Phelps & Servin Phelps Family in America reprints now available
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Updated Index to the "Phelps Family in America"

Places, Maiden Names Add 250 Pages to Index

Well-known to many Phelps family researchers is the two-volume book, The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors. An updated index of over 250 pages, featuring thousands of geographic place names and the maiden names of spouses, is available below for Phelps family historians for download.

Updated Index Adds Value to Original Books

Margaret Phelps Swanson has developed an updated index and other comments to the 1899 book. While the book was published with an index standard for its time, the index is largely restricted to male surnames and is of limited use to many researchers. Phelps Connections researchers Margaret Phelps Swanson and Nancy J. Pennington took it upon themselves to reindex the two volumes totalling 1869 pages. This publication, over 250 pages of new index entries, is the result of their work.

Acrobat file New Index to The Phelps Family in America and their English Ancestors 271 pages, 3 MB

About the New Index

This revised index is a work in progress. The place index is complete; however, it has not been proofread. Counties have been identified and added to the index. The primary sources used for these additions are:

  • E. K. Kirkham, A Genealogical and Historical Atlas of the United States of America. Logan, Utah: The Everton Publishers, Inc. 1976. This atlas used the 1880 census as the basis for listing every county, town, village and post office in the United States.
  • Gilbert S. Bahn American Place Names: A Republication of the Index to Cram’s Unrivaled Atlas of the World as Based on the Census of 1890. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1998.

This index will be updated when a significant amount of additional entries have been created.

Many Birthplaces Are Incorrect

A note of caution. Many of the birthplaces in this genealogy are incorrect. Frequently the listed birthplace was a place of residence at a later date, but the birth occurred at a prior home of the parents. For example the birthplace of the children of Timothy and Persis (Baxter) Phelps is given as Pompey, Onondaga County, New York; however, these children were born from 10 to 20 years before Timothy moved to Pompey. The 1855 New York State Census lists the birthplace of their daughter, Rebeckah as Saratoga County, New York—but she was born in 1783 while Saratoga County was not created from Albany County until 1791. The 1855 census information is valuable in that it helps confirm that the Timothy Phelps in Cambridge Town, Albany County 1790 was her father, and the family had moved westward to Charlton Town, Saratoga County by the time of the 1800 census.

About William Phelps Allegedly of Tewksbury

Pages one to 72 describe the purported Tewksbury origin of on the family of William Phelps. This has been disproved. For the latest information on the origins of William Phelps, see:

  • Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1995. 3: 1444-1446.
  • Myrtle Steven Hyde, F.A.S.G. “The English Origin of William Phelps of Dorchester, Mass., and Windsor, Conn. with Notes on His Marriages,” TAG 65:161-166.

For information about these two articles, see Margaret Swanson's article from the Phelps Connections newsletters Phelps Entries in "The Great Migration Begins. Pages 72 to 1,257 of The Phelps Family of America are devoted to the descendants of William Phelps, one of the founders of Windsor, Connecticut.

For more information, see:

About George Phelps Allegedly of Tewksbury

Pages 1259 to 1557 identify some of the descendants of George Phelps. More recent research, including DNA testing of the descendants of William and George, has proven that George is not the brother of William. He also does not appear to have come on the Mary and John, but is believed to have come later, about 1635. For more information, see:

A very few pages mention a James Phelps who came to Georgia about 1765 and another James who came in 1854.

Descendants of George Phelps and the Salem Phelps were much more numerous than this genealogy indicates. For various reasons they seemed to have been drawn to the frontier where fewer records were kept.

For more information, see:

About Henry and Edward Phelps, the “Fifth Family”

Pages 1569 to 1692 identify descendants of the so-called “Fifth Family” who came to Salem, Massachusetts from London in 1634. The Phelps in this section are descendants of two supposed brothers, Henry and Edward. Edward remained in Massachusetts and had four children, two sons and two daughters who left issue. The majority of the Phelps found in eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine are descendants of this fifth family. Their religion is predominantly Baptist. Henry’s son John has the only descendants of Henry that are carried forward in the Phelps Family of America.

