Feb. 21, 1847 Westminster Oconee County South Carolina, USA
A great deal of confusion exists among researchers of Levi Phillips. Some researchers have stated that he was born in Germany and that he came to the New World in 1770. Where this bit of information originated is unknown to the author, but it is hard to believe after examining certain documents such as census records and Levi's application for a pension. In the first place Phillips is not a German surname. Experts say that it is an English or Welsh name. One of Levi's children told the census taker in 1880 that her father was born in England, another said that his father was born in Ireland. In his application for a federal pension Levi stated that he had been a "citizen of the United States since birth" which is a stretch since he was born in 1746 thirty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Levi's actual birthplace may never be determined. It is interesting that two of his children thought that he had a connection with Brittain, which is a better guess than Germany. The two children did agree on their mother's birthplace which they gave as NC. Another possibility for Levi could be Maryland or Virginia. There were other Phillips families who lived in the same area of Georgia as Levi including another one named Levi who also fought in the Revolution. According to researchers of these families some had roots in Cecil Co, MD before going to Georgia.
Levi was already 30 years of age when the Declaration of Indepence was signed. A year later in 1777 he went to Leesburg, VA and enlisted in the Continental Army as a private under Lt Ray Gill of Capt Calleman's Co of the 2nd Regiment of the Virginia Line under Col Febricker. Prior to the War he had been a farmer. On 11 Sep 1777, he was in the Battle of Brandywine in PA, the following month on 4 Oct his unit fought at Germantown, PA. On 28 Jun 1778 he fought at the Battle of Monmouth in NJ. Afterward he was chosen as an artilleryman under General Nathaniel Greene and fought at the Battle of the Hanging Rock near Charleston, SC on 6 Aug 1780. Just prior to the battle Levi's 3 year enlistment expired, but he wasn't discharged until later at a camp near Salisbury, NC. He gave his discharge to a fellow named Whitlock who was on his way to Richmond and asked him to collect his bounty and pay for him. Unfortunately Levi never saw Mr. Whitlock or his discharge again, nor his bounty and pay. In a later statement Levi tells a slightly different story saying that he was discharged at Camden, SC by a Captain Stokes.
It is not known where Levi went immediately after the war. A good guess might be NC where he may have met Barbara Hough. They were probably married about 1783 and very shortly moved to Wilkes Co in Northeast Georgia. Right after the War, Georgia was giving headright grants to settlers from other states and veterans of the Revolution. The 1785 tax digest for Wilkes Co is the oldest extant tax roll for that county. On it are two taxpayers named Levi Phillips 1 owning 200 acres and the other owning 160 acres. It is not clear which one is the Levi Phillips who married Barbara Hough, but his land was most likely on or near the South Fork of Brushy Creek . ln 1783 their property was reorganized into the new county of Oglethorpe. Two years later on 25 Aug 1795, they bought an additional 700 acres on the South Fork of Brushy Creek in the Northern part of Oglethorpe from Richard Lockhart. This land probably adjoined their present property and was near the present town of Smithonia. Most of the first three censuses of Georgia did not survive the fires of the British during the War of 1812. However Oglethorpe somehow preserved its original of the 1800 census on which the two Levies are enumerated. Levi, the subject here was living in Capt Corbett's Dist, while the other Levi was living in Capt Collier's Dist. The profiles for the two families are very close, and it is only with astute reasoning that they can be specifically identified. There are several land transactions by both men while they lived in Oglethorpe Co, but it appears that one lived on Brushy Creek which is in the northern part of the county near the borders of Clarke and Elbert Counties while the other lived in the Southern part of Oglethorpe on waters of Little River. In 1807 Levi Phillips of Brushy Creek received a headright grant of 300 acres in Oglethorpe Co. He was probably enumerated in Oglethorpe Co in 1810, but there is no extant census schedule for that year. In 1811 Madison Co was formed from Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Jackson and the northern portion of Oglethorpe containing Brushy Creek. For the next few years Levi and Barbara and their family would be living in Madison Co while the other Levi remained in Oglethorpe Co south of Lexington. In 1815 Levi moved his family with members still living at home into Pendleton (now Oconee Co) Dist, SC to a farm he had acquired on Col Fork's Creek near Westminister. He was enumerated as a head of household in 1820 on the Pendleton Dist. census. The other Levi moved south from Oglethorpe to Putnam Co, GA where he was enumerated on the 1820 census. He was born in Cecil Co, MD in 1751 and he also fought in the Revolution and received a federal pension based on his service. In his application filed in Carrol Co, GA in 1833 he stated the information above and also stated that he had lived in Putnam and Oglethorpe Counties before removing to Carrol where he died in 1840.
