Vol. 11 – January 1978 – Nr 1
by Colonel William Philip Pipkin
The Quit Rents of Virginia, a copy of the several counties in Virginia for the year of 1704, as compiled by Annie Laurie Wright Smith in 1951, lists JOHN PIPKIN as the renter of 100 acres of land in Nansemond County.
Nansemond County, VA was first outposted as a part of the London Company in the early 1600’s, but this early outpost was not continuously occupied until 1621. Dr. Hugh Williamson, M.D., LLD in his The History of North Carolina, pub. By Thomas Dodson, PA, stated, "A small party was detached by order of Captian Smith (1621) from Jamestown to the post that had formerly been taken on the Nansemond River. From that Settlement, emigrants commenced in a short time to the waters of the Albemarle Sound, by way of Blackwater and Bennet’s Creek. Blackwater Creek is the headwaters of the Chowan River and either Blackwater or Bennetts Creek would have been the normal from Nansemond County to Chowan Precinct in North Carolina."
As of this date, we have not been able to find a passeger list that includes a Pipkin immigrating to America. Thus, we do not know if this John Pipkin was the first immigrant or not. It has been proposed that he came over as an endentured servant and at the end of his endenture period, he was given 50 acres of land for each adult member of the family. At this time, it is believed that John Pipkin was the first of our line in America.
The exact location of the 100 acres John Pipkin paid taxes on is not known. It has been proposed that it was in that part of Nansemond County that became a part of Chowan Precinct, North Carolina a few years later. Should the rent rolls have been made like a census, that is, house to house, the neighbors of John Pipkin were: John Parker, Richard Barefield, John Benton, (John Pipkin), Joseph Braddy, Christopher Dudley and Thomas Norris. The roll does not include the name of Henry Goodman who was a long time neighbor and John Pipkin. William Curry Harllee’s, Kinfolks’s, Vol. III, pg. 2337 has an article on Henry Goodman, in which it states he settled in Nansemond County as early as 1663. On 28 April 1711, he patented 256 acres of land, "Near Sarem on both sides of Peter’s Swamp in that part of Nansemond County, which later became part of Gates County, NC."
The next mention of John Pipkin is found in the Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. V, 1709-1723. On the 1st of November, 1711, John Pipkin appeared before Nathaniel Chevin, Francis Del LaMare and Johathan Jacobs, Justices of the Court, and asked that Adam Knight’s request for release from his endenture, approved at the October court, be withdrawn. John Pipkin announced he had purchased Adam Knight’s remaining period of indenture from Nicholas Crisp and Adam was to serve until the age of 30, which he was not.
John Pipkin Sr. and John Pipkin Jr. were both granted 640 acres of land in Chowan Precinct on March 1st, 1719-20. John Sr.’s grant is found in File No. 878, Book 8, pg. 212 of Chowan County File in Dep’t of State at Raleigh, N.C. It reads as follows:
"to all to whom &c know ye &c do give and grant to John Pipkin a tract of land containing 640 acres lying in Chowan Precinct beginning at a water oak nigh the head of Long Branch which said Branch comes out of Peters Swamp, then N. 55 W. 176 po. to the center of two pines and a Black Oak in Saml Merriots line then along his line N. 33 E. 40 po., then 37 E. 118 po. to a dead pine Saml Merriots corner, then the same course N. 37 E. 179 po. to a Wt Oak then N., 20 E. 80 po. to a poplar nigh a swamp then thro the said swamp S. 75 E. to a pine Henry Goodman’s corner, then along the said Goodman’s line S. 23 W. 198 po. to a pine, then S. 56 E. 118 po. to a pine by Peter’s Swamp, then down the various courses of the said Swamp to Long Branch then the various courses of Long Branch to the first station. To hold : March the 1st 1719/20: Witness &c Cha: Eden, Thos Pollock, Fre: Jones, Richd Hecklefield."
