George Phelps, the earliest ancestor I've yet found for this name, came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1635. He soon moved to Windsor, Connecticut, where he was listed as one of the first settlers of that town. His records are often confusd with those of a George Phillips, of Dorchester, Mass., but I believe I've been able to sufficiently separate these records, and present a fairly complete picture of this line for the first couple of generations.
1. George PHELPS(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) was possibly born abt 1610(1). He was in Massachusetts by 6 May, 1635, when he was made a freeman in Dorchester (now Boston), Suffolk Co.(2,4,6) About that same year, he removed "with Warham" to Windsor, Hartford Co., Conn., where he was later listed as one of the first settlers of the town.(1,2,4,6,7) In abt 1637 in Windsor, George married Philura RANDALL,(1,2,3,4) dau. of Phillip (?-poss. 1648) and -- (__) (abt 1578-1665) Randall. Philura was born abt 1617 and died 29 April 1648.(1,2,3,4,7) George married again in Windsor on 2 Nov 1648 to Frances (__) as her third husband.(1,2,3,4,7,8) Frances had first married --- CLARK, by whom she had a daughter, Mary.(2,3,4,8) She next married Thomas DEWEY (<1613-1648) on 22 Mar 1639 in Windsor. Frances had five children by this second marriage.1,2,3,4,7,8) Sometime after the birth of a son Nathaniel in Dec. 1653, George and his family moved to Westfield, Hampden Co., Mass.(1,2,6,7) His will, made in Westfield on 24 April 1683 (see copy of will below) was signed with a mark (X), and proved 6 June 1687.(6,9) George died in Westfield on 8 May 1687,(1,2,3,10) and his wife Frances died there 27 Sep 1690.(2,3,8)
By his first marriage to Phillura (Randall), George had the following children (may be others):
i. Isaac. Captain. Born 20 Aug 1638 in Windsor, Hartford Co., Conn. On 11 Mar or May 1663 or 11 May 1664 [sources give various dates] in Windsor, Capt. Isaac married Ann GAYLORD, dau. of William Gaylord. She was born in 1645 and died Sep. 1690 in Westfield, Hampden Co., Mass. Sometime after the 1670 baptism in Windsor of a daughter, Sarah, Isaac moved to Westfield, where he was made a freeman in 1671. Isaac died here on 21 Sep 1725. Isaac and Ann had 10 children.(1,2,3,6,10)
ii. Abraham. Born 22 Jan 1643 in Windsor. On 6 July 1663 in Windsor, Abraham married Mary Pinney, dau. of Humphrey Pinney and Mary HULL (?-1684). Mary, wife of Abraham, was born abt Nov 1644 and died in 1725. Abraham died 28 Jan 1728 in Windsor.(1,2,3,4)
iii. Joseph. Born 24 Jun 1647 in Windsor. May be the Joseph Phelps who married a Mary PORTER, dau. of John, on 26 June 1673 in Windsor. This Joseph and Mary had 8 children. Sources are confused about this Mary being the widow of a Thomas SALMON, and more research is needed to sort the confusion.(1,2,3)
By his second marriage to Frances (--), George had the following children:
Misc. Notes for Generation 1:
2 iv. Jacob. (1650-1689).
v. John. Born 15 Feb 1652 in Windsor and died about 1742. In abt 1673 in Windsor, he married Sarah BUCKLAND, born 1649. She was possibly the daughter of Thomas Buckland. John and Sarah had 9 children.(1,2,3,6)
vi. Nathaniel. 7 Dec 1653 in Windsor, and died Jun 1723. Nathaniel married Eunice (__) in Westfield, Mass. sometime before Oct 1678, when their first known child was born. Eunice died17 Dec 1738. Nathaniel and Eunice had 6 children.(1,2,6)
There is quite a bit of confusion in some cources regarding the identity of George Phelps and another man named George PHILLIPS. While Parsons(1)
and others often claim they were the same, and intermix their data, TGMB(4)
attempts to clear up the confusion, stating that they were in fact 2 separate men.
TGMB, quoting an article from TAG (The American Genealogist), vol. 65 (1990):161-66, notes a possible brother of George PHELPS, named William PHELPS. This William, of Crewkerne, Co. Somersetshire, England, has an extensive listing in TGMB (p. 1446). I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the relevent TAG article, so have not researched the data.
The will of George Phelps, as transcribed by David Phelps and presented at Phelps Family History in America, (a site which contains quite a bit of data on the Phelps family and possible origins in England) reads...
The last Will and Testament of George Phelps of Westfield, in Hampshire deceased &c prsented to the judge of the Perogative Corte, for Hampshire, in his Maties Territory of New England, June 6, 1687.
April: ye 24th : 1683 : The last Wil Testamt of George Phelps of Westfield, in the County of Hampshire, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Company, who being cracy of Body though yet my Memory of understanding by God's Goodness is continued : yet not knowing the tyme of my departure wch I wait for, & Desire to commit my Soule to God that gave it & my Body to christian Burial ; & Leave this as my Last Will. Concerning my wife If it shall please God to continue her after me, & concerning my children : And before I come to the disposal of my outward Estate, I desire thanke full to acknowledge ye gt and abundant Goodness of God to me in takeing care of mee & providing for me the Comforts of this life, the hopes of a better, in and through the abund t riches of his grace through Jesus Christ. And I desire to Leave this as a word of most solemn & weighty counsel to my deare children, firstly and chiefly above al things that they cleave to God, & to the Covenant of his grace wth al theire hart, with al their souls Laboring in sincerity to keep his Covenant & to walke in his waves, to observe his statutes & do ym to associate y m - selves w th them that feare God to live in Love & peace both one wth another & wth al men, that so the God of Love & peace may dwel w th them & keep them in his feare crown ym wth his blessings especially wth spiritual blessings Cht Jesus.
