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Since February of 2009, the Phillips DNA Project has used Histats.com to collect statistics on our website, which I always find interesting and informative.  Here is a breakdown of our top 10 viewers by country over the past year, according to Histats:

USA 78.5%
UK 04.7%
Canada 03.4%
Mexico 02.3%
Autralia 02.2%
Brazil 00.7%
France 00.4%
Finland 00.4%
India 00.4%
Sweden 00.3%


Our Phillips DNA Project website has had a total of 15,315 visitors since January 2014 and 11,332 of those were new visitors.  Page views per visit equaled an average of 3.3 pages and each viewer spent an average of 3 minutes and 16 seconds on our website.

The top five referrers since January 2014 were the boards at Ancestry.com, Genforum, Family Tree DNA, the Phillips One-Name Study, and Facebook.  Referrers are the sites or domains that send traffic to our website.  We average about 74 visitors per day.

Our project has grown along with the website, too.  We now have over 750 participants and have identified 88 Phillips families that do not share a common paternal Phillips ancestor.  This is continuing proof that Phillips is a multi-origin surname.

Our Phillips DNA Project has become a great success because of all the member participation.  There are always members posting to the various genealogical message boards and mailing lists.  Many have helped make it a success by writing articles for the newsletter and sharing their experiences and successes with genetic genealogy.

Hopefully our Phillips DNA Project will continue to grow and eventually everyone will have matches and will learn where their Phillips roots originated.  This is why the project was established, and with everyone’s help, one day we will achieve our goal.


William Phillips & Christiana Barker of Newport, R.I.

By Bob Phillips, U.E., B.A., M.Div. (Phillips DNA Project, Group 11)

John O. Austin's “Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island” (1887), on page 152, (1978 ed) names the children of Michael and Barbara Phillips, mid to late 1600's, of Rhode Island as: John Phillips, William Phillips, James Phillips, Richard Phillips, Joseph Phillips, and Alice Phillips.  Austin goes on to show John Phillips married Rebecca (surname unknown); William Phillips married Christiana Barker; James Phillips married first Mary Mowry and second Elizabeth Foster; Richard Phillips married Sarah Mowry; Joseph Phillips married Elizabeth Malavery; and Alice Phillips married Joshua Clarke.  He then goes on to list children born to each of these couples, except for William Phillips and Christiana Barker.  Some researchers concluded from this listing that William and Christiana had no children. We will deal with that issue shortly.

Prior to December of 2012, the Phillips DNA Project had representative members of two groups, Group 11 and Group 36, each claiming descent from Michael and Barbara. The Y-DNA evidence said this is a genetic impossibility. Yet, citing the work of Austin, above, each believed they had a “valid claim.”  In evidence, giving preference to the claim of Group 11, is a deed by Barbara Inman, widow of Michael Phillips, dated 22 May 1689, giving land to her sons John, James, and Richard.  It does not mention either a son named Joseph, or a son named William.  In regards to a Joseph Phillips being a son of Michael and Barbara, precedence was given to the Y-DNA evidence, coupled with no contemporaneous witness, and it was conceded that this was not the case.  John O. Austin's work, given his time and resources that he had at hand, was remarkable. Yet, his conclusions had been proven incorrect.

Citing the record of the deeding of land to her Phillips sons by Barbara Inman, some have used the 1689 as the approximate year of Michael Phillips' death.  However, there is another document which puts his year of death as about 1675 or 1676.  Barbara Phillips married Edward Inman sometime prior to August 13, 1676. This is evidenced by a Francis Brinley appealing in a letter to John Whipple that Michael Phillips during his life was indebted to him and that Edward Inman having married Barbara (Phillips’ relict or widow) should pay the debt, but had not done so.

Back to William and Christiana.  What of William Phillips, who married Christiana Barker?  Austin cites no sources and attributes to them no children.  Diane Boumenot who writes a blog One Rhode Island Family suggested that I might consult an article that appeared in The Register: Jane Fletcher Fiske, the New England Historic Genealogical Society publication “The Register,” Volume 143, p. 221-233 (1989) “A Family Discovered for William and Christiana (Barker) Phillips of Newport, Rhode Island.”

