Coat of Arms, Ambrose Lupo and Sons

This is a graphic representation of the coat of arms issued to Ambrose Lupo (posthumously) and his sons, Peter and Joseph. Numerous copies are floating around the Internet, mistakenly identified as the Lupo family coat of arms, many with no attribution and some with erroneous information about how it originated. Here’s the actual story.


Original artwork by Keith Kennedy Tyson, Tasmania, Australia.

The graphic is taken from a scan of the original artwork produced by Keith Kennedy-Tyson from Tasmania, Australia, which is in my possession and is credited as such at the website I created for my family ( It did not come from one of those online companies which produce dubious “family crests” or questionable family histories. It represents an actual grant of arms to a specific set of individuals, who were the forerunners of the branch of the family who settled in the United States prior to the Revolution. Keith also translated the original document I received from the British Library, with the assistance of the individuals identified below.

Accompanying the artwork, Keith provided the following text.

The Arms of Lupo as granted to Ambrose Lupo and his sons, Peter and Joseph by William Dethick, Garter King of Arms 


In Campo Caeruleo Lupam albam ingredientem hiantem lingua et unquibus sanguinolent et in supere Argt. 3 rosas rubras albis duplicatis foliis viridis cresentibus 

pro Crista superiorem albi lupi partem erectum egredientem supra capsidem pendibus tenentem rosam cum stipite et ramis proprius colorit. depicta et tortili.

Attempt at translation of the Arms: 


On a field of Azure a wolf passant Argent, langued and Armed Glues on a chief Argent three red roses duplicated in white slipped vert.


A demi wolf rampant Argent, holding with his feet a rose, slipped vert as depicted in the Arms.

About Elizabethan Grants and their contemporary portrayal: 

The closest representation I have found to copy the style from is from the 1580’s. At this time it had become a common rule that whatever the colour of the wreath the mantling was generally Gules doubled Argent. In general the wreath’s colour was still taken from the principal colour and metal of the shield. In the case of this grant it would be Azure doubled Argent. 

Elizabethan mantling looks a little weak when compared with either ancient or contemporary examples. It had also become common practice for the esquire’s/gentleman’s helmet to be garnished/out lined with gold. 

The reason for the change from a she wolf to a normal wolf is that the Heraldic Latin of the period was not noted for getting its gender right and she wolves are exceptionally rare whilst a wolf is far more probable, particularly as it would then tie in with the crest. 

Keith provided the following attribution with the artwork.

This translation was based on the work of one honours student in Classics, Assoc. Professor M. Bennett, Dept. of Hist. (a medievalist with strong interests in the early Tudor monarchs) and myself an honors grad in Hist. reading for my Masters. I also used a Latin heraldic glossary from one of my 1800’s heraldry books.

How the Work Came About 

In the late 1980s, I began researching my family’s history. Since I already knew Lupo was the Italian word for “wolf,” I originally believed I’d trace back a few generations and discover my immigrant ancestor. Imagine my surprise when I found Lupos in Virginia well before the Revolution. Eventually, I ran across mention of musicians by that name, which led me to scattered references to Ambrose, Peter and Joseph, who were incorrectly identified as brothers.

Sometime around 1992, I discovered a recording by the Parley of Instruments from England, headed by Peter Holman, which included compositions by Thomas Lupo, a royal composer employed by James I and his son, Prince Charles, later Charles I. Appropriately, the recording was entitled Music for Prince Charles. The text accompanying the recording contained biographical information about the Lupos, so I wrote to Peter Holman. He replied with references which were highly beneficial in rediscovering the history of the Lupo family in England. Two of the articles were by Roger Prior, at the time a professor at Queen’s University, Belfast. I later corresponded with Dr. Prior, and he provided me with further information which was invaluable in tracing the origins of my family.

At the time, Peter Holman was working on his book, Four and Twenty Fiddlers, about the history of the violin at the English court. I and another researcher, Michael Lupo, contacted him separately about the family, and he mentioned us in a footnote on page 51. Between Peter Holman and Roger Prior, I found mention of a coat of arms issued to Ambrose Lupo and his sons.

“Lupus, Ambrose, s. of Baptist, of “Castello maiori” of Busto in Normandy, in the Republic of Malan; augmentation and crest granted ? 45 Eliz. … by W. Dethrick, Gart. Queen’s College Oxford manuscript, folio 96, copy of grant in Latin; Stowe ms. 676 fo. 138b names sons Peter and Joseph.” This was found in Grants of Arms Named in Docquets and Patents to the End of the Seventeenth Century, transcribed by Joseph Foster, Harleian Society Publications, Vol. 66, page 160. Referencing the Stowe manuscript, I wrote to the British Library and received this reproduction of the grant.


Being unable to read Elizabethan Latin, and newly acquainted with the Internet, I went on a newsgroup called rec.heraldry in June of 1993 to find someone who could help translate, and possibly provide a rendering of it. This set off a flurry of correspondence between myself and individuals mainly from Germany and Australia. Someone in Germany would comment on the translation, I’d forward the info to someone in Australia, who’d reply back with more information. It was truly a global effort.

One of the individuals with whom I corresponded was a woman in Tasmania, Australia named Elizabeth and she put me in touch with her husband, Keith, who was a graduate student in history. He asked me to send a copy of the grant and he’d take a crack at translating it. He did just that, as well as supplying me with a rendering of how the arms probably looked, which is the basis for the graphic above.

When I started my website in March of 1995, I included a family page which became the basis for the site, which went online in 1998. I posted the graphic there, without realizing it would be distributed far and wide without attribution. Once I realized it was being used by others, I updated the image at the site to include the site name, but by then, it had been propagated throughout the Internet. Numerous individuals have it posted on Ancestry, some with links back to, others without.

It is incorrect to refer to this as the Lupo Family Coat of Arms. The grant was to a specific family under a specific set of circumstances. Arms are the property of the individual to whom they are issued, and since these were conferred upon Ambrose and his sons, both Peter and Joseph could pass them on to their heirs. They would have been passed down in accordance with established rules of inheritance, and England, at the time, followed the rules of primogeniture, that is, in the absence of a will, the eldest surviving son inherited the father’s property. Phillip Lupo, who visited Virginia in 1621 and who was the father of Phillip who made out his will in 1668, was not the oldest son of Peter Lupo and, in fact, had two older brothers, Thomas and Albiano. Thomas remained in England, where he continued the family profession of being a court musician. The arms conferred on Peter would have been passed down to Thomas, then to his heirs. While Phillip in Isle of Wight County was his father’s oldest son, the family in the United States descends from his younger son, James, and most likely from James’ youngest son, John.

