Wicocomico Indian Nation: Genealogy

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BEFORE we begin our narrative on our heritage, I would like to dedicate the following story (author unknown) to our Tribe. The contents of this story tells about the storyteller's feeling and is in the best tradition of all Native Americans ability to carry on tribal tradition through story telling and keeping their heritage alive.

We are the chosen! My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors, to put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family and tribal story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe! All tribes have one! We have been called as it were by our Native American genes. Those who have gone before us cry out to us; tell our story. So we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told our ancestors, you have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us. How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts, it goes to who I am and why do I do the things I do. It's about seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying, I can't let this happen. The bones are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It's doing something about it. It's about pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It's about respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their determination to go on and build a life for their family.

It was a deep pride that they fought to make us a Nation. It was a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us, that we might be born who we are, that we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of of their existence, because we are them and they are us. So as a scribe called, I tell the story of our tribe and family.

That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on their bones.


What I will attempt to do is present a theory (based on various documents) on how the English Tapp's and how the Native American Tapp's were intermingled. To do this I used the Tapps that were presented in the Tapp Family Book by Lile, fulcher and Tapp. This book is very inaccurate and should never be used as a research guide. However the Tapps the book mentioned are real but not listed accurately. These Tapps were before 1719,the date our Native American Tapps came into being. ( When Elizabeth Taptico changed the name to Tapp upon William Taptico's death). It's close to being fact that this is the first concise bit of information that is available prior to 1719.

First, we do not have proof that Thomas Tapp married Mary Lewis, however we do have evidence that a Mary Tapp married a John Butcher, this has been assumed by the Liles Fulcher Tapp book that this was the widow of Thomas Tapp.

ACCORDING TO THE TAPP FAMILY BOOK

Thomas Tapp b@ 1628 d @ May 18, 1689, married Mary Lewis by 1655, b @ 1636 d after 1691.

CHILDREN:

We will state some facts and then list the sources. According to all extant records available, Thomas and Mary had one child. JOHN, can be identified thru various order book entry's that will be listed, later.

HENRY can not be found, there was a Henry Tapp listed in Assembly of the VA council in 1850s, however he would be to old to be the son of Thomas and Mary. This is speculation on my part that he is most likely part of the English Tapps, but again this is speculation.

WILLIAM TAPP, did not exist as a son of Thomas and Mary, nothing was found in the existing records to make one believe that a William Tapp did exist. The Tapp family book stated that the name William Tapp and William Taptico were interchangable, not so. From 1693, William I thru William Taptico II, the name was listed in the order books as William Taptico or Tapticoe. One entry was found that appeared to read William Tapp, however the entry appeared to have part of the wording torn off. One must keep in mind, that these entrys are copies of original records of 400 years ago.

MARY TAPP, was not a daughter, but a daughter in-law, again the entry's to prove this will be listed below.

First I will discuss John Tapp and the discrepancies listed in the Tapp book. The following is the will of Jane Fullerton:

"In the name of God Amen, I JOANE FULLERTON of ye county of Rappae: in ye yeare of or: Lord 1678 being very sick of body but of a sound & perfect memory, God be praised for it, doe make this my last Will & Testamt. as followeth; first I bequeath my soule into ye hands of ye Almihgty God hoping for remission of all my sinns."

Item: I bequeath my body to ye Earth to buried in a decent manner.

Item: I give & bequeath as followth: one cow called Pie, unto Elizabeth Meades.

Item: I give & bequeath unto "JOHN TOPP JUNIOR"one cow called Muge.

Item: I give & bequeath one black mare unto Thomas Cunniers.

Item: I give & bequeath all ye rest of my worldly goods estate unto Robert Doewell.

Item: I give & bequeath one gold ring unto Samll. Parry juinor.

And this I make to be my last Will and Testamt. & all other Will or Wills to be void & no effect. As Witness my hand &Seale this 14th of Aprill 1678. Signed & Sealed in ye presence of us. Sammll.Parry, Humphrey Perkins....................Joane (Her Mark) Fullerton.

The deposition of Humphrey Perkins & Samll. Perry say that they did see ye above nmed Joane Fullerton signe seal & publish ye above mencjoned as her last Will and Testamt. & that she was in perfect silence & memory at ye signing. Sealing & publishing thereof to ye best of their judgements Samll.Parry Hump. Perkins

Jurati sunt PARRY et PERKINS in Cur Con Rappae: 3rd die Juli 1678 et Recordatr. xx2th die.

There are many questions concerning the information in The Tapp Family book concerning the will of Jane or Joane Fullerton and what the records reveal. We will discuss the Will before we continue with the entry's from the order books.

