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Descendants of William and George Phelps

Transcribed by  David Phelps

Excerpted in part from The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $201 by ordering through us.) Two volumes. By Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Eagle Publishing Company of Pittsfield, Mass., 1899)

  1. Francis PHYLYPPE b: abt. 1522 d: 1553 "Francis Phylppe of Neyther Teyne, in Parish of Checkley, died 6th of Edward VI. Note: Edward VI. reign started in 1547, the 6th year would be 1553. Francis Phylyppe, d. 1553 of Checkly, Stafford, England. Source: 1992 IGI A1994 England, Stafford, Page 27,348. [See his will.]
    1. John PHELIPE, Sr. b: Bet. 1540 - 1552 d: 1641 John Phelipe, Sr. date of birth is estimated from his father Francis' date of death, 1553 [6th of Edward VI], and his own death date, 1641. He has to be born before his fathers death but not older than 100. This would have made John very young, age 1-13, when his father died and he succeeded him.
      1. Anthony PHILIPS b: Bet. 1560 - 1607 d: 1648 "John Phelipe, of Neyther Teyne, who died in 1641, leaving, inter alios, a son, Anthony." In looking up "inter alios" I found the following: "INTER ALIOS. Between other parties, who are strangers to the proceeding in question." I have no idea how, or if, this affects the relationship between John and his son Anthony unless this refers to a succession by someone other than the eldest surviving son. I would welcome other ideas or a clarification of the use if "inter alios" in genealogy. Since Anthony married in 1627, he probably was born before 1607. His father John would be 55-67 in 1607 so it is possible that Anthony was born earlier, even as early as 1560-1572.

If William and George Phelps the immigrants were the sons of John and they left England for America in 1630 (possibly 1634 for George), they would no longer be able to succeed John in 1641 as head of "Heath House". The same is true of Henry who died in 1639. This could leave Anthony either the eldest (or possibly a younger) brother in-line for the inheritance of the position of head of "Heath House".

    1. Richard PHILLIPS b: 1628 d: 1686 Richard Philips, esq. who m. Christobel, second daughter and co-heir of Robert Whetall, of Bignoll Hill, in the parish of Audley, Staffordshire, and died in 1686, leaving a son and successor, Nathaniel Philips, esq. of Heath House.

......3 Henry PHELPS b: Bef. 1600 d: Bef. 1639. If John Phelipe, Sr. was born between 1540-1552 then he would be 61-73 years old when your Nicholas was born in 1623. Therefore it is unlikely that Henry and Nicholas were the sons of John Phelipe. Perhaps Henry and Nicholas' father Henry Phelps, Sr., which you have proposed, was the son of John Phelipe, Sr.. Your Henry Phelps, Sr. would have to be born before 1600 based on the age of Henry Phelps, Jr. (b. abt. 1619). This would make him a plausible son of John Phelipe, Sr.. If Henry Phelps Sr. also died bef. 1639 as you state he could be an elder brother of Anthony who didn't survive his father who died in 1641.

Originally from Beretta Monroe (21 Oct 1995):

"From all information that can now be obtained, William [Phelps the immigrant] left behind him two younger brothers, Henry and Nicholas, who were probably cared for by their older brother, Anthony. It is recorded that Henry came over in the good ship Hercules, in 1634 and later he settled in Salem, Mass. Both Henry and Nicholas early embraced Quakerism." [Note that this information has not been confirmed. –Editor]

I have no idea what was used as the original source for this statement but it might suggest that my William and George were sons of Henry Phelps, Sr. and brothers of your Henry and Nicholas. This can't be true unless Henry Phelps was born around 1575 to accommodate William's' birth in 1695 as well as an assumed elder brother Anthony. This is possible since it would fall in John Phelips' age range of 23-35.

......3 John PHELPS, Jr. Judge Oliver Seymour and Andrew T. Servin, in The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Eagle Publishing Company of Pittsfield, Mass., 1899), Volume 1, pages 53, 54, cite: "John Phelps who dwelt upon Nether Teyne in England the son of Francis Phelps, who died in the reign of Edward IV [sic], left with other issue at his decease, in 1641, Anthony, William and John." I have not been able to find the source of their claim of sons William and John. This is one of the premises which have me investigating this family as the origin of William and George Phelps the immigrants. (see below)

......3 William PHELPS, Sr. b: Bet. 1593 - 1595 d: July 14, 1672 I am having trouble with William and George as you can see. With so much confusion caused by the Phelps Family in America's assumption that William and George came from Tewkesbury, I have had a lot of trouble sorting out the real family for William of Tewkesbury and finding the ones from Crewkerne.