I’m posting this to both relate the story of how it came into existence and to recognize the many individuals who contributed to making it happen. I wish I could post a transcript of the discussion that went into it, but unfortunately none of that was preserved and would most likely take up too much space. I would urge anyone who has it posted to be sure to reference this post, or the family site at where credit is given to the known individuals who helped. It was through their efforts that this important piece of family history was rediscovered.

The First Lupos in America 1610-1670

The story of the Lupo family in North America began with the earliest settlers in Virginia and was led by two sons of royal musician Peter Lupo. His marriage to Katherine Wicker is recorded in the parish of St. Botolph’s without Aldgate 27 October 1575. It was preceded within a month by the christening of his second daughter and the burial of his first wife, both named Katherine. Given the date of the christening record of the younger Katherine Lupo and the date of her mother’s burial, Peter’s first wife must have died in childbirth, or as a result of it. The events followed one another very closely, the younger Katherine’s baptism on 29 September, the elder Katherine’s burial on 11 October, and Peter’s marriage to Katherine Wicker, who’s identified in some records as a widow, on 27 October. The haste in getting married was probably due to Peter’s having two small children at home, one of whom was a newborn. A busy court musician who had to be available whenever and wherever the Queen required his services would have had little time to care for a family on his own.

In a letter to a colleague, dated 18 March 1578, Peter states he found his oldest daughter sick with the Plague when he returned home from Hampton Court, a royal residence, on the first day of Lent. History confirms that there was an outbreak of the Plague in England in 1578. The younger Katherine died around January of 1577, and Peter’s letter is dated March of the following year. Peter did have another daughter, Jane, who was older, and who Peter probably was referencing in his letter. Jane’s burial is recorded in 1583, not long after another outbreak of the plague in London, meaning that over an eight year span, Peter lost his first wife and both his daughters by her. Between 1577 and 1588, Peter and his second wife, Katherine, had six children, Thomas (1577), Albyanus (1579), Elizabeth (1581), Phillip (1582), Ferdinando (1585), and Mary (1588), most of whom appear to have survived to adulthood. After 1600, records on the family appear in Kent, where, in 1604, Phillip married Mary Comes, who most likely belonged to the Comey family of court musicians. Peter died in Kent in 1608.

Albyanus/Albiano Lupo, 1579-1626

Other than his christening record, not much information has been found on Albiano in England. His name was most likely derived from Albion, an archaic name for England. A number of researchers state that he married Elizabeth Bassano, who was born in London around 1593, but no marriage record has been found to support this conclusion. Records from Virginia show that his wife’s name was Elizabeth, and that she was considerably younger than Albiano, suggesting she could have been his second wife, though Albiano appears to have left behind no family in England. In all probability, they married in the colony, since Elizabeth would have been a young teenager when Albiano went to Virginia, and didn’t follow him for six years, which would have been quite a lengthy separation for a young bride. One of the individuals Albiano is said to have sponsored is Elizabeth Hayden, but no information has been found on who she was or what became of her. It would not have been the first instance where a man sponsored the woman he eventually married. The Bassanos and Lupos did intermarry at least once, and Albiano’s brother Phillip appears to have married a member of another musical family, the Comeys, but for now, Elizabeth’s family origins remain a mystery.

What’s more certain is what brought Albiano to Virginia, and that was opportunity. King James of England granted a charter to the Virginia Company in 1606, and charged them with colonizing the “new world”. The result was the settlement of Jamestown in 1607. The Virginia Company was a joint stock corporation with the power to appoint governors and other officials, and it had the responsibility of insuring that settlers had the necessary supplies and support to successfully manage in their new homes. Published records from the company show that Albiano and his wife were shareholders.

Virginia Company Seal

This is the seal of the Virginia Company, founded in the late 1500’s and used until the expiration of the charter of the Virginia Company in 1624. [ en.wikipedia]

Colonizing the “new world” came with much risk. A previous settlement of 110 people on Roanoke Island, the infamous “lost colony” disappeared without a trace between 1587 and 1590, and an earlier attempt in 1584 failed after encountering supply difficulties and hostilities from the native tribes. When those first settlers stepped off the boat and onto the shores of what would become Virginia, they were, figuratively speaking, as far away from the world they knew with all its conveniences and protections as were the first men to land on the moon. As had been demonstrated with Roanoke, by the time word of difficulties reached England and help returned to the colony, there might not be much left to find. Jamestown itself nearly folded during its first few years, and it was only saved by the last minute arrival of supplies from England.

Albiano Lupo was among the second wave of settlers in 1610, arriving onboard a ship called The Swan, and preceding the Pilgrims by ten years. Albiano was among the first settlers of Keccoughton, later known as Elizabeth City County, one of the earliest colonies in Virginia after Jamestown. Albiano came to the colony under an indenture, presumably to Stephen Sparrow, as that’s who requested Albiano’s release in 1619. At that time, Albiano received a grant of one hundred acres, and was later given the office of Lieutenant, which pretty much insures that he was Protestant, or at least viewed as such by those in charge. Early settlers to Virginia were also entitled to fifty acres of land for indentured servants whose passage they sponsored. By 1622 Albiano had sponsored several individuals including John Slaughter, John Hayes, Hester Wheeler, Daniel Palmer, and Elizabeth Hayden, entitling him to a total of 350 acres in Elizabeth City. Individuals who settled in Virginia prior to 1616 and survived the “Indian massacre” of 1622 were referred to as “Ancient Planters”.

Elizabeth Lupo arrived in 1616, according to a census listing in 1624, and later was granted fifty acres of land in her own right. If she was the Elizabeth Hayden Albiano sponsored, perhaps she earned the fifty acres via their marriage, or by coming to the colony in order to get married. Early on, men greatly outnumbered the women in the colony, so eligible women were encouraged to emigrate. In 1621, Albiano’s brother Phillip arrived onboard a ship called the George, along with incoming colonial governor Sir Francis Wyatt. Neither Phillip’s wife nor his children joined him in the colony at that time, which may have indicated he did not plan to stay and there’s no record that he received a grant of land for traveling to Virginia as did Albiano.

From the start, English relations with the native tribes were tenuous at best, forming the template for centuries of mutual hostilities and bloodshed. On 22 March 1622, the unified forces of several tribes, led by Opechancanough, the uncle of Pocahontas, undertook a large scale attack against the colonists in Virginia. Characterized in colonial accounts as a surprise attack, the aim was to drive the white settlers from the land and in the resultant slaughter 347 colonists were killed. Remaining settlers sought shelter in forts and larger towns where many succumbed to illness. A census taken in 1622/23 which lists the living and dead in Elizabeth City County bears the name of William Lupo listed “among the dead”, though his age or how he might be related to Phillip and Albiano is not reported. The massacre of 1622, combined with numerous financial problems, led to the dissolution of the Virginia Company and the transfer of Virginia to royal oversight around 1624.