Three years after his move to Pendlton Dist, on 16 Mar 1818 Levi appeared before Judge Waddy Thompson in Pendleton Dist, SC and was deposed under oath in his application for a Revolutionary War pension. The pension was approved on 26 Nov 1819. Levi appeared again in court before Abraham Nott on 27 Oct 1820 to give additional information concerning his pension. Later, his pension was dropped, but was restored on 26 Dec 1827. In the meantime Levi was designated as head of a household in Pendleton (now Oconee Co) Dist for 1820, Pickens (now Oconee Co) Dist for 1830 and 1840. Barbara passed away in 1842, but Levi lived to the ripe old age of 101 before dying in 1847. In his will he named all of his children including two who had predeceased him.
Tombstone in the Phillips Family Cemetery on the old Phillips plantation, Oconee Co, SC: Sacred to the Memory of LEVI PHILLIPS, A soldier of the Revolution, Many years a member of the Baptist Church, Died 21 February 1847, Aged about 101 years and Barbara, his wife Who was also a worthy member of the same church, She died 28 May 1842, Aged about 82 years. It is unclear who the originator is, but the following directions appear on the SCGenWeb for Oconee Co: "The cemetery is on Plant Road in Westminister, there is a gate down the road on the right hand side, cross through the gate and walk a few hundred feet down the logging road until you see a pile of rocks on the right side."
1785 Tax Digest Wilkes Co, GA, p. 18 Levi Phillips: 1 poll, 200 acres Wilkes Co; p. 25 Levi Phillips: 1 poll, 160 acres Wilkes Co.
1793 Feb 25 Levi Phillips and Barbary, his wife, to Abraham Durham, all of Wilkes Co, for £10. 200 acres on Buffalow Creek adj Rutledge, Robert Boyd. Wit: Jno. Lumpkin, J.P. Recorded 27 May 1794 in Wilkes Co Deed Book MM, Pg 90.
1795 Aug 25 Richard Lockhart of Hancock Co, GA sold 700 acres on Brushy Creek in formerly Wilkes Co, GA to Levi Phillips of Oglethorpe Co, GA for 80 pounds. Oglethorpe Co, GA DB DB C, 1798-1800, p. 150.
1798 Oct 29 Levi Phillips of Oglethorpe Co, GA sold to Michael Moore of Jackson Co, GA 100 acres on the South Fork of Brushy Creek. Oglethorpe Co, GA DB C, 1798-1800, p. 403.
1799 Apr 18 Levi Phillips sold 160 acres on Brushy Creek to Richard Rowland. Oglethorpe Co, GA DB C, 1798-1800, p. 312.
1799 Jun 7 Levi Phillips sold 111 acres on Brushy Creek in formerly Wilkes Co, now Oglethorpe to James Moore. Oglethorpe Co, GA DB C, 1798-1800, p. 139. 1800 U S Census Oglethorpe Co, GA, p. 42, Capt Colberts Dist, GMD 235, Pleasant Hill Dist. County Courthouse Lexington, GA.
1805 Levi Phillips of Brushy Creek, Oglethorpe Co, GA drew 2 blanks in the Land Lottery of 1805. Registration No 880. Virginia S. and Ralph V Wood, 1805 Georgia Land Lottery, Cambridge, Mass: Greenwood Press, 1964, p. 273.
1807 Levi Phillips granted 300 acres on Brushy Creek as a headright grant in Oglethorpe Co, GA by the State of Georgia. Headright & Bounty Grants of Georgia Book G-5, p. 139. Deposition of Levi Phillips, Revolutionary War Pension Record for Levi Phillips No. S39011, 15 May 1818, National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, DC. 1820 U S Census Pendleton Dist, SC, p. 287, NAM No M-33. roll 120. 1830 U S Census Pickens Co, SC, p.267, NAM No M-19, roll 173. 1840 U S Census Pickens Co, SC, p. 338, NAM No M-704, roll 514, he was between 90 and 100 years of age and wife was between 70 and 80.
1840 Levi Phillips listed as a federal pensioner, aged 94 in Pickens Dist, SC. A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services (Washington: Blair & Rives, 1841, p. 143. Last Will & Testament of Levi Phillips, Written 2 Oct 1846, Proved 25 Feb 1847, Pickens Dist, SC WB 1, pp 122-124.