History of the Shipp Family of Princess Anne and Norfolk counties of tidewater Virginia from 1600

"A Working DRAFT" - Comments, suggestions and input appreciated


  • It appears the majority of early Shipp genealogies on the internet have originated from the works of Ralph D. Shipp (1900 - ) 1975 & 1985 dating back to a William Shipp (ca. 1606-ca 1657) present in lower norfolk as early as 1637. Of particular interest in this compendium is the late 1700 Princess Anne family of Simon ( - 1795WP 1799) and Peggy Shipp. Simon is enumerated in the 'upper precinct of the western shore' in Princess Anne Co. with five white souls First Census 1785 . Several of there children including William, Hiliary, Reuben (ca 1780- 1827) and Batson (ca 1780- ) are enumerated in the 1810 & 1820 census of PA CO [William, Hiliary and Batson are enumerated together in 1820 signifying a possible farm inhertitance]. Only Batson and Reuben were enumerated as heads in the 1810 census of PA Co. possibly suggesting they being the eldest of the presumed three children of Simon and Peggy in 1785. Note Batson Shipp was probably named after his uncle (brother of Simon), Baston/ Batson Shipp. A fifth son, Ree WP 1799 and daughters, Nancy & Sally are listed in his will.

    1. Shipp, Ralph D.; "The Shipp Family Genealogy", Gateway Press, Baltimore MD, 1975
    2. Shipp, Ralph D.; "The Shipp Family Genealogy", Gateway Press, Baltimore MD, 1985
    3. Princess Anne Co Wills 1783-1941; Simon Shipp; 23 Mar 1795 (WP 1 Jul 1799); Bk 2, p. 123
    4. Princess Anne Co. First Census of the United States; 1785; p. 102; Simon Shipp and Tully Shipp enumerated adjacently with 5 and 7 white souls respectively.
    5. Princess Anne Co. 1810 Census; pp. 472, 473, 475 for Batson, Bartlet, James, John and Reuben Shipp.
    6. Princess Anne Co. 1820 Census; pp. 155 (Batson, Hilary, John and William Shipp); and 153 (John Jr. Shipp).
    7. Princess Anne Co. 1830 Census; pp. 279 (Aekemiah Shipp); 264 (Francis Shipp); 261 (John S. Shipp); 267 (Moses Shipp); 285 (Samuel Shipp); and 272 (William Shipp).
    8. Princess Anne Co. 1840 Census; pp. 189 (Joel & John Shipp); 190 (Nehemiah & R. Shipp); and 204 (Samuel Shipp)
    9. Norfolk Co. 1840 census; pp. 185 (M. 'Ship'); 139 (John Shipp); 150 -St Bride (John Shipp); and 131- portsmouth (Josiah Shipp).

  • Batson Shipp married Elizabeth Flanagan in 1804, d/o Moses Flanagan PA Co. Marriages; E. Wingo. He is listed in the 1820 Va census of Princess Anne Co. in addition to his two presumed brothers, Hilliary and William Shipp Ralph D. Shipp & 1820 census. Here, William has no young males (Moses would have been 15 - recording error?) but young females and a presumed wife of similar age. However, a William Shipp died by ca 1835 leaving orphans, Eliza., William (perhaps William of Portsmouth in 1860? ... age 3 in 1820? and a minor at age 17 in 1835), Hilliary and Margaret Shipp Guardian Accts of PA Co.. Batson has 4 males less than 10 and 1 male 10-20 VA census 1820 still making him a likely father for Moses (b. calc 1805). Batson is likely dead by 1828 when the will of his other brother, Reuben was proved Feb 1828, PA Co. Wills 1824-1871, Bk 4, p. 68 listing two brothers, Hilliary and William Shipp as witnesses. Batson is not listed in 1830. Hilliary likely died a few years later (ca. 1832) leaving at least Barbary Ann and Virginia Caroline Shipp Guardian Accts of PA Co.. Note, Hiliary is listed with a young male in 1820 (less than 10?)

    1. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; Reuben Shipp; WP1828; Bk 4, p.68
    2. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; Hillery Shipp; Bk 7, p.205 [possibly another Hillery]
    3. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; William Shipp; ca 1835; Bk 5, p.7

  • Circumstantial evidence suggest Mary Flanagan (wife of Moses) to be an unlisted or differentially recorded daughter of Joshua Flanagan (WP 1830) of Princess Anne Co. Although not specifically referred to as son, Moses Flanagan refers to a Joshua Flanagan in his will dated 9 May 1808. Joshua Flanagan in turns refers to wife Amey, 10 daughters and one son Benjamin in his will dated 26 Apr 1830 (not specifically mentioning a Mary).

