Philips Family

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(4) Joseph Philips, Jr.

Joseph Philips, Jr. is a son of Joseph Philips, Sr. who was born 6 Nov 1726 in Surry County VA
Born:           31 Oct 1763
Died:           22 May 1822 Nashville, TN
Buried:      Sylvan Hall Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Married:     Milbery Horn b 4 Dec 1764 d 19 Dec 1851

Children of Joseph and Milbrey Philips

Joseph and Milbry produced the following children:

Sarah "Sally" Philips b 1 Aug1783 d 19 Jan 1859 age of 75

Mary "Polly" Philips b 6 Sep 1786 - d 11 Apr 1813 age of 26

Rebecca Philips 16 b Apr 1790 - d Jul  1792 age of 2

Martha "Patsy" Philips b 11 Dec 1792 - d 3 Mar 1886 age of 93

Charlotte Philips b 25 Nov 1795 - d 23 July 1811 age of 16

Henry Horn Philips b 5 Sep 1797 d 4 Oct 1816 age of 19

Joseph Philips died July 1803 age of 6 months

William Duncan Philips b 19 Apr, 1804 d 15 Jun, 1879 age of 75

Margaret Peggy Thomas Philips b 30 Sep 1799 d 14 Apr 1844 age of 44 (My ancestor)


Margaret married Josiah Frederick Williams in 1815.  Josiah came to the Nashville area with his father Elisha Williams from Franklin, NC.  Elisha was a close friend of Joseph Philips who was influencial in convincing Elisha to move his family to Nashville.
Click on the Cour De Lion link either here or at the top of the page to read more about Joseph and Elisha's friendship.

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Joseph and Milbry's daughter Margaret Peggy Thomas Philips married Josiah Fredric Williams in 1815 in Nashville, TN. 
Their son, James Horn Williams moved to Arkansas and married four times.  He and his second wife, Julliette Marion "Nellie" Heath married in 1858. 
Their son Edward Heath Williams married Maude Dunn in 1885.  
Their daughter Nelle Francis Williams married Bernard Godfrey Holthouse in 1911. 
Their daughter Margaret Martha Holthouse married Lawrence Bernard Feldhaus in 1936.  I was a product of that union.

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The deed transfer directly below appears to describe the place near Tarboro NC where Joseph Philips was living just prior to moving his family to Nashville TN in 1791.

Edgecombe County, NC - Edgecombe County Deed Book 6 #183, Bradley, Page 67
Joseph Phillips of Edgecombe County to Exum Philips of same
13 Nov 1791
1000 pds silver and gold
582 acres which was part of 3 tracts, 1 a patent to WILLIAM POPE 12 Jun 1730, 1 to Josiah Sykes 04 Aug 1741, and 1 to Joseph Philips, Sr. 19 Sept 1760 where said Joseph Phillips now lives and which his father willed to him on the south side of SWIFT CREEK joining Etheldred Philips. Huccleberry Pond, Falling Runn, Rosses Pocosson, James Pitt, Aaron Miner, Long Branch.
Wit: Wm. Fort, L. Ruffin
Edgecombe County, NC

Scale:  17 miles from Rocky Mount to Tarboro NC

Edgecombe County, NC - Edgecombe County Deed Book 6
Edgecombe Co. Db 6, page 232, deed date 30 Nov 1791, recorded Nov Ct 1791, Exum Philips, Edge. Co to Joseph Philips, for 226 pounds, 13 shillings, 5 pence silver and gold, Negroes; man named Sam about 21 years old, woman named Venus about 25 years old with four children, Anthony, about 6 years, Isham, about 4 years, Abram about 2 years and Will, about 6 months, signed Exum Philips, wit Wm. Fort, L. Ruffin. Abstracted 12-2-
04, NCA film C.037.40007, CTC.

