Philips Family History

Revolutionary War Captain David Philips

The second generation of my American ancestors, resided in South Park Township, Pennsylvania. David Phillips was born in Wales in 1742 and migrated with his fathers family to Chester County, PA in 1755. He is the son of Joseph Phillips, our first American Ancestor (A1).

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 1.24.09 PMAmerican Immigrant Generation II – REV. DAVID PHILIPS

“The Reverend/Captain David Philips was emphatically the leading clergyman of the pioneer days of Peters Township (now South Park Township, PA). He was born in Wales in 1742, and emigrated from that country to America with his father’s family, settling in Chester County, PA. He married during his residence at that place, and in 1783 came into Washington county and took out a warrant for land which now lies in both Allegheny and Washington Counties. This tract of land was surveyed to him as 390 acres, under the title of ‘Norwich’, and he obtained the patent for it March 4, 1786.”

“This quotation from the History of Washington County, PA., (1882), page 891, gives an insight into the life of service of that great pioneer Baptist preacher, David Philips, eldest son of Joseph.”

“Following his years of heroic service in the war (The American Revolution), David Philips accepted the Macedonian call to what was then the American frontier, in Washington County, southwestern Pennsylvania. He was ordained by the Peters Creek Baptist Church in his new home, and was immediately called to the pastorate thereof. At the same time he supplied the Finleyville, Elizabethton and Budd’s Ferry Churches.”

“The Rev. David dedicated a portion of his land to the Peters Creek Church, and assisted in the erection of a roomy log Churchhouse. This structure served the congregation throughout his ministry, and was replaced with a brick building in 1832. The Peters Creek Churchhouse stands today on the land which David Philips donated and dedicated to it a century and a half ago.”

Join the fight for liberty and independence?

“All four were active in organizing the Seventh Battalion, Chester County Militia. David Philips was Captain of Company 2, and Josiah a 2nd Lieutenant. All four brothers distinguished themselves for bravery. Joseph Jr. was an Ensign in the same battalion. Josiah was an associator and acted as scout when the army was at Valley Forge. John Philips was taken captive in New Jersey and in confinement in a prison ship at New York, where he was ministered to by his devoted wife.”

“It is recorded in the D.A.R. Lineage Books that the four brothers raised the company and distinguished themselves with bravery and heroic suffering.”

‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935

Two of David’s sons John and Benjamin, migrated to Tennessee in 1797* The Phillips name changed to two “L” after that migration.

*Page 9 – ‘The Phillips Family History’ 

Recommended Reading:

Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration From Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants … Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn.

David Phillips

David Phillips Cemetery:

Bass Road, Cherry Valley, Tennessee (private property)

David Phillips, son of John and Mary Phillips, was born in Washington, County Pennsylvania December 11, 1794. Migrated to Tennessee at the age of three with his parents. He is our 4th American generation (A4) and the second David Phillips of that line.

Married Mary “Polly” Waters December 14th, 1820. She was the daughter of Shelah Waters, whom the city of Watertown is named.

Died: September 30, 1846 buried in the Phillips Cemetery on Hale Road (one of 3).

“David was a soldier in the War of 1812*, family lore says he fought with Gen. Andrew Jackson at New Orleans. The War of 1812’ files in the Tennessee State Library at Nashville show that there were 138 soldiers by the name of Phillips in the war and six of these were named David. One was a corporal under Colonel Benton, one was a corporal under Captain Gibbs, The three were privates under Colonel Lowry, Colonel Coffee and Captain McKee, and one was a drummer under Major Woodfolk.”

‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935

Pension records list David as a Private.

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The site of the War of 1812 soldier David Phillips Sr. is located on Bass Road in Watertown, Tennessee. His son Lt. David Phillips (CSA) is also buried there. There are also several U.S.C.T. headstones.

David’s N.S. U.S.D. marker is incorrectly located at his fathers cemetery on Hale Road a few miles away.

360º Virtual Tour

Recommended Reading:

Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration From Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants … Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn.

#warof1812

*History of Tennessee (1886), page 1112

Rev. John Phillips

The Mystery of John Phillips Death

(23 October 1821- 15 April 1862) 41 years

John Phillips: eldest son of David Phillips (1794-1846), he is the 5th generation of American ancestors (A5), and the second John of that line. He was my Great-Great Grandfather.

“John Phillips was born on his father’s farm near Cherry Valley, Tennessee, October 23, 1821, and married Miss Rebecca Williams December 5, 1845. He joined the Round Lick Baptist church in young manhood, and on the fourth Sunday in April, 1848, was ordained a Baptist minister. Going into the work actively from the very beginning, he held pastorates at Barton’s Creek, Cedar Creek and Providence, and in June, 1852, was called as pastor of the Fall Creek Baptist church at what is now Norene, Tennessee, which position he held until his death. He also did wide evangelistic work.* John was administrator of his father David’s estate. In addition to his activities as a minister, he owned and operated a 284-acre farm in the 18th district of Wilson County. He had eight children: Mary Ann Frances, William Anderson, Margaret America, Julius Wilson, Martha Jane Howard, John Houston, J. R. Graves and Sarah Rosetta. John Phillips died prematurely and unexpectedly.”