    1. 1820 VA Census for Batson Shipp in Princess Anne Co.

  • As a matter of coincidence or not, Moses Shipp acted as testator on Joshua Flanagan's will (1830) to which lists a Nancy Quick as daughter. It is noted a John Quick testifies on Moses Shipp and Mary Flanagan marriage bond as to 'lawful age' four years later (1834). Moses Shipp further acted as surety on 13 Jul 1839 for the marriage of John Woodward and Francis Flanagan comm. via Butch Corcoron, a known daughter of Joshua Flanagan (WP 1830).

    1. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; Moses Flanagan; Bk 3, p.9
    2. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; Joshua Flanagan; WP1830; Bk 4, p.104 [Prob. s/o Moses]
    3. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; Edward Flanagan; 4 Dec1815; Bk 3, p.173 [prob. s/o Moses listed in will]
    4. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; James Flanagan; 5 Feb 1821; Bk 3, p.322
    5. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; William Flanagan; 7 Feb 1822; Bk 3, p.366

  • According to local geographical maps, Shipps Corner in the vicinity of Kempsville, PA Co. may have been named for the descendants of a branch of these Shipps dating to ca 1840 (the time many shipps and others and vacated PA Co.- ie agricultural depression of 1820's). A Lynnhaven connection to the earlier Shipps is likely given the proximity to the sea. The Pead/Peed family is known to have lived on Tanner's Creek during the first census (1785). One descendant, Joel Peed (b. ca 1800) married a Sarah Shipp in 1824 with John Shipp (Capt?) as surety Corcoron. Joel Peed died at the home of John Shipp at Seawell's point in 1833 leaving his wife. John Shipp died ca 1836 (1838 Guardian Bonds) leaving an orphan, Joel Shipp. Seawell's point is west and not far from Lynnhaven on the water on what is currently ..... On 13 Aug 1836, John Shipp Sr. refers to his plantation including "marsh that lay south of the graveyard" and his children Joel, John B., Samuel, Lydia [3rd daughter, m. H. Dey, 15 May 1838, PA Co Henley papers, p.2 c.6], Charity and Sarah Whitehurst PA Co. Wills 1824-1871, p. 205.

    1. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; John Shipp Sr.; Bk 4, p.205
    2. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; John Shipp; Bk 6, p.15
    3. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; John B. Shipp [Jr.?]; Bk 4, p.406
    4. PA Co. Wills 1783-1941; William Shipp; Bk 9, p.105

    Family Lineage

    Our Shipp family record originates from Moses Shipp (b. calc. 18051850 census - ca 1855) of Princess Anne County. Specifically, legend suggests they once lived near Lynhaven but records or documentation have yet to be located Personal Comm. Lloyd G Williamson thru son Charles Williamson. This may have come from interactions with Benjamin Shipp who, for whatever reason, obviously viewed his home there Mary Jane Sharpley Obit. A home in Lynnhaven, if the family homestead, may have been that of Moses' family or of the Flanagan's as Moses moved into Norfolk shortly after his marriage (1834) and by 1840 census where Ben's older sister, Anna's birth was recorded birth record. The eldest recorded child, Mary Jane was born 3-4 years after marriege in 1837 1850 census (place unknown?). A Moses Shipp is listed in Princess Anne Co in 1830 with 2 males 20-30 and 1 female 15-20. An M. Shipp appears in Norfolk County in 1840 with .... . As Moses was not yet married in 1830, he was head of house with another couple of nearly the same age (The Quicks?? Brother? Sister?). Moses married Mary Flanagan (calc 1810 -ca 1855) four years later in 1834 PA Co. Marriage Bond. Reported in the city of Norfolk 1850 Va Census, Moses and Mary Shipp produced Mary Jane Shipp (b. calc 1838-1922), Ann Victoria Shipp death certificate (b. 1840), William S. Shipp (b. calc 1842), Benjamin Franklin Shipp (b. calc 1845), and James R. Shipp (b. 1850). Also enumerated in the house in 1850 was a Virginia A Quick (b. calc 1835) see Joshua Flanagan's will & Moses & Mary's mariage bond. Another possible daughter, Larissa (b. calc 1859) surfaces in Mary Jane Sharpley's house in 1880 as 'sister'. William S. (T?) Shipp (b. calc 1842) is unaccounted for in 1860. However, there is a William T. Shipp boarding at 32S Church St. in 1866 and the identical location of the grocery store of Colly & Mary J Shipp Sharpley (likely sister) Corcoron & 1866 Norfolk city directory. Note, old english penmanship can be difficult to dicipher and an 'S' can easily be interpreted as 'T'. 'T's' are notoriously misinterpreted (see Sharkley/Sharpley family 1860 census). Although unconfirmed, Moses and Mary likely perished in the 1855 yellow fever epidemic of the tidewater area that originated in the Gosport area of Portsmouth when the steamer, Ben Franklin arrived 7 June 1855 from St Thomas1855 epidemic. According to an abstract of the victims of the epidemic, there is listed a Mr and Mrs Shipp who are buried at "Potter's Field" in Cedar Grove Cemetery Kirn Lib. & Butch Corcoron. However, there is a Samuel Shipp, orphan of Samuel and Amy F. Shipp who perished in 1855 Princess Ann Co. Guardian Accts and may well be listed as Mr & Mrs Shipp.

