Friday, January 15, 2010


Map of the world from the Phillips Family Bible started in 1734 by John Phillips. The Bible was given to him by Thomas Phillips at the time of his wedding in Boston to Anne Engs.
My name is Julie Moira Phillips Wood. In this blog I hope to tell the story of my ancestors reaching back from my place of birth , Auckland, New Zealand. It's a story I share with hundreds of descendants of the John and Anne Phillips (1710) family.

A family history is like a river with many tributaries, sources and deltas. The research and questioning is endless with so much of our ancestors real life stories lost forever. Information is gathered from old letters, news clippings, obituaries, the family bible, family lore, internet genealogical sites ( etc), google books and interested family descendants research.

I will try to present what I have discovered and hope you might add your memories or family lore too. (Click on the individual pages listed at right for the story of each family.)
The exciting story for present day descendants of the John Phillips family is that our ancestors were strong resilient characters, who journeyed into the unknown, across huge oceans and vast tracts of lands to find a better life for their families. Some fought in the battles such as Culloden, that ended the 'Old Worlde' as they knew it, others in the great wars of North America that created the 'New World' as we know it. Others traveled further still, to settle the last country to be discovered on our earth, New Zealand!

We know little of John Phillips (1710) background but have more information about his wife Ann Engs family and where they came from. The ancestry of John Phillips in New England and earlier is my major current research project.

Anne Engs (Inge) ancestry (Engs, Beal, Adams and Haskins) takes us back to the village of Hingham, New England in 1638. This places our family in one of the more celebrated colonising histories of the modern world. Colonists in New England were mainly people who fled the religious, tax and class issues of seventeen century Great Britain.

Phillips men were with the British Military in Quebec, New France, when Wolfe took the city for England (John Phillips I and II). John I and his wife Anne settled in Quebec and stayed until their deaths.

Capt. John Phillips II fought in many of the famous battles in the late 1700's, first against the French, then against the Americans to secure Canada for Great Britain.  He married Rachel Levy late in his life. They had four children.

Capt John Phillips II and Rachel Levy's eldest son John III, moved his family south to Baton Rouge.

John II's second son William Phillips stayed in Quebec, married Henrietta Eleanor Stewart (daughter of Charles Grey Stewart and Eleanor McLean). William, a flour merchant, became Inspector of flour for the province amongst other interests. Many of the Phillips fifteen children married into local English and French families, some moving to Montreal as that city offered more opportunities. The youngest child, Bella, a spinster daughter died in Quebec in 1921.

Their son William Finlay Phillips II married Louise Langevin, niece of Sir Hector Louis Langevin who was a father of the Confederation of Canada, Secretary of State in the new government and Mayor of Quebec.

The building of the great trans-Canada railway (Sir Hector Langevin and Mr Rhodes) opened up the west to those wishing to make a new start. When the great move west began in the late 1800's Frank Finlay Phillips, son of William Finlay Phillips, took up the challenge and went west to the Dakota's (where he met Clara Plante) finally settling in St Paul, Minnesota.

California  (the Hendrickson and Carr Families) and Vancouver ( the Lake and Phillips families) were the next migration. Many branches of the family still flourish in all these areas of North America.

Frank Finlay Phillips and Clara Plante's second son, Wendell Alfred Langevin Phillips, my grandfather, ventured even further sailing to New Zealand in 1919 on the Niagara, beginning his own family legacy when he married Constance Jessica Craig and settled in Auckland, New Zealand.

The key names in the direct Phillips descent of the New Zealand family are as follow:
  • Phillips (British)
  • Engs (British)
  • Levy (Jewish)
  • Stewart (Scottish)
  • Langevin ( French)
  • Plante (French )
  • Craig (Scottish)
  • Fletcher (Scottish)
  • Moore (English)
  • Dunn (Scottish)

 Other names associated closely in North America and Great Britain are as follows:
  • Adams
  • Beal
  • Hobart
  • McLean
  • McDonnell
  • Cing Mars
  • Campbell
  • Messervy
  • Gibbons
  • Hendrickson
  • Bethune
  • La Belle
  • Evans
  • Price
  • Sothern-Holland
  • Kiernan
  • Lake
  • Cowan

My current area of research reaches backwards and forwards from John Phillips and Anne Engs married in Boston, Mass, in 1734

Below is a quick glance at the John Phillips Family descent throught the eldest surviving male line.  
  1. John Phillips (1) m 1734 Anne Engs m
  2. Capt John Phillips (2) m 1786 Rachel Levy
  3. William Phillips (1) m 1821 Henrietta Eleanor Stewart (Quebec) ALSO John Phillips (3) m 1806 Susan Somers (Baton Rouge)
  4. William Finlay Phillips (2)  m 1851 Louise Langevin
  5. Frank Finlay Phillips m 1889 Clara Plante
  6. Wendell Phillips (1)  m 1919 Constance Jessica Craig
  7. Wendell Phillips (2)  m 1948 Isabella Fletcher
  8. Wendell Phillips (3) m 1973 Margaret Burgess

I have recently found records of the John Phillips 3rd family, based in Baton Rouge, USA, descending from John Phillips (3), the elder son of Captain John Phillips(2) and his wife Rachel Levy. These records also show that Rachel Levy Phillips married for a second time, after Capt Johns death. I will devote a post to John Phillips(3) family but will concentrate first on the William Phillips descendants.

For the last century or so the Wendell A L Phillips Family  in New Zealand believed they were the sole surviving male descent line through Capt John and Rachel Phillips' second son William Phillips and his wife Henrietta Eleanor Stewart of Quebec, Canada.

As yet I have had no contact with the Baton Rouge family.

I will endeavour in the coming months to document each family. Displaying photos and family information under the name of the key member of that generation.

Find information about each generation in the pages listed at top of site. Click on name ie Frank and Clara for their family story.

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