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This account is a list of stories and speculation about Thomas Vines b. about 1778 in Nth Carolina, who in family legends has been associated with the name of Lipps or a variant. It was assembled by Joe Vines of Arkansas, June 2003. 

Here are the stories as they were told to me about how Thomas Vines b.1778 North Carolina (my 4th great-grandfather) was supposed to have been Thomas Lipsey, Lipseig, Lipzeig, Lipshitz, Lipps or some variation thereof.

Story #1... My grandmother Alice Vines widow of Josiah Vines from Russellville, AR told me many years ago before she died that our names should have been Lipsey.  That a man named Lipsey had been killed in the Revolutionary War and that his wife remarried to a man named Vines and the kids she had by her first marriage took on the Vines name.

Story #2... Richard Vines of Nashville, TN, told a similar story except that the man was hung on the court house square by the Tories for being loyal to the Colonists cause and allowing them to meet in his home. That his wife and young Thomas actually saw the hanging at the town square. Then the wife remarried a man named Vines and that Thomas then took the Vines name.

Story #3... Told to me by Norma Vines of Birmingham, AL that her husband's family passed down a story that a Jewish family named Lipseig, Lipzeig, or some variant thereof, with 2 sons was traveling to America by boat and that both the mother and father took sick and died during the trip over. The two boys were adopted by a Vines family and the boys took the Vines name.

An interesting twist to story #3...
... I got a letter several years ago telling about a lady in Alabama who did a lot of genealogy research on the Vines family back in the early and mid 1900's and that some of her family would joke with her about Thomas being Jewish because it upset her so much and that she tried to hide that fact although everyone knew it was true; it was kind of a family secret.

Story #4... Ed Vines of California who is participating with us in this Vines DNA study tells that his father told them their names should have actually been Lipshitz (thank goodness we did not get hung with that tag to go through life with). I'm not sure if there was a story explaining how we were supposed to have gotten this name or not.

Story #5... Several years back when I was heavy into genealogy and trying my hardest to determine who Thomas Vines father was, I came across a lady in California also studying the Vines of Alabama. I shared with her my grandmother's story about Thomas Vines name having possibly been Lipsey. She started doing research and found some things I had crossed previously and not thought much about and then she found more things that started making her theory more credible. First, there was a Sarah Vines marrying a Thomas Lipps in North Carolina in 1780 (?). She shows up in the 1790 North Carolina census as Sarah Vines with 3 boys who were right for Thomas Vines age. The lady from California also found Sarah Vines living near a Lipps family. A Dawson Sewell was bondman to her marriage to Thomas Lipps and was also married to Thomas Lipps sister Mary. 
Two interesting things I see... 
1. It was very common for boys to be named after their fathers back then so Thomas Vines having the same name as Thomas Lipps makes sense.
2. Thomas Vines named his first son Dawson, my 3rd great-grandfather. I know the marriage date 1780 and Thomas's birth date 1778 don't correspond but outside that too many things here seem to make sense of the possibility of Thomas Vines actually being Thomas Lipps. From what I can find the older Thomas Lipps father was Johan Lipps of German descent whose family came here on the ship Phoenix in 1750 from Sweden and moved the family to Rowan County, NC. Some various spellings of the first name I've seen are Johan, Johanes, and John. Apparently there may have been a John Lipps sr. and John Lipps jr. in the 1790 NC census. I also show that Thomas had a brother John and a brother Jonathan.

I sure wish we could find a male descendant of Johan Lipps and get him to take the DNA test to see if his DNA matches those of us that descend from Thomas Vines. That might explain why Ed's and my DNA do not match with those here in the DNA test from UK and Australia. We also need a couple to test that come from the line of Joe Vines b. 1790 who the book "TOADVINE IN IT'S HEYDAY" by Simon Smith, says is a cousin to Thomas. 
Joe's father Jonathan Daniel Vines b.1750 son of Benjamin Bush Vines b. 1723 was probably a brother to Sarah Vines (Thomas Vines mother), making Thomas and Joe cousins as the book states. Benjamin Bush Vines was the son of Joseph Bush Vines b. abt 1660 Isle of Wight, England according to Johnny Vines of Alabama.

If anyone has other stories about Thomas Vines name that have been passed down through their families we would sure appreciate you sharing them with us as it might give us a clue that could lead us to the true facts about who Thomas Vines father really was.


The results for the first 12 of 25 markers DYS test for Roger Lipps showed to be identical with those for Joe and Ed Vines. This indicates that these three are not unrelated. The results for the remaining 13 markers are yet to come. If these are identical to those in either Joe or Eds tests it will prove with very high probability that they are all descended from a male Common Ancestor, either Johannes Lips or his son, in the 1700s. It should be noted that more than 2 differences in the pending results to those of Joe and Ed could move the Common Ancestor further back in time, possibly before the system of paternally inherited surnames started about a thousand years ago; in the circumstances that would seem to be unlikely.

In less conservative, hopefull and totally optimistic terms, "YIPPEE, another brickwall busted!" Congratulations to Joe Vines for his genealogical persistence and determination.

It would seem now that these three tests have solved family origin problems for many of the Vines families of Alabama and other southern states of US, who have documentary evidence of descent from Thomas Vines, son of Sarah Lips, born about 1778 in North Carolina. To trace their family further back in Europe they must now look into the Lipps and similar family names in Germany and other countries.
It would be now of great interest to have DNA tests of anyone descended from sons born to William Vines and Sarah after their marriage about 1780, to define families descended from him. He did not have the same DNA as Johannes Lips and so his male descendants carry a clue to where he came from.