Philips Family

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(5) William Hinton Philips

William Hinton Philips - Born 1801 in Davidson Co. TN
                                                            Died 12 Oct 1852 in Haywood Co. TN
                                                            Married Elizabeth Washington Maxwell 17 Aug 1824
                                                            in Davidson Co. TN

William Hinton Philips is a son of Benjamin Philips (1786-1920) who came to Nashville TN about 1795 with his family and settle on the south side of the Cumberland River near Nashville.

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Benjamin Philips' Will

Benjamin Philips Decd Will Recorded June 5th 1820

In the name of God Amen. I Benjamin Philips of the County of Davidson and State of Tennessee being in perfect health of body and sound Disposition and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (to wit)

First my will and desire is that my funeral expenses and all my lawful debts be paid.

Item. I give unto my son Jesse Hinton Philips all the land be the same more or less with all its monuments here determined and appertainanees (to wit) Beginning at the mouth of the Stone lick and running up said branch until it intersects the line of the land I purchased of William Watkins where it crosses said branch, thence east with said line to an elm and white ash, the Southwest corner of the land I purchased of James Hoggatt, thence with my line with its variations to the beginning to his only use, benefit, and behoof his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. I give unto my son William Hinton Philips all the balance of my land whereon I now live with all and singular the rights and privileges to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. I give unto my eldest Daughter Anne and John S. Williamson her husband two negroes (to wit) Patience and Clary which they have

Item. I give unto my other two Daughters Rebecca and Eliza four young Negroes each between twelve and twenty years of age, two girls, two boys each (when they marry or become of age as the case may be, to their heirs and assigns forever –

Item. I give unto my Grand Daughter Martha Anne Williamson two negroes to be between the ages of eight and twelve to her, her heirs and assigns forever,

Item. The balance of my negroes not otherwise appropriated I give unto my sons and two Daughters Rebecca and Eliza to be equally divided among them as they may marry or become of age to them their heirs and assigns forever.

Item. If either of my sons above named should die before they become of lawful age it is my will that the surviving brother shall receive all the Land bequeathed to the two him the Survivor paying to his two sisters Rebecca and Eliza last named two thousand dollars, one thousand dollars each to be paid within two years from and after such Decease to them their heirs and assigns each.

Item. It is my will that my distillery be equally divided together with my Mills between my two sons to them their heirs and assigns forever.

Item. Have on good bed and furniture each to them their heirs and assigns forever. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty sixth day of December in the of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.

Signed sealed and delivered Benjamin Philips

Whitness of

Simon Johnson, Robert Gillespie, James Hinton

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Benjamin is shown in the Davidson County Deed Index with the following purchases of land:

       James Hoggatt to Benjamin Philips 7 Jul 1798, 347 acres south side of Cumberland River, deed book D, page 464

       William Lytle to Benjamin Philips 5 Jan 1801, 100 acres Davidson County, deed book E, page 273

       Dempsey Fields, et ux to Benjamin Philips 11 Oct 1803, Tract Davidson County, deed book F, page 84

       William Watkins to Benjamin Philips 9 Feb 1808, 227 Acres on Stones Lick Branch, deed book G page 300.

       Jacob Battle to Benjamin Philips, et al 8 Oct 1811, Power of Atty.

       William Lytle Jr. to Benjamin Philips 26 Jul 1815, 31 acres Stones Lick Branch

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From the language in the will, it appears that William Hinton Philips inherited the highlighted properties which include where his father Benjamin Philips lived.

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Benjamin Philips' sons, Jesse and William were both under age and as a result they were placed in guardianship under Mathew Barrow who rented the land to James Ridley. 

Recorded July 3rd 1820

William H. and Jesse H. Philips minor Orphans Guardian Return

Mathew Barrow, guardian to Wm H & Jesse H Philips, Orphans of Benjamin Philips, deceased, reports to this court that he has rented the plantation and distillery whereon said Benjamin Philips formerly live to James Ridley for and during the term ending 1st January eighteen hundred and twenty four at eight hundred dollars per year counting the 1st year from the 11th Feby 1820 to 1st Jany 1821 payable 1st day of January in each and every year.  Which sum when collected to be equally divided between said orphans, amounting in the whole to $3200.

No other property belonging to said orphans having come into my possession since my appointment.

M. Barrow

Sworn to in open court April 28th 1820

Nathan Ewing

State of Tennessee, Davidson County Court, April Session 1820

Mathew Barrow, Guardian to Wm H and Jesse h Philips, minor orphans, returned into court on oath an account of his said guardianship which is received by the court and ordered to be recorded.

MATTHEW BARROW filed a report with the Court in 1820 (Davidson County Court Book 7, Pages 430-431).

