Watkins Family, continued (page 2)
The Children of Henry & Catherine Watkins (continued)
Thomas Watkins “of Swift Creek” (continued)
Last Will & Testament: Mrs. Eugenia Richards provided the following transcript of Thomas Watkins’ will:
Cumberland Co., VA, Will Book 1, pp 199 - the WILL of Thomas Watkins of Swift Creek: Dated March 4, 1760
(A series of periods or a question mark indicate an unreadable word or words.)
In the name of God, Amen, I, Thomas Watkins, of Cumberland County do make and appoint this to be my last Will and Testament …….. in Manner following Impremis: I give unto my daughter Susanna Woodson a Negro Woman named Sarah now in her possession & ten pounds current money.
Item: I give unto my Daughter Mary Woodson of Goochland County and her husband Robert Woodson my Slave Hannah and her three children now in his possession and their increase to them during the term of their natural lives and after the time limited for them to hold them, I give the said slave Hannah and her three children and their increase to my three sons Thomas Watkins, Joel Watkins and Benjamin Watkins to hold to them and their heirs forever. I also give my said Daughter ten Pounds current money.
Item: I give unto my Daughter Elizabeth Daniel a Negro girl called Matt now in her possession and ten Pounds current money.
Item: I give unto my son Thomas Watkins three Negroes called George, Dick and Matt now in his possession and two Negroes Kate, Sam to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my son Joel Watkins three Negroes Ajax, Cato & Will with the former now in his possession. I also give my said son sett of S? (page torn) maker's tools, one iron pot of a midlin size, a pair of Iron hooks and one Iron pot, two stone juggs, one stone ? , brass skimmer and ladle, one cooper's axe, one cooper's adz, one shovel, and one Carpenter's adz, all the above ? goods I give to my said son and to his heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my grandson Stephen Watkins now living in Amelia Co. one Negro called Brandon, two breeding cows, two ? leather chairs, one midlin iron Pot , a pair of iron Pot hooks and one iron pot rack but in case the above said Stephen Watkins should die before he attains the age of twenty-one years, then I give all the above estate given to him to his sister Elizabeth Watkins to her and her heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my grandson Thomas Watkins, son of my aforesaid son Thomas Watkins one Negro girl called Sarah to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin Watkins three hundred and fifty acres of land lying in Chesterfield County on the South side of Swift Creek to him and to his Heirs forever. I also give and bequeath unto my said Son Benjamin Watkins five hundred acres of Land lying in Cumberland County including the Plantation whereon I formerly lived be the same more or less to him and to his Heirs forever. I also give my said son three Negroes Named Robert, Jo and Frank now in his possession to him and his Heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my above said Daughter Elizabeth Daniel one Negro boy named Sam during the time of her natural life and after her death, the said Negro boy Sam shall be and go to her Daughter Judith Daniel to her and her Heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my daughter Jean Watkins ten pounds current money.
Item: I give unto my grandson Thomas Watkins son of my aforesaid Daughter Jean Watkins, one Negro Girl named Hannah now in his possession and her increase to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my grandson Joseph Watkins, son of my aforesaid Daughter Jean Watkins one Negro named Dick now in his Possession to him and to his Heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my Granddaughter Hannah Watkins daughter of my aforesaid son Benjamin Watkins one Negro boy named Abram to her and her heirs forever.
Item: I give unto my aforesaid daughter Susanna Woodson one Negro boy named Jo to her and to her heirs forever.
Item: I give unto Ann Dickens the use and profits of two hundred acres of land during the time of her natural life or widowhood lying in Cumberland County including the plantation whereon I now live and is bounded as followeth: Beginning at a run marked corner Hickory near Buckingham Road thence along my line to a corner White Oak on the north side of Swift Creek near the run thence up the said Creek to a marked Corner White Oak thence along a line of new markers ……? to Buckingham Road thence down said road to the beginning to include the said two hundred acres of land be the same more or less and after the time limited for the said Ann Dickens to hold the above said 200 acres of land, I give the said land to my above said son Thomas Watkins to him and his heirs forever. I also give unto Ann Dickens the labor and service of my two Negroes named Robin and Jean …? her natural life and widowhood and after the death of the said Ann Dickens I give the aforesaid two slaves to my abovesaid son Joel Watkins and their increase to him and to his heirs forever but in case the above said Jean should have a child or children in the time limited for the said Ann Dickens to hold her, then said son Joel Watkins shall immediately take such child or children away or pay a reasonable charge to the said Ann Dickens for raising of them. I also give unto Ann Dickens the use of my Grey Mare and Mare colt, my gun and a pair of scales and weights and Flax Hatchell during the time of her natural life and after the death of said Ann Dickens, I give the said Mare and her colt and her increase, my gun, scales and weights and Flax Hatchell to my aforesaid grandson Thomas Watkins of Goochland County to him and his heirs forever. I also give unto the said Ann Dickins during the time of her natural life one pair of sheets, one Rug, Bedstead, Hide and case, my largest pair of Cart Wheels and Tobacco Carriage, one pair Fire Tongs, one frying Pan, also a set of horseharness sufficient for working two horses together, also twelve barrels of seed corn, ten bushels of wheat, four hundred weight of neat Pork, eight head of cattle, ten hogs at a year old each, six sheep, two bushels of salt, one meal bag, two meal barrels and after the death of said Ann Dickens, I give all the above premised goods and chattels to my two sons above mentioned Thomas Watkins and Joel Watkins to be equally divided between them.
