The Phillips Families
"This is a brief
history of just one family of Loyalists who settled in Ontario after the "American
Revolution". Not a prominent family, not well known, but they are mine
(and ours). Records and information on the family have not been easily found,
especially during the early Ontario period, where records are scant. It is not
certain from where the family first arrived in America, but suspicion directs us to
The previous paragraph, other notes and family information was obtained from the booklet on the Phillips Family by Arthur Richard Phillips, Agincourt, Ontario which is available at the Belleville Library. It was this booklet and an outline of information from Goldie and Blanche Phillips that started my research into the Phillips family. Unfortunately Goldie and Blanche died as the result of an automobile collision while they were researching in Owosso, Michigan in 1993 and their outline sources are no longer available.
I am also indebted to Linda Prince Smith of Wainfleet, ON for the wealth of information that I received from her. I would also like to thank Bob Phillips of Columbus OH, Sharon Burnett of Bancroft, ON and Wendy Schultz of Calgary AB for their assistance.
Armed with all this information I started down the genealogy trail and I have successfully traced the family to William Phillips of Massachusetts and I have documented all of the sources.
William Phillips was born 1588 in England. He was one of
the first purchasers in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1637 or 1638. Taunton, (once
called Cohannet), was bought from Massasoit, a friendly Indian Chief. William was a
surveyor in 1653 and his name is listed as one of those "who had taken up freedom in
1648". He died c1654 and his will dated 16 April 1654
said that he was then 3 score and ten (70) at the least. William married
Elizabeth Parker and their son James was born c1628.
James married Mary Richmond and had at least six children. He was one of the original purchasers of Taunton, MA, North Purchase in 1668. He was killed by Indians in 1676 during the King Philips War. His sons James, Seth and some of the other children were mentioned in the Letters of Administaration for his Will. In the Record Book, Town Records, Taunton, MA, I found a list of the children of James Phillips and one of those children was Seth Phillips who was born August 14, 1671. Seth married Abigail Unknown. I was not able to locate their marriage but I did find a record for the birth of their son Elisha in the Record Book, Town Records, Little Compton, RI, Page 12.
Elisha married Innocent Butts in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island on September 30, 1736. Their marriage can be found in the Record Book, Town Records, Little Compton, RI, Page 41. Their son John was born May 28, 1737 in New Milford, Connecticut.
John married Ann Burden on November 18, 1757. Their marriage was found in the Records of Marriages for the Congregational Church, Town of New Milford, Litchfield County, CT, Vol A 1716-1805, Page 29. The record of the baptisms for their sons Elisha and Ziba can be found in the Church Records, Society of Friends, Oblong Monthly Meetings 1745-1783, Page 191.
When the American Revolution commenced, John Phillips and his family were living near Kingsborough, NY. In the National Archives of Canada, Microfilm B2188 #120 the Memorial of John Phillips states that he is formerly of Kingsborough in Charlotte County in Province of New York and now residing near St. John's in the Province of Canada. He joined under General Burgoyne in June 1777. On 02 Oct 1777 his farm was seized by rebels and he came to Canada and joined Major Rogers as a soldier. He stated that he has a wife and 11 children and four of his sons also served as soldiers in the Royal Army. (They would be Elisha, Ziba, Seth and Almon). After the troops disbanded at St. John's, Quebec, John Phillips and his family settled in the Missisquoi Bay area against Governor Haldimand's wishes. This area was intended to be settled by French Canadians. Although many Loyalists did settle there, it is predominantly French today. Elisha drew lots in Fredericksburgh, Ontario and settled there. Ziba Marcus settled in Augusta Township, Grenville County and Seth stayed in the Missisquoi area at Caldwell Manor
Elisha married Elizabeth Bell in Fredericksburgh, ON. I was not able to find a record of their marriage but the obituary of Elizabeth can be found in the book, More Notices From Methodist Papers 1830 - 1857, by Rev Donald A. McKenzie, published by Hunterdon House, Lambertville, NJ in 1986. The notice is recorded on page 334: "Phillips, Mrs. Elizabeth - Elizabeth Bell, relict of the late Captain Phillips, was born in Scotland, and came to Canada with her parents who were amongst the first settlers in the Midland District. She and her sister, the late Mrs. Sills, united with the first Methodist class formed in Upper Canada. Her marriage to Captain Phillips began and ended in Fredericksburg. (Elisha Phillips was a Captain in the Lennox Militia during the War of 1812). Soon after his death, she moved to Thurlow. She died at the house of her son, George Phillips, in Thurlow Township, Feb 8, 1857, in her 89th year". (Reference is also made to a nephew, Rev. W. Sills). The article was dated Feb 25, 1857.
The Phillips descendants then spread to Prince Edward, Hastings and Northumberland Counties while others went to York County, the United States and Western Canada.
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