Philips of Early Virginia
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Early Philips Ancestors

Early Philips Ancestors of Larry Feldhaus


         Larry Feldhaus

(24 years old at birth of child)

         My mother was Margaret Martha Holthouse, born 22 Feb 1913 in Jonesboro AR and died 27 May 2001 in Houston TX.

(22 years old at birth of child)

         Her mother was Nelle Frances Williams, born 29 Oct 1891 in Jonesboro AR and died 10 Oct 1973 in Lawrenceburg TN.

 (31 years old at birth of child)

         Her father was Edward Heath Williams, born 20 Apr 1859 near Luxora AR and died 15 Nov 1901 in Jonesboro TN. 

          (32 years old at birth of child)

         His father was James Horn Williams, born 15 Jan 1826 in Nashville TN and died 12 Jan 1893 near Luxora AR. 

          (26 years old at birth of child)

         His mother was Margaret (Peggy) Thomas Philips, born 30 Sept 1799 near Nashville and died 14 Apr 1844 near Nashville. 

          (36 years old at birth of child)

         Her father was Joseph Philips Jr., born 31 Oct 1763 near Tarboro NC and died 22 May 1822 near Nashville TN. 

          (37 years old at birth of child)

         His father was Joseph Philips Sr., born 6 Nov 1726 in Surry County VA and died 1784 near Tarboro NC. 


I have absolutely no doubt about the above facts, including the fact that Joseph and his father Joseph both spelled Philips with one “L”.  However, beyond this point I have to rely on published information that may or may not be factual. 


The book excerpt below says Joseph Philips Sr.’s father is John Philips who was born about 1698 in Surry County VA and died about 1759 in Surry county VA.  The book goes on to say that the father of John Philips is William Philips, birth date and place unknown and who died about 1721 in Surry county VA.  


This same book say that this family probably descends from one Thomas Philips, born 1599, who came to Virginia in the "William and Thomas" in 1618 and who was living at Basse's Choice at the time of the muster in Feb. 1625.  His wife Elizabeth, born 1602 came to the colony in the "Sea Flower" in 1621.


In this web site I will investigate what is know about the Philips family beyond the Capt. Joseph D. Philips who was born in 1826 in Surry County VA.

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The following excerpt from the Southside Virginia Families book provides an overview of the early Philips family whose first records are found in Surry and Isle of Wight counties of Virginia around 1700. 


Note the spelling of Philips with one “L” as opposed to the more common Phillips name with two “L”s.  There is an old story that my Philips family changed the spelling of their name from two “L”s to one “L” during the revolutionary war, around 1776, to differentiate their family from other Phillips who were Tories and supporters of the King of England.  However the records indicate the name Philips with one “L” dates back to at least 1700 with this family.

Southside Virginia Families, Volume 2

By John Bennett Boddie, Published 1956, Pages 350-356




   The Philips family of Edgecombe County, N.C., descends from one William Philips whose will was recorded in Surry Co. , Va. , in 1721.  The parentage of this William Philips is unknown. In 1681 two persons by the name of William Philips died in Isle of Wight County, one of whom was styled "William Philips of "Blackwater".  This is of interest as William Philips of Surry, died 1721, owned a plantation on the Blackwater River.


David Philips, John Philips, Jno. Philips and William Phillips appear on the Surry Co. tithable lists in 1678. (Col.Surry, p.189).  Their relationship, if any, is not known.


John Philips appears on the rent rolls of Surry in 1704 with 270 acres of land and William Philips with 300. (lbid: p.214).


The Philipses in Surry and Isle of Wight probably descend from one Thomas Philips, born 1599, who came to Virginia in the "William and Thomas" in 1618 and who was living at Basse's Choice at the time of the muster in Feb. 1625. His wife Elizabeth, born 1602, came to the colony in the "Sea Flower" in 1621. (17th Cent. p. 88). Thomas Philips was granted 300 acres of land in James City County July 9, 1635, on the south side of the Chickahominy River, 150 acres for the personal adventure of himself, Elizabeth his wife and Elizabeth his daughter. (Nugent-p.26). On May 29, 1638 Peleg Buck was granted 500 acres in James City near land lately in the tenure of Thos. Philips. (Ibid: 83). One Elizabeth Philips made a deposition in Surry in 1672 giving her age as 72. (Col.Surry, p.216). Thus, she could have been the wife of Thomas Philips, above, who was born in 1602.