It was during this early period of royal oversight that land was granted to the Lupos by Sir Francis Wyatt. The 350 acres of land that Albiano owned adjoined 50 acres owned by his wife Elizabeth on one side and the land of John Bush on the other, and was bordered by “the main river”, which was presumably the James. Albiano and Elizabeth’s parcels were divided by a creek which for years was known as “Lupo’s creek”. Though the county has long since vanished, the land on which Elizabeth City County stood today forms the independent city of Hampton, Virginia near the coast of the present day state.

Around this same time, Phillip Lupo appears to have left the colony, as no further record of him in Elizabeth City has been found. Parts of Elizabeth City formed Nansemond County, one of the burned counties that lost most, if not all its early records. Albiano died in Virginia around 1626 and his will was probated in Jamestown shortly thereafter. Elizabeth Lupo married John Chandler, who is listed as owning the land belonging to Albiano in deeds from around 1645. Descendants of the Chandlers can be found throughout the U.S. to this day. Albiano and Elizabeth had a daughter named Temperance, born in 1620 in Virginia, who may have been the first Lupo born on American soil, but it is not known what became of her. Albiano Lupo appears to have had no surviving male heirs in the colonies, so the story of this pioneering Lupo ended with his death in 1626.

Phillip Lupo, 1605-1670

Though Phillip Lupo apparently left the Virginia colony around or after 1624, his son, also named Phillip, returned and founded a family line that would thrive in Virginia for over 150 years and that survives to the present across the U.S. Evidence of this comes from what is perhaps the most important document in the history of the early American family, the will of Phillip Lupo of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, dated 8 March 1668 and probated 9 February 1670. No other single document gives as many clues on the origin of the family or tells so much about its author as the few paragraphs of Phillip’s will and the accompanying inventory of his estate. It tells us that his father’s name was Phillip and that he was a goldsmith in London, his brother was James and and his sister was Katherine Morecroft. Further, Phillip tells us his wife was Marie, his sons were Phillip and James, and his daughter was Mary Ryall, though her husband’s name has not been identified. He appoints both his sons as administrators of his estate, which lets us know the youngest son, James, was at least fourteen years old, which is the earliest age at which a male could be appointed an administrator in Colonial Virginia. Phillip’s will also states he’s headed back to England to look after the estates of his father, brother and sister.

Records from England indicate Phillip’s brother, James, was christened 21 December 1617 in Maidstone, Kent and died before 16 February 1669 in Yorkshire, as that’s when his will was probated. In 1648, James married Maria (or Mary) Askham in Ledsham, Yorkshire and the parish records show two daughters and a son born to their family, all of whom appear to have died in infancy. The court records state that Katherine Lupo married first a Mr. Lowndes and had a son Thomas, who Katherine outlived. After her first husband’s death, she married Mr. Morecroft (possibly John) but had no children with him. No christening or marriage records have been found for Phillip or Katherine, but records from Kent indicate that they had a sister, Mary, born in 1612, who died in 1617. Given that we’re dealing with multiple individuals named Phillip, I will refer to the elder Phillip from Isle of Wight County as Phillip Senior, his son as Phillip Junior, and his father as Phillip the goldsmith.

Accompanied by his namesake son, Phillip Senior returned to England, where he discovered that property his sister Katherine had received from her son, Thomas Lownes, had been willed after Katherine’s death to James, then to James’ widow after his death. Phillip Senior, the oldest of Katherine’s siblings and therefore the rightful heir under existing law, challenged the inheritance in court. While Phillip Senior was visiting his sister-in-law in Yorkshire, he died, and Phillip Junior took up the suit on his behalf.

In depositions given before the Chancery Court, important information was revealed about Phillip Senior’s life in Virginia. Edmund Ayres, a former neighbor of the Lupos in the colony, testified that Phillip Senior lived near the James River and had three children, all born in Virginia. John Exum testified that Phillip Senior lived in Maidstone, Kent upon his return from the colony and that Phillip Junior’s mother died in Virginia “about 16 or 17 years ago” (approximately 1654-1656).

The situation, while detailing Phillip Senior’s activities while in England, leaves us with still more unanswered questions. Namely, why did it take Phillip Senior sixteen years to return to look after his father’s estate? Evidence suggests that Phillip the goldsmith died around 1652, as that’s when a burial record is recorded for a “Phillip Luprue” in St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate. This man was seventy at the time of his death which is consistent with Phillip the goldsmith’s birth in 1582. In testimony given by James’ widow at the Chancery proceedings, she claims that James had stated that his brother had gone to Virginia and “was long dead”.

The wording of his will makes it fairly clear that Phillip Senior didn’t have much information about what was happening with his family in England, though he was aware that his sister had married Mr. Morecroft, although this could have occurred before he left England. He seems to be saying he’s headed over to deal with whatever he finds there, without being certain who is alive or dead. At the time he made out his will, his brother James would have still been alive. Sailing the Atlantic between the colonies and England was lengthy and hazardous, not to mention filled with numerous difficulties. Many who made the trip died along the way, and there was no way to predict how long the journey would take, from a matter of weeks to several months, which is probably why Phillip Senior felt it prudent to make out a will before departing.

The date of Phillip Senior’s birth and when he arrived in Virginia is unknown. After 1624, the first official mention of a Phillip Lupo in Virginia comes from land records in Isle of Wight County around 1664, where Phillip Lupo appears as witness to a deed. No records have been found that detail when Phillip Senior came to the colony, who accompanied him, or whether he paid his own passage or was sponsored by someone else. Given that his wife is said to have died in Virginia around 1654 and that his children were all born there, he must have been married, but no record has been found to indicate whether he married in the colony or before in England. Phillip Junior, who accompanied him to England was most likely no younger than eighteen to twenty when they set sail, and no marriage or other records have been found on him in Isle of Wight County. Following the death of his first wife, Phillip Senior married Mary Hodges Higgins, widow of Francis Higgins who died around 1657. Mary and James Lupo are later mentioned in the will of Roger Higgins, who identifies Mary Lupo as his “mother”. Records from England show Phillip Junior died in England around 1672. The outcome of the trial is not known.

There is a record from 1643 where Sir Francis Wyatt, former governor of the colony, received 50 acres of land for sponsoring the passage of a William Lupo, but it is not known if this was yet another relative of the family who arrived late, or if this is the same William Lupo who is listed as having died in Elizabeth City County in the Massacre of 1622. Headrights were often claimed years after they had been earned and were frequently sold several times before being claimed. Francis Wyatt was temporarily governor of Virginia during 1643, though, so the possibility exists that this William Lupo was a later arrival, though no records have been found to show what became of him. Records from England show that Joseph Lupo’s son, Horatio had a son named William, born in 1624 in London, who would have been 19 in 1643, but it is not known if this is the William who went to Virginia. Horatio Lupo died in London around 1650 and apparently remained in royal service at least until the outbreak of the English Civil War which was waged from 1642-1649. It is also possible that this could have been another name for Phillip Lupo, who does appear to have arrived in the colony around this time, though no record has been found to support this possibility. Regardless, no mention of a William Lupo has been found in Virginia records for several generations, until the will of Phillip Senior’s great-grandson James in 1789.