Concerning my Dear wife, I exhort my children to be careful & tender of her, Loveing and duty ful towards her in al things, that she want nothing that may be necessary to her comfortable subsistence, to hearken & attend to her Counsel from time to time : and I give unto my wife, all my bedding, house hold stuffe for her use & to be at her free dispose at her decease, And twenty pounds wch is due to me from Tahan Graunt of Windsor, if she need it not herselfe, to be disposed of by her to such of her relations as she shall judge have most need : And for her maintainence while she lives, I give unto my wife Two pounds fifteen shillings p Annum, to be paid by my Son Joseph Phelps of Windsor, in halfe wheate, and the other halfe Indian Corn, during her life: Also I give unto my wife six pounds per anum to be paid by my three Youngest Sons, Jacob, John & Nathaniel, each of them forty shillings, to be yearly paid during her life : further I give unto my wife the use of my Land at Windsor, wch Lyes on the east side of the great River, being Ten Rods in breadth more or less, & a quarter part of yt orchard & if these be expended & the use of yearly income be not sufficient for her comfortable maintenance, then a part of al this Land shal be disposed of as need shall be : But if the Sale of this Land be not needed for my wives necessary use whilst she lives, then after her decease wth what other Lands, now in Comon may fal to me at Windsor, I give to my Sons as followeth:
To my son Isaac a Third Part, & to my son Joseph a Third part, & the remaining third part I give to my Sons Jacob, John and Nathaniel: Also I give to my Son Abraham three pounds to be paid by my three youngest Solis, Jacob, John and Nathaniel: Also I give to my Son Jacob, four acres of the Northerly end of my home lot here my West feild, w th the house, barns & orchard upon it, only reserving one end of the house for my wife whilst she lives: And seeing lie hath al my buildings here, lie shall help his brothers John & Nathaniel, if ye build my Westfeild, each of them a month work wth his own hands, & his Team six days: And a third part of the fruit of the orchard to John, if lie live here, & a third part to Nathaniel for seven yeeres after the date here of. They maintaining each of y m a third part of the fence of the orchard: Also I give to my son Jacob a third part of my Meadow Lands my Westfield, the whole being in estimation four score acres: ffurther I give to my son John al my land on the East side of the Highway at my house, wth the Low Land by the River, for an home lot, one third part of my meadow Land in Westfield, the whole being my estimation So acres.
I give my son Nathaniel the remainder of my House Lot, being about seven acres & one third part of my Meadow in Westfeild, the whole being in estimation four score acres.
I give to my son Isaac, the best coats of my wearing apparel, & my Mare the colt I give to his son Isaac my grand child: the rest of my wearing apparel, I give to my Sons Jacob, John and Nathaneel. That this is my last wil & testament if I doe not otherwise order befor my Decease. I testify by subscribing my hand; And doe desire Ensign Lumes & my Son Isaac Phelps be over seers, & take care that my Last will be pformed to the true Intent & meaning thereof: And I doe order my three youngest Sons to se al my Just debts paid. And if anything appeare dubious, or any difficulty arise in or by the Interpreting, or understanding of my wil or anything relating thereunto, I order it may be referred to the hearing & determination of o r Reverend Pastor Mr. Taylor and Ensign Lumes, whom I impower to determine the same as they shal Judge right. That this is my Last Wil & Testament I testify by subscribing my hand the day year before mentioned.
the Marke X of George Phelps.
Subscribed in the presence of
Misc. Notes for Generation 2:
2. Jacob PHELPS (George1)(1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10,11) Born 2 May 1672 in Windsor, Hartford Co., Conn.(1,2,3,7) On 2 May 1672 in Westfield, Hampden Co., Mass., Jacob married Dorothy Ingersoll,(2,3,5,7,10,11) daughter of John INGERSOLL (abt 1615-1684) & Dorothy LORD (abt 1629-1657).(2,3,4,5,7,8,10,11,12) Dorothy was born in 1654.(2,7,12) Dorothy was mentioned in the will of her aunt Sarah, wife of Richard LORD, which was dated 2 August 1676. In this will, “Dorothy Ingershall (alias Phelps)” is granted clothing.(4) The family resided in Westfield,(2,7) where Jacob died on 6 Oct 1689.(2,3,7,10) Dorothy married again to a -- ROOT.(2,3,7)
Jacob and Dorothy had the following children:
i. Dorothy. Born 18 Oct 1673 in Westfield, where she died 2 Feb 1674.(2,7,10)
3 ii. Dorothy. (10 May 1675 in Westfield, Hampden Co., Mass. - ??). Married Edward KIBBE (2 Feb 1670-22 Aug 1756) on 13 or 30 Nov 1693 in Springfield, Hampden Co., Mass.(2,3,5,7,10,11)
iii. Hannah. Born 26 Nov 1677 in Westfield. On 18 Aug 1698 in Enfield, Hartford Co., Conn., Hannah married, as his 2nd wife, John KIBBE, son of Elisha KIBBE (1635-1735) and Rachel COOKE (1645-1740). John was born 1 Feb. 1668 and died in 1755. He had married first, on 12 Oct 1695 in Enfield, Mary BROWN (1677-?), dau. of James BROWN. Hannah and John had 7 children.(2,3,5,7,10,13)
iv. Israel. Born 3 Apr 1681 in Westfield.(2,7,10)
iv. Benjamin. Born 8 Jan 1863 or 1864 in Westfield.(2,7,10)
vi. Joseph. Born 5 Aug 1686 in Westfield.(2,5,7,10)
vii. Jedediah. Born 7 Dec 1688 in Westfield.(2,7,10)
notes that Jacob Phelps lived in Hebron, Tolland Co., Conn. No other source has mentioned this, however.