In this article, Ms. Fiske cites contemporaneous sources found in the holdings of the Newport Historical Society.  Among the items cited are the papers of the William Phillips Estate, dating from the mid to late 1720's; and the Clement Weaver Bible record (Clement Weaver's wife, Elizabeth, is identified as the daughter of William and Christiana Phillips).  Ms. Fiske notes that most documents of the period were lost or damaged when a ship carrying the Newport records sank in New York Harbor in 1779.  Exactly what year’s records, which records, or for which areas of Rhode Island the records are missing is unclear.  The British controlled Newport from the Fall of 1776 until they abandoned it, moving those forces to New York in 1779.  Perhaps during the evacuation the Loyalist government officials took with them the Newport records?  Whatever the case, the cause, or the scope of the lost records, the consequences are that historians and genealogists seeking information within a period of time are challenged to seek much of what they require from other sources.

Utilizing the available sources, the William Phillips Estate records and the Clement Weaver Bible records, Ms. Fiske outlines descendants of William Phillips and Christiana (Barker) Phillips of Newport, Rhode Island, as follows.

In the Will of William Phillips of Newport are included: Richard Phillips; Henry Brightman's wife (given name not present); James Phillips; John Phillips; William's widow, Christiana, Israel Phillips; William Phillips; [Sarah or Samuel?] [Williams?]; Peter Phillips; Clement Weaver’s wife (given name not present); and Mial Phillips.  Much was difficult to read, some uncertain.  Fiske found the record of the marriage of Elizabeth Phillips to Clement Weaver in the Rhode Island Monthly Meeting of Friends, in the late Summer of 1714, citing R.I. Friends Records, MS 808, Newport Historical Society, pp. 103, 105.

The Clement Weaver Bible records are a more complex documentation to analyze, as the written family record, some of which appear to be scraps of paper stored in the same box as the family Bible, is more directly attributed to James Vaughan and Sarah Barker.  Sarah Barker is said to have been a sister of Christiana Phillips.  Most of the entries noted by Ms. Fiske appear to give birthdates for the Weaver family.  How this all relates to William and Christiana's family is unclear as Fiske shows no listing of any Phillips family members as appearing in the Bible record. The purpose of including them appears to be to establish the provenance of the materials contained in the box as a whole.

Following a lengthy discourse analyzing the Clement Weaver Bible records, Fiske returns to the William Phillips Estate papers and outlines the descendants of William and Christiana.  I will limit the descendant line to Phillips surnames as this paper only directly concerns male Phillips descendants. 

1. Unnamed daughter, wife of Henry Brightman.

2. Unnamed daughter, possibly Sarah, wife of [________] Williams.

3. Elizabeth Phillips; b. 12 Aug. 1687 m. Clement Weaver.

4. John Phillips; b. about 1690 m. (1) Alice Fish (2) Susanna [_________].  Died between 25 January 1760 and 18 February 1760.  Their children: Sarah Phillips b. about 1723 m. Nicholas Coggeshall, William Phillips b about 1725 m. Sarah [________], Thomas Phillips b. about 1727 m. unknown, and John Phillips b. about 1729 m. unknown.  By John's second wife, Susanna, a daughter, Alice b. about 1730, died 18 October 1754, unmarried.

5. James Phillips; b. about 1695 m. Hope Fish; died between 28 December 1754 and 5 July 1755.  Their children, as listed in his Will were: James Phillips, Patience (Phillips) Edy, Barbary (Phillips) Martin, and Ann Phillips.

6. Israel Phillips; b. about 1697 m. Sarah [________]

7. Michael Phillips; b. about 1699 m. Elizabeth Fairchild.

8. William Phillips; b. about 1702 m. Rebecca [________].

9. Richard Phillips; b. about 1704 m. Ann [________].

10. Peter Phillips; b. about 1706 (no marriage indicated).  Died at Newport 1763, aged 58.

Fiske uses the year that the sons were admitted as freemen in Newport to approximate their year of birth.  Generally freeman status was given when they reached the age of 21.  How the author estimated the year of birth for the daughters is not stated.  She cites several land record transactions, in which for some the name of the spouse was given. All of the named children and marriages are identified as probable, and thus may be regarded as unproven.

Using the same methodology to arrive at approximate years of birth for Michael and Barbara's sons, it appears that they were all born between 1665 and 1672.  John and William were admitted as freemen in 1696.  James and Richard appear on tax rolls at age 16 in 1688.  (The freemen and tax roll citations appear in Austin's book.)  If true, then the oldest of the sons would have been 10 years of age when their father, Michael, died; and the youngest would have been, at the most, 3 years of age.  One can also hypothesize that Michael and Barbara were likely married about 1664/5.  Further, one could also conjecture that Michael, the father, who was admitted as a freeman in 1668, was either born about 1647 or arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, about that year.