England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,, Provo, UT, 2014.

England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973,, Provo, UT, 2014.

England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991,, Provo, UT, 2014.

London, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812,, Provo, UT, 2010.

The Records of the Virginia Company of London, Volume I-IV, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1906-1935.

Hotten, John Camden, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1986.

“Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents”, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, published by The Virginia Historical Society, Vol. 1, June, 1894.

Nugent, Nell Marion, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1800, Richmond, Virginia, 1934.

Phillipp Lupo c. Thomas Chappell and Mary Lupo, widow, Court of Chancery Records, C24-C243, 1671/2, p. 7, Abstracted in Virginia Colonial Records Project, December 16, 1975, Virginia State Library and Archives.

Dorman, John Frederick, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004.

Emily Mae Lupo, 1929 – 2006

00_emsl_sitting_on_treeRemembering my mother, Emily Mae (Stribling) Lupo (16 September 1929 – 9 December 2006) on what would have been her 86th birthday.

00_emsl_portrait_06She was born in Sutton, West Virginia, an only child raised by a single mother, after her parents divorced when she was a small child.

emsl_hs_09-16-15_01She graduated from Sutton High School in 1947 and soon after, moved to Atlanta, Georgia where her father was living and working as a Linotype operator for the Atlanta Journal. They didn’t have much time together, as he died in 1950 at a family cookout on 8 July. In Atlanta, she attended business school and worked for Merita Bakery in West End.

emsl_09-16-15_02She told me that once, in 1949, she got off the bus at Peachtree and 14th Streets and noticed a large crowd gathered near the street a block away. She didn’t go over to see what was happening, but the next day she learned it was the crowd that had gathered after Margaret Mitchell had been hit by a taxi at Peachtree and 13th Streets.

emsl_09-16-15_03For a while, she was living in what she called the Church’s Home for Girls at 14th Street and Piedmont, and while there, one of her roommates was a survivor of the Winecoff Hotel fire who still had scars from the burns she received in the fire.

ems_bpw_club_october_1955_04She married my father on 18 August 1961, at Park Street United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir. My parents were married for thirty-three years.

tel_emsl_wedding_1961When I was in kindergarten and first grade, she’d often walk or take the bus to the school to pick me up and we’d either walk or ride the bus home. When we walked, we’d sometimes stop off at the Krystal along the way for hamburgers.

63_ems_portrait_marchAs a young woman, she attended movies and shows around town and I still have programs from some of the plays and musicals she saw. She also took ballroom dance lessons at Arthur Miller Dance School.

69_dec_eml_wel_thl_01When my brothers and I were kids, my mother would take us downtown to Underground Atlanta, the Alliance Theatre or the High Museum, or to the movies at Lakewood and Greenbriar at every opportunity. She also had a large collection of 78 records which featured Big Band, Jazz, and Musicals from the forties and fifties.

lupo_famiy_1970Half of my mother’s family came to Georgia after the Revolution from Virginia by way of the Carolinas and some of those ancestors crossed paths with families on my father’s side. In researching our genealogy, I discovered my father and mother were sixth or seventh cousins. The other half of her family immigrated from Germany in the 1850s. They are the most recent branch of our family to arrive in the U.S. and the only known branch to settle here after the Revolution.

ems_saint_simons_1993She died 9 December 2006, following an extended illness.

Reconstructing a Family: Laban Lupo of Robeson County, NC

In putting together a genealogy, knowing who isn’t part of a given family is almost as important as knowing who is. In the case of the Lupos in Virginia and the Carolinas, the exasperating naming conventions make it very difficult to identify who belongs where. Between 1780 and 1820 there were at least four men named William Lupo or Luper in the Carolinas, three of whom were father, son, and grandson, and two of whom were first cousins, close in age, who lived near one another. Two of the sons of James Lupo of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, William and Laban, named sons John, and Laban and James named sons Phillip, who were born within a year of one another. This confusion has led to many errors in attributing descendants. Around 1999, by creating timelines on each individual, I undertook a project to straighten out some of the family lines, and I’m reasonably satisfied that the answers I found correctly sort out who’s related to whom.

One of the best documented of James Lupo’s sons is his youngest, Laban, with much family correspondence to fill in breaks in the official record of estates, land and tax records. Laban Lupo appears in the household of his father, James on the 1782 census of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and on a tax list there in 1790. James names Laban as one of the executors of his estate in 1789, along with Laban’s brother James, and Samuel Bidgood. Laban later appears on the 1800 census in Robeson County, North Carolina. After 1800, Laban disappears from records, and is not on the 1810 census of Robeson County, NC, though there is a “Beggy Looper” recorded in Robeson County, who appears to be his widow. While Laban is not my direct ancestor, he was the father of a large family of mostly sons, many of whom had large families of their own. I’ve concluded that most of the Lupos in the Carolinas, and many of those in Mississippi and points West are Laban’s descendants.

The 1782 census of Isle of Wight County, Virginia is represented as a listing of heads of household, but I determined that it’s actually a listing of individuals, which means it included minor children. I came to this conclusion by researching Zachariah Lupo, who appears on the list and, based on his age on the 1810 and 1820 census in North Carolina, could not have been born earlier than 1776. Laban is listed with James and Phillip, demonstrating that Laban was still in his father’s household and not married. On the tax list of 1790, Laban is listed with no one in his household between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. In 1800, other than Laban and his wife, no one in his household is over the age of fifteen, suggesting Laban married no earlier than 1785. He appears in Isle of Wight records until 1790, but does not appear in court when his father’s will is presented, nor does he sign off on the acknowledgement of payment for land sold from the estate to John Womble in 1791.

By 1810, Laban no longer appears on the census, but there’s a listing in Robeson County for “Beggy Looper” and the makeup of the household looks similar to Laban’s from 1800, only ten years older. “Looper” is most likely the census takers attempt at Luper, which is a common variant of Lupo, and “Beggy” appears to be a failed rendering of the name Peggy, which is a common nickname for Margaret. There is no one named Margaret or Peggy Lupo listed on the census in 1782, but in 1790, on estate records relating to James Lupo, Margaret Lupo is one of the signers, along with James Lupo, Jr. and his wife, Ann. Combined with the evidence of the 1810 census, and considering that James Lupo did not mention a daughter named Margaret in his will, it’s reasonable to assume that Margaret is Laban’s wife. On the 1820 census, Margaret Luper is found in Richland County, South Carolina, and her age is consistent with “Beggy Looper” in Robeson County in 1810.

Knowing the first name of Laban’s wife, and that Peggy is a common nickname for Margaret, I searched Isle of Wight County records at Ancestry for women named Margaret or Peggy. In 1781, a man by the name of William Robertson of Newport Parish made out his will (recorded 1782) and mentioned son George and daughter Peggy, and stated that George was not yet eighteen. Since I’ve observed that most colonial and post-Revolutionary wills list heirs in order of their ages, I made the assumption that Peggy was also under eighteen, and younger than George. In 1785, Willis Wilson of Newport Parish made out his will and mentioned Margaret Roberts and Mildred “Loopo” — Laban’s first cousin. Apparently, Willis Wilson was guardian to both Margaret and Mildred. Roberts is probably a shortened form of Robertson, as I’ve noted it was common to drop the final “on” in names that ended with “son”. John Johnson, for instance, was often rendered as “John Johns” in official records. Also mentioned are several Bidgoods and William Carrell, both allied families to the Lupos, and, in fact, William Carrell was Mildred Lupo’s grandfather. It also suggests that as of 1785, Margaret Robertson was still regarded as a minor, meaning she was not more than eighteen to twenty years old. “Beggy Looper” in Robeson County, is listed as over forty-five on the 1810 census, meaning she was born no later than 1765, and if she still has a guardian in 1785, this suggests she was born around 1764-1765. While these records do not definitively prove Margaret Robertson became Margaret Lupo, they do indicate that she was known as Peggy, and they put her in close proximity to many families allied with the Lupos, not to mention Laban’s cousin, Millie, who was also a witness to the will of Laban’s father, and they suggest that Margaret was the right age to have been Laban’s wife.

Those researching the family of Laban Lupo owe a great debt to Edmond Summers Lupo and his grandson James Foster Lupo, both ministers in the Methodist church, and to Foster Lupo’s nephew Harold Homer Lupo, who also spent many years researching the family. In an undated letter to a relative, Summers Lupo provides extensive documentation on the family of his father, John Lupo of Lexington County, South Carolina, which is said to have come from his father. In this letter, Summers Lupo names an uncle, Laban, who he states “went to Mississippi” and an Uncle James, who went to North Carolina when Summers was a young child. He also states some of his father’s family settled in Marion County, SC, which is just across the border from Robeson County, where Laban was active until around 1800-1805. Summers Lupo also states his grandfather died before his father, John — said to have been born in 1798 — was old enough to remember his father. This is consistent with Laban’s disappearance after the 1800 census.

Laban’s oldest son appears to be the William Lupo/Luper who went to Marion County, South Carolina between 1810 and 1820. Here again, the naming conventions in the family create a great deal of confusion, as many researchers have made the assumption that the William Luper who went to Marion County, is the same William Luper who appears on the 1800 census in Robeson County. However, I believe the William Luper from 1800 died not long after 1804, when he witnessed the will of Mary Bell. In April of 1805, a woman named Treacy Luper, who appears to be William’s wife or widow, sued a neighbor, Britton Britt, for maintenance of a “base born” child. This appears to have been Gilbert Luper, who showed up in later Robeson County records before moving to Tennessee with his brother Allen. Treacy proves to be an interesting figure, and I’ve concluded her name must have been Teresa or Theresa, which yielded the nickname Treacy. Those researchers who believe William went to Marion County, cite Treacy’s affair with Britton Britt as the cause of William’s departure, but a considerable amount of time elapsed between when Treacy sues Britton Britt and when William shows up in Marion County. Also, there is a William Luper recorded in 1811 as having been appointed to work on the road, suggesting someone by that name still lived in Robeson County well after Treacy’s relationship with Britton Britt ended. No property, tax, or estate records have been found for a William Lupo or Luper in Robeson County, between 1804 and 1811, and if this was the William from 1800, he should have left behind more of a paper trail. Most of the records that have been found relate to Treacy Luper.

A word should be said for Treacy, who comes across in the records as a fairly remarkable woman. In a time when women were lucky if they were even mentioned by name in their husbands estate records, Treacy married twice, and both times seems to have retained the property given to her by her father possibly as part of her dowry. In general, once a woman married, all her property reverted to her husband. The fact that she had sons by her first husband may have been a factor, since they had a valid claim to any property that had belonged to their father and grandfather. Around 1820, Treacy and her son John sold their interest in a slave identified as “Dol” in records. A year later, son William sold his interest, and then he moved with his brother John to Mississippi. My speculation on the situation with Britton Britt was that he may have promised to marry Treacy after her husband died, then backed out after she became pregnant. Young widows with small children didn’t stay single for very long. It says a lot about Treacy that, in a time when women had almost no rights whatsoever, that she was willing to stand up in open court and accuse Britt of getting her pregnant and demand support from him, and she prevailed. Records indicate Treacy married Silas Ivey shortly thereafter, as she’s identified in court records as Treacy Ivey after 1807.

Examining the records left behind yields important clues that help separate William in Robeson County from William in Marion County. William Luper was no older than twenty-five in 1800, meaning he was born no earlier than 1775. In 1797, he witnessed a deed between Gilbert Cox and another individual, meaning that by 1797, William was already associated with Gilbert, and his association was that he was Gilbert’s son-in-law. This indicates that, by 1797, William was already married to Treacy, which meant he was at least twenty to twenty-one years old. This places his birth between 1775 and 1777, too old to have been Laban’s son as some researchers have speculated. If this was the William who went to Marion County, SC, in 1840 he’d have been over sixty, not in his fifties as was William in Marion County. It makes more sense that the William Luper from 1800 was the son of Laban’s brother, William, who was active in Johnston County, North Carolina until around 1795 and who had sons in the right age range to have been Willliam Luper. Laban, on the other hand, had a son between ten and fifteen in 1800, and Beggy Looper had a male in her household listed between sixteen and twenty-five in 1810. This son would have been in his fifties in 1840. Since Laban had a brother named William, and Margaret most likely had a father by this name, it makes sense they’d name their first son William.

In 1820, Margaret Luper can be found in Richland County, SC which bordered Lexington County, where John Lupo married Mary Price in 1819. These were the parents of Edmond Summers Lupo. William and Phillip Luper show up in Marion County, SC on the 1820 census. Both William and Phillip had very large families. On the 1830 census, William’s age is listed as of 40 and under 50, and in 1840, he’s listed as of 50 and under 60, which would indicate he was born 1781-1790. On the 1880 census, his sons Alexander and Alfred record that their father was born in Virginia, where records indicate Laban lived as late as 1790. If William is the male in Laban’s household listed between ten and fifteen in 1800, this would place his birth between 1785 to 1790, or fifty to fifty-five years old in 1840. Records indicate he died in Marion County around 1843. The correspondence from Edmond Summers Lupo indicates his “uncle Laban” moved to Mississippi, and in 1850, a Laban Lupo can be found on the census there.

Many of Laban’s descendants became ministers in the Methodist church, and there’s a strong possibility that Laban himself was a minister, though there are no definitive records to back this up. Professions aren’t listed on the 1800 census, and records have not been found that indicate Laban bought or sold much land in Robeson County, unlike his brother William, who left a considerable paper trail in Johnston County, NC, that suggests he was a tobacco farmer.

Laban Lupo
born 1761-63, Isle of Wight Co., VA;
died before 1810, Robeson Co., NC

m. Margaret (probably Robertson) between 1785-87
born 1764-65, Isle of Wight Co., VA;
died after 1820, Richland Co., SC

Their suspected children:

William, born 1785-90
m. 1. Martha Pittman
m. 2. Desdemona (Barfield or Rogers)

Two daughters, born 1784-90

One daughter, born 1791-1800

Laban, born ca. 1794
m. Delilah Johnson

John, born 1798
m. Mary Price

James, born 1799-1801

Phillip, born 1799-1801
m. Sarah Anna Campbell


1782 State Census of Virginia Virginia Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

1800 & 1810 United States Federal Census of North Carolina

1820 – 1880 United States Federal Census of South Carolina

1850 United States Federal Census of Mississippi

Estate records from Marion County, South Carolina, 1843

Personal correspondence from Edmond Summers Lupo, Laban’s grandson, which was preserved by James Foster Lupo and Harold Homer Lupo.

In the 1990s, I maintained a mailing list of Lupo researchers who exchanged records and research. Among those active on the list were Lou Pero, Kathy Anderson, Melanie Kelly, and Clay Luper. Much valuable information on the family was exchanged via this list.

I also must acknowledge Jo Church Dickerson, who first introduced me to Laban and his family way back in 1988.

Talmadge Eugene Lupo, 1933-1995

51_tel_class_portrait_01Remembering my father, Talmadge Eugene Lupo (13 April 1933 – 5 April 1995) on what would have been his 82nd birthday. He was born thirty years and one week before I was.

He graduated high school in Homerville, GA in 1951.

telupo_airforce_09He served two terms in the U.S. Air Force throughout the 1950s, stationed in West Germany.


He and my mother, Emily, were married 18 August 1961 in Atlanta, GA, where he was attending Atlanta Law School.

61_aug_tel_south_georgiaApr13086My father worked for the City of East Point for over twenty years, starting out as a meter reader, and moving over to the Water Department as a plant operator in the 70s. I have many memories of him there.

He was an active member of Park Street Methodist Church, where he served in every official capacity other than minister. People who knew him there always remarked on his knowledge of the Bible.

Apr28179My parents were married for thirty-three years.

EPSON042At the time of his death in 1995, he had three sons, and one granddaughter. Shown above, granddaughter Christina

Genealogy and Writing

Genealogy is a process akin to assembling a massive jigsaw puzzle that has pieces scattered across multiple locations and times, some of which cannot be found, and with no indication of the picture that’s to be assembled. The more pertinent facts one has the better, because that can help establish who an ancestor was, and why he or she was in a given place at a given time. Working on my family’s genealogy, I found it helpful to develop timelines on each individual, and doing so helped me sort out a number of people with similar names, who were born within a few years of one another. The basic process is to take every known fact relating to an individual, and place it in order by known dates, and in doing so, often times a fuller picture of the individual begins to form.

In writing fiction, whether prose or scripted drama, the author is creating facts out of the blue, but applying techniques similar to genealogical research can be helpful in crafting a story that works logically as well as emotionally. In writing my original work, The Long-Timers, on which my current series of novels is based, I found that creating timelines for the characters helped me anchor them within the historical periods they were living. Of course, my novel is a historical fantasy, so placing the characters in the proper historical context was vital to the story, but understanding the relationship of a character to his or her time is as important as creating the environment and the interactions with other characters that occur in the narrative.

The process of genealogy is to reconstruct the story of a family, so it’s important to know where they were and, if possible, why they were there. In the wake of the Revolutionary war, a lot of people moved from Virginia, North and South Carolina to Georgia. One reason for this was that Georgia opened up a lot of land through a series of treaties and military actions that displaced the Native Tribes that originally lived there, and started giving away the land for little or no money. Revolutionary veterans were given preferential treatment in the lotteries held to distribute the land, but anyone who was white, of age, eligible to vote, or the child of someone who’d fought in the Revolution was given a draw. The land in Georgia was parceled out in lots of 202 1/2 acres, quite an incentive for someone looking to relocate and start over, which led to a lot of migration into Georgia between 1790 and 1820. A number of my ancestral families, including the Lupos, Striblings, Peavys, Hintons, Smiths, and Carters moved to Georgia during this time period.

While creating a formal timeline on a character may not be the solution for every writing project, it’s never wrong to consider why a character behaves as he or she does in a certain situation, and often, the historical context can have a bearing on the reasons behind those actions. Knowing the external factors that may be influencing a character can provide valuable insight into what’s motivating the character. For instance, someone born and raised in Alabama during the 1960s is likely to have vastly different experiences than someone raised in Oklahoma during the 1880s. If the story is set in a particular point in history, then the events of that history will no doubt play a part in helping to shape the characters’ point of view. Knowing the character’s history, and how it shapes the character, adds richness to the story, and provides a logic to a character’s behavior, regardless of whether the character is working in concert with the events of history or against them. In the opening chapters of Catch 22, Yossarian’s actions seem crazy, but once the proper context in which these actions occur has been established, they make perfect sense.

In working on the history of my family in Virginia, I was faced with the lack of definitive records tying one generation to the preceding one between 1728 and 1779. My ancestor, James Lupo, made out his will in 1789, and a will recorded in 1779 established who his mother was, but no record identifies his father, or when he was born. Equally, there is no information on the ages of James’ sons and daughters, so developing timelines on them proved helpful in sorting this out. Below is an partial example of the timeline I worked up on my ancestor, William Lupo, which contained every known date he appeared in official records, and one or two instances where he wasn’t found in the records.

William Lupo of Johnston County, NC

1782: William Lupo is not listed on the Virginia state census of 1782, though James, James, Jr., Phillip and Laban Lupo are listed in Isle of Wight County.

1784: William Lupo purchased 100 acres of land from Joshua Hayls or Hails and his wife Amy, who are listed as living in Edgecombe County, NC.

1784: William appears on a tax list, recorded as owning 420 acres in Johnston County, NC, though no corresponding deeds have been found to account for all of this property.

1787: William appears on a state census enumeration with 1 male 21 or over, 2 males under 21, and 5 females in his household.

1787: William appears as a witness in a court case involving William Ward and John Rhodes, for which David Bell acted as security; William acted as security for the appearance of John Fields and John Dimont.

