Thomas Watkins

Thomas Watkins
1800 finds a Thomas Watkins on tax lists for both Hardin and Fayette Counties in Kentucky.
 Research does not prove if the Thomas Watkins' listed are one in the same or two separate Watkins men with the given name of Thomas.  Ages are not listed on the original census for Kentucky to help us in our discovery.  This early Kentucky tax list is proven to contain men being taxed in more than one county of Kentucky.  By the time of the Federal Census of 1810 a Thomas Watkins is enumerated in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky but none listed in Hardin County.
 The 1810 Fayette County, Kentucky  Census of Thomas Watkins is shown below:

Thomas Watkins: males under 10 (1), males 26-44 (1), females under 10 (2), females 26-44 (1)
A widows pension application exists in Lexington, Kentucky for Thomas Watkins in 1834. This would prove that Thomas Watkins of Fayette County was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was possibly given this Kentucky land as payment for his military service. Thomas' widow is listed as Elizabeth Watkins. This Thomas Watkins would have died before 1833 probably in the Fayette County, Kentucky area. His wife Elizabeth received a pension of $66 from 1833 and probably until her death. It is possible this Lexington, Kentucky area Thomas Watkins was the son of Col. Gassaway Watkins born 1752 in Anne Arundel, Maryland who also served his country in the American Revolution.   It is noteworthy that Isaiah Watkins, John Watkins, Samuel Watkins and James Watkins of the 1800 Hardin County tax list all have ties to Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties in Maryland.

Some researchers offer that a Thomas Watkins born in the 1740's married a Cynthia Beverly.  Though neither can be found on documentation, a Beverly Watkins is enumerated on the 1820 Federal Census records living in Washington County of Illinois.  Beverly Watkins of the area is known to be the son of Thomas Watkins and Susan Bickerstaff and the grandson of Thomas Watkins and Cynthia Beverly.   Beverly Watkins was born March 2, 1788 and offers on later census records that he was born in Virginia. 

Sugar Creek Township

(Clinton County)

Source: "1881 History of Marion & Clinton Counties, Illinois"
"Beverly WATKINS, from Kentucky, came to this settlement among the first. He was then a single man, and traded with the Indians. He afterwards married here, and settled on the west side of Sugar Creek, section 2. In 1816, he entered a tract of land in this section; was a successful trader and farmer, and accumulated property fast. At one time he was one of the wealthiest men in the county. He reared a large family, and lived to see them settled in comfortable circumstances."
 Many original settlers of the state of Kentucky are enumerated as Virginians on early census records. Beverly Watkins was likely born in Kentucky when the land was still a part of Virginia.  Kentucky gained statehood on June 1, 1792.

Thomas Watkins may have been the father of Joseph Watkins researched to be the son of Samuel Watkins and Mary McClure.  Research shows that an application to the Sons of the American Revolution entered for a descendant of Joseph Watkins (husband of Nancy Green) offers Joseph was born on January 15, 1797 and Elijah Watkins' (also known to be a son of Samuel Watkins and Mary McClure) grave marker offers he was born on July 22, 1797.   The grave marker for Joseph Watkins offers he died on May 16, 1864 and that he was 67 years old at the time of his death.  Though it may be possible to have two sons so close in age, it is unlikely.  Both men claim to be born in the general vicinity of the home of Samuel Watkins.  Both men appear to have children with names common to the family including naming sons Thomas Watkins, but only Joseph is known to name a son Samuel Watkins.  Joseph also names his second oldest son Beverly Watkins born 1823.    Joseph Watkins migrated to Illinois before 1820. Elijah Watkins remains in Hart County, Kentucky until about 1830.  His children born after 1830 claim they were born in Illinois.

The history of Thomas Watkins of the 1800 Hardin County, Kentucky tax list is research ongoing.  Your input is appreciated!

Click to read about Samuel Watkins
Click to read about James Watkins