It is my will and desire that Thomas Gibson may continue unmolested on my Plantation in Chesterfield County till the year sixty-two and have the benefit of half the fruit the Orchard affords and half the cash that was made for his use and mine during the time before mentioned and it is my will and desire that the above said Ann Dickens have the other half of the cash and the benefit of the other half of the fruit and after the time is expired for the said Gibson to continue on the Plantation, it is my will and desire that Ann Dickens have the use of all the cash and the benefit of all the fruit during the time of her natural life and it shan't be in the Power of anyone to molest her. And it is my will and desire that the said Ann Dickens shall possess the Estate above given to her immediately after my death and it is my will and desire that the said two Negroes given to the above said Ann Dickson be clothed the following year after my decease by my son Benjamin Watkins and have each of them a Blanket.
Item: I give unto my son Benjamin Watkins all the residue and remainder of my estate not herein before given or disposed of to him and to him heirs forever whom I charge to pay all the legacies given to my daughters and I do hereby appoint my said sons Thomas Watkins, Joel Watkins and Benjamin Watkins Executors and I desire my Estate may not be appraised. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and sixty. Thomas Watkins
Witnesses: John Watkins Jr., Jordan Anderson, John Watkins
At a court held for Cumberland County, 25 June, 1760, The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Watkins dec'd was proved by John Watkins Jr and John Watkins Sr., two of the witnesses thereto and by the Court order to be recorded. Test. Thompson Swann, Clk Ct.
Note: Thomas Watkins, as his father before him, overruled the laws of primogeniture by having a will and distributing his property as he saw fit. In his case, he left most of his property to his youngest son, Benjamin. It is my opinion that his other sons were prospering just fine on their own. He obviously trusted his older sons enough to make them the executors of his estate./vsm
The children of Thomas Watkins and Elizabeth Pride will be discussed in greater detail in following pages.
5) Edward Watkins, born about 1676; died 1771 in Cumberland County, VA. Edward Watkins was a brother of Thomas “of Swift Creek” Watkins, as written by Mr. Francis N. Watkins of Farmville in 1859. He is also discussed in several other publications, best recollected as the great-grandfather of Henry Clay. The best I have been able to determine, Edward had three wives, the name of only the second known. He did not name a wife in his will, and it is not believed he had any children by his third wife.
Children by his first wife:
A) John W. (son of Edward) WATKINS of Cumberland County, VA (b.Abt 1710 d.Jan 1765-Cumberland County,VA)
| sp: Phoebe HANCOCK (b.10 May 1719 d.Abt 1777-Buckingham County,VA)
B) Thomas (son of Edward) WATKINS of Henrico Co., VA (b.Abt 1720-Swift Creek,Henrico County,VA d.1780/1781-Henrico County,VA)
| sp: Mary CLAY
Edward’s second wife was Mary Bishop TAYLOR PENDLETON (m.Abt 1723). They had the following children:
C) . Mary WATKINS (b.22 Mar 1726 d.13 Nov 1805-Chesterfield County,VA)
| sp: Jordan ANDERSON (b.1723 m.15 Sep 1748 d.1805)
D) Sarah Elizabeth WATKINS (b.Abt 1726 d.Abt 1750-Chesterfield County,VA)
| sp: "Sir" John CLAY (b.1721 m.Abt 1740 d.1762)
E) Edward (Jr.) WATKINS of Cumberland County, VA (b.Circa 1726 d.1812/1813-Powhatan Co.,VA)
| sp: Rhoda THOMPSON (b.1732 m.17 Apr 1759 d.1827)
F) Martha WATKINS (b.Henrico County,VA)
| sp: Francis MOSELEY (d.1782/1783)
G) Judith WATKINS
| sp: Thomas BASS (b.1725 d.1804)
H) Frances WATKINS
| sp: Richard MOSELEY (m.1803)
I) George (son of Edward) WATKINS
| sp: Rebecca THOMPSON
6) Joseph Watkins’ birth date is unknown; he died in 1723. The only notes I have for Joseph are that his wife’s name was Anne, and the following quote: “JOSEPH WATKINS, son of Henry - The printed records of the Orphans Court in Henrico County in 1725 refer to "the orphans of Joseph Watkins, deceased." This probably refers to Joseph, the son of Henry. The names of his orphans are not known." Any information appreciated!
