryden and Coy Amber Blackwell.

Through this research I have a newfound Great-Grand Aunt in Willa Blanche Blackwell Westermeyer and two new 1st cousins 2 times removed in Reva and Coy Blackwell.



Livingston Lafayette Blackwell went to meet his maker on June 19th, 1920 in Burlington, Alamance Co. N.C. after a long and interesting life.




Burlington, Alamance County, N.C.
November 20th, 1920
Death Certificate #47

L. L. Blackwell  71 yrs. 10 mos. 26 ds.  
Date of Birth: July 25th,1848
Death: June 19th, 1920  
Time of Death: 8:00 AM
Cause of Death: No Diagnosis
Contributory to Death: Eating Green Apple
Occupation: Farmer
White Male  
Married
Father: Fayette Blackwell
Mother: Annie Cobb
Informant: Natt Hundley
Burial: Pine Hill Cemetery, Burlington, N.C.
Undertaker: W. Levi Burke


Livingston Lafayette Blackwell's great-grandfather Capt. Robert Blackwell was involved in the action against the insurgents .  Capt. Robert Blackwell in 1771 served 77 days in Captain Nathaniel Hart’s Company of Orange County Militia during an expedition against the Insurgents of North Carolina(against The Regulators and The Battle of Alamance) Robert Blackwell served in Capt. Nathaniel West's Company, Orange Co, NC militia in 1771, 1st Lt. Capt Ramsey's Company in 1777. He was a member of the NC House of Commons 1796-1797 owned 1394 acres "Stony Fork", on Moon's Creek Caswell Co, NC.

Capt. Robert Blackwell was promoted to Captain in 1777 during the Revolutionary War

    The Colonial Records of North Carolina Volume     Page 597

    Col. John Williams to Gov. Caswell

    (From Executive Letter Book)

                                                            Camp at Quankey, 28th Aug’t , 1777

      Sir:---

   Your Excellency will herewith receive a list of officers, ordered on the recruiting service. I have directed them to apply to you for instructions.  Capt. Joel Brevard and five Lieut’s. of my Reg’t have resigned their Com’s.  Mr Robert Blackwell, First Lieut. in Capt. Ramsey’s Company, a very obliging officer, ( & a man of property ) I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency, to fill the vacancy of Capt. Brevard: also Mr. James Tatum, and William Washington, two Cadets, in my Regiment, to fill the vacancies of Ensigns; if you think proper to do it, please to enclose the Com’s directed to me on our march; which we will begin on Monday next, it being the first day of  Sept’r.  I am Your Excellency’s most ob’t H’ble Serv’t,                                                                        

John Williams

Capt. Robert Blackwell’s brother in law Dr. Lancelot Johnston was a noted Surgeon during the Revolutionary War as well.


Here endeth the life and times of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell. May he rest in peace.


Written By: Latham Mark Phelps
Snow Camp, N.C.
October 2010
2nd Great-Grandson of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell (1848-1920)