    The families of Mary Jane Sharpley and brother Ben Shipp resided in what is now the Chesterfield section of Norfolk (formerly the Brambleton area). Most were members of the christadelphian church.Corcoron

    1. 1850 census VA for the city of Norfolk
    2. Ann V. Shipp death certificate
    3. 1830 VA census for Princess Ann Co.
    4. marriage bond 1834 for Moses Shipp and Miss Mary Flanagan
    5. 1866 Norfolk City directory; W.T. Shipp; Clk Boards 32S Church St.

      Sharpley Sublineage of Norfolk City

      The eldest daughter, Mary (aka Mamierecollections of Lloyd G. Williamson) Jane Shipp married Collimore (aka Colley) Marion Sharpley (calc 1830-1876) ca 1858 1860 Va Federal Census. By 1880, he was dead (absess Corcoron) and she was head of house with children Charles Marion Sharpley (b. calc 1859-1902) [living descendant, Butch Corcoron], Herbert A. Sharpley (b. calc 1869-25 Apr 1950 Vero Bch FL Corcoron) and Annie G. Sharpley (b. calc 1870-aft 1922) [m. Leonidas (aka Lonnie) Batts] and a recorded 'sister' Larissa Shipp (b. calc 1859) 1880 census VA. Mary Jane Sharpley is buried in Elmwood cemetery. Descendants are currently residing in Norfolk.

    6. 1860 Federal Census; Norfolk City; p. 372; Sharpley family recorded as Sharkley.
    7. 8 Mar 1922 Obit for Mary Jane Shipp Sharpley from the Virginian Pilot
    8. 1880 Va Census for Mary Jane Shipp Sharpley and family
    9. Photo of Charles M Sharpley and wife, Alice Wood Sharpley from collections of Butch Corcoron

        Annie Sharpley and Leonidas Batts are listed in Norfolk City in 1910 with children: Wiley L. Batts (), Beulah Batts () and Annie Batts () 1910 Va Census

      1. 1910 Census VA ; Norfolk City; Dist 49; House 298 Corcoron
      2. 1920 Va Census for Leonidas (aka Loney) Batts and family in Norfolk City at 114 32nd Street
      3. 1910 Va Census for Herbert Sharpley and family
      4. 1920 Va Census for Herbert Sharpley and family

      Williamson Sublineage of Portsmouth and currently Maryland

      Ann Victoria Shipp (1840-1918) was born in Norfolk City on 27 April 1841 Death Cert. thus confirming the M Shipp in Norfolk in 1840 as Moses. She married Charles Lemuel Williamson (1832; Peterburg - ) in 1863 1863 marriage in Portsmouth. Perhaps coincidence or otherwise, in 1860 (three years prior to their marriage), a William Shipp (b. calc 1818), wife Emily (b. calc 1824) and family were living next door to Charles' father in Portsmouth. A linkage/relationship of William is unknown but he is in the proper generation to be sibling/ cousin of Moses Shipp.

      Their son Charles Lemuel Williamson Jr (1868-1938) (AKA Charles Leonard or Lenny) was born at 600 Henry Street in Portsmouth, VA (Note: Bible records, a property transfer deed and the 1900 census all mention Charles Lemuel, Jr. Although throughout his private life he was referred to as Charles Leonard or Lenny). Charles and Anna Williamson also produced Willie (1864-1865) and Mary V. Williamson (1866-1867) who died during infancy, Joseph Percy Williamson (1874-1884) who died at age ten and another Mary (1876-1877) who died at age 1. The 1870 census of Portsmouth enumerates ...................... The 1880 census incorrectly enumerates Charles and Anna as "Williams" with their sons Percy and Charles L. Jr. Charles and Anna would move to their son's (Charles Leonard Williamson) house on Cossack Rd in Portsmouth where they would die. Upon Charles', Sr. death on 18 November 1906 (age 73) of uremia, he was listed as a painter (Note: Charles' death record incorrectly states his parents as John & Elizabeth Williamson ). Charles and Anna are buried in Oak Grove Cemetary, Portsmouth, VA. Anna's death certificate states she died on 25 February 1918 of Arterio Schlerosis at 422 Naval Place in South Portsmouth.

