The following was supplied by Margaret Swanson formerly with Phelps Connections and line leader for the NE Phelps.
The William Phelps b. 1560 of Tewksbury was the supposed father of
William b. 1593 and George according to The Phelps Family of America.
The accepted evidence now is that this William is the ancestor of A
William Phelps, born in Tewksbury about 1595 who REMAINED in Tewksbury
and is probably NOT related to the William of Crewkerne who had no
brother George or other Phelps relative who came to America.
Therefore, I would scrap the William of Tewksbury as an ancestor of
either the George Phelps who came to Dorchester and Windsor and as an
ancestor of William Phelps who came to Dorchester and Windsor. Of
course, since the origins of George Phelps have not been proved at
present, and as far as I know proven descendants of William of
Tewksbury have not had a Y-DNA test he can't be ruled out as SOME sort
of a relative of either George or William.
I believe until further evidence proves I'm wrong, that there are THREE
distinct New England Phelps groups: (1) WILLIAM, (2) GEORGE, and (3)
HENRY/EDWARD/NICHOLAS of Salem, MA 1634. Henry's group supposedly came
from London, but since that was a departure point for many emigrants,
there must be more research to establish whether they lived there or
came from elsewhere to the port. According to the Phelps Genealogy
Nicholas did not leave any descendants in New England, but both Henry
and Edward did. These are found predominantly in Essex Co., MA, New
Hampshire, Maine (17th to 18th + centuries) and then spread through New
England and across the country and were mostly Baptists. They used a
different group of given names--especially Henry, Samuel, Edward,
Robert, Margaret, NO Submits, Charitys, Josephs, Timothys, Cornelius.
George's went north on the Connecticut River to middle and western MA,
along the "frontier", were also Baptists, and seemed to live at the
western edges of settled areas. The names of George's children were
more similar to those of Williams, and I'd have to check to see which
were the most popular. Of course the names of the father's of wives can
be traced for several generations in some family lines.
William's went to Connecticut, were usually Congregationalists or
members of the established church, although not the wealthiest men in
town, ONE member of a family would often hold a town office,
postmaster, representative to the legislature, etc. Zillions of
Josephs, Williams, John, Timothys, Samuel, no Georges until after the
time of George Washington, and William H's, [after William Henry
Harrison], Abigail, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah. [Old Testament names].
If one puts together a place, name and religion (17th and early 18th
century) Nancy and I could make a fairly reliable guess as to which
family would be the best to search for a connection--but it generally
worked only on the earlier generations.
The Walters were frequently Marylanders, and other most common SOUTHERN
names were James, Richard, Robert.