MALPASS is an old family name in colonial, eastern North Carolina. This page sets forth what limited information I have regarding my search for the ancestors of Rebecca MALPASS who married Frederick CROOM about 1810 in New Hanover County, North Carolina. To provide some perspective as to where Rebecca MALPASS "fits in" to the ongoing research, I have included some other New Hanover County MALPASS families living shortly before and during her lifetime.

Liberal Spellings of Malpass

Records reveal several variations in the spelling of the MALPASS surname, not unusual in early times. The most common variations I have encountered are: MALPASS, MALLPASS, MALLPOSS, MALEPASS, MALPAS, MALPUS, MALPHUS, MALPATH, MALPATHIS, MALPHURS, MOLPUS, MOLLPOSS and MORPUS. Even MONPRUS was found in Craven County, NC.  Quite a stretch! Additional spellings also have been found.

Possible Origins of MALPASS

Currently, records suggest that most, if not all, MALPASS families in early eastern North Carolina can be traced back to Virginia. I have found no record that ties a Malpass of Virginia to any ancestry; however, it seems quite likely that his family came from England. Located below on this page are excerpts of a paper suggesting that MALPASS is Flemish and that the name first appeared in England shortly after 1331 when emigrants from the Netherlands were permitted entry. Please click here to read those excerpts.

Hopefully, the information I have displayed on this page will facilitate the study of the early MALPASS families and lead to additional findings. As these and other related names are better understood and sorted out, this page undoubtedly will continue to be revised. For now, it is a start. I am indebted to Terri BROWN, APG, a MALPASS descendant, for her untiring research and help. Among her works, Richard MALPASS, Senior, Junior and Third, and An Assumption That Proved Misleading: A Case Study of Simon Malpass and His Son Simon, have been very useful in the compilation of this page. Additionally, I thank Caleb Molpus and Edgar Mike Malpass for their suggestions from time to time. This is what I understand at this point:

To date I have found few references to individuals named MALPASS living in the eighteenth century or earlier and who migrated to North Carolina. Ms. Terri Brown identified one as Simon MALPASS who was in Virginia in 1736 and who later appeared in Craven County, NC in 1739. The earliest information of my MALPASS ancestral line known to me begins in Virginia in the late seventeenth century. A Richard MALPASS who appears to be connected to families of that name in Virginia is recorded as the earliest MALPASS believed to have arrived in North Carolina. Court records in Albemarle County show approval of a land grant for a ...Rich. MALEPASS... in July 1694.

Richard Malpass, Senior and Descendants

  1. Richard MALPASS, Senior was born before 1680, probably in or near the county of Northumberland in Virginia. He married a Mary and, while we do not know for sure, it appears likely that she was the sister of Thomas ROGERS, son of Benjamin ROGERS of Virginia. Richard MALPASS, Senior, died about 1717 in Bertie County, North Carolina. He and Mary are believed to have had the following issue:

    1. Richard MALPASS, Junior, was born about 1700 in in Virginia, but possibly in Bertie County, NC. By 13 April 1721, he had married a Mary whose maiden name is unknown. Richard died in 1733 in Chowan Precinct, NC. Their issue:

      1. Richard Malpass, III, b abt 1725 Chowan Precinct, NC; d abt 1772 New Hanover County or possibly Duplin which was formed from New Hanover. The late Ruth Walker Savage speculated that Richard might have married twice and that he and his first wife--her name is unknown--had a son, Hardy MALPASS, born about 1750. Later work by Ms. Terri Brown and my own studies have led me to believe it is more probable that Hardy MALPASS was a son of John MALPASS, son of Richard MALPASS, SR.

        Richard MALPASS, III, married a Mary abt 1750. Her maiden name is unknown; however, we know that she was a widow of John JONES, Sr. She and JONES had a son, John JONES, Jr., and three daughters, Ann, Margaret and Elizabeth. After the death of Richard MALPASS, III, about 1772, Mary was married a third time to James RADCLIFF. He died in 1781.