1789: William Lupo is listed as a son in the will of James Lupo of Isle of Wight County, VA (recorded September, 1790) but does not appear in court when the will is presented, or when land from the estate is sold.

1790: US Census of Johnston County, shows William’s household now has 2 males 16 or older, 2 males under 16, and 7 females.

In the absence of other information, I made the assumption that the individuals listed in his household in 1787 are William, his wife and their children. In general, births in Colonial America occurred every one and a half to two years. If these represented individual births, occurring 18-24 months apart, their earliest child was most likely born between 1775 and 1778, meaning William and his wife probably married between 1774 and 1777. Assuming William was at least 21 when he married, he would have been born 1753-56. This time period coincides with when James Lupo first showed up in deed records in Isle of Wight County, VA.

For my novel, The Long-Timers, the timeline I developed on the main character, Victoria Wells, began with her birth on the day of Queen Victoria’s coronation in June of 1838. This event is referenced several times throughout the novel, notably when Victoria learns her life span is different than that of an average person, and when she meets a kindred spirit on the occasion of her one hundredth birthday. I first included any historical events that would impact the characters, such as when her sister Amanda was transported to Australia in 1861, and since Victoria’s story was told in parallel to that of her sister Allison, I included notable events in both their lives.

Timeline for A Tale of Two Sisters (formerly The Long-Timers)

1834: Margaret Smythe marries Thomas Seely

1835: William “Billy” Seely born

1837: Thomas Seely killed in an accident at the docks

1837: Margaret meets Niles Gunnerson and has an affair with him

1838: Victoria born

1840: Amanda born

1846: Gunnerson returns

1848: Gunnerson dies

1848: Sarah born

1848: Margaret disposes of Sarah, and places Victoria and Amanda in an orphanage

1848: The Stepneys find and adopt Sarah, rename her Allison

1848: Margaret dies; Billy sent to a workhouse

The primary difference between the timeline for the novel and the family timeline is that the family timeline is more reliant on available documents, but many of the events described follow the typical events that occur in families, births, marriages and deaths, and most likely could be found in existing records, if they’d actually happened. England at the time of Victoria was already a heavily bureaucratic nation, where events such as births and deaths were noted, if not by the state, then certainly by the parish, whereas many of the official records from Colonial and post-Revolutionary America tended to be land and estate records, but these, too, can provide a rich source of documentation on a family, provided they can be found and include enough details.

Establishing timelines can also help sort out the logical sequence of events as they occur in a fictional piece, just as placing historical events connected to an ancestor in their proper sequence in history can help to separate fact from fiction in oft-told family legends. At separate times, my grandmother and one of my cousins related to me a story told to them by my great-grandmother, that when she came to the United States from Germany, she sailed into New York harbor and saw the Statue of Liberty. However, records relating to her immigration show she and her family arrived at the port of Baltimore, not New York, and, more importantly, my great-grandmother was born in 1863 and came to the United States when she was eight or nine, around 1872. The Statue of Liberty wasn’t completed until 1886, and construction on its pedestal did not begin until 1883, meaning there’s no way she could have seen it when she immigrated, even if had she entered the U.S. via New York.

By the time the Statue of Liberty was dedicated, my great-grandmother would have been an adult and married to my great-grandfather, so I’ve often wondered if, in fact, my great-grandparents traveled to New York to see the dedication of the Statue, and that somehow the story got mixed up with the story of her arrival. Otherwise, the best I can conclude is that she saw something upon her arrival that she equated with being in America — there is a prominent statue called Lady Baltimore at the courthouse downtown, where immigrants may have been processed — and over time, repeated retelling within the family caused it to morph into the Statue of Liberty, that being the most iconic image for immigrants in America. That the story doesn’t match the actual facts of her immigration doesn’t diminish the sense of what it must have been like for a young German girl to arrive in a new land full of anticipation, promise, and probably not a little dread. It’s a universal story, and knowing it can only enhance both the actual history of a family, as well as a fictional representation.

James Lupo, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Died 1790

Adapted, with new information, from files at

Almost everyone named Lupo, and many with the common variant Luper, who lived in the Southern United States at the time of the Civil War, descended from one of the three sons of James Lupo, whose will was recorded in Isle of Wight County, Virginia in September of 1790. This makes James the common ancestor of much of the early Lupo family in the United States, particularly those in the South and West, who can trace their ancestry to Virginia, North or South Carolina. Despite the fact that his will was recorded in Isle of Wight County, and he’s mentioned in probate records there, it appears James and probably his father’s family, were living in Nansemond County, which is among the burned out counties in Virginia, meaning no records survive. This is a heavy loss for Lupo researchers, as Nansemond was formed, in part, from Elizabeth City County (now the independent city of Hampton) where the Lupos first settled.

A number of records can be cited to establish the line of descent from the Lupo musicians who served the Tudors in England to the earliest colonial settlers.

  • Late in the reign of Elizabeth I, Ambrose Lupo and sons Peter and Joseph were granted a coat of arms, which names Ambrose’s father as Baptist.
  • The christening records of Peter’s children are found in the parish of St. Botolph’s without Aldgate, and include Alybanus, born 1579, and Phillip, born 1582.
  • Phillip marries Mary Comes in Strood near Rochester, Kent, England around 1604.
  • Phillip Lupo, age 42, shows up on a census in Elizabeth City, one of the earliest English colonies in Virginia in 1624, having arrived in 1621, along with his brother Albiano, who arrived in 1610.
  • A burial record in St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate for Phillip “Luprue” age 70, recorded 1652.
  • In 1668, Phillip Lupo makes out his will in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, stating he’s returning to England and is the son of Phillip Lupo, a goldsmith in England, and names his sons, Phillip and James, and daughter Mary Ryall.
  • Will and deed records from Isle of Wight County, show that James Lupo married Sarah Branch, the daughter of George Branch and Ann England, prior to 1679.
  • James Lupo makes out his will in 1712 (probated 1713), mentioning sons Phillip and John, and daughters, Sarah Lilbourne, Ann Bedgood, Elizabeth Bidgood, and Mary, and stating that son John is not yet sixteen years old (born after 1696).
  • John Lupo signs off on an appraisal of the estate of his sister, Sarah Lilbourne, in 1728 in Isle of Wight County.

We therefore have a fairly unbroken line of descent from Ambrose down to John Lupo in 1728. In 1735, William Bidgood, John’s nephew, signs off on the estate of Sarah Lilbourne, suggesting John has died by this time. The last mention of his older brother Phillip is as a witness to a deed record dated 1708 or 1709 in Isle of Wight County. Around 1673 in Southhampton County which borders Isle of Wight, a Richard Lupo shows up as witness to a deed record, but this is the only mention that’s been found on this individual, and his connection to the family in Isle of Wight is unknown. There are also records of a sailor named Francis or Francisco Lupo on passenger lists, who either originated in South Carolina, or docked there around 1735-1737, though whether or not he settled in the colonies is unknown.

