Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins Parental Conflict Need Assistance

+6 votes
Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins (Adkins-2864) on wikitree has a father listed as David Adkins. I've done some searching around and there seems to be a conflict that he was either the child of John Blackhead Adkins and Betsey Childers or of David Adkins and Sylvaneous Cecilia Sylvia Adkins. None of what I have found is sourced well. Could use a second person to help me come to a conclusion to his parentage.
WikiTree profile: Benjamin Adkins
in Genealogy Help by Geri Van Auken G2G1 (1.9k points)
Wow... This would make for a GREAT name/place study. There are so many ADKINS in Wayne Co., [West] Virginia... He married another Adkins-- probably a cousin of some degree.

I started adding some details-- for example, you had his birth year empty, but the 1860 census calls him 29, working back to an estimated 1831 birth year.

I'm pouring over the 1850 census for this section of Wayne to see if I can find him. (Perhaps you've done that already.)
In the publication by David Turner titled Adkins Families of the Virginias  and also in Ronnie Adkins book titled, Adkins Families from York to Beech Fork  (Wayne Co.) they list a Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins b 1831. Son of  David Adkins b 1764  VA, d Ky 1830-1835.  Wife of BFT is listed as Keziah Adkins  No further information.   I believe this BFT Adkins was born in KY and after David's death he came to Wayne Co., WV.  His brother Elliot b 1822, Ky also came to Wayne/Lincoln Co. and married Rebecca Adkins d.o William Adkins and Elizabeth Meadows.

Further, David was the grandson of William Adkins and Elizabeth Parker.  The aforementioned William Adkins who married Elizabeth Meadows was the ggrandson of William Adkins & Elizabeth Parker.

Harry Atkins

Thanks for the info. Now we know where the theory of David as father comes from. What sources do these authors cite for this relationship? Do you know when these genealogies were published?

Have you found David in any other records?
The other thing to map out is when different states and even counties came into existence. I'm not familiar with the details but I believe that at one time what we now call KY and WV were all part of Virginia. And the names of counties even changed. So the Adkins may not have moved at all but the names of where they lived changed. Something to check.

Yes it was common to see the same people registered in different places only because the county boundries changed.  However, David Adkins left the Greenbrier Co., VA(WV) area around 1810 and moved to what is now Lawrence Co., KY.  Since David was born (see below)in VA that was never a par of Kentucky no double bookkeeping is possible. 

Regarding BFT Adkins I only know what the Ronnie Adkins and The Turner papers reported.  As to the accuracy I know that both David Turner and his children are considered expert  genealogist.  Ronnie Adkins is a direct descendant of the William Adkins and Elizabeth Parker lieneage and lived in Wayne Co., WV until he joined the USAF.  He had a lot of paper documents and family that helped put the story together.

The sources are

  • Adkins, land of York, Surrey County, England, to Beech Fork, Wayne County, West Virginia book Turner papers  by Ronnie Adkins,  He can be contacted at 3540 S. Georgetown Drive, Montgomery, AL  36109-2232.
  • Adkins, Families of the Virginias, Featuring Descendants of William and Elizabeth Parker Adkins, The Turner Papers, Vol 9.  You can contact  Ronnie Turner at 9901 Greenview Lane, Manassas, VA 20109. I do not have Ronnie‚Äôs email address but his brother Van Turner can help. He is at

Here is an overview of the lineage from William Adkins to BFT Adkins:  William Adkins (1690-?) & Elizabeth Parker (1700-) to Mary Adkins(1735-1817) to David Adkins (1764 Va-1835 Lawrence Co., KY)  to BFT Adkins (1831 KY).  David Adkins m1 Judith ? and they had 7 children.  Judith died ca 1806 in Greenbrier Co. VA(WV) She was born 1788 in Montgomery Co., VA.  David  married  2nd time Sylvia Ceclia Adkins (b 1788 Montomery Co., VA).  Children of David and Sylvia were, Enoch, Fanny, Goldsberry, Martin, Nicalberry, Elliott, Green L , Lafayette and BFT.


The Ronnie Adkins' book is available on, but only if you're in one of their libraries/family centers:

This Descendancy list appears to be from the second source; I noticed two different Benjamin Franklin Adkins born within a year of each other-- one the son of David (which the person says was "Atkinson" on his Rev War papers); the other the son of John.

If this is an exact transcription of the publication, then the author provided no sources which is a true disappointment.

