James Watkins

James Watkins
About 1755
1785 united  to Nancy Ann Kennedy
Mercer County, Kentucky at Fort Harrod
1843 Hart County, Kentucky

The information above is gathered in part of other researchers. From James Watkins' service in the American Revolutionary War we believe he was born in Maryland.  Some researchers offer that James Watkins was the son of Christopher Watkins and wife Eleanor.  The name Christopher nor Eleanor appear in the family later which would imply this may not be the parents of this subject.  The name "James Watkins" is so common it would be difficult to confirm his birth date and parentage with 100% accuracy.  A marriage record exists that offers a James Watkins born 1750 united to Nancy Ann born 1759 in New Jersey but does not offer a date of the marriage nor surname of Nancy Ann. 
James Watkins, a Revolutionary War Soldier, was granted land by Patrick Henry in 1786.  An account is available that James Watkins married Nancy Ann Kennedy in 1785 at Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky.  Nancy Ann researched to be the daughter of James Kennedy who had come to the area with James Harrod who founded the settlement on June 16, 1774.  Later census records enumerate Nancy Ann [Kennedy] Watkins as being born between 1760 and 1770 proving her birth to have taken place before her families migration to Kentucky.  Fort Harrod was formed as a transient stop for settler's movement west.  It is known to be the first such place established west of the Allegheny Mountains for men and their families to regroup in a protected environment before making permanent settlement elsewhere.  Most were soldiers of the American Revolution.  Harrod's Fort offered migrators an Ordinary ran by Ann [Kennedy] McGinty who had came over the Wilderness Road with her spinning wheel on horse back to Fort Harrod with permission from the Governor to open such a business.  Ann Kennedy was the wife of William Pogue at that time, having lost her first husband, John Wilson, to an Indian attack in Virginia.  William Pogue was also killed by Indians in 1778 as was Ann Kennedy's third husband Joseph Lindsey in 1782.  Her fourth husband James McGinty died in 1806.   Ann [Kennedy] Wilson Pogue Lindsey McGinty may have some kinship to Nancy Ann Kennedy, wife of James Watkins, but that connection has not been proven.  Research only proves that Ann Kennedy and Nancy Ann Kennedy were both at Fort Harrod during the same time frame.
 Images of Old Fort Harrod State Park can be viewed below:

The Monument seen above was dedicated by Neil Armstrong Astronaut Pioneer to the moon and Claude Brusse Direct Descendant of James Harrod on June 16, 1974, honoring Harrod, his men and their courageous determination to bring permanent habitation to the unsettled wilderness known now as Kentucky.  James Kennedy, father in law to James Watkins, is not listed.

Children of James Watkins and Nancy Ann Kennedy:
William Watkins Born 1785
  John Watkins Born 1786
Samuel Watkins Born 1788-1789
1 Unknown Born 1785-1794
Allie Watkins Born 1795-1800
Hannah Watkins Born 1799
Hezekiah Watkins Born 1803

 Some researchers offer that James B. Watkins born about 1808 is the youngest son of James Watkins and Nancy Kennedy.  The census records for James Watkins and Nancy Ann Kennedy of 1810 and 1820 do not support those claims.  Hezekiah Watkins born about 1803 is the only male child enumerated in those census years of 1810 and 1820 in the household of James and Nancy Watkins.  It is noteworthy to mention that the 1830 census record enumerating James Watkins offers him as a Senior, but does not list James B. Watkins as a Junior when the census taker was doing so for other households at that time.

A James Watkins is enumerated on January 11, 1790 in Fayette County, Kentucky, being the only "James Watkins" listed in the state at that time. 
In 1810 James Watkins is enumerated in Hardin County, Kentucky
See Image Below:
Transcribed: Males under 10 (1) Hezekiah, Males 16-25 (2) Samuel and 1 Unknown Males over 45 (1) James Females 10-15 (2) Allie and Hannah Females over 45 (1) Nancy Ann
William and John each married before 1810

Hart County, Kentucky was formed in 1819 from parts of Hardin and Barren Counties.

Both the 1830 and 1840 Hart County, Kentucky Federal Census records offer James Watkins' age to be 70-79 years. 
James Watkins and Nancy Ann Kennedy are enumerated last in Hart County, Kentucky in 1840 both being 70-79 years of age having lived near Green River farming the land they had settled over a half a century before.  A female age 15-19 is the only other household member at that time. James Watkins did not move from Hardin County to Hart County in Kentucky.  It is believed that the property he had settled became a part of Hart County when formed in 1819.  Researching the area of what is known as "Watkins Bend" the Green River bends and curves creating small peninsulas.  Nearby a piece of land known as "Watkins' Island" can be found where the river course encircles the property.   The properties are likely the original settlements of Samuel Watkins and/or James Watkins of the 1800 Hardin County tax list.

James Watkins was listed as a member of the Severns Valley Baptist Church of Hardin County, Kentucky on March 25, 1803.  He is listed as a member living convenient to Nolin.  His name does not appear with much frequency in their early minutes.

Researchers claim James Watkins born 1752 (some researchers offer James Watkins was born in 1755) dies in Hart County, Kentucky in 1843.  Four of the five children researched to descend from James Watkins and Nancy Ann Kennedy offer a child the name of "Samuel".  James Watkins' relationship to the other four Watkins men of the 1800 Hardin County tax list has not been confirmed, but likely.


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