*Grime’s History of Middle Tennessee Baptists, pages 249-250

Letter from John’s brother who was fighting in Virginia with the 7th Tennessee (CSA):

“Thus have I seen one of my fondest earthly hopes decay.”

“December 4th [1861]. Got a letter from John [brother]  from which I learned he was about to volunteer.”

“May 10th [1862]. The events that have transpired since the first have been too extensive and important to attempt to record them here . I will have to leave them to memory to keep. Much of toil, weary marching, sleepless nights and hard fighting has fallen to the lot of this army since it left Yorktown. By the Gracious Providence of God I am here sound and unhurt. While I am preserved from the dangers of camps and the battlefields , sad news comes to me from home. Intelligence has come to me that I have lost a dear, much-beloved brother [John]. Oh, how distressingly sad it is to be so completely cut off from home that I cannot know only perchance whether loved ones there live and are well or laid low by disease and death . Fondly had I cherished hope that I would meet that beloved brother again, but death hath separated us. Thus have I seen one of my fondest earthly hopes decay. The next stroke may remove me from those who will be left behind . Yet how consoling it is to think of meeting him in Heaven. There we shall know no separation. It is the sacred hope of meeting my friends in Heaven if not on earth that animates my soul and nerves my arm to withstand the temptations of life around me, endure the afflictions of the soldier and willingly risk my life on the battlefield. This life is full of desperations and dangers, full of sorrow and grief, but in the next oh how happy all shall be who while here love God and keep His commandments!”

‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat 1935

rev-phillips-2Most Phillips men lived way past the average mortality rate (about 44 years in 1860). A previous ancestor reached 101. The Phillips clan also had a very high percentage of their children reach adulthood, also very rare for the times. The odds of Rev. John Phillips dying of natural cause in April 1862 at age 40, is rather low.

  • Joesph Phillips (A1) – age 101
  • Reverend David Phillips (A2) – age 87
  • John Phillips (A3) – age 84

Rev. John died on Tuesday April 15th, 1862, seven days after the epic Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862). Corinth, Mississippi (retreating point of the Confederate Army) would have probably taken seven days by horseback to Watertown, Tennessee (205 miles via the Florence, Alabama Tennessee River crossing point @ 30 miles per day).

Killing Pro Confederate Preachers? Coincidence? We will probably never know.

Bob Henderson (GGGrandson)

Location of Rev. John Phillips grave in Norene, Tennessee: 485 Cherry Hill Lane, Lebanon, TN 37090

Recommended Reading:

Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration From Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants … Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn.

Phillip Family Genesis in Tennessee:

John Phillips A3 (1768-1846)

349 Hale Road • Watertown, TN 37184

One of the first settlers in Watertown, Tennessee (then known as Round Lick, also know as Three Forks) was John Phillips. John Phillips (1768-1846) is our GGGGGF.  John is the son of Reverend/Captain David Phillips (A2). He is the third generation (A3) of America ancestors, and the first born “Phillips” in the United States.

Other family names at this site, include Oakley and Bass. Earliest burial I could find was 1840.

The John Phillips Log Cabin circa 1802?

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This rare two-story hewn timber log cabin may be one of the oldest in Wilson County, Tennessee. It was to home of John Phillips and was occupied by several generations. The property was deeded in 1801.

Old log cabins can be dated to a very specific point in time:

Dendrochronology (or tree-ring dating) is the scientific method of dating tree rings (also called growth rings) to the exact year they were formed in order to analyze atmospheric conditions during different periods in history.

John’s father, Rev. David Phillips (one of several by that name), was a Revolutionary War veteran. Could this be his land grant?

John’s son David (A4) was a War of 1812 Veteran.

Normally cut timbers would be cured for 12-24 months, which potentially dates the cabin to 1802 or 1803. The core cabin’s exterior measures 24′ wide, 19′ deep, 13′ to 16′ tall.

“The settlers followed the West fork of the creek until they came to a big spring in the canebrake, and it was there that they made their final halt. John Philips built his home only a short distance from the spring. The farm where John Philips settled is known among the old folks around Watertown as the Henry Bass place. It is now owned by Mrs. Annie Patton, widow of Cecil Patton. The log house which John erected still stands, but has been covered with weatherboarding, and other rooms have been added to the original dwelling”

‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935

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We found this by shear luck. It turns out, the property owner is a friend of my brother Blake Henderson.

Recommended Reading:

Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration From Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants … Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn.