Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1650-1730

In his will of 1668, Phillip Lupo, Sr. mentions his wife, Mary, his sons Phillip and James and his daughter Mary Ryall. Records in England suggest that Phillip, Jr. stayed in England for awhile to press his father's case over Katherine Morecroft's estate. In the testimony of John Exum, who had been a neighbor of the Lupos in Virginia, it is revealed that Phillip's mother died in the colony around 1654-1656 (stated as 16 or 17 years prior to 1671/72). Since Phillip had a different mother than his brother James, we have an approximate time when Phillip, Sr. married his second wife, Mary Hodges Higgins. For some time, it has been believed that Phillip's second wife, Mary was the daughter of William Taborer of Derby, Derbyshire, England and sister of Thomas Taberer, a prominent Virginia emigrant, based on a marriage record that had been contributed to the International Genealogical Index of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, indicating that Francis Higgins married Mary Taberer. Evidence has since come to light that indicates that while Francis Higgins was an associate of Thomas in Isle of Wight, Mary was not Thomas' sister.

The will of Roger Higgins, dated 16 April 1672, identifies Mary Lupo as his mother and mentions James Lupo. He also mentions his brother Robert Hodges, and names Robert his executor. This indicates that Mary's first husband was a Hodges, possibly named Robert. In 1652, Francis Higgins received, with Thomas Taberer, a grant of land of 250 acres for transporting five people to the colony. Francis Higgins is also a witness to the will of Thomas' brother, Joshua Taberer in 1656 but otherwise does not leave much of a paper trail and, in fact, his mention in Joshua Taberer's will is the last mention of Francis in Isle of Wight County records as no will or estate record has been found on him.

Thomas and Joshua Taberer were sons of William Taborer of Derby, Derbyshire, England as proved in William's will from 1652 and which was referenced in Joshua's will. According to William's will, he does have a daughter named Mary who, in 1652, is not yet 20 years old. There's a christening record for Mary Taberer, daughter of William and wife Anne from 1639 in Derbyshire, which would have made her around 18 to 19 years old when James Lupo was born. James' mother had already been married and widowed twice with at least one child from each marriage and had possibly emigrated to Virginia between her husbands, which would have been quite an eventful life for a woman so young, even at this period in history. She was destined to marry and outlive yet another husband with Phillip Lupo. More importantly, there's a marriage record from 1661/62 where Mary Taberer married Rafe Broughham in Derbyshire. William's daughter Mary would have been 22-23 at the time. At this same point in time, James' mother, Mary, was married to Phillip Lupo and living in Virginia. It is therefore unlikely that this Mary was the Mary Taberer born in 1639.

Thomas left a will in 1692 and makes no mention of the Lupos though he is very detailed in naming each of his daughters, their husbands, even several of his grandchildren. Neither Thomas nor Joshua mentions a sister named Mary, nor anyone named Higgins or Hodges, though Francis Higgins is a witness to Joshua's will. Joshua also does not mention a wife and leaves all his estate to his brother Thomas and to Thomas' daughter Ruth after Thomas' death, making it unlikely that Mary was Joshua's widow. The only connection found so far between the Lupos and Thomas Taberer during his life is a deed record for William Dawson, dated 9 August 1664 where Thomas Taberer and Phillip Lupo are listed as witnesses. In later generations, there were associations between the Lupos and descendants of Thomas Taberer, most notably John Lupo who's a witness to the will of Thomas' grandson and primary heir, Joseph Copeland in 1725. A branch of the Webb family which was associated with the Lupos also descends from Thomas.

A possible scenario is that Mary and possibly her husband and children were among the individuals transported to the colonies by either Francis Higgins or Thomas Taberer, which was the basis for the grant of land each received. In addition to the 250 acres Taberer received with Higgins, Thomas, along with Nicholas George and Humphrey Clark received 900 acres for transportation of eighteen individuals, one of whom was Joshua Taberer. Individuals received 50 acres for every person whose passage they sponsored. It was not out of the ordinary at this point in history for a man to pay the passage of a woman he was destined to marry. Mary may also have been born in the colony to yet unnamed parents.

James Lupo was most likely born late in 1657 or in 1658. Francis Higgins was still alive in late-November of 1656 according to the will of Joshua Taberer, making it unlikely his widow would have married Phillip Lupo before then. James Lupo married Sarah Branch the daughter of George Branch of Surry County, Virginia and his wife Anne England. This is proved by an estate record from May of 1688 where James Lupo is listed among the heirs of the elder George Branch at an appraisal of his estate. Some confusion has existed as to which George Branch was Sarah's father, as the elder George had a son by this name, who married Susannah Corker. This son, however, was listed in the 1688 estate record with James Lupo, and Sarah would not have been named as an heir if her father was still alive. In the will of Joyce Cripps, dated 1679, she names Sarah as an heir without specifically identifying their relationship and Sarah was identified as Sarah Lupo, meaning she's already married James by this point. Joyce Cripps was previously Joyce England, the wife of Francis England, father to Sarah's mother, Anne. Assuming James married Sarah Branch around 1678 or 1679 and that he was at least 21 when he married her, this places his birth around 1657 or 1658. Mary was probably widowed in 1657 and married Phillip Lupo soon afterward which corresponds to what's documented. In August of 1688, James Lupo purchased a tobacco farm from George and Susannah Branch.

James Lupo's will was written in April of 1712 and proved in court in October of 1713, so it's safe to assume he died around that time. In James' will, he names sons Phillip and John and daughters Sarah (Lilbourne), Ann (Bidgood), Elizabeth (Bidgood) and Mary as well as his wife, Sarah and mentions that John is not yet sixteen years old. In 1703, James and Sarah Lupo were witnesses to the will of John Johnson of Isle of Wight County (probated 1707) and one of Johnson's daughters is named Patience, who may be the Patience Cary who shows up in later Isle of Wight County records. Johnson's widow, Mary, had previously been the wife of James Day (see the will of Mary Gladhill in 1712) and had a son by that name who witnesses the will of James Lupo in 1712. In addition, the estate account of Thomas Proud mentions payments from John Johnson and James Lupo for educating their children and both the Johnsons and Lupos lived near the Blackwater river and associated with many of the same people.

The Family of James Lupo from his will of 1712

James Lupo, b. 1657-1658; d. ca. October, 1713
m. Sarah Branch, around 1679

  1. Phillip
    m. ? Brantley?
  2. Sarah
    m. ? Lilbourne
  3. Ann
    m. John Bidgood, Jr.
  4. Elizabeth
    m. ? Bidgood/Bedgood
  5. Mary
  6. John, b. after 1696; d. before 1730
    m. Patience (possibly Johnson or Gray)


  1. Boddie, John Bennett, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Southern Historical Press, Inc., Reprinted 1994.
  2. Chapman, Blanche Adams, Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia 1647-1800, Willow Bend Books, 1938/2002.
  3. Will of William Taborer, 9 February 1652, Abstracted in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXVII, December 31, 1919, Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1968.
  4. Phillipp Lupo c. Thomas Chappell and Mary Lupo, widow, Court of Chancery Records, C24-C243, 1671/2, p. 7, Abstracted in Virginia Colonial Records Project, December 16, 1975, Virginia State Library and Archives.
  5. England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA.

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