Immigrated to the US from Ireland

Came to America in 1775


Grave of Joseph & Elizabeth
IN MEMORY OF JOSEPH PHILLIS, who departed this life 11th of April, 1831 in his 80th year.

IN MEMORY OF ELISABETH PHILLIS, who departed this life 12th Dec., 1825 in the 63rd year of her age.



Revolutionary War

Private 4th Class, Captain Peter Kid's 7th Company, 4th Battalion, Washington Co., PA Militia.

Joseph was granted 1000 acres from George Washington for his part in the Revolutionary War.

It was near Burgettstown, PA in what is now Washington County. In 1776 it was known as the Dunmore War Tract. (LP)


War of 1812

Captain Robert Leeper's Company, PA Militia.




1783 - Tax list
Smith Twp, Washington Co., PA


200 acres; 2 horses; 3 cows; 2 sheep; 0 slaves; 101 Value.



Joseph Phillis

b. Feb. 9, 1744 (Ireland) - d. April 11, 1831 (Washington Co., PA)

Westminister Presbyterian Cemetery (Burgettstown, PA)



From the book Biographical Record: Washington County, Pennsylvania, Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of many of the Early Settles Families. It was published in Chicago by J.H. Beers and Co. in 1893. This information is found on pages 672-673. [Pennsylvania state]

The Phillis family were among the earliest residents of Smith township, Washington county. On May 10, 1776, Joseph Phillis received the first genuine land title which was issued in Smith township. He was born in Ireland, about 1744, and was married in that country to Elizabeth Little. In 1775 he came to America, locating in this county, near the present site of McDonald village. He raised the first crop of corn in that part of the county, which crop yield fifty bushels to the acre, then considered a very large average. Joseph Phillis was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and after its close located on a part of the Hoagland and Crawford tract in Smith township, which has since been in the possession of the Phillis family, a portion of the old farm being now owned by the widow of Andrew Phillis.


Before the first crops were raised, the family came near starving, and driven to desperation they decided to watch a cow and see upon what kind of vegetation she subsisted. After observation they made “greens” the food of the family and so managed to exist until the grain was ripened to replenish the empty larder. Indians were numerous and hostile in those early days, and wild animals were plenty. The home of these early pioneers was known as the “Dunmore War tract,” and under careful cultivation the wild land soon assumed an air of comfort and civilization, becoming in time a valuable piece of property.


Joseph Phillis died in 1830, at an advanced age, his wife having “gone before” in 1827, leaving the following children: John (who died in Guernsey county, Ohio, was the father of sixteen children), James (deceased in the lumber regions of Pennsylvania), Joseph (passed the latter years of his life in Columbian(?) county, Ohio), Charles (deceased in Ohio), Jacob (mentioned farther on), William (deceased in youth), Thomas (passed his entire life in Smith township), Nancy (wife of David Alexander, a farmer of Smith township), Elizabeth (married to Thomas Cherry of Mt Pleasant township), Jane (wife of Joseph Walker) and Catherine (Mrs. Gilbert Hallick, of Smith township).



Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L.H. Leverts & Co., 1882). / Smith Twp (p. 910-931)

On the 10th of May, 1776, a tract of land on Raccoon Creek, adjoining George McCormick, containing one hundred and eighty-six acres, was conveyed to Joseph Philles, in consideration of twenty pounds, by William Crawford and Henry Houghland, "which lands the said William Crawford and Henry Houghland are entitled to by improvement, according to the custom of this country."


On this land Joseph Philles lived and died, and his descendants still occupy the property.





  • John Little Phillis
    War of 1812
    b. 1781 - d. 1853
  • James Phillis
    War of 1812
    b. 1783 (PA) -d.1865 (PA) / deceased in the lumber regions of Pennsylvania
    Married Sally Irvine (b. ?)

