Last updated 06/23/02  RJ Pipes

Made several correction to grammar and punctuation. Corrected broken links at bottom of page.

The Missouri Pipes Family

William Pipes, oldest son of Sylvanus Pipes, appears to be the first of the family to move into the Missouri country from Kentucky. Howard County was the destination for William and his wife Sarah and they raised crops and children with great success as Sarah bore at least 7 offspring between 1810 and 1817. Family legend says that William and Sarah were cousins and this was the first clue that piqued our curiosity about this family and the ancestry of their progenitor, Sylvanus. The Pipes family in Missouri is fairly well documented in the years after 1810 as William's brothers George and James and their father Sylvanus joined them from Kentucky. Many other Pipes family members moved here from Kentucky in the years from 1817 until after the Civil War, including some of the grandsons of John Pipes Jr.

To start at the beginning however, we need to attempt an answer to the question of the heritage of Sylvanus Pipes. Sylvanus has been said to be the son of John Pipes Jr. by his first wife Jemima Harriman. After looking at the facts (if anything in genealogy can be said to be factual), we have several indicators that suggest that Sylvanus was in fact a son of John Pipes Sr. and Susannah Hathaway, making him a brother to John Jr.

I first noticed the question of his heritage when trying to determine his age. Although we do not have a will or a grave marker at this point, we can determine his age by approximation and by looking at some of the dates associated with other documents such as the ages of his children and census records, marriage bonds, etc. He did not seem to be of the correct age to have been a son of John jr. and Jemima because they were married about 1760.

The first fact to be considered is the origin of the name Sylvanus. It has been assumed that the name was given by John Jr. to his son because John Jr. served under an officer named Sylvanus Seeley in the Militia in colonial New Jersey. While this is true, and he did serve under such a man, it was recently pointed out to me by Carol Garrett that John Jr. did not serve with Sylvanus Seely until many years after Sylvanus Pipes was born. Sylvanus Pipes was born somewhere between 1755 -1763 and John Pipes Jr. served with Sylvanus Seely in the Militia just before the revolutionary war in the period 1772 to 1775. It is also true that John Pipes Sr. had a good friend named Sylvanus. This man is well documented in colonial New Jersey and he was involved with John Pipes Sr. in the counterfeiting scheme and in fact they were arrested together in that matter. His name was Sylvanus Totten. and his son Abraham Totten is also mentioned in the counterfeiting court records.

The second fact is the marriage bond signed by Sylvanus Pipes and John Copeland in Mercer County Kentucky in May of 1795. This marriage bond is between John Copeland and Sarah Pipes, who we assume to be Sylvanus' daughter. We can assume that Sarah is at least 20 years old, which would place her birth near or before1775. If her father, Sylvanus were the son of John Jr. and Jemima, he would have to have been born after their marriage in 1760, which would in turn place his marriage and the birth of his daughter Sarah in 1775 at or near his 15th year of age. Not very likely, as most men were in their 20's before a first marriage. He was more likely born before 1755 in New Jersey (or possibly North Carolina, as we don't know the exact date of John Pipes Sr's first move to that state) and married before 1775, possibly in North Carolina, although his son William lists his own birth place as "Virginia" in later Census records. In the 1810 Census of Kentucky Sylvanus is listed as older than 45 and in the 1830 Census of Missouri he is listed as over 90 years of age.

The third fact is the family legend that says two of Sylvanus' sons married their "cousins". Both of these cousins happened to be named Sarah Pipes. In order for his son to marry a "cousin", the female cousin named Sarah would have to be a child of one of Sylvanus brothers. It is also not likely that any family would have two daughters named Sarah, and considering the ages and locations of other men named Pipes at that time, these two women could only have two potential candidates as fathers. These two were: John Pipes Jr ( one of the women named Sarah was definitely the daughter of John Jr.) and Phillip Pipes. We know very little about Phillip, but we do know that he was in the area at the time and was of the proper age to have had a daughter of the correct age. This legend is mentioned in Mrs. Ellsberry's book about the descendants of John Pipes Jr., and is very clear about Sarah Pipes and James Pipes and their relationship as cousins, although it does not mention nor offer any proof of the relationship.