A year later, Benjamin’s brother, Joseph Philips who was his executor, reported to the court (Davidson Co. Court Book 8, pages 48-49) that Mathew Barrow had resigned as guardian and Benjamin’s son-in-law John Stark Williams was appointed guardian and the land was no longer rented by James Ridley who had not paid the rent.  A year later Joseph Philips died and his son-in-law William Williams, a local Judge, became executor of Benjamin’s estate.


Recorded Nov 21st 1821

Benjamin Philips

Deceased minor orphans


T0 the worshipfull court of Davidson County


          lyntternero (?) In the year 1820 and month of February, James Ridley leased the plantation whereon Benjamin Philips lived & died from Mathew Barrow, guardian of Wm H Philips and Jesse H Philips, sons of said Benjamin Philips – said Ridley agreed to pay to said Barrow 800 dollars per annum for four years thereafter promised to enter into bond with security to pay the same.  But from some cause, not known to the undersigned, said Ridley although often solicited, has failed to comply with the latter part of the contract – The agreement aforesaid made by said Barrow and Ridley is on record in the county of Davidson at January term of this court.  Barrow resigned his guardianship and the subscriber was appointed in his stead; and is fearfull that his wards may suffer in their estate by the refusal or inability of said Ridley to comply with his contract.  The object therefore of this remonstrance is to cancel the contract made by said Barrow with said Ridley in order that your remonstrant may leave the control of the real estate of his wards.


(Joseph Philips signature)


I am willing that the court shall cancel the contract


(James Ridley signature)


State of Tennessee, Davidson County Court, October Session 1821


A paper writing, produced in court by Joseph Philips, guardian to William Philips and James Ridley is by the request of said parties ordered to be entered of record.

Based on the above voiding of the rental agreement and the change in guardianship, it appears that this ad is an attempt to hire someone to manage Benjamin's farm.

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The 1920 Davidson County Census shows the following for John Williamson who was William Hinton and Jesse Hinton's guardian at that time:

1820 United States Federal Census
about John Williamson


John Williamson

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):

Davidson, Tennessee

Enumeration Date:

August 7, 1820

Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:

1 (his son Benjamin Franklin)

Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over:

1 (John Stark Williamson)

Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:

1 (Elizabeth Philips)

Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:

3 (his wife Anne Philips)


   (?) and (?)

Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:

1 (?)

Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over :

1 (Maybe Anne’s mother?)

Slaves - Males - Under 14:


Slaves - Males - 14 thru 25:


Slaves - Males - 45 and over:


Slaves - Females - Under 14:


Slaves - Females - 26 thru 44:


Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:


Free White Persons - Under 16:


Free White Persons - Over 25:


Total Free White Persons:


Total Slaves:


Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:


It does not appear that Benjamin’s sons William and Jesse were living with their guardian in the 1820 census.

Who were the guardian Matthew Barrow and renter James Ridley?  M. Barrow was a witness to Joseph Philips' will.

James Ridley’s house was pictured in the book “History of Homes and Gardens of Tennessee (1936) by the Garden Study Club of Nashville”.

I found the following references to Mathew Barlow that seem to identify him:

MATTHEW BARROW, Davidson Co., Tenn. for "love and affection" for his son, JOHN BARROW, deeded him several tracts of land: about 289 acres adjoining town of Jackson, Tenn.; an interest he had in 5000 acres on the Big Hatchey River and a tract "on the waters of the south fork of the forked deer river" (inserted here "Lauderdale", perhaps alluding to this tract being located in Lauderdale Co., Tenn.) Sept. 8, 1845. Reg Sept. 17, 1845. No wits.

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Indenture, June 2, 1846 between MATTHEW BARROW, Davidson Co., Tenn. who for "love and affection" for MARTHA LOUISA TORBETT, formerly Barrow, deeded to her husband, GREENVILLE C. TORBETT 2 tracts: 289 acres adjacent the town of Jackson, Tenn. and 640 acres on the "north fork" of the Forked Deer River. Reg Nov. 26, 1846. Wits J. M. Jones, R. J. Krider.

Then I found the following story:

Republican Banner
Friday, July 2, 1869
History of Early Nashville Masons
Compiled by Anson Nelson

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Old Memories. Personal Reminiscences of Distinguished Nashville Masons.

The Masonic Record for this month, contains the following interesting personal notes of celebrated Masons of Nashville in early times, compiled by Mr. Anson Nelson, form the Masonic Code of 1817-18. Most of the names are “familiar in our mouths as household words,” and the sketch will be read with interest:

Nearly every man named in the list was more or less celebrated in his day; and all of them were leading and influential men in the community. Mr. Nelson gives a synopsis of who and what they were, as gathered from the recollection of one of our citizens:

Matthew Barrow was an industrious, energetic man, and was for a long time Register of Deeds for Davidson County. His descendants still live among us in great respectability.