Efforts to determine the exact location of the land given to John Pipkin Sr. has met with failure, however, the general location has been determined. No existing maps show the location of Peters Swamp and none of the older maps nor any so far discovered written material note that any present swamp was formerly Peters Swamp. In 1976, Jesse Enos Pipkin Jr. traveled to Gates County, NC and to Raleigh, NC to try to determine the location of this grant.
The following map is a composite of maps that he obtained in NC. The lower half of the map is taken from the Winton, NC N3615-W7645/15 sheet of the 1908 US Department of Interior Geological Survey and shows Pipkin Place on the Chowan River. MacRae-Brazier Map, 1833 of NC shows the location of Pipkins as placed in the middle of the composite. Using data from deeds of 1714 to 1753, the indications are that Mills Swamp was south of the junction of the creeks that are Beaver Dam Creek. A deed of 19 Sep 1735 from Richard Hines to John Pipkin records the land as on the southwest side of a swamp that runs into Sarum Swamp, commonly called Millses Swamp.
It is believed that Peters Swamp was located in the area which is now called Hackley Swamp. As you would suspect, there have been many name changes in the area. The 1733 Mosely Map of NC shows Sarum Creek and Meherrin Indians in the area where Pipkin's is shown on the composite. This indicates that what is now Cole Creek was earlier called Sarum Creek, into which both now run. The present town of Buckland was called Sarum in 1711, when a Mr. Masburn conducted a school there for Indians. It was called Indian Town in 1719 when an Episcopal Chapel was established there.
John Pipkin Sr. is mentioned a number of times in early NC records following the land grant. He was a juryman in Chowan Precinct in 1723 (Vol 25, pg 186 of NC Colonial & State Records). He witnessed land transactions in 1725. The following extract of deeds are all that I have in which John Pipkin Sr. was principal:
Chowan County Deed Book W, pg. 206-207. John Pipkin Sr. to John Pipkin Jr. 17 Jan 1732. For an unspecified amount of shillings, a part of the patent granted to Charles Scott on 17 April 1694, beginning at the mouth of a branch that runs out of (Nickel) Swamp and running up the swamp to beginning of the patent line to a marked hickory, then to a number of indentified branches and trees that would not now be identifiable. Signed 17 Jan 1732 by JNO PIPKIN and witnessed by Simon Daniel, William W. Bentley and Henry Goodman.
Chowan County Deed Book W, pg. 308. Richard Hines to John Pipkin, 19 Sept 1735. For and in consideration…of thirty seven barrels of every way good merchantable tar, Richard Hines sold John Pipkin 160 acres of land that had formerly belonged to Charles Scott and by him sold to Richard Hines in April, 1695. The land began at a pine on the southwest side of a swamp that runs into SARUM SWAMP, commonly called MILLSES Swamp…Signed by Richard R. Hines and witnessed by George T. Wilde, John (X) Hinses and William Butler.
Chowan County Deed Book W, pg. 295. Joseph Braddy to John Pipkin, 2 August 1736. For one hundred pounds current money of North Carolina, 180 acres of land beginning on Peter’s Swamp, running up the swamp to the mouth of Long Branch and up said branch to Samuel Merritts line and along Merritts line to William Parkers line. Land granted to Joseph Braddy by patent on 17 March 1717. Signed Joseph (X) Brady and witnessed by Henry Bonner, Jr. and George Pully.
John Pipkin Sr. gave this 180 acres of land that he obtained from Joseph Braddy to his son, John Pipkin Jr. as his inheritance. This is borne out by a deed of 16 October 1740, from John Pipkin Jr. to Moses Hare (Chowan County Deed Book C., Pg. 79-80) in which John Jr. states that he "is lawful owner…and possessed of the same in my own proper right as a good perfect and absolute estate of Inheritance in fee simple…"
John Pipkin Sr. must have given his older sons land as their inheritance as they became of age or married. However, as of this date only one of these land transactions has been found. The deed mentioned above proves John Jr.'s inheritance has been found. The deed was found in 1977, so hopefully, we will find those of the other older brothers also.