      Living Descendants Charles E. Williamson and Mike Williamson.

    10. Death certificate for Ann Victoria Shipp Williamson dated 1941

      Shipp, Fentress and Mathias Sublineages of Norfolk

      Benjamin Franklin Shipp (b. calc 1846-1941) gravestone conveyed numerously to relatives he was from Lynnhaven Obituary's. He married Keturah Griffin Fentress (1851 (1876LDS)-1918) gravestone on .... in .... She may have been the daughter of John A. Fentress and Mary E. ... LDS.Org. The family lived on reservoir ave in Norfolk city in 1900 see fentress - 1900 fed census. Their children were Benjamin Oliver Shipp (1874- ), Nellie Shipp (b. calc 1889-1972) [m. John Solomon Woodhouse] OBIT., Irene Augusta Shipp (1879-1941) Obit., Mary Elizabeth Shipp (1872-1928) [m. Joshua Leigh Fentress] and Rosa Shipp (1882- ) [m. unk. Mathias] . By 1920, he had moved to Kempsvile in Princess Anne County presumably to be near his daughter, Mary Fentress. Residing with him were his other daughters, Irene and Nellie Woodhouse & husband and his two grandsons, Frank & Edwin Mathias.

    11. Benjamin Franklin Shipp gravestone at Elmwood cemetery courtesy of Pat Beaudoin
    12. Keturah G wife of Benj. Shipp gravestone at Elmwood cemetery courtesy of Pat Beaudoin
    13. Ben F. Shipp Obituary from the Virginian Pilot dated Saturday 11 Jan 1941.
    14. Irene A. Shipp Obituary from the Virginian Pilot Friday 5 Sep 1941
    15. Nellie Shipp Woodhouse Obituary from the ....... July 1972
    16. Mary Fentress Obituary from the ......
    17. Civil War records for Ben Shipp from Ancestry.com
    18. 1920 Va Census for Ben Shipp in Kempsville, PA Co.

        Benjamin Oliver Shipp married Maude Virginia Morris. They produced Annie Virginia Shipp () [m. Conrad George Lurhing]. Descendants have since moved to Florida and California. [Living Descendant Pat Beaudoin].

      1. 1910 VA Census for Ben O. Shipp and family (misrecorded); Norfolk City; ED # 59; Wd 6; visitation # 194.
      2. 1920 VA Census for Benjamin O. Shipp and family

        The eldest child, Mary Elizabeth Ship (1872-1928) married Joshua Leigh Fentress (1870-1919) gravestones. In 1900, they resided next to her father, Benjamin on Reservoir Ave in Norfolk with their daughters, Mary and Ruth Fentress 1900 VA census. They produced Ruth Virginia Fentress () [m. unknown Bradshaw]; Francis Fentress (); Ernest Fentress (1903-2001) (SUP>Cedar Grove Gravestone and twins, Joshua and Richard Fentress (ca 1908-1908)Beaudoin; 1900 census By 1920 they were living a few doors from her father in Kempsville, PA Co.

      3. 1900 Va Census of Norfolk City for Mary Shipp Fentress and Ben F. Shipp and family on Reservoir Ave.
      4. gravestones for Mary Shipp and Joshua Leigh Fentress in .... cemetery of Norfolk City.
      5. gravestone for Ernest Leigh Fentress in Cedar Grove cemetery of Norfolk City.

    William Shipp (b. calc 1817) descendants from Portsmouth

    Although the identity of this William is unknown, there is little doubt he allied himself with the children of Moses (b. calc. 1805), perhaps as the consequence or coincidence of the epidemic that had recently passed (1855). He married an Emily perhaps ca 1858 as his eldest 'listed' child, Moses C. Shipp was born ca 1859. Not only did he and his family reside adjacent to John Williamson in Portsmouth (1860) whose son, Charles married Anna Shipp in 1863 but at least two of his children, Wiliam (A?) and Moses C. are living, working and boarding at least close to Ben Shipp and his children (?) by 1888-1890 (ie 260 & 502 Church St.) Norfolk City Directory 1888-1890. More specifically, a Leonard O. Shipp (identity unknown) is listed at the same store of William A. and Moses C. Shipp (children of William). A coincidence or what, is Leonard O. misrecorded for Benjamin O. Shipp??

    A marriage (ca 1858) certificate, bond or death (ca bef 1888?) certificate for William in Portsmouth (which should be available) may solve the identity crisis and linkage of this William.


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Last Updated 19 April 2002