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Identity and Family of William Phelps of Tewkesbury, England

Research Proves He is Not the Emigrant to Dorchester

Phelps and Servin erroneously concluded, based on nothing more than an approximate birth date, that William and George Phelps of Dorchester and Windsor were brothers from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England.

Myrtle S. Hyde resolved the issue in an article in The American Genealogist (1990;65:161-166). This was also substantiated in The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, (available in hardbound or CD-ROM) by Robert Charles Anderson,

More recently, genetic research has completely proven that William Phelps and George Phelps are not related, though they may have both originated in Crewkerne, England. Therefore, the following information for William Phelps in Tewkesbury is for informational purposes only. Strikethrough is used to indicate facts that have since been disproven.


Excerpted 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)

Descendants of James Phelps and Joan

James Phelps, b. about 1520, m. Joan. He was thought to have been a half-brother of Francis Phylppe of Nether Tyne, Checkley, Staffordshire, England, 60 miles from Tewkesbury. "Says Prerogative Court of Canterbury, administrations 1587-1591, page 60. May 10th, 1588, commission issued to Joan Phelps, relict of James Phelps, late of Tewkesbury, deceased, to administer the goods and chattels of said deceased. He was possibly the son of Richard Phllyppe of Nether Teyne. Eight children were baptised in Tewkesbury."

Children baptized in the Tewkesbury Abbey Church:

  • William, bapt. 4th Aug., 1560, m. Dorothy.
  • Thomas, bapt. l0th Aug., 1563.
  • George, (or Giles) bapt. 5th Sept., 1566. (In court and other records George and Giles are the same.)
  • Alice, bapt. 24th Dec., 1572, m. John
  • Hope, June 21, 1595. Edward, bapt. 10th May, 1578, ancest. of Rev. Wm. Phelps Prior.
  • Keneline, bapt. 16th Oct., 1580 (prob. Kenelm.)
  • Richard, bapt. 16th Oct., 1583.
  • Robert, bapt. 18th July, 1584.

From the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (administrations 1611, 04, page 102):

"May 31, 1613, commission issued to Nicholas Phelps, brother of William Phelps, late of Tewkesbury, deceased, to administer the goods and chattels of the said deceased, during the minority of William Phelps, his son, by reason of the death of Dorothy Phelps, relict of the said William Phelps, deceased, leaving goods still unadministered."

"From this it appears that James and Joan Phelps had a son Nicholas, not baptized, or at least not recorded in the baptisms, probably accounted for by loss of lines in register."

Descendants of William Phelps and Dorothy

William Phelps, son of James and Joan Phelps (above), b. Tewkesbury, baptized 4th Aug., 1560, m. Dorothy (?).

"William Phelps was Baliff in Tewkesbury in 1607. Says Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Sept. 28th, 1611, administrations 1611 to 1614: "Commissioned to Dorothy Phelps, relict of William Phelps, late of Tewkesbury, deceased, to administer the goods and chattles of the said deceased." He probably died 1611. His wife, Dorothy, died 1613. They had been baptized in the Tewkesbury Abbey Church."

Children of William Phelps & Dorothy:

  1. Marie bpt. 23 Apr. 1508, Tewkesbury.
  2. Thomas bpt. 24 Jan. 1590, Tewkesbury. Two children. One son, John Phelps, during Charles I was sentenced to be "degraded and then taken to be drawn from the Tower to Tribune end imprisoned for life", but he fled to Switzerland and died in exile.
  3. Dorothy bpt. 29 Feb. 1595, Tewkesbury.
  4. William bpt. 19 Aug. 1599, Tewkesbury. (Phelps and Servin mistakenly believed that this William emigrated to Dorchester.)
  5. James bpt. 14 July 1601, Tewkesbury.
  6. Elizabeth bpt. 9 May 1603, Tewkesbury.
  7. George. There is no record of him in Tewkesbury.

