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The Origins of George Phelps

Considerable effort has gone into attempting to identify the true origins of George Phelps. Two articles of interest are cited here, one by John Plummer who wrote the article "Researching George P-?- of the Ship Recovery" from National Genealogical Society Quarterly, quoted below. The second was written by Margaret Swanson for the Phelps Connections newsletter, who reviews Myrtle Steven Hyde's article in The American Genealogist, Vol. 58 (Oct. 1982)

From the National Genealogical Society Quarterly

Identifying George P[?] of the Recovery, 1633 or 1634

By (1) John Plummer, transcribed by David Phelps

Here is some additional information for those of you researching the English ancestors of the Phelps family. Of particular interest is George Phelps who in Phelps & Servin's Phelps Family in America was supposedly on the Mary & John in 1630 with his "assumed" brother William.

The following article does not prove or disprove the relationship but does propose that George Phelps arrived on the Recovery of London in 1635 instead of the Mary & John. This evidence also supports the theory that George Phelps was from the Crewkerne area and not Tewkesbury.

Additional research using DNA analysis of their respective descendants has proven that George Phelps and William Phelps of Dorchester and later Windsor were not related. -Ed.

The following pages are from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 77, December 1989, Number 4, pages 249-255.

ByDavid Phelps Phelps Family Research
304 Bridlewood North, Colleyville, Texas 76034

From the Phelps Connections

Phelps Entries in The Great Migration Begins

By Margaret P. Swanson2

Many Phelps researchers have relied on the book The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors as the basis for concluding that their original ancestor in England was either William or George Phelps of Tewkesbury. While a valuable research tool, the book is wrong about the origin of William and George.

In The American Genealogist, Vol. 58 (Oct. 1982), Myrtle Steven Hyde questions the Phelps genealogy authors' claim that the emigrants William and George Phelps, came from Tewkesbury.... Of special note is the omission of George Phelps as an immigrant on the Mary and John. Two George Phillips are identified as immigrating before 1633. The first was George Phillips, minister, from Boxted, Essex, who migrated in 1630 to Watertown...

The second is George Phillips, origins unknown, who migrated to Dorchester in 1632 and subsequently went to Windsor in 1635. This George was born by 1592 (estimated birth date based on the age of his wife) and died at Windsor, 9 Jul 1678. He had no children. Anderson comments that the earliest record that can be assigned to George Phelps with confidence is dated 6 May 1635 when he was admitted a freeman in Dorchester.

Anderson also states that the town clerks in both Dorchester and Windsor seem to have been quite precise in distinguishing between George Phillips and George Phelps, and in no instance in those two towns has a record been noted Phelps was called Phillips or vice versa. Anderson also mentions that there may have been a relationship between William Phelps and George Phelps, but that it remains unestablished.

^ 1 By John Plummer, 148 Grand Street, Apartment 34; Waterbury, CT 06702. Mr. Plummer has conducted genealogical research in England and Scotland, as well as the United States, and has made extensive studies of historic buildings. He holds a B.A. in history from New England College.

^ 2 By Margaret P. Swanson "Phelps Entries in The Great Migration Begins," Phelps Connections newsletter. Volume 6, No. 1, Winter 1997, Page 409. Margaret Phelps Swanson is co-founder with Nancy Pennington of the Phelps Connections, the former family genealogy association, no longer in operation. Permission is granted to copy or reproduce information in "Phelps Connection" by any means with the following restriction:

  1. All sources must be fully acknowledged.
  2. Reproductions from this issue not to be sold for profit.
  3. If any article is reprinted or edited, please send a copy before publication to either PC Newsletter Editor or PC Genealogist for proofreading. Also send a copy of article after it is published to the same PC officer.
  4. A copy of these restrictions accompany each article copied.