Most importantly, John Pipkin Sr. left a will dated 21 May 1745 in Chowan County, NC. This will is recorded on pg 56, Vol XXIV of NC Wills, 1663-1789. The will reads:
In the name of God Amen, May the twenty first day 1745, I, John Pipkin of Chowan County in North Carolina being sick and weak but of sound mind and perfect memory, praise be to Almighty God for it, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say first and principally commending my soul into the hands of almighty God hoping through the meritorious death and (illegible word) of my Savior Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my sins and to inherit everlasting life and my body committed to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter named and as touching all such temporal estate as it has pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me, I give and dispose thereof as . . . First my will is that all my just debts and funeral charges be honestly paid and discharged.
IMPRIMIS - I give and bequeath to my son Phillip Pipkin my plantation where I now live to him and his heirs forever and in case he dies before he comes to age to go to my son Joseph Pipkin and as far as my land marked by a line of marked trees joining to my plantation I give and bequeath to my two sons Lewis and Isaac Pipkin being part of the survey of land I now live upon southward, I give to my son Lewis Pipkin and the west part to my son Isaac Pipkin. I give to them and their heirs forever.
ITEM: I give and bequeath to my son Daniel Pipkin a peace of land upon Milly Swamp being part of the tract that his brother John Pipkin did formerly live upon, I give to him and his heirs forever and in case that either of the three, Daniell Pipkin, Lewis Pipkin, or Isaac Pipkin should dye then the said land to fall to the brother in corse.
ITEM: I give to my son Joseph Pipkin a negro boy called Jack and my riding horse and bridle and saddle.
ITEM: I give to my son Daniel Pipkin two leather chairs, two pewter dishes and three pewter plates and two cows and a calf and a young steer about two or three years old and two sheep.
ITEM: I give to my son Isaac Pipkin a negro boy called Rollin.
ITEM: I give to my son Steward Pipkin a feather bed and furniture belonging to it (looks like "and bigest ovall table") and two pewter dishes and three plates and one iron pot, two cows and calves and young of two or three years old and two sheep.
ITEM: I give to my son Jesse Pipkin a negro girl called Dorety.
ITEM: I give to my daughter Mary Pipkin a negro girl called Dina.
ITEM: I give and bequeath to my younger daughter Martha Pipkin a feather bed and furniture and least ovall table, two pewter dishes and three plates one iron pot two cows and calves and a young steer and two sheep and also I give to my son Phillip Pipkin a bed and furniture and young heifer and a steer about three three years old and if in case any of my children herein mentioned should die before they come to age then their part be given whatever it be Negro, or household stuff or cattle to be equally divided amongst the rest herein mentioned.
ITEM: I give to my son Phillip Pipkin a bed and furniture and young heand (?) a steer about three years old and if in case any of my children herein mentioned should die before they come to age then their part be given whatever it be negro, or household stuff or cattle to be equally divided amongst the rest herein mentioned.
ITEM: I give to my loving wife Martha Pipkin a negro woman named Hannah and her increase from the date hereof and my negro man Ned and all the remaining part of my estate goods, chattels during her natural life or widowhood and then to be equally divided amongst my children herein mentioned and LASTLY I appoint and nominate my loving wife Martha Pipkin and my son Joseph Pipkin to be my Executors of this my last will and testament utterly revoking all other will or wills that hath been made by me heretofore in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal.
in presence of us
Henry Goodman Sr John (his x mark) Pipkin
Henry Goodman Jr
Proved in his Majesty's Court of Chowan County, North Carolina July 18, 1745 with Martha Pipkin and Joseph Pipkin issued letters of Administration.