Henry’s Quaker wife held meetings in her home. After several fines by the Salem Court for nonattendance at meetings, Henry moved to North Carolina about 1666 and settled in Perquamins County. In North Carolina Henry had children by a second marriage to Hannah (Baskell) Phelps who had previously been the wife of his brother, Nicholas. See:

  • Gwen Boyer Bjorkmann “Hannah (Baskell) Phelps Phelps Hill: A Quaker Woman and Her Offspring,” NGS Quarterly Dec. 1987.

About Cuthbert (Cudbeard) Phelps

Most Quaker Phelps descendants are descended from this family or that of another Quaker, Cuthbert Phelps who also settled in Perquamins County. Cuthbert also called Cudbeard first came to Talbot County, Virginia in 1654.

Other Early Phelps Immigrants

Another overlooked family of early Phelps who emigrated to the South in the seventeenth century was that of Walter Phelps (ca. 1658-1719) of All Hallows Parish [Anglican], Ann Arundel County, Maryland. Walter was a rebel and was transported with his family and servants.

For the latest information on descendants of this branch of Phelps, see:

  • Robert Barnes Colonial Families of Ann Arundel County, Maryland.

Not unexpectedly a look at the occupations reported in the Phelps genealogy shows the individual entries heavily skewed to the more prosperous and educated—merchants, lawyers, doctors, clergy, prosperous farmers, elected officials and to warriors who served in either the Revolutionary War or Civil War.

A very few pages mention a James Phelps who came to Georgia about 1765 and another James who came in 1854.

Symbols Used in the Index

  • + An individual identified as a child who has an additional entry as an adult. An indented + on the next line indicates a named spouse
  • x A temporary indication that the entry in the genealogy has not been checked and details entered into the revised index.
  • [m2x], [m3x] is a temporary note indicating additional marriages but the spouses were not named on the first page.

Birth or death dates in brackets are dates added by me. These dates are not given it the genealogy.

Corrections or additions made by Oliver Seymour Phelps or Andrew T. Servin are identified by strikethrough of the incorrect information and references to citations on pages 1693-1759.

If birth and death dates are not available a birthplace or residence is given. Wives are often identified by the name of their spouse rather than their birthplace. This is especially true for the parents of wives of Phelps surnamed men. If the given names of women are the same the women are listed in alphabetical order of the husband’s surname. Married women are cross indexed under maiden and married surnames. Subsequent surnames are entered in brackets.

  • This symbol identifies a person mentioned in the appendix. Sources have not been added at this point for most of the known corrections and additions.Notes in the appendix are coded as follows:
  • (A) Additional information
  • (C) Corrections
  • (D) Discrepancies: i.e. conflicting information in Phelps
  • (Q) Questionable statements in The Phelps Family of America: i.e. when two children in a family have the same given name and the eldest child of that forename has a death date and spouse, and the second child has nothing but the later birthdate. While it is possible to have two living children with the same name it is rare and it seems more probable that the eldest child died young and the death date and spouse really belong to the younger child of that name.

Since O. S. Phelps renumbered each branch of the family in the genealogy with numbers beginning with 1. A letter distinguishing the branch of the family has been added to the three main groups.

  • [5th 5] Samuel Phelps, son of the immigrant Henry Phelps
  • [G9] Nathaniel Phelps son of the immigrant George Phelps
  • [W22] Nathaniel Phelps, son of the immigrant William Phelps

Many of the additions and corrections have been contributed by Nancy J. Pennington, 6204 S. Halifax Avenue, Edina, MN 55424-1914. These are identified by her initials (njp). We have worked closely together on the Phelps families for the past thirteen years. She has concentrated on Midwestern Phelps particularly those who settled in Wisconsin and Minnesota; the descendants of George Phelps (immigrant) and the Phelps of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Phelps Connections Newsletters Available in Libraries

The Phelps Connections served as the hub for Phelps family members across the United States. Members published research and were the source of many discoveries and new information. Copies of the Phelps Connections newsletters for the now closed family association have been deposited in the following libraries:

  • Allen County, Indiana Public Library
  • Atlanta, Georgia Public Library
  • Dallas Public Library
  • Denver Public Library
  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City
  • Los Angeles Public Library
  • National Genealogical Society
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • New York City Public Library
  • Seattle, Washington Public Library,
  • California State Library Sutro Branch (San Francisco).

Phelps Connections newsletter has been microfilmed by the Minnesota Historical Society and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.