The deed of Barbara Inman, widow of Michael Phillips, dated 22 May 1689, giving land to her sons names them only as John, James, and Richard.  No contemporaneous documentation has been found to date linking a William Phillips to the family of Michael and Barbara.  Having examined the Y­-DNA evidence and the documentation found to date, Joseph Phillips, who married Elizabeth Malavery, was found to be assigned to the family of Michael and Barbara, by Austin, using the genealogical standards and procedures of his time, yet in error.  Could Austin also be wrong about William Phillips, who married Christiana Barker?

Group 11 of the Phillips DNA Project, at this time has 18 members, 6 of whom can trace their lineage back to Michael and Barbara Phillips of Rhode Island, mid to late 1600's.  Three trace back to Richard Phillips, son of Michael and Barbara, who married Sarah Mowry.  Two trace back to John Phillips, son of Michael and Barbara, who married Ruth Burdick.  One traces back to James Phillips, son of Michael and Barbara, who married Mary Mowry.  Clearly, we need more Y-DNA samples of descendants representing each of these lines, especially for John and James. And certainly we need some representatives of the William Phillips and Christiana Barker line, if they do prove to descend from Michael and Barbara Phillips.

The Family Tree DNA database for my personal matches shows 20 matches, 5 of whom were tested for only 12 markers, and 15 of whom were tested for at least 37 markers.  Of the 20 Y-DNA matches, 8 provided no information on their earliest known ancestor.  Seven of the 20 have surnames other than Phillips.  A few have self-identified as having been due to adoptions.  A few others have self-identified as being other than Phillips due to other non-paternal events.  Nancy Kiser, the volunteer administrator of our Phillips DNA Project, has observed that of those who have joined the project, submitted Y-DNA tests, and are assigned to Group 11, the markers appear to separate them into two sub-groupings, specifically in noting the value of Marker 439.

“Marker 439 is significant for several reasons.  First of all, it is a part of the first panel of markers 1 through 12, which are the most stable markers tested by FTDNA.  Second, it is the only marker that divides Group 11 into two groups, so it is what we call a branch marker.  Six men in Group 11 have the value of 11 for the marker and all the rest have the value of 10.  If you look at the chart, you will see that all the other highlighted mutations are random.  They each exist in only one member of Group 11.  This means all the other mutations are probably individual to the person who suffered the mutation.” - Nancy Kiser

I am now in the process of attempting to locate living male Phillips descendants of William Phillips and Christiana Barker.  To date, only one has been found.  There is a possibility that more will join the project and submit 37 marker Y-DNA tests.  I am hopeful.  Will the work of Austin be proven wrong once again?  Or will the Y-DNA validate Austin's assumptions?  I am also curious what documentation may yet be found in the Rhode Island Historical Society.


The following book review was written by Bobbi King and is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, copyrighted by Richard W. Eastman.  It is re-published here with the permission of Richard Eastman.  Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors

By Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom.
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 2008 reprint, (original Betterway Books, Cincinnati, 2003). 250 pages.

Emily Croom has several well-written genealogy guides under her belt. For this publication, she co-authored with Franklin Carter Smith, graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, who has researched his slave ancestry back to 1760. Their combined work has produced a well-written guide for African-American genealogy.

The authors emphasize the importance and relevance of the post-Civil War records. The 1870 census for the first time recorded names of African-Americans, and the great majority of African-Americans served in the military and naval forces after 1861.

The first chapter examines the basic principles of genealogy, always useful to re-learn, or to read for the first time. The authors move on to census research, including the mortality, agriculture, and slave schedules. The authors cite the 1870 schedule as being a particularly pivotal set of records for African-American researchers.

Successive chapters describe post Civil-War federal records, including social security records, military records, Freedmen’s Bureau records, and federal land files; state, county, and local sources; special situations; names and naming patterns; locations and locality research; and slaveholders and slaveholder documents.

The book, as expected, appears dated in its emphasis on traditional records and fewer references to Internet resources.  But it’s still thoroughly relevant.

I found the book to be refreshing. The authors challenge us to think about family movements, or non-movements as many freed persons stayed in familiar places, the social times, hidden clues in the records, and learning to think Researcher. There are case studies supplementing the instruction, always an interesting add-on in a guidebook.