The one question that is the most important is... if this is Johns wife, why did she use her maiden name ? This is most unusual. In those days the wife used her married name. Based on the Rappahannock County Order Books, John, her husband died sometimes in 1685, Joane or Jane died in 1678, about 7 years before John, so it's not a case of Jonae or Jane marrying again. Another question is the spelling John Topp. It's difficult to read some of the entry's so it may have been John Tapp, but not positive. Jane or Joane , in her will left all the rest of her wordly goods to a Robert Doewell, why ? It would be more logical to leave this to her husband John. So based on the sequence of events and the will, I believe that Jane or Joane Fullerton did not have a connection with John.It's my opinion that the Tapp Family book decided to fill in a slot. Disregarding my opinion, evidence points to a conclusion that sufficient evidence is not available to state that Jane or Joane Fullerton was Johns wife.

The following entry's are from the Rappahannock County Order Books. And should prove that Mary is Johns wife , not a daughter of Thomas and Mary.

August 5, 1685: A commission of Administration is granted to MARY TAPP upon the estate of her deced husband, JOHN TAPP, she giving security to be accountable for the same to this Court or to whom it shall more properly belong.

The estate of JOHN TAPP deced and that they make report thereof under their hands at the next South side Court held for this County.

MARY TAPP, together with Mr. John Waters enter themselves in an assumpsit of ten thousand pounds of tobb: and cask for the said MARY TAPPS due administracon of the estate of her deced husband comitted to her.

November 4th 1685: Ordered that MARY TAPP make her personall appearance at next South side Court held for this County & that then & there, she give an exact & true account oath of her deced husbands estate.

1686: Whereas by evidence it appears to this Court that ELIZABETH TAPP, daughter of John Tapp deced, an infant, was by her Mother-in-law, MARY TAP, neglected & not taken care of, the Court have ordered that upon this Peticon HENRY PICKETT of this County do take the sd orphan under his care & charge & that she remaine with him untill she come to the age of sixteen or day of marriage wch should first happen.

MY NOTES: In those days, Mother-In-Law and Step Mother meant the same. Taken in the context of the entry and the many other entry's we can assume that this meant Step Mother. Therefore Elizabeth is the daughter of JOHN'S previous wife, but certainly not Jane or Joane Fullerton. We will continue with the entry's concerning MARY TAPP & JOHN TAPP.

August 4th, 1686: Reference granted between XPIAN PETERSON, plaintiff & MARY TAP, Admisistrix of her deced husband JNO. TAP, Defendant, till next Court.

February 1687: It is ordered that THO. GAINES take into his custody the sowes & hogs belonging to JOHN TAPP render an account thereof to the next Court held for this County.

October 6th 1687: Ordered that JOHN WATERS sometimes between this & the next Court, inventory & appraise the estate of JOHN TAP, late deced & make a report thereof in his hand in writing, to the next Court for this County.

September, 1689: Reff. granted intr. XPIAN PETERSON, Plaintiff & JOSEPH BRAGG as marrying MARY TAP, Defendant, till next Court.

December 5th, 1689: The Reff. Intr. XPIAN PETERSON, Plaintiff & JOSEPH BRAG as marrying MARY TAP, Defendant, is continued till next Court.

Unfortunately this is the last entry that I have found concerning Mary Tap, however it's possible that John Tapp may have married a Joan Fullerton, she died and he married Mary ( maiden unknown, may be Waters). His daughter , that was being mistreated by his second wife Mary, could have been from his first wife, Joan Fullerton. However the question of Joan using her maiden name in her will is questionable and the name Topp, not Tapp needs to be explained. What has been cleared up is the question of Mary being listed as a daughter...we now know that she was a sister-in-law, not a daughter. The Liles Fulcher Tapp book has Mary listed as a daughter that married a Bragg. The second son, Henry cannot be located. Thomas and Mary Lewis Tapp mayhave had a son named William Tapp, however he is not the father of King William Taptico. Keep in mind the Native American Tapps did not come into being until 1719, when King William Taptico died his wife changed the name to Tapp. Based on the above evidence, it appears the Tapps listed in the Liles Fulcher Tapp are the English Tapps. If this is correct, it raises several questions, did John Tap leave any male heirs ? Did Henry leave any male heirs ? An interesting bit of information is that the given name of Henry is only found in the Vincent Tapp family of Augusta County VA...this family is thought to be English, could there be a connection. [For those of you that read my genforum posting, this is the method that I detest, connecting families by given names, so tear into me :o) ]

The big puzzle is William Tapp, did Thomas and Mary Lewis really have a son by the name of William or did the authors of the Tapp Family Book find it convenient to list him in this family group. ( Remember, the Tapp Family Book stated that Tapp and Taptico were interchangeable, which is incorrect.) The first time that a William Tapp was mentioned (other than in the Tapp Book) was as a sibling of Charity and Vincent in 1724. In the Northumberland Order Books there was one listing of a William Tapp ( about 1690s), but it was so badly distorted it could possibly have been William Taptico and it did reference a previous entry of William Taptico.

With so littles information available on John and Henry, it will be difficult to trace this group to the Augusta family.

THE next group of Tapp's that appear to be English are those that are from Augusta County Virginia. In most Tapp family tree's they have this family as descendants of King William Taptico.

The information below is from a letter that is copyrighted and I can not place it on line, however I do have permission to publish it in my book " THE LAST OF THE WICOCOMICO"

We will begin with the second son of King William Taptico and Elizabeth...Vincent (sibling of William and Charity) supposedly married Elizabeth Bourne, the problem is; this union is not proven and the Bourne family history can not verify that the marriage took place.