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David Philips received a land grant in 1683 and left a will in 1696 in Surry County VA.


Virginia Library Virginia Land Grants


Phillips, David.


29 May 1683.


Available on microfilm. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.


Location: Surry County.


Description: 85 acres lying on the head of Battles land. Adjoins land of Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Battles.


Source: Land Office Patents No. 7, 1679-1689 (v.1 & 2 p.1-719), p. 296 (Reel 7).


Copy the following link and paste in browser address box to access the original hand written document. You'll need a tiff view add-on in your browser.


Wills and Administrations of Surry County 1670-1750 by Elizabeth Timberlake


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In The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660, pg. 46, Coldham quotes, "Living at Basse's Choice in 1624, Captain Nathaniel Basse and Samuel Basse." Then, on August 30, 1654 shortly following Nathaniel's death, this was recorded (slightly paraphrased), "...heirs of Nathaniel Basse deceased without issue. Major Edward Basse, 60, London, deposed that Hester Hobson, Abigail Thorpe, and Sara Hastler are sisters and are daughters of Humphrey Basse and wife Mary. The sisters are co-heirs with Luke Basse who died a bachelor and was the brother and heir of Nathaniel Basse."

    Captain Nathaniel Basse and Samuel Basse were noted living at Basse's Choyce Plantation in 1624, Isle of Wight Co., VA (northeast of Smithfield, VA).

    Basse's Choice Plantation is a Virginia Historic Landmark. Presently, there is an archaeological dig there as scientists try to discover more about the first years of life in Virginia.

    NATHANIEL BASSE, CAPT. (HUMPHREY2, WILLIAM1) was born December 29, 1589 in Middlesex Parrish, London, England, and died July 3, 1654 in Cripplegate, London, England. He married MARY JORDAN May 21, 1613 in Middlesex Parrish, London, England. She was born Abt. 1591 in London, Elgland, and died January 17, 1629/30 in Middlesex Parrish, London, England.

    Nathaniel Basse was christened, December 29, 1589, at the Church of Saint Gabriel Church, Fenchurch St., London, England.  Nathaniel was commissioned to bring settlers to the New World.  On April 27, 1619, they arrived at Jamestowen, Virginia, founded in1607 (Isle Of Wight County,1608-1907) with one hundred settlers in a ship commanded by Captain Evans.  They immediately settled near the mouth of a creek on the south side of the James River still known as Lawne's Creek.


Captain Nathaniel Basse and others undertook to establish another plantation in the same neighborhood. This plantation was known as Basse's Choice and was situated on the Pagan River. Nathaniel was back in England in early 1621/22 and returned to Virginia in 1622. He was commissioned to seek colonists for Virginia in New England and elsewhere.

    The houses of Captain Basse's plantation were being built when a great calamity happened to the infant colony.
At midday on Good Friday, March 22, 1622 there were twelve hundred fourty British inhabitants in the state of Virginia.  Of these, three hundred forty seven were killed by Indians in the eighty settlements on the north and south sides of the James River, of which fifty three were residents of this county (Isle Of Wight County).  At the house of Nathaniel Basse every one was slain.  Nathaniel, who was in England at the time, escaped.

    A muster of the inhabitants of Virginia taken in 1625 includes Nathaniel Basse, age 35.  Nathaniel was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1624,1625, 1628 and again in 1629.  He was a Councillor in 1630.

    Nathaniel Bass returned to England and is buried in Church of St. Alphage, Cripplegate, London England, 3 July 1654.

    Sourceses: Nathaniel Basse: "The Bass Family of Black Creek, North Carolina", compiled by James Albert Bass and James Albert Bass, Jr., 1986.

    The first English settlement in the area known by the Indians as Warrosquoake (Isle of Wight Co., Virginia) was made by Captain Christoper Lawne, Sir Richard Worsley, Knight & Baronet, and their associates NATHANIEL BASSE, Gentleman, John Hobson, Gentleman, Anthony Olevan, Richard Wiseman, Robert Newland, Robert Gyner and William Willis.  They arrived at Jamestown with one hundred settlers on 27 April 1619 in a ship commanded by Captain Evans.  They immediately settled on the south side of the Warrosquoake River (James River) and established the plantation "Warrosquoake", to be known as "Lawne's Creek". When their patent was confirmed it was to become known as the "County of Isle of Wight".

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