        Richard MALPASS, III, and his wife, Mary (Lnu) JONES, had the following issue:

        1. Richard MALPASS, IV, b 1751-1759, recv'd grant on Black River in 1780; presumed to have died bef 1790. [Note: This is only known record of a Richard MALPASS in NHC aft an estate record for Richard III in 1774. Richard IV should be considered tentative at this time.]
        2. Rebecca MALPASS, b 1751-1759, d 1781-1796; her mother's 1796 will referred to Rebecca as a deceased daughter with surviving children.
        3. James MALPASS, Sr., was born about 1760. On 16 Feb 1833, he applied for a Revolutionary War pension and stated that he was about 72 or 73 years of age, placing his date of birth about 1760. In the 1840 census he is listed as a pensioner, age "88," living in the household of "F. I. CROOM." I believe his age in that census should have read, "80." His birth about 1760 seems more likely in view of Thomas ROGERS of Black River being appointed his guardian in 1774 following the death of Richard MALPASS, III, in 1772. James died between 1840 & 1847 in New Hanover Co. The 1790 New Hanover County census lists James with 3 FWF, most likely a wife and 2 daughters. At this time, the only known issue of James and his unidentified wife was:

    2. Jeremiah MALPASS, b 1708, d 12 Sep 1808 Savannah, GA. Records show Jeremiah living in Bertie County in 1747. A Jeremiah MALPASS was found in Edgecombe and Halifax counties through 1786, both progeny of Bertie County. There is no certainty at this time that all these records refer to the same Jeremiah MALPASS. 

      The death of Jeremiah MALPASS of Savannah, GA was recorded in the Register of Deaths in Savannah in 1808. He was listed as born in VA and 100 years of age at the time of his death. This undoubtedly was the same Jeremiah found in the early Bertie County, NC records. The death records also reveal that Jeremiah at the age of 99 buried a demented daughter, age 33, who had been living in his household. Indications are that he had other issue, some born perhaps as early as 1730. Given the age of his daughter and normal child-bearing years, this would suggest that Jeremiah had at least two wives.

      Jeremiah MALPASS (1708-1808) and his first wife (name unknown) had the following known issue:

      1. Jeremiah MALPASS, b abt 1730

      Jeremiah MALPASS (1708-1808) and his second wife, (name unknown), had the following known issue:

      1. Sally MALPASS, b 1774 NC, d 29 Jul 1807 Savannah, GA; m Fnu HAWKINS.


    3. John MALPASS, born before 1733, is believed to be a son of Richard, MALPASS, Sr. Records reveal his living in Bertie County from 1733 through 1741. Later, he is found in New Hanover County and possibly married a DeBose. It appears probable that they were the parents of a son, Hardy:

      1. Hardy MALPASS, b bef 1755 NC, d aft 20 Sep 1801, most likely in New Hanover County, NC.

        Records show that Hardy MALPASS (abt 1755-abt 1801) was married to a daughter of a John and Mary MOORE (listed as MOOR) of Duplin County, NC. Of the six named daughters of John MOORE, the spouses of three have been identified. That leaves the conclusion that Hardy MALPASS married either Sarah, Beckey or Suckey. The known issue of Hardy and his wife are:


        1. John MALPASS, b 1773, d Duplin Co, NC; m Starr FNU; 6 daus
        2. James MALPASS, b 2 Apr 1775, d 1850-1860 NHC; m Mary GIDDENS or GIDEON; 6 sons & 3 daus.
        3. Henry MALPASS, b 19 Apr 1777, d 1860 NHC; m a GARGANOUS
        4. Tabitha MALPASS, b 24 Aug 1779,
        5. William MALPASS, b 20 Mar 1782, m Susanna BYRNS


NOTE: The aforementioned Hardy MALPASS is not to be confused with the Hardy MOLPUS (MALPASS), who lived in Washington County, GA in 1820 and whom some assert was a son of Jeremiah MALPASS. The 1820 Georgia census lists him as age 26-45 and with a household of of 3 children, 1 male 18-26 and a slave. In adjacent Baldwin County, the 1820 census lists a Jeremiah MOLPUS, b bef 1775. He possibly was the father of the Hardy in Washington County.  