Test Edmund Hatch Cler Cor
This will was probated in December, 1745
Minutes of The County Court of Chowan County, N.C. Dep’t of Archives and History, Raleigh, N.C. December term, 1745. "The last will & Testament of John Pipkin deceased was exhibited into Court by Martha Pipkin and was duly proved in open court by the oath of Henry Goodman, Sen., and at the same time the said Martha Pipkin and Joseph Pipkin, Ex’x and Ex’r, qualified as Ex’x and Ex’r, thereto by taking oath by law appointed to by taken by Executors."
Unfortunately, there appears to be no extant records that give the exact ages or year of birth of the children of John Pipkin Sr. The will is specific that Phillip is not of age and that Martha was the youngest daughter, and that others were not of age, but nothing that you could use to determine dates.
Assuming that John of 1704 is the same John of the Land Grant of 1719/20 and that he is the one who left the will in 1745, there are certain things that can be deduced from available data. First, the surviving widow, Martha may have been a second wife. This assumption is made due to the language of the will, "..to be equally divided amongst my children...". Not our children, but my children; and also due to the apparent differences in ages of the children.
John Jr. received a land grant in 1719/20 and must have been at least 16 years of age or born after 1730. While it is not possible for Martha to be mother to both Philip and John Jr. is not probable.
Jesse Enos Pipkin Sr. (1875-1966) son of John Humphrey Pipkin left in his notes on the early family that he believed the first wife of John Pipkin of the will, was a Steward. There were a number of Steward families in that part of Virginia and NC. The widow, Martha has been proposed to be a Goodman due to the apparent closeness of the two families, but this could have been due to the inter-marriages of the children rather than John Sr. But this is a possibility.
The assumption is also made that those who did not receive land were already of age and had received their share of the estate as they reached the age of maturity. This group includes John Jr., Steward, Mary and Jesse. A suggested sequence for the children of John Pipkin Sr. are:
1. John Pipkin Jr. was undoubtedly the oldest male of the family. Considering he received a grant of land in 1719/20 and that he was already married by Feb. 1730, you could place his year of birth c. 1703, which would have made him born in Nansemond County Virginia.
2. Joseph Pipkin was probably the second oldest male, due to his being appointed executor of the estate. The will did not provide him any land, but on a contingency basis in the event his younger brother Phillip died before coming of age. Joseph had children born prior to 1751, which would indicate he was born prior to 1724 and very probably earlier than 1720.
3. Steward Pipkin was probably the third oldest son. This is based of the fact he was not given land, not even on a contingency basis. That he was given household goods would indicate he was not married and living at home. He was married prior to December 1755 and would have been born prior to 1728.
4. Mary Pipkin is a puzzle. From the lack of receiving any household goods it would appear she was already married, on the other hand if she was married her father would have used her married name. She was considered of age. Henry Goodman Jr. left a will dated 31 Mar 1817 (pg 49, Vol 2, NC Historical and Genealogical Register) in which he names his sons William, Dempsey and daughter Martha, their mother Lucretia Goodman and my children by Mary Pipkin, first wife, viz: William Pipkin and Penelope Parker. Henry also named a great grand-daughter so this could be this Mary Pipkin.
5. Jesse Pipkin was probably an older son and did not receive any land or household goods. He was probably born prior to 1724, although some researchers in his line believe he was born as late as 1737-40.
6. Lewis Pipkin was probably of age but not married and living at home at the time of the will. He later moved to Dobbs County and was the Captain Lewis Pipkin of the NC Militia who is listed as having died in the March 1761 roster.
7. Daniel Pipkin was not married at the time of the will and may have been of age. He moved to Pitt County, NC where he was in the tax list of 1762.
8. Isaac Pipkin was not married at the time of the will but was probably of age. He was given a part of the homestead and remainded in the Chowan District even after it became Gates County, NC.
9. Martha Pipkin the youngest daughter, unmarried and was living at home. No other information concerning Martha.
10. Phillip Pipkin was the youngest son, unmarried and was given the family homestead where he probably lived until his mother died. He was in Pitt County, NC in 1775.