  • Joseph Phillis
    b. 1785 (PA) -d. 1868 (Columbiana, OH)
    Married Elizabeth Cowan (b. 1797 - d. 1882) Sept. 24, 1812 / Children: Henry Phillis (b. 1814), William (b. 1827), Elizabeth (b. 1828 - d. 1915), Jane (b. 1830), Sarah (b. 1835), Thomas (b. 1830 or 38), Ellen (b. 1840 or 42)/ passed the latter years of his life in Columbian(?) county, Ohio / Joseph was a wheelwright early in life, but later became a farmer, and had a family of six sons and six daughters (see below).
    ------------------------Henry Phillis b. Aug. 1814 - d. / Married Malinda Alcorn/ Children: Elizabeth Phillis (b.?), Rebecca Phillis-Stewart (b.?), Euphemia Phillis Allen (b.?), Alice Malinda Phillis (b.?) and William H. Phillis (b. ?) / Families of Beaver County, Pennsylvania  compiled by J. Fraise Richard - Excerpted from History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, 1888 (page 808): Henry Phillis, retired farmer, Beaver Falls, was born in Independent townships, this county August 27, 1814, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Cowen) Phillis. Joseph was a wheelwright early in life, but later became a farmer, and had a family of six sons and six daughters. Henry, the eldest son, was born and reared on the farm, and learned a trade which he followed for one year. He then bought a farm in Moon township, where he lived eight years, at the expiration of which time he came to Pulaski township, purchased eighty acres of land, and resided on a farm belonging to his wife until 1886, when he purchased property and moved to Beaver Falls. He was married, in 1848 to Malinda, daughter of Francis Alcorn. Five daughters and one son have been born to them: Elizabeth, Rebecca (Mrs. Stewart), Euphemia (Mrs. Allen, deceased), Alice Malinda (deceased) and William H. Mr. Phillis has been a prominent citizen, and has held numerous positions of trust, and has, as executor and administrator, settled several estates. For thirty years he has been an elder in the Presbyterian church at New Brighton, In his political preferences he is a Republican. His grandfather, Joseph Phillis, came from Kentucky opposite Cincinnati, about 1777, and settled in Washington county where he purchased 800 acres of land, and followed farming and stock raising, being one of the first settlers in that part of Pennsylvania. He had seven sons and four daughters, Joseph, father of Henry, being his fourth child.
  • William Phillis
    b. 1788 (PA) -d.1820 (Washington, PA)
    First United Presbyterian Cemetery (Burgettstown, PA)
  • Jacob B. Phillis
    War of 1812
    b. April 8, 1792 (Washington Co., PA) -d. March 7, 1847 (Washington Co., PA)
    Married Ann Bruce (b. 1798 - d. 1871) / First United Presbyterian Cemetery (Burgettstown, PA). / Children: Andrew Phillis (b. 1818 PA - d. 1890 PA), Joseph (b. 1823 PA - d. 1883 PA), John B. (d. 1824 PA - d. 1881 IL), Elizabeth Phillis-Hammond (b. 1827 PA - d. 1873), Nancy A. Phillis-Pyles (b. 1829 PA - d. 1914 OH), Jacob (b. 1883 PA - d. 1862 PA), Jane Phillis-James (b. 1834 - d. 1871 PA), Mary Phillis-Wallower (b. 1836 PA - d. ? Iowa), Margaret Phillis-Vance (b. 1837 PA - d. 1883 KY), Rebecca Phillis (b. abt. 1838), Ellen Phillis-Shipley (b. 1840 -d. 1868). from The History of Morgan Co., OH: Jacob Phillis was born April 8, 1792 and reared on the home farm in Smith township, receiving a subscription-school education. Ann B. Phillis, wife of Jacob Phillis, born July 13, 1798, was a daughter of Robert Bruce. She bore him children as follows: Andrew (deceased), Joseph (deceased farmer of Smith township), Elizabeth (deceased wife of William Hammond), Nancy (wife of Thomas Phles, of Guernsey county, Ohio), John (deceased of Cairo, Ill.), Mary (wife of Ephraim Wallower of Ohio, now living in Des Moines, Iowa), Margaret (deceased wife of William Vance, Elizabethtown, Ky.) Jacob (deceased in early manhood), Dane (deceased wife of T  Isaac James), and Ellen (deceased wife Talbert Shipley). After his marriage Mr. Phillis made a permanent home on a part of the original farm, and successfully pursued agriculture. He died in 1847, and his widow passed away December 17, 1871.
  • Charles Phillis
    b. abt. 1794 (Washington Co., PA) - d. Aug. 1856 (Badax Co., Wisconsin)
    Married Kitty Royce (b. abt. 1795) / Married Jane McCorkle (b. 1807 - d. 1880) April 24, 1845 / Children: Joseph (b. 1816 PA - d. 1872 OH), Harriett (b. abt 1817), Elizabeth Phillis-Morgan (b. 1818 PA - d. 1836 OH), Julia Phillis-Dunebo (b. abt 1820 PA - d. 1837 OH), Ellen (b. abt. 1822), Mary (b. abt. 1824), Thomas M. Phillis (b. abt. 1845 OH), Francis (b. abt. 1848 OH)
  • Elizabeth R. (Phillis) Cherry
    b. abt 1795 (Washington Co., PA) - d. 1846 (?)
    Married Thomas W. Cherry (b. 1788 - d. 1845 son of Moses Cherry)
  • Nancy Ann (Phillis) Alexander-Stebbins
    b. July 29, 1796 (Washington Co., PA) - d. May 29, 1827 (PA)
    Married Robert Alexander / Married David Alexander / Married Austin Stebbins
  • Thomas Phillis
    b. abt. 1797-99? (Washington Co., PA)-d.1869 (Washington Co., PA)
    First United Presbyterian Cemetery (Burgettstown, PA)
    Married Isabella Boreland (b. 1823 - d. 1876)
  • Jane (Phillis) Walker
    b.1802 (Washington Co., PA) - d.? / Married Joseph Walker (b. ?) / Children: Anna Walker (b. ?)
  • Catherine (Phillis) Hullick
    b. Dec. 3, 1802 (Washington Co., PA) - d.1868 (Weirton, WV)
    Married Gilbert Hullick (b. ? - d. 1870)




Elizabeth Little Phillis




Joseph Phillis
b. 1696 (England) - d. Nov. 1801 (Wash. Co., PA)

British Navy - Online Source: served aboard a Man of War / left Navy and settled in Colonies near Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA. Jan 1738 - Convicted of stealing cloth etc. London, Middlesex Co., England / Transported aboard ship FORWARD to MD or VA.


Born in England



Nancy () Phillis