William Watkins

William Hamilton Watkins (1815 - 1881)

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Rev. William Hamilton Watkins
Born in Lorman (Jefferson County), Mississippimap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Jackson, Mississippimap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Jun 2012
This page has been accessed 1,711 times.



William Hamilton Watkins was born in 1815 and passed away in 1881. He was a prominent Methodist minister.[1]
The following biography is from Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967, by James B. Lloyd:[2]
William Hamilton Watkins: 1815-1881. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Asa Watkins, William Hamilton Watkins was born in Jefferson County, Mississippi, on 11 April 1815. Largely self-taught, he entered the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Church in December, 1835, serving in various pulpits in Mississippi before moving to New Orleans (1837-46). During his tenure in New Orleans he married Elizabeth Johnson (18 December 1842); he returned to Mississippi in 1846, where he remained until his death in Jackson on 5 February 1881. From centenary College, where he was President for two years after the War between the States, he received an honorary D.D. Shortly after his death many of his sermons were collected and published, together with biographical memoirs.
In Memoriam: Life and Labors of the Rev. William Hamilton Watkins, Nashville: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1886.
The 1870 Census for Natchez (Adams County), Mississippi, showed the following in the household with William (59, born Mississippi) and Elizabeth (52, born England):[3]
  • Hattie O. Watkins (25) born Louisiana
  • John M. Watkins (20) born Mississippi
  • Lizzie Watkins (18) born Mississippi
  • Alix Watkins (14) born Mississippi
  • Ellie Watkins (16) born Mississippi
  • Benjamin D. Watkins (7) born Mississippi
William and Elizabeth were in Jackson (Hinds County), Mississippi, for the 1880 Census, where daughters Hattie, Olive, and Lizzie were living with them. Some of the ages are a bit odd, as 10 years have passed since the 1870 Census, but William aged 6 years (65) and Hattie is shown as being 40. Olive, 25, in 1880 is probably 16-year-old Ellie in the 1870 Census.[4]
The 1850 Census for the family, in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, showed that Hattie was Elizabeth's daughter from a previous marriage, listing her as Harriet O. Johnson (age 11). William was shown as 35 years old. Also listed in the 1850 Census were W.H. Watkins Jr. (age 4), born in Louisiana. Thomas H. Watkins (age 2) and John M. Watkins (4/12) were both born in Mississippi.[5]


William H. Watkins is buried in Lorman (Jefferson County), Mississippi, in the Cane Ridge Cemetery.[6]

Research Notes

Source of Jefferson County for birth place from Watkins Letter (see "Sources" below). Lorman added based on Elizabeth Brien's DAR application.[7]

Sources noted in (excellent) biography on Find A Grave:[6]

For the date and place of Rev. Watkins' marriage [18 December 1842 at New Orleans, Louisiana], see Watkins-Johnson marriage announcement, _Daily Picayune_, New Orleans, La., 22 December 1842, page [2], col. 5. [Rev. W. M. Curtis officiated at the ceremony. Jefferson County, Mississippi, was identified as Rev. Watkins' residence; New Orleans was identified as Mrs. Johnson's residence.]
For Rev. Watkins' death, see "Death of Dr. Watkins," _Vicksburg Daily Commercial_, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 11 February 1881, page [1], col. 1.
For Rev. Watkins' funeral service, see "The Late Rev. Wm. H. Watkins," _Vicksburg Daily Commercial_, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 5 April 1881, page [4], col. 2.
For Rev. Watkins' burial service, see "City Affairs," _Vicksburg Daily Commercial_, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 9 April 1881, page [4], col. 2.


  1. Entered by Liz Shifflett, May 31, 2012; updated June 3, 2012, and January 5, 2013.
  2. Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967, by James B. Lloyd (page 455)
  3. 1870 Census, Natchez (Adams County), Mississippi
  4. Entered by Liz Shifflett, January 5, 2013
  5. 1850 Census, Wilkinson County, Mississippi
  6. 6.0 6.1 Find A Grave: Memorial #14123649 for Rev William Hamilton Watkins (accessed 19 April 2018)
  7. Entered by Liz Shifflett, June 3, 2012; updated June 16, 2012.
  • Liz Shifflett, family history and various documentation.
  • Watkins Letter: a copy of the original (signed) letter from A.F. Watkins to his son showing his Watkins line, dated May 16, 1929.
  • Find A Grave Memorial #14123649 for Rev William Hamilton Watkins
  • Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967, by James B. Lloyd
  • 1850 Census for Wilkinson County, Mississippi, enumerated November 16, 1850.
  • 1870 Census for Natchez (Adams County), Mississippi, enumerated August 11, 1870
  • 1880 Census for Jackson (Hinds County), Mississippi, enumerated June 7, 1880
  • DAR Records for Ancestor #A076388
  • See also Descendants of Three Sons of William Hamilton Watkins, D.D. (1815 - 1881)

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

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Images: 4
William H. Watkins' Tombstone
William H. Watkins' Tombstone

Watkins Letter (jpg)
Watkins Letter (jpg)

1850 Census
1850 Census

William Hamilton Watkins
William Hamilton Watkins

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