PIPKIN FAMILY ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
Vol. 11 – January 1978 – Nr 1
THE PIPKIN FAMILY IN AMERICA
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Map of Gates County, NC [formerly Chowan County]