Not sure if any of you are still active on this thread, but thought I'd add my two cents' worth.
Here's a link to The Thigpen Tribe by Alice Whitley Smith explaining the name changes. http://eradcliffe.tripod.com/thigpen.html
Like valerielamar1219, I too am a direct descendant of the Thigpen family. Jessie Stephen Thigpen was my great-grandfather.
Jessie's ancestors (and mine, of course) can be traced directly to James Thigpen who was born in Shannon, Ireland in 1627 and sailed to America and settled in Perquimans County, NC.
James was the grandson of Owen Phippen. Descendants of Owen's brother David Phippen helped settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Recently, through DNA testing, I found that I'm distantly related to about a dozen of David Phippen's descendants.
Hoping this helps.