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Notes for Elizabeth "Betsy" Phillips Arbuckle

1817 - Elizabeth "Betsy" Phillips born in NC

1820 census Stokes Co., NC
Thomas Phillips 100010-10010
1 male 26-45 (Thomas, age 26)
1 male under 10 (John Thomas, age 1)
1 female 26-45 (Martha Pitts, age 26-30)
1 female under 10 (Betsy, age 3)

About 1827 - the family moved from North Carolina to Indiana

About 1829 - Betsy's father Thomas left her mother Martha with woman Mary (later married?) and also took Betsy's siblings Easter & Greenberry with him.

1830 census

1833 - Betsy's mother Martha remarried John Stagg

1835 - Betsy married John Arbuckle


1850 census Spencer, Jennings Co., IN page 386
Household #786
John Arbuckle, age 33, farmer, b. IN
Elizabeth, age 31, b. NC
Alexander, age 14, b. IN
John N, age 12, b. IN
Riley, age 10, b. IN
Nancy, age 8, b. IN
Francis M., age 6, b. IN
Martha, age 4, b. IN
Melvina, age 2, b. IN
Household #787
Martha Stagg, age 55, b. NC
Isaac Phillips, age 24, laborer, b. IN

1860 census Brown Twp., Hendricks Co., IN
Household #139
John Arbuckle, age 43, farmer, b. IN
Elizabeth, age 42, b. NC
William R., age 20, b. IN
Nancy, age 17, b. IN
Marion, age 15, b. IN
Martha, age 13, b. IN
Melvina, age 11, b. IN
Washington, age 8, b. IN
George, age 5, b. IN
Emeline, age 2, b. IN

1870 census Brown Twp., Hendricks Co., IN
Household #195
John Arbuckle, age 53, farmer, b. IN
Elizabeth, age 52, b. NC
Marion, age 26, b. IN
Washington, age 18, b. IN
Arthur, age 13, b. IN
Martha, age 10, b. IN
Note from K - I'm not sure which children are Arthur & Martha from info I have for this family.

1880 census Brown, Hendricks Co., IN
Elizabeth ARBUCKLE Self W Female W 62 NC Keeping House NC NC
Mathew Howard ARBUCKLE Son M Male W 19 IN Farmer IN NC
Samantha ARBUCKLE Daughter in law M Female W 22 MO Keeping House KY VA
Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920
Name: Elizabeth Arbuckle
Date: 14 Feb 1891
Location: Brownsburg
Age: 72 yr
Gender: Female
Race: White
Source Location: County Health Office Danville
Source Notes: The source of this record is the book A-24 on page 14 within the series produced by the Indiana Works Progress Administration.

From Phillips Family book written by John Philllips 1986 & Ken & Lucille Phillips 1994

ELIZABETH PHILLIPS was born November 15, 1817 in North Carolina and was called " Betsy." She moved to Indiana with her parents when she was about 10. When she was about 12, her father went west, leaving her with her mother in Jennings County, Indiana. In 1833, her mother married John Stagg. Betsy probably lived with them until she married John Arbuckle. He had been born January 5, 1817 to Matthew Arbuckle and to former Catherine Smack.

Betsy and John got their license August 24, 1835 and were married September 3, 1835 by John Vawter. The documentation is in the Jennings County records. Vawter had been the county's first permanent settler and had been first at most everything, else. He had been born in 1782 in Orange County, Virginia, had married Margaret Smith in Scott County, Kentucky, in 1805, then had moved to Madison, Indiana, that same year. He had been the town's first magistrate, had been sheriff of dark and Jefferson counties, then about 1813 President James Madison had made him U.S. Marshall. In 1815, Vawter had built a cabin about 40 yards east of where Jennings' courthouse is. He had founded the town of Vernon, and as a Baptist minister had founded the Vemon Baptist Church. As a trained civil engineer, he knew how to survey land so had become the county's first land speculator. The only other family in the area, that of Soloman Deputy on Coffee Creek, lived about 10 miles away, so there was plenty of land to be had. Vawter had started Vernon's first grammar school and its first newspaper. He and John Branham had built the first flour mill in 1816, and he and a Doctor Peabody had been instrumental in getting a rail link between Vernon and Madison in 1838. At one time or another, he was county treasurer, county agent and colonel of the county militia. Five times he was elected to the state legislature. He also was minister of Liberty Baptist Church and preached regularly at various other places in the county. He moved to Morgan County in 1848, where he built a brick meeting house and donated it to his new congregation. He died in August, 1862.

Betsy and John Arbuckle moved upstate to Hendricks County in January 1857. They settled on a farm a mile north of Brownsburg amidst another group of Phillipses. Media Phillips had moved from Jennings County to Hendricks in the 1840s, then, during the '50s, his father Philemon followed him. Philemon had been born about 1790 in North Carolina and had lived there in Guilford County in 1810 and in Montgomery County , Kentucky, in 1820. Betsy's descendant Bill Arbuckle, who has spent a lot of time researching the Arbuckles, believes that John and Betsy went to Hendricks not especially because Betsy had relatives there , but because John did. Betsy and John had Alexander H. in 1836, John Wesley in 1838, William Riley in 1840, Nancy in 1843, Francis Marion in 1844, Martha in 1846, Melvina H. in 1848, Washington M. in 1852, George Franklin in 1853, Esther in 1857 and Matthew Howard in 1860.

In 1863, John sold half an acre of his farm to Brown township for $25 so a one-room. school could be built on it. The school was adjacent to Bethesda Cemetery, which sometimes was called Sambo Cemetery, and was named Brown Twp. School No. 3. But most people called it "Sambo School." Alex Arbuckle, eldest child of Betsy and John was the school's first teacher.

John died October 14, 1871. Betsy lived in son Matthew's home in 1880, then moved to son Alex's home in Brownsburg. Bill Arbuckle reports that she was to retain a third of the Arbuckle property as her dowerright, then distribute the remainder among her children. She gave some children their share but didn't provide for others until after a "friendly lawsuit" in 1872. She died February 14, 1891 of obstruction of the bile duct, according to her death certificate. She was 72. Bible records give the date of death as January 14, 1891. Betsy and John are buried in Bethesda Cemetery adjacent to where they lived. Many Phillipses are buried there, but none except Betsy descended from Thomas H. Phillips. The others descended from Philemon. Bill Arbuckle said that Sambo School was razed about 1928 and that the Arbuckle property remained farmland until the mid-1970s, when it became a golf course. The house in which Betsy last lived was still standing in the late 1970s; it is located at the entrance of the Arbuckle Park in Brownsburg. Betsy's daughter Mattie sold the adjacent park land to the town about 1960.

Betsy's death certificate lists her parents as'William Phillips" and Martha Pitts and their place of birth as North Carolina. Alex Arbuckle probably provided this misinformation. His grandfather Tom Phillips had left Indiana in 1830 six years before Alex was born so Alex simply was mistaken. Tom probably had a brother William who remained in Southern Indiana, which might account for Alex' confusion. (See the biography of Betsy's sister Martha, in which William is mentioned.) In the late 1970's, Bill Arbuckle searched for photos of Betsy. We found many family photos but most lacked identification; no living person would be able to say if Betsy appears in any of them.