The fourth fact is the family connection between James Pipes, William Pipes and Sylvanus Pipes. There is mention of James and his brother George in a newspaper article from the "Kentucky Gazette" in July 1805. The article states that George and James are brothers and mentions "S. Pipes," father of the two. Also, the 1819 to 1826 Howard County Missouri taxpayers list shows the home of George Pipes with the following family members in the Household: James Pipes Sr., James Pipes Jr., Pleasant Pipes and Sylvanus Pipes. (it was spelled Sylvalus.) The only connection between William Pipes and Sylvanus is the fact that a deed was made between William and Sylvanus in 1797 in Washington County Kentucky for a piece of land and the land was deeded back to Sylvanus in 1799. This land was apparently given up as Sylvanus planned to relocate, and then the deed was annulled when he decided not to move.(The intended destination is not known.)

In the final analysis, you could conclude that Sylvanus was a son of John Jr. by stretching the dates for his birth and that of his daughter Sarah. The name Sylvanus admittedly could have come from either source and so, it comes down to the "cousins" story. I doubt that Sylvanus would have allowed his son James to marry his aunt, but to marry a cousin in those days was quite common. And then there is the other son William who also married a "cousin". She had to be a daughter of Phillip, and if Sylvanus was a brother to Phillip Pipes, then he had to also be a brother of John Jr.

The Travels of Sylvanus Pipes

We assume that Sylvanus was born in New Jersey about 1750 -1755. The next record of him (and actually this is the first record of him) occurs in Surry County, N. Carolina in a 1782 Tax List. He appears in several lists and court records in Surry County until 1787. We next find him in Lincoln County, Kentucky in a 1789 Tax list. He appears in various tax and census lists in Kentucky until 1810 and then appears in Missouri tax lists in 1820 and also in the 1830 Missouri Census of Howard County as a member of the household of Pleasant Pipes,  his son.

The Children of Sylvanus Pipes

There has been no indication of the name of Sylvanus' wife, although the name Lucy Sparrow Hanks was suggested as a possibility by someone searching in Washington County, Kentucky, and the surname Shores has been suggested as a possibility from Surry County NC. It is a possibility that the wife and the marriage may have come from Montgomery County in Virginia, which is just across the border from N. Carolina. A female is listed in the 1810 Census of Kentucky as being over 45 years of age, the same as Sylvanus, and I assume this is his wife and is the only mention of her in any of the records to date. In any case we have identified several possible children:

1-1 Sarah Pipes

1-2 Polly Pipes

1-3 William Pipes

1-4 George Pipes

1-5 Pleasant Pipes

1-6 Elizabeth Pipes

1-7 James Pipes

The Children and Grandchildren of Sylvanus Pipes

1-1 Sarah Pipes b. abt 1775, possibly in N. Carolina. m. John Copeland in Kentucky in 1795

1-2 Polly Pipes b. abt 1777, possibly in N. Carolina. m. 06/03/1801 Elijah Jackman in Ky.

1-3 William Pipes b.06/01/1779 in N. Carolina or Virginia. d. 10/01/1852 in Boone Co. Missouri. m. Sarah Pipes ( a cousin and possibly the daughter of Phillip Pipes) She was b. abt 1779, Possibly in Kentucky and d. 01/27/1855 in Boone County, Missouri.

1-4 George Pipes b. abt 1780 in Kentucky d. 10/02/1846 in Howard Co. Mo. m. Polly Jackman

1-5 Pleasant Pipes b. 03/20/1781 in Ky. d. 06/19/1864 in Randolph Co. Mo. m. Margaret Tinsley

1-6 Elizabeth Pipes b. abt 1784 in Ky. m. Price Arnold they both lived in Howard Co. Mo.