The will of Mary Gladhill from 1712 helps to clarify some of the relationships between the Lupos and allied families. In it, Mary mentions she was the wife of James Day, and had a son with him of the same name. The younger James Day is one of the witnesses to the will of James Lupo in 1712. Mary then mentions she’s also the widow of John Johnson, who made out his will in 1703 that was witnessed by James and Sarah (Branch) Lupo. John Johnson mentions a daughter named Patience in his will, and the order in which she’s listed suggests she’s his youngest daughter. In 1698, the estate of Thomas Proud mentions payments from James Lupo and John Johnson for education of their children, and both the Johnsons and Lupos lived in the Blackwater region of Isle of Wight County. In 1779, the will of Patience Cary is recorded in Isle of Wight County, naming son James Lupo as her executor. While there’s no specific document proving it, a strong circumstantial case can be made that Patience Cary was Patience Johnson.

James Lupo first appears in Isle of Wight guardian records on 7 August 1755, part of a quit rent list filed by Captain John Mallory as guardian for Thomas Day, orphan of Thomas Day, and, apparently, the descendant of James Day who witnessed the will of James Lupo in 1712. On 10 December 1760 James purchases the farm on which he’s living from Thomas. Throughout the history of the Lupos a number of other Isle of Wight families show up in documents relating to the family for multiple generations. John Wrenn, for instance, shows up as a witness or administrator in numerous documents for or with the Lupos throughout the middle of the 18th century as did Thomas Wrenn in the late 17th and early 18th century. John Bidgood is a witness to the will of the elder James Lupo in 1712 as well as his son-in-law, and Samuel Bidgood shows up as an executor to the younger James Lupo’s will of 1789 and as guardian to James’ daughter Elizabeth. Other family names, such as Webb, Hodges, Brantley, Davis, and Miller can be found among documents relating to the Lupos for several generations. This suggests the existence of a strong, well-rooted community of families that interacted for well over a century.

James Lupo may have married more than once as he has sons who appear to be considerably older than the daughters who appear with him on the 1782 census. His wife’s name in 1782 is Mary but she does not appear in his will written in 1789, suggesting she’s died by that time. His will also mentions daughter Elizabeth Gray Lupo who’s not on the 1782 census with James. One possibility is that James married a relative of Thomas Day from whom James purchased property in 1760, though neither James nor any of his children are mentioned in Thomas’ will dated 21 October 1769, nor in his father’s will from 1752. It’s possible that Mary was the mother of all James’ children, depending on her age when she married and had her first child. James oldest son, William, appears to have been born around 1753-56, given that he’s listed on the 1787 census in Johnston County, North Carolina with a sizable family but the only mention of William in Isle of Wight records is James’ will in 1789 which names sons James and Laban as executors along with Samuel Bidgood. James had a daughter Mary who married Thomas Brantley in 1792.

James’ brother Phillip names two daughters in his will, Sally and Mildred and in the will of William Carrell from 1785, who identifies them as granddaughters, they’re listed as Sarah and Mildred. Phillip makes out his will in 1778 and does not mention his wife, but makes provisions for his daughters education and leaves money to the children of James Lupo, Mary Brantley, and John Hodges. Phillip appoints his brother James as guardian of his daughters until they turn twelve and in 1782, Milly can still be found in James’ household. Mary, who married Benjamin Brantley, is identified in the will of Patience Cary as her daughter. In addition to her sons and daughter, the will of Patience Cary lists five granddaughters, who are the children of her apparently deceased daughter Comfort with John Hodges, Jr. While it is not known with certainty which of the earlier Lupos Patience married, the best guess is John Lupo, since he’s the only son mentioned in James Lupo’s 1712 will who can still be found in later Isle of Wight records. If Patience Lupo Cary was the daughter of John Johnson, whose will was witnessed by James and Sarah Lupo in 1703, then Patience lived well into her seventies, outliving two husbands, a son and a daughter.

On the Virginia census from 1782, James appears to have two sons, Phillip and Laban in his household. Laban is named as an executor to James’ will in 1789, but Phillip cannot be found in records beyond 1782. John Bennett Boddie’s Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia contains a record from August of 1777 when a Phillip Lupo was appointed an “ensign” in William Hodsden’s company of militia, though whether these were patriots or loyalists is not reported. Given the timing, it’s possible that this is the Philip Lupo who died in 1778, though Phillip, the son of Patience Cary, might have been too old to have been appointed an “ensign” which was the lowest infantry rank of the time. Milly Lupo shows up as a witness to the will of James Lupo in 1789 and appears in court in 1790 when the will was probated. She married Thomas Mallicote on 7 August 1790 and on 24 January 1792, Milly Mallicote, a widow, married James Atkinson, who, in 1799 is paid a sum of money by the estate of John Harrison who’s listed as “guardian” for Mildred “Looper”.

In records related to the estate of James Lupo, the family sells a plot of land to John Womble and the only ones who actually made their marks on the document were James, Jr., his wife, Ann, and Margaret Lupo, apparently the wife of Laban, who does not appear in court when the will is presented and does not appear to be present when the land is sold. James is also the only son of James Lupo to actually make his mark on the acknowledgement of payment for this land. Within a year, a deed is recorded in Edgecombe County, North Carolina for James Lupo. In 1800, Laban Lupo appears on the census in Robeson County, NC and by 1804, William and John Lupo, presumably the William from Johnston County, NC and his son, show up in records in Montgomery County, Georgia. The story of the Lupos in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, had effectively come to a close.


“Grants of Arms Named in Docquets and Patents to the End of the Seventeenth Century”, transcribed by Joseph Foster, Harleian Society Publications, Vol. 66, page 160. London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Chancery Bills and Answers, Whittington’s Division, 1671, Public Record Office (UK), as recorded in Virginia Colonial Records Project.

Hotten, John Camden, Original Lists of Persons of Quality, 1600-1700, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1986.

Boddie, John Bennett, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Southern Historical Press, Inc., Reprinted 1994.

Original Will and Estate Records obtained from the Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000.

Chapman, Blanche Adams, Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia 1647-1800, Willow Bend Books, 1938/2002.

Chapman, Blanche Adams, Marriages of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1628-1800, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1982.

Hopkins, William Lindsay, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Deeds 1750-1782, Iberian Publishing Company, Athens, GA, 1995.

Hopkins, William Lindsay, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Colonial Deeds, 1647-1719, Court Orders, 1693-1695, & Guardian Bonds, 1740-1767, Iberian Publishing Company, Athens, GA, 1993.

Davis, Eliza Timberlake, Surry County Records, Surry County, Virginia 1652-1684, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1980. Information supplied by Kathy Anderson.