Note: "Fnu" means "first name unknown".

Simon Malpass: What Do We Know?

In the Fall of 2000, Terri Brown published a paper entitled, "An Assumption That Proved Misleading: A Case Study of Simon Malpass and His Son Simon." Her paper was the culmination of her extensive research and provides an important view of a Simon MALPASS, his family and other related families living in both North Carolina and South Carolina during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Mrs. Brown's credible work has led me to temporarily remove my previously published section on this page hypothesizing on Simon MALPASS. Shortly, I will display known information on Simon MALPASS SR and JR.

James Malpass x 3 = Confusion

Census and other records suggest as many as three individuals named James MALPASS were living contemporaneously in New Hanover County in the late 1700s. Assigning records to the proper James has been and continues to be difficult.

In 1800 Simon MALPASS, JR, gave one acre to the people of Moore's Creek for the building of a church. This gift deed was witnessed by JAMES MALPASS who was a brother of Simon MALPASS, Jr. Both were of the seven sons of Simon MALPASS, SR, who was born in VA, lived briefly in Craven County, NC, and later lived and presumably died in SC. Records reveal that Simon, Jr., moved from SC back to NC and the Moore's Creek area sometime after January 1766 where he received a land grant of 100 acres in 1767. His brother James MALPASS is first found in New Hanover County in 1767 when he purchased land on the Black River from Peleg ROGERS who had obtained the land in an original patent two years earlier. Of the three men named JAMES MALPASS living concurrently in New Hanover County in the late 1700s, this James was the oldest, having been born about 1746 or earlier. This James did not stay put for long. After his NHC marriage in the latter part of 1791 to Julia, the widow of Matthew ORR , records reveal the family living in South Carolina for a brief time. They moved back to NHC, as an 1812 record reveals their witnessing the will of John JONES.

The second JAMES MALPASS is the one who, according to his military pension application, was born about 1760. [This record has led me to believe the 1840 census record was in error in giving his age as "88." I believe he was then 80.] This James, of course, was the father-in-law of Frederick CROOM and was, I believe, a son of Richard MALPASS, III. James died between 1840 and 1850.

The third JAMES MALPASS was born 2 Apr 1775 and was, I believe, a son of Hardy MALPASS. This James married Mary, daughter of Thomas and Catherine? Rivenbark GIDDENS/GIDEON. The 1850 NHC census shows James as 75 years of age, blind and living in the household of his son Lovett. Presumably, James died before 1860.

It should not be surprising that erroneous conclusions have been made concerning the name James MALPASS. Admittedly, some parts of my MALPASS line are speculative, but hopefully it will generate some thought, promote continued research and produce some new facts.

CAUTION: The association of some family members on this page is probable but nonetheless SPECULATIVE. They are shown here for study purposes only. Your help in clarifying these MALPASS families of North Carolina would be appreciated. More information to be inserted here.

Origin of the Malpass Surname

The March 1991 Journal of the Florida Genealogical Society, Inc., contained an informative article which had been abstracted from The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (Australia) Inc. The article was based on a paper given by Dr. Niel Gunson at the Second National Capital History Seminar, October 28-29, 1989 in Australia. The article describes the origins of a number of surnames in English ancestry. Information pertaining to one surname of particular interest to this web page is excerpted from that article as follows:

As early as 1266, there were royal edits to control and protect resident aliens, particularly merchants of various nationalities in London and small colonies of Flemish artisans and weavers. In 1331, however, Edward III, whose wife was a Netherlander, issued an important invitation to foreign weavers to settle in England. Communities of Netherlanders were formed in London, York, Winchester, Norwich, Bristol, Abingdon, the Cotswolds and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Flemish names introduced in this period were CLUTTERBUK, FORTEY, HOLBROW, MALPASS, PETTITT, PHILLIMORE, PROUT AND TAME. Click here to return to Possible Origins of Malpass at the top of this page.

Note: LNU= last name unknown
          FNU=first name unknown





This page was last revised on 14 February 2011

Copyright 1995-2017 by John H. Croom, all rights reserved.


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