Joel Watkins

Joel Watkins
1820 Grayson County, Kentucky
James L. Watkins and Elizabeth Brunk
Marriage 1:
 Fanny Gragson Born: November 25, 1820 united with Joel 1841 Grayson County, Kentucky
Marriage 2:
 Telitha Keller Born: March 1856 Grayson County, Kentucky
united February 5, 1878
Grayson County, Kentucky

Joel and David E. Watkins are special subjects to this research.  Your input would be appreciated.

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Records available for Joel Watkins birth year vary from 1820 to 1826

Joel states he is 56 years old ( born 1822) on February 5, 1878 when he marries Telitha Keller in Grayson County, Kentucky.

This would be his 2nd marriage. Telitha is 21 years old and it is her 1st marriage.

On Joel Watkins draft registration date of July 1863 Joel states he is 42 years old (1821).

Joel Watkins 29 (1821) first censused as husband to Fanny Watkins 29 (1821) who states she was born in South Carolina in the 1850 Grayson County census record taken August 12, 1850. 
 Fanny Gragson Watkins dies in Grayson County, Kentucky and is buried in Little Clifty United Methodist Church Cemetery. Her tombstone reads Fannie W. wife of Joel Watkins Born November 25, 1820 Died February 9, 1877. Fanny was just 57 years old at the time of her death.

1850 Federal Census for Joel and Fanny Watkins: 

Joel's children with Fanny:
Martha Elizabeth Watkins
 June 10, 1842
James W. Watkins
Margaret Watkins
December 5, 1846 
Emily Jane Watkins
October 19, 1848
John Henry Watkins
March 26, 1853
Phoebe Watkins
July 28, 1855 
Robert Ganaway Watkins
December 27, 1861
Lovell Rouseau Watkins
  August 1864
Joel Watkins is censused in 1860 as follows:
farming, could not read or write, value of real property $400, personal property $500, all household members born in Ky.
Joel 37 (1823), Fanny 35, James W. 16 (1844) Margaret 13 (1847)  Emily J. 11 (1849) John H. 7 (1853), Phebe A. 5 (1855) Martha Brunk 19 (1841) listed as serving, Sirena 1 (1859) Ganaway 10 (1850)
It is uncertain if the Ganaway Watkins age 10 listed in 1860 is a census taker error which would make Ganaway Watkins birth year before 1860 or possibly that someone else with the name was a member of the household in 1860.
Joel is censused in 1870 as follows:
Joel 50 (1820) farmer,  real estate value $800 personal property value $500 born in Ky, could not read or write, able to vote, enumerated on July 27, 1870
Fanny 50 (1819) Housekeeping, Emily J. 18 (1848), John H.. 16 (1854), Phebe A. 14 (1856), Robert G. 10 (1860) Lovell R.. 7 (1863)

1880 Census June 12, 1880
Joel 54 (1826) farmer, could not read or write, Mary 30 (1850), Charley W. 5 (1875), John 2 (1878)
Information available on Telitha Keller Watkins:
Telitha is enumerated with Floyd Davis age 53 born June 1846 on the 1900 Federal Census. Telitha is age 44 born March 1856. They are enumerated in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky June 8, 1900. Three Watkins children are listed in the household as step children to Floyd Davis.
C.W. (Clayton Winfield) Watkins born March 1881 (19) Carrie Watkins born Feb 1884 (16) and Myrtle born January 1890 (10) are listed. Telitha claims she has delivered 5 children, that 3 are living, and that her and Floyd Davis have been married 8 years.
Clayton Winfield Watkins dies is Asheville, North Carolina April 30, 1957 , The informant, his wife Theresa Barnhill Watkins, offers his birth date as  March 17, 1880, born in Grayson County, Ky.,and that his parents were Joel Watkins and Talitha Kelley.   
 Joel Watkins married first about 1841 to Fanny Gragson.. Fanny was born to Robert Gragson and Martha Sutton. Joel's brother David E. Watkins marries Mary Margaret Pryor about 1874 who is the daughter of David Pryor and Sarah Sutton.  Sarah Sutton was a sister to Martha Sutton.

Click Here to learn more about David E.Watkins
Joel Watkins unites second to Telitha Keller February 5, 1878 Grayson County, Kentucky
Joel's children with Telitha:
Clayton Winfield Watkins
March 17, 1880
Carrie Watkins
 February 1884
Myrtle Watkins
January 1890
Joel and Telitha were married and having children until at least 1890 based on the fact that their youngest child Myrtle is born in 1890. Telitha is married to Floyd Davis on October 10,1892. Joel Watkins dies sometime after 1890 and before1892 according to the documents available. He most likely died in Grayson County, Ky.  Joel Watkins would have been 70 years old at that time.
In 1880 Joel Watkins age 54 is enumerated with Mary wife 30 years old, sons Charley W. Age 5 and John age 2. This record is confusing and much time and effort have been given to decipher the puzzle of this 1880 Grayson County census. 
Evidence to show the mistaken identity of Joel Watkins in the census of 1880:
Joel is not censused in 1880 with Telitha anywhere in the United States, yet they had been married 2 years.  It is not known why the enumerator lists Joel as head of household to wife Mary with sons Charley W. and John Watkins.   Later records prove John Watkins full name is John Henry Watkins born July 10, 1877 according to his draft registration.  Joel and Fanny Watkins also create a son and his given name is John Henry Watkins born 1853.    

 When Mary Margaret Watkins dies in 1930 she has three sons of the Watkins surname.  Charles W. born 1875, John Henry born 1877, and James David born 1883.  Mary Watkins is censused with son John Henry Watkins in the 1920 and 1930 census records. Sarah Watkins, wife of John Henry, is the informant on Mary Watkins death certificate and she offers that Mary was the widow of David Watkins. 
Charles William Watkins death certificate of 1952 offers his father to be David Watkins and that he was born in Grayson County, Kentucky. When John Henry Watkins marries Sarah Quiggins in Grayson County he lists his parents to be Dave and Margaret (Pryor ) Watkins.  It is noteworthy to mention that “Joel” and Mary are enumerated near an Enoch Hart in 1880 and that David and his first wife Nancy are also listed as neighbors in 1870 with the same Enoch Hart. 
The last census that Mary appears as married would be the 1880 census where she is enumerated with Joel. For reasons that may never be proven the census taker mistakenly lists Joel Watkins as husband to Mary instead of David Watkins in 1880. Mary is listed as widowed from the 1900 census and until her death in 1930. There are no records of a different David Watkins living in Grayson County, Kentucky other than the brother of Joel Watkins. 

See David Watkins' page for more information.