1-7 James Pipes b. abt 1786 in Ky. m Sarah Pipes, his cousin. They lived in Howard Co. Mo. (This is the daughter of John Pipes Jr. and Mary Morris.)

The Move to Missouri

The Missouri Country was first opened in 1806 by Daniel Boone when he and two of his sons began a salt lick and salt business in an area about 12 miles north of present day Boonville. They traveled back and forth to Kentucky and were the first whites in the area until 1808 when Benjamin Cooper and his sons settled there for a short time until driven out by the Indians in 1809. In 1810 the Coopers returned to the area with 150 persons and the first permanent settlement was founded. The information we have tells us that William Pipes and Sarah and his family first located to Missouri in 1810, so I assume that he was with this first group or joined them shortly after. The History of the area tells of prosperity in this fertile country for about two years until the British set the Indians against the settlers as part of their efforts in the war of 1812.

A period of entrenchment began, with forts and constant harassment by the Indians until the year 1814, when an appeal was made to Governor William Clark who managed to obtain the services of 500 government troops and with the help of the settlers, who now numbered 112, they ascended the Missouri river, captured a tribe of Miami Indians and ended the siege. A large immigration ensued and for the next decade, a constant stream of settlers flowed from Kentucky to Missouri.

In 1817 George and James Pipes and their families joined William in the new territory. A check of the names of all Sylvanus' daughters verifies that every one of them came to Missouri in the remaining years. The names Jackman, Arnold, and Copeland all appear in the territory, with Price Arnold being one of the first settlers, having one of the original settlers forts named after him. The only one left behind in Kentucky was Pleasant and he also moved his family sometime after 1820.

It is somewhat of a mystery that all of John Pipes Jr.'s children seem to have remained in Kentucky with him and all of Sylvanus' children moved to Missouri. Sylvanus himself appears to have moved sometime between 1810 and 1820, but does not take up farming again on his own, but by 1820 he would have been 65 years old and possibly chose to live with his children. There is no indication that his wife was still living, so we don't know if she died in Kentucky or in Missouri.

There may have been other grandchildren, cousins or relatives who made the migration to Missouri, but the next members who are identified for sure are two sons of Nathaniel Pipes, Silas in 1868 and Alfred about 1855. James Richard Pipes (called "JR"), a son of Samuel Pipes and grandson of Nathaniel Pipes came to Missouri and lived near Weston. Mo. in 1884.

So, in the late 1800's almost anyone named Pipes in the state of Missouri was probably a descendent of Sylvanus Pipes or John Pipes Jr. I am sure there may have been exceptions and someone from Louisiana or from Pennsylvania may have been included in the migration, but for the most part the Louisiana families tended to move west into Texas and the Pennsylvania families moved west into Ohio and Indiana.

Click Here to see a short Biography on Judge David Pipes of Missouri, a grandson of Sylvanus

Click here to see a history of Boone County Missouri that mentions William and James Pipes

Click here to find out that William Pipes was one of the original supporters and founders of the University of Missouri.

Click here to go to the Missouri Gen Web project, where lots of info about Boone, Howard and Randolph counties is being added everyday.

Click here to see miscellaneous records info such as marriage, census, cemetery, etc.

 Return to  Pipes family Home Page


Descendents of John Pipes Jr. By Elizabeth Ellsberry June 1964

Information from Joan Shacklette of Colorado

Information from Carol Garrett of Sarasota Florida

Information from John Hawkins of Lenoir N. Carolina

Information from Sheryl Morgan of Moberly, Randolph Co. Missouri

Information from Earla Jean Roberts of Alabama

Wills and Administrations of Howard Co. Missouri By EP Ellsberry

Missouri DAR Genealogical records; Marriage records 1816 - 1900

History of Howard and Cooper Counties Missouri  National Historical Company 1883