- His ancestry can only be rated probable.
There are several Savage immigrants to the eastern shore of Virginia, but I've seen no clear study of their families which lead to him. I rely here mostly on the history of James Cochran Savage, and family tradition. Neither cites sources to connect this man clearly to his father's generation.
I don't see him in the 1790 or 1800 US census anywhere. "James Savage" does appear on the 1800 KY census as a taxpayer, however, in Mason Co.
Was he a Revolutionary War soldier? This could also very well be wishful genealogy, though some county histories do say so. No-one has used him to join the DAR. His brother John fought in the French and Indian War under Washington in his Virginia company.
This is about his Great-grandson, which seems to tell something about him as well:
Harrison B. Savage, M. D., Galena, is a son of Dr. Charles Smith Savage and Elizabeth P. (Burgess) Savage. His father was born in Germantown, Mason county, Kentucky, Dec. 8, 1829, the son of James Phillips Savage and Sallie (Currens) Savage. James Phillips Savage was born in Virginia Jan. 16, 1792, a son of James and Mary (Phillips) Savage, both of whom were born in Virginia, whence they came to Kentucky at a very early date. The Savage family is of Welsh origin. The father of James Savage was a Revolutionary soldier. James Phillips Savage came to Kentucky with his widowed mother and, her eleven other children in 1799, in a covered wagon, and settled near Maysville, then called Limestone.
(Pages 212-213 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.)
"Mrs. Williams is a daughter of John P. Savage, a son of James Savage, of Revolutionary fame, he having served throughout the entire struggle for independence. After the close of the war, in 1791, James Savage removed from Virginia to Kentucky, with his wife and children. Settlement was made at Poplar Flat, Lewis County, Kentucky, some fourteen miles above Maysville. There Mr. Savage improved a fine farm from the virgin wilderness and in those early pioneer days it was necessary to barricade the doors against the attacks of Indians. The old homestead is now owned by the fifth generation of his descendants and the old log cabin built by him in the early days is still a part of the family residence. A fact worthy of record here is that during the many years which have elapsed since the time of the immigration of James Savage to Kentucky not a single death occurred in the house from disease until a few years ago. James Savage continued to reside on his homestead during the remainder of his life, and prior to his death, through thrift and industry, he had accumulated a large property, owning at one time a great number of slaves. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Phillips, was a native Virginian and was descended from King Philip, of England. To Mr. and Mrs. James Savage were born eight children--six sons and two daughters."
--BTW, there has never been a King Philip of England.
From a History of Lewis Co., Kentucky:
"February Court term of 1834 . . . The following rather peculiar, though perhaps valuable, record was made in the order book of the Lewis County Court: "The following persons are the only heirs of James P. Savage, deceased: Pleasant M. Savage, James Savage, John P. Savage, Francis Asbury Savage, Samuel P. Savage, William P. Savage, Mary Jane Johnson, late Mary Stout, the daughter and only child of Sally Stout, who, previous to her marriage, was Sally Savage and the daughter of the above-named James Savage, deceased; and James A. Frizzell, Alexander Frizzell, and Margaret Frizzell, children of Polly W. Frizzell, deceased, who was, previous to her marriage, Polly W. Savage and the daughter of the above-named James P. Savage, deceased."
This makes his middle initial "P." [4, 5, 6]