This book reminded me of when I started my own research in the Old Days. The book’s de-emphasis on the Internet, gives emphasis to the records.

A reminder of what the basics still are.


Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution

by Bobby Gilmer Moss, Limestone College
Baltimore,  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1983

Extracted and submitted by Wayne Phillips, (Phillips DNA Project, Group 10)

He served in the Fifth Regiment and transferred to the First Regiment in February 1780.
N.A. 246; N.A. 853

He enlisted in the Fifth Regiment on 13 April 1776.
N.A. 853

He served in the militia under Col. Roebuck before and after the fall of Charleston.
A.A. 5920; X3673; Z245

Philips, James
He enlisted in the Second Regiment on 1 February 1779

N.A. 853

He enlisted in the Fifth Regiment on March 20 1776. He served in the militia under Colonel Winn during 1782.
A.A. 5921; Y589; N.A. 853

PHILIPS, Richard
He enlisted in the Second Regiment on 4 November 1775.
N.A. 853

He served in the militia on foot.
A.A. 5923; O82

PHILIPS, William
He served in the light dragoons under Capt. Samuel Martin, Lt. Col. Polk and Gen. Sumter.
A.A. 5925A; M560; Salley, Doc. P.90

PHILLIPS, Eleazer                          

d. November 1826
m. Martha Milliner, 13 November 1786
While residing in Christ Church Parish, he enlisted early during 1776 in the militia.  Next, he enlisted in the navy and served as a steward and purser aboard the brig Wasp under Capt. Bullfinch. He was in the capture of several prizes and the siege if Savannah. Thereafter, he enlisted in the army and was in the siege of Charleston, where he was taken prisoner. After this, he joined Gen. Marion and was in several skirmishes.

He served in the militia and provided forage for the militia use during 1781.
A.A. 5919; S205

He served in the militia during 1781.
A.A. 5920; V251

PHILLIPS, John                                          


BLWt 56570-160-55
b. 1759, Halifax County, N.C.
d. 20/23 November 1839
m. Polly Thompson, 20 September 1791
While residing in the Cheraw Hills, he enlisted under Capt. Fort and Col. Powell.  He moved to North Carolina and served in a unit there.  He was in the battle at Briar Creek.

PHILLIPS, John                              

While residing in Fairfield, he enlisted either in 1778 or 1779 under Capt. Dempsey Williams. His second tour was under Capt. Wilson and Col. Few.  His third tour began under Capt. Liles and at Orangeburg he was transferred to Capt. John McCool.  He was on numerous scouting parties under a Capt. Gray and Lt. Richard Carter.  In addition, he served under Capt. Norman Shannon

He served in the German Fusiliers of Charleston and was at the siege of Savannah.  On 14 March 1780, he was court-martialed on the charge of not joining his company at the alarm post.  He was fined ten dollars.
Yearbook, 1885; S.C.H.& G.; LIV, 144

PHILLIPS, Michijah
He served as a sergeant in the militia from 13 February to 30 June 1782.
A.A. 5922; X584

PHILLIPS, Reighney
He served in the militia before the fall of Charleston.
A.A. 5922A; T320

He served in the militia under Capt. Hampton from 20 January to 6 March 1779 and he was under Col. Roebuck after the fall of Charleston. He lost a horse during 1782 under Col. Pickens.
A.A. 5924; X1945; X3674


He first served in a Virginia unit. Thereafter he was under Colonel Maham as a cavalryman from 10 November 1781 to 10 November 1782 and was in the battle at Yorktown. (Moved to Miss.)
S.C.H.& G., V, 118; A.A. 5925

He served in the militia from August 1781 to 1 November 1782 under Gen. Marion.
A.A. 5925; X1028; X3863.

He enlisted in the First Regiment on 10 February 1778.
N.A. 853

d. 6 September 1779
He enlisted in the Second Regiment on 1 July 1779 under Capt. Adrian Proveaux.
Saffell, p. 290; A.A.5925A; N.A. 853


A.A. - Audited Accounts in the South Carolina Archives
N.A. 853 – Lists of NC and SC Troops and of Officers and Men of Continental Organizations Raised from More Than One State, 1775-1783
Saffell – Hill, William. Col. William Hill’s Memoirs of the Revolution. Edited by A.S. Salley, Jr. Columbia, SC, printed for The Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1921.
S.C.H. & G.South Carolina Historical and Genealogist Magazine