Abner Phillips -
Surry County, NC

There were Phillips in Surry County, NC as early as 1771, according to tax lists.  Early arrivals included Joseph, Bennett, George, and William Phillips.  Their relationship to Abner Phillips is unknown.  Abner Phillips first appears in the Surry County records in 1785.  He owned land on the north side of the Yadkin River at Turkey Creek, which places him near the present town of Elkin, NC.  Abner died in 1813, leaving a will naming his wife Elizabeth, sons Phillip and Cornelius, and alluding to the existence of other children, not named.  The witnesses were William HUNT and John BAILEY.  (Surry Will Book 3, p.103.)

Abner and Elizabeth Phillips are said to be buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Elkin, Surry Co., NC.  Abner's birth and death dates are reportedly from his gravestone.  Unfortunately, Abner and Elizabeth's gravestones were not found when the Greenwood Cemetery was surveyed in 2006 or when visited by researcher Susan Avery in 2007.  Many old gravestones become illegible due to weathering and erosion, or the stones fall over and are covered up by vegetation and earth.

Greenwood Cemetery

Greenwood Cemetery, 2007

1785 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Lewis' Dist.: Abner PHILLIPS, 400 acres, 1 white poll.

Feb. 17, 1785. Abner PHILLIPS was a witness for the defendant in the case of State v. Jonathan HAINS and was paid for 3 days and 60 miles travel. (Surry Co., NC, Court Minutes.)

1787 State Census, Surry Co., NC, Willis's Dist.: ABNER PHILLIPS
1 white male age 21-60
4 white males under age 21 or over 60
5 white females

March 17, 1788. William T. LEWIS to Abner PHILLIPS, 300 acres on north side of Yadkin River, east side Turkey Creek, for £75. Signed: Wm. T. LEWIS. Wits: Zachariah RAY, Richard G. DENNIS, James DOWNEY, Zenos BALDWIN, William COOK, Reuben SHORE, Jr. (Surry DB D, p.420).

March 17, 1788. William T. LEWIS to Abner PHILLIPS, 100 acres on north side of Yadkin River at Turkey Creek, for £75. Signed: Wm. T. LEWIS. Wits: Zachariah RAY, Richard G. DENNIS, Zenos BALDWIN, William COOK. (Surry DB D, p.419).

1789 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Phillips Dist.: Abner PHILLIPS, 400 acres, 2 white polls.

1790 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.186: ABNER PHILLIPS
3 white males under 16
2 white males over 16
3 white females
no slaves

Note: Abner's sons Cornelius PHILLIPS and Ephraim PHILLIPS are also listed in the 1790 Census of Surry Co., NC, p.183.

1800 Census, Surry Co., NC: ABNER PHILLIPS
2 w/m 10-16 1 w/f 16-26
1 w/m 45+ 1 w/f 45+
no slaves  

Mar. 29, 1802. Abner PHILLIPS witnessed the will of John PERSONS. (Surry WB 3, p.49.)

Feb. 2, 1809. Abner PHILLIPS was the bondsman for the marriage of his son Phillip PHILLIPS & Susannah SPENCER. (Surry Co., NC, Marriage Bonds.)

1810 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.193: ABNER PHILLIPS
1 w/m 16-25 1 w/f 45+
1 w/m 45+  
no slaves  

1812 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Martin's Dist.:
• Abner PHILLIPS, 300 acres, 1 poll
• Abner PHILLIPS for the Heirs of Moses WOODRUFF, 900 acres, 0 polls
Will of Abner Phillips

Dated Nov. 10, 1812; recorded Feb. term, 1813
Surry Co., NC, Will Book 3, p.103

In the name of God Amen this tenth day of November in year of our lord 1812

I ABNER PHILLIPS of Surry County & State of North Carolina being sick and weak in Body but in perfect mind memory thanks be given to God For the Same Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die I do make and ordain this my last Will & testament that is to say first of all I give and Recommend my sole unto the hand of the Almighty God that gave it and Body I recommen to Earth to be Buried in decent manor at the discresion of my Executors Nothing douting but at the general resurrection I Shall Receve the Same again by the mighty power of God And as Tuching Such Worldy Estate whare with it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give and dispose of the land in the following manor and forme

I give and Bequeath to my beloved wife ELISABETH all my Rail and Parsonabel astat her natural life and at hir death I give and bequeath all my land and property that my wife at death holds to my Son PHILLIP and he shall give to Each and Every of my children Thirty dollars in trade Except my Son CORNELIUS he shall give him one dollar all to be paid in one year after my wifes death. And I do apoint my beloved wife Excecutress and PHILLIP my son Executor to pay and collect all my just debts.

In witness were of I have set my hand and seal the day above wrote in presence of


John BAILY, Jurat