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When Benjamin’s sons received the land, they must have sold it and purchased other land.  William purchased land at the end of Hogan Road near his father-in-law Jesse Maxwell on Franklin Pike while Jesse purchased land on Nolensville Road just inside of Williamson County.

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William Hinton Philips recorded the following land transactions in Davidson County:

  • William H. Philips to John Nichol 7 Sep 1827, Ld-63 Acres-Nashville, deed book R, page 512
  • Leonoard P. Cheatham to William H. Philips 11 July 1829, Lt. High St., deed book S, page 227
  • Samuel Watkins to William H. Philips 19 Jan 1828, 21 Acres South Side of Cumberland, deed book S, Page 228
  • William H. Philips to Joseph Meek Jr. 10 Jun 1832, 323 Acres-Stones River
  • William H. Phlips to Beal Bosley 20 Jan 1835, Ld-408 Acres-Cumberland River
  • Thomas B. Claiborne to William H. Philips 7 Sep 1838, 103 Acres Mill Creek, deed book 1, page 598
  • George W. Hogan to William H. Philips Jan 1840, 360 Acres Davidson Co., deed book 6, page 580
  • William H. Philips to James D. Hamilton 12 Oct 1846, Lt-142 High St., deed book 9, page 161
  • William H. Philips to John Overton 7 Sep 1849, 220 Acres-Franklin Pike, deed book 12, page 439
  • William H. Philips to Levi S. Giliam 11 Jan 1853, Ac-Nash-Franklin Pike, deed book 17, page 1
  • Levi S. Giliam to William H. Philips 13 Jan 1853, Tr. Nash-Franklin Pk, deed book 17, page 2

Below is a section of a map of Davidson County prepared by Wilbur F. Foster in 1871.  It shows the location of a “B. S. Phillips” (with two “L”s) family at the intersection of what is now Otter Creek/Hogan Road and Franklin Pike, just down the Pike from Judge John Overton.  This could be the place Benjamin Philips’ son William Hinton Philips lived before moving to Haywood County TN prior to the Civil War.

Judge John Overton, shown on the map above, married Mary McConnell White 28 July 1820.  Her daughter, Margaret Jane May, married Benjamin’s son Jesse Hinton Philips 19 January 1837. 

Jesse Maxwell’s daughter, Elizabeth Washington Maxwell, married Benjamin Philips’ other son, William Hinton Philips, 17 August 1824, shortly after he became of age and was released from guardianship on 25 December 1823.

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I once thought maybe the Jesse Maxwell original NC land grant (below) in this area of Franklin Pike could be where Benjamin Philips’ sons lived after he died.  Also, the Thomas Hardeman grant (below) is adjacent.

State of No Carolina Davidson County} To the Surveyor of Sd County Greeting These Are to Direct you to Lay off and Survey a preemption of 640 acres of Land for Jesse Maxwell Lying on the West Side of Mill Creek About two Miles and a half from Roger Topps Land along the Buffaloe Road that Leads Towards the South Including a Spring mark’d DM Which runs into the West fork of Mill Creek –To Begin a Conditional Line Between him and the Heirs of David Maxwell Dec’d Running thence South East across a Branch of Sd Creek thence down the South Side of the Said Branch thence Northeastwardly for Comp’t Including the Imp’t –as per Entry No 257 Date Feb’y 9th 1784 and for So Doing this Shall Be your Warrant Given under my hand This 14th Day of May 1784.

Sam’l Barton E. T.

North Carolina davidson County Jan’y 26 1785 Agreeable to the inclosed Warrant No 257 the entry Dated Feb’y 9th 1784 I have Survey’d for Jesse Maxwell a preemption of five hundred and sixty two acres of land and is being So bounded by older claims the Compliment Could not be had lying on the South side of Cumberland River and Waters of the West fork of Mill Creek beginning at a sugar tree Saplin on William Simpsons West boundary running thence a conditional line with the heirs of David Maxwell South forty five degrees west two hundred poles to a box elder and Sugartree West with Sd line one hundred and ninety two poles to Corner Sugartree South one hundred and thirty poles to Thomas Hardimans North boundary east two hundred and seventy four poles to his north east Corner Continued east two hundred and thirty one poles farther with Daniel Hogans line to Andrew Ervins west boundary to a hickory and poplar North two hundred and twenty poles with Sd line to a sugar tree Saplin on William Simpsons South boundary West with Simpsons line one hundred and sixty three poles to the Corner Suga rtree and hickory North with Simpsons line fifty poles to the beginning.
Survey’d by me                        James Mulherin Dep Surveyor
Dan’l Smith Surveyor               Jesse Maxwell & David Hood Sworn Chain C