Edge. Co. Db 6, page 484, deed date 27 Feb 1792, recorded Aug Ct 1792

William Fort, High Sheriff of Edge. Co to Jesse Deloach, county aforesaid; whereas James Eastwood obtained judgement against John Edge, Jr, dec'd and sheriff is ordered to take 76 pounds, 13 shillings 7 8 pence from John Edge's estate and sheriff sales at public auction a tract of land John Edge, Jr conveyed by deed to James Edge, his son, and Jesse Deloach was highest bidder at 60 pounds, 13 shillings, a tract of land on the north side of Tyan Cokey Swamp containing 200 acres beginning at a pine an agreed corner in the Patent line then along a line of marked trees an agreed line to a corner Watery oak in Tyancokey Swamp another agreed corner in the patent line then along the patent line to the patent corner ash then along the patent line north to the patent corner a red oak then along the patent line north 30 east 120 poles to the other patent corner a red oak then along the patent line north 78 poles to a corner white oak another patent corner then west along the patent line to the first station, an agreed corner it being part of a larger tract purchased by John Edge, Sen from Joseph Summer by deed date 16 July 1777, which bounds include the above said tract of land, signed Wm. Fort, Sheriff, wit Joseph Philips, Jd.

Hilliard, proved by Jeremiah Hilliard. Abstracted 1-14-05, NCA film

C.037.40008, CTC.

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1792, 21 December. Deed transferring 640 Acres on Whites Creek to Joseph Philips signed. Proven in Davidson county court, July 30, 1793.
Notice Philips is spelled with two "L"s in this deed.
Click on the deed to either download a pdf file of this deed to your computer where you can view it in a larger size or save it to your computer.


The above deed contains the following information:

Joseph Phillips.    Territory of the United States


                This indenture made this twenty first day of Dec in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two Between John Crow and Thomas Shannon of the first and Joseph Phillips of the other part.  Witnessed that the said John Crow and Thomas Shannon have this day forward in consideration of the sum of one hundred and sixty pounds Virginia currency have granted bargained sold liened and in so offered to the sd Joseph Phillips and his heirs forever one certain tract or parcel of land lying and estuate in Davidson County in the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, containing six hundred and forty acres more or less on the waters of Whites creek and on the northside of Cumburland river, it being a preemption granted to the said John Crow by the State of North Carolina by patent bearing date April 17, 1786.  Beginning at an ironwood and hickory running thence first three hundred and twenty poles to two boxelders.  Thence south three hundred and twenty poles to an elm and sugar tree.  Thence east three hundred and twenty poles crossing two branches to a sugar tree.  Thence north three hundred and twenty poles crossing a branch to the beginning.  To have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances then unto belonging.  To the only use and behoof of the said Joseph Phillips and his heirs forever and the said John Crow and Thomas Shannon do by these presents oblige themselves their lives executors and administrators jointly and severally to warrant and forever defend the said tract of land containing six hundred and forty acres more or less as aforesaid and every part and parcel thereof to the said Joseph Phillips and his heirs forever.  In testimony whereof we have here unto subscribed our names and offered our seals the day and year first above written. 


Signed John Crow L.S.            Thomas Shannon L.S.

Test John Overton

Received of Joseph Phillips on hundred and sixty pounds Virginia currency being the consideration money of the within land witness our hands and seals the day and date above written. 

John Crow L.S.                Thomas Shannon L.S.

Test John Overton

Below is the original land grant given to John Crow which Joseph Philips purchase from hm in 1792.  The grant is one mile square, reaching from Dickerson Road to White's Creek.
This information was copied from the book "Founding of the Cumberland Settlements, The First Atlas,1779-1794"


The interactive Google map below shows the location of Joseph Philips' land, where his house was located, and where the family cemetery, Sylvan Hall, are located.

Joseph Philips made a surveying trip to Davidson County, North Carolina,  from his home in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.
In 1791 he moved his family (his wife and three little daughters), belongings, including his livestock and twenty-five slaves, to Davidson County. The trip was overland along a blazed trail.
His first house was built of logs. This home burned in 1804. This same year the lovely old home (now no more), "Sylvan Hall," was built.
This house was said to have been one of the first brick houses in Davidson County, Tennessee. All the labor and material, including the brick, were the work of his slaves. It is said his better trained slaves, who were fine artisans, made the exquisite Hepplewhite furniture, which was designed by an itinerant cabinetmaker who supervised the execution of his designs. 
This furniture descended to a great granddaughter, Mary Philips Polk Moore, who now lived with her two married children in the West. 
The house remained in the Philips Family for several generations, until it was sold by Mary Polk Moore about 1915. It changed owners several times, and lost much of its charm.
Finally, in 1960, it was sold to the Bellshire Methodist Church, and in time razed for the church building which stands on the site.
The acreage, once 1,000 acres, is now a subdivision; and nice looking, well-kept homes, mostly of brick, and lawns are located on this once beautiful farm.
The location of Bellshire Methodist Church is six miles from Nashville on the left  hand side of Dickerson Road. (
Originally, Dickerson was spelled Dickinson - for a family which came to this part of the country about the same time the Philipses did.) They were a Baptist Community, and a church was nearby. 

