Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins Parental Conflict Need Assistance

+7 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: Tommy Adkins
in Genealogy Help by Geri Van Auken G2G2 (2.1k points)

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.

To help anyone else who stumbles across this page...

Benjamin Franklin THOMAS Adkins, aka BFT or Tommy, was born about 1831 in Lawerence County, Kentucky to David Adkins and Sylvaneous Adkins. He married Kizzie Adkins, daughter of Littleberry Adkins and Delphia Adkins. Tommy settled in the Mud Creek area of Wayne County, West Virginia, with his brothers Green L. and Elliott, on land that his father received for Revolutionary War service.

Benjamin Franklin Adkins was born June 1832 at Beech Fork, Cabell County, Virginia to John Adkins and Elizabeth Childers. He married Nancy Bias in 1856.


Adkins, Ronnie, "The Adkins Family of Wayne County, West Virginia, Also Cabell, Lincoln and Boone", Bookcrafters, Virginia: 1990. Page 19, 63, 118, 131.

The US Census proves they are not the same person for they are living in different counties in 1860-

In 1860, Benjamin Franklin THOMAS Adkins is found in Wayne County, Virginia: Source: "United States Census, 1860," database with images, FamilySearch ([ accessed 24 March 2016]), Virginia > Wayne > Not Stated > image 53 of 168; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, ( : n.d.); citing NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

* Benj. F. T. Adkins, 29, farmer, b. Kentucky

* Kizziah, 25, b Virginia

* Alafare, 6, f, b Virginia

* Conwelsey (?), 4, m, b Virginia

* Lee, 2, m, b Virginia

Benjamin Franklin Adkins is found to be in Cabell County, Virginia in 1860 living next to Childers relatives (his mother's family). Source: [ 1860 United States Federal Census] [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data:1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

*Benjamin Adkins, 28, farmer, b. Virginia

*Nancy, 25, b. Virginia

*Amos, 3, b. Virginia

*Paralee, 2, b. Virginia

*Arnold, 8/12, b. Virginia

The marriage record for the Benjamin Franklin Adkins that married Nancy Bias shows his parents are John and Elizabeth Adkins

I have been working to add sources to both profiles on WikiTree now that I have BFT Adkins to the right parents.

Hi Patty...

what about the Benjamin son of John from the 1850 census? How does he fit in?

The Benjamin Franklin Adkins from the 1850 US Census is this Benjamin Franklin Adkins. The son of John "Backhead" Adkins and Elizabeth Childers

Benjamin's marriage to Nancy Bias shows his parents as John and Elizabeth Adkins.

This Benjamin was born in Beech Fork Lake area in Cabell County, West Virginia (actually Virginia at the time he was born). Beech Fork Lake is also partly in Wayne County which is where Benjamin Franklin Thomas Adkins eventually settled so the confusion is understandable. BFT Adkins was born in Kentucky and not Virginia [West Virginia] so this helps to separate the records of the two in the Census records.

It is funny that Wikipedia mentions this on the page for Beech Fork Lake- "The Beech Fork strain of Adkins family (appropriately known as "Beech Fork Adkinses") was largely driven out to the Huntington metropolitan area. So numerous were these displaced persons that townsfolk joked about an "Adkins factory" at Beech Fork which mass-produced persons of the surname." (

This is the reason that Ronnie Adkins started doing genealogy when he realized just how many Adkins were around and that he was somehow related to them all. Much of his research, that isn't "sourced" in his book, comes from the family bibles that have been passed down within the Adkins family. 

There are many more Benjamin Franklin Adkins but they are of different ages so not as easily confused as the two here are.

Thanks for the clarification, Pattie. Such a tangled knot this family is...

1 Answer

+3 votes


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 (906k 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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