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Thomas Hardeman assignee of John Holliday 640 Acres – South Side of Cumberland and Waters of Mill Creek, Grant 399 Issued 26 June 1793, D1826

State of North Carolina Davidson County surveyed for Thomas Hardeman assignee of John Holliday a preemption of Six hundred and forty Acres of Land agreeable to the enclosed Warrant Number 162 The entry dated January 19th 1784.  Lying on the South Side of Cumberland River and Waters of Mill Creek beginning at a dogwood Saplin west Seventeen poles to a red oak on the bank of hogans branch Being James Rays north east Corner thence a conditional line with Ray South West thirty three poles to an elm thence West with Rays North boundary two hundred and twenty Six poles to the Corner Continued West forty Six poles farther to a sugar tree thence north three hundred and thirty eight poles to an ash thence east three hundred and ten poles to a white ash and dogwood thence South three hundred and twelve poles to the beginning Crossing his Spring branch at 136 poles Hogans branch at 304 poles.

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Below is an overlay map created by the authors of the book “Founding of the Cumberland Settlements” showing the location of the above and other NC land grants in this area.  This grant covers the location of the “Phillips” house in the map below that.

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The book Historical Southern Families (Vol. V) contains the following which indicates that William Hinton Philips didn’t end up with Jesse Maxwell’s 640 acre land grant, although he may have gotten the small portion across Franklin Road where the name “Phillips” appears in the 1871 map of Davidson County:

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The 1840 Davidson County Federal Census lists Benjamin Philip’s oldest son William Philips (born 25 Dec 1802) with 20 people employed in agriculture.  He’s listed on the same page with Mary Overton, Judge John Overton’s widow. He is listed next to John Hogan who I believe is the son of Daniel Hogan, the namesake for Hogan’s Road, and the owner of the adjacent land on the 1871 Davidson County map shown above with the name “W. Hogan” who could be a grandson of Daniel.

1840 United States Federal Census
about William H Philips


William H Philips

Home in 1840 (City, County, State):

Davidson, Tennessee

Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:


Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9:


Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14:


Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:


Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:


Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:


Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79:


Slaves - Males - Under 10:


Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:


Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:


Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:


Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:


Slaves - Females - 55 thru 99:


Persons Employed in Agriculture:


Free White Persons - Under 20:


Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:


Total Free White Persons:


Total Slaves:


Total All Persons - Free White, Free, Colored,  Slaves:


The 1850 Davidson County Federal Census lists Benjamin Philip’s oldest son William Philips (born 25 Dec 1802) and his wife Elizabeth Maxwell (married 17 August 1824), daughter of Jesse Maxwell, and their six children living on land worth $5,000.  Notice in the map above that the name “Phillips” appears on the portion of Jesse Maxwell’s land that lies west of Franklin Pike.

On this same page of the 1850 census we find John Overton, son of Judge John Overton living with his wife Harriet, their children John and Ann, and his mother, Mary McConnell White.  His land was valued at $208,000.

Historical Southern Families, Vol V has a paragraph about William Hinton Philips with sons Henry and Jesse who aren’t listed in the1850 census in Davidson County shown above:

However, Henry and Jesse show up in the 1850 census for Haywood County TN District 2, apparently getting ready for the rest of the family to join them prior to the 1860 census.

The 1860 Federal Census shows William Hinton Philips living in District 2 of Haywood County TN with land worth $4,000 and a total worth of $16,700:

Haywood County TN is located in west TN off of I40 just on the other side of Jackson TN.


In 1862 William H. Philips is listed in the U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists which includes several counties, including Haywood County, with what looks like 662 acres of land worth $3,625.


The 1870 census doesn’t list William H. Philips or any of his family in Haywood County TN.  The Civil war took place between the 1860 and 1870 censuses and according to the above Historical Southern Families story, Henry, Jesse, and William all died while serving in the Confederate Army and Andrew Jackson spent the war in prison camps.


I need to check the Haywood County TN records to see if William Hinton Philips filed a will there.


In 1870 a Benjamin Philips, possibly William Hinton Philips’ son but probably not, is listed in nearby Gibson County TN living with his wife and family.  Ten years later William Hinton's Benjamin is living in Nashville with his brother and sister (no wife and children) Benjamin lists land value of $1,100 and a total value of $4,000.

In 1880 Benjamin S. Philips is listed in Davidson County living with his sister Emma A. and brother Andrew Jackson Philips:

In 1891 the list of male voters for Davidson County TN lists B. S. Phillips as being 65 years of age.

So it appears that after the Civil War, Benjamin, his brother Andrew Jackson, and sister Emma moved back to Nashville where he grew up on Franklin Pick at the intersection of Hogan Road/Otter Creek Road and lived out their lives there.

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Civil War Records for William Henry Philips’ Sons

Andrew Jackson Philips

Jesse Philips

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