• William Phelps came to America, from Tewksbury England in Mary & John, 1630. Tradition has it that Jonathan Phelps, who settled in Perq Co N. C. was an Englishman, but no record has been found, to prove that fact, and where he came from to Perq, can not be certified by any legal papers. The Land books however give the fact that he took up 400a “in ye pre’ct of Perq, on West side of Perq River, and South side of Wilsons Creek, running down the River 116 perches,” 1684. Robert Wilson in a grant to him (same year) names the same Creek, and calls it a “branch” so it was probably a very small stream. This grant is of especial interest, from the fact that it was exactly where the town of Hertford is now located. Seth Phelps was grt “240a in Perq pre’ct, June 24, 1704,” on So side of Albemarle Sound, adj Richard Buttenshall. Cuthbert Phelps had land grt him, 300a in Perq prec’t, on So side of Albemarle Sound, adj John Jennett. (same date). Samuel Phelps took up 150a of land Feb 10, 1718, on S. W. side of Perq River adj Sarah, & Hannah Lilly. It is a well known fact that Henry Phillips lived on the “Point” and Hannah his wife m 2d John Lilly, leaving several children. Old papers in Perq, show that Jonathan Phelps held land in the same locality, and he sold to the Directors of Hertford land to build a town, called Hertford. Jonathan Phelps petitioned the Court July 1755, for “Lycence to keep an Ordinary at his now Dwelling house” which was granted. An Act of Assembly was passed the same year, for “Establishing A public Ferry, from Phelps point, to Newby’s point, whereon the Courthouse Now Stands, on Perq Rier,” and agreed to pay said Jonathan “one of said ferry men £4, and Nathan Newby the Other Ferry man,” the same, for “setting over ferry free Inhabitants of said County at Court times, Elections, Members of Assembly, Vestry men, & Musters, In said County” Security; James Sitterson, Joseph Ratcliff. Jonathan Phelps, and Nathan Newby prayed for their pay, “for Maintaining a Publick ferry, from Phelps Point to Newby’s Point” April 1759, Granted. Jonathan Phelps was dead, July 1759. (Auditors Act.) Dorothy Phelps was granted Admix on Estate of her dec’d husband Jonathan Phelps, April 1759. (Minute book Perq Co.) His Inventory was presented in Court, by Dorothea Phelps, widow, May 20, 1759. Benjamin & Dorothy Phelps Orphans of Jonathan dec’d, in Act with their Guar John Skinner, who intermarried with Dorothy, Relict of sd Jonathan Mar 13, 1761. (Auditors Act.) This Jonathan Phelps was the third in descent, from Jonathan (1) in Perq, whose will was p April 4, 1689. His children are given in Berkeley Parish Reg as follows:
  • Phelps, Jonathan (1) m Hannah — & had issue: 1 Sarah, b Jan 15, 1671—2 Elizabeth, b Apl 2, 1679—3 Jonathan, b Nov 6, 1681—4 Samuell, b Aug 6, 1684 (the first Jonathan evidently died, at what date is not given, but he had a second son) Jonathan (s of Jonathan and Hannah), b April 13, 1687. Jonathan Phelps d Feb 21, 1688/9. His will on date above, is much faded and only the son Jonathan, and wife Hannah names are legible. The son Samuel certainly survived him however many years.
  • (2) Phelps, Jonathan (2) Jonathan (1), m Elizabeth Toms (d of Francis Toms Jr, & wife Margaret Bogue), issue: 1 Henry, b Mch 5, 1724/5—2 Elizabeth, b Aug 29, 1728. His will Perq, p Jan 1732. Sons: Henry, & Jonathan, to whom he left, “my manner plantation” & second, 300a “on Perq River,” dau Elizabeth, wife Elizabeth.
  • (3) Phelps, Jonathan (3) Jonathan (2) Jonathan (1) m Dorothy Jordan (d of Matthew Jordan & wife Dorothy née Newby, of Isle of Wight Co Va) Dorothy Jordans mother, was sister of Gabriel, William, & Nathan Newby, who came to Perq from Nansemond Co Va. She m 2d John Skinner before 1761. (See Auditors Act.) Loose papers, & Minute books in Perq, state plainly Jonathan (3) and wife Dorothy had issue: Benjamin, & Dorothy.
  • (4) Phelps, Henry, (s of Jonathan (2) m Margaret Nixon (d of Zachariah) issue: Jonathan and Elizabeth, named in his will, p in Perq July 1752. These children were still under age Mar 1758, when Elizabeth chose for her Guar, Robert Newby, and Jonathan (s of Henry) made choice of Mark Newby in the same capacity.
  • (4) Phelps, Benjamin, m Sarah, & had according to his will, p in Perq, Jan 1785: Dorothy, Margaret, Sarah, & Mary Phelps.
  • (2) Phelps, Samuel (1), Jonathan (1) will p in Perq, July 1728, Sons: Jonathan, John, William, James. Ex brother Jonathan.
  • Phelps, Samuel (s of Samuel & Hannah, m Elizabeth Toms d of Francis) b Nov 17, 1706—2 John, b Jan 13, 1716/17. John Phelps was of age Jan 1739, and made petition for his Est out of the hands of Zachariah Elton on that date.
  • Phelps, William (1) Samuel (1) Jonathan (1) d. s. p. will probated April 1752. Leg: John, Harvey, & James Sitterson (cousins) William Barker, Sarah Eliot, & Samuel Sitterson.
  • Phelps, Benjamin, petitioned the Court July 1774, for leave to “keep an Ordinary at his now Dwelling house in Hertford,” Which was granted. He served as Justice of Peace in Perq Co, 1778.

Source: History of Perquimans County by Ellen Goode Rawlings Winslow, (1931).

Posted under: Early Families of Perquimans County

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