The story above says the house was built in 1791, but in reality the original house burned down in 1804 and this house was built on the same location in that same year.

Watercolor Print Christmas Card of Sylvan Hall by Mari Omberg

Sylvan Hall around 1815

Above from the book Recollections and Reflections written by Wharton Jackson Green in 1906.

Sheep in the Pasture

Slave House

House Gate

Sylvan Hall 1815

Joseph Philips Will

Milberry Horn's Dower
The below Dower for Milberry Philips was written on 21 Dec 1822 by Joseph Philips who wanted to be sure that she was taken care of after his death.
Click on the picture to open a larger picture in a new browser to better see the details of the Dower.  I had to photograph the microfilm copy of this document at the TN State Archives and piece together the best shots of various portions of the document for it to be readable.  It contains the following information:
Milberry Philips her Dower               Recorded 21st Dec 1822
This Indenture made this 22nd day of October AD Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Two.  Witnesseth that the undersigned Acting Executors of the Last Will and Testament of Joseph Philips late of Davidson County deceased and pursuant of the Power in said Will confirmed, and to effectuate the Testators intent in that Particuar do allot and set apart for Milberry Phlips Widow and Relic of the deceased, and to her own proper use and behalf for her Support and Comfortable maintainance during the Term of her natural life.  The following Described Property Real and Personal To Wit Negroes, Moses and Davey and Sterling.  Jenny.  Sherry with her Children Mary Cinders daughter.  Also the Western End of the dwelling house The Piazzer and free use of the passage.  The room on the south end of the kitchen.  The meat house. Spring house and dairy and the Double Cabbin next The garden for her negroes  The East End of the Granary & Stables attached thereto and the Crib and free use of the thrashing floor.  The half of the garden next the Kitchen and one section of the Vineyard on the Other side.  The Pasture Lott between the house and Dickinson's line and that around the chep(sic) and that part of the meadow West of the little Branch and the Small field adjoining the Orchard fence & half the Orchard, Half the Big field commonly called the Still House field her half to lie next to the creek and the field on the side of the Creek next to Wilson, & grinding free from toll when the mill is in opperation and wood without stint for fires and sufficience of Timber for Repairs Convenient to the Dwelling House and the Lands Above Allotted and Let Apart.  Also the Tools with which her people work in doors with, one half of the Kitchen furniture one double plough and Gears & three Single Ploughs all the furniture in the West end of the House  The side board in the passage and one half of the crockery, Glasses and China ware.  Also two Thousand Pound of Pork one hundred Barrells of Corn Thirty Bushells of wheat.  One Mare & two Horses.  Eight Ewes fifteen head of Hogs three Cows and calves and all the Poultry & fowls,  In Testimony we have hereto Amended our names and affixed our Seals the day and Date Above.  Written
Will Williams  (Seal)
J. F. Williams (Seal)
State of Tennessee Davidson County Court October Session 1822
This Allotment of Dower to Milberry Philips Widow & Relic of Joseph Philips desceased was Returned into Court and Acknowledged by William Williams and Josiah F. Williams the Executors of the decedant to be their Act and Deed as Such & Ordered to be Recorded.
Test - Nathan Ewing - Clerk of said Court
This given to Wm Williams

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You may wonder how long Joseph Philips' descendants held on to his plantation.  I'm in the process of researching that information, in part to determine the ownership of the Philips' Sylvan Hall Cemetery which is shown on the Davidson County Tax maps as being a separate parcel of land with no owner named.  I will post the relevant documents below.

On 2 September 1922 J. L. Hulme and wife Pearl M. Hulme sold the home portion of Joseph Philips' plantation consisting of 207 45/160 acres to S. L. Brown and wife Asenith V. Brown for $40,000.  

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