7) William Watkins was born about 1690 in Henrico County, VA; he died about 1781 in Cornwall Parish; Charlotte County, VA. A conveyance of land was made to him by his father in 1692. The 1704 Quit Rents of Virginia lists three acreage's to William Watkins, 137 acres in King & Queen County, 50 acres in New Kent County, and 120 acres in Henrico County. William Watkins was living in Chesterfield County, VA in 1745, where he was sheriff before 1748. He moved to Lunenburg Co., and was on the vestry of Cumberland parish, that part which fell into Charlotte County, 1764, when his home then became Charlotte County.
I became fascinated by the descendants of William Watkins while researching my Watkins’ of Augusta, Georgia. Many of William’s descendants moved first to Petersburg, GA, where they prospered - until times changed and they moved to Courtland, in north Alabama. Then I read letters written about them in the family papers of Dr. T.A. Watkins of Mississippi and Texas, as found in the book “Letters from Forest Place.” Dr. T.A. Watkins is a descendant of the Watkins’ of Augusta, GA, and kept in touch with many of his far-flung relatives in north Alabama! And certainly reading James Saunders delightful “Early Settlers in Alabama,” is a must for anyone interested in this Watkins’ family. Please see the attached file for further information about his descendants:
Last Will & Testament of William Watkins
ill Book 1:365 WILLIAM WATKINS will dated 2 Apr 1781 Probated 6 Dec 1784
In the name of God, Amen,
I, William Watkins of the Parish of Cornwall and County of Charlotte, being of sound and perfect memory, and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.
Imprima. I desire, that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid. Item. I give and bequeath to my son Richard all that part of my tract of land and plantation lying to the Northward of the Ridge, lying between the two branches, also four Negroes, to wit, Jack, Nancy, Aaron and Tuck, fifteen head of cattle, fifteen sheep, three beds and furniture, all my stock of hogs, all my pewter and kitchen furniture, to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson William, son of my son Richard, one Negroes girl named Letty, to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin all the other part of my tract of land lying Southward of the Ridge, between the branches aforesaid, to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath the residue of my stock of cattle to be equally divided between my sons-in -law, Benjamin Breedlove, John Breedlove, and my son Benjamin Watkins. Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson Richard Worsham, if he lives to return from the Army, one Negro boy named Cuff to him and his heirs forever. But in case he should not return to receive him, I direct that the said Negro may be divided in the same manner as the residue of my Negroes are directed to be divided. Item. I give and bequeath to my Grandson James Jones (if he lives to return from Army), one Negro boy named Isaac, to him and his heirs forever, but in case he should not return to receive him, I direct the said Negro be equally divided in the manner the residue of my Negroes are directed to be divided. Item. All the residue of my Negroes, and other estate not before given, I bequeath to be equally divided between my sons James, William, Joseph, John, and Benjamin, and my son-in-law John Breedlove, to hold to them respectively and their heirs forever.
I direct that my estate shall not be appraised. Lastly, I constitute my sons, James, William, and John, to be whole and sole executors of this my last will and testament; hereby revoking all other wills by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 2nd day of April, 1781.
Sealed, signed, published, and declared by the same William Watkins to be his last will and testament.
Signed William Watkins, L.S.
In the presence of:
Thomas Spencer, Jr.
Lucy Watkins *
Note: Witness, Lucy Watkins was a granddaughter of William. Three days later, witnesses Thomas Spencer and Lucy Watkins were married.
William married Martha Herndon about 1726, and they had the following 11 children:
A) James B. WATKINS (b.2 May 1728-Chickahominy,Henrico,Va d.21 Dec 1798-Petersburg,Elbert County,GA)
| sp: Martha THOMPSON (b.1737-Chesterfield Co.,VA m.20 Nov 1755 d.22 Nov 1803)
B) William "the younger" (Jr.) WATKINS (b.Abt 1730 d.1821)
| sp: Mary OSBORNE
C) Sophia WATKINS (b.1735 d.1780)
| sp: John WORSHAM
D) Joseph WATKINS (b.1737)
| sp: Mary Holt BOISSEAU
E) John (son of Wm) WATKINS (b.1739-Briery Creek,Charlotte Co.,VA d.1770?)
| sp: Mary MOORE
F) Mary WATKINS (b.1741)
| sp: Rev. Benjamin BREEDLOVE
G) Sally WATKINS (b.1743)
| sp: James BOULDIN (b.1732 d.1801)
H) Elizabeth WATKINS (b.1746)
| sp: John BREEDLOVE
I) Benjamin (son of Wm) WATKINS (b.1748)
| sp: Mildred WHITLOCK
J) Richard (I) WATKINS (b.26 Jan 1750/1751-Chesterfield County,VA)
| sp: Elizabeth PARRISH (m.May 1773)
K) (daughter) WATKINS
sp: Phillip JONES