Is your surname Fripp?

Research the Fripp family

John Fripp, I's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


John Fripp, I

Birthplace: Wales or Bristol or, Dorset, UK
Death: Died in St. Helena, SC, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Johannes Fripp
Husband of Sarah Fripp
Father of John Fripp, II

Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About John Fripp, I

John Fripp was appointed High Sheriff of Colleton County by 1702. This is confirmed in "Journals of the House of Assembly 1702, p. 43-44". However, it is still uncertain if this was John Fripp Sr., or his father, known as John or Johannes the immigrant. It is not even certain if John Sr's father was John or William Fripp, as some descendants claim that the original immigrants were two brothers, named John & William. Records show that William was the proprietor of a tavern at Charleston in 1709. If John Sr. were his son, it would explain why he was not known as John Junior.

John Fripp Sr. was buried on St Helena Island on 29 May 1742. His age was estimated to be 69, but it is thought he was older. Most family legends claim that he was probably born in Bristol, England, and came to South Carolina with his widowed father, John or Johannes, between 1670-1690. His father is reported to have been presented with a grant for land on St Helena Island, by King Charles II in 1662. However, these claims have yet to be proven. See here for further details.

His first wife was said to have been a daughter of William McPherson, probably also known as William MacFashion, who assigned his cattle and hogs to John Fripp in 1698. If so, John could have gained the property and cattle as a dowery. This would also date his first marriage at about 1698. She died early and he next married Sarah. She was probably the daughter of Richard Frampton, as on 22 March 1692 after extensive litigation, he was awarded the right to the administration of Frampton's estate and the guardianship of his minor children. Other documents also appear to show that she was Sarah, daughter of Richard Frampton of St. Helena. Frampton owned Hunting Island at one time, and may have purchased it from John Fripp, said to be the first owner.

John Fripp Sr. lived on a 480 acre plot in the North East of St. Helena Island. He purchased this land from John Cowen in 1724, who was originally granted it on 6 Mar 1706. His first home stood either on or near Fripp Point, in his 480-acre "Point Place," which was bounded on the northeast and southeast by Richard Rannels (Reynolds) and on the southwest by land originally owned by John Cowen. His second home lay just beyond Cedar Grove from Coffin Point, between Seaside Road and the creek, and near the present Highway 21.

In 1733, John registered 4 tracts of land, as required by the Quitrent Act of 1731. These consisted of 2 tracts on Edisto Island, totalling 470 acres, originally granted to William McPherson; the 480 acre plot on St. Helena Island; and 500 acres in St Helena parish, Granville County, originally part of a 48,000 acre plot granted to John Bailey Esq. in 1698. The exact location is difficult to pinpoint, but this latter plot could be his 500 plot on his Hunting Island, just south of St Helena Island. Or it could be the second home mentioned above, although this second home could be the land he left to his wife and other grandchildren. (see below)

These plots appear to be the same land mentioned in his will, dated 1 May 1742, and proved 12 Aug 1743. He left equal halves of the 480 St Helena Island plot to his grandsons, William and Paul (named as sons of his deceased son, John Fripp Jr.). He also left equal halves of his 500 acre plot on his Hunting Island to the same grandsons. If both William & Paul died before the age of 21, the land would be inherited by their elder brother, John Fripp (III).

One third of the land where he "now" lived, plus a third of his negroes & stock, were left to his wife, Sarah. The other two thirds were left to the remainder of his grandchildren. This could be the 470 acres on Edisto Island that he registered in 1733.

John's son died 3 years before he made his will. The only relatives mentioned are his wife and grandchildren, so it is assumed that he had no living brothers or sisters. The Executors of his will were his good friends; Thomas Wigg, John Barnwell, John Edwards, and grandson John Fripp. The Witnesses were; William Davis, John Evans, William Wiscoat (his mark). John Evans could be the father of John Evans Jr. (1748-1775), who married his granddaughter, Sarah Fripp, in 1766.

The full will is found in Will Book Vol.5, Charleston, SC, in the Historical Commission, Columbia, SC. and can also be viewed online HERE

The earliest known FRIPP genealogy chart is held with the "South Carolina Historical Society" at Charleston. It was compiled in 1875 by Ed. St. James Fripp, who was then a cotton broker in Charleston. He noted on the chart: "The elder John, a widower, with an only son also named John, came to America in 1670 with grant of land on St. Helena Island. One brother William remained in England. Their family there is represented by William Fripp of Bristol and W.C.Fripp of London and W.C. Fripp Sr. of London Graphic."

It is not known if this was based on any documented evidence, but seems unlikely, as if it had survived through the previous 200 years, it would surely still exist today. Some of this information may have been found in notes made by William "Good Billy" Fripp, when he returned from a trip to England in 1836. William was a great grandson of John Fripp Sr., and 2nd cousin 1x removed to Edward St. James Fripp.

Most of "Good Billy's" papers were passed down to his great grandson, Frampton Erroll Ellis (1882-1973), who published, in 1905, a booklet titled; "Some Historic Families of South Carolina". All of Frampton's research, which may include "Good Billy's" original papers, are presently in the posession of one of his grandsons. A high proportion of these have not yet been studied in great detail.

Frampton's booklet gives an excellent account of the early Fripp families in South Carolina, however, some of the information about William's trip to UK in 1836 is inaccurate. It says that while in Bristol, UK, he met Edward Bowles Fripp, who was then Mayor of Bristol. Edward was never a Mayor, although his 1st cousin, William Fripp, was mayor in 1836. He also mentions W.C. Fripp of London Graphic (as on Ed. St. James Fripp's chart). However, no records of a W.C. Fripp have been found for that period. This information was probably confused with Charles Edwin Fripp (1854-1906), who was an artist and correspondent for the London Graphic.

A letter from "Good Billy" to Edward, dated 17 Nov 1838, shows that he had no knowledge of his ancestry prior to his grandfather, John Fripp III. However, he does state that it was his Great Great Grandfather who first settled in South Carolina. This would be John Fripp Sr.

view all

John Fripp, I's Timeline

Dorset, UK
Age 29
St. Helena, SC, USA
May 29, 1742
Age 67
June 29, 1742
Age 67
St. Helena, SC, USA