Sorry, I do not trust genealogies that do not include sources; nor do I consider genealogists to be experts if they don't cite the sources they used.
Jillaine:  You have an impressive display of information and I assume it is correct.  I agree that most of the Adkins that came to Wayne Co., WV were descendants of Atkinson.  Years   I note that in discussions with Ronnie Adkins he also knew this but because so many in Wayne spelled it Adkins he decided to go with that.  Actually some of my ancestors spelled it both Adkins and Atkins

I must admit that I have not personally studied this lineage except for William Adkins who married Elizabeth Meadows.  In this regard, I offer the following.  I have a copy of their marriage permission issued on August 17, 1815 in Monroe Co., VA. for the marriage of William Adkeson and Elizabeth Meadows, signed by Elizabeth's Father Matthias Meadows.  A John Meadows and Samuel Gwinn were witnesses. I note that William's name was spelled Adkeson .  I suspect it was originally Atkinson..  I also have a copy of the marriage Bond signed August 19, 1815 in Monroe. Co. In a discussion with Ronnie Adkins he suggested that they might have secured the permission and bond in Monroe because of the inability of Matthias to travel and then travelled to Cabell (Wayne) to perform the actual marriage in the presence Adkins relatives there.  I will be glad to send you a copy of this documentation or pasted at this site.


Harry Atkins
Clarification: the link that I included above is NOT my work;  I found it while trying to find a digital version of the two sources you listed earlier. I'm not an Adkins descendant nor experienced in Adkins-specific research. I'm a volunteer here on wikitree, and I happen to have a lot of experience in assessing sources and weighing evidence, generally. (My content experience is in 17th-19th century German church records, and  the colonial New England/Puritan Great Migration period.)

It would be great, Harry, if you'd add to the pertinent profile a scan of the marriage record you have. Thanks!
Jillaine:  I had forgotten that on January 3, 2015 I pasted these marriage record documents for William Adkins and Elizabeth Meadows on Meadows 878 managed by Jeanette Moster


Harry Atkins
I also pasted it on Meadows 1228 which I am listed as manager.
Great! Thanks.

1 Answer

+1 vote


The 1850 census for Wayne Co., Virginia, page 5 (two pages before his future wife's family), shows the following family:

  • John Adkins, 42, farmer, b VA
  • Betsy, 37
  • Benja F., 18, farmer, b VA <-- this age is a close match to his age in the 1860 census with Kizzie.
  • John K., 16
  • Nancy J., 14
  • Isaac, 12
  • Martha A., 10
  • Jefferson B., 8
  • Enoch, 6
  • O[A?]my F., f, 4
  • Jeremiah W., 2mo

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 March 2016), Virginia > Wayne > Wayne county, part of > image 5 of 109; citing NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (767k points)
"It's a bird, it's a plane, no.... it's Super-Jillaine!"

tee hee...

My early morning activity over coffee -- and now I have to get to work.

Geri, I reviewed pages 1-30 of District 66 of Wayne Co 1850 census pages. The Adkins stopped appearing somewhere in the teens. Not that this means they couldn't be on further pages, but I ran out of time. 

In any case, the above "Benja F. Adkins" is the only Adkins in those pages that comes close to your husband of Kizzie. That he's enumerated with John and Betsy suggests he's their son. This census (like the 1860 and 1870 censuses) did not record relationship; we tend to surmise relationships by groupings.

Man-oh-man, if I were unemployed, I'd start mapping these Wayne county Adkins families out. They've got to be related and share common ancestry. AND OMG, the given names they gave their children! I saw some doozies. I particularly liked the sisters America and Canada.

Anyway, you've got a wonderfully fun project here!


Adkins is my maiden name. So it's all my direct family tree through my dad/his dad. His dad died before i was born so I had a hard time figuring out who my relatives were until I asked one of my cousins and got some names to look for.

If I wanted to start a new collaboration project for the adkins of west virginia/virginia how would i go about that? any existing projects like the colonies project that i should connect with it?


So for benjamin franklin thomas adkins should I leave dave attached as his father and add john black head as his father and leave it that way until I get more sources proof? if not what should I do about the david profile?
Geri, in this particular case, I'd change the first name of Benj's father from David to John and adjust the vitals based on the census and any other records you have. David isn't attached to anyone.

Then I'd create a Disputed Origins section and summarize the controversy about his origins .

The closest I know to a relevant project would be the one-name studies  project. Anyone else??


I'd create a Disputed Origins section in the leisure p
from going back over my work and spending more time looking into things i'm almost positive Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins parents are John Blackhead and Elizabeth Childers. Alot of the other family members are incorrect as well. Right now i'm figuring it all out at once on ancestry and once i feel like ive found all i possibly can i will go in and correct mistakes. I don't want to add more mistakes into the family tree than exist already.
It was very late for me when I wrote last night. I forgot to say that you could start compiling a list of the profile managers of Adkins profiles-- especially those in Virginia/WV-- and then contact them to see what they know and how they know it.

I did something like this year's ago when researching my father's mother's JAUCH line. It turned into a huge project that dominated my attention for years and became a sort of town genealogy. See:

You'll see that one of the pages I created was a list if Jauch researchers.

Maybe you'll get some ideas of what you could do.
Wow just look below under Related Questions...
If the "Adkins of Wayne County" publication is accurate, then there were two Benjamin Franklin Adkins, born within a year of each other; wish we could find additional documentary proof of that.

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