Some of the "Heath House" (of Checkley) descendants dispersed to other areas, especially if they were not in line for succession so it is not totally unreasonable for there to be children located elsewhere (i.e. Crewkerne). The note above from From Bergetta Monroe gives us another hypothesis that William was the brother of an Anthony, Henry and Nicholas. We'll pursue this if new facts point that direction.

Per SPM&J Vol. VII, 100: "There is a marriage in Crewkerne of William PHELPS to Ann DOVER in 1626."

Per SPM&J Vol. XV (1990): The registers at Crewkerne, Somerset, list the following children of William PHELPS:

  • William [Jr.], bpt. 9 SEP 1618 (He married in 1645);
  • Samuel, bpt. 10 AUG 1621 (He married in 1650);
  • Nathaniel, bpt. 11 MAY 1624 (He married in 1650); and
  • Cornelius, bpt. 13 OCT 1627.

Additionally, an infant of William Phelps was buried 8 JAN 1623/4, and "Marie, wife of William Phelps, was buried 13 AUG 1626.

Then an entry that William Phelps m. Ann DOVER on 14 NOV 1626 at Crewkerne;

  • Joseph and Mary (twins) bpt. 13 NOV 1628 (she may have died young); and
  • Mary bpt. 6 DEC 1629.

Regarding the last Mary, "there is no other record of this Mary and he named another dau. Mary, in 1644. This was only three months before the family sailed for New England so she must have died young, possibly at sea."

......3 George PHELPS b: Abt. 1606 d: May 08, 1687

George Phelps, was long believed to be the sixth child of William of Tewkesbury, Eng., b. about 1605; immigrated to New England on the Mary and John, in 1630, with his elder brother William and his younger brother Richard. It has since been concluded that the William Phelps of Massachusetts and Connecticut originated in Crewkerne, Somerset, England and that he is not the William Phelps of Tewkesbury records. George Phelps is omitted as an immigrant of the Mary and John. Additional DNA research has thus far revealed no biological relationship between William Phelps and George Phelps. No evidence exists that Richard Phelps is related to either William or George, although he is present in the earliest records of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The article Identifying George P—?— of the Recovery, 1633 [1634], (By John Plummer) neither proves or disproves a connection to the above family. I include it as possible background for further research. George Phelps is believed to be the George P__?__ aboard the Recovery of London with Gabriel Cornish as its master, sailing from Weymouth in Dorsetshire to New England March 31, 1634. The ship sailed into Massachusetts Bay in late June or July 1634; and it was very likely one of the fourteen said to have arrived that June.

......3 Richard PHELPS

I haven't found anything on Richard but I include him because his name is almost always listed with William and George. No relationship has ever been proven.

In summary:

Phelps Origins in Nether Tyne, Checkley, England

1  Francis PHYLYPPE		b: Bet. 1522 - 1536	d: 1553
..2  John PHELIPE, Sr.		b: Bet. 1540 - 1552	d: 1641
......3  Anthony PHILIPS	b: Bet. 1560 - 1607	d: 1648
..........4  Richard PHILLIPS	b: 1628		d: 1686
......3  Henry PHELPS		b: Bef. 1600	d: Bef. 1639
..........4  Henry PHELPS	b: Abt. 1619		d: Bet. 1672 - 1676
..........4  Nicholas PHELPS	b: Abt. 1623	d: Bef. 1664
......3  John PHELPS, Jr.			
......3  William PHELPS, Sr.	b: Bet. 1593 - 1595	d: July 14, 1672
......3  George PHELPS		b: Abt. 1606		d: May 08, 1687
......3  Richard PHELPS	

We should keep looking for those lost sources and try to validate this family one way or the other. All of these assumptions are building a pretty house of cards but it's the best we have for now.

David Phelps Phelps Family Research
304 Bridlewood North, Colleyville, Texas 76034