As We Know It----- Eakins history, George Eakins

When I began researching my mother's family (Eakins) of Henderson, KY, about 25 years ago, there were many stories about the family. I have found that some parts of the story were true while most parts were not true. The information below is what I believe to be true, to date. If anyone has any other information to verify or not verify, please contact me. The Eakins were notorious for using the same given names over and over, and then calling the child by a middle name or nickname. And, some of the Eakins seemingly found the fountain of youth in Kentucky-- they seem to get younger with each census. It certainly adds to the excitement of the hunt. My sources are in brackets and italics. Thanks for any information you might have.
Helen Zuber Keusch

Before the Revolutionary War (1775), two EAKINS brothers (Joseph and John) came to Charleston, South Carolina, from County Tyrone, Ireland. Joseph was married to Isabella WALCUP. John's wife is not mentioned. By 1790, Joseph and Isabella EAKINS are in Rutherford Co., NC [census] and are land owners by the mid 1790's. Their land is close to or may adjoin the land of Jesse MELTON [land records in Rutherford Co, NC]. Part of the land is now in Cleveland Co., NC, which was a part of Rutherford Co at that time. Joseph EAKINS made a will on December 24, 1824 and died shortly thereafter. He named his wife, Isabella, children: Thomsas, John, George, Samuel, Sarah EAKINS BIGGERSTAFF, and Isabella EAKINS WILKINSON. A slave girl, Katy, is to go to wife, Isabella. Sarah married Samuel Biggerstaff who was the son of Benjamin BIGGERSTAFF and Mary VANZANT. Benjamin BIGGERSTAFF died during the Revolution (was reputed to have sided with the British) and is supposedly buried on Sullivan Island outside Charleston, SC. [Biggerstaff Family History]. Joseph EAKINS, I feel, is not buried on Morris Island for several reasons:

bullet1. It would be almost impossible to transport a corpse from Rutherford County, NC, all the way to Charleston, SC in the early
1820's. Train service wasn't even available in the area at that time. It would have taken weeks to go the journey and with a corpse
bullet2. I think the family history tellers got the Biggerstaffs mixed up with Joseph Eakins due to the fact that Benjamin Biggerstaff
(Sarah Eakins's father-in-law) was buried on Sullivan Island.
bullet3. I have a letter from the South Carolina Genealogical Society in Charleston that state there is no record of any cemeteries on
Morris Island.

As to the Eakins children-- Sarah did marry Samuel BIGGERSTAFF and stayed in Rutherford County, NC, where she raised a family. Isabella married a WILKINSON and may have lived in Iredell County, NC. I do have a will record of an Angus WILKINSON naming a wife, Isabella. The age would fit, but I have no other information, so I cannot say with any certainty on this.[NC will abstract]. Thomas (1774-aft 1840) married Jane DAVES/DAVIS in 1798 in Rutherford Co., NC. Samuel (1780-1844?AR?) married Mary "Polly" HICKS/HIX in 1803 in Rutherford Co., NC. George (1783-1850) married Sarah "Sally" MELTON (daughter of Jesse MELTON and Mary Elizabeth CARTER) in 1810 in Rutherford Co., NC. John (1789-1868) married Sarah "Sally" KING in 1813 in Henderson County, KY. [NC and KY marriage records].

In the early 1800's, the Eakins boys traveled to Henderson County, KY. The year seems to be 1811. [History of Henderson County and Biggerstaff History] By 1813, the Eakins boys were here because the marriage year of John EAKINS and Sally KING. According to the Biggerstaff and Melton family histories and looking at census, it seems that several Melton families traveled with the Eakins as they came to KY. It would seem very probable that this would be due to the political climate of the country in 1811, just prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812. There were many Indian hostilities at this time in the Ohio Valley-- the Indians were being incited by the British who still occupied some areas north of the Ohio River. The British were suppose to have left the area as the US got all lands over to the Mississippi River with the ending of the Revolution in 1783.

The Meltons in Webster and Henderson Counties, KY, can be traced to William Samuel Melton and Letitia White who moved to Rutherford County from Virginia. [Melton History].

