Sometimes research turns up such conflicting information that it is difficult to know what is right and what is not. The following death notice appeared in the Tuesday, 2 Jan 1854 issue of the Paducah Daily Democrat:
“Died. In Crittenden county, Ky., on the 27th Nov., 1853, Mr. George H. Phillips, aged 52 years. The deceased was a native of North Carolina, and resided for many years in Mississippi and Louisiana, but for the last few years in Crittenden county, Ky. He leaves many relatives and friends to mourn his loss.”
I believe this George H. Phillips was a brother to Thomas S. Phillips, who was part of a group of people who migrated to old Livingston County (now Crittenden County) from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
George H. married Fanny Black Price, daughter of James Price, in Livingston County on 4 September 1824. Fanny was age 18 at the time of their marriage. I don’t find them on the 1830 or 1840 Livingston County census - in fact, I don’t find them in on any Kentucky census after their marriage. However, there is a George H. Phillips on the 1830 White County, Illinois census and on the 1840 Amite County, Mississippi census. Whether these men are all the same person, I do not know yet.
On 13 November 1843 in Crittenden County, John Price was appointed guardian for Ann Phillips, Jane Phillips and Samuel Phillips, the heirs of George H. Phillips & Fanny, his wife, late Fanny Price deceased. At first glance, it appears that both George H. and Fanny Price Phillips have died, but that isn’t necessarily so. If you read this entry, which appears in Crittenden County Court Order Book 1, page 27, very carefully, you will see that it says “Fanny late Fanny Price deceased.” It does not say that George H. is deceased. So, if a guardian was being appointed for the children and the father was still alive, perhaps the children had inherited property from someone else, perhaps a grandparent.
In Livingston County, Kentucky Will Book 2, page 48, the will of James Price Sr. is recorded. Among the legatees was his daughter Fanny P. Phillips. This should be the wife of George H. Phillips. The will was dated 2 October 1835 and was proven in court 4 July 1836.
George H. Phillips does not appear on the 1850 Crittenden County census, but Sarah J. and Sam Phillips, both born in Illinois, were living in the household of Thomas S. and Mary Phillips.
On 3 November 1852, George H. Phillips married Juda W. Lane in Crittenden County. He was age 51, a widower, born Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. She was age 26 and was born in Smith County, Tennessee. Bondsman was Thomas S. Phillips.
Then, just a year later, George H. Phillips, age 52, died, according to the Paducah newspaper. Juda married William Shely 20 July 1854, but appears alone on the 1860 Crittenden County census.
The 12 August 1931 issue of the Crittenden Press had a lengthy sketch on the Phillips family. It was written by James F. Price, the well known Presbyterian minister of Crittenden County. In this sketch, he states that George H. Phillips was a son of John Phillips and a brother of Thomas Stewart Philips. He also says that “George H. Phillips was born November 14, 1801. He married Miss Ibba Price, a sister of John Price, of Cave Spring, and aunt of Rev. James F. Price. They had one daughter, Miss Jennie Phillips. They moved to Iowa. Miss Jennie married in that state. Nothing further is known of them.”
There are some discrepencies in the information in the Phillips sketch and in the death notice. I never found George H. in Louisiana. Price places George H. in Iowa and with only one daughter, Miss Jennie. I found no mention of Jennie, but find three other children, Ann, Jane and Samuel, in the county court minutes. Could Jennie have been a nickname for Sarah Jane?
I’m not sure yet how this research project will turn out, but I clearly need to do more work on this family. My next source will be tax lists to see when George H. Phillips appears and when he disappears. After that, I need to check deeds to see if he ever owned land and, if so, where it was located. I do believe there was just one George H. Phillips, but additional research will tell me if this is right or not.
Isn’t it interesting how one little piece of information can open all sorts of avenues in your research?