Vincent's children were identified in a letter written by Alice Graham dated October 11, 1811 from Rockingham County Virginia. ( Alice is the daughter of William Tapp who married Christian Bourne)She was responding to a letter she received from Vincent Tapp of Augusta County Virginia. Vincent was attempting to determine if they were related. I cannot reveal any further information without breaking copyright laws.

Vincent Tapp married Elizabeth Bourne ( not proven)

CHILDREN:

*WILLIAM TAPP married Ann ?

CHILDREN: *Vincent, John, Samuel, Lewis, Isaac, Betty, Ginny.

These names were identified from the same source, and will be in the book.

*Vincent married Susannah Gambill and is well documented.

CHILDREN: Baylis, Fanny D. , Delphia, Charlotte, Susannah, John, HENRY, Vincent, Nancy, Walter, and Vincent L.

This is the family group mentioned previously that named one their children Henry.

The following is Vincent Tapp's estate inventory and appears to be Williams father, Vincent. ( The one that supposedly married Elizabeth Bourne).

FREDERICK COUNTY VIRGINIA.

In obedience to an order of the said County Court bearing date the 2nd of June 1752, we the subscribers being appointed by the said order to value the estate of Vincent Tapp, deced and being sworn before Marquire Batmen gent} have a valued the same as follows.

To an old Horse, Saddle & Bridle........................................Pounds...10

To a prcill(?) Old fowleer 13/aprcill(?) Woodenware.....................Pounds....3

To Beds & furniture...........................................................3...10

To 1 cow & yearling.....................................................Pounds....10

To Cask of Tobacco......................................................Pounds....26

Total.........................................................................9.12.6

John Ashby
William Wood
Joseph Combs

At Court held for Frederick County the 4th day of August, 1752.

William Tapp is having returned into Court the appraisement of the estate of Vincent Tapp, Deced the same is admitted to record

Teste. T.Wood CC.

Now the problems...the William that married Ann, (son of Vincent and Elizabeth Bourne) is documented in Vincent and Susannah Tapp's family bible, I have copies of the bible...it states the following;

"Vincent Tapp, son of William and Ann his wife, was born in Frederick County, the 2nd day of April, 1757. Vincent married Susannah Gambill in Charlottesville in the County of Albermarle, State of Virginia on the 24th day of June 1782".

If William is the son of Vincent and Elizabeth Bourne as stated in Alice Grahams letter( Alice's letter did not mention Vincents wife, this is an assumption based on the Liles Fulcher Tapp Book) and the father of Vincent (who married Susannah) as stated in Vincents bible, then the Augusta County Tapp family are descendants of King William Taptico ! However this contradicts recent information that was placed on a personal web site stating that a descendent of the Fredrick County Tapps had a DNA test and indicated that this family is of European origin. If this is the case, it's important that the DNA tester be absolutely sure that he is from this line. If his research is primarly from the Liles Fulcher Tapp book then there may be a problem.

What is possible, is that Alice's letter is correct, but the William that married Ann is not the same William she discussed in her letter.

October, 2004.

Before I continue with my thoughts on the English Tapps, I need to mention the supposedly French Tapps that arrived in Virginia in 1724 and settled in Westmoreland County VA.

The following is from the Liles Fulcher Tapp Book.

Phillip Lewis Joseph Tapp (1690) was the "founder" of this Tapp Family in the Colony of Virginia. Born in Montauban, France, he arrived in Virginia in 1724, settling in Westmoreland County. He evidently brought his then children with him, as records show some of them born in Montauban, France.

The book states that Phillip Lewis Jopseph Tapp married Louise Desplain, their childeran are;

Phillip Lewis Joseph Tapp Jr b. in Mountauban France. Married Fauntleroy.

Anna Maria Tapp 3/20/1716 b. in Mountaban France. Married William Bledsoe.

Frederick William Tapp b. 1720, Orange County Virginia.Married Rachel Mountjoy.

MY NOTES: The Liles Fulcher Tapp is very inaccurate, but they had to find these names somewhere. I will be contacting a researcher in Westmoreland and see if this family existed, also I will contact the French Embassy and find the address of the archives in Paris. Until we find this familes place in the overall Tapp genealogy, we will be spinning our wheels and continue misplacing the Tapps in the wrong ethnic group.

I had a researcher check out this family several months ago, he did find some of the names listed as descendants but did not find the conncection, also the Tapp Book mentions a Fielding Lewis Tapp (grandson of of Phillip Lewis Joseph Tapp) as marrying a Mildred Chowning. ( Some folks have stated that Chowning and Chewning is the one and same ! WRONG. Chewinig is documented and I have the lineage of Lewis and Mildred Chowning. By the way, Fielding is not Lewis's first name, it appears someone added Fielding to give readers the impression that he may be related to, Fielding Lewis, ancestor/descendant of George Washington and his family.

MORE TO FOLLOW.