Children of William Phelps & Elizabeth _____(1) (Phelps and Servin p. 95)

  1. Richard Phelps bpt. 26 Dec. 1619, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England. He possibly died in England. There was a Richard Phelps on the Mary & John in 1630, but it is unknown if he was the one bpt. in 1619, or another, bpt, 26 Dec. 1609. in Tewkesbury, probably the brother of William & George. This Richard had a house in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1633 and he left for Barbados on 2 May 1635, Nothing more is known about him. If this was the Richard bpt. in 1619, he would have been only 14 in 1633 and 16 in 1635.
  2. William Phelps Jr. born after 1520, England. m. (1) Isabel Wilson, June 1645 (1616-1674) pod. a sister of Robert Wilson of Windsor. m. (2) Sarah Pinney, 20 Dec. 1676, Windsor (b, 1648) dau. of Humphrey & Mary Hull (Finny 4). William d. 7 Feb. 1681, Windsor. The Phelps Gen. p. 87 says his first wife was prob. on the Mary & John in 1630, but no supporting evidence has been found. No children.
  3. Sarah Phelps b. a. 1623, England. m. William Wade of Middletown, Connecticut. She d. 10 July 1650. No children.
  4. Samuel Phelps b. a. 1623, England. m. Sarah Griswold, 10 Nov. 1650, Windsor, dau. of Edward Griswold (emigrant) of Kenilworth. England. She m. (2) Nathaniel Pinney. 1670 (Pinney 2). Samuel d. 15 May 1669, Windsor.

    Children of Samuel Phelps 6 Sarah Griswold (Phelps and Servin p. 89)
    1. Lt. Samuel Phelps Jr. b. 5 Sept. 1652, Windsor. m. Abigail Williams, 21 June 1675 (b. 1658) dau. of John Williams & Mary Burley. Samuel d. 21 Oct. 1741, No children.
    2. Sarah Phelps b. 16 Mar, 1653, Windsor m. Andrew Moore of Simsbury, 15 Feb. 1671. Moved to Poquonock. Phelps Gen. p. 98 & Windsor, p. 506 agree an the children (1672-1698), but Windsor p. 465 says she m. (2) John Mansfield, 13 Dec, 1683 and had four children (1684-1689). The following assumes the Mansfield marriage is wrong because her later children were named Moore.

      Children of Sarah Phelps & Andrew Moors (Windsor-506)
      1. Sarah Moore b. 16 Dec. 1672, Windsor.
      2. Andrew Moore Jr. b. 15 Feb. 1674, Windsor.
      3. Deborah Moore b. 31 Feb. 1677, Windsor, m. Samuel Forward Jr., a. 1700 (1671-1738) s. of Samuel Forward & Anne. She d. 27 Aug. 1734, Belchertown, Massachusetts. res: Simsbury, Connecticut & Belchertown, Massachusetts.

        Children of Deborah Moore & Samuel Forward Jr. (Phelps and Servin p. 115)
        1. Samuel Forward III b. 20 Aug. 1703, Simsbury. d. 29 July 1762, unmarr.
        2. Ens. James (or Joseph) Forward b. 10 Nov. 1707, Simsbury. d. 22 May 1766. res: Suffield & Simsbury, Connecticut. Tanner & saddler.
        3. Abel Forward b. 4 Nov. 1710, Belchertown, Massachusetts m. Hannah Phelps (b. 1717) dau. of Joseph Phelps & Rebecca North. Windsor p. 271 says she was dau. of Ezekiel Phelps (prob. an error). Ten, children (1737-1758). (Phelps and Servin p. 194)
        4. Deborah Forward b. 6 Apr. 1713, Belchertown, Massachusetts m. Winchell. (See Winchell Can. V. 484). She d. 2 Aug. 1730.
        5. Rachel Forward b. 3 Apr. 1715, Belchertown.
        6. John Forward b. 29 Apr. 1717, Belchertown. d. 24 Apr. 1738.
      4. Jonathan Moore b. 26 Feb. 1679, Windsor,
      5. Abigail Moore b. 12 Sept. 1682, Windsor.
      6. Rachel Moore b. 6 Feb. 1690, Windsor. Prob, m. Timothy Phelps (h. 1671) s. of Joseph Phelps & Hannah Newton, Six children (1708-1724). (Phelps and Servin p. 107)
      7. Benjamin Moore b. 5 Dec. 1693, Windsor. m. Eunice Phelps, who d. 23 Feb. 1732, age 44, dau, of Nathaniel Phelps & Eunice (G. Phelps 9.5). res: Simsbury 6 Windsor, 1730. Six children (1717-1732), (Phelps and Servin p. 1295)
      8. Amos Moore b. 10 Oct. 1698, Windsor. m. Martha Owen, 21 May 1720 (b. 1698) dau. of Obadiah Owen & Christina Winchell (NER 83:43)

        Children of Amos Moore 6 Martha Owen (Windsor-506)
        1. Amos Moore Jr. b. 21 Jan. 1720, Windsor.
        2. Nahum Moore bpt. 2 Sept. 1739, Turkey Hills.