Note: "A Friend of Friends" was a password used on the Underground Railway
THOMAS WATKINS (b about 1678, married ELIZABETH PRIDE) was my great X 7 grandfather, who lived in Henrico Co VA & died in Cumberland Co VA. He was either the son or grandson of HENRY WATKINS II & KATHERINE PRIDE of Henrico Co VA. They were a family of Quakers--but it appears that by the time he died, THOMAS WATKINS was not. He was a member of the Anglican Church in Southam Parish, Cumberland Co VA (Cumberland Co had been formed 1749 from Goochland Co, and Goochland Co had been formed 1728 from Henrico Co, so it's possible that the county lines simply changed around him)
The most curious thing about this will, besides the fact that many slaves are named, is the long passage concerning ANN DICKENS. It is clear that THOMAS' wife ELIZABETH was dead by 1760. So was he co-habitating with ANN DICKENS? Was she an indentured servant? a relative?
--WILL OF THOMAS WATKINS 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 (JANE) 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
Have a great day!
© Betty Tartas 2013