A lot is known about George and John, but little about the other two brother, Samuel and Thomas. The information I do have on Samuel and Thomas comes from other researchers who claim descendancy from these two brothers. Samuel may have died in AR. Thomas probably died in KY, may have married more than once and had several children. One of his children went to Missouri. George and John did own several slaves and were farmers [KY slave list of 1850 and 1860]. Some of the freed slaves did take the Eakins surname. [census records and burial records]. From other genealogists working on the family of John, I have John and Sally King Eakins listed as parents of eight children below:

  • Elizabeth Ann Eakins 1813 - 1866
    +John W. Locke 1806 - 1865

  • Martha Isabella Eakins 1818 - 1899
    +Charles B. Harrington 1813 - 1872

  • John J. Eakins 1822 - 1886
    +Opahlia Crutchfield 1831 - 1903

  • Elijah King Eakins 1825 - 1852
    +Eveline M. Boyle 1829 - 1852

  • Eliza Eakins 1827 -
    +Nathaniel J. Hughes

  • Felix George (Grundy) Eakins 1829 - 1895
    +Matilda D. Weaver 1831 - 1886

  • Elmira (Ella) Eakins 1834 - 1892
    +Paschall W. Lockett

  • Joseph William Eakins 1840 - 1927
    +Sarah Elizabeth Powell 1842 - 1880

  • John's son, John J. EAKINS, went to Dallas, TX, and is buried there. [TX records and genealogists info]. The other children stayed in the area. Son Felix and Joseph fought in the Civil War (Confederacy) [Civil War records and Henderson Co History].

    George EAKINSis my gg grandfather. There has always been a discrepancy as to the number of children George had. The biographical sketch of son, Isaiah, states that Isaiah was the sixth of ten children. George EAKINSis on the 1820-1830-1840-and 1850 census. His wife, Sally MELTON EAKINS, died in 1833 and is buried in the Shiloh (Eakins) Cemtery east of Robards. George gave land for this cemetery. George died in 1850 and is buried there also. The 1820 census shows 3 sons and 2 daughters in the household, the 1830 census shows 5 sons and 3 daughter. A daughter, Sarilda died in 1821, therefore is not on the 1830 census. The 1840 census show 4 sons and 2 daughters, the mother, Sarah, had died by then. The 1850 census show 2 sons at home (George--21 and Zachariah--18). A Ruben SANDEFUR --15--is living with George. I feel that this George (age 21) is Enoch George. George supposedly left a will (according to the Henderson Co. history) leaving his property to his 10 living children. To date, no will has been found. However, the biggest proof I have of these children is the land deed transfer done in 1852 after George died. All the living children and spouses signed it. Those children and spouses were:

    bullet1. Noah Eakins (b. NC 1810-d. 1868 in TX)
    spouse: Susan Edwards

    bullet2. Andrew Jackson Eakins (b. 1817)
    spouse: Nancy Hix/Hicks

    bullet3. Felix Eakins (b.1820-1901)
    spouse: Amarillis Porter

    bullet4. Isaiah "Big Ike" Eakins (b.1819-1825--1894)
    spouse: Mary Ann Long

    bullet5. Louisa Eakins (b. abt 1827)
    spouse: John R. Edwards

    bullet6. Sarah E. Eakins (b. abt 1825-1899)
    spouse: William Allison Sandefur

    bullet7. Zachariah Eakins (1831-1896)
    not married at the time

    bullet8. Enoch George Eakins (1829-1905)
    not married at the time

    A daughter, Sarilda, had died in 1821 and the missing daughter listed in the early census was not on the 1840 census. She may have married and died without heirs, or just died at home. I cannot find any name or record of this missing daughter. Some people have a Samuel W EAKINS listed with George and as a twin of Noah. I feel Sam belongs to Thomas, simply because I have no place else he may go. Samuel was living when the deed transfer was signed and would have signed it. Samuel is buried in the Gish Cemetery. The 21 year old George listed on the 1850 census, as stated earlier, is Enoch George. On some records, there is a John listed as a child of George and Sarah. I feel this is incorrect as he would have signed the transfer also. The John may have been a boarder, like Reuben SANDEFUR was, and John's last name was not recorded. Until I find differently, I am giving George and Sarah 10 children, with 2 dead daughters, leaving 8 surviving children.

    Some info on the children of George and Sally:

    bulletZachariah Eakins served in the Civil War on the Union Side.
    bullet"Big Ike" Isaiah was a Conferedate guerrilla fighter and rode with Quantrill [family history.
    bulletEnoch George Eakins married Harriet Minerva Ford, daughter of Eliza Gabrella Sandefur and Samuel J. Ford. Enoch and Harriet
    are my great grandparents and are buried on the Eakins Cemetery on the Lee Eakins farm, west of Robards, KY. Enoch George
    had three children to marry three children of his brother, Felix. Felix had a farm west of Robards and gave a portion of his land for
    a small family cemetery (this is the plot on the Lee Eakins farm).

    I hope this help to clarify any information on George Eakins and his father, Joseph. And I believe, to the best of my knowledge, that the above is true. But I would certainly welcome any proof which would differ with what I do have. Helen Zuber Keusch

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